South Loop's black comedy

Tale of influential club’s rise and fall highlights Siskel Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival


The Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video has been rolling full strength at the Gene Siskel Film Center all month. Now in its 17th year, the festival has grown into one of the country's premiere showcases for independent feature-length films, shorts and documentaries that celebrate and illuminate the black experience.
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Adler Planetarium delivers with new space experience

Out of this world


Wow. This tiny word sums up the huge out-of-this-world experience at Adler Planetarium's new Deep Space Adventure show. Using advanced digital technology, real scientific data collected from space and storytelling that holds even short attention spans, if Adler’s new movie was any more real you'd actually feel the blast from the explosion as a star is torn apart by a black hole.
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Lollapalooza 2011: More space means more fun

At least for one day, fest satisfied in Grant Park


Another Lollapalooza is done. And of the Lollapaloozas that this reporter has covered since the once-roaming festival set stakes in Grant Park, this year's was the most enjoyable. True.
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Lollapalooza memories

Nostalgia (and hundreds of thousands of fans) set to pack Grant Park


Lollapalooza is a sell-out. For the first time since setting up in Grant Park in 2005, the music festival has sold out all advance tickets for its three-day run. What does this mean for folks attending the fest and Chicagoans in general? People. Lots of people. Everywhere.
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Anthony's Italian Ice in Lake View fixes up summery treats in house

Making it cool


Michael Mednick, 44, acquired Anthony's in 1993 when it was located on the corner of West Armitage Avenue and North Bissell Street in Lincoln Park. Back then, Anthony’s served up Mama Tisch's Italian Ice. A novice in the art of Italian ice, Mednick says he "learned on the fly," and was determined to produce his own.

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New book chronicles health care at Cook County Hospital

Matters of life and death


David Ansell is an intense man. He believes accessibility to quality health care is a moral issue and he ties the inequities of the multi-tiered American system to racism and poverty. His recently released book, County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital, is a memoir of the events that shaped him as a physician.
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Pitchfork remains people's fest even as buzz has grown

A Festivus for the rest of us


Pitchfork Music Festival turns 7 this year, and though it's suffered criticism from some purists as having lost its credentials as the perfect alternative festival, it still retains its trademark independent vibe.
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Steppenwolf's 'Middletown' probes the underside of the American dream

A small town with big problems


There's one in every state: a middle town. A small 'burb situated directly between larger cities; a midpoint between two greater actions whose nature is an extension of its geography, where average is the norm and complacency is accepted, if not striven for.
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Good films emerge in this Chicago Park District's Movies in the Parks summer lineup

Cinema under the stars


When the Chicago Park District announced the programming for this summer's Movies in the Parks series, the criticisms from Chicago's cinephile community were audible for miles. The selections were panned as pedestrian, unfocused, lacking originality, and just plain boring.
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That joke isn't funny anymore


We've all received them: Emails from friends, co-workers, classmates or family members with subject lines screaming, "THIS IS THE FUNNIEST THING EVER!!" Opening the message usually reveals a news story detailing some tragic folly that has befallen someone due to his or her own misguided, thoughtless, and often downright stupid, actions.
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