Note: Check our blog (http://cine-file.info/forum) over the weekend for several new filmmaker interviews, including Peter Bogdanovich and Steve James.
CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Chicago International Film Festival continues through Thursday, October 27. Selected highlights of week two are listed below. Check the festival’s website for the most up-to-date showtime information: www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
Barry Jenkins' MOONLIGHT (New American)
The leitmotif of Barry Jenkins' lyrical, sensual drama MOONLIGHT is black masculinity as an imitated pose. Three chapters trace the identity formation of a shy, gay male at ages 9, 16, and 26. Growing up bullied amidst Miami's deadly drug economy, the boy endures abuse and neglect from his addicted mother. Male tenderness is a casualty of the burden of the front, though a few men drop the hard mask to allow for vulnerability and love—a neighborhood drug dealer with heart, a childhood friend whose cool, exaggeratedly sexist pose is just that. This is the story of a self being buried beneath layers of hurt. It could have been schematic, were the acting and writing not so natural and alive. Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the movie's color palette is as evocative of the beauty of bodies and nature as that title. (2016, 110 min, DCP Digital) SP
André Téchiné's BEING 17 (New French)
Septuagenarian André Téchiné, co-writing with Céline Sciamma, makes an elegiac, honest coming-of-age film about two gay teenagers, set amidst the splendid changing seasons of the French Pyrenees. I can scarcely imagine an American film being this explicit and natural about teen gay sexuality. At first, though, the boys are at war at school, masking their fear of their own desire with hatred. One is a loner living on a farm in the mountains; the other, insecure, lives in the town below with his mom, a doctor (Sandrine Kiberlain, kind, frank and merry). On a house call, mom meets the farm boy's family and invites him to stay in town. Housemates, the volatile adolescents pummel each other while struggling to find the freedom to drop their defenses. Precisely observant, getting physical with his characters' bodies, Téchiné still resonates with a life force and its joys and heartaches. (2016, 116 min, DCP Digital) SP
Koji Fukada’s HARMONIUM (New Japanese)
A deserving winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Koji Fukada’s meticulous slow-burn thriller is an impressive feat of screenwriting, directing, and acting. Toshio (Kanji Furatachi) is a seemingly contented small-business owner and family man with a loving wife and daughter. When his old friend Yasaka (a sinister Tadanobu Asano) is released from prison, Toshio extends a helping hand by hiring the deceptively polite young man to work in his factory and live in his home. Slowly and insidiously, Yasaka causes cracks to appear between members of the family as he brings a dark secret from Toshio’s past to light (in many ways, the film’s narrative trajectory is the opposite of Takashi Miike’s VISITOR Q, where a strange houseguest used murder to bring a dysfunctional family closer together). Not many filmmakers would be able to pull off Fukada’s bolder cinematic conceits (a symbolic use of the color red, an unexpected leap-forward in time, an abrupt and daringly ambiguous ending) but every such decision seems pressed to the service of illustrating a karmic cycle of crime, punishment, and redemption that feels firmly rooted in believable character psychology and a realistic social milieu. This haunting film is one of the great Japanese exports of recent years. (2016, 118 min, DCP Digital) MGS
Yang Chao's CROSSCURRENT (New Chinese)
Yang Chao's CROSSCURRENT inspired little but contempt when it premiered at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, with many critics pointing to the languid pacing and its supposed philosophical incomprehensibility. The stunning technical achievement of cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bang (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and THE ASSASSIN) works as a serviceable enough refutation, but the film also has remarkable merits as a tone piece. Like many of this year's excellent films about poetry (PATERSON, NERUDA, and A QUIET PASSION), CROSSCURRENT similarly shares lofty ambitions in tying verse to the image as a means of articulating the ways that we relate to the world around us. Chao's envisioning of a journey up the Yangtze—from the financial hub of Shanghai to the flooded, desolate towns along the way to the Yichang mountains—advances a haunting story of erosion, with a climactic sequence at the Three Gorges Dam serving as an echo of the protagonist's spiritual displacement. (2016, 116 min, DCP Digital) EF
Vincente Minnelli’s LUST FOR LIFE (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Sunday, 7pm
