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Oh The Humanities!

By Scott Smith on Nov 5, 2004 4:30PM

When Chicagoist thinks of Tribune film critic Michael Wilmington, the phrase “prison movies” doesn’t immediately spring to mind. So we were surprised to find out that he’ll be hosting “’Doing Time’ In Film” as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival this year. This year’s theme Magritte's Time Transfixed (get it?) Image: CHF focuses on the notion of time so perhaps Mike hit on the clever pun and just went with it. We just hope he finds time to talk about Caged Heat.

The Chicago Humanities Festival is not another film fest though. It’s an opportunity for a variety of authors, artists, commentators and free-thinkers to discuss topics ranging from architecture, feminism, globalization, philosophy, and yes…film and music. This is CHF’s 15th year so they’ve pulled out all the stops to include local and national smarty-pantses from a variety of disciplines in a two-week long celebration of ideas. Let’s face it: where else are you going to find programs by Neil Gaiman, William Gibson and Chuck D rubbing up against discussions of the Indian policies of Andrew Jackson, the life of Modernist architect Louis Kahn, and the changing face of Pakistan? God, we love this city.

Film geeks will not want to miss Roger Ebert’s interview with Bernado Bertolucci on November 13th, (Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris and The Dreamers will be screened this weekend). And if you don’t get enough Beatles talk from Teri Hemmert on Sunday mornings, she’s co-hosting a presentation on ‘em with Glenn Gass as they explore the first pop band that caught the attention of college professors. But the award for the most intriguing musical presentation goes to Harold In Chicago: an operetta on the life of Harold Washington.

The full schedule can be found at the CHF website. Several discussions have already sold out though the ones above are still available as of this writing. Chicagoist just wishes these kinds of classes had been available when we were trying to fulfill our “humanities” requirements back in undergrad.