WBEZ | Film http://www.wbez.org/sections/film Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en On the set of ‘Almost Famous’ http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/set-%E2%80%98almost-famous%E2%80%99-112458 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Crowe2.jpg" style="width: 100%;" title="" /></div><p><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/events">As triumphantly noted on <em>Sound Opinions</em>&rsquo; Events Page</a>, our little radio show will be screening Cameron Crowe&rsquo;s 2000 film <em>Almost Famous </em>for free at the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park7.html">Jay Pritzker Pavilion</a> in Millennium Park at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow as part of the city&rsquo;s great summer film series.</p><p>Greg Kot and I don&rsquo;t agree on much, but we both think this is one of the best movies ever made about rock &rsquo;n&rsquo; roll, brilliantly portraying the way that many of us fall in love with the music as a consuming passion, something that is very difficult to capture on film. We also think it&rsquo;s the best movie ever with a hero who&rsquo;s a rock critic&mdash;not that there are many (any?) other contenders.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-02/great-art-about-guilt-and-longing-109623">As I wrote last year in an obituary of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman</a>, who portrays legendary rock critic Lester Bangs in the film, I also have a very personal connection to this movie: I met and befriended Crowe because I wrote Bangs&rsquo; biography, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Let-Blurt-Lester-Americas-Greatest/dp/0767905091/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1437667248&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=let+it+blurt">Let It Blurt</a></em>, and we both had the similar experience of meeting our rock-writing hero when we were 17 years old, Crowe in 1972, and me in 1982.</p><p>This doesn&rsquo;t mean I think <em>Almost Famous </em>is a perfect movie; once a critic, always a critic, and its candy-colored portrait of teenage groupies sidesteps some very harsh truths about the way young women were too often treated on the &rsquo;70s rock scene, as recent revelations about Joan Jett&rsquo;s first band the Runaways sadly attest. But what I love about the movie I love very much indeed, and much of that can be seen in the series of articles I wrote for <em>The Chicago Sun-Times </em>after a visit to the set shortly before the film&rsquo;s release 15 years ago in September.</p><p>Here are those articles from 2000. See you tomorrow, and remember: <em>You ARE home!</em></p><blockquote><p><strong>As Crowe flies</strong></p><p><strong><em>The Chicago Sun-Times, September 3, 2000</em></strong></p><p><strong>BY JIM DeROGATIS pop music critic </strong></p><p>LOS ANGELES&mdash;As I arrive in an editing studio on the Fox lot in Hollywood, the beautiful, melancholy sounds of &ldquo;The Rain Song&rdquo; by Led Zeppelin are blasting on the soundtrack. The dramatic strum of Jimmy Page&rsquo;s guitar merges perfectly with the image onscreen of actor Patrick Fugit (portraying William Miller, a.k.a. the young Cameron Crowe) collapsing on his bed, exhausted.</p><p>The scene shifts to Fairuza Balk, one of a gang of groupies known as &ldquo;Band Aids.&rdquo; The music swells majestically as she tosses her long black hair. It&rsquo;s a key point near the end of <em>Almost Famous</em>, Crowe&rsquo;s new film, and Balk is having a conversation with Billy Crudup, the actor who plays Russell Hammond, the vainglorious leader of a fictional &rsquo;70s rock band called Stillwater.</p><p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t even know what it is to be a fan,&rdquo; Balk says. &ldquo;To truly love some little piece of music so much that it hurts.&rdquo;</p><p>Crudup stares into the distance, pondering her words. The music sighs, the scene ends, and the technicians stop the film. <em>&ldquo;Niiiice,&rdquo; </em>Crowe says with just a hint of a Southern California surfer accent. &ldquo;Very nice!&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s early July, 10 weeks before the movie&rsquo;s Sept. 15 opening, and it&rsquo;s the last day of six intense weeks of sound editing, the final step before the film&rsquo;s completion. Three recording engineers&mdash;one for dialogue, one for music and one for sound effects&mdash;plus music rights consultant Danny Bramson and numerous assistants busy themselves behind a giant console that looks like the control panel for the starship Enterprise.</p><p>&ldquo;This is the <em>Jerry Maguire</em> crew,&rdquo; Crowe explains. Like ballplayers at the end of the season, they are slightly giddy as they make the final fixes on the eagerly awaited follow-up to Crowe&rsquo;s 1996 hit. The director smiles and lapses into a bit of <em>Blues Brothers</em> shtick. &ldquo;The band got back together!&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The man wanted to keep us apart, but we got together again!&rdquo;</p><p>All of the movies that Crowe has written, or written and directed&mdash;<em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em> (1982), <em>The Wild Life</em> (1984), <em>Say Anything</em> (1989), <em>Singles</em> (1992) and <em>Jerry Maguire</em>&mdash;are marked by their extraordinary use of music, which isn&rsquo;t surprising, given his background as a rock journalist. Now 42, the director was a 15-year-old Catholic high school kid from San Diego when he began covering bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Eagles for <em>Creem</em> and <em>Rolling Stone</em> magazines in 1973. <em>Almost Famous</em> tells the story of his first year on the road.</p><p>Tall, gangly but otherwise inconspicuous, Crowe quietly absorbed everything around him during seven of the headiest years in rock history, then set it down on paper with the enthusiasm of a diehard fan. He employed a similar modus operandi a few years later in 1979 when he re-enrolled in high school, posing as a senior at age 22 to write a book about how &ldquo;the kids&rdquo; really lived.</p><p><em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High </em>became a best seller, which led Crowe to write a screenplay for the film by Amy Heckerling. Though it flopped on release, the movie became a huge hit on video, making stars of cast members such as Sean Penn, who portrayed stoned-out surfer Jeff Spicoli. Crowe&rsquo;s movie career was launched, but it would be a constant struggle to make films the way he wanted, in the warm romantic-comedy tradition of his hero Billy Wilder. (Alfred A. Knopf recently published his book of interviews with the director of <em>The Apartment</em> and <em>Some Like It Hot</em>.)