Earlier this year, the Art Institute of Chicago partnered with local advertising behemoth Leo Burnett to create an Airbnb room resembling one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous paintings, “The Bedroom,” in conjunction with the museum’s much-talked-about exhibit featuring its three iterations. The result was something artful born of commerce, an achievement of both genuine creativity and acute commercialism. Much could be said of Hollywood filmmaking, especially during the time when Vincente Minnelli was working in it, an era that’s now discerned for its contributions to the study of a director’s authorship. Considered in the context of when it was made, Minnelli’s LUST FOR LIFE is a prime example of the way directors imprinted their artistic sensibilities onto the Hollywood product, though its subject matter imparts more force into the pressing. A rather unequivocal biopic based on Irving Stone’s eponymous novel that traverses van Gogh’s adult life, LUST FOR LIFE is the sum of its parts as assembled by its creator—pure mise en scène, perhaps more so than any other of Minnelli’s films (which is saying a lot). That might be because he was given decidedly more freedom with this one; he told interviewers that it was “the only time [he] ever asked...to make a picture,” having always been assigned films by his producers, and it was shot on location at various places van Gogh lived and painted during his life rather than on a studio soundstage. (Once could say LUST FOR LIFE is also a prime example of what happens when you take a factory worker out of the factory and send him out into the world to really see what makes him tick.) Minnelli worked with cinematographers Frederick Young and Russell Harlan to make the film resemble whichever period of van Gogh’s career it’s depicting, a seemingly contrived idea that actually serves to supplant reality with imagination, thus reflecting Minnelli’s commitment to getting inside van Gogh’s head as well as showing what came out of it. That it was shot on location but still retains Minnelli’s dazzling factitiousness is indicative of his mastery, however overt it may be. It was also shot on Ansco film stock at his insistence; MGM bought the remaining 300,000 feet, making LUST FOR LIFE the last film shot on it. Minnelli did, however, have to compromise on one thing. It was shot in CinemaScope per MGM’s demand, though he favored the Academy ratio for the purpose of resembling a painting. Perhaps in spite of the aesthetic affectations, the performances don’t cower underneath the artifice; rather, Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn, who play van Gogh and his fellow artist friend Paul Gauguin, respectively, rise to the challenge, yet they’re not at war with their surroundings. They seem to realize that they are but one important part of the product, confident as much in suppression (by the mise en scène) as they are in domination (over the characters). Van Gogh’s bedroom tableau is so ingrained in our consciousness that for the aforementioned organizations to have changed even one element of the reconstructed scene would have been to alter it completely. Minnelli’s film is likewise bound by a singular, uncompromising vision, one that’s as indelible as that of its subject. (1956, 122 min, 35mm) KS
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Stephanie Rothman’s THE VELVET VAMPIRE (American Revival)
Northwest Chicago Film Society (at Northeastern Illinois University, The Auditorium, Building E., 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) — Tuesday, 7:30pm
“It’s not a traditional horror film nor a hard-core exploitation movie,” Stephanie Rothman said of THE VELVET VAMPIRE in an interview conducted about a decade after its release. “In some places it was booked into art theaters. In others it had one week saturation release in drive-ins and hard-top theaters. There was no consistent distribution pattern for it because people responded differently to it. And I think that may be part of the problem.” VAMPIRE can be described as a “problem” for a few reasons. For one, it was a commercial disappointment for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, who at one time released the film on a double bill with an Italian horror film called SCREAM OF THE DEMON LOVER. For another, it poses problems to viewers in how it upends the sexual politics of the vampire genre. The central female character is a vampire, not a victim, and as Dave Kehr noted in his Chicago Reader capsule, her victims desire her and not the other way around. Rothman has cited THE SEVENTH SEAL, Jean Cocteau, and Georges Franju as influences, and VAMPIRE, more than any other of her major features, often works in the concertedly poetic vein one associates with those models. A sterling example of how much liberty could be found in the realm of exploitation cinema in the early 1970s—personal, impassioned, and artful. Preceded by the Coronet Films educational short HALLOWEEN SAFETY (1986 second edition, 14 min, 16mm). (1971, 80 min, 35mm) BS
More info at www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org.
