Covering the kind of mayoral election that Chicago faces right now presents a particular challenge for a publication like ours. The almost last-minute nature of the campaign season—as I write, petition challenges are still taking place barely a month before the polls open—combined with the swollen field of more than a dozen candidates would force either an undertaking of a scope that exceeds our resources (in-depth profiles or interviews with all of them) or lead us to a superficial skim of the same issues everyone else is writing about.
So we decided to focus on ideas, not people, in what has become our tradition of thinking about the future of the city in our anniversary issue. This time it’s our thirty-third, so we asked thirty-three thought leaders in Chicago to share one big idea. The kind of ideas, collectively, that we hope our new mayor will pay attention to. And if you’re wondering what we did when we were last in this position (back in the 2011 election when Richard M. Daley decided not to run for reelection), I wrote my own manifesto for the city, “If I Were Mayor.” I’m not sure Rahm ever read it, but he did do quite a few of the things I suggested. So here’s to hoping.
In our anniversary issue last year I wrote a long story about our experiences making our first feature film, “Signature Move.” (It’s streaming now if you have not seen it.) As you might recall, I described a process that was both encouraging and a steep learning curve. It left us ready to do it again, with a desire to take our learning and do everything better. So this past year, we produced two feature films, Jennifer Reeder’s “Knives and Skin,” which shot in July/August, and Hugh Schulze’s “Dreaming Grand Avenue,” which shot in September/October. In many ways, we did do many things better, but in others we were humbled. Note to self: if you are going to make two movies back to back, put a few months between them. “Dreaming” is currently being edited, but “Knives and Skin” is finished and will have its world premiere this month on February 9 at Berlinale, one of the top film festivals in the world. We’ll keep you posted on its domestic premiere plans, but meanwhile, we’d love to see you in Berlin. It’s no colder than Chicago in February, right?
Look for Newcity’s February 2019 print edition at over 1000 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at newcity.com/subscribe.