Happy Holidays from TUGM and Isaiah Grass

caa-santa-towby Legendary Lew

It’s holiday time, so get out the Christmas tree, presents, eggnog, hooch and hope your loved ones make it a memorable one.

To help you get into the spirit of the holiday, watch this wonderfully inspirational Christmas tune written and performed by Chicago’s own Isaiah Grass. The song is “Christmas with You” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. #ChristmasWithYou


Thrillo Pad DIY Holiday Special Open Mic This Saturday

ThrilloPadFBby Legendary Lew

The Underground Multiplex is proud to present the first-ever DIY event at our new location dubbed “The Thrillo Pad” on Saturday December 12th beginning at 2pm (check details below).

The Thrillo Pad is a cozy, welcoming space for small intimate evenings with friends sharing food, drink and lots of talent.

This event comprises of two parts:
FIRST, at 2pm: The first Star Wars Trilogy shown on glorious VHS, hosted by Mountain Drew of “Mediatrocities” fame. Relive the glorious years when George Lucas was making tons of money and you really did not care. Screenings will be held in the lower part of our split-level pad.

SECOND, AT 7PM: The Thrillo Pad DIY holiday open mic party featuring YOU! That’s right, if you have readings, poetry, acoustic music (non-electric, please, we have neighbors), short films to show (10 mins. max, any format) or anything else you would like to demonstrate in our space, feel free to express yourself! Keep in mind that we have a space that will accommodate probably 10 people comfortably at a time, so that epic opera or high-wire act will most likely need to happen elsewhere.

We would also love to have you recorded as our performance guest on The Underground Multiplex’s youtube channel as part of our “Mediatrocities” series.

We are serious about promoting Chicago as a center of talent rivalling that of other cities that lay claim to having the best artists. Let’s show everyone we’ve got it!

Because we have limited space, PLEASE RSVP DIRECTLY TO EITHER THE EMAILS OF THE CO-HOSTS BELOW. We will need to know 1) who will be attending, and 2) what you will be performing. Performers for open mic will take precedence over just observers.  A “going” tag on our Facebook event will NOT be counted as a certainty you will be attending. 

To help with security, since this is happening at a private residence, you must RSVP  at one of the emails below by 11pm Friday Dec. 11 so that we may expect you. Once we’ve received the emailed RSVP, you will receive a reply email giving our address.

If you will be performing, please let us know what you’ll be doing and how you want to be presented. All performers who want to appear on our YouTube channel will need to sign talent release forms for public appearance.

BYOB. Some hot boozed punch (TBD) will be provided and some snacks, but you’ll definitely want to bring some of your own as well if you so incline to be a chowhound.

PLEASE NOTE: FROM 2PM UNTIL 7PM, THE EVENT WILL BE ALL AGES SO WE WILL **NOT** BE SERVING ALCOHOL DURING THAT TIME. After 7pm, the event will be 21+ and we will serve hooched punch and have some beers here, I’m certain.  No illegal drugs will be tolerated on the premises and violators will be asked to leave. 

Photographed here are the basic rules for The Thrillo Pad:



We welcome your suggestions as to how to make this better. Let us know. We want this event to be a collective one with great minds and talents collaborating.

Legendary Lew

Legendary Lew– lewojeda@gmail.com
Ty Pi — tyler.pistorius@gmail.com

Saturday Night Funnies

by Legendary Lew


Cool Apocalypse: An Engaging Look into Relationships in Flux

by Legendary Lew

Understanding and appreciating Michael Smith‘s new relationship dramedy Cool Apocalypse requires paying attention to a scene in the film that seems the least pivotal. Paul (Kevin Wehby),a writer, tells his new date Julie (Nina Ganet), a women’s clinic clerk, the plot of his new novel. Despite being a thousand-pages of streams-of-consciousnessthe plot takes only a few minutes to explain.

“It’s not about a story, it’s about the way that it’s told.” Paul states with a hint of embarrassment to Julie.

Smith’s approach matches this line as he explores the first date between Paul and Julie and the strained relationship between Tess (Chelsea David) and Claudio (Adam Overberg).

Tess, a fashion reporter for a Chicago news site, and the unemployed Claudio are a bickering couple who find some degree of solace giving each other stress, despite their relationship officially being over.

With Tess preparing a business trip to Italy and perhaps finally seeing the last of Claudio, Paul invites Julie over for a quiet evening of wine and veggie beef stew. This not-quite double date leads to eventual conflicts and revelations about the natures of the couples’ relationships and unresolved emotional suppression.

