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Friday, October 27, 2017

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant: One of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s best films

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 04:56 PM

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
  • The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
One of the major cinematic events of the fall is the Rainer Werner Fassbinder retrospective at Doc Films, which runs on Sunday nights at 7 PM through December 3. The series, consisting of nine features (all showing on 35-millimeter), is organized in chronological order, and this allows spectators to consider Fassbinder's remarkable—and remarkably fast—evolution as it played out.

The first four weeks of the series brought films from Fassbinder's first period, which consists of ten features shot between spring 1969 and fall 1970. These efforts are of a piece, whether they're genre exercises (Love Is Colder Than Death, The American Soldier) or ironic dramas (Katzelmacher, Beware of a Holy Whore), employing detached long shots (which show the influence of Andy Warhol and Jean-Marie Straub) and espousing a pessimistic worldview that saw love as a form of social control. The breathtaking pace at which Fassbinder made these movies speaks to their fervor; here is the work of an angry, impassioned young man (he was only 25 when he completed the first period) who wanted to realize his ideas as soon as they came to him. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), screening this Sunday in Doc's series, comes from the start of Fassbinder's second period, when he married his style to a newfound interest in character. The results are deeply emotional, even overwhelming.

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Twenty years ago, in Moscow, Matt Taibbi was a misogynist asshole—and possibly worse

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 04:40 PM

  • Penguin Random House
  • Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi has a new book out now, I Can’t Breathe, about all the forces that conspired to kill Eric Garner. It's an important story that has become part of our national conversation, as evidenced by Ryan Smith's interview with Taibbi in this week's Reader. But it's also inadvertently become part of another conversation that has risen to a crescendo in the past few weeks: the Weinstein conversation. This, of course, encompasses not just Harvey Weinstein, but the misogyny and abuse of power that allowed him, and men like him, to harass and abuse women for decades with no apparent punishment.

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Helltrap Nightmare, Chic-A-Go-Go, and more of the best Halloween happenings in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 02:09 PM

Sarah Sherman, aka "Sarah Squirm," pulls out all the stops (and pubes) at the raunchy Helltrap Nightmare Fri 10/27. - COURTESY OF ARTIST
  • Courtesy of Artist
  • Sarah Sherman, aka "Sarah Squirm," pulls out all the stops (and pubes) at the raunchy Helltrap Nightmare Fri 10/27.

Halloween isn't until Tuesday, but this weekend offers plenty of opportunities to scare yourself. Here's some of what we recommend:

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What's in Chicago’s new Public Art Plan?

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 12:06 PM

  • Mobius / Wikimedia Commons

The city introduced its first ever public art plan this week, in
conjunction with a two-day symposium at the Cultural Center, and as part of the Year of Public Art.

Developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the plan is an ambitious, aspirational document that, according to DCASE commissioner Mark Kelly (speaking at the symposium), is intended to make public art "a defining characteristic of Chicago."

An outgrowth of the 2012 cultural plan, the Public Art Plan lays out seven broad goals, each accompanied by (here's where it can get dicey) a list of recommendations.  Among those likely to stir discussion are suggestions that the city:

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Chicago has a real shot at hosting World Cup games in 2026, and other news

Posted By on 10.27.17 at 06:00 AM

Germany's Miroslav Klose poses with the World Cup trophy and his sons in 2014 - AP PHOTO/NATACHA PISARENKO,FILE
  • AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko,file
  • Germany's Miroslav Klose poses with the World Cup trophy and his sons in 2014

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, October 27, 2017. Have a great weekend!

  • Chicago has a real shot at hosting World Cup games in 2026

Chicago's bid to host the 2026 World Cup "looks strong," according to the Sun-Times, even though Soldier Field is one of the smaller stadiums in competition. The United Bid Committee is working to bring the World Cup to North America that year, and 25 U.S. cities, including Chicago, are vying to host the games. One of Chicago's biggest strengths is its diversity and its residents strong ties to their ethnicity. "Whoever comes and plays here, they're going to have a built-in fan base," Kara Bachman, the executive director of the Chicago Sports Commission, said. "Whatever country's here, they're going to be welcomed by ex-pats and the neighborhoods and really the whole city." [Sun-Times]

  • Illinois house fails to pass ban on semiautomatic rifle bump stocks

The Illinois house rejected a ban on controversial bump stocks and other devices that allow guns to fire more rapidly Thursday after "opponents on both sides of the aisle contended the measure was too broad and would turn legal gun owners into criminals," according to the Tribune. Bump stocks have been in the spotlight since the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 people dead and more than 500 others injured October 1. But opponents argued that the bill—which would have banned any modification that accelerates the rate of fire—was overly broad. "I don't view this as a bump stock ban, I view this as a ban on 40 to 50 percent of the guns in the state," Democratic state representative Jerry Costello, whose district includes the World Shooting Recreational Complex, said. [Tribune]

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