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CHEAT YOU FAIR: THE STORY OF MAXWELL STREET

USA, 2006, 100 min., English

Director:
Phil Ranstrom
Producer: Phil Ranstrom
Script: Phil Ranstrom
Cinematography: Tony Medici, Greg Glomb, Don Murphy, Pat Prater, Phil Ranstrom, Randy Riesen, Luciano Sabin
Editing: Dan Kolodziej, Justin Kulovsek, Matt Mueller, Phil Ranstrom
Music: Patrick Yacano, “Signal Hill Sound”
Sound: Lee Hart
Production company: Big Shoulders Digital Video Productions, Chicago
Print Source:
John Iltis
P.O. Box. 11104
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel.: 773 989 8888
e-mail: jiltis@iltischicago.com



Cheat You Fair: The Story Of Maxwell Street

Known as the Ellis Island of the Midwest, Maxwell Street was the home for immigrants arriving in Chicago from Europe, Latin America and the southern states. In need of jobs and quick cash, entrepreneuring upstarts helped to turn Maxwell Street into what many claimed to be the largest open-air market in the country. People sold and traded everything from clothes to cars and from appliances to produce. With so many people from various ethnicities coming together Maxwell Street soon became a cultural milieu. When Blues first arrived in Chicago and started being performed for the customers and vendors in Maxwell Street, the artists realized that the crowds couldn’t hear them, without amplifiers, so they plugged in and a new musical genre was born: electric, urban blues. It’s from this new sound that artists like Muddy waters and Howlin Wolf emerged. But this utopic place – where cultures and traditions mixed without conflict – was not meant to last. In 1994, despite much protest, the City of Chicago finally sold the area to The University of Illinois at Chicago and today condos stand in the place where greats like Daddy Stovepipe, Robert Nighthawk, Junior Wells, Jimmie Lee Robinson and Little Walter played for nickels and dimes. Shot over 12 years and featuring interviews with many locals and legends, this captivating doc provides an intimate look at a distinct cultural and ethnic phenomenon.

Phil Ranstrom is the Chicago - based freelance TV writer, producer, director. He has produced several short documentaries for PBS. In addition to his documentary work , Phil has worked in Chicago public relations and advertising scene as a writer/producer/director, as well as teaching at Columbia College/Chicago for two years. he also studied improvisational comedy at Chicago's "The Second City."

 

Filmography:

Cheat Your Fair: The Story Of Maxwell Street (2006);
Reclaiming America;
Uptown Christian Soldiers;
I Remember Riverview;
The Cocaine Express;

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 AT 6:30 PM./CHOPIN THEATRE

SUNDAY, APRIL 8 AT 3:00 PM./PORTAGE THEATRE

 


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