Posted inArts & Culture

Red Beads

Shot in black and white in and around a Beijing mental hospital, this maverick 1993 Chinese feature by writer-director He Yi, made completely outside the official system, focuses on the relationship that gradually develops between a male orderly and a female patient. Though less direct and obvious in its meanings than the two other examples […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Flippomusic Globaljazz

Once you know the name of this quintet’s leader–Dave Flippo, playing piano and synths–the rest of its odd designation falls into place. Of course at this point the whole idea of “world music” carries little novelty, either as a self-contained genre or as the most widespread new influence on every idiom from classical to rock; […]

Posted inNews & Politics

False Impression

The April 29 Hot Type creates the false impression that La Raza’s Jorge Oclander supplied the Tribune with documents that were used in our reports on the Board of Education building at 5151 W. Madison St. That simply isn’t true, and Michael Miner knew it. Mr. Oclander may be the rock-steady, dogged investigator that Miner […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hamlet; The Comedy of Errors

HAMLET! Great Exploitations at ImprovOlympic Theater Is Shakespeare funny? Parodies of his work can certainly be funny: as the greatest playwright in the English language (with the possible exception of Steve Martin), he has the distinction of being the most parodied playwright of all time, yielding fabulously witty comedy routines by the likes of Beyond […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Onan’s Outlet

Dear Reader, This is in response to Jennifer Riddell’s letter [April 15] criticizing Rosenbaum’s review of The Hudsucker Proxy [April 1]. What, you just now figured out that Jonathan’s reviews are all about his “ego and erudition” and have nothing to do with the film? Jeez, what was your first clue? I must say that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Salt-n-Pepa/R. Kelly

Salt-n-Pepa walk thin lines between all sorts of things: pop schmaltz and gangsta vacuity, female independence and female stereotype, substance and preachiness, self-determination and manipulation. That they’ve done all this and remained rap’s most successful female group is important. They’ve never put out a coherent album and probably never will; but they have created great […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Telegram From Heaven

TELEGRAM FROM HEAVEN National Jewish Theater The ground covered in Telegram From Heaven–the travails of a Jewish family in New York during World War II–has by now been trod into tiny clumps, in works from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to more recent fare like Woody Allen’s Radio Days and Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Nixon in Hell: It’s a Genre

Gentlemen: Michael Dolan’s current “Nixon in Hell” piece [April 29] was timely and excellent, but homage certainly must be paid to the creator of the genre, Philip Roth. In his pre-Watergate novel, Our Gang, Roth depicts Nixon in hell, not just contemplating his comeback but actually campaigning against Satan for the office of Prince of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Reality in a Box

CHRISTOPHER TAW: SHADOW BOXES at One Country Gallery, through June 5 Christopher Taw’s shadow boxes recall the boxes of Joseph Cornell. Influenced by the French symbolist poet Mallarme, Cornell assembled diverse, often ordinary things in ways that led the imagination to meanings beyond the obvious. In one untitled box (c. 1957) from Cornell’s “Soap Bubble […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Death and Taxes

Dear editor: The letter “Unfair to Smokers” (April 22) mentioned that yearly tobacco taxes amount to $13 billion. This amount falls far short of covering the over $100 billion that smoking costs yearly in lost productivity and health care expenses (Thomas MacKenzie, M.D., Carl Bartecchi, M.D., and Robert Schrier, M.D., “The Human Costs of Tobacco […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Guy Fricano Sextet

Jazz has always exhibited a serious machismo: consider how often such attributes as speed, endurance, and propulsion shape the music and our discussions of it. No instrument has embodied these elements more than the trumpet, and few Chicago trumpeters have funneled them into music as splendidly as Guy Fricano. Fricano has an expansive, almost blowsy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Saying Nothing

Letters editor; With regards to Bill Wyman’s article [Hitsville] on March 11, I feel compelled to ask one simple question that seems to be haunting Bill of late: Why be so bad at saying nothing? Besides misspelling the name of Stephen Malkmus two different ways in a rather short article, he goes on to make […]

Posted inFilm

Three From Vietnam

*** THE LITTLE GIRL OF HANOI (A must-see) Directed by Hai Ninh Written by Hoang Tich Chi, Hai Ninh, and Vuong Dan Hoang With Lan Huong, Tra Giang, The Anh, and Kim Xuan. *** THE GIRL ON THE RIVER (A must-see) Directed and written by Dang Nhat Minh With Minh Chau, Ha Xuyen, Anh Dung, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cheap Shot

To the editor: A cheap shot in the April 22 Hot Type ought not go unanswered. The column discussed Pulitzer Prizes awarded to two Chicago Tribune staffers: Ronald Kotulak for explanatory journalism, and R. Bruce Dold for editorial writing. Dold’s 10 pieces on the death of 3-year-old Joseph Wallace ran concurrently with the Tribune’s year-long […]