Posted inArts & Culture

Rage Within/Without

Most of us wouldn’t bother to improve on excellence, but Kathy Randels has applied new heat to her smoldering cauldron of a one-woman show and extracted pure gold. In Rage Within/Without, which premiered in Chicago in July 1991, Randels weaves together personal narratives, scholarly writings, and lyrical musings into a mesmerizing exploration of the relationship […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Extremely Subtle Reasoning

To the editors: Patrick Griffin’s antismoking article [March 18] is a splendidly written and temperate piece, making it quite a change from the journalistic masturbation practiced incessantly on this topic–and the screeching of advice columnists who will tolerate any manner of sexual misbehavior as long as the participants refrain from lighting up a cigarette. But […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Eli was standing in the backyard holding a crust of dried French bread he’d swiped from the bird feeder and talking to a crow, a long rambling conversation of ten minutes or so. He leaned forward, lips extended like a bill, and squawked in the raspy language of the crow perched two houses down on […]

Posted inFilm

Cutting Contest

*** THE REF Directed by Ted Demme Written by Richard LaGravenese and Marie Weiss With Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., and Glynis Johns. In any comedy the funniest moment for us, the audience, is the most miserable for the characters. And so it is in Ted Demme’s brilliantly breezy The […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Filmmakers’ Move

Dear Chicago Reader, I am writing in response to the mention of Chicago Filmmakers’ 20th Anniversary Benefit in Lewis Lazare’s column of March 11. While we appreciate the coverage and the good intentions, we felt that the piece, perhaps because of its brevity, may have created an inappropriate impression that we would like to clear […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Conduct of Life

THE CONDUCT OF LIFE Pillar Studio The world is festering in Maria Irene Fornes’s The Conduct of Life. Rotten at the core, it’s producing a pus that slowly seeps into the souls of her characters and makes them morally weak and pathetic. Furthermore, Fornes seems to say, there is nothing they can do to prevent […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Max Mon Amour

With the possible exception of Kurosawa, Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses, Empire of Passion, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence) is the greatest living Japanese filmmaker. Unfortunately, the U.S. distributor of most of his early work has made very little of it available on video, which means that most Americans’ knowledge of the modernist […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Salif Keita

The slick flavor of Malian singer Salif Keita’s last few albums on the Mango label has reflected his own desire to make his music more accessible to Western audiences (it was Keita and not some label honcho who, after listening to some Weather Report records, chose Joe Zawinul as producer-arranger for the 1991 Amen). Ever […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Welcome to the Moon

WELCOME TO THE MOON Punkin Productions at Angel Island The popular idea is that spring is the season for lovers–but how do you know you’re in love? According to John Patrick Shanley in these six short plays, called collectively Welcome to the Moon, you know it’s the real thing when (1) you leave parties early […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shura Cherkassky

At age 83, pianist Shura Cherkassky qualifies as a legend by default: almost all of his near contemporaries–from Vladimir Horowitz to Claudio Arrau–are gone, leaving the Odessa-born virtuoso as the last link to the grand 19th-century romantic tradition. His greatest influences were his mother, a piano teacher who had played for Tchaikovsky, and Josef Hofmann, […]