Shrimp Chicken Fish

2010 | 00:05:15 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Architecture, Chicago Art, City, Food, Hollywood, Landscape

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An homage to Chicago's East 95th Street Bridge, Calumet Fisheries and to a couple of the city's infamous brothers.  The take-out shack, originally glimpsed in the background of a scene from The Blues Brothers, still operates.  It has become a real-world portal to a cinematic past.  Propped along the edge of the 95th street drawbridge, the building is framed by the towering infrastructures of the Chicago Skyway and Calumet Harbor.

"I was attracted to this location before I became aware of its cinematic history. The 95th street bridge sits in the shadow of a much bigger bridge called the Chicago Skyway whose massive steel truss hulk looms. The Skyway is a toll-road bypass over the industrial Calumet Harbor – a short cut to Indiana. As a person drawn to unusual landscapes living in a chronically flat city, the highest road for hundreds of miles is interesting. I would go there sometimes to look at it at night, and on one of those drives, I found Calumet Fisheries which is the shrimp shack in the film. It’s a quirky building perched right on the edge of a working draw bridge. The smoke house is cantilevered over the river itself. The business stands more or less alone. Across the street are gravel piles, and to its south, like a grey rainbow, is the Skyway. It’s a non-residential area. But there’s a steady stream of customers who come for the chicken and fish.

It wasn’t until I’d been there a couple of times that I noticed the little cut out newsprint photo of the Blues Brothers and realized that the film’s bridge jump scene had been shot right there. I was interested in conflating the actual site of the Fisheries shack with its cinematic history... I like the way the location absorbs both its real and its fabricated pasts. The Blues Brothers’ jump casts no less substantial a shadow than the Skyway. Both architecture and cinema monumentalize the site."

-- Deborah Stratman

 

Premiere

Torino Film Festival

Exhibitions + Festivals

The Northern, Olympia, WA, 2011

Detroit Independent Film Festival, 2011

Block Museum of Art, Evanston, IL, 2011