Chicago Public (Documentary Revival)
Chicago Film Archives at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., Top Floor) - Thursday, 7pm (Free Admission)
The evolution and self-conception of Chicago Public Schools is charted over a tumultuous six-year period in this program of three recently preserved 16mm films from Chicago Film Archives. The first two films, FROM A TO Z: THE STORY OF SPECIAL SUMMER SCHOOLS (1964, 27 min, 16mm) and A SOIL FOR GROWTH: A STORY OF THE GIFTED CHILD PROGRAM (c. 1966, 20 min, 16mm), were produced by Goldsholl Design & Film Associates. They're not among that firm's more adventurous efforts, but they make a convincing case for several improbable conclusions: that students actually enjoy attending summer school, that the New Math will improve learning outcomes, that CPS administrators are supportive of teachers ditching lesson plans altogether, and that CPS campuses are bastions of integration. (To the last point, several instructors in FROM A TO Z marvel that students instinctively call their teachers 'mommy' and 'daddy,' even when they're from different races.) In cinematic terms, these films are the opposite of Frederick Wiseman's HIGH SCHOOL—documentaries that demonstrate how open and affirming the prevailing social order can be. Viewed from today's vantage point, when charter schools are promoted as the only plausible way to disrupt educational inertia (and collective bargaining), FROM A TO Z and A SOIL FOR GROWTH are notable for their insistence that radical change can be cultivated within the system, a Waldorfification of the public sphere. And yet these sunny sponsored works evade as much as they illuminate; we're left wondering who would ever oppose supplemental funding for gifted education and, by gum, why didn't anybody think of a program like this earlier? In its own subtle way, the last and best piece in the program, Rod Nordberg’s METRO!!!: A SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS (1970, 18 min, 16mm), nods at the contradictions and foreshadows the rupture to come. Spouting rhetoric that would give those nice summer school teachers whiplash, the principal of the experimental Metro system extols a new paradigm for a changing world. His distinctly post-'68 "school without walls" allows the students to roam through the neighborhood, using the streets as an improvised classroom. (In a nice Chicago touch, even this anti-establishment experiment still gives a voice to the regular man-on-the-street who loves Mayor Daley.) Contra the slogan, Metro does appear to have a few walls, or at least a row of lockers that the students are encouraged to spray paint with psychedelia and Black Power graphics. Students and teachers call each other by their first names, and boring book-learning is tossed aside in favor of photography, architecture, filmmaking, and vocational training. And there's the rub: local business leaders embrace this educational revolution like capitalist pigs frolicking in newly re-branded shit. When Metro's principal explains that his "school without walls" concept allows CPS to expand capacity without making capital-intensive investments in outmoded fads like buildings, he's demonstrating in real time how the yippies became the yuppies, how we got the TIFs and the tax revolts and the portable classrooms with 36 students stuffed to the ceilings. To revisit METRO!!! is to watch the Dream become co-opted!!! before our eyes. As such, it's an invaluable social document that would be lost if not for the valiant efforts of CFA. Rod Nordberg in person. KAW
More info at http://chicagofilmarchives.org.
The Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Sky Hopinka: Translations and Transmutations on Thursday at 6pm, with Milwaukee-based filmmaker and Ho-Chunk Nation national Hopinka in person. Screening are: ANTI-OBJECTS, OR SPACE WITHOUT PATH OR BOUNDARY (2016), I’LL REMEMBER YOU AS YOU WERE, NOT AS WHAT YOU’LL BECOME (2016), VISIONS OF AN ISLAND (2015), JAAJI APPROX. (2015), plus additional work. saic.edu/cate
Black Cinema House (at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) presents Sara Jordenö’s 2016 documentary KIKI (96 min, Digital Projection), about the NYC LGBT youth-of-color activist Kiki and ball (vogue) cultures, on Friday at 7pm. Followed by a panel discussion featuring KIKI co-writer and subject Twiggy Pucci Garcon; HRW Interim Advocacy Director Tico Almeida; scholar, activist and performer Julian K. Glover; and trans activist Monica James. Free admission.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography (600 S. Michigan Ave., Columbia College) presents Video Playlist: Amir George on Wednesday at 6pm. Local filmmaker and film curator (and co-curator of the touring exhibition series Black Radical Imagination) George will screen a selection of his own work and work he’s presented as a curator, including films by Derek Weber and Morganne Wakefield and a 35mm slide performance by Shelby Stone. Free admission.