</p><p>&ldquo;The only movie that I&rsquo;ve ever been a part of where the money guys &lsquo;got it&rsquo; was <em>The Wild Life</em>,&rdquo; Crowe says, referring to his least successful film. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m used to them not getting it. They didn&rsquo;t get this movie; they didn&rsquo;t get <em>Jerry Maguire</em>; they definitely didn&rsquo;t get <em>Singles</em>, and <em>Say Anything</em> was barely released. In many ways it&rsquo;s a miracle that we&rsquo;re even sitting here talking about my work in film, because the only stuff that wasn&rsquo;t a battle for me was rock journalism.&rdquo;</p><p>Music clearly remains Crowe&rsquo;s first and truest love. Balk may be doing the talking in the scene described above, but the sentiments are the director&rsquo;s.</p><p>&ldquo;We tried a lot of songs in that scene,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;We really wanted to hit her speech about being a fan&mdash;that feeling about it being <em>your </em>band and loving a song like &lsquo;The Rain Song,&rsquo; which could make you cry on the right occasion. It was all about that speech, and unless you honored that speech by putting the right music behind it, it was just a candidate to be cut, as opposed to the heart of the movie.&rdquo;</p><p>Trivia fact: &ldquo;Nothing Man&rdquo; by Crowe&rsquo;s friends Pearl Jam was the song that Crudup was actually listening to as the scene was filmed. &ldquo;Other directors say you have to be careful with people listening to music on the set because it could look good while you&rsquo;re filming but later it might not sync up,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;I disagree. The look of someone listening to music they love is a unique look, and I wanted to capture that.</p><p>&ldquo;The whole subject matter is just so personal and fascinating to me. Another guy would be interested in car racing or something. It&rsquo;s all about what you&rsquo;re a fan of. It&rsquo;s almost punk-rock, trying to push a personal movie through the mainstream pipeline. You have to have had a movie like <em>Jerry Maguire</em> for people to trust you and let you make a movie like this and cast it the way you want to cast it, without any stars.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Almost Famous</em> was the most difficult of Crowe&rsquo;s films to make because it was the most personal and because he felt an obligation to accurately capture real-life characters like his rock-critic mentor, the late Lester Bangs.</p><p>&ldquo;I was in denial that I was actually doing the movie for a long time,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;I thought there was a real danger of doing a &lsquo;glory of me&rsquo; project. I really have a problem with talking about myself; my taste is for utterly personal stuff that doesn&rsquo;t revel in the glory of ego. It&rsquo;s like the blowhard at the party whose voice is too loud. I really wanted to avoid that, and all my friends will tell you that I tortured them and tortured myself deciding to finally do this.&rdquo;</p><p>As in the past, music provided the way into the project. The director started making &ldquo;road trip tapes&rdquo; full of the music of the era, and those inspired him to start writing. It&rsquo;s a cardinal rule of the movie business that the screenwriter never specifies what music will be playing during a scene, but Crowe ignored this convention even before he started directing his own films. &ldquo;The scripts&mdash;all of them, even <em>Jerry Maguire</em>&mdash;start with the music for me,&rdquo; he says.</p><p><strong>* * * </strong></p><p>Twelve hours later, after lunch at the commissary and a break for a dinner of Indian takeout, the crew is beginning to hit the wall, but Crowe shows no signs of slowing down. Chronically described as &ldquo;boyish&rdquo; (even now, long after his days as a wunderkind), he is constantly pacing behind the mixing console, tossing a baseball in the air, answering questions from his assistants, pausing to check his email on a laptop and talking to this reporter all at once. It&rsquo;s as if he&rsquo;s urging his team toward the finish line by his own display of perpetual motion.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s wife, Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, has arrived in the studio to add a bass line to the score during another key scene, the one where Fugit/Miller bids farewell to the groupie who has stolen his heart, Kate Hudson as Penny Lane. The crew gives the impression that they think things are just fine as they stand (and they&rsquo;d really like to go home), but Crowe is convinced that Wilson&rsquo;s bass will put the scene over the top.</p><p>The couple fell in love during the making of <em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em>, after being set up on a blind date by two mutual friends, rock photographer Neal Preston and Kelly Curtis, the manager of Heart and Pearl Jam. &ldquo;Nancy just didn&rsquo;t know how uncool it was to date a rock writer,&rdquo; Crowe jokes.</p><p>Since then, Wilson has written the scores for all of his films. In between taking care of their young twins, she also penned several of the songs that Stillwater performs, utilizing a style that evokes bluesy mid-&rsquo;70s rockers Bad Company.</p><p>&ldquo;We have the same musical taste, and we speak shorthand,&rdquo; Crowe says of working with his wife. &ldquo;Everybody does these scores that are keyboard-based, because it&rsquo;s easy; you can sample everything on keyboard. I like guitar scores; it sort of suits my writing better. I can walk in the kitchen and say, &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s do a romantic theme on guitar,&rsquo; and she&rsquo;ll say, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll do it later.&rsquo; I&rsquo;ll say, `Now, now, now!&rsquo; and she&rsquo;ll sit down and play something that becomes like the theme of <em>Jerry Maguire</em>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really his voice and his taste in music,&rdquo; Wilson says as she tunes her bass and waits for the engineers to roll the tape. &ldquo;He gets a lot of his inspiration from listening to songs and cutting out pictures&mdash;it&rsquo;s kind of like a collage effect with music, where there&rsquo;s like an ache or something and he hears the song and gets into the story. We&rsquo;re roughly the same age, and we have a really similar background with the stuff we loved in music&mdash;Dylan and the Beach Boys and all that stuff. He was like the only guy I ever met who had such similar taste in music.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Quiet on the set!