Since a Terrence Malick/Rob Zombie/Tom Cruise collaboration will never, ever happen—although it's fun to envision the hypothetical results—you'll have to make do with the three rubbing shoulders in our just-posted crop of new Film reviews:
In To the Wonder, Malick discovers fast food.
With The Lords of Salem, Zombie becomes a sensitive director of actors. Really.
Cruise destroys the world in Oblivion.
Journalist Juan González serves as a guide to an illustrated version of his book in Harvest of Empire.
A catastrophe in L.A. is only the beginning in It's a Disaster.
No Place on Earth: A caver unearths a Holocaust story in Ukraine.
Friday, Apr 19
One net positive about the imminent Red Line construction south of Roosevelt? No more inebriated White Sox fans clogging up the train. Until May 19, though, you and the rest of the rowdy bunch can hop on the El to watch the South Siders. Today, they take on the Minnesota Twins. U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W 35th St (312-674-1000). 7:10pm; $5–$85.
NBC 5 Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern relays tales of workplace shenanigans, then a Second City improv team reenacts them in Newsprov for the Arts. All proceeds benefit Chicago Lights, a nonprofit org that works with low-income families. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut St (chicagolights.eventbrite.com). 8pm; $20, advance $15.
With more than 100 movies slated for screening and more than 50 musical acts expected to perform, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (which begins today) promises a gluttony of visual and aurual stimulation for audio- and cinephiles. New this year is CIMMcon, a conference within the festival, that includes panels on subjects as disparate as grant writing in the arts to a blues oral history narrated by musician Billy Branch. CIMMfest also honors the Rolling Stones with a "CIMMpathy for the Stones" series, featuring 10 documentaries about the legendary rock band. See all of our recommendations. April 18–21. Various venues including Logan Theatre and Music Box. Average price $10.
ART & DESIGN
As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, Chicago artists Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus present and discuss twohundredfiftysixcolors the highly anticipated film they created out of thousands of animated GIFs. Gene Siskel Film Center. 6pm. $11; students $7; GSFC members $6; Art Institute of Chicago staff, and SAIC faculty and staff $4; SAIC students free.
Thomas Dyjas shares his book, The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, which provides a detailed history of Chicago and the cultural movers and shakers that shaped the city. Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. 6pm. Free.
An MPC maestro hailing from Rhode Island, AraabMUZIK has lent his skills to numerous rapper's singles and albums over the years, before setting out on his own in the open-ended world of instrumental hip-hop. He's quickly graduated from behind the scenes to big festival attraction and his old-school (Dre and Dilla) meets new school (Diplo) stylistic approach has caught on with all except trance remixers. Live, he brings out the best of the MPC's realtime excitement, making for an unusually good live electronic show. The Mid. 10pm. Free with R.S.V.P. at clubtix.com.
FOOD & DRINK
To raise funds for hunger relief, Martha Bayne eschews the high-priced benefit dinner and instead sells soup. Good soup. By chefs, both amateur and pro. Don't miss tonight's gathering; it's the last Soup and Bread of the 2013 season and features soups inspired by items commonly found on a pantry shelf. (The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave, hideoutchicago.com). 5:30pm. Pay what you can.
Showcasing a mix of authors and genres, the Book Cellar's monthly Local Author Night is a nice chance to familiarize yourself with the Chicago lit scene (as you familiarize yourself with vino from the Cellar's café). Tonight's locals, reading from their most recent books, are BJ Best, Susan Hahn, Amy Leach and Kathleen Rooney. (The Book Cellar, 4736–38 N Lincoln Ave, bookcellarinc.com). 7pm. Free.
The latest concert from the Space Movement Project dynamically considers, well, space and movement. "Out of Step in the Same Direction," incorporates familiar quirks and formations that the female dance group has used in the past but brings them to a new venue. Also, founding member Stacy Wolfson performs a farewell solo, Mountains and Concrete. (Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N Hoyne Ave, chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/Hamlin-Park). 7:30pm. Free.
GAY & LESBIAN
Gay Paul Bunyans deserve a DJ night too, and the Burlington's monthly Burly event draws bearded boys aplenty. Other queers and allies are also welcome—it's a welcoming vibe in general. You could probably even bring your blue ox. (3425 W Fullerton Ave, theburlingtonbar.com). 9pm. Free.
