The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Different Media, Different Message

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 18, 2004 4:45PM

Lately it seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some kind of film fest in the city. And that’s the way it should be. The embarrassment of riches continues this week with the Select Media Festival which runs through the end of this week at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

This is the third year for the Select Media Festival which seeks to “showcase how technology, politics and media intersect.” With a simultaneous art installation at the Heaven Gallery on North Milwaukee (complete with video games!), the film portion of the fest combines video programs, computer animation, and documentaries to focus on the “little utopias” that artists create. Most of the films this (election) year deal with the forces that shape our democracy, Still from Liberty Bound courtesy of the SMF websitecivil liberties, and mainstream media coverage. While filmmakers like Michael Moore and Errol Morris are often expected to give us the antidote to the party line, curator Ed Marszewski believes the SMF demonstrates that anyone can create “an alternative to the monoculture” through art. (Don’t we all make up our culture? And, if so, doesn’t that make the Select Media Festival part of the very monoculture it seeks to subvert? As Neo would say: “Whoa.”)

The SMF continues in its full insurgent glory through Friday October 22nd. Tickets are $9 for the non-Film Center/non-School of the Art Institute affiliated but a $20 festival pass gets you admission to all festival events as well as a DVD compilation of short films including a video by local trip-hop band TRS-80.