WBEZ | Chicago Film Archives http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-film-archives Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A look at pre-1960s Chicago, in color http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-12/look-pre-1960s-chicago-color-109386 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/2269_ca_object_representations_media_1103_medium.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DbfckK-8tE4?list=UUU9YRLuykPOIHcMHwqKLs8A" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Here&#39;s a 16mm gem from the Chicago Film Archives: an hour-long look at Chicago between 1941 and 1960, shot over a 19-year-span by the late Chicago amateur filmmaker and attorney Marion Kudlick.&nbsp;</p><p>It&#39;s a pretty easy hour to watch, especially when you see 1940s Chicago&mdash;normally seen these days in black and white&mdash;in color. North Michigan Avenue makes an early appearance and the Historic Water Tower and Pumping Station were still tall enough then to dominate the view.</p><p>Michigan Avenue looking south from near Adams pops up at the video&#39;s 2:30 mark. The streetwall is virtually unchanged since then.&nbsp;</p><p>And in a shot that looks from the roof or upper floors of the Congress Hotel looking east, we get a rare color look at intersection of Congress and Michigan before it was widened to accommodate car traffic headed to (and from) the Eisenhower Expressway. You&#39;ll see it was a beautiful pedestrian plaza with a gentle rise of steps leading to the bronze Bowman and the Spearman sculptures. Too bad it was all ripped up in the name of progress.</p><p>Kudlick also takes his camera to the neighborhoods and suburbs. He spends time in now-vanished Maxwell Street, and captures footage of a bluesman in action.</p><p>The magnificent and long-gone Olson Rug Company Park and Waterfall, at Diversey and Pulaski, is there at 8:13. There is also pretty good footage of the groundbreaking at Weber High School, which opened in 1949. You can see Archbishop Samuel Stritch blessed the event, as he smiles at the camera in a close-up.</p><p>This 20-year slice of Chicago is fascinating for what we see and for what we now know happens afterward. The Chicago seen here was a brash, growing city of 3.6 million. A middle-aged person then, born in 1900 or slightly before, would have seen the city&#39;s population double within his or her lifetime.</p><p>But in the 20 years after Kudlick&#39;s frame, the population would shrink by almost 600,000. Steel mills would close, suburbia would rise, and the city would be beset with social, racial and economic problems we&#39;re still working to correct.</p><p>For more great stuff from the Chicago Film Archives, check out the group&#39;s <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/chicagofilmarchives?feature=watch">YouTube Channel</a>, and <a href="http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/">its website</a>.</p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 06:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-12/look-pre-1960s-chicago-color-109386 The city that was: Short film shows 1970s Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/city-was-short-film-shows-1970s-chicago-108796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/lee_vid_cap.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HKE9lONXy4s?list=UUU9YRLuykPOIHcMHwqKLs8A" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Here&#39;s a fun look at Chicago in the 1970s: a 16mm film depicting a day in the life of our fair city.</p><p><em>Chicago Breakdown</em> by Gary Brown looks as if it was made around 1976, judging by a glimpse of an Bicentennial license plate on one of the cars. You&#39;ll also see legendary radio jock Larry Lujack at WCFL-AM, where he was on air from 1972 to 1976.</p><p><em>Breakdown</em>&nbsp;begins a little slow with sunrise shots and a quiet country music score, but things pick up. I like when a worker, concluding a night shift, climbs into his Cadillac Coupe De Ville and shifts into gear as the Ohio Players&#39; Love Rollercoaster comes on the car radio.</p><p>The 14 minute film features good aerial footage of the John Hancock Building and Lake Point Tower. The sped-up point of view footage taken from inside an &#39;L&#39; car and along Lake Shore Drive and timed to match the musical &quot;breakdown&quot; hinted at in the title is also nice. We also see Wrigley Field fan yelling to get Cubs outfielder Jose Cardenal&#39;s autograph and darkened interior of the University of Chicago. A <em>Playboy</em> magazine shoot is briefly shown, so a word of caution there for sensitive readers.</p><p>The movie comes courtesy of the <a href="http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/">Chicago Film Archives</a>,</p></p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 01:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-09/city-was-short-film-shows-1970s-chicago-108796