Marnie Stern brings her frantic, spellbinding guitar work and infectious energy to the Bottle. The Upper East Side shredder just released her fourth album, the awesomely titled epic Chronicles of Marnia. (Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, emptybottle.com). 9pm. $12.
In this new ongoing feature, we'll spotlight the most notable record of each week.
Naturally, I picked of a doozy of a week to kick things off. April has been loaded with fantastic albums, and today two of my favorite (so far) of 2013 see release, from the Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You can't go wrong with either.
The Terror stands alongside The Soft Bulletin as a definitive statement from one of the great bands of the last quarter century.
Read the review after the break.
Academy Award–winning director William Friedkin (The Exorcist and The French Connection) returns to his birthplace. The influential filmmaker sounds off about his memoir, The Friedkin Connection. Harold Washington Library Center. 6pm. Free.
Edward Hirsch, the renowned poet, critic and prez of the Guggenheim Foundation, speaks at this Society of Midland Authors event. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6pm. Cliff Dwellers Club. 7pm. Free.
Dazed and Confused. Dir. Richard Linklater. 1993. 102mins. Here's the great thing about Linklater's sprawling, '70s-set teen comedy: You get older, and it stays the same age. Logan Theatre. 8pm.
Shuggie Otis + Jesca Hoop + DJRC Otis was assumed to be a recluse, but it turns out he’s been steadily writing and recording since he dropped Inspiration Information nearly 40 years ago. So why has his comeback taken this long? It was 12 years ago that Luaka Bop first reissued that 1974 masterpiece, repackaging it with a few choice cuts from his 1971 disc, Freedom Flight, including the exquisite, kaleidoscopic pop of “Strawberry Letter 23,” Otis’s best known song. At the time it was ahead of the curve yet it turned out to be Otis’s last album until now: Epic/Legacy’s new reissue of Inspiration adds a handful of unreleased tracks from that era plus a bonus disc, Wings of Love, which compiles unreleased tunes recorded from 1975–2000. Lincoln Hall. 8pm. $20.
CLASSICAL & OPERA
The CSO and Chicago Symphony Chorus join forces in Bach's monumental Mass in B minor, led by Riccardo Muti. All four of the vocal soloists make their CSO subscription debuts in this program: Eleonora Buratto (soprano), Anna Malavasi (mezzo-soprano), Saimir Pirgu (tenor) and Adam Plachetka (bass-baritone). Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall. 7:30pm. $40–$275.
By now you've probably heard there have been some major changes at Time Out Chicago. What hasn't changed: We are still your best source for restaurants, bars, art, comedy, theater, music, festivals, shopping, museums, LGBT, dance and film coverage—and now you'll find it all online.
I've heard lots of questions from readers over the past couple of weeks. Here a sampling, with my answers below:
Does TOC still exist?
Alive and kicking—see above.
Are you still doing restaurant reviews?
Yes! And theater, comedy, art, museum, film, music and dance reviews. Look for them on the site almost daily.
Who's still on staff?
Julia Kramer (Food & Drink editor): Covering restaurants & bars
Kris Vire (associate editor/Theater): Covering theater, comedy, LGBT
Brent DiCrescenzo (managing editor): Covering music
Laura Pearson (associate editor/arts & culture): Covering dance, art & design, books
Jake Malooley (senior editor): Covering museums, fests, city events (a.k.a. Around Town); film
Laura Baginski (editor): Covering shopping & style
Martha Williams (photo editor)
Jessica Johnson (senior online producer)
Erin Delahanty (digital marketing manager)
Rob Ruthardt (senior digital sales manager)
Marla Tarantino (accounting specialist)
What will the site look like?
For the next couple of months, the site will look the same, but you'll see a lot of new content updated daily (best things to do each day of the week, best events of the weekend, etc.). Later this summer, the site will get a complete overhaul and sparkling new apps for tablets and smartphones, making all of our great content much easier to find.
Are you sad TOC is longer in print?
Of course. And we miss our former colleagues. But we are fully committed to creating the best arts and culture website in Chicago. We're excited about what's to come, and we're sure you will be, too. Until then, you know where to find us.
