Friday 9/14 - Thursday 9/20
14 FRIDAY The Experimental Film Coalition fell apart a couple of years ago, but its Onion City Film Festival has been resurrected this year by Chicago Filmmakers, which used to provide the venue for the event. This year it boasts 60 works from around the world, including four by San Francisco's Luis Recoder. He'll present two of them--Space and the "live projector performance" At Hand--as part of tonight's opening program, which starts at 7 and also includes work by Maia Cybelle Carpenter, Naomi Uman, Lynne Sachs, Pierre Yves Clouin, and others. It's at Columbia College's Ferguson Hall, 600 S. Michigan. Tickets are $7 and the festival runs through Sunday. Call 773-293-1447 or see the sidebar in Section Two for the complete schedule.
Reader photo contributor Robert Drea's exhibit City of Boxers examines the world of amateur pugilism in the late 1990s, from Park District field houses to the Allstate Arena. The opening reception takes place tonight from 5 to 9, and the show runs through October 27, at Stolen Buick Studio, 1303 W. Chicago. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended; call 312-226-5902.
15 SATURDAY "Perhaps it could be argued that the Monstrous and the Marvelous are all that give both the things of the world, and our capacity to receive them, their original keenness, their primary fire. A monster, preserved at birth in a jar of thick glass and glowing in the fading sunlight of a museum, is all at once infused with poetry, just as a pebble taken up from the path, whose embedded fossil offers the image of an eye, takes on magical intensity. One cannot toss such a thing away." So writes Denver-based surrealist poet, essayist, novelist, and artist Rikki Ducornet in the title essay of her 1999 collection The Monstrous and the Marvelous. Ducornet has authored 15 books (including her recent novel The Fan-Maker's Inquisition), but her biggest claim to fame may be as the putative subject of the Steely Dan song "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number"--Donald Fagen hit on her once at Bard College in the late 60s. She'll give a free lecture called "History: The Monstrous and the Marvelous" today at 3 in the Chicago Authors Room of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4600).
Street-Level Youth Media's annual Street to Street video block party is eight years old, but tonight is the first time the multimedia spectacle will be broadcast live across the nation (via the DISH Network channel 9415; it'll also appear on Channel 19 from 7 to 9 PM). Installations include the return of the popular Girls' Haven video project, which "invites women of all ages to step into a portable, private space, equipped with a video camera, to talk about everything on their minds." The free event takes place tonight from 6 to 10 behind Wells High School, at Augusta and Ashland. Call 773-862-5331 or visit www.street-level.org for more information.
16 SUNDAY "I know for a fact that public outcry and community involvement are the keys to stopping criminals and helping law enforcement do its job," says Elizabeth King, one of the founders of the Black Women's Leadership Roundtable. The grassroots network's efforts to publicize a long string
of sexual assaults at bus stops in south-side and south-suburban neighborhoods recently resulted in the arrest of three men, and the group is now working to find the "schoolgirl fondler" who has been
assaulting south-side students on the street. King will be one of the speakers kicking off today's 5-K Walk Against Rape, which is sponsored by the Chicago Coalition Against Sexual Assault. It starts at 9 at Monroe Harbor (Grant Park, east of Lake Shore Drive). It's free, but pledges are welcome; participants who raise $25 or more receive a commemorative T-shirt. Call 312-663-6303 for more information.
17 MONDAY In 1987, Madison Hobley's wife and son and five of his neighbors died in a fire that police said he set. Hobley, who's now on death row (and whose case John Conroy has covered in the Reader), says he was beaten and suffocated by officers under the authority of former Area Two commander Jon Burge, who was ousted in 1993 amid accusations that he and his subordinates systematically tortured and abused prisoners. Hobley's conviction remains fiercely contested. He'll have an evidentiary hearing today and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty will hold a demonstration on his behalf at 8 AM in front of the Cook County courthouse at 26th and California. On Sunday there will be a benefit concert featuring the reggae band Oversoul at
La Cumbamba, 2311 W. North.
The recommended donation for
the concert is $20, which includes dinner. Call 773-955-4841 or see www.nodeathpenalty.org for more.
18 TUESDAY Since welfare reform was enacted in 1996, Illinois caseloads have declined by more than half. "But it hasn't meant reductions in poverty," says Jenny Wittner, a senior policy associate with Women Employed. Wittner says the primary reason people stay poor is because the state doesn't provide training to prepare them for better jobs. She'll discuss Welfare Basics: Facts and Strategies today from noon to 1:15 at Women Employed, 111 N. Wabash, suite 1300. It's free; call 312-782-3902 to register.
At press time, Circuit Court judge Richard A. Siebel had not yet decided whether the American Italian Defense Association can proceed with a lawsuit accusing the makers of the HBO show The Sopranos of offending Italian-American dignity (the group's not asking for money, just a jury decision in its favor). Member Dominic DiFrisco, who also sits on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, will lead a free discussion today from noon to 2 called Is "The Sopranos" Off Key? The Unity Month event takes place in the White Oak Room at UIC's Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted (312-413-5078).
19 WEDNESDAY Sixteen years ago, writer Tim Brown and his drummer roommate lived in a 2,400-square-foot loft in the pre-Oprah Randolph market district, then populated mostly by hookers, the homeless, and wild dogs. In 1991 Brown completed a novel based on their experiences. It was picked up by the Evanston-based small press Depth Charge in 1994, which folded before the book came out, and stayed unpublished until this year. Brown will read from and discuss Left of the Loop, which is now available on demand through Xlibris, at a book release party tonight at 7:30 at the Guild Complex, where he'll be joined by Nina Barrett, author of 1998's The Girls: A True Story of Lifelong Friendship. It's at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (773-227-6117); admission is $5, $3 for students and seniors.
20 THURSDAY "I was born on a kibbutz to parents who survived the Holocaust," says Michal Shohat, an Israeli Jew who's general secretary of the Meretz political party. "In those days we kibbutz children played with the Arab children in a nearby village. My father taught me that to be a refugee is a terrible disaster and I should never inflict that upon someone else." Shohat will be joined by Palestinian Rawan Damen, a children's rights activist, and Jean Zaru, a Quaker from Ramallah and a founding member of a Palestinian liberation theology center in Jerusalem, at tonight's Partners for Peace-sponsored lecture and discussion, Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Faiths, One Shared City. It starts at 6:30 with a reception at the Michigan Shores Club, 911 Michigan in Wilmette. Tickets are $30; call 312-726-3860.