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Posted inNews & Politics


When the great heat wave hit, I sought refuge in an air-conditioned movie theater. I perused the listings to find the film that would best be illuminated by my critical acumen. The choice was obvious: Species. Species is director Roger Donaldson’s followup to his remake of Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway. That movie proved Donaldson is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Chicago artist Hiroko Saito’s Ray, an acrylic painting framed by rubber balls, is included in “A Sight for Sore Eyes,” a show of “soothing new creations” at Ten in One Gallery, 1542 N. Damen. Other exhibitors include Yvette Brackman, Patrick McGee, Michelle Grabner, and others. It’s open 1 to 6 Thursdays and Fridays, noon to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eartha Kitt

When the Prop Theatre prematurely announced plans to bring Eartha Kitt to town last fall, a buzz of excitement passed among lovers of cabaret; but that gig fell through. So it’s a coup for the Illinois Federation for Human Rights, the state’s most effective gay and lesbian political group, that the legendary singer-actor will instead […]

Posted inMusic

Guitar Lessons

Rick Rizzo, Elliot Sharp, Lee Ranaldo Double Door, July 15 Since the advent of rock ‘n’ roll, the electric guitar has dominated the musical landscape above all other instruments. But hegemony can be followed by stasis and decay, and there’s no denying that electric guitars are now used to make a lot of cliched music. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fashion Statements: dressing for two

On Mother’s Day we met Afsaneh Rahimian at Gethsemane Garden Center on North Clark, adopting basil to nurture alongside her live ratatouille of eggplant and tomatoes. Her pea-in-the-pod look announced ready-to-sprout. But experts from our fashion nursery took a couple of cuttings to determine its family, genus, and species. Sign of a healthy pregnancy, the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

There is a numerology system for the English language that succeeds in linking the word “Hitler” to the famous number of the Beast, 666. If you take A as equal to 100, B to 101, etc, then the letters for HITLER equal 666. Bill Clinton was born Billy Blythe and adopted his stepfather’s name Clinton […]

Posted inFilm

Are We Not Sick?

Safe Rating *** A must see Directed and written by Todd Haynes With Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Ronnie Farer, Martha Velez-Johnson, Chauncy Leopardi, and James LeGros. I know that Americans are supposed to hate whatever they can’t understand, and certainly current Hollywood filmmaking is predicated to the point of tedium on this truism. But part […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Coffee? Tea? Huitlacoche? It’s an Aztec name for the foul-looking black fungus that can appear on sweet corn–but according to U. of I. plant pathologist Jerald Pataky, who’s working with Mexican colleagues for improved growth of the nutritionally packed fungus, it’s high in carbohydrates and fiber, low in fat, higher in protein than the corn […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Fall from Precious

Its relocation from the Voltaire basement to the spacious Live Bait stage has done nothing to diminish the warmth and intimacy of Rena Malin’s The Fall From Precious. Indeed, a second viewing of this one-woman show (directed by the redoubtable Nancy Scanlon) only confirms the remarkable specificity of the experiences Malin relates: a conversation with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Solo Bodies

Anthony Gongora is a painter as well as a choreographer: he depicts the human figure in bright oils or watercolors. And in this program of solos, created over a period of several years, he’s painted portraits not so much of people as states of being. A solo from the 1990 Complexities reveals a bored neurotic, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Go to Hell, Hoodlums!

Its poorly translated title makes it sound like a sensational B- movie, but Seijun Suzuki’s Go to Hell, Hoodlums! (1960)–his first color feature–is really a Sirkian family melodrama enlivened by an audacious, irony-filled mise-en-scene. Intended as an action vehicle for teen idol Koji Wada, whose boy-next-door charms earned him comparisons to Troy Donahue, the film […]