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Group Sex, Pets and War

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 22, 2006 8:02PM

Or as we like to call it, just another Saturday night at the Chicagoist offices.

Head on over to Chicago Filmmakers this Saturday at 8:00 and catch Columbia College's Best of Doc, 2006_09_chicagoreels.jpgan evening of documentary short films by CC students. The school's Rabinger Center for the Documentary is an overlooked treasure among college film programs.

Unlike L.A., which is centered on the manufacture of fantasies, we've always thought of Chicago as a quintessentially documentary kind of town. The city has a long tradition of self-examination. It goes back at least as far as semi-documentary literary fiction like Studs Lonigan, The Pit, and The Jungle. Then, courtesy of Nelson Algren, it took on journalistic flavors The Man With The Golden Arm and especially Chicago: City on the Make. No surprise then that great documentary film has thrived here. Director Haskell Wexler took his actors, stuck them into the middle of the 1968 Democratic Convention riots and fashioned his film Medium Cool around them. And the Chicago documentary tradition still lives on at organizations like Kartemquin Films, whose films since 1966 include Hoop Dreams and Stevie.

This is all a rather long-winded way of saying that Chicagoans have some great stories to tell, and judging from Saturday's lineup there should be some interesting stuff. There will be films about polyamory (Paul & Ginger), unwanted animals (Gift Dogs), and a soldier returning from Iraq (Britt's War), as well as several others. Columbia’s Jeff Spitz hosts the program, and some of the filmmakers will be in attendance.

Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., 2nd Floor; admission is $8 general, $7 Student, $4 Members.

Thanks, Rob!