In person Saturday: Michael Johnson, from 1999 doc “The Other M.J.”

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Michael Johnson in “The Other M.J.” (1999)
Out of Bounds: In the Shadow of His Airness
Saturday, July 13 at 7pm
South Side Community Art Center
3831 S. Michigan Ave.
Free admission

Presented by South Side Projections

Featuring: The Other MJ (Tom Weinberg, 1999, 28 min., DVD) + More Than a Game (Joe Angio and Joel Cohen, 1992, 48 min., DVD)

Joel Cohen, Michael Johnson, and Tom Weinberg in person!

 TomMJ

A message from Tom Weinberg

August, 1996.  Democratic National Convention. Chicago redux. United Center.

Our task: Find and interview somebody in that environment who didn’t vote to be featured in our PBS documentary “None of the Above.”

Camcorder crew: Skip Blumberg, videographer, and me (producer of the TV show).

Seemed like a good idea: in the midst of the place where electoral politics was the most intense, find a non-voter. We only had about two hours hours to do what would likely be a ~30 second video interview in the 90 minute broadcast.

Walking past the protest pen and getting through security took an hour. Skip spent the next 55 minutes, mostly solo, trying to score the right person. He found a few, but they were all afraid to go on camera. He had to give up. We had to go meet John Callaway, the host of “None of the Above,” downtown. I was on Madison Street waiting to rendezvous. Here comes Skip, walking backwards (a technique he has perfected over 30-something years) pointing camera and mini shotgun mic at a guy in a uniform.

They go right past me, the guy talking, Skip asking questions still moving backwards. I join them, trying to stay out of the shot. The guy was Michael Johnson, walking to the El train to go home.

We were with him five times in the next month. He turned out to be one of the nicest, smartest, most generous people we had ever met.

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This Saturday, you can see for yourself at the South Side Community Art Center (3831 S. Michigan), in what grew to 30 minutes on TV (a show of its own).

(If you can’t make it, you can watch “The Other M.J.” on Media Burn.)

We’re also pleased that my longtime partner on shows like “THE 90’s” and “Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good To Me: The Minnie Minoso Story,” Joel Cohen, will be present to screen “More Than a Game,” which he produced with Joe Angio in 1992. Check out the trailer below, and join us for this special night of documentaries and discussion!

 

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