Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly Top Five: The best of film noir

Posted By on 08.31.14 at 12:30 PM

Detour
  • Detour
Noir City, the Music Box's annual series of rare and nearly impossible-to-find film noir, is in full sway. (If you haven't yet, make sure to read J.R. Jones's rundown from this week's paper.) This year the program features a selection of foreign titles, a welcome deviation from tradition that further supports the idea that noir wasn't an exclusively American phenomenon. Among the most distinct film genres, noir isn't defined in the same manner as the western or the melodrama—there's something less tangible, more amorphous about noir—which explains why it's sort of an umbrella category that unites various subgenres and seemingly divergent films. (It's why such disparate films as They Live by Night and Sweet Smell of Success can both be considered noir.) Below, you can find my five favorite noir films.

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Reader's Agenda Sun 8/31: African Festival of the Arts, Remix Chicago, and HogFight

Posted By on 08.31.14 at 07:30 AM

Salif Keita
  • CHRIS WALT
  • Salif Keita

Looking for something to do today? Agenda's got you covered.

Check out the 25th annual African Festival of the Arts at Washington Park. Pavilions across the festival grounds feature African drumming, film, fine arts, jewelry, interactive demonstrations, wellness workshops, and children's programming. Today's musical guests include Mali afro-pop singer-songwriter Salif Keita and band Harriet Tubman.

Catch day two of Remix Chicago, a Logan Square arts festival celebrating repurposed arts and crafts. Food vendors, live music, and eco-friendly workshops line Milwaukee Avenue between Fullerton and California. Chicago bands the Boxers and Vaya are among today's musical acts.

All-you-can-eat barbecue is anything but hogwash at HogFight. Mahoney's Pub & Grille teams up with Mercat a la Planxa, Fireplace Inn, Frontier, Chef AJ's Carry Out, and Roy's, throwing a party full of music, drinks, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and, of course, barbecued pork.

For more on these events and others, check out the Reader's daily Agenda page.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Street View 213: Somewhere over the rainbow

Posted By on 08.30.14 at 10:30 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

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Talk about bike-outfit coordination! Florian sports the whole color wheel. Makes sense that we were right in front of an art supplies store. See a close-up of Florian's cool neon earring below.

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Reader's Agenda Sat 8/30: Artopia, Northwestern Wildcats, and Chicago Community Pet Coalition's Dance Party

Posted By on 08.30.14 at 07:30 AM

Artopia
  • Jacinto Ariza
  • Artopia
Looking for something to do today? Agenda's got you covered.

The Chicago Urban Art Society hosts local artists and performers to create an art utopia at Artopia. Highlights from the fest's third year include interactive games, more than 100 artist vendors, and work from Redmoon Theater and Sway Dance Chicago.

While most of Chicago's football-happy citizens are focused on the NFL Bears, the scrappy Northwestern Wildcats open their season of pigskin today against the University of California Golden Bears. Coming off a season that imploded five games in, the Wildcats might just be a dark house. And if you don't like football but have an interest in labor rights and unionization, show your support.

The Chicago Community Pet Coalition is throwing a dance party. After seeing families forced to give up their pets due to financial constraints, the coalition formed this spring to help keep families and pets together. Proceeds from the celebration at the Hideout benefit the organization.

For more on these events and others, check out the Reader's daily Agenda page.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Photos of Sleep and Corrections House playing last night at Thalia Hall

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 04:44 PM

Matt Pike of Sleep

Last night, San Jose stoner-rock pioneers Sleep played the first of two sold-out shows at Thalia Hall in Pilsen. The massive, tectonic trio have been on the reunion circuit since 2009, hammering out the hypnotic sludge of their 90s heyday. For the past few years, Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder has taken over the drums for the legendary metal band, supplying the oozing stomp that slowly propels them along. Rave reviews from last night's show have been popping up, and I'm beyond stoked to see the heavy spectacle myself this evening (in like four hours).

