Updated: 5 p.m.
People around the world are mourning the legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who died earlier this week. In Chicago, that group includes fans, presenters and performers of his music.
Musician Lyon Liefer doesn't play the sitar, he plays the bansuri, a North Indian side-blown flute. Still, he says he comes from the "school" of Shankar.
By school Liefer doesn't mean an actual building or registered institution, but a particular approach to performance. In Liefer's case, the connection to Shankar is deep. His guru or teacher was taught by Allaudin Khan, the same man who trained Shankar.
Liefer never met Shankar, though he was actually in India when the Beatles were there. He says he has great admiration for Shankar's "personality, charisma and ability to relate to audiences.
Back in my day (I’ve always wanted to start a review with those words!) home economics was still part of the middle school curriculum. We learned to follow a recipe, to set a table and clean up after our classroom meals, and to sew important objects, like pillows made out of washcloths or dangerously skimpy pot holders.
I was never keen on the domestic arts and sciences, a truth made clear by my sloppy stitches and thrown-together dishes. Though had I known more about the history of the field, I might have been more willing to apply myself. Thankfully, 21st Century Home Economics, a new year-long exhibition at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, offers an opportunity to form a new relationship to the discipline. The show explores the way women used the science of domesticity to escape their confinement in the home and carve out public roles for themselves.
Last week, as many of you tucked into your annual helping of turkey ‘n sides, I, along with some residents of Poznan, Poland, was digging into very different fare: Chicago jazz.
For the past seven years, this small, picturesque city in western Poland has hosted Made in Chicago, a four-day festival exclusively dedicated to our city's avant garde and traditional jazz scene.
American Revolution II: The Battle for Chicago starts with footage familiar to many Chicagoans: the armed confrontations between police and protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. But the film then moves to far less familiar — and in many ways more remarkable — ground.
In a pivotal scene, the Young Patriots, a group of poor, white, southern activists fighting forced evictions and gentrification on Chicago’s North Side, meet a tall, charismatic, community activist: Black Panther Bobby Lee. At first the atmosphere is uncomfortable and silent. Then, Lee starts to work the room, grabbing people by the shoulder, tapping them on the knee.
Halloween’s a good excuse to indulge in some cinematic terror. Now the thrills of a good horror film depend on a variety of things: the acting (the worse the better), the ratio of gore to plot (if it bleeds zoom in close and hold), and an adherence to generic conventions while not being afraid to wreak havoc with them (seen Cabin in the Woods yet?).
But the soundtrack is also an essential part of a film’s fright factor. In the U-S the undisputed masters are Bernard Hermann and John Carpenter. But take a look at films from across the world and you’ll find other musical geniuses at work, in a variety of genres. For this edition of Global Notes we’re sharing some of our favorite international horror soundtracks and composers - please add yours in the comments section!
When I wanted to see Night Catches Us, an independent black film released in 2011, there was only one theater in Chicago where it got a regular run: The ICE Chatham 14 on 87th Street.
But for movie-goers on Chicago's South Side, the Chatham is one of only a few options for seeing any film.
So you can imagine how people felt when they showed up Friday night and found a dark, shuttered theater.
The Cook County Sheriff’s office issued an eviction notice, which was on the door of the theater, along with another sign saying the theater was "temporarily closed" and would re-open soon "under new management." The Sheriff’s office and the Cook County Circuit Clerk’s office had no forthcoming information.
Now the theater may be re-opening. In an e-mail, owner Alisa Starks (who along with her husband Donzell opened the theater in 1997) said, "It's been a challenging process.