Posted inArts & Culture

Blue Eyes. Black Hair

The language of sensuality, the sensuality of language–French writer Marguerite Duras has mastered both. She pulls at the boundaries of erotica and art, revealing everything about the sexual act while hinting at it in the most minimal terms. When her fiction and essays are read aloud they take on an added intensity, as demonstrated by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

If a match is lit in an atmosphere like earth’s but outside of gravity’s pull, will it suffocate? Will it snuff out from its own gases faster than if it had a steady earthbound updraft to refresh it with more oxygen? I heard the space shuttle astronauts were doing tests with fire in microgravity. I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

This is the Chicago premiere of a first-rate, 167-minute Canadian documentary by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick about the brilliant linguist and radical political commentator Noam Chomsky, probably the best living critic of American foreign policy as viewed through the media. He’s so articulate and intelligent that this extended look at his thought remains compulsively […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

States we never expected to have a good word for. From the Kentucky Supreme Court’s September decision striking down that state’s anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional: “‘Equal Justice Under Law’ inscribed above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court, expresses the unique goal to which all humanity aspires. In Kentucky it is more than a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cambodian American

In 1991 I had the opportunity to photograph at Site 2, a sprawling refugee camp along the Thai-Cambodian border. Having seen films, photos, and news reports showing Cambodians only as helpless war refugees, starving victims reaching out for western aid, I was surprised to discover a people deeply concerned with rebuilding and upholding their cultural […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Losers Alias

LOSERS ALIAS Curious Theatre Branch Clean, coherent, conventional narratives have never been Curious Theatre’s strong suit. Or their cup of tea. Like Theater Oobleck, with whom they have become increasingly allied, this collective of actors and musicians seems less interested in creating carefully balanced story lines than in being allowed to make plays any damn […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

For the past few weeks I’ve been spending as much time as I can afford studying the birds of the oak savannas of the midwest. This is a bookish enterprise. All but a few tiny, degraded remnants of our native savannas vanished before the end of the 19th century, so there is no place I […]

Posted inFilm

Wallflower’s Revenge

THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by Aki Kaurismaki With Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari, Vesa Vierikko, Reijo Taipale, and Silu Seppala. By Jonathan Rosenbaum Here’s what Finnish writer-director Aki Kaurismaki has written about The Match Factory Girl: “Suddenly, last spring, I was running aimlessly around the city, talking too […]