Jean Grémillon's DAÏNAH LA MÉTISSE (French Revival)
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) - Friday, 7pm
A rather glorious curiosity, Jean Grémillon's DAÏNAH LA MÉTISSE straddles the line between 1920s French Impressionism and 1930s French Poetic Realism. It has an otherworldly, dreamlike quality that draws from both traditions -- a quality underscored by its hermetic setting aboard an ocean liner. It also straddles the line between silent and sound eras of cinema, mixing sophisticated and expressive visuals with awkward (but fascinating) sync sound sequences. Ill-fitting parts become dynamic through their radical shifts from one to the other. The Daïnah of the title is a seductive "half-breed" (métisse) married to a black magician (there's a spectacularly odd performance from him featuring a glass bowl, some fish, and a bird). She's a dervish who upsets the equilibrium of this closed group (literally at first, with a mad, spinning dance in a lamé dress), charming and captivating the passengers but putting herself in danger. The film was severely cut by the studio--by nearly 40 minutes--and it's hard to tell how much (or if) the film suffers from this. The film is constantly destabilizing the viewer through severe camera angles (so many birds-eye shots!) and by filming through railings, distorting windows, and other obscuring elements. The rough narrative flow seems to come from the filmmaker's process rather than the studio's butchering. It's a film of sharp edges, and sometimes a deep cut is better than a shallow puncture. (1932, 51 min, Archival 35mm Print) PF
Also showing is Grémillon's 1941 film REMORQUES (91 min, Archival 35mm Print), as part of a double feature
More info at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.
Insight: Catholic Television from The Twilight Zone (Archival Television)
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) - Friday, 8pm
Before there was a cool pope, there was cool Catholic television. It may seem hard to believe, but if you can't trust us, you can most certainly trust the likes of Bob Newhart, Ida Lupino and William Shatner, all of whom guest-starred on the weekly anthology series "Insight." Produced by Paulist Productions, "Insight" aired in syndication from 1960 to 1983 and won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Religious Programming. The production company and show were created by Father Ellwood E. Keiser, C.S.P, a Paulist priest who strongly believed that "film and television have incredible power to help that humanizing process by which we all become more compassionate, more loving and more forgiving." (Keiser's PhD dissertation was titled "Cinema as a Religious Experience.") Keiser certainly applied this ideology to "Insight," but even more impressive than his humanistic approach to conveying his religious beliefs through television are the formal and aesthetic methods his show used to display them. The program at the Nightingale will include a compilation of carefully-curated television ephemera, a seven-minute highlight reel from the series, and a full episode titled "Insight: Locusts Have No King." Directed by Ted Post (whose film credits include HANG 'EM HIGH, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES and MAGNUM FORCE) and written by Gilbert Ralston (a prolific TV writer who also wrote the screenplay for the 1971 film WILLARD), this noirish episode from 1965 stars William Shatner as a reform committee chairman who takes a stand against a local crime syndicate and the vice they foment in his community. Geraldine Brooks stars as his wife, whose initial apprehension over her husband's moral stance later turns to support in the face of adversity. As Father Keiser says during his appearance in the episode, "The common good is of common concern. All are bound to seek it," a line written and delivered so eloquently as to sound almost proverbial. With most of the series' 261 episodes unavailable in any format, it's hard to say if this is a distinct characteristic of the show itself or just the director of this particular episode, but the close-ups are particularly fascinating. Shots linger uncomfortably on characters' faces while they register various emotions, further emphasizing the complexity of the issue at hand. There's an earnestness at play that makes it seem sincere rather than campy, the potential for which is seemingly inherent in most religious programming. This artfulness is further exhibited in the seven-minute highlight reel; when viewed out of context, the clips are certainly surreal and almost avant-garde. In one scene, Martin Sheen appears in full clown makeup and starts to sing after watching three people be executed. In another, a female robot declares that she wants a baby while her male owner (partner?) opens a newspaper whose headline reads, "Mad Rapist Strikes Again." The full episode and the two artfully constructed compilation reels are courtesy of archivists Jeff Martin and Mark Quigley, who will be in person. (Locusts: 27 min, Digital Projection; Additional material: approx. 15-20 min, Digital Projection) KS
More info at nightingalecinema.org.
Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tuesday 6pm (Free with Museum Admission)
This year the consistently singular, meditative, and charming Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, programmed by Alexander Stewart and Lili Carré--and now a touring festival with stops in Richmond, VA and Brooklyn--opens at the MCA with further screenings next Friday and Saturday (Nov. 14 and 15) at the Nightingale. Eyeworks veterans with films screening opening night include the enigmatic Zeitguised collective, whose BIRDS resembles a Pixar promo reel gone haywire, and Jake Fried with his blistering cosmic freehand HEADSPACE. Always welcome (and not to be found elsewhere) are the festival's deep cuts from the archives, including the exceptionally beautiful layered paintings of Florence Miailhe's 1992 HAMMAM (set to Don Cherry and medieval folk music); but contemporary technical wizardry is also on hand with the radical computer-assisted "handheld" camera of Joshua Mosely's JEU DE PAUME, Georges Schwizgebel's epic 35mm meta-Escheresque JEU, and the recursive ceramic shattering of Johan Rijpma's DESCENT. (1992-2014, 74 min total, 35mm and Video Projection) MC
More info at www2.mcachicago.org/event/mca-screen-eyeworks-festival.
The Chicago Eight (Seven) on Film, 1970-1971 (Documentary Revival)
South Side Projections at the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) - Sunday, 6pm
Just as the Yippies made a mockery of the Chicago Seven proceedings, so too do the off-Broadway play "Chicago 70" and the film version based on it lampoon the grand jury trial that occurred after riots broke out at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (As per the program title, the group was only later rechristened the Chicago Seven after Bobby Seales' case was severed from the others.) By intercutting scenes based on transcripts from the trial with episodes from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the play (originally conceived by the Toronto Workshop Company), and subsequently Kerry Feltham's THE GREAT CHICAGO CONSPIRACY CIRCUS (1970, 92 min, DVD Projection), turn the justifiably ludicrous actions of the defendants into something straight out of the Theatre of the Absurd. As critic Martin Esslin said in his famous essay on the subject, "the absurd and fantastic goings-on...will, in the end, be found to reveal the irrationality of the human condition and the illusion of what we thought was its apparent logic structure." In this sense, the courtroom is a microcosm of the human condition and the defendants, and later Feltham, utilize absurdity to emphasize the "irrationality" of the trial and Judge Hoffman's own contribution to the breakdown of the "apparent logic structure." By using transcripts from the trial, the work further exhibits the inherent farcicality of the justice system. The juxtaposition with scenes from Alice in Wonderland speaks for itself--we're all mad here, indeed. The screening will also include Richard Brick's THE CONSPIRACY AND THE DYBBUK (1971, 25 min, 16mm) which, according to the South Side Projections website, "is a record of the Radical Jewish Union of New York's exorcism of the evil spirit that must be possessing Judge Hoffman, intercut with clips of speeches by Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, William Kunstler, and Jean Genet." There was no preview available, but from the sound of it, it's as absurd as THE GREAT CHICAGO CONSPIRACY CIRCUS, even if unintentionally so. Introduced by artist, video-maker, activist and SAIC professor Mary Patten. KS
More info at www.southsideprojections.org.
