Chicago Short Documentaries

Date Film Time
2/21 Never a City So Reel 7 pm

This free program of classic short documentaries about Chicago people and places was inspired by this year’s One Book One Northwestern, Alex Kotlowitz’s Never a City So Real, which features portraits of some of the author’s favorite Chicago neighborhoods and citizens. This corresponding film program includes a film shot on the NU campus in the mid-1960s and early films from Tom Palazzolo, Kartemquin Films, and the Chicago Film Archives, with topics covering racism, gentrification, an early gay pride parade, and more. 

Never a City So Reel

Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:00 PM FREE
(Various directors, 1965-2012, USA, 16mm and video, approx. 70 min.)

Program lineup:

Cause Without a Rebel (1965) Directed by Peter Kuttner, 16mm, 9 minutes.
Funded by the Northwestern University Film Society, this experimental documentary is an exploration of political apathy amongst college students during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

Now We Live on Clifton (1974) 16mm, 24 minutes.
This film tracks the gentrification of the once-diverse West Lincoln Park Neighborhood following the construction of DePaul University through the eyes of 10-year-old Pam Taylor and her 12-year-old brother Scott.  Print courtesy of Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films.

Jerry’s Deli (1974) Directed by Tom Palazzolo, New 16mm print! 10 minutes.
Tom Palazzo’s iconic short is a snapshot of one of Chicago’s most beloved eateries, as well as an uproariously funny portrait of the deli’s eccentric owner.

Gay For a Day (1976) Directed by Tom Palazzolo, 16mm, 11 min.
Gay For a Day is a lively depiction of an early gay pride parade in Chicago. Weaving through bustling crowds and capturing numerous interviews, director Palazzolo pieces together a story of resilience and celebration.

Paraíso (2012) Directed by Nadav Kurtz, video, 10 min.
Paraíso focuses on three Mexican immigrants who risk their lives daily washing the windows of Chicago skyscrapers. Director Nadav Kurtz juxtaposes breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and intimate interviews with the film’s subjects.

Total program running time: approximately 70 minutes.

IN PERSON: Directors Tom Palazzolo and Gordon Quinn