Kristen Johnson’s CAMERAPERSON (New Documentary)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
Over the past twenty-five years, Kristen Johnson has plied her trade as a documentary cinematographer working on such films as FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and CITIZENFOUR. In CAMERAPERSON, Johnson utilizes her past experiences on these documentaries as well as some of their unused footage to create a visual memoir of her career. At the film’s onset, Johnson makes an imploration, asking the audience to ruminate on these images that “have marked me and leave me wondering still.” What follows is a series of candid moments, such as time spent with her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, testimony by survivors of Bosnia genocide, and many others. CAMERAPERSON leans more abstract and does not particularly have a definitive narrative quality to it. Instead, Johnson seeks to show the power of the camera and the moving images it’s able to capture. There is sadness, beauty, and triumph in these sequences. Like an abstract personal diary, the film leaves the juxtaposition of its arrangements up to the viewer’s own interpretation. These moments build upon each other and the emotional resonance they leave behind echoes in a powerful way. There is an urge to designate this as autobiographical due to the inclusion of some of Johnson’s personal life but this would be a disservice as the running theme overall is about the triumph of the human spirit and the impressions left from recording these bits. Johnson touches on people of all genders, religions, social classes, and ethnicities. Her cross-section of humanity explored creates a sense of unity with all walks of life. CAMERAPERSON is a visual collage, experimental in nature, and one that touches on all the varied moments that make us human. (2016, 102 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Richard E. Norman's THE FLYING ACE (Silent American Revival)
Film Studies Center (Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) – Saturday, 7pm (Free Admission)
Unlike the better-known race films from the 1920s-40s by Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams, which I endorse as great cinema despite their rough edges and frequent incoherence, there is no similar case to be made for THE FLYING ACE. It's pretty standard fare—competently made, entertaining—but there is nothing groundbreaking about its form or narrative. As an historical object, though, it rises above. Few silent race films—films made specifically for African-American audiences in segregated theaters or screenings—survive; that this obscure, Florida-made film to have done so is amazing. The film, made by white entrepreneur and director Richard E. Norman, is the only surviving film of his Norman Film Manufacturing Company. It's a too-rare example of an important chapter in film history. At a time when Hollywood was providing only stereotyped supporting roles to black actors, race films were offering black audiences the opportunity to see themselves as leading men and women, and characters who were portrayed in a less demeaning light. The protagonist of THE FLYING ACE is a WWI hero, an accomplished pilot, a clever detective, good looking, dapper, and who, perhaps, gets the girl at the end. Besides being a race film, though, ACE is also a rare example of regional filmmaking—films made outside of Hollywood or other production centers (New York, New Jersey, Chicago) and which often played smaller and backwater theater circuits around the country. By their elusive nature, few survive. Norman's company was located in Jacksonville, Florida, which had been a burgeoning site for filmmaking before Los Angeles drew away those companies seeking sunnier climates than New York and Chicago offered. By the time THE FLYING ACE was made, Norman's was one of the last, if not the last, Florida companies to remain. THE FLYING ACE may not be an aesthetic revelation, but it's a fascinating commingling of mostly overlooked aspects of American film history, it's a fun adventure/mystery tale, and it looks great in the Library of Congress' 35mm restoration. (There's some image deterioration, but the sharpness and texture of the film is remarkable considering the lost and damaged states that most race films are in today.) Live accompaniment by Renée Baker's Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. (1926, 65 min, Restored 35mm Print) PF
More info at https://filmstudiescenter.uchicago.edu.