In a film that might have been slight or trite in other hands, Smith creates a funny slice-of-life expose into the lives of ordinary people trying to find love and make peace with each other. We’re voyeurs into these lives with Smith demanding patience, instead of the quick, ironic, and cynical self-indulgence Mumblecore films can wallow into.

It doesn’t always work. I found the customer/clerk argument near the beginning of the movie a cliched attempt to find a reason for Paul and Julie to find each other. I’ve seen this device used too many times to connect straight and gay couples in movies for it to be effective here. That said, the concentration and attention to the lives of Paul, Julie, Tess and Claudio, enhanced by the terrific B&W cinematography of Vincent Bolger and sparkling music by Andy Roush and Grant Winship make for an enjoyable slice-of-life viewing experience.  It may not be like the epic novel Paul created, but it would definitely make for a very good Chicago short story.

Cool Apocalypse plays at The Gene Siskel Film Center beginning November 21, 2015. Check the Film Center website for showtimes.

Mediatrocities #21: Global Girls Film Festival, a Film Fest Curated by Formerly Homeless At-Risk Women

GGrilsFilmFestby Legendary Lew

Mediatrocities is back! It’s been awhile due to moving to a new home for The Underground Multiplex (we’re now in the Bowmanville neighborhood), an accident that destroyed my laptop containing many of my media files, plus life in general for those in the arts who need several jobs just to survive.

But, we’re still doing it. My commitment to promoting media normally unseen by too many who believe entertainment begins and ends at Netflix is unwavering. You can be certain to find more podcasts in the future with those folks contributing to Chicago unique media richness.

To that end, I present an interview with Devon Freitag, one of the curators of the Global Girls Film Festival, a festival of international short films chosen by formerly homeless teen residents from The Harbor in Park Ridge.

The Harbour’s Global Girls Film Festival programs will showcase 13 diverse and empowering films from 10 countries. The New View program offers seven visually and emotionally rich films that have touched the residents who have selected them and will likewise inspire the audiences that view them.

In the Hold Your Breath program, the young curators from The Harbour treat audiences to a compelling mosaic of experiences ranging from a girl exploring her sexual identity to a family fleeing from domestic abuse.

Here’s a testimony from Ellyonna, one of the curators of the Fest talking about her challenges of being homeless:

Check out this unique film festival Friday at The New 400 in Rogers Park.

Screening info:
Global Girls Film Festival
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Place: The New 400 – 6746 N. Sheridan, Chicago, IL
Admission: $ 8.50; Free for residents of The Harbor

Friday at 7:00pm New View
The vibrant characters in these powerful and poignant short films may change your view of the world while facing some demons of their own. You’ll delight in Lila’s magical way of bringing joy to strangers, then take a touching look at a young girl living with Tourette’s Syndrome (Flying Anne) and celebrate the humanity of a brave teacher who protects a young Sikh boy from harm (Kush). New View features seven films from seven countries: Lila (Spain & Argentina), Drawing Angel (USA), Flying Anne (Netherlands), How to be Alone (Canada), Call her Lotte (Germany), Granddaughter (Argentina), Kush (India).

Friday 9:00pm Hold Your Breath (93min)

Sometimes, every choice we make seems like a drama. This program of suspenseful and beautiful short films shares stories of heroism and challenges that resonate with women from all walks of life. You’ll discover a secret as two friends talk about a blind date (Happiness) and explore the fragile bond between a mother and a daughter who has self-harmed (Emily.) Then meet a maverick story-teller who goes AWOL from the High Council of Fairytales (The Maiden & The Princess) before cheering on a family finally escaping domestic abuse (Just Before Losing Everything). Hold your breath features six films from four countries: Cut Off (France), Happiness (USA), Emily (Australia), Guida (Brazil), The Maiden and the Princess (USA), Just Before Losing Everything (France).

For more information, contact The Harbor at 847-297-8540.
The Global Girls Film Festival is a program of The International Children’s Media Center (ICMC), which can be reached at press@icmediacenter.org

Matt Damon is Gay!

by Legendary Lew

And if you think that headline about Matt Damon is unbelievable, you need not be reminded of this:


Flashback: Director Joseph Lewis Discusses His Film “Tyler B Nice”

Cast of

Cast of “Tyler B Nice” (l. to r.) Tyler Jenich, Director Joseph Lewis, Emilia Richeson

by Legendary Lew

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the production of the Joseph Lewis feature, Tyler B Nice, the strange film about a party gone wrong. It’s gotten the critical acclaim of people like Andrew Bujalski and is really due for a discovery.

We present here comments by the director and TUGM co-founder Joseph R. Lewis. His statements from ten years ago still hold truth for those who want to get the best results in independent media.