Martin Scorsese's THE KING OF COMEDY (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday, 5:30pm and Tuesday, 6pm
Note: Spoiler! - Robert De Niro is fine, and Sandra Bernhard is aces. But without Jerry Lewis there would be no KING OF COMEDY. The proof of it is the look on Jerry's face in his final scene. After Masha serenades him with the creepiest/loveliest rendition of "Come Rain or Come Shine" ever captured on celluloid, he gently convinces her to untie him. As the last bit of packing tape is about to come loose, he quickly breaks free, stands up, advances towards her. Her expression, all lustful anticipation, says, "He's about to ravish me." Instead he smacks her once, hard, and runs out of the room. When we see him next he's alone on a New York City street. He pauses in front of a shop window that's filled with televisions, all showing Rupert Pupkin as he delivers his monologue on Jerry's hijacked program. Then, the look on Jerry's face (which is the very last time we see him): the look of a man who realizes that he's just been beaten, that he's suddenly much closer to the end than the beginning, that in due time he will cease to have a place in the new order of things. We are now living in that new order, confirming that KING OF COMEDY is one of the most prescient satires of the 20th century. Jonathan Rosenbaum lectures at the Tuesday screening. (1982, 109 min, 35mm) RC
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Jean Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION (French Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 6pm and Saturday, 5pm
In the spring of 1937, master director Jean Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION premiered in his country to general acclaim. However, when the Nazis invaded only three years later, Joseph Goebbels declared the film to be "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1." He seized the original negative, which finally resurfaced over fifty years later in a pile of boxes that traveled from Moscow to the Cinematheque de Toulouse. Renoir adapted GRAND ILLUSION from his friend Major Pinsard's reminiscences as a pilot during World War I. In the beginning of the film, Captain von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim) captures Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and his lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) and transfers them to a prisoner of war camp. At the camp, Boeldieu, Marechal, and their friends while away the time by gardening, playing cards, and performing theater. They also dig a tunnel to escape and return to the front. But, before succeeding, the Germans transfer them to von Rauffenstein's fortress, where they devise a new plan for escape. Although the rules are strict within the camps, the soldiers treat the prisoners quite well and, amazingly, a true camaraderie develops between them. This French filmmaker depicts the German soldiers--especially von Rauffenstein--and citizens as humane. It begs the question: Why did Renoir create this image of the German people in the face of Nazism? Why did he make this film? In watching GRAND ILLUSION, the viewer reflects on its title and the any number of things to which it alludes. The film remains known today for its expression of man's humanity, but is such possible in war? For me, the grand illusion is our humanity, which we have yet to realize. (1937, 114 min, 35mm) CW
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Otto Preminger's LAURA (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Tuesday, 7pm
LAURA is one of those films, like THE WIZARD OF OZ and CASABLANCA, seemingly ill-conceived (several hands worked on the screenplay) and ill-fated during production (two sets of both cinematographers and directors) that somehow emerge fully-formed and as perfect as a movie can ever be. It all starts with David Raksin's seductive theme music. Preminger uses it as an anchor for the central mystery, which merely lures us into contemplations of perversity amid the lushly-decorated interiors where the bulk of the action takes place. The dream settings that are the apartments of Laura Hunt and Waldo Lydecker are worlds as self-contained as the White Lodge and the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. Little wonder then that David Lynch borrowed several character names for his series. Repeat viewings of LAURA only enhance the mystery; is Waldo gay? did Waldo and Shelby once have an affair? And the brilliant dialog detaches itself further from the action. "He's no good, but he's what I want," says Mrs. Treadwell. People live one life with their bodies and another in their words. The characters' behavior functions according to a weird, unknowable logic. (1944, 88 min, 35mm) RC
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Steven Spielberg's RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
A monument in the Cold War's conservative cinema of reassurance, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is today undeniably a fairy tale about the origin of the atomic bomb. While in reality, nuclear weapons were the intentional outcome of a race between America and Germany's large-scale militarization of the physical sciences, here they are represented not as a technological invention of bureaucratic rationalism but as an archaeological re-discovery, of the Old Testament's famously powerful Ark of the Covenant. Mild-mannered, crushworthy, U of C-educated anthropology professor Jones--teaching at a time when one was morally obligated to kill as many Nazis as possible in the course of one's fieldwork--teams up with his former advisor's daughter (now a hard-drinking expat Nepalese barmaid) to engage in battles of dubious detective-work and elaborately staged, violent fisticuffs with rival archaeologist