Posted inFilm

Eye Candy

The Vertical Ray of the Sun *** Directed and written by Tran Anh Hung With Tran Nu Yen-khe, Nguyen Nhu Quynh, Le Khanh, Ngo Quang Hai, Tran Manh Cuong, and Chu Ngoc Hung. Last spring I was in Austin, Texas, on a film-festival panel about film festivals with the editor of a film magazine who’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The price and the results. From 1995 to 2000, unions increased their payments to the AFL-CIO by 25 percent, reports David Moberg in the Nation (September 3). The payoff may have been more in politics than in organizing: “While the number of nonunion voters shrank, labor boosted the union household share of the vote steadily […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Foreign Bodies

Sharira–Fire and Desire Chandralekha and Company at the Dance Center of Columbia College, September 8 and 9 The natural response to seeing something wholly foreign is to grope for connections to the familiar. Unsophisticated Americans (including this one) experiencing the art and culture of India are hard-pressed to understand it without resorting to the stereotypes […]

Posted inArts & Culture


TRICKY I knew Tricky had signed to Hollywood Records for his sixth full-length, Blowback, but I didn’t realize he was actually going Hollywood until I looked over the album’s list of guest stars. Sure, he’s always enlisted big names, from PJ Harvey to Bjork, but his collaborators have usually seemed more attuned to his murky, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Class Act

A ride on the 146 bus is usually quiet. The chirp of cell phones on the 136 can make you crazy, but the sound of the 146 is the rustle of tissue paper in expensive shopping bags. But the ride home after the recent Saturday-night Lyric Opera concert in the park proved that things can […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL 9/14, EMPTY BOTTLE This Chicago trio claims to be the salvation of good old “massive” rock ‘n’ roll…just like every other band that plays this kinda stuff. But hasn’t big rock been making a “comeback” for several years now, and did it ever really go away? That quibble registered, Bible of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Bull’s Other Island

John Bull’s Other Island, Irish Repertory of Chicago, at Victory Gardens Theater. The title may be dated–England controls much less of Ireland than it did in 1904–but George Bernard Shaw’s brilliant script illuminates the truths behind the lies separating these islanders. There’s next to no action to distract from the sparkling dialogue: the play’s colorful […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Missing Parts

MISSING PARTS, NeoFuturists. The Neo-Futurists kick off their prime-time season with Sean Benjamin’s new work on the discontinuity of time and identity. But though the writing is occasionally quite clever and the four performers (including Benjamin, who also directs) are winsome, the show ultimately feels rather hollow. Set in a vaguely authoritarian and hermetic black-and-white […]

Posted inArts & Culture


CLINIC Every successful thief instinctively knows what to steal–and then how to act like it’s belonged to him all along. The four members of the English band Clinic acquit themselves like veteran jacklegs: They lifted the name for their old record label, Aladdin’s Cave of Golf, from a shop they used to pass on the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Exquisite Corpse

Dear editor, After being interviewed by Tori Marlan [“Bend Me, Shape Me,” August 24], I suspected the chance of her embracing the spirit of Digital TransformHer was about as likely as white supremacist Matt Hale admitting he admires Tiger Woods. Overall, I don’t have many problems with the facts of her article, just with the […]