Celebrate New Year’s Eve at David Burke’s PrimeHouse at The James Chicago

LIBERATING LUXURY FROM TRADITION, THE SOPHISTICATED, INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND GUEST-CENTRIC SERVICE ETHIC AT THE JAMES CHICAGO PROVIDE A MODERN AESTHETIC WITH A CLASSIC COMMITMENT TO HOSPITALITY  

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For travelers ringing in the New Year in Chicago, David Burke’s PrimeHouse is offering an $82 prix-fixe celebratory menu laden with brilliant modern American offerings.  Guests can choose from a variety of options, including the 55 Day Dry Aged Bone-in Ribeye, which was named Chicago Magazine’s Best Dry Aged Steak.

Complemented by dishes including Oysters on the Half Shell with horseradish, cocktail sauce and mignonette; Pretzel Crusted Crab Cakes with caviar crema, raisin compote, tender greens and apple; and Wagyu Beef Sashimi with Himalayan salt, mushroom chips and truffle mayo, it’s sure to be a night to remember.

The first chef to own his own bull, Chef Burke’s commitment to quality is evident in the USDA prime grade, hand-selected beef served in David Burke’s PrimeHouse. The restaurant dry-ages its meats in a Himalayan salt-tiled aging room on premise, with the result being perfectly marble-ized, tender beef with a rich depth of flavor. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse features a rotating menu that focuses on seasonal, local and organic ingredients and inventive dishes that reflect evolving culinary trends.

The James Chicago (http://www.jameshotels.com/chicago55 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, 312.337.1000, Reservations: 1.877.JAMES.55), which opened in 2006, provides unique style and exceptional luxury service in comfortable surroundings. Ideally situated in downtown Chicago on the corner of Ontario and Rush Streets, steps off of Michigan Avenue and in the heart of The Magnificent Mile, the best of Chicago’s dining, shopping and nightlife are right outside its doors. Within walking distance are Chicago’s exciting cultural attractions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the John Hancock Observatory, Millennium Park, the historic Water Tower and Navy Pier.

The James Chicago Hotel

The James Chicago Hotel

Guest accommodations at the James Chicago Hotel (Rates starts at $250 per guestroom and $2500 per suite) includes 61King Guestrooms, 43 Double Guestrooms, 38 Deluxe Double Guestrooms, 49 Deluxe King Guestrooms, 52 Studios, 26 Lofts, 26 One Bedroom Apartments and 2 Penthouse Lofts. Guestrooms and Studios feature a palette of warm tones. The contemporary layout and custom designed furniture include a streamlined dark wood platform bed, work/dining niche, flat-screen TV’s, and spacious slate-tile and marble bathrooms, all created with the guests’ personal needs in mind. Lofts feature a living area, wet bar, spacious bathrooms, work/dining niche and media rooms. One-Bedroom Apartments are designed in true upscale residential style featuring a living room with separate bedroom, wet bar, dining area and spacious bathrooms. Penthouses Lofts highlight luxury city living with two bedrooms, formal living and dining rooms, oversized bathrooms with his and hers sinks, soaking tub, and separate rain shower.

Guestroom at The James Chicago

Guestroom at The James Chicago

The James Chicago Hotel Lobby Art Gallery

The James Chicago Hotel Lobby Art Gallery

Guestroom Amenities includes Custom, comfortable beds, Work/dining niche, Snack & cocktail bar

Commissioned art, Flat  screen TVs, Digital TV & movie system, Stereo with iPoddock, Cordless dual-line phone, Complimentary WiFi, Intelligent Nutrients full-sized bath products, 100% Turkish cotton towels, Full-length mirror, Dimmable lighting, Individual climate control, Daily newspaper delivery, Complimentary triple-filtered water system, Eco-friendly pillow options by Keetsa and Starbucks Via coffee with European-style water boiler. Continue reading

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9 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS ADVANCE IN 2014 OSCAR® RACE

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Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®. Seventy-six films had originally been considered in the category. Foreign Language Film nominations for 2013 are being determined in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 16.  The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;

Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;

Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;

Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;

Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;

Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;

Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;

Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles.  They will spend Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 12, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

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Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The presentation, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

 

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: WAHL Holiday Gift Lineup Offers Look-Good, Feel-Good Tools That Combines Performance, Style and Comfort

They say it’s the thought that counts. However, it is estimated that more than half of all holiday shoppers are expected to return the gifts they received for various reasons, according to a recent national survey. Fortunately, Wahl, a leader in men’s grooming and personal care, has a holiday lineup designed with staying power. The company’s latest offerings consist of budget-friendly gifts for everyone on the list, including new lithium-ion-powered grooming tools, temperature-therapy massage solutions and odor-fighting products for pets.
Most guys are in search of the best gadgets, so this holiday season Wahl is putting the most advanced battery technology available into their hands with a newly expanded lineup of lithium ion grooming tools. For the head and face, Wahl offers the Lithium Ion Clipper and Lithium Ion Beard & Stubble Trimmer. Both feature precision ground blades, longer run time and quick charge capabilities. 
The Lithium Ion Clipper can run for up to two hours on one charge thanks to Wahl’s proprietary battery technology. It offers 50 percent more power than standard clippers to ensure optimum cutting performance at all times, and has a convenient 15-minute quick charge option. Travel-ready and ready in a pinch, it holds its charge for up to one year and is available as a combo kit that includes a detail trimmer and assortment of accessories and guide combs. The Lithium Ion Clipper Kit is available nationwide with an MSRP of $69.99.
The Wahl Lithium Ion Beard & Stubble Trimmer is exactly that. Yet you can do so much with this trimmer. Trim and detail your facial hair and touch up and cut the hair on your head. It has the most advanced rechargeable battery technology. It’s lighter weight, has almost no charge loss in storage, is environmentally smart, and has no memory issues. Best of all, it provides 3x the run time, 2x the torque, a 1-minute quick charge and 1 hour full charge which standard NiMH / NiCad trimmers can not do. Travel-ready and ready in a pinch, it holds its charge for up to one year and is available as a combo kit that includes a detail trimmer and assortment of accessories and guide combs. The Lithium Ion Clipper Kit is available nationwide with an MSRP of $69.99.