Facets Cinémathèque screens Michael Radford’s 1984 UK film 1984 (113 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Sunday at 1pm. This screening is a teach-in event, and will be followed by a discussion led by Bill Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar Retired at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle and the author of Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto and other books. Free admission, though donations will be requested.
The Chicago Cultural Center hosts the One Earth Film Festival’s presentation of Craig Leeson’s 2016 documentary A PLASTIC OCEAN (100 min, Video Projection) on Saturday at 3pm, followed by a panel discussion. Free admission.
George Miller's BABE: PIG IN THE CITY (Australian Revival)
Chicago Film Society at the Music Box Theatre – Monday, 7pm
Maligned upon release by nearly everyone outside of Chicago's own Siskel, Ebert, and Pat Graham, George Miller's $90M perfectionist talking-animal masterpiece returns in 35mm to our comparatively welcoming megapolis for the first time in twenty years. Now, nobody knows what happens in the first BABE, so the titular plucky sheep-herding pig begins this tour-de-force sequel a returning conquering hero of something-or-other, before tragedy strikes; and in Miller's fantastic worldview, tragedy can only occur repeatedly, in the form of elaborate, set-clearing Rube Goldberg catastrophes. Our heroic pinkness becomes an undocumented refugee among many, abused by CBP and housed in an imaginary hypercity's zoophilic sanctuary, and in the subsequent 90 minutes of bold, painterly compositions, LOTR cinematographer Andrew Lesnie works magic alongside an literal army of animal trainers (over seventy are credited). The resulting CGI-assisted supporting performances—memorably the orangutan, duck, and pit bull terrier—far outrank many contemporaneous human thespians; their dubbed dialogue is a simultaneously poetic and illiterate slang-filled tenement argot, as if the Dead End Kids, Vito Corleone, and Blanche DuBois were all in hiding at the Chelsea Hotel, if the Chelsea Hotel was on the Bowery, and if the Bowery was in Venice, and if the Bowery-née-Chelsea-Hotel-on-Venice was constructed from scratch on the nascent Fox Sydney backlot. (The music, by contrast, is a 1950s Parisian daydream, sung by the rue de Belleville's finest castrati mice.) But BABE: PIG IN THE CITY also deserves to be seen on the big screen, in part because of its large-scale PLAYTIME-meets-STARSHIP TROOPERS satirization of both the technocratic dullness and hedonistic excess of monochromatic, globalized modernity, and in part because belly laughter and uncontrollable sobbing are more fun in public. What is clear today is how much is owed to this supposed "failure" of a film by the far more financially-successful (and geographically accurate) FINDING NEMO/DORY, where a cornucopia of damaged fauna also attempt to collaboratively extricate themselves from Pacific-coastal urbanity. But with all due respect to Pixar, it's clear which production team will be first against the wall. Tentatively preceded by the 1097 Pathé Frères short THE DANCING PIG [Le Cochon danseur] (4 min, 16mm) or another short TBA. (1998 97 min, 35mm) MC
More info at www.chicagofilmsociety.org.
