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:: Friday, DEC. 18 - Thursday, JAN. 7 ::

This edition of Cine-File covers the three-week period from Friday, December 18 to Thursday, January 7. Crucial Viewing and Also Recommended listings are combined (so be sure to note the specific screening date or dates); More Screenings and Events listings are separated by week. We aim to be as comprehensive as possible, but given the time span of the list some venues and screening series may not have published information for all shows, so inevitably there will be events and films missing. Check individual venue websites for any additions or updates.

CRUCIAL VIEWING

Sally Potter's ORLANDO (British Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Thursday, January 7, 7pm

Sally Potter's ORLANDO is not so much an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel as it is an interpretation respective to the nuances of its medium. "It would have been a disservice to Woolf to remain slavish to the letter of the book," Potter wrote. "For just as she was always a writer who engaged with writing and the form of the novel, similarly the film needed to engage with the energy of cinema." And it does, with such stamina that at times it's rather slow and boring, just as life is often slow and boring. Roger Ebert so eloquently wrote in his review of the film that "it is not about a story or a plot, but about a vision of human existence. What does it mean to be born as a woman, or a man? To be born at one time instead of another?" Potter doesn't attempt to answer these questions but instead relishes in their very existence. In addition to such existential ruminations, themes of gender, art, and conformity are also confronted just as in the book. Titled Orlando: A Biography, Woolf's novel was meant to be something of a spoof inspired by her lovers' turbulent family history. (The lover in question was fellow writer Vita Sackville-West.) Both the book and the film are about a young Elizabethan nobleman who mysteriously turns into a woman. In the book it's never explained, but in the film, eternal youth is granted to the teenaged Orlando by Elizabeth I, who's played to ironic perfection by gay icon Quentin Crisp. It's fitting, then, for this and other obvious reasons, that Tilda Swinton was first able to explore her own conspicuous androgyny in the title role. For those all too familiar with her now archetypal aesthetic, ORLANDO will breathe new life into one's appreciation of her as both an actress and an icon. Potter's talents are no less extraordinary; a penchant for transformation is evident in most of her films, though it's realized more explicitly in this one. Director Jane Campion best spoke to its metamorphic capabilities: "When my son died, on the third day, I was devastated, I didn't know what to do with myself. I went to see ORLANDO. It was so beautiful. This earth can be transformed. There are moments of extreme wonder...and that's all worth living for." (1993, 93 min, 35mm) KS
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More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.


Seijun Suzuki's BRANDED TO KILL (Japanese Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday, January 2, 3:45pm and Wednesday, January 6, 8pm

John Zorn describes the infamous film that was the final straw for Suzuki's then-employer Nikkatsu (a genre-picture manufacturing machine) as "about as close to traditional Yakuza pictures as Godard's Alphaville is to science fiction." Less a re-imagining of the gangster film a la Melville, or a Tarantinoian rewriting of the rules, Branded to Kill completely dismantles the genre from the ground up on both a formal and narrative level, and in this way shares a kinship with another (really punk) film from the previous year, Godard's Made in U.S.A. It's a little more fun than Godard's film though, in that its opening two reels do satisfy, albeit subversively, a few of the genre's most exciting tropes (sunglasses and suit-clad hitmen, moonlit car rides set to jazz, and an exciting, hilarious assassination sequence) before descending into complete madness. Suzuki was one of the Japanese masters of the scope frame, and here puts his eye to work in gorgeous layers of black-and-white. Although he fought back and sued the studio for wrongful termination after Branded to Kill, Suzuki was effectively blacklisted by the Japanese film industry for over a decade, for directing one too many films that, according to Nikkatsu "make no money and make no sense." But this movie has gone on to rightfully earn a reputation as one of the great Japanese films of the 60's, and has influenced some of our most treasured modern independent filmmakers, including Wong Kar-wai and Jim Jarmusch. While Branded to Kill may lack the emotional thrust of Suzuki's masterpiece Gate of Flesh, it more than makes up for that in anarchist spirit, which makes it an essential work by one of the strangest artists to ever pick up a camera. (1967, 91 min, DCP Digital) MF
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Kent Jones's HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT (New Documentary)
Music Box Theatre - Opens Friday, December 25; Check Venue website for showtimes