For the nose, ears and eyebrows, Wahl also offers the Lithium Lighted Detailer, which sheds some light on those hard to see areas. The Wahl Lithium Powered Lighted Detailer comes with 3 interchangeable heads: Reciprocating head for ears and detailing, Rotary head for nose hairs and Detail head for necklines and eyebrows. It also comes with an eyebrow guide, protective cap and 1 AA Energizer® Lithium Battery.

It’s safe to say a majority of people could use a gift that relieves this year, as a recent study found 85 percent of Americans are in pain. With this in mind, Wahl offers new Hot-Cold Therapy Massage products to address a variety of pain points, including sore and swollen muscles, poor circulation and those everyday aches and pains. Wahl’s newest tool, the Hot-Cold Therapy Massaging Gel pack, combines massage and temperature therapy and includes a Velcro strap for hands-free targeted relief.

For the four-legged members of the family, Wahl offers a new line of pet hygiene products. The Odor NeutralizerWaterless Shampoo and Doggie Deodorant are designed to take the dirty work out of bathing.  Whether searching for a stocking stuffer or preparing for holiday photos, this line of all-natural products are developed with the needs of pets—and their owners in mind.

Wahl’s complete line of budget-friendly gift ideas can be found online at wahlholidaygifts.com. This online shopping destination makes it easy to purchase products online or locate them in stores in time for the holidays. These products can be found at major retailers nationwide at prices ranging from $5.99 to under $80.

Sundance Institute Announces Films in Contention in the U.S. and World Competitions, NEXT Section for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE 118 FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS The Sundance Institute has announced the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT <=> (Wave) Section of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. pdc_sundance2014logo Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Sundance Film Festival (www.sundance.org/festival) has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Little Miss Sunshine, An Education, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Sundance Institute (www.sundance.org) is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as the ones previously mention and including Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “We are energized by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Independent filmmakers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.”story-sundance-2014-logo-web-2-220492 For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In addition to those announced, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section and new Sundance Kids section of films for younger audiences, are forthcoming.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.”

On Day One, January 16, 2014, the Festival will screen one film from each of the four Competition sections, as well as one shorts program. A selection of films from the 2014 Festival will be among those presented at other Sundance Institute programs throughout the year, including the Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-27 at The O2, and the NEXT WEEKEND summer film festival in Los Angeles.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “That the Festival has evolved and grown as it has over the past 30 years is a credit to both our audiences and our artists, who continue to find ways to take risks and open our minds to the power of story. This year’s films and artists promise to do the same.”

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man’s life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell. Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Dear White People/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets, Sundance Film Festival 2014

Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eddie Marsan (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Christina Hendricks (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God's Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket – Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro (Photo credit: Lance Acord)

God’s Pocket/ U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction “accident,” Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro. Continue reading

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Unveils Oscar® Trailer Starring Host Ellen DeGeneres, Directed By Paul Feig

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All Images Courtesy of the Academy

The Academy launched its Oscar season with a trailer (www.oscars.org/herewego) starring show host Ellen DeGeneres and 250 tuxedo-clad men and women dancing to “The Walker” by indie pop band Fitz and The Tantrums.  The Oscars® will air Sunday, March 2, 2014, live on ABC.

I had the best time making this,” said DeGeneres.  “I love Paul, I love tWitch, I love Fitz and I like most of the Tantrums.”

Host promo shoot for the 86th Academy Awards.

Host promo shoot for the 86th Academy Awards starring Ellen DeGeneres and 250 dancers

Paul Feig, a new Academy member, conceived and directed the trailer, which was choreographed by freestyle dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss.  Feig’s directorial credits include “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and the upcoming comedy “Susan Cooper,” starring Melissa McCarthy.

To work with Ellen, tWitch Boss, Allison Holker and 250 amazing dancers to the music of Fitz and The Tantrums to promote the Oscars for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was an absolute dream come true,” said Feig.  “Just typing that sentence made me giddy and exhausted. I’m going to lie down now.”

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The trailer will run in theaters nationwide beginning January 3, 2014.  It also can be viewed on the Academy’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/Oscars.

Fitz and The Tantrums (Courtesy of The Academy)

Fitz and The Tantrums (Courtesy of The Academy)

Fitz and The Tantrums’ “The Walker” is the new single from their critically acclaimed second full length release, “More Than Just a Dream,” on Atlantic/Elektra Records.  The band’s first single, “Out of My League,” went #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Song Chart.

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Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The presentation, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.