America’s gangland: How Chicago became a cultural capital of crime

The thing outsiders know about Chicago is crime. The mobsters, the street drug gangs, the corrupt operators—these are the most sensationalized aspects of the city. But they are also key factors in its ongoing narrative, the one true Great American Novel that is Chicago. The city with a fiery creation myth grew into a…

CeaseFire, the anti-violence group from The Interrupters, has had its funding cut

CeaseFire Illinois, the Chicago-based anti-violence initiative featured in the documentary The Interrupters, has lost almost 60 percent of its funding from the state of Illinois. The cuts, which drop the organization’s budget from $4.7 million to $1.9 million, will go into effect with the state’s proposed 2016 budget…

Life Itself pays affecting tribute to Roger Ebert, cinema’s most famous critic

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In the half century he spent writing about movies for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the field of film criticism some of its most useful principles—arguing, for example, that a picture’s value lay in how, not what, it’s about, and introducing the Law Of Economy Of Characters, an amusing tool for dissecting…