Rosetta From its opening seconds, this feature from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (La promesse), winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1999 Cannes film festival, has to be the most visceral filmgoing experience of the past year, including all of Hollywood’s explosions and special-effects extravaganzas. It concerns the desperate efforts of the 18-year-old […]
Making any special plans for New Year’s Eve? Prepared for Y2K? Laying in any provisions? Arming yourself? Worried about the world coming to an end? Ready for rapture? –Lilly I’m writing this column before New Year’s Eve, but by the time you read it in the Chicago Reader New Year’s Eve will have come and […]
Media columnist Mike Miner on Y2K and Steppenwolf’s 1999 production of Hysteria, a dark farce that raised the issue of “trigger warnings” before the term had come into use.
Same Old Song To preserve and present the best world cinema, France has the Cinematheque Francaise and England has the British Film Institute; we’ve got the American Film Institute, which doesn’t even have a clue about the best Hollywood movies. Consequently most younger American viewers have never seen a film by Alain Resnais, probably the […]
Driving back to Chicago after Christmas, I stopped at a fast-food restaurant in the suburban outskirts and looked up from my burger to see a kid standing in line wearing a number 8 Cade McNown Bears jersey. There was this season’s Bears resurgence in a nutshell; while 34 Walter Payton jerseys and 51 Dick Butkus […]
The Hurricane Convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1967, boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (Denzel Washington) spent years asserting his innocence, growing increasingly hopeless until he was befriended by an American teenager living in Canada (Vicellous Reon Shannon). In this deeply moving biopic, some of the characters who rally to Carter’s defense […]
A New Year’s visitor gets down to business: Can Edna Adan Ismail bring Somaliland back from the brink?
BILLY NAYER SHOW 1/7, EMPTY BOTTLE This is indeed just as much a show as a band: since 1989, songwriter and performer Cory McAbee has been building a cult following on the coasts with films, music, and sometimes a combination of the two. When fronting the Billy Nayer Show band–longtime partner Bobby Lurie on drums, […]
Jandek The Beginning (Corwood Industries) Jandek Ready for the House (Corwood Industries) By Douglas Wolk The longest-running, weirdest, loneliest enigma in “popular” music is a guy from Texas who calls himself Jandek. His latest album, The Beginning, was released late last year on the Corwood Industries label, which has put out all 28 of his […]
The (ten or so) best movies of 1999
THE GO The Go’s Detroit heritage comes up in every single piece of press on the band–and with their dark shades, shaggy dos, and murky production, that’s obviously exactly what they want. On the band’s recent debut album, Whatcha Doin’ (Sub Pop), guitarists Jack White (who’s since been replaced by Dion Fischer) and John Krautner […]
Finding a Balm for Premillennial Tension
Unlike most prodigies, harpsichordist Jory Vinikour wasn’t nudged into music by his parents. His father was a dentist and amateur violinist. “He told me I could do anything except dentistry.” Vinikour’s two older sisters took piano lessons and taught him in turn, but he quickly surpassed them and was rewarded with his own concert grand. […]
Captured at www.girlfriendstealer.com From The Girlfriend Stealer’s Homepage What’s So Great About Stealing Girlfriends? For some people, stealing girlfriends is probably an ego-booster or a way to be cruel, hurtful, and selfish. These are unhealthy motives. The only reason you should steal girlfriends is because it’s hilarious. Finding a Girlfriend to Steal It has been […]