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Dann Gire

Film Critic
  • Phone(847) 427-4530
  • Emaildgire@dailyherald.com
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Dann Gire came to the Daily Herald in 1975 and has held positions of government reporter, crime reporter, Metro reporter (assigned to the Cook County Criminal Courts), and film critic on the Features staff. He has served as the newspaper's film critic for 32 years.

Gire worked as the station's film critic at Chicago's Fox TV News from 1988 to 1991, and for four weeks this summer, contributed film critiques for CBS Chicago's "Monsters and Money in the Morning" TV news program.

From 1984 to 2006, he served as an adjunct faculty member at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, teaching classes in drama, novels and short stories, film and literature, introductory journalism, mass communications and feature writing. From 2000 to 2006, he also became the faculty adviser to the Harbinger newspaper at Harper College. He was fired from both positions after a dispute with a Harper vice president over censorship issues at the paper. He subsequently gave testimony for the Higher Education committees of the Illinois Senate and Illinois House to promote passage of the Illinois College Campus Press Act that would make political firings of college newspaper staffs and faculty advisers illegal. The act became law on June 1, 2008.

Gire has taught journalism in the communications department at Aurora University since 2008. He also has been assisting professor Heidi Schlumpf in launching the university's first online newspaper, the Aurora Chronicle, in the fall of 2010.

Gire is the president and a founding director for the Chicago Film Critics Association, a nonprofit organization with charitable and educational goals. He wrote the organization's ethics code and founded the group's Zappa Committee charged with monitoring First Amendment violations against filmmakers and recommending responses to those violations.

He has won the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism (like the Chicago version of the Pulitzer Prize) six times. He has also won awards from the Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, The Associated Press, and other journalism organizations.

Every fall, Gire delivers a keynote presentation at the Embarras Valley Film Festival through his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University in downstate Charleston. It was at EIU that he taught his first college course in communications in 1975. He has been a member of the school's Journalism Advisory Council, as well as Harper College's Journalism Advisory Committee (until 2006).

Gire holds bachelor and master degrees in communications from Eastern Illinois University. He also served as sports editor, photography editor and co-editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the Daily Eastern News.

He is married to Peggy Gire, a longtime music teacher in Schaumburg District 54. They have two daughters: Lauren Elaine Taylor, currently on tour as Rizzo in the national Broadway production of "Grease," and Morgan Gire, who recently served as assistant director for the independent film production "Molly's Girl."

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Gire: 'Babadook' filmmaker: 'I love horror movies'

Dec 18 2014 | 6:25 am - Australian director Jennifer Kent was nominated as “Most Promising Filmmaker” by the Chicago Film Critics for her debut movie, the horror tale “The Babadook.” In an interview, she talks about her film, her love of horror and...

Gire: Effects trump intelligence in ‘Night at the Museum’

Dec 17 2014 | 10:31 pm - “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” bears all the telltale signs of a feckless children’s fantasy put together by filmmakers who’ve squandered a terrific opportunity to construct a comedy capable of promoting history,...

Boogeyman wins as movie theaters cave to threat

Dec 18 2014 | 9:17 am - In the end, the boogeyman won. Big theater chains such as Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex and AMC Theatres, along with regional chains such as Classic Cinemas, announced they would not show “The Interview” after a mysterious, unknown entity...

Epic battles compensate for perfunctory dialogue, narrative bloat in last ‘Hobbit’

Dec 16 2014 | 5:13 pm - "The Battle of the Five Armies” ranks as the best segment in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy based on the Middle-earth literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien. That’s hardly a monumental achievement. We become subjected to one of the most...

Chicago critics pick ‘Boyhood’ as best 2014 film

Dec 16 2014 | 12:07 am - The Chicago Film Critics Monday named Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” the best movie of 2014, Linklater as best director and Patricia Arquette as best supporting actress. Michael Keaton won best actor for “Birdman.”...

‘Birdman’ flies with Chicago critics’ nominations

Dec 12 2014 | 5:41 pm - Alejandro G. Inarritu’s hallucinatory black comedy/drama “Birdman” earned nine award nominations from the Chicago Film Critics Assn., including picture, director, original screenplay, actor (Michael Keaton), supporting actor (Ed...

Theaters go all in with holiday screenings this weekend

Dec 11 2014 | 6:16 am - The holiday movies are upon us, including a series of family-oriented comedies free or at greatly reduced admissions from the Classic Cinema chain.

'Imitation Game' hinges on Cumberbatch's vast talent

Dec 11 2014 | 3:20 pm - “The Imitation Game” is partly a tragedy, partly a history lesson, but largely a dramatic plea not just to embrace those who think differently, but actually appreciate them. As Alan Turing, cool chameleon Benedict Cumberbatch channels...

A critic's high-five for 'Top Five'

Dec 11 2014 | 3:21 pm - Chris Rock's new comedy “Top Five” is a mess, but a good mess that captures the chaotic, unstructured lifestyle of a popular entertainer struggling with the real issues of life. Writer, director and star, Rock clearly knows his...

Visual effects trump drama in biblical spectacle 'Exodus'

Dec 11 2014 | 6:14 am - Depicting the Almighty as an enfant terrible might seem to be a strange choice in “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” but it makes total sense if we see God as Moses does — as an impatient, pushy, demanding deity who treats the incredulous...

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