Hand and Machine: Recent 16mm Films by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie (Experimental)
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) - Wednesday, 7pm
Over the past decade, Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie, co-founders of Nanolab, an artisan film laboratory in Australia, have been producing a series of hand-made, intricately structured, and expertly manipulated films that explode the possibilities of motion picture images. Their work, meticulously built on a frame-by-frame basis on the optical printer, in a specialized darkroom, and on a variety of custom-built equipment, is among the most purely cinematic that I have ever seen: every fragment of every frame is made to bear meaning, details flow into one another, connecting gestures with colors with sudden shifts and edits within the same composite images. In these films, the predominant theme is an exploration of technological magic, as Tuohy and Barrie find new and truly revelatory ways of exploring the wondrousness of transforming isolated still photographs into kaleidoscopic patterns of ceaseless, overwhelming movements, a sorcery that was recognized at the outset of cinema’s first public exhibitions but that has been allowed all too often to grow pedestrian and stale. Tuohy and Barrie’s work reenergizes that power, making cinema strange again, making its amazing tricks new and stunning again, making cinema that simply cannot be domesticated into the mere digital simulacrum of digital projection. The films are maddening, exhilarating dives into urban realms of bustle, crowd, skyscraper, street, and light that fulfill one of the great promises of art, to let us think in new and unexpected ways, more violently, beautifully, and totally almost than can be bourn. In its aggregation of their films, the program forms a brilliant master-class in transforming how we see and understand the world, which is to say that they transform the world itself. In many of these works, the filmmakers use a technology that they developed called the chromoflex to create powerful and striking in-frame montages that show both positive and negative images of the same thing simultaneously. In others, micro moments of time are dissected and explored and rebuilt in terrible, wonderful formal precisions and games that are as exhausting as they are revolutionary. Not a one of these is weak. Not a one of these fails to challenge, and perhaps even to conquer, the stale, received tales of what is allowed and what is forbidden, what can be done and what cannot be done with a strip of 16mm film. Like an encyclopedia for the senses, watching Tuohy and Barrie’s films is a gargantuan experience. One’s eyes fairly drown in the possibilities they offer for new ways of perceiving material things and our relations to them. Showing in the program are: BLUE LINE CHICAGO (2014, 10 min) by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie, GINZA STRIP (2014, 9 min) by Richard Tuohy, LUX (2010, 6 min) by Dianna Barrie, CROSSING (2016, 11 min) by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie, INVENTION OF THE WHEEL (2015, 14 min) by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie, PANCORAN (2017, 7 min) by Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie, LAST TRAIN (2016, 12 min) by Dianna Barrie and Richard Tuohy, ETIENNE’S HAND (2011, 13 min) by Richard Tuohy. Tuohy and Barrie in person. (2010-17, approx. 82 min total, 16mm) KB
More info at http://nightingalecinema.org.
William A. Wellman’s BEGGARS OF LIFE (Silent American Revival)
Music Box Theatre – Saturday, 11:30am
A young girl kills her stepfather, dresses up as a hobo and runs away to ride the treacherous rails. The girl, of course, is Louise Brooks (who else could it be?) and the film, coming just before her career-redefining collaborations with G.W. Pabst (e.g. PANDORA'S BOX), is both her best American picture and the best of William Wellman's silent films (if not his greatest overall). Part fairy tale, part picaresque, part documentary, BEGGARS OF LIFE features actual hobos in bit parts and a story co-written by the hobo memoirist Jim Tully, but its strongest points emerge from the strange cocktail of Brooks' mysterious femininity and the cocky masculine ego standard to Wellman's direction. It's also nearly impossible to see—aside from bootleg DVDs of questionable quality—making this rare 35mm presentation all the more crucial. (1928, 100 min, Preserved Archival 35mm Print) IV
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
European Union Film Festival
Gene Siskel Film Center
The EU festival continues this week with another dozen+ titles from across Europe, including Carlos Saura’s Spanish documentary J: BEYOND FLAMENCO and Doris Dörrie’s German film GREETINGS FROM FUKUSIMA and those highlighted below. Visit the Siskel website for the full schedule.