&rdquo; somebody shouts, and the crew begins rolling the film and recording Wilson&rsquo;s bass part. The musician watches the screen as Fugit runs along an airport concourse, keeping pace with Hudson&rsquo;s plane as it taxies down the runway. The spare but touching score underscores both the connection and the distance between them.</p><p>As their actors&rsquo; eyes meet, the musician hits a rolling bass note that does indeed bring the moment to its emotional climax. The note is still ringing in the air when the engineers stop the film and turn expectantly toward Crowe.</p><p><em>&ldquo;Niiiice!,&rdquo; </em>the director says, even more enthusiastically than before. &ldquo;Very nice!&rdquo;</p><p>Everyone applauds for &ldquo;one-take Wilson,&rdquo; no one clapping louder than Crowe. The last of the sound fixes has been completed, and the director is ready to send his film into the world.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: Great moments by the numbers </strong></p><p>A few years ago, Cameron Crowe was decrying what he called &ldquo;the <em>Batman</em> syndrome&rdquo; of big-budget movies slapping pop songs on the soundtrack as a marketing gimmick, regardless of whether or not the music fit the film.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the case less and less now,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a different generation of filmmakers coming up, and what was once the shining example&mdash;Martin Scorsese and the way he used rock music in his movies&mdash;is now becoming more and more common.&rdquo;</p><p>Every fan of Crowe&rsquo;s work has a favorite music-movie pairing from his films. Here are some of mine, as well as the director&rsquo;s choices, which may be surprising.</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em></p><p>My choice: The scene where Mike Damone lectures Mark &ldquo;Rat&rdquo; Ratner on side two of &ldquo;Led Zeppelin IV&rdquo; as perfect make-out music. Ironically, &ldquo;Kashmir&rdquo; from &ldquo;Physical Graffiti&rdquo; plays on the soundtrack&mdash;at the time, it was the only Zep song that Crowe could get the rights for.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;&lsquo;Somebody&rsquo;s Baby&rsquo; by Jackson Browne&mdash;definitely the scene with &lsquo;Somebody&rsquo;s Baby.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Say Anything</em></p><p>My choice: John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler tries to win Ione Skye&rsquo;s Diane Court by playing Peter Gabriel&rsquo;s &ldquo;In Your Eyes&rdquo; on a boom box held aloft in the rain.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;&lsquo;Within Your Reach&rsquo; [by the Replacements], when Lloyd is packing to leave home. I love that.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Jerry Maguire</em></p><p>My choice: Tom Cruise as Maguire banging the steering wheel in time to Tom Petty&rsquo;s &ldquo;Free Fallin&rsquo;,&rdquo; oblivious to the fact that that&rsquo;s exactly what he&rsquo;s doing.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;It would be [Bruce Springsteen&rsquo;s] &lsquo;Secret Garden,&rsquo; when Rene [Zellweger] runs down the street, and just before that when she sees her little boy kissing Tom. It&rsquo;s one of my favorite moments as a director. I also like &lsquo;Magic Bus&rsquo; [by the Who] at the beginning. It set the tone for the whole movie.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Almost Famous</em></p><p>My choice: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs doing the chicken dance to &ldquo;Search and Destroy&rdquo; by the Stooges.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;Led Zeppelin&rsquo;s &lsquo;That&rsquo;s the Way.&rsquo; And I really like Bloodwyn Pig in this movie. And I liked finding `Your Move&rsquo; [by Yes] for when the kid gets backstage for the first time, because that felt kind of quietly triumphant. But the new one is totally built on the music&mdash;it&rsquo;s all about the music.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: </strong><strong>Bangs served as role model for filmmaker</strong></p><p>A s a precocious 15-year-old, Cameron Crowe began writing about rock music for the alternative weekly <em>The San Diego Door</em>. His editor was Bill Maguire&mdash;the director would pay homage when he chose Jerry Maguire&rsquo;s surname 22 years later&mdash;but his real role model was rock critic Lester Bangs, who grew up in nearby El Cajon, then moved to Detroit to edit <em>Creem</em> magazine.</p><p>Bangs returned home to visit at Christmas 1973. Crowe stood outside watching through the plate-glass window as his hero did an interview on an FM rock station. Afterward, the two went for a hamburger. Bangs had read the clips Crowe sent him, and he rewarded him with an assignment to interview Humble Pie.</p><p>This scene is recounted in <em>Almost Famous</em> as Bangs is portrayed by the red-hot method actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (<em>Boogie Nights</em>, <em>Magnolia</em>, <em>The Talented Mr. Ripley</em>). He is the moral conscience of the movie, the wise sage who tells the young Crowe not to befriend rock stars and to always be &ldquo;honest and unmerciful.&rdquo; (Never mind that Bangs sometimes ignored his own advice.)</p><p>I met Bangs a decade later, two weeks before he died in the spring of 1982, when I was a senior in high school. Crowe read a fanzine article that I wrote about my encounter, and for years, every six months or so, he called and encouraged me to write a book about Bangs&rsquo; life. Eventually I did. (I contributed research material to <em>Almost Famous</em>&mdash;although I was not a paid or credited consultant&mdash;and Crowe was one of more than 200 people interviewed for my book.)</p><p>I asked the director to talk about why Lester Bangs was so important to him and to so many of our fellow rock writers.</p><p>&ldquo;What your book is about, what my movie is about, what Lester Bangs is about is being a fan,&rdquo; Crowe said. The biggest thing was&mdash;with all due respect to Lester&mdash;not to write a movie that was a tribute to Lester, but to make a movie that was a tribute to the way that music makes you feel. If you can get the movie to make you feel like a song you just sort of discovered that you want to hear like eight times in a row, that&rsquo;s the hardest thing. Part of that story is a guy who can grab you by the collars and say, &lsquo;Listen to this!&rsquo; or &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t hang out with rock stars!&rsquo; Of course, you have to embrace the contradictions, because fully half the time I spent with Lester was hanging out with rock stars!