Daily Archives: March 30, 2015

Review- A Gene Siskel Film Center Screening: Songs from the North

On March 26th, the Gene Siskel Film Center held the screening and artist Q + A program of the South Korea–born and Cambridge-based artist Soon-Mi Yoo’s newest work Songs from the North.

Songs from the North is a one hour long experimental documentary that attempts to look at the current political and living situation of North Korea by presenting a collection of mostly personal travel footage over the course of four years and three visits, with the found media footage of North Korean Television, theater performance, and drama, and interviews she has with Yoo’s father who had a close relationship to the civil war between the North and South Korea.


Unlike many other films that are made about the North Korea’s history of oppression and censorship that turns to make a strong political point, Yoo’s film focused her lenses more on the ordinary life of the North Korean individuals she was allowed to have contact through her guided touring experience when she traveled in the country. “Hoping to understand how they could live in such a tough condition, I am interested in the human spirit and what may sustain their way of living.” Says Yoo during the Q + A session after the screening.


Handling editing and camera duties to the found media footage as her own, Yoo re-contextualized the cold nature of North Korea’s government-mandated image by getting intimate with its ramifications. Yoo digs deep into the paradoxes of North Korea through its own images of the former leader Kim Il-sung and the myth like emotions that the performers was able to put on when singing the wartime song “Nostalgia”. Songs from the North takes on a personal but yet hunting transcendent look at the propaganda in North Korea and function as a cry to the souls of the North Korean people’s condition.


Closer Still, A show at Hatch Residency

Friday, April 3, 2015 to Thursday, April 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday. April 3, from 6-9PM

Closer Still considers the reciprocity between form and content, exploring the possibilities of the binary. The symbolic enters the narrative within each artist’s process, bringing two visible aspects to an intermediate point where ambiguity and truth reach a place of both/and – the things seen and those unseen. Through photographic material, and coded representations of familiar imagery, a third hidden term counters dualistic consciousness. New works by the artists’ presented in this exhibition arrive at a site of spatial hyphenation connecting subject and object, rhythm and repetition, and the affect of language and thought as modes of communicative accuracy.

FOLLOW FOCUS: Daviel Shy and THE LADIES ALMANACK Spring Screening

Saturday, April 4th at 7:00pm, $15
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

The Nightingale is delighted to introduce FOLLOW FOCUS- a new process-oriented screening series that rallies audiences and resources behind a moving image maker as they complete a feature project. Designed to expand viewership into the production stage, FOLLOW FOCUS invites audiences to observe a director’s process, collaborations, and inspiration. Our inaugural featured project is THE LADIES ALMANACK written and directed by Chicago-based filmmaker, Daviel Shy and produced by NYC-based performer, Stephanie Acosta.

THE LADIES ALMANACK is a feature-­length experimental narrative film shot on Super 8 and based on the novel of the same title by Djuna Barnes. The film is a kaleidoscopic tribute to women’s writing through the friendships, jealousies, flirtations and publishing woes of authors and artists in 1920’s Paris.

The Nightingale will host a total of 4 screenings during the course of the film’s production, each one in a different season and highlighting a different element of the process ending with a rough cut screening in Fall of 2015. The production of a commissioned art object will also raise funds for the film. Admission price at each of the four screenings includes part of a limited edition, risograph-printed Ladies Almanack Tarot Deck designed and illustrated by Jess LeMaster. Attend all four screenings for a complete 24-card set.

The Spring Screening will include moving image work by cast and crew members of the movie, including work by Stephanie Acosta, and Fannie Sosa & Poussy Draama. Party to celebrate The Nightingale’s 7th birthday to follow the screening.

Special Thanks to HOMEROOM for program support of this event!

To support the THE LADIES ALMANACK right away, check out the movie’s website. Donations are tax-deductible.