Pedro Almodóvar’s TALK TO HER (Spanish Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Wednesday, 7 and 9:30pm
In his review of Pedro Almodóvar’s TALK TO HER, Roger Ebert noted that “[n]o director since Fassbinder has been able to evoke such complex emotions with such problematic material.” Indeed, the comparison is warranted, though Almodovar obviously favors gaudiness over grittiness, his outlook of the world and the people in it decidedly sunnier. On paper, many of Almodóvar’s films sound questionable, if not outright quease inducing. A few weeks ago I was reluctant to write about TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! because I couldn’t quite defend its premise (a man kidnaps an actress in order to make her fall in love with him, which—spoiler alert—he succeeds in doing), even though it’s inarguably the work of an especially subversive master. In regards to plot, TALK TO HER isn’t much better; it’s about two men who bond over their love of unconscious women. One man’s attachment is more legitimate than the other’s; the former watches over his bullfighter girlfriend after she’s gored during a match, while the latter is a nurse whose obsession with a young dancer started even before the accident that put her into a coma at his hospital. I won’t spoil this particular Almodóvar film, but let’s just say that if that last part sounds squicky, then the twist will really make your skin crawl. Regardless, it’s not so much how Almodóvar is saying it, but what he’s trying to say; just as in TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!, he’s exploring traditionally feminine notions of family and nurturing through his male characters’ distasteful behavior, exposing toxic machismo and all it implications. It’s the definition of fragile masculinity as filtered through Almodóvar’s pleasant irony, resulting in a film that’s as enjoyable as it is revolting. It also features a performance by Tanztheater pioneer Pina Bausch that informs the otherwise disconcerting story with a softness that braces viewers for impact. (2002, 112 min, 35mm) KS
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Ti West’s IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE (New American)
The Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
Primarily lauded for his horror films, especially THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Ti West goes a different route with IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE, a western film that pays homage to the classics of the genre, such as those by Ford and Leone, while also incorporating modern realism. Paul (Ethan Hawke) is an AWOL Union solider fleeing to Mexico after some of the atrocities he was forced to commit during the war. While taking a shortcut through the former mining town of Denton (now practically a ghost town) and to pick up some supplies, Paul is subjected to an act of violence that leads to him seek revenge. What separates this film from many contemporary westerns is West’s eschewing of the standard archetypes. The mysterious drifter Paul and the violent local posse are humanized. There is a remorse felt by these characters and their self-reflection upon their past actions creates a tantalizing drama. Their fears and sadness are palpable in these instances. Much of the film is framed in medium to long shots that leave a feeling of distance between the actions on screen and the audience. This isolating quality amplifies the seclusion many of the characters face at one point or another. Jeff Grace’s driving score plus West’s dichotomy of light versus darkness, and also his use of negative space, make for a tense and well-paced film. IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE is a rejuvenation of one of the only truly American genres and helps to solidify West’s status as a contemporary auteur. (2016, 104 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
David Cronenberg's VIDEODROME (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre
- Tuesday, 7:30pm
Since his first feature, 1975's SHIVERS, David Cronenberg has focused on the concept of "body horror"—the idea that the human body is not a self sustaining entity, but rather a portal capable of being penetrated by both physical and metaphorical "diseases" that reduce the human to his basic animalistic desires for sex and power. VIDEODROME is the culmination of the theme of sexual frenzy interlaced with violence that Cronenberg had explored in both SHIVERS and his subsequent film, RABID (1977). While both of those earlier works deal with "real" events (disease epidemics), VIDEODROME takes a more metaphorical and overtly intellectual approach. James Woods stars as Max Renn, the owner of a sleazy cable station that specializes in hypersexual and violent