Meryl and I hung out, ate some soup and drank some wine while talking about Roxane Gay’s kickass essay collection, Bad Feminist. While discussing this book, we fell into many tangents about past relationships and dogs and humor. That’s the awesomeness of the book— it opens up doors and gets you talking.
This week’s article is a little bittersweet to write, because it is about a production that is close to me. We are taking a look at Waltzing Mechanics’ seventeenth edition of EL Stories: The New Kids in Town. As a member of this particular production, I wanted to shine a light on the wonderfully talented cast and crew that I have had the pleasure to work and learn from.
To give a little history Waltzing Mechanics was founded in 2010 by Thomas Murray, Keely Leonard, and Zachary Florent. The Mechanics work “to create original documentary theatre inspired by real people telling stories about their lives. Using methods of performance ethnography, we facilitate dialogues among our audiences and within our communities.” EL Stories is part of that endeavor, and is exactly what it sounds like: stories about being on the EL Train and the other public transportation around Chicago.
For this interview I sat down with the director of this edition of EL Stories, Rebecca Willett, who provided some insight with her experience on this production. [Read more…]
Andrew Rostan was a film student before he realized that making comics was his horrible destiny, but he’s never shaken his love of cinema. Every two weeks, he’ll opine on either current pictures or important movies from the past.
Thirty days before Christmas, one of this year’s best gifts for the film fan will be released. Criterion Designs is a 300-page coffee table book documenting the art of the Criterion Collection. Since 1984, first on laserdisc and now on DVD and Blu-Ray, Criterion has been responsible for reissuing the greatest films ever made in the best possible formats—they popularized letterboxing, restoration, and commentary tracks.
With all this, any fan will tell you that the hallmark of the collection is its design. World-class illustrators and designers work on each new release to create iconic imagery that, minimalist or elaborate, can tell an entire story in a single frame. (Indeed, Criterion art is now so distinctive that many outstanding parody sites have sprung up that give the label’s treatment to much less-deserving films.) The treat of Criterion Designs is in its presentation of sketches and first drafts, culminating in a gallery of every single cover. It’s an art lover’s dream…
That should also serve to make one go out and watch some of the movies. The Criterion Collection’s presentation, for all its aesthetics, is ultimately packaging—but packaging in the best “form serving content” sense. Last week, I wrote about Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This, and in one episode Longworth discussed how we have so few of the earliest films ever made because producers would simply throw film stock away. The Criterion Collection, in the care it lavishes, is an affirmation that film is not disposable but one of our highest art forms, a dramatic and visual experience like no other that is worth preserving and elevating.
If last week’s post didn’t convince you that this is an absurd year in the NHL, the Nashville Predators’ Twitter account is here to help:
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) November 19, 2014
Yes, the Predators tied their franchise record for most goals scored… against the NHL’s version of the Yankees.
Since I already pulled out the big guns of absurdism last week with Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, I need something different. Still absurd, but maybe a little more joyful. More Marx-Brothers-y. More totally insane-y…
Good ‘Hawks / Bad ‘Hawks
It was so good to watch the ‘Hawks destroy the Dallas Stars on Sunday, for so many reasons. Watching an unlucky-this-season Chicago team pot six goals in a game felt cathartic. Doing it against Dallas was icing on the cake (we’ll come back to my hatred for Dallas later). Listening to Pat Foley rip into Ales Hemsky was the shot of whiskey after the cake. [Read more…]
Welcome to the Addison Recorder‘s football Pick ‘Em column. Each week Alex and a guest writer will predict the outcome of the most intriguing games on the slate. He will try to be as expert as possible, but we make no guarantees for his guests.
This week we are joined by Kevin Triskett, a new contributor to the Recorder whose passion is NCAA basketball. We’re running him through this ringer before he can go further, though.
#15 Arizona at #17 Utah
Bean: Apparently I am really into the race for the Pac-12 South this week. So we start in Salt Lake City! The Wildcats have been the more consistent team this year, but they’re also pretty lucky to be 8-2. Winning via hail marys and last-second field goals will do that. On the other side the Utes have played close games against every conference opponent except Oregon, who waxed them. So this one will be close. My goodwill towards RichRod makes me give the nod to Zona. Wildcats by 1.