In 1962, François Truffaut held a weeklong interview with Alfred Hitchcock to discuss the latter's prolific film career. A condensed version of these conversations was later published as a book entitled Hitchcock/Truffaut. The film HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT is a biographical documentary encompassing the lives of both directors before, during, and after their famous meetings. Kent Jones deftly weaves portions of the audio recordings from the interviews, snippets from the book, and sequences from Hitchcock's films to create a history of The Master of Suspense's oeuvre. The heart of the film asks whether Hitchcock was an artist or an entertainer. The auteur theory is championed in Hitchcock's favor, as many of his iconic scenes are analyzed and praised through talking head interviews with the likes of Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and Wes Anderson, among others. But it's the admiring relationship between Truffaut and Hitchcock and their honest, thoughtful, and unpretentious dialogue that is the strong core of the film. Jones presents the discussion in such a way that one almost feels present in the room, like an unspeaking fourth party sitting next to Truffaut's interpreter. Hitchcock's influence on Truffaut can be seen in some brief sequences from THE 400 BLOWS and JULES AND JIM, but what truly is highlighted in these moments, are their differences, Hitchcock's emphasis on his mise en scene and Truffaut favoring a more stylized approach to his directing. The editing in this film is quick and playful, shots never lingering too long on any one thing, keeping the subject engaging and accessible to both cinephiles and the casual viewer. HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT is a celebration of the friendship the pair forged back in 1962 and the love of cinema as an art form. (2015, 79 min, DCP Digital) KC
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More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.


ALSO RECOMMENDED

Charles Poekel's CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (New American)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday-Wednesday, December 18-23; Check Venue website for showtimes

A lot of literal-minded folks have trouble with the line "It's the coldest time of winter" in Merle Haggard's Christmas song "If We Make It Through December," unwilling or unable to accept that the Poet of the Common Man is referring to the emotional temperature of the season. Charles Poekel's CHRISTMAS, AGAIN is a kind of cinematic analog to Haggard's downbeat holiday classic, following the adventures of a pill-popping Christmas-tree salesman named Noel (Kentucker Audley) as he attempts to survive the last busy nights on the job leading up to December 25th without the aid of his former girlfriend, a crucial off-screen character whose absence from his life is never properly explained (Did she leave him? Did she die?). Filmmaking in a minor key, but by no means a minor film, Poekel's winning first feature has great specificity of character and place, showing with a documentary-like attention to detail what it must be like for an upstate New Yorker to work a seasonal, blue-collar job in Brooklyn. What little narrative there is concerns Noel's meeting a stranger named Lydia (Hannah Gross), a young woman passed out on a park-bench and missing a shoe, and giving her a place to sleep for the night. The potential romance between them is wisely kept at the level of possibility, a conceit that will undoubtedly frustrate some viewers while also gratifying those who believe that a little redemption goes a long way. Kentucker Audley's quietly powerful lead performance offers a master-class in restrained melancholy, a quality aided immeasurably by the handheld 16mm cinematography of Sean Price Williams (who does wonders with nighttime exteriors and colored Christmas lights) and the expert editing of documentary filmmaker Robert Greene (ACTRESS). Poekel in person at the Friday and Saturday evening shows. (2014, 80 min, DCP) MGS
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Hou Hsiao-hsien's THE ASSASSIN (New Taiwanese)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday-Wednesday, December 18-23; Check Venue website for showtimes