</p><p>&ldquo;I was intent on capturing Lester&rsquo;s humor. Hoffman was listening to a tape of your interview with Lester in between takes, but that was the 1982 Lester, and I wanted to make sure he was connected to the &rsquo;73 Lester. The push and pull of our discussions and the performance created a more truthful Lester because you have the humor and you also have the darkness that was obvious just by looking at his body: He seemed gloriously toxic. Hoffman caught the soul, I fought for the humor, and the collaboration surprised us both.</p><p>&ldquo;When [DreamWorks studio chief Steven] Spielberg saw the movie, he called me up&mdash;and believe me, I don&rsquo;t get many calls from Steven Spielberg&mdash;and he said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m gonna quote Lester Bangs to you right now and I&rsquo;m gonna be honest and unmerciful.&rsquo; He told me what he thought of the movie and he was very complimentary and also very laser-like about pace and stuff. I had about 30 people read the part of Lester, including Tom Cruise. In the end I hired the one guy who didn&rsquo;t even read&mdash;he just walked in and started talking about this American Express ad that he&rsquo;d seen with one of his heroes up on a bulletin board, and it was a very Lester-like rant. But I hear Lester laughing in those moments, when I hear Cruise reading his words, or when Steven Spielberg quotes him.</p><p>&ldquo;If the both of us, through our own experiences with Lester, have found a way to start a debate about the state of rock criticism or at least bring attention to this guy via your book or my movie, I say let it all come, because he really deserves it.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: </strong><strong>Screenplays spawn imitators</strong></p><p>From Jeff Spicoli&rsquo;s immortal words, &ldquo;People on &lsquo;ludes should not drive,&rdquo; to Rod Tidwell&rsquo;s timeless exhortation, &ldquo;Show me the money!,&rdquo; Cameron Crowe has shown a remarkable ability for crafting catchphrases and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist.</p><p>For evidence, you need only look at his imitators.</p><p><em>Arli$$</em>, an HBO series about a funny and aggressive sports agent, premiered several months after the success of <em>Jerry Maguire</em>, Crowe&rsquo;s film about a funny and aggressive sports agent. &ldquo;They say <em>Arli$$</em> was in development before they knew about <em>Jerry Maguire</em>, but who knows?&rdquo; Crowe says.</p><p>After Crowe&rsquo;s 1992 movie <em>Singles</em>, Warner Bros. Television asked him to turn the film into a TV series about a group of six 20-something roommates searching for love. Crowe declined. Several months later, ABC&rsquo;s fall schedule was announced, and it included a show called <em>Singles</em> about a group of six 20-something roommates searching for love. Crowe&rsquo;s attorneys moved into action, but the show&rsquo;s producers said it was all a big mistake, and their show was actually <em>Friends</em>.</p><p>When the TV show premiered, several details seemed familiar: There was the gang frolicking in the courtyard, hanging out at a coffeehouse and listening to a goofy musician singing about a cat. &ldquo;I had my lawyer look into it and it turns out that they had changed just enough of the details so that it would be not an easy lawsuit,&rdquo; Crowe says.(A Warner Bros. spokesman declined to comment.)</p><p>Imitation has its upside. How does Crowe feel when a phrase like &ldquo;Show me the money&rdquo; becomes ubiquitous in pop culture?</p><p>&ldquo;I love it,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I loved it when it came up at like the Westminster Dog Show&mdash;that was the most fun thing ever. It&rsquo;s never the one you intend it to be. Every time you try and write a catchphrase, the audience is smarter than that, they can hear the typewriter behind it. It&rsquo;s like every Clint Eastwood catchphrase after `Make my day&rsquo;; the poor guy, you can see him struggling. There&rsquo;s nothing more fun than discovering your own catchphrase, and nothing sadder than getting one forced on you.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Crowe1.jpg" style="width: 100%;" title="On the set of 'Almost Famous' (courtesy Cameron Crowe)." /></div><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/set-%E2%80%98almost-famous%E2%80%99-112458 Obama Visits Kenya http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama pic 3.jpg" title="U.S. President Barack Obama waves after being greeted by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, on his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, July 24, 2015. Obama began his first visit to Kenya as U.S. president Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187008&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong style="font-size: 24px;">Obama Vists Kenya as President</strong></p><p>President Obama heads to Kenya today. This is the first time he will visit his father&rsquo;s home country since he was elected president. The visit is filled with anticipation. There was discussion of making the visit a national holiday. In the town of Funyula in Busia County, which by borders Siaya County, the home area of President Obama&#39;s late father, the radio station there is calling today &ldquo;Obama Day.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll check in with Phylis Nasubo Magina who is in Funyula. She&rsquo;s the managing director of The ABCs of Sex Education, where she leads a team of 49 community educators providing sex education and HIV prevention. Ken Opalo, an assistant professor at Georgetown University also joins us to discuss Obama&rsquo;s visit. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.</p><p><strong>Guests: </strong></p><p>Phylis Nasubo Magina is the Kenya Country Director of The ABCs of Sex Education</p><p>Ken Opalo Ken Opalo is an assistant professor at Georgetown University&rsquo;s School of Foreign Service and a blogger. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187612&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Weekend Passport:</strong></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibit on North Korea, the film Hiroshima Mon Amor and Bomba Estereo: Album Release Show</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi is co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p>Alice Wielinga is a participating artist in North Korean Perspectives</p><p>Marc Prüst] is curator of North Korean Perspectives<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216188449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Milos Stehlik talks with Omar Sy, star of the film &#39;Samba&#39;</strong></span></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik sits down with Omar Sy, star of the new film &ldquo;Samba.