Archives: February 2011

This is the archive page for [February 2011]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Justify My Netflix: The African Queen | February 28, 2011
Today's movie: The classic 1951 Bogart/Hepburn actioner "The African Queen," newly restored and digitally released just last year, which unfortunately didn't turn out to be nearly as good as I thought it was going to be. Seriously, Bogart, no more hippo impersonations! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "I Knew It Was You," by Edward Smith | February 28, 2011
Today's photo: "I Knew It Was You," by Seattle photographer Edward Smith. | Read entire entry

CCLaP releases a teaser poster for its newest book! | February 25, 2011
CCLaP releases a "teaser" poster for its newest original book, Mark R. Brand's day-after-tomorrow tale "Life After Sleep," coming out March 7th! YEAH, JUST LIKE HOLLYWOOD! Click through to see it! | Read entire entry

New to the Reading List: 25 February 2011 | February 25, 2011
Today, a look at the six newest books to be added to the center's never-ending reading list, including the latest by Pulitzer-winning Michael Cunningham, comic artist Julia Wertz's much-anticipated "Drinking at the Movies," Amber Dawn's Kathy-Acker-meets-magical-realism tale "Sub Rosa," and a lot more. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Becca Skinner | February 25, 2011
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Flickr member Becca Skinner. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "The Brothers Karamazov," by Fyodor Dostoyevsky | February 24, 2011
Today in the CCLaP 100 essay series on literary classics: It's Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1880 "The Brothers Karamazov," a late-career experimental masterpiece that helped create the stereotype of the dreary thousand-page dysfunctional-family Russian epic tragedy. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tamara Drewe | February 23, 2011
Today's movie: "Tamara Drewe," the wonderful Stephen Frears adaptation of the Posy Simmonds graphic novel I've also reviewed and loved in the past, itself a modern adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd," a ribald dramedy about the infighting amongst a group of London bohemian bourgeoise now all living in converted sheep farms in the rural suburbs. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "385 thousand kilometers away," by Jorge Alves | February 23, 2011
Today's photo: "385 thousand kilometers away," by Dutch photographer Jorge Alves. | Read entire entry

Proofreaders needed for CCLaP's newest book! | February 22, 2011
We're two weeks away from the release of CCLaP's newest original book, the day-after-tomorrow tale "Life After Sleep" by Mark R. Brand! And you know what that means -- yes, CCLaP Army, we once again need our volunteer proofreaders, to help us catch the dozens of mistakes that history has taught us are still in the manuscript. Click through for all the details! Muchas gracias! | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 22 February 2011 | February 22, 2011
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The amazingly well-done liberal satire "Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed" by Jacob Wren; the okay sports guide "Chasing the Runner's High" by Ray Charbonneau; and the engaging hybrid of historical melodrama and Victoriana thriller "The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno" by Ellen Bryson. | Read entire entry

Photography mini-feature: Matt Borkowski | February 22, 2011
Today's mini-feature: Brooklyn-based photographer Matt Borkowski. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Summer Wars | February 21, 2011
Today's movie: "Summer Wars," the latest by anime wunderkind Mamoru Hosoda, a huge hit of the film-festival circuit in the last year because of its inventive hybrid nature, which engagingly mixes together manga tropes, a family dramedy, Second Life, and the cutting-edge visuals of hipster fine-artists like Banksy and Takashi Murakami. | Read entire entry

My talk with Nathan Rabin will be on Chicago television tonight! | February 18, 2011
Just a reminder that my recent talk with "AV Club" head writer Nathan Rabin will be airing on Chicago cable's public access tonight, 11 p.m. on channel 19. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

New to the Reading List: 18 February 2011 | February 18, 2011
Today, quick looks at the seven new novels I added this week to CCLaP's unending list of books to eventually read, including the latest by indie favorites Karen Russell, Jonathan Evison, Wesley Stace (aka musician John Wesley Harding), and a lot more. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Relaxing Bath," by Pete Forde | February 18, 2011
Today's photo: "Relaxing Bath," by Canadian photographer Pete Forde. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Catfish | February 17, 2011
Today's movie: The truly remarkable 2010 documentary "Catfish," about a young photographer in New York who becomes online friends with a child prodigy in Michigan, just to eventually discover that he's the victim of a ridiculously elaborate "JT Leroy" style scam; but it's when he and his filmmaking brother decide to surprise the culprit at her home that things get truly fascinating and heartbreaking. Highly recommended! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "8/365 Flying the Flag," by Duncan MacKellar | February 17, 2011
Today's photo: "8/365 Flying the Flag," by British photographer Duncan MacKellar. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Revolution," by Deb Olin Unferth | February 16, 2011
Today's book: Deb Olin Unferth's South-American-radical memoir "Revolution." Says reviewer Oriana Leckert: "Though there are a few times when [her] fa├žade is cracked, and she lets real emotions come through, the bulk of the book is extremely self-conscious." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "On Fermoyle Strand," by Alkemi | February 16, 2011
Today's photo: "On Fermoyle Strand," by mysterious Flickr member "Alkemi." | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 15 February 2011 | February 15, 2011
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The slightly disappointing "Sophomoric Philosophy," the literary debut of Chicagoan Victor David Giron; the badly disappointing "Wingshooters" by Nina Revoyr, the latest from Akashic Books; and Douglas Coupland's mindblowingly great "Player One: What Is to Become of Us," a dark experimental tale that could be his best book in a decade. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Helsinki Cathedral," by Marco Hannula | February 15, 2011
Today's photo: "Helsinki Cathedral," by Finnish photographer Marco Hannula. | Read entire entry

