Friday 1/4 - Thursday 1/10
4 FRIDAY "Notice: Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success." So supposedly read Sir Ernest Shackleton's ad in a 1913 London newspaper. In August of the following year Shackleton and 27 crewmen set out on the wooden sailing ship Endurance to attempt the first ever land crossing of Antarctica. Five months into the expedition, and one day's sail from land, the Endurance became trapped in pack ice. Ten months later the ship, crushed by the pressure of the ice, sank, leaving the men stranded in lifeboats and on the ice floes and islands of the Weddell Sea for another ten months. Among the crew (all of whom survived) was Australian photographer and cinematographer Frank Hurley, whose still photos and 35-millimeter footage of the expedition--including footage of the breakup of the Endurance--along with diary accounts by the sailors, are the basis of documentary filmmaker George Butler's feature The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, which opens today at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport (773-871-6604). Tickets are $8; see Section Two for show times.
5 SATURDAY Mike Schratt is convinced the U.S. government possesses technology that would halt aging, allow travel at the speed of light, and get you from Chicago to LA and back for around 11 cents. But, in thrall to the oil industry, the government won't make the technology public. Electromagnetic propulsion, which Schratt calls the "Holy Grail of the Air Force," was developed with our tax dollars, and therefore, Schratt believes, we have the right to know about it. In an effort to get the word out, he'll give a one-hour "graphic rich" slide presentation on fuel-free travel tonight at 8 at the College of Complexes' meeting number 2,537, Man-made UFOs--America's Secret Air Force Revealed. It's at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln (312-326-2120). Tuition is $3, and a food or drink purchase is required.
6 SUNDAY In Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt, Joseph Cotten stars as the suave serial murderer Uncle Charlie who returns to his hometown to visit his sister's family and is found out by his suspicious niece (Teresa Wright). Reader critic Dave Kehr said that in the work's "discovery of darkness within the heart of small-town America, [it] remains one of his most harrowing films, a peek behind the facade of security that reveals loneliness, despair, and death." The Gene Siskel Film Center started a monthlong Hitchcock series on Friday. Shadow of a Doubt runs today and Thursday at 6 at 164 N. State. Admission is $8; call 312-846-2800 for more.
7 MONDAY Since 1987 the Zygon Center for Religion and Science has invited scientists, biblical scholars, and theologians to tell their versions of the story of life's origins in a free lecture series entitled The Epic of Creation. Tonight's installment, the first in this year's series, brings University of Chicago professors Michael Turner and Donald York to the podium to give the cosmologist's and astronomer's perspectives--starting, of course, with the big bang. The series runs Monday nights from 7 to 10 through March 11 at the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th. Call 773-256-0670 for more information.
8 TUESDAY Doors cofounder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek's first novel, The Poet in Exile, begins with a rock organist named Roy receiving a cryptic postcard signed "J." from an island in the South Seas. Roy receives another, then another, and begins to suspect that Jordan, his old band's iconic, Dionysian front man, may not be buried in that Paris grave after all. What would the Lizard King be doing if he were alive and in hiding today? Roy flies off to a small island in the Indian Ocean and discovers...well, you gotta read the book, which Manzarek will discuss and sign at 12:30 today at Borders Books & Music, 150 N. State. It's free; call 312-606-0750 for more information.
9 WEDNESDAY "September 11 moved Americans to want to know who Arab-Americans are," says Ray Hanania, journalist, humorist, and author of the 1996 book I'm Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing Up Arab in America. "Before September 11 you could yell about this stuff on Michigan Avenue and nobody'd even look at you." That, he says, is the silver lining. But he worries that since September 11 fanaticism has begun calling the shots, and he cites Ariel Sharon's recent crackdown--which Hanania believes plays directly into the hands of extremists--as an example. Tonight Hanania, along with writer and media watchdog Ali Abunimah, novelist Rosellen Brown, and writer Olivia Maciel, will participate in a panel discussion called Just Infinite Connection: An Open Dialogue on 9/11/01 at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (773-227-6117). There will also be a performance by poetry group Kuumba Lynx. It starts at 7:30 and costs $5, $3 for students and seniors.
Two summers ago, School of the Art Institute professor Laurie Palmer began investigating a three-and-a-half-acre patch of lakefront meadow just south of Navy Pier that she'd passed by for years, and found that no one seemed to know who owned the land. After digging around some, Palmer discovered that in 1987 Harold Washington had dedicated the land as a park in honor of Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. The park never got built, and the ongoing controversy over the land's fate was covered in the Reader last October. Palmer will discuss her Three Acres on the Lake: DuSable Park Proposal Project, an open request for plans for a future DuSable Park, at today's installment of the Chicago Architecture Foundation's free Wednesday "Lunchtime Lectures" series. It begins at 12:15 in the foundation's lecture hall in the Santa Fe Building, 224 S. Michigan (312-922-3432, ext. 239).
10 THURSDAY Whether Greek or Egyptian, noblewoman, virtuous woman, or femme fatale, depictions of Cleopatra, says local art historian Michelle Paluch-Mishur, tell us more about the culture doing the depicting than about the warrior queen herself. In a slide lecture, Cleopatra, Paluch-Mishur will tell the stories of her life, demise, and image as they've been spun through the centuries, from the masculine portraits found on ancient coins to the vampish Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film. It's at 7 PM at the Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton in Skokie (847-673-7774). Free tickets will be distributed 30 minutes prior to the start of the program.