Belloq, a variety of expendable German soldiers, and the seemingly re-indentured residents of Egypt. At stake is the primary fetish object of the Books of Joshua and Samuel, certainly the closest material embodiment of God in the Bible; however, like GHOSTBUSTERS--which also treated the Abrahamic religions as a mere historical elaboration on occult Mesopotamian ritual--RAIDERS romanticizes the agnostic and empirical logic of its hard-nosed protagonist, who eventually realizes that the only way to escape The Lord's wrath is to close one's eyes to His power. This reassurance returns conclusively in the coda, which seems to say: oh, the wrath of God, we'll never use that again; we're just filing it away with the fruits of America's other positivist projects in some Library of Babel-sized warehouse. (1981, 118 min, DCP Digital Projection) MC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
John Hughes' SIXTEEN CANDLES (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Friday, 7 and 9pm and Sunday, 1pm
I wonder whether the Music Box's decision to play two films by the recently deceased John Hughes--beginning with his 1984 debut feature SIXTEEN CANDLES--is a mere coincidence or a shrewd move. Regardless, CANDLES is probably the best and most palatable of Hughes generally entertaining productions. It's Samantha's (Molly Ringwald) sixteenth birthday and her life isn't going as planned. Not only did her family forget this special day, but also she doesn't know how to approach the boy of her dreams. Adding to her complications, she has also "loaned" her underwear to a geek so he can win a bet that he's had sex. It's funny how early-80s teen comedies make high school seem more interesting (or "profound") than it actually ever is. But SIXTEEN CANDLES, which has the ambiance of an after-school special but the dialogue of a teen sex comedy, magically works because of the unlikely combination. The near-constant sexist and racist humor (e.g., a gong is sounded each time the Chinese exchange student, named Long Duk Dong, appears on screen), along with its dated musical and fashion sense and a delightfully predictable finale, has helped to make the film a cult classic. But when stripped of nostalgia and kitsch value, SIXTEEN CANDLES remains a worthy interpretation of high-school life, as it can only be experienced in the movies. (1984, 94 min, 35mm) JR
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
The Farrelly Brothers' DUMB AND DUMBER (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre - Friday and Saturday, Midnight
A happy couple walks through the snow together. The woman playfully throws a bit of snow up at the man. The man's face drops and becomes stern. He hard-packs a snowball. The woman smiles: unaware, adoring, joyful. The man whips a snowball directly into her face. This is a great moment in the history of cinema. It's primal, perfect, crystalline. The music, the performance, the camera, and the editing all work in harmony. It's as graceful as Fred Astaire's "Drum Crazy" performance in EASTER PARADE. It's as forceful as the sequence on the Odessa Steps. Also, right before this scene, Jeff Daniels puts the carrot and two lumps of coal as a snowman's dick and balls instead of his nose and eyes. (1994, 107 min, 35mm) JBM
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cyn, and Anonymous' THE ACT OF KILLING (Documentary/Experimental)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Thursday, 7pm
Grotesque, absurd, and stunningly strange, THE ACT OF KILLING is a full-bodied treatise on violence, as it's imagined, organized, and performed. One of its directors, Joshua Oppenheimer, spent years working with survivors of political violence in Indonesia and in the process developed a robust frame on the region's terrifying history of paramilitary control. The movie follows a few aging members of one of the country's death squads, the Pancasila Youth--chiefly one man, Anwar Congo--as they live now, enjoying the privilege afforded to victors. Adding a layer to the story, the filmmakers collaborate with the killers to create filmed re-enactments of the murders they committed. Oppenheimer, his collaborator Christine Cyn, along with a rotating cast and crew of Indonesian people, participate in a bizarre creative process. The work required simultaneously engages the history of the murders and evokes rich portraits of the murderers themselves as they conceptualize and perform their own artistic interpretations of their actions. THE ACT OF KILLING is an elusive piece on non-fiction that slips in and out of several realms at once: a conventional doc view of a country whose chaotic government openly colludes with thugs, at times a darkly comic look at the close familial bond of Anwar and his men, and finally a chilling look at how the brutal logic of violence reverberates out into personal, national, and global consequences. (2012, 116 min, DCP Digital Projection) CL
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Nagisa Oshima's MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE (Japanese Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Thursday, 9:30pm
