WBEZ | Tavi Gevinson http://www.wbez.org/tags/tavi-gevinson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How 90s rap, Shel Silverstein, and Oak Park influenced a former Chicagoan director http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-90s-rap-shel-silverstein-and-oak-park-influenced-former-chicagoan <p><div class="image-insert-image ">For <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CDMQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jonahansell.com%2F&amp;ei=dpJtUZ-rKsWbygGO3IHwBQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNE39MQUQC60ax_8htzQdZSPfJkQ9A&amp;sig2=eQBwHEDrxpOd6OKYBnXp3A" target="_blank">Jonah Ansell</a>, Chicago mattered. His experiences growing up in and near the city in the Western suburb of Oak Park directly nurtured his creative pursuits. His latest work, <a href="http://cadaverthefilm.com/"><em>Cadaver</em></a>, is a lushly-constructed and visually-mesmerizing graphic novel and animated short film starring Oak Park teen and fashion/media mogul Tavi Gevinson, Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, and Christopher Lloyd. It tells the story of a cadaver who wakes up to tell his wife a final goodbye only to discover a truth about death he did not know in life. A mix of child-like storytelling with more mature themes, <em>Cadaver</em> is a testament to the power of the grand narrative in creating works of fiction. The film plays April 23 at the <a href="https://boxoffice.mcachicago.org/public/show.asp" target="_blank">Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago</a>. A discussion and book signing follows.&nbsp;Tickets are available&nbsp;<a href="https://boxoffice.mcachicago.org/public/show.asp" target="_blank">online</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t appreciate how nurturing of an environment I was in until I came back,&rdquo; Ansell said about his experiences growing up in Oak Park. Ansell&rsquo;s family moved to the suburb from the city when he was young. It was his experiences attending William Beye Elementary School, growing up on Humphrey Avenue, reading voraciously &ndash; that shaped his love of storytelling. Ansell counted one experience &ndash; painting murals on the walls of the elementary school &ndash; as particularly affecting.</div><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">&ldquo;This concept that this communal space doesn&rsquo;t just have to be a walk through and that you can empower kids to do what they want to do was powerful,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The idea that you could make stuff and comment on the human experience as performance stuck with me.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cadaver3.jpg" style="height: 279px; width: 500px;" title="(Cadaver/MCA Chicago)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span><em>Cadaver</em>&nbsp;began as a poem Ansell wrote for his sister on her first day cutting open a dead body in medical school. The poem was a means of providing a touch of humor and humanity to the medical profession. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;We as humans are not islands,&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not separated from what we do in life.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Although he claims she rejected the work, the story stayed with him long after he wrote it.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;In this light-hearted whimsical ride, I realized there was a worldview about how people are, what life is, what love is,&quot; Ansell said. &quot;It was all wrapped up in this little tiny poem.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>This story of the human experience soon sprang forth as a fully-formed narrative.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">The work begged for a visual component that was as immediately captivating, but still embraced the small scale of the project. More than 400 artists working in a variety of mediums were interviewed for the project. The crew eventually chose Seattle-based 2D animator and artist Carina Simmons. Simmons&rsquo; illustrations are angular and visceral with a style more realistic and human than not. Emotions are vividly drawn and felt by audiences.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">When creating <em>Cadaver</em>, which in its simplest form is a love story, the crew saw Simmons&rsquo; work as a complement to the emotional scope of the story. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;You have to be careful that it doesn&rsquo;t come across saccharine or sugary sweet,&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;We knew we had to add a little edge, so it would emotionally land where we were attempting for it to land. That&rsquo;s where that artwork helped clarify the film we were trying to go for.&rdquo; </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>The animation took about three months and the entire film production took six months, with the artist stationed in Seattle, the animator in San Francisco, and many of the crew based in Los Angeles.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tavi%20Gevinson%20and%20Jonah%20Ansell%20-%20MCA.jpg" style="height: 478px; width: 500px;" title="(Tavi Gevinson and Jonah Ansell/MCA)" /></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Casting actors was surprisingly less complicated. Gevinson was the first hire. A longtime family friend, Gevinson was the first person Ansell approached and she immediately signed on. The two previously worked together on another film, <em>First Bass</em>, shot on location at Wrigley Field. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>In terms of Lloyd and Bates, Ansell and his crew created a wish list of people they assumed would reject them and the two actors were at the top of their list. However, after emailing them and providing a few visual samples of what the work would look like, both signed on. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;It was a Hail Mary,&rdquo; Ansell said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Ansell cites influences ranging from George Carlin to 90s rap. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;For a kid growing up on Humphrey, this had a positive impact: what you can do with words, how you can bend words, how you would bring energy to what you&rsquo;re saying,&rdquo; he said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5078289485536516">Ansell also said he looked toward the storytelling structure of some of his favorite childhood authors: Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>Ansell&#39;s summer mornings were spent outdoors playing with friends, but his afternoons were often spent reading. This love of reading informed the creation of a graphic novel in addition to the film. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;Whenever you have an idea for a story, you always wonder, what is the best medium to tell this story?&rdquo; Ansell said. &ldquo;[With books] you can linger, you can pause, you can flip the page back. You can&rsquo;t do that with film.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em><strong>Britt Julious</strong> blogs about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-04/how-90s-rap-shel-silverstein-and-oak-park-influenced-former-chicagoan The Tavi Gevinson Interview http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-02-10/tavi-gevinson-interview-96269 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-10/tavi - claire.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-10/tavi - claire.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 759px; " title="(Photo by Tavi Gevinson)" /></p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.8045598318369138">Today&rsquo;s interviewee is a high school student living in the Chicago suburbs. Tavi Gevinson first gained recognition for her fashion blog, </span><em><a href="http://www.thestylerookie.com/">The Style Rookie</a></em>, which helped her land in the front row at Fashion Week and got her profiled in places like the <em><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/09/20/100920fa_fact_widdicombe">New Yorker</a></em>. Now she&rsquo;s the editor-in-chief of a new magazine for smart young women of all ages, <em><a href="http://rookiemag.com/us/">Rookie</a></em>, which began with the support and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/magazine/how-sassy-is-tavi-gevinson.html">blessings </a>of <em>This American Life</em> host Ira Glass and<em> Sassy</em> founder Jane Pratt. I met her in person at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEjxS5TwTT0"> Mark Bazer&#39;s Interview Show last year</a> and was impressed by/jealous of her confidence and wit.<br /><br /><strong>Say a reader was brand-new to <em>Rookie</em>: What pieces would you direct him or her to that showcase what it&rsquo;s all about?</strong><br />This is so hard, honestly. I chose like 15:</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/09/because-you-can/">Because You Can: Our monthly column where Leeann gives you easy ideas for having more fun with your clothing</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2012/01/open-all-night/">Open All Night: Intense conversations happen at 3 AM in front of a plate of cheese fries</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2012/01/how-to-not-care-what-other-people-think-of-you/">How to Not Care What Other People Think of You</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2012/01/survivors/">We&rsquo;re Called Survivors Because We&rsquo;re Still Here: A few of the things you will walk through on your way to &lsquo;OK&rsquo;.</a>&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2012/01/an-actually-useful-article-about-dressing-for-a-party/">An Actually Useful Article About Dressing for a Party (Without any mention of your body shape or your style personality.)</a>&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/11/camp-rookie/">Camp Rookie</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/11/rookie-girl-gangs/">Rookie Girl Gangs</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/11/the-perfect-girl/">The Perfect Girl: I&rsquo;m supposed to be pretty, skinny, smart (but not too smart), cool, funny, and flawless. All without trying</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/11/chrissie-white-photo-album/">The Old Crowd</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/10/teen-witch/">Teen Witch: Exercise your right to roll your eyes this picture day</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/09/male-gaze/">First Encounters With the Male Gaze</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/09/1192/">Let It Out &nbsp;Our guide to stomping out stress, exorcising your demons and restoring your sanity after a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day &hellip; or week &hellip; or year</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/09/higher-learning/">Higher Learning &nbsp;Remembrances of the first year of high school, and advice for getting through your own, from some of our favorite grown-ups</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;<a href="http://rookiemag.com/2011/09/editors-letter/">Editor&rsquo;s Letter. September 2011: Beginnings</a>&rdquo;</p><p style="">A lot of them are by me, but it makes sense, statistically! I write more articles than anyone else on the site, and it&#39;s easy to meet your own idea of what the tone of a website should be when it&#39;s your website and your tone.