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Video: 'An American City At Christmas Time' Captures Holidays In Chicago 35 Years Ago

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 20, 2013 8:40PM


Here’s a holiday gem from Chicago Film Archives—a short animated film spanning over 27 minutes in length that shows Chicago during Christmastime in 1978.

The film, An American City at Christmas Time, was made by Franklin McMahon, a reporter and courtroom artist who depicted watershed events such as the Emmett Till murders, the March from Selma, to Montgomery marches and the “Chicago Seven” trial. He worked for the Tribune, Sun-Times, Chicago Daily News, The New York Times, Life, Sports Illustrated and Look magazines.

CFA’s bio on McMahon states he preferred to sketch on-site “because he believed that the artist-reporter could ‘see around the corners’ to capture the emotional essence of his subjects.” For his films McMahon combined his artwork with audio recordings. Prior to his death last year McMahon donated his collection of film and audio recordings to CFA.

[h/t Gapers Block]