The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

December 5, 2012

How an experimental film changed the way we see Chicago

CHICAGO — Perhaps no American city appreciates being at the center of the universe more than Chicago. Workmanlike and down-to-earth the majority of their days, Chicagoans savor those moments when all roads lead to the prairieland. Even as we grapple with an international reputation for our inexcusable crime rate, we all breathed a sigh of relief when this summer's NATO summit, the first on U.S. soil outside the Beltway, showcased the city's international reach without ravaging the Loop. During this year's election night celebrations inside McCormick Place, the country's largest convention center, we were afforded another opportunity on the world stage.

On election night, hoping I might encounter some of the same crowd spillover that defined the camaraderie and openness of Obama's victory rally in Grant Park in 2008, I was confronted instead with the usual convention-center congestion: street closings, revolving doors spitting out those without tickets, road flares glowing in the crosswalks. Shut off from the monolithic superstructure housing all the fun, I wanted to rip the roof from its foundation and peer down at the spectacle within. While McCormick Place trended on Twitter worldwide, I imagined distant onlookers pinpointing the exact spot where I was standing on Google Earth, trying to get their bearings. And I was reminded of the power of "Powers of Ten," the 1977 experimental film that surveyed these grounds from above as never before.

Has Chicago, or any city, been captured as beautifully and precisely on film? Has a sequence spurred more awareness of the vastness of space than the now-classic "Powers of Ten" zoom? And would there even be a Google Earth to tinker with had this masterwork not poured from the minds of Charles and Ray Eames?

The film's premise is deceptively simple. For nine minutes, the narrator, physicist Philip Morrison, guides the viewer on a fantastic voyage that begins with an overhead shot of a couple lounging by the lake in a Chicago park, a spot close to Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, and equidistant to McCormick Place and Grant Park. The camera then tracks back above the cityscape and up through the stratosphere, reaching back to the edge of the known universe. We then drop back down to Earth and reunite with the parkgoers. The persistent camera continues its descent, now plunging past dead skin cells in one of the picnicker's hands before isolating a single proton in the nucleus of a carbon atom, plugging away in a tiny blood vessel.

Text Only
Arts & Entertainment
  • Latest trends on display at Party & Event Expo

    Party and event enthusiasts will have a chance to get tips and trends from a bouquet of experts Tuesday as the second annual Party & Event Expo will be held at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.
    The event, which is set for 3-7 p.m. Aug. 5, will feature an array of event planning options, including:

    August 1, 2014

  • pm_eagle scout John Giachino .JPG Scout earns Eagle rank

    John Bernard Giachino, 16, of Edmond, was awarded his Eagle Scout rank March 26. He is a member of Venture Crew 2021 chartered by St. John the Baptist in Edmond. John is the son of Phillip and LaDonna Giachino, grandson of Linda and the late John Giachino of Oklahoma City and Fred and Joanne Horinek of Newkirk.
    John’s Eagle Scout service project was designing and building a gaga pit for Camp Dakani in Oklahoma City for future Boy Scouts of America to play and enjoy for years to come.
    John will be a junior at Bishop McGuinness High School, where he is a member of the golf team and National Honor Society. He attends St. John the Baptist Church and participates in Life Teen. John recently visited Peru on a mission trip.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TRAVEL - (8-2) White Haven green house.jpg New view on President Grant

    What do you know about Ulysses S. Grant? If you’d asked me that before my visit to St. Louis, I would have said: “President of the United States, Commanding General of the Union Army, buried in Grant’s Tomb and — a drunkard.”  Three out of four is not bad, but as history, I pretty much have to give myself a D.
    On previous visits to the Gateway City, Jack and I have visited Grant’s Farm — an area attraction owned by Anheuser-Busch. In the midst of the 281 acres stands a small log cabin — once the home of Ulysses S. Grant. Somehow, I never noticed the road just outside Grant’s Farm boundaries that leads to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, a property of the National Park Service.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oliver 7-29 Good Reads

    NOTE: Email dpeery@edmondsun.com to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: “Oliver and the Seawigs” and/or “The Strange Maid.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Aug. 28. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Carpenter Square Carpenter Square Theatre Presents ‘Fibs’

    For two nights only, Carpenter Square Theatre presents Albert Bostick’s one-man show “Fabulous Fibs, Fables, and Folklore.”  Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 and 9 at the theater at 800 W. Main in downtown Oklahoma City.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Science Museum Oklahoma to exhibit Power Play

    Designed to test strength, speed, stamina, flexibility and balance, Science Museum Oklahoma’s new exhibit — Power Play — explores human physiology and the power of the human body. Power Play is now open to the public.

    July 25, 2014

  • Discard the boredom of family game night

    We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

    July 25, 2014

  • OBU dance team celebrates National Dance Day

    In 2010, “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe created National Dance Day in an effort to help people embrace dance and combat obesity on the last Saturday in July.
    This year, on July 26, Oklahoma Baptist University’s dance team will host a fundraiser that allows participants to dance all day for $30. The fundraiser will be in the Noble Complex on OBU’s campus.
    Cami Gower, an OBU junior and co-captain/co-founder of the dance team, said the team’s officers have been planning for their upcoming season since April. Gower is a graduate of Deer Creek High School.
    “Since then we have been coming up with better ways to reach the community with dance,” she said. “This day of dance was a great way to do it and help the team raise funds.”

    July 24, 2014