Beginning with A CITY OF SADNESS, his 1989 masterpiece, nearly every film Hou Hsiao-hsien has given us since has been a great one, and even MILLENNIUM MAMBO, arguably the sole exception, is a work of unearthly beauty featuring one of the most indelible endings in modern cinema. Hou's best films, however--THE PUPPETMASTER, FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI, and now, possibly, this beguiling work--have achieved something even rarer than garden-variety greatness. They have suggested no less than a total re-imagining of cinema itself from the ground up, as if returning us to the silent era. Simply put, THE ASSASSIN is unprecedented. Ostensibly a wuxia film, this is worlds apart from anything King Hu might have dreamed up. There exists no film like it, though there are a handful of faint antecedents. Carl Dreyer's DAY OF WRATH, Akira Kurosawa's THRONE OF BLOOD, and Robert Bresson's LANCELOT DU LAC suggest something of the mysticism, the atmosphere of people under the spell of ancient superstition, that Hou casts over this Tang Dynasty legend. Both Kurosawa's and Kenji Mizoguchi's historical films draw on the aesthetic philosophies underpinning classical Japanese painting, just as this film draws on related traditions in Chinese painting. But neither of these potential lineages suffices to fully account for the swirl of sensations THE ASSASSIN induces in each of its richly appointed images. Likewise, Hou's previous work suggests ways one might understand and misunderstand the film in equal measure. If you're used to the allusive narrative strategies and long take style that reached full maturity with THE PUPPETMASTER, you may be disappointed to find that Hou's mode of address is slightly more direct here, his cutting within and between scenes is both more frequent and swifter. While he has not abandoned his aesthetic principles, he has tweaked them to fit his subject matter, achieving a level of concision that is new for him, but totally appropriate for what is fundamentally speaking a work of action cinema, albeit one of the oddest sort you are ever likely to encounter. The result is that this film feels simultaneously close to and remote from the films that came before it. There is nothing here like the entrancing, eight-minute take that opens FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI. Instead, a similarly entrancing rhythm is spun from the gradual drifting of one image into the next like lapping wisps of cloud, and the vertiginous alternation between deep, jewel-like interiors and vast, dream-like exteriors whose uncanny qualities surpass even those of Lisandro Alonso's JAUJA of last year. As with every Hou film since at least GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE, critics have charged that all this visual splendor is allowed to intervene between the audience and the story's human elements ("intriguing, but ultimately opaque", "a lovely, inert object", "no love for anyone, or anything, outside of beauty"), and indeed one or even two viewings may not be enough to unpack this work's most buried currents of feeling, but they are there to be sure, concealed like the titular assassin herself or like the wind in the trees. (2015, 105 min, DCP Digital) EC
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Short Films by The Quay Brothers & Christopher Nolan's QUAY (Experimental Animation Revival & New Documentary)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday-Wednesday, December 26-30 (no Sunday screening); Check Venue website for showtimes

This program features a trio of experimental shorts by the Quay Brothers (showing in new 35mm prints) and a new documentary short on the celebrated twins, QUAY (2015, 9 min, 35mm), by Christopher Nolan. The Quay Brothers' IN ABSENTIA (2000, 35mm) is a dark, hazy work about a woman committed to an insane asylum who frantically writes notes to her husband. Its most striking quality is how tactile it is. Shallow-focus close-ups of pencil lead, fingertips, and household objects are just begging to be felt and insert the viewer into the film in a visceral way. The soundtrack is a cacophony of distorted music and voices, which accentuate feelings of paranoia and schizophrenia. The surreal short THE COMB (1991, 35mm) features a puppet that watches a restless woman sleep and dream. The puppet's jarring movements are in concordance with the stabbing violin score. THE COMB is pure cinema that doesn't resolve into a single, easy interpretation. Perhaps the Quay's best-known film, STREET OF CROCODILES (1986, 35mm) is a rumination on spectating. A man peers into a box full of puppets that are seemingly alive. The explorer puppet meanders from room to room observing a boy playing with a mirror, screws constantly spinning, ballerinas whose arms gyrate in grotesque ways, and a group of puppets who show him phallic art. The critique here is the danger of stagnation that arises from consumerism and over-manufacturing. These three shorts distinctly showcase the Quay's avant-garde style. Narrative is kept to a minimum, favoring instead a loose, cerebral mash-up of images and sounds. Unsettling, weird, and strangely delightful. (1986-2015, approx. 70 min total, 35mm and DCP Digital) KC
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Alfred Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES (British Revival)
Music Box Theatre - December 25-31 (select days), Check Venue website for showtimes

