Posted inArts & Culture

Takeout to the Ballgame: The Best of Stir-Friday Night!

TAKEOUT TO THE BALLGAME: THE BEST OF STIR-FRIDAY NIGHT!, Stir-Friday Night!, at Chicago Cultural Center. For all its ethnocentrism, this revue by pan-Asian troupe Stir-Friday Night! at heart transcends ethnicity, employing a focused, mostly silent pratfall-based slapstick. The style is problematic, frequently detracting from the intended cultural thrust of the humor, but it also rescues […]

Posted inFilm

A Lucky Day

Filmed in 2000 during the riots in Buenos Aires, this vibrant 2001 indie feature by Sandra Gugliotta may already be a little dated, but it’s still the only Argentinean film I saw in last year’s Chicago Latino Film Festival that seemed to reflect current events. After a brief fling with a visiting Italian, a young […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

What do you call a town where most new jobs pay around $25,000 and most homes are for people making $100,000? Naperville. According to “The Metropolis Housing Index: Housing as Opportunity,” published in July by Chicago Metropolis 2020, Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics figures reveal that in 2000 Naperville had 11,728 new jobs […]

Posted inFilm

Blunt Trauma

Fixed Bayonets **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Samuel Fuller With Richard Basehart and Gene Evans. A film is like a battleground. It’s love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word: emotion. –Samuel Fuller, appearing as himself in Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou Samuel Fuller’s 1951 Korean war movie Fixed Bayonets does not have impressive special effects, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Bug’s Life

Metamorphosis GreyZelda Theatre Group at Stage Left Theatre Most people get Franz Kafka’s 1915 story wrong. They think “Metamorphosis” is a dark, serious, solemn work, when in fact it’s funny, albeit in a dark, serious way. When Kafka first read the story to his friends, they reportedly laughed until their sides ached. And I laughed […]

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Chicago Underground Film Festival

The 11th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival continues Friday through Tuesday, August 20 through 24, at the 3 Penny. Tickets are $5 for matinees, $7 for screenings after 7:00. Festival passes are $75, and a $35 pass admits you to ten films. To purchase advance tickets call 866-468-3401; for more information call 773-525-3449. Films marked […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Festival Listings

This 15-film retrospective of work by the Italian director continues Friday, August 20, through Saturday, August 28, at Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $9, $5 for Facets members. Following are the films scheduled for August 20 through 26; a full series schedule is available online at www.chicagoreader.com. Films marked with an asterisk (*) […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Datebook

20 FRIDAY This weekend’s Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates the Fab Four’s American conquest. WXRT’s Breakfast With the Beatles host Terri Hemmert emcees, and guests include Pete Best, the drummer famously replaced by Ringo Starr just before the group made it big, and broadcaster Larry Kane, who traveled with the band on its U.S. tours […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nicotina

The master principle of film noir–that everyone is corruptible–turns a pinwheel of plot complications in this fleet, stylish little crime drama from Mexico. Three petty crooks in Mexico City strike a bargain with a fearsome Russian mobster (they’ll supply him with computer access codes to Swiss bank accounts in exchange for a cache of diamonds) […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Whenever I run into references to Ben Franklin I’m struck by what an absolute stud he was. He discovered electricity, founded the postal system, had a passel of kids, hit the French like Jerry Lewis, and published Poor Richard’s almanac. How much of this is hype and how much is the truth? The other founding […]

Posted inArts & Culture

No Doctors

Arty, self-referential meatheads who always travel in a pack–more often than not accompanied by a gaggle of chicks–No Doctors are the frat boys of the local noise scene. All their tunes sound familiar in that scruffy-dude-handling-a-guitar-like-a-woman way, and if you didn’t know better you might think they were a really, really horrible beards ‘n’ bell-bottoms […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nora O’Connor

Nora O’Connor has long been a tireless utility player on Chicago’s sprawling alt-country scene. As a member of the raunchy Blacks, she put a gilt edge of harmony on the rough singing of Danny and Gina Black, and she did the same for Andrew Bird’s suave vocals in her stint with Bowl of Fire. When […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 8/20 – Thursday 8/26 AUGUST 20 FRIDAY This weekend’s Fest for Beatles Fans celebrates the Fab Four’s American conquest. WXRT’s Breakfast With the Beatles host Terri Hemmert emcees, and guests include Pete Best, the drummer famously replaced by Ringo Starr just before the group made it big, and broadcaster Larry Kane, who traveled with […]