Posted inArts & Culture

Divorce Iranian Style

Divorce Iranian Style Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini directed this documentary about divorce in Iran, where a man is free to leave his wife but a woman needs either her husband’s permission or proof that he’s insane or sterile. The film’s image of contemporary Iranian women clashes with Western stereotypes: despite their legal handicaps, the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Contemporary Chamber Players

CONTEMPORARY CHAMBER PLAYERS Last spring, when during a Contemporary Chamber Players concert music director Stephen Mosko took ill and stumbled from the podium, he might as well have been dramatizing the troubles that had been plaguing the city’s most venerable presenter of contemporary music. At the end of the CCP’s 1995-’96 season, founder Ralph Shapey […]

Posted inMusic

George Freeman

GEORGE FREEMAN George Burns!—the title of George Freeman’s new CD on the local Southport label—does more than capture the goofy charm of the jazz album titles of the 1950s. The pun also shouts out the link between Freeman’s otherworldly guitar playing and the humor of the classic comedian who, in conflating on-screen and offscreen action […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

We ¤ Saddam. Retired rear admiral Eugene Carroll Jr. writes in Newsday (reprinted in the Center for Defense Information’s December 17 “Weekly Defense Monitor”): “The history of aerial bombardment confirms that it unifies a society and solidifies the political power of the leadership.” Think summer! The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that it listed […]

Posted inMusic

Political Prisoners

Gang of Four 100 Flowers Bloom (Rhino) By J.R. Jones Karl Marx believed that history, in its gradual unscrolling, would reveal man’s social and political destiny: as feudalism was overrun by capitalism, so capitalism would be overrun by communism. True to that notion Gang of Four, the brilliant neo-Marxist rockers who put Leeds, England, on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Moving Company

Chicago Moving Company Watching Clinton’s impeachment in the House of Representatives, we watched the power of Christian fundamentalism at work. Fundamentalist movements around the world–Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish as well as Christian–revere the law and believe in following it to the letter; the alternative, in their eyes, is punishment by a wrathful god or legislature. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cartoons in the Void

Arturo Herrera: (Un)Conscious Articulations at the Art Institute of Chicago, through January 31 Drew Harris: The Disclosure Series at Lydon Fine Art, through February 18 By Fred Camper In Hollywood cartoons of the 40s and 50s and in certain comic books of the 50s, a male confronted by an attractive female often sprouts bulging eyeballs […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Frankincense and myrrh are readily available at health food stores for $20 a pound–high for meat, but average for herbs. Their only obvious use is for skin care (they work). My question is, why were they considered such a valuable gift by the Magi? Did the ancient Palestinians have such bad skin? Can you smoke […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 1/8 – Thursday 1/14 JANUARY By Cara Jepsen 8 FRIDAY At the beginning of the century, door-to-door salesmen could make a pretty penny peddling stereoscopes, which worked much like the View-Masters of later years. The accompanying stereograph photos were taken with a two-lens camera, which is what artist Todd Hochberg uses to make his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Life of Jesus

The Life of Jesus Despite its title, Bruno Dumont’s extraordinary first feature is not about Christ, at least not on any literal level. Nor is it about the Antichrist, though to some the loutish young men tooling around Flemish backwaters on their motorbikes would appear to announce his coming. At the center of the group […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Winter is a good time for me to start studying butterflies. In summer I get distracted and confused when the objects of my study flutter on before I am ready to identify them. If that little creature dancing on the breeze in June could wait just one more week, I would be ready to declare […]