Posted inArts & Culture

Bus 174

Jose Padilha’s searing Brazilian film plays like a synthesis of Pixote and Dog Day Afternoon, documenting a June 2000 incident in which a thwarted bus robbery in Rio de Janeiro turned into a nationally televised hostage crisis. Swirling around this terrifying ordeal are despairing reflections on race, class, police corruption, media sensationalism, and social inequality. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

What Might Have Been

In the Reader article in your October 17 edition [“Teachers or Touchdowns”], Barnaby Dinges was quoted as stating that Friends of the Parks was opposed to the new Bears stadium because we are “elitists” who “don’t want anyone else enjoying their lakefront.” Mr. Dinges’s spin on Friends of the Parks couldn’t be farther from the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Manders

For the past 17 years Dutch installation artist Mark Manders has built an intriguing body of work about blocked messages and emotion. His current project, “Isolated Rooms,” which continues the themes of an ongoing project called “Self-Portrait as a Building,” consists of 14 wryly austere pieces–8 at the Art Institute and 6 at the Renaissance […]

Posted inMusic

Music by the Numbers

Music Guide (Zagat Survey) Rock criticism might still be a viable organism, but it’s hard to tell: how do you know if something is moving on its own when people keep dragging it around and kicking it? Neal Pollack has devoted a whole novel to the proposition that writing about music is a pathetic waste […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Belle & Sebastian

Coming from almost anyone else, Belle & Sebastian’s “Step Into My Office, Baby” (“I wanna give you the job / A chance for overtime”) would sound dirty. But from these twee Scots, for whom temerity has never been an issue, it sounds more cute than creepy, as though they’ve finally decided that playing at grown-up […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In July in Edmonton, Alberta, 42-year-old Anthony Alan Burton pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges stemming from a spectacular 2002 robbery attempt: After wrapping his head in gauze and covering his face with clots of silicone putty, a layer of pink foundation makeup, and oversize glasses, he’d grabbed a samurai sword, […]

Posted inFilm

Vengeance Is Theirs

Mystic River ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Clint Eastwood Written by Brian Helgeland With Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Kevin Chapman, Laura Linney, Adam Nelson, Emmy Rossum, and Cameron Bowen. The critical community has spoken: Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River is a masterpiece and a profound, tragic statement about who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Book Festival

Chicago’s annual literary festival continues through October 30, with readings and book signings by local and national writers, poets, and scholars as well as discussions, lectures, workshops, tours, and children’s activities at bookstores, public libraries, and other venues. Some events feature the city’s “One Book, One Chicago” selection, Tim O’Brien’s National Book Award-winning novel The […]