Music Box’s film noir fest touts James Caan tribute, the latest on R. Kelly’s trial and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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James Caan and Willie Nelson appear in “Thief.”

United Artists

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high near 79. Similar weather will continue into tonight with a low near 66. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 75.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

10-hour marathon of rarities highlights Music Box’s film noir festival

After a three-year “intermission,” Noir City: Chicago returns tomorrow through Sept. 1 at the Music Box Theatre with a lineup of killer B’s — a six-movie marathon of rarities — and an opening-night salute to neo-noir icon James Caan.

Turner Classic Movies host Eddie Muller and his partner in cinematic crime appreciation Alan K. Rode produce and program the traveling festival, which celebrates film noir, a movement born in the ’40s, with a fatalistic perspective and a visual style reflecting that pessimism. Muller, who helms the weekly TCM showcase “Noir Alley,” bills this edition as “Noir Alley Live.”

“I tried to pick films that haven’t been shown yet on TCM,” said Muller, who also founded the Bay Area-based Film Noir Foundation, which co-presents Noir City. “There are films that can be screened in theaters but can’t be shown on TV or cable networks like TCM because they are what’s called out of window — their broadcast rights are no longer available.”

For hard-core noir fans, this year’s main attraction has to be the 10-hour marathon Saturday of B-movie rarities, beginning with “Among the Living” (1941) at 1:30 p.m. and winding up at 10:15 p.m. with “The Argyle Secrets” (1948).

The James Caan tribute came together after the “Godfather” star died July 6 at age 82. Set and filmed in Chicago by director/co-writer Michael Mann in his feature-film debut, “Thief” (1981) gave Caan one of his best roles. “Most neo-noir fans know ‘Thief,’ but I was most psyched to screen ‘Flesh and Bone’ [1993],” Muller said. “It’s very much a noir, with a flashback story to a dark secret in a man’s life. It asks the perennial question: Are the sins of the father visited upon the son?”

The Music Box engagement marks the 12th installment of Noir City: Chicago, which had been shelved since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Laura Emerick has more on the film festival here.

More news you need

  1. Lisa Van Allen, a key witness in R. Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial, testified today that she and Kelly filmed multiple threesomes with an underage girl in the late 1990s. Van Allen was matter of fact as she relayed the dark details, our Andy Grimm and Jon Seidel report in their latest from Kelly’s trial.
  2. Sexual misconduct complaints have returned to pre-pandemic levels at Chicago Public Schools after a major dip during remote learning, officials said yesterday. The rise in misconduct reports was expected as students and staff returned to classrooms, CPS officials said.
  3. A woman escaped an attempted kidnapping in the West Loop after a bystander stepped in yesterday morning, Chicago police said. Our David Struett has more on how a passerby walking his dog was able to thwart the kidnapping attempt here.
  4. Under a new contract, unarmed security teams working with dogs will help patrol Chicago Transit Authority property in an effort to deter crime, the agency announced yesterday. CTA officials said they signed an 18-month contract with security service Action K-9 worth more than $30 million that will provide 100 unarmed guards and 50 canines per day for patrols.
  5. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Chicago Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady each announced today that they have tested positive for COVID-19. COVID cases and hospitalizations have risen this summer thanks to the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, but numbers have started to level off over the past two weeks.
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A bright one

Collaboration between businessmen and street artists makes West Side building shine

A rubber ducky atop a skull awash in suds. An aqua-colored owl. A woman with rabbit ears and no mouth. What appears to be the Disney character Pluto — or is it Goofy? — with a robot head in his mouth. And a purple frog holding a cheeseburger that has eyes and a mouth.

You probably wouldn’t guess that the brick building near Grand and Chicago avenues on which all of the above are painted is the headquarters of the aircraft parts company Setna iO. The building is awash with murals. Many of them beg for an explanation: What is that? Others give a nod to the aviation industry, with their cartoonish characters in aviator goggles zipping around in little planes.

The outdoor art resulted from a chance encounter during the civil unrest of 2020 between David Chaimovitz, the aircraft parts company’s chief executive officer, and the street artist who goes by Bird Milk.


This brick building near Grand and Chicago avenues, awash with murals, is the headquarters of the aircraft parts company Setna iO.

Robert Herguth/Sun-Times

“I was on Division Street, and there was a peaceful protest and tons of people were there, and I see these guys painting all the boarded-up windows,” Chaimovitz says. “They were making some lemonade out of lemons. So I went up to them and said, ‘This is super-cool. I have a business. I always wanted to have some murals.’”

Chaimovitz says he gave the artists pretty much free rein, telling them: “If you can incorporate aviation into it, that’s cool. If not, that’s also cool. Come and have some fun, and make the city more beautiful.”

Though the building is now pretty well covered with art, “We’re still kind of adding to it as time goes on and as I encounter more artists,” Chaimovitz says.

You can read the full story behind the murals here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

If you could become an alderperson for a day, what’s the first thing you’d do for your ward?

Send us an email at and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: How do you feel about President Biden’s new student debt cancellation plan?

Here’s what some of you said…

“I paid off my loans in full and I don’t mind a bit. Everyone benefits from a healthy middle class. Except for the 1%.” — Annaliese Spalink

“Instead how about helping us on social security and fixed incomes? We are barely holding on.” — Christine Lotz

“Will change my entire life for the better.” — Justin Blake Walters

“Cancelling student debt is irresponsible and it teaches irresponsibility!” — Claudia Moon Zikuda

“It’s a good step. We should have free college education like in Europe but it will at least help people who are burdened with college debt. Nothing wrong with government helping working class people.” — Dave Gerard

“I paid mine myself. How about $10K toward my mortgage?” — Kevin Roecker

“Long overdue. The days when a student can ‘work their way through’ as I did in the late 60s and early 70s are no longer possible. We should be encouraging all forms of advanced training, including trade schools.” — Judi Breuggeman

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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