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At This Film Fest, The Artists Show Film Once And Then Destroy Only Copy

By Ted Cox | August 25, 2017 5:37am
 The wife-and-husband team of Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell plays host to
The wife-and-husband team of Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell plays host to "Destroy Your Art" on Friday. But will the unconventional film fest be one and done as well?
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GOOSE ISLAND — A unique new film festival on Friday invites filmmakers to screen their work, then destroy the only copy in front of the audience.

"Destroy Your Art" is the brainchild of married film-industry veterans Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell.

"'Destroy Your Art' is an idea we've been playing with for a while,” said Fons, previously of Cinema/Chicago and recently the driving force behind the rehab and reopening of the Iowa Theater in John Wayne’s hometown of Winterset, Iowa.

“With roots in performance art, improvisation and the ‘art happenings’ of the 1950s, we wanted to explore the permanence of film as well as the impermanence of a particular audience experience. What changes when you're watching a film you know you'll never be able to see again?”

The film fest is set for 8 p.m. Friday, appropriately enough at Lost Arts, a Goose Island design studio at 1001 N. Branch St. Doors open at 7:30, and tickets are $5.

These films, limited in length to seven minutes, aren't going straight to video; they're going straight into the Dumpster with the help of a metal shredder and other tools of destruction on hand.

Chicago filmmakers taking part include Lonnie Edwards, Nick Alonzo and Aemilia Scott.

"We're really interested in seeing what these filmmakers will create, and encourage them to take risks they might not otherwise pursue,” said Newell, a filmmaker and creator/founder of public art installation the Wabash Lights. “By their very nature, these aren't films that will show up on their professional reels, and there's a freedom in that."

Later Friday, over at the NewCity development at 1500 N. Clybourn Ave., Alexis Wofford plays host to "A Tribute to Michael Jackson" from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Adobe Gila's. It's part of a concert series that previously featured Prince. Disc jockey Craig Elliott will be spinning Jackson's hits, and videos and concert clips will be on TVs throughout the space.

Guests can dress in Jackson-inspired clothes for a "Who's Bad?" dance contest, and vendors will be selling Jackson memorabilia. Tickets are $20.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is sure to be featured as part of a tribute Friday night at Adobe Gila's. (Facebook/Michael Jackson)

The new Runn Chicago, which takes the concept of a spinning class and sets it on a runner's treadmill, debuts with an open house at noon Sunday at 1448 W. Willow St. But the main event for opening day is a charity relay run performed on the treadmills. Teams of four will run for two hours, a minimum of five minutes apiece, and the new gym will donate $5 a mile to Chicago Run.

Runn Chicago launches with an open house on Sunday. (Runn Chicago)