Olmo Omerzu’s FAMILY FILM (New Czech)
Friday, 8pm and Saturday, 6:15pm
If you can put up with a lackluster first hour, this Czech feature rewards your patience, taking unexpected turns and arriving at some unsettling conclusions about its characters. It starts as a familiar tale about an upper class Prague couple and their teenage children, all of whom live a comfortable life of privilege. The parents leave town for a few weeks to sail the South Seas on a small boat; after the fashion of much contemporary art cinema about communication breakdown in our globalized age, there are multiple scenes of the family communicating awkwardly via Skype after the parents are on the water. Left to look after themselves, the kids go out partying and experiment with sex (though not with each other—co-writer-director Olmo Omerzu isn’t after anything that dark), ultimately getting into trouble with their teachers and the bachelor uncle who comes to check in on them. The film is perceptive with regards to character and milieu, albeit not in a particularly novel way. It’s only after tragedy strikes that Omerzu reveals how fragile was all that came before—the family’s complacency, the parents’ sense of privilege, even the kids’ confidence in their own misbehaving. The shift to tragedy isn’t as shocking as that of, say, Catherine Breillat’s FAT GIRL, though it reflects a similar narrative instinct, dramatizing how unprepared anyone is for disaster. Unlike FAT GIRL, however, Omerzu continues the story for some time after the twist, relating the fallout of the disaster and how it changes the family. Those changes are as surprising as the twist itself, and they cause the film to linger in the memory. Omerzu’s subtle camerawork and poker-faced tone have their own lingering appeal as well. (2015, 95 min, DCP Digital) BS
Bruno Dumont’s SLACK BAY [MA LOUTE] (New French)
Saturday, 4pm and Thursday, 6pm
In an interview conducted around the release of his sixth feature, HORS SATAN (2011), veteran provocateur Bruno Dumont explained that the average shot length in that film was deliberately shorter than in any of his other films. Dumont felt that too many contemporary art house directors relied too heavily on long takes, and, being a prominent art house director himself, he decided to work in opposition to this trend. This insight into Dumont’s process is revealing—it speaks to how deep his oppositional instinct runs in his work. Dumont’s recent turn to absurdist comedy with his TV mini-series P’TIT QUINQUIN (2014) and MA LOUTE (aka SLACK BAY) represents this instinct writ large. These works still look and feel like Dumont movies (the stark, minimalist compositions remain, so do the rural, northern French setting, and the detached, quasi-spiritual perspective on human cruelty), yet there’s none of the self-seriousness that defines so much recent art cinema. Everyone overacts with comic gusto, and the narrative is deliberately outlandish. (At times the results feel as much like Monty Python’s Flying Circus as they do Dumont.) This takes place around 1910 and revolves around an upper class clan visiting the countryside, a local family of cannibals, and a pair of inept police inspectors, all of whom interact in unexpected—and frequently garish—ways. There’s little else like it out there, and it once again confirms Dumont’s skill at using cinema as a tool to mess with our heads. (2016, 122 min, DCP Digital) BS
Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's THE UNKNOWN GIRL (New Belgian)
Sunday, 3pm and Wednesday, 6pm
The Dardenne Brothers return with this expressive, visceral realist mystery. Adèle Haenel gives a naturalistic central performance as a promising young doctor at a working-class clinic on the outskirts of the Belgian riverside city of Liège. She's admired, even beloved. One fateful evening after a long day, she refuses to let her intern buzz someone in after hours. When the night caller turns up dead, she feels responsible. If she'd given the desperate African woman shelter, she'd be alive—a powerful, relevant metaphor. Mounting an investigation to discover the unknown woman's name, she discovers secrets involving the young son of her own patients, as well as various more or less threatening characters. (The boy's father is played by Dardennes regular Jérémie Renier). The Dardennes' mise en scène, carefully composed yet open, is rendered in the fluid handheld style of their longtime cinematographer, the great Alain Marcoen. Actors, directors, cameraman: all seem to be in a process of mutual discovery, catching real life as it unfolds. There's something in the doctor's steadfast, non-judgmental acceptance of people as they are, the way she even shares in their guilt, that makes one unforgettable scene in particular play out very differently than it might have. This movie has no score to telegraph how we're meant to feel. There's just one person caring, helping...because that's what she does. (2016, 106 min, DCP Digital) SP
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Zhao Liang’s BEHEMOTH (New Chinese Documentary)
Facets Cinematheque – Check Venue website for showtimes
