Posted inArts & Culture

Song of the Exile

A lovely autobiographical feature by Boat People’s Ann Hui, set in 1973. A young Chinese woman (Maggie Cheung) studying in London is summoned back to Hong Kong to attend her younger sister’s wedding, and finds herself in frequent conflict with her Japanese mother (Chang Shwu-Fen) until she accompanies her mother on her first trip back […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Graceland/Here We Are

GRACELAND and HERE WE ARE Acme Arts Company at Talisman Theatre At first these two one-acts seem to ridicule women. Here We Are, adapted from a Dorothy Parker short story, is about a woman married less than three hours who keeps picking silly fights with her new husband as they ride the train to New […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Slacker

Richard Linklater’s delightfully different and immensely enjoyable first feature takes us on a 24-hour tour of the flaky dropout culture of Austin, Texas; it doesn’t have a continuous plot, but it’s brimming with weird characters and wonderful talk (all of it scripted by Linklater, though it often seems improvised). The structure of dovetailing dialogues calls […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Secondhand Emotion

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY at Ravinia August 14-17 It hasn’t been fashionable in certain circles to like Martha Graham for a good 10, 20, even 30 years. To the postmodern mind she’s too literal, too oriented toward narrative, insufficiently interested in movement for movement’s sake. Of course now that she’s gone–she died last April, at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Men Are Such Fools

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK Next Theatre Company’s Next Lab For a man who enthused so insistently about the purity, innocence, and even “divinity” of children, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson–aka Lewis Carroll–put plenty of dark streaks in his writings for the little buggers. Commenting on his fantasy classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll described […]

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The Spurt of Blood

THE SPURT OF BLOOD Saratoga Company at Bailiwick Repertory In 1925 Antonin Artaud wrote a very strange play, translated variously as Jet of Blood or The Spurt of Blood, filled with odd characters, absurd plot twists, unspeakable acts, and the sort of unstageable stage directions you’d expect from a man who had spent 9 of […]

Posted inFilm

Crass Consciousness

BARTON FINK *** (A must-see) Directed by Joel Coen Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen With John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Tony Shalhoub, and Jon Polito. I’m not one of the Coen brothers’ biggest fans. I walked out of Blood Simple, their first feature. The main sentiment I took […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Every couple of months, art collector and dealer Aron Packer strips his Rogers Park apartment bare and puts on a show. This weekend he’s exhibiting work by Lucy Ruth Wright Rivers along with pieces from his own collection of folk art. Describing her work, Wright Rivers, a 1991 MFA graduate of the School of the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

AP: Associated With What?

To the editors: So the Associated Press is going to bat for us all (“War Stories,” Hot Type, August 2) against the Pentagon’s restrictions on the press? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The AP–let’s see; isn’t that the agency that picked up a CIA feed, ran it around the world out of […]