<br /><br /><strong>What habits or tones common in women or teen magazines did you actively want to avoid when it came to <em>Rookie</em>?</strong><br />Anything that sort of dictates what the right or wrong way is to be a girl. I keep just describing it as a &quot;website for teenage girls,&quot; because I like to think it&#39;s not too niche, and I don&#39;t want to alienate anyone by saying it&#39;s for alternative girls or artsy girls or anything. At the same time, I mean, we don&#39;t speak for every girl, but we try to encourage girls to speak for themselves. Mostly we just try to avoid being condescending or making anyone feel like there&#39;s something wrong with them that they should be worrying about if they&#39;re not already. Or like we&#39;re teaching anyone how to be cool. I want people to know that they&#39;re already cool. Whatever they&#39;re into, that is enough.<br /><br /><strong>What are some upcoming <em>Rookie</em> monthly themes?</strong><br />We just started <a href="http://rookiemag.com/theme/obsession/">&quot;obsession&quot; </a>for February, and March is &quot;exploration.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>What lessons or mistakes have you learned or made thus far with <em>Rookie</em> that you think will help you along the way, either with the site or as a writer/editor in general?</strong><br />A ton. Of course now I&#39;m drawing a blank&hellip;sometimes things seem like a harmless dig at a band or whatever but then a girl will comment and be like, &quot;Wait, should I not like that band?&quot; So I&#39;ve learned to make sure we can have opinions without making anyone feel like they&#39;re not welcome in some club. I think the best articles have come out of thinking about the things that bother me and that I think about, or that my friends and I talk about. Those are the ones where girls comment and say we&#39;ve been reading their minds, and that&#39;s important to me, because I really need to brush up on my mind-reading skills for my developing career as a psychic. Seriously though, I think being a teenager can be very lonely, there is nothing like the feeling when you read something you really relate to or listen to your salvation record or have a conversation with a friend that is just so reassuring and faith-renewing. Of course in the middle of the night tonight I&#39;ll wake up with a whole list of things I&#39;ve learned.<br /><br /><strong>Who are some people you&rsquo;d love to score interviews with for the site but haven&rsquo;t been able to get quite yet?</strong><br />Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Tina Fey, Stevie Nicks. I can&#39;t tell you how desperate I am to interview Bieber. I watched <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/movies/08bieber.html">that documentary</a> for the third time the other night.<br /><br /><strong>You have a lot going on in your life. When it comes to time management, are you good at figuring out the balance yourself, or do your parents have much say on when it&rsquo;s time for homework, when it&rsquo;s time for family stuff, sleep, etc.?</strong><br />Yeah, they check in throughout the day. But I feel like I get as much sleep as I did before <em>Rookie</em> started, it&#39;s just that before, all that time was spent procrastinating on stupid websites, and now that time has gone to <em>Rookie</em> and I don&#39;t procrastinate anymore. Now I have time for school, homework, <em>Rookie</em> work, time for myself or hanging out with friends and sleep.<br /><br /><strong>In terms of fashion, what is an item, currently, that you think would be worth saving up your hard-earned money to buy? (For yourself, not the average person.)</strong><br />I love <a href="http://www.fashionfor2012.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/prada-sunglasses-2012.jpg">those Prada Thunderbird sunglasses</a> from this season. Lately though all my Etsy and Ebay searches has been for like, antique stamps and <a href="http://popular.ebay.com/baby/fisher-price-toys/fisher-price-toys-vintage.htm">old Fisher Price toys</a>? I don&#39;t know what happened.<br /><br /><strong>I know it&rsquo;s early, but tentatively, what colleges are you considering right now?</strong><br />I think I want to take a year off before college to focus on one thing, since balancing everything with school is really difficult. I&#39;m also using this as an excuse to put off looking at colleges, so I can&#39;t answer this question!<br /><br /><strong>What are you looking forward to most, and dreading most, about young adulthood?</strong><br />Looking forward to independence and dreading responsibility. Mostly, looking forward to my very own plethora of cereal options.<br /><br /><strong>What music has been on heavy rotation lately on your turntable/iTunes/what have you?</strong><br />Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Carole King, and other things on my &quot;I am an emotional teen girl from the &#39;70s&quot; playlist.