programming. Renn has discovered a low-fi broadcast feed of a show called "Videodrome," in which women are tortured and killed by cloaked men. Renn decides that "Videodrome" is exactly what his audience craves and sets out to find the producer. Although warned by his assistant that "Videodrome" is much more sinister than it seems, Max continues his search and becomes obsessed himself with watching the show. Soon the world of "Videodrome" starts to become all too real and Max's body begins to undergo a series of changes, including developing a VCR in his stomach. The film was released a year before the home video craze swept North America, but it serves as a haunting prediction of how video would revolutionize home entertainment and, more importantly, the way in which people would become increasingly dependent on audio/video technology. Video became the first organic technology--it allowed for personalized "controlled viewing," (stop, pause, rewind) and thus the perfect device for Cronenberg to exploit. The same video could be watched in completely different ways by different people, making it a wholly different experience for each viewer. The video itself would become a literal extension of the viewer's interests. Cronenberg's use of this concept in VIDEODROME is both obvious (Max literally becomes the VCR) and subversive: Cronenberg's criticism doesn't lie with a general dislike or fear of how video can impact the sense of the individual; rather that the connection that is able to be forged between man and machine disconnects him from the conscious linear world. The technologies in his films (such as the teleport machine in THE FLY, the video game system in eXistenz, and the video tape in VIDEODROME) all represent a late 20th century obsession with excess and escapism; his horrors are the dangers that come from living in a "reality" that is a product of technological obsession. Renn's transformation into a piece of technology, whose only purpose is to execute commands programmed into him by the insertion of a videotape, is a modern-day cautionary tale; the audience is forced to reflect on Renn's failure to distinguish between "Videodrome" as a product and "Videodrome" as life. Cronenberg cleverly confuses those two opposites to the point that they become fused. The hope is that the audience can again separate them. Followed by a discussion, see the Music Box website for details. (1982, 89 min, 35mm) JR
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Ridley Scott's ALIEN (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Thursday, 9:45pm
The history of horror films in America is basically a history of self-reflexive cultural negotiations regarding the appropriate monstrous representation of sublimated, dead labor (from industrial-era vampires to post-industrial/consumerist zombies, for example). The serial killer, in particular, is a monster born of the late 1970s, a time of increased independence and employment for women, as well as of increased corporate diversification. Emblematic here is Ridley Scott's ALIEN, in which a crew of highly-skilled co-ed journeyman space-laborers for the (presumably monopolistic) "Company" are obliged by their weak contracts into dangerous, unpaid overtime work exploring a nearby crashed spacecraft—resulting in one worker's being literally raped by an articulated organism of unknown origin. Left in a coma, his body immobilized by a unremovable death grip to the face—also known as your cubicle's computer screen—this employee violently gives birth to the titular illegitimate xenomorphic slasher, an outrageous H.R. Giger creation best described as a toothed vagina on a penis inside a toothed vagina on a penis. Its savage hypersexuality is in striking contrast to the celibate and demoralized crew, who in turn discover (as we all someday must) that their employer—mediated by a bureaucratic artificial intelligence system—considers them essentially disposable in the face of true biomechanistic innovation. ALIEN's innovative, languorously developed, and politically relevant narrative structure is also accompanied by simultaneously punishing and dazzling sound-effects work, romanticizing the harsh interstellar environment with a progressively intense and surprisingly passionate lullaby of humming, clicking, whirring, dripping, hissing, and shrieking noises. (1979, 119 min, 35mm) MC
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Abbas Kiarostami's CLOSE-UP (Iranian Revival)
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) – Friday, 7pm
