This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Critic wrangle: “Chicago 10”

Posted by on


“Chicago 10,” Brett Morgen’s doc about the eight anti-war protesters put on trial after the explosive 1968 Democratic National Convention, was the opening night film at Sundance last year, and finally makes it to theaters today. The doc is noteworthy for its mixing of archival footage with reenacted courtroom segments depicted in motion capture animation (à la Robert Zemeckis’ “The Polar Express”) with actors like Hank Azaria and Liev Schreiber reading the words of Abbie Hoffman and William Kunstler.

It works for Andrew O’Hehir, who, in a Sundance-dated review at Salon, lauds the way Morgen goes about “ignoring or breaking all the rules of documentary film, and by smashing the historical vitrine that has long contained these events and dragging them out into the light.” “In its best moments, and they are considerable,” he adds, “‘Chicago 10’ makes you see 1968, that near-apocalyptic year, with fresh eyes, as an extraordinary turning point in history now at least partly set free from boomer nostalgia and regret.” But most who like the film find some trouble with the animated sections. Tasha Robinson at the Onion AV Club dislikes that “Morgen can’t resist using the animation to add a surreal flair: Allen Ginsberg floats everywhere he goes, in full meditative position, and when Hoffman throws a kiss to the jury, the “camera” follows it, Roger Rabbit style… Chicago 10 is a lot of fun, but it could stand to take its subjects a little more seriously, if only because they themselves are so frequently goofy that mocking them is complete overkill.” For EW‘s Owen Gleiberman, the vocals are the issue: “Every line is spoken with a stagy rim-shot vitality, as if Morgen had to keep reminding us that the trial wasn’t just a trial — it was theater, man! What you miss is how the defendants, in that dull bureaucratic courtroom, became bound, in spirit, to the world they were attacking.” The animation “looks rather cruder than your average PS3 game,” notes Glenn Kenny at Premiere. “But never mind. The material is incredibly compelling.”

Andrew Sarris at the New York Observer notes that he turned a comfy 40 in 1968 and remembers the year all too well. And, in fact, most of the review is about that, until he eventually allows that “Still, it wouldn’t hurt anyone, young or old, to catch up on the fascinating history lesson.”

J. Hoberman at the Village Voice notes the film is a “deliberately ahistorical treatment,” and finds it doesn’t quite grasp its era: “However authentically chaotic, Chicago 10 is insufficiently frenzied.” And A.O, Scott at the New York Times is less charmed: “The problem is that ‘Chicago 10’ seems wholly unwilling to examine the limits of its view of history, or indeed to engage any sense of history beyond the superficialities of rhetoric and image… If you really want to know what the ’60s were about, you’ll do better to look elsewhere.”

[Photo: Brett Morgen’s “Chicago 10,” Roadside Attractions, 2007]

Watch More

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

Watch More

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Watch More

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

Watch More