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Rachel Niffenegger, artist who’s part of a group exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center, gets weird with:
The Mental Illness Happy Hour Flipping through the TV channels in the early aughts, I would sometimes land on Dinner and a Movie on TBS. If you aren’t familiar, hosts Paul Gilmartin and Annabelle Gurwitch would announce a film to be aired in full and take intermittent breaks to cook a related recipe, such as Creepy Crawly Crab Legs during Arachnophobia. I forgot about Paul, until I found his podcast through the grapevine of comedy casts I listen to in the studio. While not a comedy podcast by any means, the Mental Illness Happy Hour consists of Paul interviewing various comedians and creative types about mental illness, addiction, and depression. The interviews range from ex-con “Murph” discussing teeth he would keep in a jar to former Daily Show correspondent and actress Beth Littleford talking about her postpartum depression and more. Also, look for the episode where Paul interviews his former Dinner and a Movie cohost Annabelle for a frank and revealing conversation about their TV relationship.
Robert Tenges, director of education and programs at the Old Town School of Folk Music, spends lazy Saturdays at:
The corner of Fullerton and Western Pretty much every Saturday around 11 AM, you’ll find my family and me at the corner of Fullerton and Western. First off, we grab a bite at the Fullerton Restaurant, which I’m sure you’ve rode or driven past many times. Next time, don’t. Everything on the menu of this friendly little diner is great, although I would single out their homemade soups (complimentary with any sandwich) and my son Tristan swears by their minced ham and eggs. Plus, I’ll eat my hat if there’s a single menu item that costs more than seven bucks! Afterwards, we amble 15 feet west to Logan Hardware, which is this amazing record store that features cheap vinyl, CDs, and related paraphernalia. The best part, though? The game room in back, of course! This noisy, dark space is jam-packed with vintage video games and pinball machines, which you can play all afternoon as long as you make a small purchase. It’s the best way to burn off that early lunch!
Christopher Jobson, editor of art blog Colossal, is wowed by:
Samsara I recently had the opportunity to duck into a screening of Samsara, director Ron Fricke’s sequel to the 1992 film Baraka and his first film since. As it turns out Roger Ebert was sitting just behind me and I couldn’t help but think “Am I watching this movie correctly!?” every few minutes. Shot in 25 countries over five years, Samsara is an eye-popping visual journey through nature, history, art, culture, and numerous facets of the human condition, using footage that’s heart-achingly beautiful and occasionally heart-wrenching. Set to an original soundtrack by Michael Stearns, the 99-minute movie is completely nonverbal, leaving only the visuals, music, and editing to communicate the filmmaker’s vision, but also allowing you to create your own interpretations. Numerous times during the film I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering what desolate, otherworldly places Fricke had to travel to obtain such incredible footage, but also questioning “What does he mean by this?” and “What are we supposed to do now?” Go see this film. [Samsara opens 9/7 at Landmark’s Century Centre.]