Posted inFilm

Just for Kicks

Directed by Thibaut de Longeville and Lisa Leone, this French-American digital video coproduction includes Nike gear in a boosterish report on the $26 billion sneaker industry and its hip-hop enablers. “The sneaker is to hip-hop what the crucifix is to Christians,” claims French filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz. 67 min.

Posted inFilm

Infamy

This digital video perceptively profiles seven graffiti artists in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Director-cinematographer Doug Pray (Scratch, Hype!) lets his reflective subjects rationalize their illegal artwork. 89 min.

Posted inArts & Culture

Resfest

This touring festival of digital videos stops for four days, October 6-9, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door; call 312-397-4010 or visit www.resfest.com for a complete schedule. Resfest can’t be accused of neglecting its sponsors: each work lists the digital software and hardware […]

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A Jew Among the Germans

In this bracingly vitriolic documentary produced for PBS, former Chicagoan Marian Marzynski observes planning for the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe (which opened this month in Berlin) and interviews architect Peter Eisenman, historian James Young, and members of the so-called “third generation” who wrote a book about the legacy of World War II […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Madea Goes to Jail

Atlanta playwright-performer Tyler Perry likes to impersonate a bigmouthed grandma who messes in people’s business for their own good: his Madea–the star of four previous Perry plays and his first film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman–is a vulgar evangelist for family values. This rowdy, music-packed, melodramatic crowd-pleaser, which elicits sing-alongs to dusties and affirmations […]

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Riding Giants

Stacy Peralta follows up his California skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) with this layered ethnography of the west-coast surfing subculture, interviewing three generations of gutsy wave riders who recoil from Hollywood’s treatment of the sport. (“It positively surpasses every living emotion I’ve ever had!” gushes Sandra Dee in a clip from Gidget.) The subjects […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Riding Giants

Stacy Peralta follows up his California skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) with this layered ethnography of the west-coast surfing subculture, interviewing three generations of gutsy wave riders who recoil from Hollywood’s treatment of the sport. (“It positively surpasses every living emotion I’ve ever had!” gushes Sandra Dee in a clip from Gidget.) The subjects […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Film: Blaxploitation trailers tell their own story

A three-minute tease may be all you really want to see of Scream, Blacula, Scream!, the 1973 sequel to the blaxploitation classic Blacula in which Shakespearean actor William Marshall plays an ass-kicking vampire revivified by voodoo. But other examples from Floyd Webb’s collection of film trailers from the genre’s heyday are surprisingly intriguing. Brothers (1977) […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Seamsters

Thomas Kellner: In America at Schneider, through June 12 Doug Fogelson: Intersections at Kraft Lieberman, through May 28 Ken Fandell: From Up and Down, and Still Somehow at Bodybuilder & Sportsman, through June 5 “Seamlessness” is an increasingly popular term of praise for imagery stitched together digitally, but sometimes old-school methods yield photographs that exploit […]