Latest Blog Posts

  • A sunny day, Italian ice, and the old neighborhood: Ben Hollis on “stoop talk”

    A sunny day, Italian ice, and the old neighborhood: Ben Hollis on “stoop talk”

    Almost everywhere in the world, we are building new routines that keep us in a very limited geographic orbit. But, we are still finding ways to connect with friends, family, and neighbors. People are spending more time on porches, balconies, and yards chatting, singing, eating, and dancing with whoever passes by. In many ways, we are becoming friendlier than ever before. In this 1995 video, Chicago favorite Ben Hollis hangs out with residents of Taylor Street as they sit on … Continue reading

  • Stuart Gordon 1947-2020

    Stuart Gordon 1947-2020

    Stuart Gordon has died. In most of the obituaries you will read today, he will be largely (and justifiably) remembered for his film work. He came out of the gate with a classic in Re-Animator (1985), which was the first of many features he made for Charles Band’s Empire Pictures (rebranded as Full Moon Entertainment). If none of the follow-ups can quite claim to have caught the debut’s lightning in a bottle, each nevertheless brought to the screen a combination … Continue reading


New Videos

  • Ed Paschke: The Artist Behind the Mask

    11:52 Chicago Tribune art critic Alan Artner discusses the negative reception of Paschke’s paintings depicting handguns. He explains that the subject matter became threatening to some audiences.

  • “Here is A Man Who Stood Up”: An Afternoon With Ed Paschke

    “Here is A Man Who Stood Up”: An Afternoon With Ed Paschke

    A Chicago Lost and Found event hosted by Paul Durica, with Jamie Ceaser, Jason Nargis, and Tom Palazzolo in person! Sunday, March 8th, 2020 3:00-5:00pm Ed Paschke Art Center 5415 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 Free, but RSVPs already full! “Here Is a Man Who Stood Up” is an immersive experience that uses archival objects, never-before-seen footage, and one-time-only re-stagings to animate the life and work of lifelong Chicago artist Ed Paschke. Paschke (1939-2004) was known for his dark version … Continue reading

  • Love It / Leave It

    From the “Chicago-Scope: The Films of Tom Palazzolo, 1967–1976” catalogue: “A tour de force of late 1960s civic and political countercultures, Love It/Leave It (1971; 14 minutes) juxtaposes the annual Naked City contest in Roselawn, Indiana, neighborhood characters, and American consumerism with the foment of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago (replete with cameos by William S. Burroughs, Mayor Richard J. Daley, and Allen Ginsburg). The film reaches a crescendo with the insistent refrain of the Vietnam-era expression “love it or leave it.”” Continue reading

  • O

    From the “Chicago-Scope: The Films of Tom Palazzolo, 1967–1976” catalogue: “One of Tom Palazzolo’s first films, this inspired in part by René Clair’s 1924 film starring Francis Picabia, Entr’acte. O’s use of double exposure, free association and improvisation, chiaroscuro, and a nonsensical “musique concrète” soundtrack pay homage to these masters of Dada and Surrealism.” Continue reading

  • A Chorus for the Young at Heart

    A Chorus for the Young at Heart

    Archival videos shine light on everyday human qualities. Here are two short ones from Media Burn that portray the kind of couples we all know—they’ve been together forever. They know the good things in life. The first is by Maxi Cohen in 1991 on the Jersey shore where her family lived. They appeared on Episode 304 of The 90’s. The second couple, the Falkenburgs, lived in a Chicago seniors’ apartment building a few blocks from Wrigley Field. Footage is taken … Continue reading

  • Happy Birthday Bill Veeck, Renaissance Man

    Happy Birthday Bill Veeck, Renaissance Man

    This Sunday, February 9th, would be the 106th birthday of one of sports, Chicago’s and our personal heroes, Bill Veeck (1914-1986). The Media Burn Archive has close to 300 videos about and with the baseball Hall of Famer who owned baseball teams in Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis and Chicago (twice).  But his life and wisdom went far beyond sports. He wrote five books, had his own radio and TV shows for 40 years and did thousands of speaking engagements. Like many … Continue reading

  • Neighbor Ladies

    Neighbor Ladies

    In the 1950’s white Americans were fleeing inner cities, spurred on by a legal but unscrupulous real estate technique known as blockbusting. In places such as the Mount Airy neighborhoods in Philadelphia, PA, real estate companies would identify a majority white neighborhood and purposely sell a house to an African American. The agents would then blanket the neighborhood with flyers or even make phone calls to white homeowners alerting them to the ‘changing’ nature of the neighborhood, encouraging them to sell immediately before house prices dropped. The result of this was panic selling. Entire neighborhoods could be flipped in less than a month, creating racial distrust while lining the pockets of real estate agents and companies. Neighbor Ladies shares the stories and strategies of community activists and regular people who decided to organize and fight back against the system. Continue reading

  • Testimony to a Tradition

    Testimony to a Tradition

    42 years ago Marty and Frank Kapugi celebrated their 50th anniversary of playing tamburica music in the United States. This 25-minute documentary created by Mirko Popadic and Gordana Trbuhovich in 1979, highlights the two days of festivities with interviews, speeches and fantastic music.