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s the latest film by the team that brought us &ldquo;The Intouchables. &#39;Samba&#39; tells the story of an undocumented kitchen worker who&rsquo;s battling deportation. The movie follows his struggles and budding romance with the immigration case worker who&rsquo;s trying to help him stay in France.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Omar Sy, French actor and comedian, star of the film &ldquo;Samba&rdquo;</p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&rsquo;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 Review: Amy Schumer's Trainwreck http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-amy-schumers-trainwreck-112411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/trainwreck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It-Girl Amy Schumer falls for the rare Manic Pixie Dream Guy Bill Hader in <em>Trainwreck</em>, but will audiences&nbsp;swoon for the Schumer-penned/Judd Apatow-directed film? Hosts Adam Kempenaar and&nbsp;Josh Larsen share their review on the latest episode of <em>Filmspotting</em>.</p></p> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-amy-schumers-trainwreck-112411 Classic of black cinema, 'Cooley High,' celebrates 40th anniversary http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/classic-black-cinema-cooley-high-celebrates-40th-anniversary-112246 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/colleyhigh_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A classic of black cinema celebrated its 40th birthday on June 25.&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&nbsp;showed a slice of urban life rarely seen in &quot;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2011/04/blaxploitation_films_40_years_after_sweet_sweetbacks_baadasssss_song.3.html">blaxploitation</a>&quot; movies of the time. Set in Chicago&#39;s Cabrini-Green housing project, it became a touchstone for filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee.</p><p>The opening credits of&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&nbsp;feature a wide shot of Chicago&#39;s iconic skyline. The camera then pans across high-rise apartments before zooming in on a drab row house. This was the heart of Cabrini-Green, where Rick Stone, who grew up here, got his first acting job four decades ago.</p><p>&quot;See where it says Starbucks?&quot; Stone says. &quot;That&#39;s where we were, right there.&quot; He recalls the day he and his friend Norman were shooting hoops when a white stretch limo pulled up. Inside was one of&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&#39;s producers.</p><p>&quot;He was like, &#39;How would you guys like to be in a movie?&#39; &quot; Stone says. &quot;Man, get the hell out of here. We thought he was jiving... They were looking for two of the toughest gang-bangers around here and come to find out, it was the police that recommended us.&quot;&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&nbsp;is not a documentary &mdash; but the two gang members essentially play themselves. Norman&#39;s character is called Robert, and Stone&#39;s is called...Stone.</p><p>In one scene, the two are shooting dice in the back of a diner when a girl interrupts their game.</p><blockquote><p>Norman: Hey mama, go walk somewhere else.</p><p>Brenda: Why don&#39;t you gamble someplace else?</p><p>Preach: Cause we&#39;re gambling here, sweet thing.</p><p>Brenda: This is a restaurant, not an alley.</p><p>Cochise: Hey, hey keep on stepping baby. If we wanted to be preached to we&#39;d go to church.</p><p>Brenda: Y&#39;all need to go to church.</p><p>Preach: Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah...</p></blockquote><p>The character Preach, played by Glynn Turman, is best friends with basketball star and ladies man Cochise, who&#39;s played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Throughout the film, the pair cuts class, hops on the back of a CTA bus and tries to get to first base with their girlfriends.</p><p>For many viewers, what made&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&nbsp;such a landmark film was its honest depiction of teenage life in the projects. Eric Monte wrote the film based on his time at the real Cooley Vocational High School. Although he&#39;s suffered several strokes in recent years, he remembers it well.</p><p>&quot;We had fun. Even poor, we had fun, fun, fun,&quot; he says.</p><p>But &mdash; spoiler alert &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>&nbsp;takes a dark turn when Stone and Robert convince Preach and Cochise to steal a Cadillac. Afterward, Stone and Robert think the other two snitched on them. Cochise gets killed. Preach finds him lying motionless under the El tracks, and his screams of anguish are drowned out by the trains above.</p><p>Like so much of the movie, Cochise&#39;s death was also drawn from Eric Monte&#39;s life and memories of a friend who died. &quot;It&#39;s hard for me, even now,&quot; he says. &quot;I&#39;m 70 years old, but he was my man. And he died just like that. It was horrible.&quot;</p><p>After that incident, Monte hitchhiked his way out west. He worked on TV shows like&nbsp;<em>Good Times</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>The Jeffersons</em>, living out Preach&#39;s dreams of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter.</p><p><em>&quot;Cooley High</em>&nbsp;has such a strong message of positivity and breaking through barriers and becoming somebody no matter what your circumstances in life may be,&quot; says Jackie Taylor, who played Cochise&#39;s girlfriend in the movie. Taylor used her experience in the movie to launch Chicago&#39;s Black Ensemble Theater, which is still going strong today.</p><p>Rick Stone had a rougher go of it after&nbsp;<em>Cooley High</em>. His friend Norman, who played Robert, was killed in a corner stick-up, and Stone got eight years in prison for armed robbery. Finally, Stone&#39;s old friend Jackie Taylor intervened. &quot;Taylor called that day and said &#39;Ricky, what you doing?&quot; I said &#39;nothing.&#39; And she said, &#39;Come on down to the Black Ensemble Theater. I&#39;ve got something for you.&#39;&quot;</p><p>Taylor gave Stone a job as a janitor. Eventually he started acting again and has now appeared in more than 20 stage productions. He still lives in the area, in new mixed-income housing.</p><p>As for what used to be Cabrini-Green, it looks a lot different these days.</p><p>&quot;I got white neighbors now,&quot; Stone says. &quot;A white guy and his wife knocked on my door, they had a cake and were like &#39;Welcome to the neighborhood!&#39; I didn&#39;t have the heart to tell them that I&#39;d been over here all my life. I was like &#39;Thank you.