At the MCA Chicago's 'David Bowie Is' exhibit, there's a small room that holds various artifacts from the British superstar's disparate acting career. It leads to another room in which several of his performances are being projected in a loop; included is a scene from Nagisa Oshima's MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE in which Bowie, as Major Jack Celliers, a South African soldier who's been sentenced to death for participating in guerrilla warfare, mimes his way through some final "actions" leading up to his execution (which he inexplicably survives). Though Bowie studied miming under the great Lindsay Kemp, the scene is no mere shoutout to one of his (and subsequently Oshima's) more obscure influences; instead, Celliers' disaffected wit is a concise summation of the film's central theme, that of willfulness and Japanese repression of will through order and tradition. Plotwise, the film is about the dynamic among a group of men in a Javanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. More specifically, it's about the dynamic between two Allied prisoners of war and two Japanese prison camp workers. Next to Bowie, Tom Conti plays the titular Mr. Lawrence, a British POW who speaks Japanese and expresses a general understanding of the complex culture that's imprisoned him. The camp workers are Japanese soldiers Sgt. Hara and Capt. Yonoi, the former a brutal guard who nevertheless makes friends with Lawrence and the latter a tradition-bound commandant who develops a fixation on the fair-haired Celliers. Much like Bowie the performer, MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE is often cited for its homoerotic undercurrent, an assessment heightened by the casting of Japanese electronic music star Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose androgynous beauty mirrors that of Bowie, as Capt. Yonoi. (In one scene, Sgt. Hara remarks that he had just been awoken from a dream featuring Marlene Dietrich, another high-cheekboned babe known for her transgressive sex appeal.) But just as Bowie's sexuality is often mistakenly taken at face value, so too is the film's homoerotic undercurrent often mistaken as its central theme. As Oshima himself has written, "homosexuality is the synthesis of friendship and violence: military men are attracted by their enemies, as men, in compensation for their frustration." Disregarding Oshima's problematic view towards homosexuality and sexual violence (rape is common in his films), it's evident that Yonoi's violent tendencies are brought about by the repression of his attraction to Celliers, which is an attraction that has as much to do with Celliers' willfulness as it does his physical beauty. Yonoi had been part of a coup to assassinate leading government officials and take control of the palace, but was spared his life and restored to military standing, albeit at a low level, because he was out of the country during the actual attack. Thus, the repression of his will extends beyond sexuality and relates to both the oppression of his militarist ideology and the guilt he feels over not having been present at the uprising. The film is widely considered to be one of Oshima's more accessible works owing to the cast, its similarities with other popular POW films (most notably David Lean's 1957 film BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI) and Oshima's use of long shots and symmetrical framing. Based on Sir Laurens Jan van der Post's novel The Seed and the Sower, it differs from other similarly acclaimed POW films in that it's a film made by the "other," reflecting the wartime cruelty of his own people. And even Oshima's use of traditional filmmaking devices lends itself to his alternative viewpoint; long shots allow for all the characters to be equally represented and thus equally contradicted, an element of craft mirrored by Lawrence's assertion that "we are all wrong," and the symmetrical framing in many scenes is meant to reflect the traditionalism that Oshima challenges throughout. (He employed a similar visual motif in his 1971 film THE CEREMONY.) The film's score is another aspect that enhances its subtle unconventionality. Composed almost entirely by Sakamoto, it's a delicate blend of traditional-sounding melodies and his own synth-pop sensibility. Bowie sings a bit in the film, but it's his Strafer Jack who's most off tune. (1983, 122 min, 35mm) KS
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Leslie Buchbinder's HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS (New Documentary)
Film Studies Center (Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) - Friday, 7pm (Free Admission)
For the longest time there was a dearth of scholarly coverage of the Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists. Prominent figures like Ed Paschke and Karl Wirsum were periodically spotlighted as solo artists, but it was difficult to contextualize their work within a larger historical narrative. What was the relationship between the Hairy Who and other cliques in the Chicago art scene like the Monster Roster and Nonplussed Some, not to mention the Pop artists based in NYC? This is the subject of Leslie Buchbinder's new documentary, HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS, which functions as a brilliant treasure trove of interviews and archival photographs, aided by animations by cartoonist Lilli Carré. The Imagists drew inspiration from comic books, tattoo flash, and the iconography of local spectacles such as Maxwell St. market. However, unlike their East Coast, postmodern counterparts, the Imagists had a sincere love of mass culture. In this sense, they leapfrogged much of the debate that has preoccupied the contemporary art discourse over the past several decades, presaging what some critics refer to today as "metamodern." The influence of the Imagists can be seen in the work of Gary Panter, Mike Kelley, and John Kricfalusi. Moreover, in an extended interview with the director (which can be read on the Cine-File blog), she expands on the intimate link between Imagists and the cinema--just another footnote in what amounts to the most comprehensive chronicle of Chicago's most vibrant, iconoclastic, and carnivalesque chapter in art history. Director Buchbinder in person. Followed by a panel discussion. (2014, 105 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format) HS
More info at filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu.