New to the Reading List: 11 February 2011 | February 11, 2011
Today, a look at the three latest books to be added to CCLaP's unending "to-read" list, including a history of the Chicago Housing Authority's various debacles over the years, as well as the two latest novels by our friends at Akashic Books. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Atik," by Mika | February 11, 2011
Today's photo: "Atik," by Spanish Flickr member Mika. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Le Morte d'Arthur," by Sir Thomas Malory | February 10, 2011
Today in the "CCLaP 100" essay series on literary classics: It's Sir Thomas Malory's 1485 "Le Morte d'Arthur," the first-ever modern compilation of old medieval King Arthur oral legends, and the main inspiration for the myth's explosive popularity in the Victorian Age 400 years later. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Anyone's ghost," by Alessandro Pautasso | February 10, 2011
Today's photo: "Anyone's ghost," by Italian photographer Alessandro Pautasso. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Treasure Island (1950) | February 9, 2011
Today's movie: The 1950 Disney version of the classic "Treasure Island," the studio's first-ever live-action film which kicked off an entire decade of highly popular historical thrillers, part of my plan to watch every major adaptation of the story ever made. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "everlong," by Kaicee | February 9, 2011
Today's photo: "everlong," by Canadian Flickr member Kaicee. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 8 February 2011 | February 8, 2011
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The funny and weird Mormon memoir "Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk" by Tony DuShane; the disappointing Pakistani political novel "No Space for Further Burials" by Feryal Ali Gauhar; and the surprisingly depressing middle-class British character dramedy "The News From Where You Are" by Catherine O'Flynn. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Claire Marie Vogel | February 8, 2011
Today's photo: "Untitled," by California photographer Claire Marie Vogel. | Read entire entry

An interview with Jordan Castro | February 7, 2011
Our buddies at pop-culture guide Deckfight have started a new small press, so I thought I'd sit down and chat with their first published author -- the remarkable Ohio teen Jordan Castro, whose Deckfight title "Supercomputer" is actually the fifth book he's now put out before even graduating from high school yet. Click through for the full transcript of our interview. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 67: Winter 2011 Electronica Special | February 7, 2011
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's one of only two all-electronica music specials I allow myself to do each year, where songs are literally mixed together by beat like you would hear in a danceclub, and with only one short voiceover at the beginning of the episode. Today's mix features 18 songs and lasts just over an hour. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "am03:42," by Nicholas H. | February 7, 2011
Today's photo: "am03:42," by Taiwanese poster designer Nicholas H. | Read entire entry

New to the Reading List: 4 February 2011 | February 4, 2011
Today, a short look at the four latest titles to be added to CCLaP's unending "to-read" list, including a new history of the Bible's formation and three intriguing new character-based novels. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "??????," by Alexey Belov | February 4, 2011
Today's photo: "??????," by Russian photographer Alexey Belov. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Twelve | February 3, 2011
Today's movie: Joel Schumacher's latest, "Twelve," which like always with him is actually pretty great, as long as you're willing to acknowledge it as the deliberately over-the-top, Grand-Guignol-style morality play it is, in this case an Altmanesque look at a group of spoiled, rich, Manhattan teenage drug addicts, based on a notorious novel written by a real-life teenager actually in that community. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "One thing is certain, I love a photowalk in the snow.," by Becca Heuer | February 3, 2011
Today's photo: "One thing is certain, I love a photowalk in the snow.," by Chicago photographer Becca Heuer. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "not look...," by Andrew Pielage | February 2, 2011
Today's photo: "not look...," by Arizona photographer Andrew Pielage. | Read entire entry

Jugs & Capes: "Asterios Polyp" by David Mazzucchelli | February 2, 2011
Today in CCLaP's "Jugs & Capes," Oriana Leckert's new essay series on graphic novels from a female perspective: it's David Mazzucchelli's 2009 "Asterios Polyp," a weird and fascinating look at an architect whose life takes some strange turns, which Oriana found "brilliantly complex like 'The Metamorphosis.'" | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Town | February 1, 2011
Today's movie: Ben Affleck's second stint as a director, the 2010 Boston crime drama "The Town," which elevates itself above its usual B-flick genre tropes through a multilayered script, impeccable acting, and surprisingly great action scenes. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Walking my bike across the bridge," by Steven Vance | February 1, 2011
Today's photo: "Walking my bike across the bridge," by Chicago photographer Steven Vance. | Read entire entry