Posted inFilm

The Preminger Enigma

One of the strangest things about the elusive career of Otto Preminger (1905-1986) is that it remains elusive not because of the man’s invisibility but because of his relative omnipresence in the public eye. Though never as familiar as Alfred Hitchcock, he cut an imposing figure in the media, registering much more than either John […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Women’s sporting events have never been popular in Chicago, and they are now in more trouble than ever. Certainly at the Olympic level the competition between female athletes is as fierce and involving as it is between male athletes, but the Olympics are not likely to come to Chicago anytime soon. There are no ski […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: big boys’ toys

“I’ve been sneaking into abandoned buildings ever since I’ve been a photographer,” says M.Y.S. Smith, a founding member of the guerrilla art group Environmental Encroachment. Smith, who’s also a ceramist, and cohort Dave Christensen, a welder, have been taking their artistic inspirations–not to mention free materials–from Chicago’s burned-out, boarded-up, and barbed-wired industrial sites. For the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

GO TO BLAZES 2/17, LOUNGE AX The new album by Philadelphia vets Go to Blazes, Anytime…Anywhere (ESD), surges with a genuine swagger straight from the hips of the old Rolling Stones. Equally informed by country–the quartet started as a faux bluegrassy combo–and drunken R & B, GTB’s music demonstrates how to make rock, something thought […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Arditti String Quartet

When it comes to 20th-century string music the Arditti String Quartet is the very best. In fact, history will probably prove the British foursome to be one of the finest ensembles in any category, playing music of any period. What makes the Arditti so nearly peerless is the fact that they apply to the contemporary […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Faces of Farce

Naming your group after Orson Welles’s famed Mercury Players takes some chutzpah, especially when you’re offering a vehicle that’s not even worthy of Orson Bean. Taking his cue from David Ives’s largely applauded collection of vignettes, All in the Timing, Vincent Bruckert strings together a series of short, incomplete pieces, Faces of Farce, that showcase […]

Posted inFilm

Edge City

Side/Walk/Shuffle Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Ernie Gehr Ernie Gehr’s 1991 Side/ Walk/Shuttle presents a view of San Francisco unlike any I’ve seen before–on film or on visits. Taking his cue perhaps from the hilly topography, which offers constantly shifting perspectives on the city and the bay, Gehr envisions a place in which the laws […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mournful Mantra

Finding Water Mathew Wilson and Max King Cap at Link’s Hall, February 10 and 11 No other performance artist I’ve seen in the last four years has been quite as prolific as Mathew Wilson (except perhaps his diametrical opposite, Paula Killen). He works in a tradition considered by some to be more European at this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Misrepresenting The Master

Sweet Bird of Youth Touchstone Theatre The Glass Menagerie Tess Productions, at Red Bones Theatre The recent Modern Masters Festival in Louisville featuring the work of avant-garde director Anne Bogart (which I didn’t attend but keep reading about) has raised the specter of godless naturalism again: realism is ruining American theater. A specter does seem […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Attention Getters

Two Men Are Dead Continued, Bare-Handed, and Arthur 33 Dolores Wilbur and Mike Geither at Randolph Street Gallery, February 10 and 11 The Museum: An Exploratory Gallery Chicago Actors Ensemble at the Preston Bradley Community Center, through February 26 It must be extraordinary. Whether it’s a field of metallic green in a painting, a triple […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Assume the Green Room

In the frequently pointless and sometimes downright dumb world of Chicago improv, What Now? Entertainment Productions scores points for what it doesn’t do and what it’s not. They don’t clog up their sketches with needless instructions and recitations of rules. They don’t bother going for easy laughs with trite audience-participation gimmicks. They’re not offensive, they’re […]