Although film schools all teach a semester-long course on Alfred Hitchcock, they might as well just show 1938's THE LADY VANISHES on the first day of freshman year and tell the students he never got it quite as right again. In the director's penultimate UK feature, the plot is tight and the action is full of suspense, but it is the characters that keep us entertained throughout. Margaret Atwood's heroine and Michael Redgrave's unlikely academic hero lead the cast in this tale of international espionage (on a train, of course), but the supporting duo of Caldicott & Charters (Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford) steal their scenes as a pair of dry humored Brits only interested in a cricket match back home. With an overt critique of Britain's pre-war non-intervention policy woven in, the sometimes slapstick, sometimes understated humor of Hitchcock charms us throughout the film in a way that only resurfaced occasionally in his US work. Francois Truffaut, who claimed to have seen the film twice a week at some points, told Hitchcock "Since I know it by heart, I tell myself each time that I'm going to ignore the plot (and study the technique and effect). But each time, I become so absorbed by the characters and the story that I've yet to figure out the mechanics of the film." (1938, 97 min, DCP Digital) JH
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Alfred Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS (British Revival)
Music Box Theatre - December 25-31 (select days), Check Venue website for showtimes

Even as every plot device from this thriller has been worn smooth by decades of reuse, THE 39 STEPS stands out in Hitchcock's body of work for its uncommonly playful lightness. Billed as a tale of international espionage, this is actually a paean to the bachelor. Richard Hanney (Robert Donat), looking every inch the rake with an Errol Flynn swagger and an Ed Wood mustache, begins and ends his adventure in the music hall, where unmarried women drink and workingmen brawl. Visiting London from Canada for a few months, the already carefree Hanney thinks nothing of bringing a strange woman back to his furnished apartment, and when she dies abruptly, he steps into her adventure seamlessly, certain that the next right step will appear before him as he strides ahead. Villains, passersby, and policemen fall in behind him as he makes his way to a circled town on a map of Scotland, though the purpose of the mission is mysterious even to him. The speed of the editing leads us through uncluttered sets and spotlit scenes so surely that we need to do nothing but react strongly. Hanney seems to operate the same way; men chase, he runs. If he sees a woman he romances her. If he has an audience he gives them a rousing speech. The adventure serves to showcase his polyvalence rather than the other way around. His bravado is irresistible to the audience, to the dames, and to us, the viewers. (1935, 86 min, DCP Digital) JF
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More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.


Hiroshi Teshigahara's ANTONIO GAUDI (Documentary Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday-Wednesday, December 26-30 (no Tuesday screening); Check Venue website for showtimes

By now nearly a timeworn tradition, the Siskel's late-December run of Hiroshi Teshigahara's meditative and enigmatic ANTONIO GAUDI annually attracts a respectable and respectful crowd, with its fair share of SAIC architecture students done with finals and therefore blazed. In this film--devoid as it is of narration until the very end--every visual texture possesses its own subtle, droning sound: a particular class of curvature will produce an otherworldly gong-like shimmering; a long shot of Barcelona is accompanied by a low rumble. Anything involving intricate metalwork is, sonically, inexplicably menacing. Unless one is already ultra-familiar with Gaudi's oeuvre the viewer generally has no idea what they are looking at, where it is, or when it was constructed, and are thus transported to experiencing the cryptic persuasiveness of man-made structures before an age of writing and reading: to a time in which there may not have ostensibly been an explanatory narrative (or even a subtitle) for every surface. (1985, 72 min, 35mm) MC
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Sergio Leone's THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (Italian Revival)
Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Pickwick Theatre (5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge) - Thursday, January 7, 7pm

