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(…)

July 17 at Doc Films: “T-Men”

July 17 at Doc Films: “T-Men”

BY BRIAN BELAK From the depiction of a gritty crime underworld to the fast dialogue and dark, shadowy sets, director Anthony Mann’s 1947 film T-Men, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago on Thursday, July 17, is a quintessential film noir in every way. The eponymous T-Men (short for Treasury-Men) are two U.S.(…)

U of C Admin Pay Exposé Goes Viral

U of C Admin Pay Exposé Goes Viral

By DAVID MIHALYFY HeraldBlog Contributor Informal tallies indicate that a surprisingly broad and deep response met my June 7th analysis of University of Chicago administrative pay. Published online in the progressive magazine Jacobin, “Higher Ed’s For-Profit Future” asserted that top U. of C. staff received and concealed extreme compensation increases as debt has increased and(…)

July 5 at Doc Films: “An American Werewolf in London”

July 5 at Doc Films: “An American Werewolf in London”

BY BRIAN BELAK When making An American Werewolf in London, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago on Saturday, July 5, writer/director John Landis (of Animal House and Blues Brothers fame) drew upon his comedic background to inform his take on the horrors of lycanthropy. The resulting film, at times hilarious and frightening,(…)

South Side filmmaker aims to inspire locals with fan-made project

South Side filmmaker aims to inspire locals with fan-made project

Last Wednesday evening, Hyde Park’s First Aid Comics, 1617 E. 55th St., hosted the cast of the short fan-made movie “Night Thrasher: RAVE” for a public meet and greet. Participants included the director Lawrence Lee Wallace and actors Eric Lane, Mildred Marie Langford and Jared Lucas. Inspired by the Marvel Entertainment character Night Thrasher, Wallace wrote,(…)