&#39; &quot;</p><p><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/06/26/417185907/40-years-later-the-cast-of-cooley-high-looks-back">NPR&#39;s Code Switch</a></em></p></p> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/classic-black-cinema-cooley-high-celebrates-40th-anniversary-112246 Review: Pixar's Inside Out http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-pixars-inside-out-112225 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/insideout.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pixar has made heroes out of mute robots, anxious clown fish, a foodie rat and an irritable 80 year-old man. For their next mission, they go into the mind of a child. Is the new film <em>Inside Out </em>a return to form for the once peerless animation studio? <em>Filmspotting</em>&#39;s Josh Larsen and guest host Michael Phillips from the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> share their review.</p></p> Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/review-pixars-inside-out-112225 Kim Jong Un reportedly kills defense chief with missile http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-15/kim-jong-un-reportedly-kills-defense-chief-missile-112039 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP-Ahn%20Young-oon.jpg" title="South Korean men pass by a TV news program showing images published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea's ballistic missile believed to have been launched from underwater and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (AP- Ahn Young-oon)" /></div><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205641964&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Kim Jong Un reportedly kills his defense chief with missile</span></span></p><p>North Korea has reportedly executed &nbsp;Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol by anti-aircraft guns. Reports say he was put to death, in part, because he was disrespectful to North Korea&rsquo;s leader Kim Jong Un, doing things like falling asleep at military events. The reports come from South Korea&rsquo;s intelligence agency, but have not been verified. History professor, Bruce Cumings<em> </em>joins us to discuss the latest news out of North Korea.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p>Bruce Cumings, professor of history at the University of Chicago and author of <em>Parallax Visions: Making Sense of American-East Asian Relations at the End of the Century</em>, <em>The Korean War: A Histor</em>y and <em>North Korea: Another Country, </em>joins us to discuss the latest news out of North Korea.</p><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205642483&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Milos Stehlik on opening night of Cannes film festival</span></span></p><p>Film Contributor, Milos Stehlik, reports from the Cannes International Film Festival. He&rsquo;ll tell us about the latest happenings, &nbsp;including a festival ban on celebrity selfies, the Auschwitz-themed movie <em>Son of Saul</em> by first-time director Laszlo Nemes and of course, he&rsquo;ll tell us why he hated the <em>Mad Max</em> reboot.</p><p><strong>Guest: </strong></p><p>Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205642992&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Weekend Passport: &#39;Tasso&#39;s Journey&#39; A Greek love story</span></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. &nbsp;This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about a book reading at the National Hellenic Museum that takes us back to Greece during World War II.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi, WBEZ contributor and co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p><a href="http://seasonsofsun.com/">Paula Burzawa</a>, author of the book, <em>Tasso&#39;s Journey, A Novel</em>.</p></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 13:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-15/kim-jong-un-reportedly-kills-defense-chief-missile-112039 Spike Lee defends 'Chiraq' title for movie about Chicago http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/spike.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Filmmaker Spike Lee says people judging his new Chicago movie from afar &ldquo;don&rsquo;t know what the hell they&rsquo;re talking about.&rdquo;</p><p>Controversy has swirled around Lee&rsquo;s film &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA4YUC4GOhQ">slang term</a> for Chicago violence. Flanked by dozens of residents who&rsquo;ve lost loved ones to gun violence, Lee addressed those concerns on Thursday at St. Sabina Catholic Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of things have been said about this film by people who know nothing about the film. A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film, again, know nothing about the film,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;People act like they&rsquo;ve never seen none of my films, like I got pulled off the street. I&rsquo;ve been doing this since 1986. In fact, everything I&rsquo;ve done has led up to this film.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee didn&rsquo;t take questions or give details about the film, which reportedly is a <a href="http://www.screendaily.com/im-global-cannes-bound-with-chiraq/5087677.article#.VVCuC8l-vXM.twitter">musical </a>that riffs off of a Greek tragicomedy. While the city is often perceived as the national posterchild for violence, Lee said the story is bigger than Chicago because it&rsquo;s about violence in America.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/04/29/402971445/residents-of-troubled-chicago-neighborhood-wary-of-spike-lee-s-chiraq">Much of the criticism</a> is directed at the name &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; which combines parts of the names Chicago and violence-torn Iraq. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told the director that it was unfair to the people in the Englewood neighborhood where the film takes place.</p><p>But Lee said that it&#39;s an artist&#39;s job to hold a mirror up to what is happening in the world without fear in order to tell the truth.</p><p>&quot;This is not a joke. This is not a game,&quot; Lee said. &quot;This is real life and death and that&#39;s the way we&#39;re going to approach this.&quot;</p><p>He noted that 14 people were shot overnight in Chicago, and three of them were killed.</p><p>One of the parents standing alongside Lee was Sarah Turner, whose 42-year-old son, Michael, was shot four times in the back in 2013. No one was ever arrested in the killing.</p><p>She said the movie title &quot;Chiraq&quot; was appropriate.