Sergio Leone is to the "spaghetti western," a popular subgenre of American-set westerns made in Europe in the 60s and 70s, what Jean-Pierre Melville is to the French crime film: Leone, like Melville, made outrageously entertaining movies that reflected a punch-drunk love for American genre fare, the conventions of which he inflated to a near-operatic scale after refracting them through his own unique cultural sensibility. And THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY remains the high point of both Leone's career and the spaghetti western in general. It's the third and most ambitious installment of a trilogy (preceded by 1964's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and 1965's FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, both of which also feature Clint Eastwood in his career-defining "Man with No Name" persona) but this Hollywood co-production works perfectly as a stand-alone feature. The plot concerns the misadventures of the title trio (filled out by Lee Van Cleef as the heavy and Eli Wallach, the true heart of the film, as the Mexican bandit Tuco), all of whom are in search of $200,000 in buried gold coins. That these events unfold against the backdrop of a borderline-Surrealist, European's-eye-view of the American Civil War somehow feels ineffably right: Leone's exuberant visual style combines with Ennio Morricone's legendarily innovative score to lend THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY a singular tone that is at once comical, cartoonish, and, in Dave Kehr's astute phrase, "inexplicably moving." The Siskel Center is screening a new 4K restoration of the Director's Cut. (1966, 179 min, DCP Digital; New Restoration) MGS
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More info at http://parkridgeclassicfilm.com.


Geeta and Ravi Patel's MEET THE PATELS (New Documentary)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday-Wednesday, December 26-30; Check Venue website for showtimes

Meet Ravi, a twenty-nine year old Indian-American actor who has just broken up with Amanda, his girlfriend of two years (a relationship that's been kept secret from his parents). Shortly after, he goes on a trip to India with his father Vasant, mother Champa, and sister Geeta (co-director of the film). Ravi agrees to have his family help arrange a woman to marry for him and has his biodata (essentially a dating resume, filled with facts such as caste, education, hobbies, known acquaintances, etc.) sent out to the entire extended Patel clan. As the matchmaking starts, he is soon set up on numerous dates that don't go anywhere beyond the initial meetings. Ravi tries a myriad of other methods to meet women, from online dating sites to weddings to attending the annual Patel convention in Philadelphia. The narrative crafted by Patel is lighthearted and humorous as Ravi is stuck in the middle between his parents' traditional arranged-marriage Indian culture and his own American culture of dating in order to find the one. The talking-head sequences are all done as animations, which is in keeping with the playful tone of the film and also allows for flashbacks and previous conversations to be visualized. MEET THE PATELS strongly challenges the traditions of one's heritage and how they evolve from one generation to the next. What worked for his elders doesn't necessarily work for him. The four principal Patels are portrayed as a loving and supportive family who all want the best for one another. Ultimately, this documentary shows that there is no secret recipe to finding love and that sometimes all you can do is be open and wait for it to come to you. (2014, 88 min, DCP Digital) KC
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More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.


Frank Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre - Friday-Thursday, December 18-24 (no screenings on Monday); Check Venue website for showtimes

Like Steven Spielberg today, Frank Capra was associated more with reassuring, patriotic sentiment than with actually making movies; but just beneath the Americana, his films contain a near-schizophrenic mix of idealism and resentment. In this quality, as well as his tendency to drag charismatic heroes through grueling tests of faith, it wouldn't be a stretch to compare Capra with Lars von Trier. There's plenty to merit the comparison in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE alone: The film is a two-hour tour of an honest man's failure and bottled-up resentment, softened only intermittently by scenes of domestic contentment. Even before the nightmarish Pottersville episode (shot in foreboding shadows more reminiscent of film noir than Americana), Bedford Falls is shown as vulnerable to the plagues of recession, family dysfunction, and alcoholism. All of these weigh heavy on the soul of George Bailey, a small-town Everyman given tragic complexity by James Stewart, who considered the performance his best. Drawing on the unacknowledged rage within ordinary people he would later exploit for Alfred Hitchcock, Stewart renders Bailey as complicated as Capra himself--a child and ultimate victim of the American Dream. Ironically, it's because the film's despair feels so authentic that its iconic ending feels as cathartic as it does: After being saved from his suicide attempt (which frames the entire film, it should be noted), Stewart is returned to the simple pleasures of family and friends, made to seem a warm oasis in a great metaphysical void. (1946, 130 min, DCP Digital) BS
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Showing as a double-bill with Michael Curtiz's 1954 film WHITE CHRISTMAS. Tickets available individually or as a double feature.
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More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.


MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS: December 18 - 24

The Northwest Chicago Film Society (Northeastern Illinois University, Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) screens Frank Tashlin's 1954 film SUSAN SLEPT HERE (98 min, 35mm IB Technicolor Print; from a private collector) on Tuesday, December 22, at 7pm.

Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) hosts an Open Screening and Potluck on Saturday at 8pm. Bring something to show (20 minutes maximum per person; DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Files, or 16mm) and/or bring something to eat. Free admission.

The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) screens local filmmaker Chris Hefner's 2014 film THE POISONER (Unconfirmed Details) on Friday, December 18, at 7pm.

Black Cinema House presents a Drop In Film Screening, featuring works from the BCH's archive, at the Stony Island Arts Bank (6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) on Friday (4-6pm), Saturday (2-4pm) and Tuesday (4-6pm). Free admission.

The Italian Cultural Institute (500 N. Michigan Ave.) presents The Shortest Day Short Film Screening & Holiday Celebration on Monday at 6pm. Screening are: L'ATTESA DEL MAGGIO (Simone Massi, 2014, 8 min), LA SALITA (Francesca Barison, 2015, 11), ETERNIT (Giovanni Aloi, 2015, 14 min), LO SO CHE MI SENTI (Francesca Mazzoleni, 2015, 16 min), MAMMA MIA (Milena Tipaldo and Francesca Marinelli, 2013, 7 min), MÉNAGE À TROIS (Emanuele Daga, 2015, 13 min), and FRANKIE (Francesco Francio Mazza, 2015, 19 min). Free admission.

The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's 1949 musical ON THE TOWN (98 min, DCP Digital) on Wednesday, December 23, at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission. www.northbrook.info/events/film

Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Pierre Deschamps' 2015 documentary NOMA MY PERFECT STORM (90 min, DCP Digital) screens Friday-Wednesday; Natalie Merchant's 2015 documentary PARADISE IS THERE (80 min, DCP Digital) screens on Friday at 8:15pm and Monday and Wednesday at 8pm; and Zeresenay Mehari's 2014 Ethiopian/US film DIFRET (99 min, DCP Digital) screens on Saturday at 3pm and Tuesday at 6pm.

Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga's 2014 Spanish film FLOWERS (99 min, DCP Digital) opens; Naji Abu Nowar's 2015 Jordanian film THEEB (100 min, DCP Digital) continues; and Michael Curtiz's 1954 musical WHITE CHRISTMAS (120 min, DCP Digital) screens Friday-Thursday (no screenings on Monday), as part of a double feature with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (see Also Recommended above).

At Facets Cinémathèque this week: Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode's 2015 archival footage documentary DREAMS REWIRED (85 min, Unconfirmed Format) screens Friday-Wednesday; John Paizs' 1985 Canadian film CRIME WAVE (80 min, Unconfirmed Format) has a single screening on Friday at 9:45pm; and Fellipe Barbosa's 2014 Brazilian film CASA GRANDE (115 min, Unconfirmed Format) screens Saturday-Wednesday.

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MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS: December 25 - 31

The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens Frank Capra's 1959 musical A HOLE IN THE HEAD (120 min, 35mm) on Wednesday at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission. www.northbrook.info/events/film

Black Cinema House presents a Drop In Film Screening, featuring works from the BCH's archive, at the Stony Island Arts Bank (6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) on Tuesday (4-6pm). Free admission.

Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Stefan Haupt's 2012 Swiss documentary SAGRADA: THE MYSTERY OF CREATION (89 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30pm and Wednesday at 3:30pm; Ben Palmer's 2015 film MAN UP (88 min, DCP Digital) screens Saturday-Wednesday; Natalie Merchant's 2015 documentary PARADISE IS THERE (80 min, DCP Digital) screens on Saturday at 6:30pm; and Raul Garcia's 2015 animated film EXTRAORDINARY TALES (74 min, DCP Digital) screens on Saturday at 8:15pm, Tuesday at 6:15pm, and Wednesday at 2 and 7:45pm.

Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Quentin Tarantino's 2015 film THE HATEFUL EIGHT (187 min, 70mm Roadshow Version) opens; and Cosima Spender's 2015 documentary PALIO (91 min) is on Monday only (check website for showtimes).

Facets Cinémathèque did not have anything confirmed for this week as of our deadline. Check their website for updates.

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MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS: January 1 - 7

The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens George Cukor's 1954 film IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU (86 min, 35mm) on Wednesday at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission. www.northbrook.info/events/film

Black World Cinema at the Studio Movie Grill Chatham 14 (210 W. 87th St.) screens Licinio Azevedo's 2012 Mozambican film THE VIRGIN MARGARIDA (87 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 7pm. http://blackworldcinema.net/blog/

Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Nelson George's 2015 documentary A BALLERINA'S TALE (85 min, DCP Digital), Aviva Kempner's 2015 documentary ROSENWALD (96 min, DCP Digital), and Sarah Gavron's 2015 film SUFFRAGETTE (106 min, DCP Digital) all play Saturday-Thursday; Jeanie Finlay's 2015 documentary ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (86 min, DCP Digital) screens on Saturday at 7:45pm and Tuesday at 8pm; Gerald Peary's 2015 documentary ARCHIE'S BETTY (70 min, DCP Digital) screens on Sunday at 3pm and Thursday at 6pm; and Seijun Suzuki's 1963 film YOUTH OF THE BEAST (91 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 5:45pm and Monday at 6pm.

Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Mark Sandrich's 1934 film THE GAY DIVORCEE (107 min, 35mm) is on Monday at 7pm; Amos Gitai's 2000 film KIPPUR (124 min, 35mm) is on Tuesday at 7pm; Mel Brooks' 1968 film THE PRODUCERS (88 min, 35mm) is on Wednesday at 7 and 9pm; and Georges Franju's 1960 film EYES WITHOUT A FACE (90 min, DCP Digital) is on Thursday at 9pm.

The Music Box Theatre does not have any new films this week, but check their website for showtimes of continuing films.

Facets Cinémathèque plays Alice Rohrwacher's 2014 film THE WONDERS (110 min, Unconfirmed Format) for a week's run.

 

ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS

Document (845 W. Washington Blvd.) presents The palm at the end of the mind, a solo show of new video work by Mary Helena Clark. The show runs through January 23.

Double Frame Gallery/DINCA Space at Mana Contemporary Chicago (2233 S Throop St., 4th Floor) presents Tunnel, a solo show of work Snow Yunxue Fu, including video installation pieces. The show runs through January 16.

Carrie Secrist Gallery (835 W. Washington Blvd.) presents the exhibition Michael Robinson: Mad Ladders, which features the titular work as a large-scale installation, along with a series of 2D collages, and a new two-channel video piece, Desert States (You Win Again). The show runs through January 16.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents a gallery exhibition of Mariko Mori's 1996 video MIKO NO INORI (29 min, VHS on Digital) through January 3 in Gallery 186 (Modern Wing).

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Im Reich der Sonnenfinsternis (In the empire of the solar eclipse), an installation by Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, which is comprised of paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings and a 25 minute video entitled DAS LOCH (THE HOLE). On view through January 17.

 

UPDATES/CLOSURES

Chicago Public Library screenings: Due to the frequency of late-additions (past our deadlines) and to their frequent inability (due to licensing restrictions) of publicly listing the titles of films they are screening, we will no longer be listing specific CPL screenings. Check their website for any films that may be showing.

The Patio Theater and the Portage Theater calendars have been confusing and constantly shifting--adding and removing events with little notice--and reportedly have been unexpectedly closed for scheduled events. We will no longer attempt to list any screenings there.

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CINE-LIST: December 18, 2015 - January 7, 2016

MANAGING EDITOR /
Patrick Friel

CONTRIBUTORS / Michael Castelle, Edo Choi, Kyle Cubr, Josephine Ferorelli, Max Frank, Jason Halprin, Ben Sachs, Kathleen Sachs, Michael G. Smith, Darnell Witt

> Editorial Statement -> Contact