Breaking New Ground: Harold Washington and the 1983 Election. Panelists—historian Timuel D. Black Jr., former Ald. Helen Shiller and UIC political science professor Dick Simpson—discuss their direct involvement in the election of Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington. Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington, who was appointed the mayor’s deputy press secretary in 1985, moderates. This conversation coincides with the anniversary of the history-making April 12, 1983, mayoral election. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St (312-747-4050, chicagopubliclibrary.org). 6–7pm.
Former Saturday Night Live star Julia Sweeney—best-remembered for her androgynous character, Pat—recently wrote a book of essays on parenthood, If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother. Whether discussing adopting a baby from China or her disdain for large strollers, Sweeney is candid, insightful and LOL funny. She reads at the Book Stall (811 Elm St, 847-446-8880, thebookstall.com). 7pm. Free.
Leave Her to Heaven. Dir. John M. Stahl. 1945. 110mins. In Stahl's Technicolor noir, Gene Tierney's pathologically possessive wife goes to murderous lengths to keep her husband (Cornel Wilde) to herself. Doc Films, University of Chicago (1212 E 59th St, 773-702-8574, docfilms.uchicago.edu). 7pm.
FOOD & DRINK
Tavern on Rush turns 15 today, dude! Do you know what that means? That means if you can remember when the place opened, you’re way, waaaay too old to hang out here. Drink your denial away with celebratory $15 bottles of wine. 1031 N Rush St (312-664-9600). 11am–2am.
GAY & LESBIAN
L'imitation of Life. Camp authorities Hell in a Handbag Productions present this spoof of the 1959 Lana Turner melodrama Imitation of Life. We can't wait to see Ed Jones improve on yet another grande Hollywood dame with his indelible impersonations that border on channeling. Mary's Attic (5400 N Clark St, 773-784-6969, hamburgermaryschicago.com). $15–25, VIP $35–100.
Soft Opening + Onyx System Ashville, North Carolina, heavy-psych act Soft Opening rattles Ukie Village vinyl vendor Permanent Records behind the group's 2011 self-titled alum. The band hits the Burlington at 9pm after this show. (1914 W Chicago Ave, 773-278-1744, permanentrecordschicago.com). 6pm. Free.
SHOPPING & STYLE
Today marks the beginning of Spa Week, that glorious seven- day period when you can find spa treatments at deep discounts. You can find the full range of deals at spaweek.com, but here’s one that caught our eye: Kiva Day Spa is offering the YON-KA Plaisir D’ Aromes facial, an aromatic treatment that features aromatherapy and relaxing oils, for $50. The 50-minute service is usually $90. The deal is good through Sun 21. Kiva, 196 E Pearson St (312-840-8120, kivakiva.com). Thu 18, Fri 19, 9am–8pm; Sat 20, 9am–7pm; Sun 21, 10am–6pm.
1. Alicia Keys + Miguel
United Center; Thu 18
Miguel made a histrionic mess of his "How Many Drinks" on SNL on Saturday (honestly, it's an actual song with, like, structure and melody and everything in recorded life), but we're still jazzed to see him tackle material from his lovely Kaleidoscope Dream—and continue to fuel the Kaleidoscope Dream vs. channel ORANGE debates. You know Keys is always going to bring it. By "it" we means: flawless pipes, piano pounding, tight pants.
The Mid; Thu 18
Dubstep, eedie-em, thick-hop, wobble, ooomph, purple, bass—slap whatever goofy genre tag you want on AraabMUZIK's head-bobbing, gut-rumbling tunes. All you need to know is that his MPC skills are heavy and thrilling.
Various venues; Thu 18–Sun 21
Yes, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival is primarily loaded with rock flicks—check out its excellent run of Stones docs—but there are killer live performances, too, including appearances by Van Dyke Parks, the Funky Meters, Lydia Loveless and more. Visit its website for the full slate.
4. Resonate 8.0
Metro and Smart Bar; Sat 20
This rare "entire Metro building" event sounds like something out of a '90s cyberpunk novel: techno, burlesque, acrobats, fire, multimedia. Essentially, it's an indoor Burning Man.
Bottom Lounge; Sun 21
These Norwegian bubblegum metalheads bring out the 15-year-old in me. There's no better sales pitch than this amazingly rad video for "Braune Brenn." Devil-horn fingers incarnate. Rock & roll, pure and simple.