Without abandoning the poetic realism at the heart of New Iranian Cinema—or the poetics of Iranian art in general—Abbas Kiarostami fashioned with CLOSE-UP one of the great Modernist tricks in movie history. Upon learning that a poor man named Hossein Sabzian had been living with a middle-class family by pretending to be the filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Kiarostami set out to make a film of the story with all of the major participants playing themselves. The premise would suggest familiar ironies about life imitating art and vice-versa, but CLOSE-UP consistently subverts even these expectations. The film begins at the scene of Sabzian's arrest, but shoots it from the perspective of a cab driver dropping off a journalist who's covering the event. And then this scene is cut short by a shift in focus to that of a stray aerosol can rolling down the street. Throughout CLOSE-UP, the most compelling aspects of character and place are rendered odd by the camera's refusal to editorialize on them—though, suspiciously, the surface tone remains one of cheery naturalism. Like the central conman uninterested in money, everything has its reasons: they're simply buried in the complexity of their presentation. This coy sensibility has roots in the glorious descriptions of nature in classical Persian poetry, but it's also a reflection of Kiarostami's unique faith in cinema. This filmmaker became famous for open-ended movies that must be completed by the viewer's imagination, and this film—which opens itself up to greater suspicion with every turn—comes closest to providing a raison d'être for his innovations. Instead of merely following a movie obsessive's transformation of life into cinema, CLOSE-UP sees a wave of imagination spread out over everything it touches. Followed by Reza Haeri’s 1998 Iranian short DO YOU KNOW MR. KIAROSTAMI? (30 min, Digital Projection). (1990, 97 min, 35mm) BS
More info at www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.
Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden's ALMOST THERE (Contemporary Documentary)
DePaul School of Cinematic Arts (14 E. Jackson Blvd., # LL105) – Friday, 5:30pm (Free Admission)
Can the "problematic" be wholly redeemed? One could be forgiven for having that dismissive academic term come to mind in the early passages of ALMOST THERE—in which the filmmakers, accompanied by Josh Abrams' playful avant-jazz score, "discover" an elderly portrait artist with a distinctive pastel and collage style at Whiting, IN's Pierogi Fest (which you and/or your less-Eastern European transplant friends may have already semi-ironically attended) and proceed to pursue sunken treasure in the basement of his decaying home. While the artist in question, Peter Anton, indeed becomes the central subject of this nearly decade-long production, ALMOST THERE benefits strongly from its simultaneous interrogation of, and subjection to, multiple difficult topics: the politics of outsider art; the ethical logics of documentary filmmaking; the care of (and by) elderly and/or isolated individuals; the social structure and meaning of families in their degenerate, nuclear form; and the poverty of Rust Belt America. Many of these topics are already prominent documentary subgenres with various exemplars (e.g. GREY GARDENS, MARWENCOL, CRUMB), and it is beautiful to watch the initial encounter, perhaps necessarily, spiral into all-too-human friendships, reflexivities, betrayals--and also, among poignant acts of forgiveness, an undeniable provocation to more deeply consider the nature of documentary practice itself. (2014, 85 min, Video Projection – Unconfirmed Format) MC
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
Also at the Film Studies Center (Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) this week: Paolo Cherchi Usai (Senior Curator of the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York) presents the lecture The Lindgren Manifesto, Part 5: Archival Cinema and the Post-Digital Marketplace on Friday at 4:30pm. Free admission.
Seeing Movement, Being Moved: An Exploration of the Moving Camera, a conference presented by the University of Chicago’s Department of Cinema and Media Studies, takes place Thursday-Saturday, October 27-29. The opening event on Thursday is a performance/presentation by Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser of OpenEndedGroup entitled “Wildly Disciplined — 3D Camera Movement, Real and Virtual.” The conference proper begins on Friday at 9:15am (ending with a reception at 5pm) and continues on Saturday beginning at 9:30am (ending with a reception at 5pm). The opening event and conference take places at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Free admission. Full details at https://seeingmovement.wordpress.com.
The Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Mexican filmmaker Nicolás Pereda in person with his films
MINOTAUR (2015) and THE PALACE (2013) on Thursday at 6pm. Approx. 91 min total. Digital Projection.