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Mati Diop: A Thousand Suns on Thursday at 6pm. Filmmaker (and actress: see especially Claire Denis' 35 SHOTS OF RUM) Mati Diop will be in person to screen her 2013 documentary MILLES SOLEILS (A THOUSAND SUNS) (45 min), which is a personal and cultural reflection on her uncle Djibril Diop Mambéty's seminal 1972 film TOUKI BOUKI. Also screening is Diop's exceptional 2009 short ATLANTIQUES (16 min). Video Projection - Unconfirmed Formats.
Also at Block Cinema (Northwestern University) this week: Roberto Guerra and Eila Hershon's 1970 documentary LANGLOIS (52 min, DCP Digital Projection; New Restoration) screens on Thursday at 7pm with Jean-Luc Godard's 1959 short ALL THE BOYS ARE CALLED PATRICK (21 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) and the recently-added CITIZEN LANGLOIS (68 min, Imported 35mm Print), the highly-regarded 1995 documentary by Edgardo Cozarinsky.
Chicago Filmmakers and Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria St., UIC) present Barriers to Entry on Wednesday at 7pm. Screening are Benjamin Pearson's FORMER MODELS (2012), Chi Jang Yin's LIGHTHOUSE (2009), Courtney Prokopas's BRAINS, BRAWN, AND BATTERED PICKUPS (2008), Kevin Jerome Everson's FIFTEEN AN HOUR (2011), Andrew Norman Wilson's WORKERS LEAVING THE GOOGLEPLEX (2011), Deron Williams's SMART BAG (2013) and PROMO (2013), and Ian Curry's ALL DAY (Triple Projection) (2013, 3x 16mm). Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format(s), except where noted. Free admission.
The Chicago Film Archives presents CFA Crashers: Christen Carter on Tuesday at 6pm at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.). Busy Beaver Button Company founder Carter has selected the following films from the CFA collection: GOLDIELOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS (Universal Cartoon Studios, 1934), "Kimberly-Clark Corporation 'Kleenex X-Periments'" (Goldsholl Design & Film Associates, 1960s), DAYTIME TELEVISION (JoAnn Elam, Unknown Year), LIFE AND FILM (Larry Janiak, Robert Stiegler & Jeffrey Pasco, 1966), WLS (Chuck Olin Associates for WLS, 1968), JAIL KEYS MADE HERE...AND OTHER SIGNS (Lee Boltin, 1970), THE 2-YEAR MACHINE (1970, David Alexovich), "General Mills Fun Group Inc 'Craft Master Toy'" (1970, Goldsholl Design & Film Associates), and the student-made film CLOSE TO YOU BY THE CARPENTERS (1971). (Approx. 60 min total, All 16mm)
The Logan Square International Film Series at Comfort Station in Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and Moving Image Art present Imaginal Fiction on Wednesday at 8pm. The program of short videos includes work by Cornelia Eichhorn, Giulia Grossmann, Shambhavi Kaul, Solimán López, Marcantonio Lunardi, Santiago Parres (EZO), Elliot Storey, and WE (Kye Wilson and Helena Eflerová). (Unconfirmed Running Time, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format) Free admission.
Roots & Culture (1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Hybrid Theory: Jennifer Chan & Theodore Darst on Sunday at 7:30pm. The two Chicago-based video and new media artists will present an hour-long program of recent online work.
Township (2200 N. California Ave.) presents a DVD Release Screening of Joe Losurdo's 2013 horror musical SACRIFICIAL YOUTH (85 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Saturday at 9:30pm. Followed by and aftershow with live bands and DJs.
The Chicago Film Seminar begins its fall series with "a dialogue across silent cinema authors, forms, and contexts," featuring Michael Cowan (McGill University) and Tami Williams (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), on Thursday at 6:30pm. It's at the DePaul-Loop Campus in Daley Building (14 E. Jackson Blvd., Lower Level, Room 102; use the State St. entrance located at 247 S. State St.). Free admission.
