Chicago-made short film "Tranheist" will aim to show personal side of being transgender

“She told me what it was like being a trans woman.” Filmmaker Maureen Maundu, 32, was talking to me the other day about Lila Star, the lead actress in Maundu’s upcoming short film, “Tranheist.” “Lila’s great.” Maundu said. “She completely understood who Morgan was.” Morgan is the film’s lead character, a transexual woman desperate for reassignment... Read more »

Chicago Autumn/Winter (poem)

Chicago slides away from the sun during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Chicagoans think about the work that they’ve done during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Chicagoans hold each other tighter during the autumn and the winter months of the year   Their childhoods look... Read more »

September Poem

You’re miles away but you are coming home   Today’s a grey day but you are coming home   You know my ways but still you’re coming home   I miss your ways but you are coming home   A quiet hooray because you are coming home   A quiet hooray because you are coming... Read more »
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Notes (poem)

Sweet, high notes in a tree behind me as I jogged by on a Spring morning.   A quick note, then a longer one.   Later, in the shower, the sounds of a symphony sing to me from a laptop speaker.   Quick notes, followed by longer ones.   The world is filled with patterns... Read more »

Tour (poem)

The bodies of my mother and father have broken down by now, I am sure. They are becoming part of the Earth, part of the world. My mother, with her high forehead, and her wide smile. My father, with his close eyes, and his big heart.   They’re sailing around the sun with us, and... Read more »

"Stepping Out," starring Liza Minnelli, is a song-and-dance delight from 1991

“Stepping Out,” starring Liza Minnelli, may be the kind of movie you’re a bit ashamed of for loving. It’s an old-fashioned “let’s-put-on-a-show” musical, including plenty of singing and dancing. Here’s the story: Mavis Turner, played by Minnelli, is a dancer who once appeared on Broadway, mostly in choruses. Several years before the film’s opening, in... Read more »
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Woody Allen's new film, "Wonder Wheel," is a thoughtful, dramatic delight

The new film written and directed by Woody Allen, “Wonder Wheel,” is a  delight. It’s filled with full-bodied, real characters, and great themes. Colorful and creative,  it perks along with the kind of syncopated rhythm (and jazz music) that seems just right for its Coney Island, New York, setting in the 1950’s. The 82-year old Allen was... Read more »

New Joni Mitchell biography is exhaustive, excellent, and hits right bittersweet note

David Yaffe’s excellent new Joni Mitchell biography, “Reckless Daughter,” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), hits the right bittersweet note about the iconic singer-songwriter: she’s a flawed human being (like all of us), of amazing gifts. Mitchell, of course, is the tall blonde musician (and visual artist) from the western Canadian province of Alberta who came to... Read more »

Untitled (two poems)

Untitled   You roll up to me like a wave from the sky You’re full of promise and fruit Like a child smiling in his rain boots   Come with me and we’ll roll across the stones All water and love     Untitled   Sun sparks jiving electric   When we’re all gone there... Read more »
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Chicago independent film "Lakeshore Drive" gives a short, haunting ride along the iconic roadway

On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, a new, short independent film called “Lakeshore Drive” premiered at Chicago’s venerable 400 Theater, 6746 N. Sheridan Rd., in the city’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Directed by 33-year old Peter Bowse — who lives just a few blocks north of the 400 — the film, described as “neo-noir” in a press... Read more »