</p><p>&quot;Because it is what it is; it&#39;s a war zone,&quot; she said. &quot;You can&#39;t feel comfortable all over and even in your own homes. Every time you turn on the news somebody&#39;s being shot. Babies are being shot right in their own homes.&quot;</p><p>Father Michael Pfleger, the priest of St. Sabina, has been a staunch supporter of Lee and last weekend allowed auditions for movie extras at his parish.</p><p>Actor John Cusack, a Chicago native appearing in the upcoming movie, said art must be courageous.</p><p>&ldquo;There really is no controversy around this film except for a bit of manufactured political controversy. A few people say it&rsquo;s controversial and then the press repeats it. But controversial to whom?&rdquo; Cusack said. &ldquo;I am 100 percent sure that the great city of Chicago can survive a film of conscience just as it did <em>Transformers</em>. I love my city Chicago and would never do anything to hurt it.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee recalled receiving similar criticism in 1989 when he released <em>Do the Right Thing </em>about race in urban America.</p><p>&ldquo;There were people who said this film would cause riots all across America. And black people are going run amok. People wrote that this film would stop David Dinkins from being the first African-American mayor of New York. But those people ended up on the wrong side of history,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>He thinks the same thing will happen with his latest film set in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;They are going to look stupid and be on the wrong side of history. We&rsquo;re here for peace,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>Filming is expected to begin this month.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>.&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Thu, 14 May 2015 13:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 Thousands try for role in 'Chiraq' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/thousands-try-role-chiraq-112009 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 10.30.55 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Auditions for a Spike Lee movie about violence on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side inspired thousands of people to stand in line in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on a chilly, gray Saturday.<br /><br />Spike Lee&rsquo;s film, called &lsquo;Chiraq,&rsquo; has garnered criticism from politicians and others who think the term reflects poorly on the city.<br /><br />But as aspiring cast members stood for hours in line outside St. Sabina Academy, most said they didn&rsquo;t see a problem with the name of the film.<br /><br />The problem, they say, is that the South and West sides of Chicago really are like war zones.<br /><br />Many expressed hope that the movie and its title would bring much-needed attention to the less affluent parts of the city.<br /><br />More than 2,500 people had gone through the audition process by about 2 p.m., standing for pictures and leaving their contact information.<br /><br />&ldquo;I knew there&rsquo;d be a lot,&rdquo; said Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor at St. Sabina. &ldquo;But I didn&rsquo;t know there&rsquo;d be this many.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pfleger said by the end of the day, he expected to see more than 4,000 people.<br /><br />The casting call had asked for people of all ethnicities from age 7 to 75.<br /><br />&ldquo;Grandmas and gang members, all the same, in line,&rdquo; Pfleger said.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been great. It&rsquo;s been a very powerful, very positive thing here at 78th and Racine. I mean, when&rsquo;s the last time we ever heard a casting call for a movie being held in the<br />heart of the black community?&rdquo;<br /><br />Pfleger says he personally doesn&rsquo;t see a problem with Spike Lee calling the movie &lsquo;Chiraq.&rsquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;I think Spike is a good brother, I think he&rsquo;s a conscientious brother, and I think people that are here say they want to be connected with Spike Lee.&rdquo;<br /><br />Filming is expected to begin later this month.</p></p> Sun, 10 May 2015 10:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/thousands-try-role-chiraq-112009 Orson Welles Centennial Festival http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" centenary="" class="image-original_image" orson="" span="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Orson%20Wells%20Color%20Old%20620.jpg" title="Portrait of actor and movie director Orson Welles during a press conference in Paris, Feb. 22, 1982. M. Welles is in France to receive the “Legion of Honor”, highest French distinction. (AP Photo/Jacques Langevin)" welles="" /><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204555716&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Orson Welles Centennial Celebration</strong></span></span></p><p><span>A Chicago-area celebration of the centenary of Orson Welles takes place throughout the month of May in Woodstock, Illinois, where Welles spent his formative years. The Orson Welles Centennial Festival begins tonight, Friday May 8</span>th, with a screening of a new documentary by Chuck Workman, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles. Film contributor, Milos Stehlik, spoke with film critic and Welles scholar, Jonathan Rosenbaum, about Orson Welles and his legacy.</p><p><strong>Guest Host: </strong></p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ film contributor and director of <a href="http://www.facets.org/">Facets MultiMedia</a></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-b500-26f7-c379bee73768"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-22a0-72de-434fc78282e5">Jonathan Rosenbaum</span> is a film critic, <a href="http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/">blogger</a> and scholar on Orson Welles. He&#39;s the author of the book <em>Discovering Orson Welles</em> and&nbsp; co-author of the edited volume <em>This is Orson Welles</em>.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>EVENT:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3468-22f9-b51d-fe6955b815f0">Jonathan Rosenbaum will appear the <a href="http://www.welleswoodstock.com">Orson Welles Centennial Festival</a></p><p dir="ltr">May 8 - May 23</p><p>Woodstock, IL at various locations</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204556960&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>65th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration</span></span></strong></p><p>The greatest peacemaking institution of the last century is arguably the European Union. May 9th marks the 65<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the <a href="http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration/index_en.htm">Schuman Declaration</a>. At the time, Robert Schuman was France&rsquo;s foreign minister. His declaration&rsquo;s aim was to make war between European states impossible as stated in the declaration&rsquo;s opening line, &ldquo;World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll celebrate the peacemaking power of the EU and discuss threats to its future.