In The Year Two-Thou-Saaaand...and Thirty-Five

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 18, 2005 5:58PM

Chicagoist seems to be rapidly developing a weekly feature here Is your office still standing? called “Cool Pictures From John.” Last week it was the Sun-Times Demolition Derby and this week it’s a series of screencaps from the recently-released-on-DVD I, Robot. The movie takes place in Chicago in the year 2035. Apparently, this city’s in for quite the architectural boom over the next generation, the west side in particular (guess there’s a reason for that Circle Line after all!). Ah filmmaking: the great artistic balance sheet! Spending big on art direction? Be sure to scrimp on storyline and plot!

Further proof that the world of the future will look more like A.I than The Jetsons can be found in the Art Institute’s Chicago Architecture: Ten Visions exhibit. Chicagoist was a few credits short of a minor in urban planning so all the talk of “tectonic and environmental potential” and “preexisting urban fabric” makes us want to pull out our Tinker Toys or Lincoln Logs and see if we can make them work with our old CAD programs. We also dug the (un?)intentional irony in some of the works especially Jeanne Gang’s house-of-cards-style exploration of the Cubs and Sox and Katerina Ray’s Ellis-Island-meets-Honey-I-Blew-Up-The-Baby commentary on the immigrant experience.

Getting back to movies for a moment, did anyone else see the love letter to The Blues Brothers that appeared in the Chicago Journal a couple weeks ago? Its misty water-colored memories of that film called to mind the first thought we had when the city installed those concrete pylons in Daley Plaza: “They’d never be able to film that scene from The Blues Brothers here now” (yes, sometimes our priorities are out of whack). This got us thinking about what other classic Chicago movie locations look like now that time and tide have had their way. Maybe if the weather gets out of the single digits we’ll traipse around the city for a photo scavenger hunt. Anybody up for a trip to Joliet?

Image: ascentstage.com