<br /><br /><strong>I think one of the things that sets you apart from a lot of other teenagers (current and former) is that you&rsquo;re a cheerleader for the things you love, when it&rsquo;s much easier, at that age, to talk about what pisses you off. So, to change gears slightly, what, right this moment, is pissing you off?</strong><br />God, where do I start! You&#39;ll regret opening that door. I mean, I always have tons of school angst I could talk about. I mean, a lot of things piss me off, but I don&#39;t really bother with a lot of them. A lot of it is just like, stupid internet writing, so I don&#39;t look at it. I&#39;m glad I have school angst though, for some reason it helps me function in high school, being able to walk around scowling even though I really am pleased with how strange everything/everyone is.<br /><br /><strong>How do you think living in/near Chicago has or is shaping you as a creative person?</strong><br />Well, I&#39;ve always liked being able to recognize stuff from John Hughes movies. But I don&#39;t really feel like I&#39;m from Chicago, I feel like I&#39;m from the suburbs, which I like, because there are lots of secrets. One day I&#39;ll have to compile all the pages from my diary of drawings of weird people or cars or houses I saw walking home from school that day. That kind of thing is helpful as a creative person. Of course people in New York or some art scene are going to be interesting, but they&#39;re all pretty aware that they are. I like being surrounded by people who aren&#39;t striving to be provocative, but every now and then one of them turns out to be a hoarder, or one of those weird people who picks fights on Facebook but doesn&#39;t talk at all in school.<br /><br /><strong>Who or what is inspiring you right now?</strong><br />I mean, I really, really want to be <a href="http://daintyanddangerous.tumblr.com/post/2813029208/bohogypsygirl-stevie-nicks-nobody-wears-a-top">Stevie Nicks</a> at the moment. I also just read <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Female-Chauvinist-Pigs-Raunch-Culture/dp/0743249895">Female Chauvinist Pigs</a></em>, which was really eye-opening, and definitely made me reevaluate a few of my own ideas on feminism and sexual empowerment. Plus people for some reason feel compelled to email me their own moodboards or collages or weird stuff they found in their basement every time I write a new blog post, and I really appreciate that.</p><p><br /><strong>How does it feel to be the 304th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />I can already feel myself changing!<br /><br /><em>Hey! On an unrelated note, we did a Q&amp;A on crushes on fictional characters over at the </em>A.V. Club<em> today <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/crushes-on-fictional-characters,69158/">which you may get a kick out of</a>. I would just like to state for the record that I am not a furry.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-02-10/tavi-gevinson-interview-96269 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine 9/10/11: The Passage of Time http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-14/interviewshow.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-14/tavi interview.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 227px; height: 250px; " title="Tavi, as discussed by Megan Steilstra">Christopher and Ali talk way too much about cats, so skip the beginning of this week's issue if you're not so inclined. First up, Benno Nelson discusses how art hasn't changed as much as you'd think it might have since 9/11. Megan Stielstra celebrates the launch of&nbsp;Tavi Gevinson's <em>Rookie Magazine </em>by diving back to the 90's, to its predecessor <em>Sassy</em>. Sad Brad Smith brings our sad&nbsp;weather report. And there's a word from our sponser O'Reilly's artisan wafers, courtesy of Doug Hurley. Music from Chris Damiano on your way out. And as usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE (and recorded this week by&nbsp;Nick Freed).&nbsp;Download it&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345" style="color: rgb(0, 104, 150); " target="_blank">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483721-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-09-10-papermachete-radio-mag.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div>This Saturday, we FINALLY have <a href="http://vocalo.org/amp">Brian Babylon</a>, and also Dan Sinker, who's book reminiscing about his time as the <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/MayorEmanuel">Twitter sensation @MayorEmanuel</a>. They'll be joined by <a href="http://ianbelknap.com/">Ian Belknap</a>&nbsp;of the Writer Club; Mel Evans of <a href="http://www.comedysportzchicago.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=491&amp;Itemid=166">ComedySportz</a>; &nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/6">Nancy Friedrich</a> and <a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/performers/237">Colleen Doyle</a> team up; <a href="http://www.english.northwestern.edu/people/savage.html">Dr. Bill Savage</a>, Northwestern professor and <em>Chicago Tribune</em> contributor; and <a href="http://www.hobojunctionproductions.com/page1/page1.html">Josh Zagore</a>n will be back with his good puppet friend Chad the Bird. They'll be talking about the pregnant Beyonce, Mayor Daley's newly reduced bodyguard posse, and James Franco's all-over-the-place-ness. And music from <a href="http://www.blanefonda.com/">Blane Fonda</a>.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-14/paper-machete-radio-magazine-91011-passage-time-91994