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Lemurs, elephant birds, and bats: The Field Museum resurrects Madagascar

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 04:00 PM

A giant lemur in Ampasambazimba, Madagascar, with elephant birds
  • Velizar Simeonovski
  • A giant lemur in Ampasambazimba, Madagascar, approximately 2,000 years ago, with elephant birds
One terrible day about 3,700 years ago, a herd of dwarf hippos stopped to drink at the Betsiboka River in northern Madagascar. They got swept up in the current and pulled into the Anjohibe cave. The Anjohibe is underground and is very, very dark. The hippos panicked. In their rush to escape, they ran into stalactites and stalagmites and trampled each other and also the bats that were living inside the cave. The scene must have been mayhem. The hippos never found their way out. Now, thousands of years later, their bones remain on the cave floor. In the meantime, the dwarf hippos became extinct.

The chaotic scene inside Anjohibe is one of several that have been re-created by artist Velizar Simeonovski, Field Museum scientist Steve Goodman, and SUNY Stony Brook professor Bill Jungers in the Field's new exhibit, "Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past," and an accompanying book.

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Where to begin with late filmmaker and video essayist Harun Farocki

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 03:34 PM

The Interview
  • The Interview
I've failed to write about the influential filmmaker, theorist, and video essayist Harun Farocki since he died three weeks ago, in large part because I knew very little about him before this past January, when Kevin B. Lee presented a program of his work at the Nightingale. The numerous memorials written about Farocki in the past four weeks have made it clear that he was a great teacher both in and out of the academy. Given the breadth of his output—IMDB lists 79 directorial credits—I suspect I'm not the only person still catching up with his teachings. (This piece by Michael Sicinski provides a useful map for navigating his body of work.)

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Mayor Rahm's favorite books

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 03:00 PM

We know Mayor Emanuel has read some books, including many without pictures. But how often does he have the time for long philosophical novels about the dystopian state of modernity?
  • Brian Jackson/Sun-Times Media
  • We know Mayor Emanuel has read some books, including many without pictures. But how often does he have the time for long philosophical novels about the dystopian state of modernity?
For the last few days I've been lying in bed, fighting a cold and ruminating over the reading habits of Mayor Emanuel.

I know that may seem like weird thing to ruminate over—so blame it on the cold.

I wasn't even aware that Mayor Rahm had reading habits until I got a Facebook message alerting me to the fact that the Chicago Public Library had posted a list of the mayor's 28 favorite books.

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Street View 212: Hijab envy

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 02:30 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

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Tradition and fashion intersect in Salma's look, which is demure but also fresh, colorful, and current. Her effortlessly chic outfit is elevated by bright colors and accessories, such as her hijab and fabulous Shourouk-like lapel appliqués. If you want more hijab inspiration, check out @ascia_akf on Instagram; with almost a million followers, she proves head scarves can be incredibly stylish.

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Celebrating the Sun Ra centennial

Posted By on 08.29.14 at 02:00 PM

Sun_Ra_Arkestra_live_at_Nickelsdorf_1984.jpg
May 22 was the official centennial of the birth of the brilliant bandleader, composer, and keyboardist Sun Ra, but I'm thankful that the entire year is being used to celebrate his memory and particular brand of visionary genius. Chicago, where Herman Poole Blount (a native of Birmingham, Alabama) assembled the earliest versions of his Arkestra in 1953, has gotten in on the act in numerous ways, but some of the most exciting events are happening this week. Yesterday, as part of the Chicago Jazz Festival, saxophonist Marshall Allen (who took the reins of Arkestra after the death of fellow saxophonist John Gilmore in 1995, two years after Ra passed away), trumpeter Art Hoyle (who played with the Arkestra in the 50s), writer and Columbia University professor John Szwed (who authored the authoritative Sun Ra biography Space Is the Place), and writer, gallerist, and Sun Ra scholar John Corbett engaged in a lively, discursive panel discussion on Ra's legacy at Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall. And on Sunday, Allen will lead the Arkestra in a performance that will close out this year's festival, with an 8:30 PM set at Pritzker Pavilion.

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