Posted inArts & Culture

Fashion Statements: wardrobe for a small, wet planet

We met Adam Thesz en route to his favorite fashion outlet–the Omni Super Store. Thesz stops there regularly to restock on high-quality plastic sacks, the ones he swears make the snappiest and most durable booties. Rolling by on his low-velocity velo, Thesz’s protective headgear, eyewear, snowgear, and raingear seem to tread function-over-form tracks: “Fully dressed, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: the guns of Victor Ochoa

Reviews can be as scarce as collectors in today’s art scene. Emerging artists get critical attention where they can. Victor Ochoa, a 25-year-old grad student in sculpture in Champaign, got some last December from Lieutenant Nelson of the University of Illinois Police Department’s Firearms Training Unit. Published under the letterhead of the Department of Campus […]

Posted inArts & Culture

La region centrale

Michael Snow’s 1971 film La region centrale is surely one of the most unusual in the history of the medium. For three hours we see a single northern Quebec landscape from a single position, with no signs of human presence save a rare glimpse of the camera shadow. The camera is mounted on a complex […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Spike Heels

SPIKE HEELS Walker Productions at Victory Gardens A brilliant man nobly rescues a downtrodden, uneducated damsel and teaches her to speak properly, appreciate great books, and of course fall in love with him. It’s one of the most common male fantasies explored in film and literature, from Pygmalion to Pretty Woman. If a modern playwright […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brother’s Keeper

A potent and highly engrossing documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about a 1990 murder trial in New York State that attracted national media attention. The case involved the death of one of the four illiterate Ward brothers, all reclusive and eccentric bachelors who inhabited a two-room shack without running water on their dairy […]

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Traitors of the Third Reich

In 1943 a student riot broke out at the University of Munich, ignited by anti-Nazi leaflets distributed by five students. Two were promptly arrested, and the rest turned themselves in soon after. The perpetrators turned out to be no disenfranchised band of scruffs, however, but the privileged offspring of wealthy Aryan families, former Hitler Youth […]

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Trading Places

JAN ERKERT & DANCERS at the Dance Center of Columbia College, through March 27 There are theatrical ideas so good and so fresh that when you see them onstage they practically stand up, look you in the eye, and say, “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?” Such an idea drives Jan Erkert’s new piece, […]

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The Seagull/Jumping at 65 M.P.H.

The first two scenes of Chicago Actors Ensemble’s The Sea Gull, Chekhov’s portrayal of dysfunctional families and unrequited love, seem to indicate that it’s going to plod wearily along toward its tragic conclusion. But thanks to some solid and mature acting by most of the cast, it actually becomes entertaining–and just engrossing enough to illustrate […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sex for Sale

To the editors: Victoria Stagg Elliott’s letter of February 19 reveals three central weaknesses of the anticensorship feminist position. First of all, pornography is not offensive only to “fundamentalists, politicians, and guardians of everyone else’s morality but their own.” Pornography is offensive to the majority of Americans both left and right on the political spectrum. […]