The Nightingale (1083 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents The Andre Trilogy: Three Short Films by James N. Kienitz Wilkins on Sunday at 7pm, with Wilkins in person. Screening are SPECIAL FEATURES (2014, 12 min), TESTER (2015, 30 min), and B-ROLL WITH ANDRE (2015, 19 min), plus local filmmaker Jesse Malmed’s SELF-TITLES (ROUGH CUT) (2015, 7 min). Digital Projection; and Clyde Petersen’s 2016 stop-motion animated feature TORREY PINES (Unconfirmed Running Time, Digital Projection) is on Tuesday at 7pm, with Petersen in person.
Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) presents recent work by local artists Steve Wood and Andrew Rosinski on Saturday at 8pm.
Also at Block Cinema (Northwestern University) this week: Sohrab Shahid Saless’ 1974 Iranian film STILL LIFE (93 min, 35mm) screens on Thursday at 7pm. Followed by Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa’s 1998 documentary short SALESS: FAR FROM HOME (16 min, Digital Projection)
The Massacre, a 24-hour horror film marathon, takes place at the Patio Theater from Noon on Saturday to Noon on Sunday. Screening are DR. PYCKLE AND MR. PRIDE (Noon), HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (12:30pm), BLACK SUNDAY (2pm), HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (3:45pm; actor Giovanni Frezza in person), Trailers and Short Films (5:40pm), THEY CAME FROM WITHIN (7pm; actor Lynn Lowry in person), JASON LIVES: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6 (9pm; director Tommy McLoughlin in person), THE LOST BOYS (11pm), EVIL DEAD 2 (1am), INFERNO (2:30am), THE GRAPES OF DEATH (4:30am), ASSAULT ON PRICINCT 13 (6:30am), SILVER BULLET (8:15am), and THE OMEN (10am). More info at www.facebook.com/events/1330878270274537.
Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Vagick A Night Of Video Witch Magick! on Friday, with tarot and palm readings from 6-7pm and a screening of shorts from 7-9pm; and Carlo Lizzani’s 1983 Italian film HOUSE WITH THE YELLOW CARPET (89 min, VHS Projection) is on Wednesday at 8pm.
Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Pickwick Theatre (5 S Prospect Ave, Park Ridge) screens Jack Arnold’s 1954 film CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (79 min, Digital Projection) on Thursday at 2 and 7:30pm.
The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens Matt Fuller’s 2015 documentary AUTISM IN LOVE (76 min, Digital Projection) on Tuesday at 6:15pm. Followed by a discussion; and Jack Clayton’s 1961 film THE INNOCENTS (100 min, DCP Digital) on Wednesday at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission for both.
The Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.) screens Gonzalo Bendala’s 2015 Spanish film INNOCENT KILLERS (95 min, DVD Projection) on Tuesday at 6pm; and local filmmaker Elio Leturia’s 2016 documentary TITA TURNS 100 (Unconfirmed Running Time, Digital Projection) is on Wednesday at 6pm. Free admission for both.
Alliance Française (54 W. Chicago Ave.) screens Justine Triet’s 2013 French film THE AGE OF PANIC (93 min, Video Projection – Unconfirmed Format) on Wednesday at 6:30pm. Preceded by Kris Swanberg’s 2013 short BABY MARY (9 min).
Roger Weisberg’s 2015 documentary short FIRST DEGREE (approx. 30 min, Video Projection), about a prison college program, screens at the Chicago Public Library’s Frederick A. Douglass Branch (3353 W. 13th St.) on Saturday at 2pm. Followed by a panel discussion. Hosted by Chicago Books to Women in Prison. Free admission.
