CFA Out of the Vault: Films by Tom Palazzolo ("Tom Chicago")

Directed by: Tom Palazzolo

This program of lesser-known films by Chicago legend Tom Palazzolo riffs off of Palazzolo’s nickname, “Tom Chicago,” (or “Tommy Chicago,” depending on how well you know him). Palazzolo’s unique perspective on everyday life in the city, in combination with his dark sense of humor, results in films that are as tender and heartwarming as they are sharp and critical. Known for making documentaries on subjects as wide ranging as the 1968 convention, a neo-Nazi march in Marquette Park, Maxwell Street, and the “tattooed lady of Riverview” park, Palazzolo is as curious a citizen of the city as he is a filmmaker. His documentary approach ranges from observational to participatory, yet what always rises to the surface is his keen interest in the human condition. This program focuses on the interactions and rituals that we, as members of society, participate in—whether we choose to or not. A bridal shower + a neighborhood celebration on Labor Day + a gay pride parade + a behind-the-scenes look at a car dealership = just a small glimpse into Tom’s Chicago.  

Ricky and Rocky (made w/ Jeff Kreines, 1972, 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes)

Labor Day: East Chicago (1979, 16mm, color, sound, 25 minutes)

Gay for a Day (1976, 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes)

It’s This Way at Deel Ford (made w/ Jeff Kreines, 1980, 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes)

Chicago Film Archives is a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. 

Suggested Donation: $8

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