"How do you tell a story about the best storyteller you've ever met?" Richard Roeper asked regarding Roger Ebert during a packed public memorial last night for the beloved film critic who died April 4 at age 70 after a long battle with cancer. The Sun-Times columnist's question was answered emphatically over two and a half hours as Ebert's family, friends, and film industry admirers stood on the Chicago Theatre stage to fondly remember a prolific newspaperman, a champion of independent artists and marginalized voices, and a humanitarian who saw the best in people—and made others recognize their own virtues. For his part, Roeper called the the Pulitzer Prize winner "our George Bailey," saying Ebert's "was truly a wonderful life."
Titled "A Celebration of Life: With Love From Chaz," the event had as its first and final speaker Ebert's widow, who for years was never far from her husband's side, whether during hospital stays or at Lake Street Screening Room. "Roger, this is your happening and it's freaking me out," Chaz said, appropriating a line from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the Russ Meyer–directed film for which Ebert wrote the screenplay.
A gospel choir's celebratory hymn "Lift Him Up" led into clips of Ebert and his Tribune critic frenemy Gene Siskel verbally sparring in the various iterations of their reviews show, from the shaggy early years to some hilarious '80s outtakes of the two men taking personal shots to the pair doing a "Pease Porridge Hot" routine. The series' creator-producer Thea Flam recalled schooling Ebert in writing for television. "Only once did he grumble, 'You know, Thea, I have a Pulitzer Prize.'" Her thoughts then turned to Chaz, "his guardian angel": "He had always been a great guy. She enabled him to become a great man."
Siskel's widow Marlene Iglitzen noted that films used to screen for critics at the Chicago Theatre. A small elevator would take the journalists to one of the upper floors of the building, and she said Gene and Roger made sure they never had to ride together. Inside the theater, Iglitzen recalled, "they sat as far away as possible" from each other. Despite the good-natured rivalry, "Gene was thrilled for Roger to have an epic romance off the screen" when he met Chaz. On the last anniversary of Siskel's death, Iglitzen said Ebert wrote to her to say he had "never felt closer to a man" as he did to Siskel.
Ebert's fellow film critics heaped their praises on the master. Variety critic Scott Foundas called Ebert a "gentle giant," as opposed to the likes of Pauline Kael, who inspired in her disciples a fierce partisanship. The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy concluded his memorial tribute saying, "In film criticism for 46 years, there was Roger Ebert—and then there was the rest of us." Christie Hefner said she was mortified to recall showing Ebert film reviews she had written for her college newspaper while he was interviewing her for a story "on Hugh Hefner's daughter." She later went on to review films for the Boston Phoenix.
Joan Cusack read aloud a heartfelt letter from the Obamas. Brother John remembered a nervous first run-in with Ebert at the Carnegie Deli in New York while on the press tour for The Sure Thing. "Don't worry," Ebert whispered to the young actor. "I liked your movie." "He didn't always love your movie, but he always gave you a fair shake," John Cusack said. "His writing was often better than the writing in the film."
Several filmmakers underscored Ebert's fairness—advocating for small-budget art-house cinema alongside reviews of Hollywood blockbusters. Director Gregory Nava (El Norte) said there was a time when Ebert "was the only major critic in this country who would look at our movies," indie films telling minority stories. Michael Barker, president of Sony Pictures Classics, called Ebert "the conscience of the movie business." Filmmaker Andrew Davis—whom Ebert imagined directing "the perfect Chicago movie"—had fond remembrances of his friend, even taking the chance to read Ebert's glowing review Davis's The Fugitive.
Ebert's boozy past made a brief appearance when Old Town Ale House proprietor Bruce Elliott told a bawdy barroom tale. (Apparently, Rog had a fondness for large-breasted women.) Comedian Dick Gregory did some off-color standup before comparing Ebert to a turtle: "hard on the outside, soft in the middle and always willing to stick his neck out."
Home video clips showing Ebert doting on Chaz's grandchildren shed some light on his family life. Many of the night's remembrances, whether from critics or celebs, ended in praise of Chaz. She was commended as Ebert's true love, his selfless rock who refused to let her husband die after he was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and during years of treament, surgeries and the loss of his voice. During that trying time, Chaz explained, angels had whispered in her ear to assure her it wasn't Roger's time. "I knew he had much more important work ahead," she said.
In closing, Chaz took the stage with her family. Pausing a few times to compose herself—creating a charged, resonant silence in the cavernous theater—she was, as always, standing by her man.