Four Lions There is a cabal of British comedy writers who have been involved in writing some of the most memorable and important comedies of the last 20 years: Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, and Chris Morris. I recently caught up with a terrific movie penned by Morris called Four Lions.
Morris, who is a director of Iannucci's upcoming HBO series Veep, boldly goes where very few have gone before—jihadist comedy. Four Lions is about the struggle of radicalized Muslim youth in Sheffield, England, and the follies that ensue in their attempt to change the cultural hierarchy. The group, led by Omar (Riz Ahmed), struggles both intellectually and physically in their attempt for political attention and self-realization.
It's biting, cringe-worthy comedy that flies in the face of political correctness and makes us reexamine our relationships with the culturally disaffected. It's now available via Netflix streaming.
Mark Geary, the Lincoln Lodge producer, is in fits of laughter over:
Blewt! Productions We Chicagoans love to define the entertainment in our city in terms of the behemoths that dominate both the press and the water cooler chat, but I'd like to pitch the case for the small independent producers that make the entertainment landscape so vibrant and interesting. Case in point: Blewt! Productions.
They never fail on their mission to "create comedy to delight and confuse" and I am constantly in awe of the originality and innovation of whatever new project Blewt! creates. Their latest venture—literally drawing cats to sell by mail order—sees Blewt! founder Steve Gadlin appearing on ABC's Shark Tank on January 27, but it's their hilarious live shows that really are the jewel in the crown. These guys are a conveyor belt of consistently new and hilarious ideas.
Kim Knoll, Knoed cofounder, is drawn to:
Lillstreet Art Center The Lillstreet Art Center in Ravenswood is my favorite place to take an art class. Whether you like making jewelry, pottery, prints, or textiles, they offer classes for just about any interest, age, or skill level. Classes run between five to ten weeks long and are usually held once a week. Their studios are full of character, and the people are friendly but leave you alone to do your thing.
I look forward to going there after being in front of a computer all day—it's somewhat therapeutic to make something with my hands and get lost in a world of my own. I also like to go in just to browse their gallery or grab a bite to eat at the First Slice cafe inside. It's right next to the Montrose Brown Line stop.