Posted inFilm

World on a Wire

Even though (or perhaps because) some of its 205 minutes seem repetitive or predictable, this 1973 exploitation of SF and hardboiled-detective cliches is so deeply affecting it could induce an existential crisis in the viewer. Written by Fritz Müller-Scherz and director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and based on a novel by Daniel Galouye, this tale of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dim-witted Dog Owners

kintner.qxd To the dog owners in Bucktown and other congested areas of the city [Neighborhood News, April 25]: Give me a break!!! You choose to live in the city. You choose to live in a crowded area of the city. You choose to live in buildings that do not have large yards. You choose to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Straight Dope

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER In your column of December 6 you dealt with the argument that the 16th Amendment (income tax) was never properly ratified because Ohio was not a state of the union. You mentioned that the IRS referred you to the Porth case and that it “didn’t specifically address the Ohio argument.” Well, […]

Posted inMusic

Eric Alexander

ERIC ALEXANDER The young tenor shark Eric Alexander has an unmistakable taste for Dexter Gordon’s broad-backed tone, intrepid tempi, and inventive lyricism–right down to a few specific melodic devices, including solo lines that end on a downward interval spanning four or five notes. But Alexander uses rather than abuses his heritage–for all it’s come up […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Polluting the Debate

Headline In an attempt to catch both sides of the clean-air debate “cooking the facts,” the Reader’s Harold Henderson does a little cooking himself. In his article “Up in the Air” [April 18], Henderson writes that air quality has improved and “these facts are inconvenient for environmentalists.” In fact, the vast majority of environmental organizations […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar/ Days of the Week

Friday 5/16 – Thursday 5/22 MAY By Cara Jepsen 16 FRIDAY Conservative broadcaster Paul Harvey could learn a thing or two from former Channel Five news anchor Carol Marin; last year she received the Chicago Headline Club’s Ethics in Journalism award for refusing to read promotional copy within the context of the news. This year […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Beats

THE BEATS, Writers’ Theatre Chicago. This evening of snippets from beat writers, adapted for the stage by Writers’ Theatre cofounder Marilyn Campbell, is dedicated “to the memory of Allen Ginsberg.” I wish that it had been dedicated to his spirit too. Carefully edited, nicely designed, well-lit, and excellently performed, the show could have used more […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

One of the best things about moving into a new house is that you get to build a new backyard bird list. Some birders are obsessive listers whose interest in birds seems to begin and end with check marks. My own lists are more whimsical than obsessive. I have an interstate list, for example. The […]

Posted inMusic

Raphe Malik

RAPHE MALIK Boston trumpeter Raphe Malik is part of an underappreciated class of musicians–including the AACM, New York’s loft-jazz scene, and various sidemen obscured by their leaders’ visions–who helped channel the raw energy of 60s free jazz into something not only more cerebral but also more liberal. From the mid-70s through the early 80s Malik’s […]

Posted inMusic

Inti-Illimani

INTI-ILLIMANI The politics that spawned Inti-Illimani–and that subsequently exiled the band and energized its music–may have changed, but the music retains much of its soaring impact even 30 years later. In the 60s, the music known as nueva cancion (“new song”) leapt across Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, and Peru, spreading an age-old political agenda: the rejection […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Skeletons

SKELETONS, Strawdog Theatre Company. Lauren Berman’s play, billed as a black comedy, recounts the unlikely story of two sad and eccentric girls trapped in their family home by fear and idiocy. The play and the players work hard to make the characters’ supposedly comic idiocy and eccentricity balance their sadness and fear, but in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Born Yesterday

BORN YESTERDAY, Bog Theatre. This production of Garson Kanin’s contemporary classic remains true to its 1940s setting and feeling, taking the audience straight to the heart of post-World War II Washington, D.C., where Kanin’s archetypal characters fight for the meaning of democracy. In the play, the corrupt forces of big business, embodied by the swindling […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Mystery of Irma Vep

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP, Defiant Theatre, at National Pastime Theater. On the surface this seems a straightforward send-up of 19th-century gothic fiction: the convoluted story involves werewolves, vampires, ghosts, Egyptian myths, secret panels, portraits that bleed real gore, and, of course, lots of screaming. But this penny dreadful was written by Charles Ludlam of […]