The Polish Film Festival in America opens on Friday and runs through November 23 at various venues. More info and full schedule at www.pffamerica.com.
The Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema continues through November 9 at AMC Northbrook Court (in Northbrook) Full schedule and more info at http://israelifilmchi.org.
The Mostra V: Brazilian Film Series continues through November 14. More info and schedule at www.brazilianfilmsinchicago.com.
Loyola University (Damen Student Center Cinema) presents a screening of Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk's 2013 documentary HIT & STAY (99 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Tuesday at 4pm, with co-director Tropea and draft board activist Thom Clark in person. Free admission.
Navy Pier IMAX continues its 70mm IMAX presentation of Christopher Nolan's 2014 film INTERSTELLAR (169 min).
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Pascale Ferran's 2014 French film BIRD PEOPLE (127 min, DCP Digital Projection) begins a two week run; Peter Sattler's 2014 film CAMP X-RAY (117 min, DCP Digital Projection) plays for a week (except Tuesday); Jeff Barnaby's 2013 film RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS (88 min, DCP Digital Projection) plays for a week (except Saturday), with director/writer Barnaby and producer John Christou in person at the Friday screening; François Truffaut's 1961 film JULES AND JIM (104 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 3pm and Monday at 6pm; and a World War I Animation Program (approx. 75 min total, 16mm), featuring mostly silent cartoon shorts from 1916-31, is on Sunday at 3pm, with live accompaniment by David Drazin.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Woody Allen's 2014 film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (100 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 7 and 9:15pm and Sunday at 3:15pm; Edgar G. Ulmer and Henry Felt's 1939 Yiddish film THE LIGHT AHEAD (94 min, 35mm; Free admission) is on Sunday at 7pm; Albert Lamorisse's 1956 film THE RED BALLOON (34 min, 35mm) and his 1953 film WHITE MANE (40 min, 35mm) are on Monday at 7pm; and Akira Kurosawa's 1960 film THE BAD SLEEP WELL (151 min, 35mm) is on Wednesday at 7 and 10pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Erik Poppe's 2013 Norwegian film 1,000 TIMES GOOD NIGHT (117 min, DCP Digital Projection), Edet Belzberg's 2013 documentary WATCHERS OF THE SKY (120 min, DCP Digital Projection), and Margaret Brown's 2014 documentary THE GREAT INVISIBLE (92 min, DCP Digital Projection) all open; Alex Ross Perry's 2014 film LISTEN UP PHILIP (108 min) is on Friday and Saturday at 2pm; Alan Hicks' 2014 documentary KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON (84 min) is on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am; Alan Parker's 1982 film PINK FLOYD THE WALL (95 min) is on Monday at 7:30pm, as part of the occasional Sound Opinions series; E.A. Dupont's 1929 silent British film PICCADILLY (92 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at Noon, with live accompaniment by Dennis Scott; and Nacho Vigalondo's 2014 film OPEN WINDOWS (100 min) is on Friday and Saturday at Midnight. Unconfirmed Formats except where noted.
AMC River East 21 opens Jeff Preiss' 2014 film LOW DOWN (114 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format), a biopic of jazz pianist Joe Albany, on Friday.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
Chicago Artists Coalition (217 N. Carpenter St.) presents HATCH Projects: No-Fi, a group exhibition featuring Lori Felker, Jesse Seay, and Sebura&Gartelmann. Curated by Erin Toale. The show includes video work by Felker. Opening Reception on Friday from 6-9pm. The show runs through November 13.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents Lucy McKenzie and Richard Kern's 2014 single channel video The Girl Who Followed Marple (10 min loop) beginning Thursday and running through January 18.
I Am Logan Square (2644 ½ N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents a show of horror movie posters from the collection of the Logan Theater through November 14.
The Northbrook Public Library film series is on hiatus during renovations at the library. Expected completion is Spring 2015.
The Northwest Chicago Film Society is again on hiatus for their weekly series, with the closing of the Patio Theater. They plan to do occasional screenings as opportunities arise.