Friday 8/17 - thursday 8/23
17 FRIDAY Six Mexican literary celebrities will sign books at the Little Village Book Fair, which celebrates its 16th anniversary this weekend. Today's lineup includes inspirational author Alex Dey and comedian Eugenio Derbez, who's published three books of his humor. The free fair runs through Sunday; it's from 9 AM to 9 PM each day in the parking lot of Delray Farms at 26th and Spaulding (773-847-3000).
Over 300 movies have been filmed in Chicago since 1989. But things have slowed down markedly in the past couple of years, as filmmakers have taken their cameras and crews to locations with better tax incentives. Tonight a group that includes a unit production manager, a producer, representatives from the Chicago and Illinois film offices, and the Oak Park film liaison will address The Future of the Film Industry in Chicago at a free panel that's part of the Chicago Underground Film Festival. It starts at 5:15 at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln. The festival opened yesterday and runs through Wednesday, August 22; tickets for all screenings are $7. Call 773-327-3456, visit www.cuff.org, or see the complete schedule in Section Two for more information.
"It can be anyone's experience," says Marcel Townsel about the fate of the unnamed protagonist of his new book, Beneath the Silhouetted Rainbow. The self-published, semiautobiographical tale combines poetry and prose and skips around in time from the days of the Middle Passage to the present. Some of the writings date back to 1986; Townsel was experiencing writer's block a year and a half ago when he found an outdated Mac that allowed him to pull up his earlier work. "As I did, I got inspired," he says. He'll read from the book at a release party tonight from 6 to 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. The $7 admission benefits the south side's New Nation Ministries and includes a signed poster and a discount on a copy of the book; call 312-362-9707.
18 SATURDAY Antinuclear activists from around the world will converge on the Chicago area this weekend for a trio of events, starting with the two-day Conference for a Sustainable Energy Future, which will feature workshops on such topics as the transport of radioactive waste, nukes in space, and deregulation and U.S. energy policy. It's today from 9 to 8 and tomorrow from 9 to 12:30 PM at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore. Admission to the conference is $7. When that's over, participants can move on to the Great Lakes Action Camp, a week of skill-building workshops and strategizing that runs through next Saturday in Yorkville and includes a demonstration Thursday, August 23, at Exelon's Dresden nuclear complex in Morris. Admission to the camp is $25; $30 covers both the camp and the conference. Tonight the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service celebrates its 20th anniversary at 8:30 at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. The suggested donation is $20 ($12 for action campers). For more information call 847-869-7650, or visit www.neis.org or www.nirs.org/glac/ glac.htm.
In her self-published book, Nerves of Steel: Bike Messengers in the United States, Rebecca "Lambchop" Reilly offers a history of "messing" (which started in the late 1800s in California) and an inside look at the messenger subcultures in the nine cities where she's worked, including Chicago. Reilly will discuss her book Saturday at 2 at Atomix coffeeshop, 1957 W. Chicago (312-666-2649). It's free.
"Exploring the sphere of electronic language arts" is the theme of this weekend's Geoconference 2, an annual get-together for E-poets from the U.S. and Canada--people who usually communicate via videophone or on-line chat rooms. Tonight's event, Visible Literatures, focuses on poetry and the moving image and will feature videos from the Vancouver Videopoetry Festival and a screening of Mike Hazard's new documentary on Eugene McCarthy, I'm Sorry I Was Right. It starts at 5:30 PM (the conference began yesterday and runs through tomorrow) at the Center Portion, 28501/2 W. Fullerton. A $10 donation is requested. Call 773-395-1638 or visit www.e-poets.net for more information.
19 SUNDAY For the eighth year running, a coalition of antiwar groups--including the 8th Day Center for Justice and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objection--will Say "No" to the Air and Water Show, which they call "the midwest's largest military commercial for recruiting, astronomical budgets, and war making." (The city, on the other hand, dubs it "the oldest and largest free admission air and water exhibition of its kind in the United States.") The protesters will demonstrate and pass out leaflets during the show--9 to 4 Saturday and today--at North Avenue Beach, at the east end of the Lake Shore Drive pedestrian bridge, two blocks north of North Avenue. For more information about the protest call 773-275-9516. For more on the show call 312-744-3370.
20 MONDAY Ravinia's Martin Theatre plays host to an odd fusion of jazz and classical Indian music with tonight's East Meets Jazz concert, which features tabla player Sandip Burman, bassist Victor Bailey, drummer Steve Smith, saxophonist Dave Pietro, and others. The concert starts at 8; the theater is on the festival grounds at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park. Tickets range from $25 to $35; it's $10 to sit on the lawn and listen. Call 847-266-5100 or see www.ravinia.org for tickets and information.
21 TUESDAY The hero of Devin Hansen's first novel, Sponsored By, lives in a flophouse and makes his living by cleaning up roadkill during the day and scrubbing urinals for a large corporation at night. His world is dominated by advertisements--even the clouds bear corporate trademarks--and he and his wife are desperately trying to find a corporate sponsor for their unborn child. Hansen, who lives in western Illinois, will give a free reading tonight at 7 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North (773-342-0910).
22 WEDNESDAY Russian film director Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes Are Flying won a Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1957; two years later he teamed up with the same cinematographer (Sergei Urusevsky) and actress (Tatyana Samoilova) for a follow-up, The Letter Never Sent. The '59 film, about a team of geologists looking for diamonds in Siberia, contains stunning footage of barren landscapes, an ice storm, and a raging forest fire. It'll be screened tonight at 7 and 9 as part of Facets' weeklong series Revolution in the Revolution: The Soviet New Wave of the '60s. It's at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, and tickets are $7. For a complete schedule call 773-281-4114 or visit www.facets.org.
23 THURSDAY These days there are singles events for every type of person--straight, gay, bi, Jewish, trans, classic rocker, art lover, divorcee, astronomy buff, you name it. Now into the mix comes the Anti-Cruelty Society's Let's Pet Together mixers for pet lovers--a good idea, considering that even in my small circle of friends there have been abandonments (of both human and animal) because one half of a couple loves cats and the other does not. Tonight's mixer takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 at Mickey's Snack Bar, 2450 N. Clark. The $30 admission benefits the Anti-Cruelty Society's spay and neuter programs. Call 312-664-8338, ext. 341.