At the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Steven Cantor’s 2016 documentary DANCER (85 min, DCP Digital) and Woody Allen’s 2016 film CAFÉ SOCIETY (96 min, DCP Digital) both play for a week; Keichi Hara’s 2015 Japanese animated film MISS HOKUSAI (93 min, DCP Digital; check the Siskel website for Japanese language vs. English dubbed screenings) begins a two-week run; Manolo Caro’s 2014 Mexican film ELVIRA, I WILL GIVE YOU MY LIFE BUT I’M USING IT (108 min, DCP Digital) is on Friday at 7:45pm and Wednesday at 8pm; Ezra Edelman’s 2016 documentary O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (468 min, DCP Digital) screens in three sections: PART 1 is on Saturday at 12:30pm, PART 2 is on Saturday at 4pm, and PART 3 is on Saturday at 8:15pm and Sunday at 3pm; Lorenzo Vigas’ 2015 Venezuelan film FROM AFAR (93 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 6:30pm and Tuesday at 6pm, with a lecture by SAIC professor Daniel R. Quiles at the Tuesday screening; and Flavio Florencio’s 2015 Mexican/Thai/German film MADE IN BANGKOK (75 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 8:30pm and Monday at 8pm.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney’s 2016 animated film THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (90 min, DCP Digital) is on Friday at 7 and 9pm and Sunday at 1:30pm; Woody Allen’s 2016 film CAFÉ SOCIETY (96 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 7 and 9pm and Sunday at 3:30pm; Bob Fosse’s 1972 film CABARET (125 min, 35mm) is on Monday at 7pm; Pat Wisniewski’s 2016 documentary SHIFTING SANDS: ON THE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY (60 min, Digital Projection; Followed by a panel discussion; Free admission) is on Tuesday at 7pm; and Koji Masunari and Masaaki Yuasa’s 2010 Japanese animated film WELCOME TO THE SPACE SHOW (136 min, DCP Digital) is on Thursday at 7pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Tatsuya Oishi’s 2016 Japanese animated film KIZUMONOGATARI PART 2: NEKKETSU (60 min, Digital Projection) is on Friday at Midnight, Saturday at Noon, and Monday and Thursday at 7:30pm; John McNaughton’s 1986 film HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (83 min, DCP Digital; New Restoration) is on Friday and Saturday at Midnight and Sunday at 7:30 and 9:30pm; Russell Mulcahy’s 1986 film HIGHLANDER (116 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 11pm, introduced by Nick Offerman; Bruce Young’s 2016 documentary BLOOD LIONS (83 min, DCP Digital) is on Sunday at 2pm, with Young in person; Mat Whitecross’ 2016 documentary OASIS: SUPERSONIC (122 min, DCP Digital) is on Wednesday at 7 and 9:45pm and Thursday at 9:15pm; and Ron Howard’s 2016 documentary THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS (138 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday and Sunday at 11:15am.
This week at Facets Cinémathèque: Rosemary Myers’ 2015 Australian film GIRL ASLEEP (87 min, Unconfirmed Format) plays for a week-long run; and Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle’s 1935 film A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (133 min, Unconfirmed Format) screens on Sunday at Noon.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
The Art Institute of Chicago (Modern Wing Galleries) has Dara Birnbaum’s 1979 two-channel video KISS THE GIRLS: MAKE THEM CRY (6 min) currently on view.
Roosevelt University’s Murray Green Library has Salome Chasnoff’s video installation PRESENT ABSENCE on display from October 17 through October 27, as part of the Gone But Not Forgotten exhibit, which features a quilt made by survivors of victims of police killings in Chicago.
Camille Henrot’s 2013 video GROSSE FATIGUE (14 min) is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through December 18.
Block Museum (Northwestern University) presents Salaam Cinema! 50 Years of Iranian Movie Posters through December 11.
Iceberg Gallery (7714 N. Sheridan Rd.) presents George Kuchar: Bocko through October 30. The show includes Kuchar’s 1978 film THE MONGRELOID, paintings, and photographic ephemera—all related to Kuchar’s pet dog Bocko.
The Renaissance Society (5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, University of Chicago) presents a solo show of UK filmmaker Ben Rivers’ moving image works, Urth, through November 6.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents Ragnar Kjartansson and the National's single-channel video work A LOT OF SORROW (2014, 6 hours 9 min looping) through October 23.