Kevin: The Pac-12 South caught my eye this week as well. Aside from the two games with top-25 teams, Oregon needs a strong Championship Game opponent for any hopes of entering the playoffs as the #1 seed. Arizona, to me, has been more lucky than good this season. After watching them struggle past a not-very-good Washington Huskies team last week, I can’t trust the Wildcats on the road against the Utes. Arizona ranks 119th nationally in passing yards allowed per game, and junior quarterback Travis Wilson is good enough to exploit that. (Ed. Note – A RichRod team ranking 119th in a defensive category? I remember that. – Bean) Utes by 7 [Read more…]
-J. Michael Bestul is a writer for the Addison Recorder. Stephanie Ruehl works in a comic book shop. They’re married and have a lot of discussions about comic books and graphic novels. Combine all that into a biweekly feauture and you get “J. & Steph Talk About Comics.”
This time around, J. & Steph discuss the newest addition to the “young adult meets the supernatural” genre. Is that a genre yet? If not, it probably should be at this point. The Wicked & The Divine is an amorous take on the concept, a story of mysteries piled upon mysteries wrapped up in a gorgeous package.
The Wicked & The Divine (vol. 1)
Words by Kieron Gillen, art by Jaime McKelvie, color by Matthew Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles
Synopsis: Every ninety years, twelve gods return to Earth as young people. They are loved, they are hated, and in two years, they are all dead. It’s happening now. It’s happening again.
This is Part One of a five part series covering this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Election. This first part deals with the Golden Era Committee’s ballot, a collection of “candidates whose main contribution to the National Pastime came between 1947 and 1972 – the Golden Era”. (That’s the Hall of Fame’s wording, not mine.) Because I wasn’t around for this particular era of baseball, all I have to go off of are cold hard statistics, which is frightfully dull. Therefore, I turned to the scientific minds of the Recorder to create a time machine, a time machine which has brought back from the past a columnist/man/totally-not-a-gimmick who claims to have witnessed the primes of these respective careers. I give you, for your reading pleasure, Roger A. WASPman.
Roger A. WASPman is a suburban father of four from Springfield. He is an insurance broker with an office on Main Street. (Office hours are 8 am to 4 pm) He enjoys golf, listening to the radio, and watching “Hogan’s Heroes”, and has been a registered Republican since the Eisenhower years. His proudest claim to fame is working his way through college “the right way”, and states that Walter O’Malley is the most demonic man in America next to those damn Kennedys. Enjoy.
Well, hey there, sports! Fancy seeing you all here! This time machine thing sure is swell. Say, how’s Vietnam turn out?
Tell someone that you’re playing a light civilization game that’s really fun, and you might as well tell them there’s a unicorn in your apartment’s laundry room.
One of the defining features of a “civ” or 4X game, whether video or tabletop, is its satisfying depth and heavy long-term planning. Translating that into something which is both strategic and fun in less than two hours seems like a fantastical goal.
Hyperborea hits that goal for me. The more I’ve played it since I picked it up at Gen Con, the more I think this was my favorite takeaway from the con. It’s innovative, beautiful, and fun — while it doesn’t hit all the deep notes that civ games do, it hits many of them in a different and interesting timbre.
This is a guest post by Kevin Triskett, college basketball enthusiast and longtime friend of Meryl’s. Today he gives readers a preview into the NCAA season, which starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. Central.
Most college basketball season previews read like a paint-by-numbers. A short list of one-and-done freshman, accessing Kentucky’s chances of winning the National Championship (or going undefeated if you’re completely disconnected from reality), and an unsurprising list of teams in contention for the Final Four. Those ingredients, though, just wouldn’t do the 2014-2015 season justice. UConn’s surprise run last March, proved again that anything can and will happen in a three week long, single elimination tournament. We enter this college basketball season with less certainty than usual and no clearly dominant team. That adds tremendous intrigue to the early weeks of the season, where stories will take shape, stars will emerge, and front-running teams will test each other in the best regular season in sports. Here’s a quick guide to the teams and storylines you need to follow on the march to Madness. [Read more…]
We’re a little freaked out that it’s almost 2015. The decade is half over! To try and make sense of time passing the Recorder staff is going to write about their favorite stuff from the past 5 years in a few installments between now and the end of the year. This month we’ll geek out about the best games (however our staff defines “games”) that have been played by us or others since 2010. [Read more…]