Nov. 26 at Doc Films: “High and Low”

Nov. 26 at Doc Films: “High and Low”

Akira Kurosawa is probably best known for his period epics, often loosely adapted from Shakespearean dramas, but to think of Kurosawa as having only made samurai films is to miss the wide range and depth of his ability as a filmmaker. Showing at Doc Films on Wednesday, November 26, High and Low is still as(…)

Nov. 10 at Doc Films: “The Red Balloon” and “White Mane”

Nov. 10 at Doc Films: “The Red Balloon” and “White Mane”

On every Monday night until December, Doc Films shows another film in their Cinema of Childhood series. While the programming so far has been full of great films, it is the double bill showing on Monday, November 10, that showcases some of the purest and simplest expression of childhood on film: Albert Lamorisse’s two short(…)

Top U. of C. staffers need accountability

Strong social media response to my second University of Chicago exposé indicates a widespread sense that top staffers have the wrong values, to the detriment of mission and the taxpayers who fund research and education through grants and student loans. According to original tax data analysis in my Sept. 27 Jacobin article “Higher Education’s Aristocrats”, eight high-level(…)

August 27 at Doc Films: “History is Made at Night”

August 27 at Doc Films: “History is Made at Night”

The story of a transcontinental love triangle set aboard decadent ocean liners from a past era, History is Made at Night (1937), showing at Doc Films on Wednesday, August 27, features a rather convoluted plot, but with just enough charm and romance to save itself from ultimately crashing headfirst to its own Titanic-like doom. To(…)

August 21 at Doc Films: “Suzhou River”

August 21 at Doc Films: “Suzhou River”

Turning its back on the rapidly developing, booming face of Shanghai at the turn of the century, Lou Ye’s Suzhou River, showing at Doc Films on Thursday, August 21, is a gritty portrayal of tragic love in the underbelly of the world’s largest city. An unnamed, faceless videographer walks along the titular Suzhou River, spray-painting signs(…)

August 15 at Doc Films: “Japanese Summer: Double Suicide”

August 15 at Doc Films: “Japanese Summer: Double Suicide”

Even today, when classic Japanese cinema is discussed, three names immediately come up: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu. But by the 1960s, a new set of filmmakers had grown tired of their revered predecessors. In part led by Nagisa Oshima, whose Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967) shows at Doc Films on Friday, August 15, the Japanese(…)

Encore thrift is a Hyde Park gem

Encore thrift is a Hyde Park gem

One fine day in April of 2013, I was strolling to the lakefront to feed the birds and I happened to see a thrift shop on East Hyde Park under the viaduct of the Metra train on the right hand side of the street. The address was 1553 E. Hyde Park Blvd. (corner of 51st(…)

August 2 at Doc Films: “Jodorowsky’s Dune”

August 2 at Doc Films: “Jodorowsky’s Dune”

BY BRIAN BELAK The 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago on Saturday, August 2, is an account of the greatest sci-fi movie never made, or at least, that’s what it wants you to come out believing. The story goes that in 1973, fresh off the success of surrealist(…)

July 25 at Doc Films: “Mysterious Skin”

July 25 at Doc Films: “Mysterious Skin”

BY BRIAN BELAK HeraldBlog Contributor In between his child actor days of the ‘90s and his return to stardom in the late ‘00s, Joseph Gordon-Levitt took a break from acting full time to instead study at Columbia University. This break afforded him the time to take on smaller, more interesting projects than before, playing a(…)

Sojourn in Sicily: Palermo x 2

Sojourn in Sicily: Palermo x 2

by Anne Spiselman The more time I spend in Palermo, the less I understand it. Of course, I’ve only had about three-and-a-half days in Sicily’s largest city so far, and a day of that was with the duchess in April (see previous post). The rest, on our 2013 visit, was divided between two trips from(…)