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  • D.C. Mayor Marion Barry: “It’s got nothing to do with drugs.”

    D.C. Mayor Marion Barry: “It’s got nothing to do with drugs.”

    Marion Barry, former Mayor of the District of Columbia, passed away last week. Elected in 1979, he was the first civil rights leader to become mayor of a major US city. He was well-loved by many of D.C.’s residents, earning the nickname “Mayor for Life.”In 1990, Barry was arrested by the FBI following a sting operation where Barry was videotaped smoking crack cocaine. He was ultimately convicted and served 6 months in prison. After his release, he ran for a … Continue reading

  • Echoes of Rodney King

    Echoes of Rodney King

    Last night, a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. As protesters took to the streets, they chanted the words, “No justice, no peace”—an echo of similar protests that arose in 1992 after a jury acquitted the officers involved in the Rodney King beating. Many of the same issues and outrages that surrounded the Rodney King trial are flaring up again in response to the events in Ferguson. So today, we’re … Continue reading

  • Remembering Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne

    Remembering Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne

    By now you’ve read a lot of stories about her, and seen what the TV stations have broadcast. But you probably haven’t seen most of the video that is in our archive. We’ve preserved several dozen videos with Byrne during her short period as mayor, and we’ve put together a perspective that may differ a bit from other accounts. It features footage shot by Nick Despota, Tom Finerty, Scott Jacobs, John Mabey, Cindy Neal, Lilly Ollinger, and Tom Weinberg, as … Continue reading

  • Filmmaker Jerry Blumenthal (1936–2014)

    Filmmaker Jerry Blumenthal (1936–2014)

    Today we mourn the loss of colleague and friend Jerry Blumenthal, a filmmaker and founding partner of Kartemquin Films, who passed away yesterday morning. We present this short video tribute from Media Burn founder Tom Weinberg, followed by highlights from some of Jerry’s early work with Kartemquin. We’ll have more on Jane Byrne later. For now, you can check out this campaign commercial, footage with Byrne on election night 1979, and Byrne’s Easter at Cabrini–Green.

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Rocky Horror Picture Show

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show first debuted in 1975 to mixed reviews, but it soon developed a cult following like nothing before, and very little since. Fans of Rocky Horror come dressed in character and screenings grew to include pre-screening performances and audience interaction. The film now holds the record for the longest running theatrical release, and still shows in theaters all over the country. In Chicago, the Rocky Horror cult following developed around the Biograph Theater, which picked up … Continue reading

  • “Don’t quit your day job”: Chicago’s Funny Firm in 1993

    “Don’t quit your day job”: Chicago’s Funny Firm in 1993

    Chicago has long been known as a city of comedy. It’s where improv comedy was born, and has helped start the careers of countless comedians. Of course, despite all the successes, not everyone becomes a legend. In 1993, Chicago Slices videographer Skip Blumberg visited a comedy class at the Funny Firm. Among Funny Firm’s defining features was its comedy school, where students could enroll in classes geared around developing their comedic voice. In this video, Skip talks to some of … Continue reading

  • Thanks for helping make the Video Ball a success!

    Thanks for helping make the Video Ball a success!

    It was great fun last Sunday throwing our Video Ball. Here’s a sampling of some of the excitement. We thank Free Spirit Media and Kartemquin Films for the video footage. Big thank yous to the dozens of you who helped make it happen, and to everyone who came up on the roof to show their support. And to those who couldn’t make it, we look forward to seeing you next time! You can still have an impact by making a … Continue reading

  • This Sunday: The Video Ball!

    This Sunday: The Video Ball!

    The Media Burn Video Ball is just a few days away! Now’s your last chance to get tickets at a reduced price! And remember, there’s FREE PARKING! So if you drive, you can enter the garage on southbound Wabash or westbound Randolph. Park anywhere, and take the elevators to the 10th floor. You’ll receive a validated sticker for free parking when you check in with us. On foot, just enter on Randolph and take the elevators straight to the 10th … Continue reading