Posted inArts & Culture

The Theme

It’s not too much of a surprise that this angry Soviet film by Gleb Panfilov won the Golden Bear prize at the 1987 Berlin Film Festival over Platoon. It’s a more courageous film, especially considering the restrictions in its own country, which help to explain why this 1979 film could only surface after glasnost; it’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chekhov in Yalta

CHEKHOV IN YALTA Victory Gardens In Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit, one of the characters worships Richard Wagner and attempts to write a scholarly biography of the legendary composer. But after years of work, he abandons the project. “Everything I’ve written about him reduces him to my own sort of size,” he says. “Which makes […]

Posted inFilm

A Thousand Words

Made for the unthinkable sum of $7,000, Paul E. Garstki’s independent black-and-white Chicago-based feature both profits and suffers from its impoverished budget. On the plus side, a largely postdubbed sound track allows the filmmakers to tell parts of the story through the ingenious economical device of using answering-machine messages and imaginary phone conversations offscreen. A […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cleveland San Jose Ballet

CLEVELAND SAN JOSE BALLET at the Civic Center for Performing Arts April 6-10 and 12-16 The Cleveland San Jose Ballet’s full-length Romeo and Juliet incorporated two of the most damnable faults a performance can bear: the attempt to distract from bad dancing with stunning sets, and the presentation of characters so unsympathetic that we ultimately […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Labor Movement

AKASHA AND COMPANY at the Dance Center of Columbia College April 8, 9, 15, and 16 Nothing’s achieved without labor–yet anything labored will fail. Yeats in “Adam’s Curse” reflects on the difficulty of the poet’s craft: “A line will take us hours maybe; / Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought, / Our […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Here’s the story. My wife just got back from Berkeley where she helped a friend give birth–and of course it all happened at home, in some kind of tub, underwater, with violins playing and midwives hovering about. Here’s what she says happened next. Out came the afterbirth, which was carefully collected in a pot and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cicero Blake

Cicero Blake is a west-side soul man in the mold of Otis Clay, but he’s retained a good deal more of his hard-edged Chicago blues roots than his better-known contemporary. Backed by the versatile Masheen Company–capable of slick blues, soul, pop, even disco if necessary–Cicero pours equal amounts of west-side blues grit and soulful sophistication […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Idomeneo, re di Creta

At the outset of Mozart’s Idomeneo, re di Creta (1781) the king of Crete, stranded at sea, makes a pact with Neptune. Soon after, back on shore, a Faustian music-drama of love, guilt, vengeance, and redemption unfolds. To Elaine Scott Banks, the artistic director of the City Musick, there is only one logical setting in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Give me your tired, your poor, your mathematicians… The University of Chicago Chronicle (February 25) reports that for the first time last year, more than half of the people receiving mathematics PhDs in this country were not U.S. citizens. “If not for the brain drain from overseas,” says U. of C. mathematics chairman J. Peter […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Stress Reactions

To the editors: As a longtime Tribune reader I always sought Jonathan Broder’s byline as I found him to consistently provide intelligent insights into events in the middle east. He is clearly not a writer who needs to plagiarize so that I feel that his use of an article from the Jerusalem Post [Hot Type, […]