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-83b38682-345b-b0a1-894f-52219bd70430"><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/aaronfreemansite/Home?previewAsViewer=1">Aaron Freeman</a> is a WBEZ contributor, artist-in-residence at the Chicago Council on Science &amp; Technology&nbsp;and self-declared Schuman declaration enthusiast</p><p dir="ltr">John McCormick is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics at Indiana University and author of the book <em><a href="http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=581141">Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union</a></em></p><p><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3457-1a94-0e03-9a178a014368"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204558557&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Weekend Passport:</span> Russian Music and Ballet, Middle East Poetry and Travel the globe frugally</span></span></strong></p><p><span>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll recommend a concert that blends Russian folk music with classical and electronic music, a poetry festival featuring Iraqi and other Middle Eastern poets and we&rsquo;ll find out how to travel the globe, on $50 a day.</span></p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Narimon Safavi, WBEZ contributor and co-founder of <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/">Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</a></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3460-45e5-9d3a-b74da4fb4be2">Matt Kepnes is author of </span>the book <em>How to Travel the World on $50 a Day </em>and editor of the &#39;<a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/">Nomadic Matt</a>&#39;, travel blog</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 May 2015 11:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 Worldview: War in Ukraine Could Escalate http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ukraine%20cms_0.JPG" title="Ukrainian tank at frontline near Mariupol in Feb 2015 (Photo by Askold Krushelnycky)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476188&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Ukraine/Russia Hostilities Could Soon Escalate</span></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Journalist Askold Krushelnycky has covered Russia and Ukraine for decades - from accompanying mujahedin groups as they fought in the Soviet-Afghan war to watching Russian troops land in Crimea. Krushelnycky was recently embedded with Ukraine&rsquo;s 37th Mechanized Infantry Battalion fighting in the port city of Mariupol. He&rsquo;s in Chicago to talk about what he&rsquo;s witnessed in the current standoff between Ukraine and Russia. And Krushelnycky will tell us what he believes are the chances of more major military action in Ukraine in the coming months.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Guest:</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Askold Krushelnycky is an independent journalist, formerly correspondent for the Sunday Times and editor of the Kyiv Post</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong><em>EVENT: </em></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="http://uima-chicago.org/on-the-battlefields-of-ukraine-life-with-a-volunteer-battalion/">On the battlefields of Ukraine: life with a volunteer battalion Journalist - Askold Krushelnycky</a></em></div><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Saturday, May 2nd at 6pm, </span></em><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">2320 W Chicago Ave.</span></em><em style="line-height: 1.2;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Cambria; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476977&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></span></em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Milos Stehlik Talks with Ivo Felt about the Estonian film &#39;Tangerines&#39;</span></span></p><p><em>Tangerines(Mandariinid)</em> is set in 1992, just as the Soviet Union was breaking apart and tensions flared between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists. The film tells of two soldiers, from opposing sides. Film contributor Milos Stehlik and the film&#39;s producer, Ivo Felt, discuss the film.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em>Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</em></p><p><em>Ivo Felt, producer of the film Tangerines (Mandariinid) </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203478829&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Weekend Passport: Poesia en Abril and Chicago Asian-American Author Readings</span></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. On this literary edition of weekend passport we&rsquo;ll tell you about a Spanish language poetry festival and a celebration of Asian American writers.</p><p><strong><span>Guests:</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Noah Cruikshank (Crook-shank) is the Marketing Manager at Open Books and the Board President of the Chicago Writers Conference</span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Vu Tran (Voo Tran) is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago and author of the upcoming novel </span>Dragonfish.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Irizelma Robles Alvarez is a Puerto Rican poet, essayist and anthropologist. </span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><em><span>EVENTS:</span></em></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1128-4c24-8c24-edb2b0f5092b">1) Vu Tran will participate in r</span>eadings with Chicago-based Asian American authors Nami Mun, and Alec Nevala-Lee.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1129-3412-0143-d9c60db76c05">Friday, May 1st, 6 pm, Open Books River North, 213 W. Institute Place, </span>Event co-organized by Open Books and the Chicago Writers Conference</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>2) Irizelma Robles Alvarez will perform as part of the Poetry Foundation&rsquo;s Poesia en Abril event.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Friday, May 1st at Comfort Station in Logan Square (there are also readings and events on Saturday)</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976