Posted inArts & Culture

Another Girl, Another Planet

Michael Almereyda, the writer-director of Twister, was sufficiently inspired by Sadie Benning’s highly personal black-and-white videos–all made with a $45 toy camera–that he used the same kind of camera to shoot this highly personal hour-long feature (1992), a fictional work inspired by his own life (mainly love life) in New York’s East Village, with his […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

One day shortly after the opening of the Great Ape House at Lincoln Park Zoo, I was standing in a group of about 15 people outside the glassed-in cage that was home to a family of gorillas. Things were quiet in the cage. Some of the animals were sleeping; others just sat. Suddenly, a big […]

Posted inMusic

PJ Harvey

The elements of PJ Harvey’s second album, Rid of Me, are similar to those of the first, 1992’s Dry: scabrous, highly dramatic song settings for leader Polly Harvey’s utterly lacerating commentary on debilitating relations between mutually horrified, blood-engorged life-forms—what you or I would call boys and girls. Rid of me, produced—I’m sorry, “recorded”—by Steve Albini, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paquito D’Rivera & the United Nation All-Star Big Band

The list of Dizzy Gillespie’s artistic triumphs stretches far into night; the last of them involved his formation of the United Nation Orchestra in 1988, more than 50 years after his first recordings. The U.N. band combines Dizzy’s two longest-standing musical passions–the big-band idiom, with its versatility and explosive power, and the rhythmic complexities of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

By now Evanston-based Light Opera Works has earned a well-deserved reputation as the city’s prime purveyor of summer-weight schmaltz. Not just any operettas though–the discerning taste of its knowledgeable artistic director, Philip Kraus, leans toward those that are witty, musical, and half forgotten. Franz Lehar’s The Count of Luxembourg fits the bill. The operetta, while […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cutting the Cord

“I’m not gonna stand up here waiting for another Martin Luther King to come along,” Shekeyah Yehuda said, her voice rising as she exhorted her audience “to get up off that low self-esteem of yours and do something. God helps those who help themselves. You can do it. There ain’t nobody who’s come through what […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Passing

The best new experimental work I’ve seen in ages, Bill Viola’s hour-long video (1991), shot in ravishing black and white, is like a string of epiphanies generated by lush and ambiguous encounters between the natural world (basically the American southwest) and the world of dreams and sleep. The minimal stereo sound track consists chiefly of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The Los Angeles Times reported in April that, in order to meet state-mandated quotas for low-income housing in each city, three affluent towns near Los Angeles would begin including in their counts the servants’ quarters on large estates. State officials said the decisions by Rolling Hills Estates, San Marino, and Bradbury did not […]