Beautiful to watch and horrifying to contemplate, Zhao Liang’s experimental documentary BEHEMOTH considers China’s coal industry, its negative effects on the environment, and some the people directly impacted by its devastations. Zhao captures stunning landscape shots of the mines in Inner Mongolia, presenting them like Renaissance-era paintings of Hell. (Not coincidentally, the scant, poetic narration is adapted from Dante’s The Divine Comedy.) He also presents the faces of miners like miniature landscapes, inviting us to study soot smudges and wrinkles as components of a tragic history. The scenes inside the mines are scary, the scenes of sick former miners heart-rending. Yet it’s Zhao’s inventive approach to film structure that gives these scenes their unique power. BEHEMOTH drifts from one passage to another like a dreamer in a dream. There is no sense of narrative progression or of an argument being constructed—there is simply the monumentality of the mines and the diseased ecosystems around them. “Imagination is part of it,” Zhao explained to the New York Times in December 2015. “I don’t have to introduce the background of each person specifically. All we know is that this is a group of people who’ve been tossed about on earth and in the end they didn’t get anything. Their bodies are worn out and the environment is damaged. That’s all.” (2015, 87 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed format) BS
Kelly Reichardt's CERTAIN WOMEN (New American)
Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) – Wednesday, 1 and 7:30pm (Free Admission)
Ever since America decided to nullify itself last month, the so-called bubble-dwellers have been endlessly lectured, cajoled, shamed, and tsk-tsked by a cadre of opportunist pundits hell-bent on prettifying white nationalism. Their weapon of choice has been a crooked cudgel of empathy—the daily drumbeat that cosmopolitan 'identity politics' is over, that coastal elites don't understand the economic anxiety of third-generation factory hands in our one-stoplight towns, and that liberals can never hope to come anywhere close to regaining power until they reckon with the white working class's long-standing cultural affinity with Vladimir Putin. Don't condescend to hard-working real Americans, don't denigrate xenophobia, don't badmouth sexual assault, don't mock Pizzagate conspiracy theorists. This quisling impulse arises from a deep unfamiliarity with the actual artistic output of the arugula set, frequently awash in sentimental examinations of the upheaval of fraying communities, the scourge of meth addiction, the plight of under-employed, middle-aged white men. Noted coastal elitist and great American filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, who teaches at hippie-dippie, clothing-optional Bard College, recently made a movie that speaks to rural America with more genuine empathy and curiosity than a thousand scolding op-eds. Would the legion of Trump voters recognize themselves in it? CERTAIN WOMEN, adapted by Reichardt from a trio of stories by Maile Meloy, is not simply a film randomly plopped down in Montana to score a tax rebate. Its whole rhythm and grammar arises organically from the setting and its pokier pace of life. (Remember those "Montana Moment" tourism adverts that plastered the CTA trains a few years back?) The first story, which might loosely be described as a true crime legal thriller starring Laura Dern, checks all its thematic boxes but does not translate Reichardt's aesthetic to down 'n' dirty genre mechanics as effectively as NIGHT MOVES. The second remains under-developed, with Michelle Williams as a walking McSweeney's caricature, dedicated to building a cabin exclusively from locally-sourced railroad ties. But the third story—an extended diner duet between Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone—belongs among Reichardt's best work. Somewhere along the way, the accumulation of daily rhythms—cleaning a horse stable, driving down a darkened interstate, waiting in an empty classroom, crossing a parking lot—builds to something much more powerful than the sum of its parts. It becomes an argument for a way of life, an act of inoculation and reclamation. A lesser work would be content with settling; this one levitates until it grazes solace. (2016, 107 min, DCP Digital) KAW
More info at www.northbrook.info/events/film.
Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD (American Revival)
The Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Pickwick Theatre (5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge) – Thursday, 2 and 7:30pm
Drenched in cynicism, Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD ranks up there with Robert Altman's THE PLAYER and David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DR. as one of the best critiques of Hollywood's toxic narcissism and cruelty. The last collaboration between Wilder and screenwriter Charles Brackett, SUNSET BOULEVARD centers on Norma Desmond (played with maniacal intensity by Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent star who spends her days cooped up in her gothic tomb/mansion, obsessing over her glory days and penning the script which will launch her revival. By chance she encounters Joe Gillis, a down on his luck screenwriter. Their working relationship mutates into a strange sexual dynamic, with Gillis eager to escape; however, he ultimately finds himself contaminated by the greed and disillusionment of Hollywood. Wilder enlisted the help of master cinematographer John F. Seitz, who also photographed DOUBLE INDEMNITY, to lend the film a chiaroscuro, noir-ish look. This is notable during one of the film's most memorable scenes, in which an entranced Desmond watches her celluloid self on the movie screen, the light from the projector flickering over her face creating a kind of literal fusion of reality and fantasy. Look for a cameo from silent film icon Buster Keaton (referred to by Gillis as a "waxwork"), as well as Cecil B. DeMille playing himself. (1950, 110 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) HS
More info at http://parkridgeclassicfilm.com.
Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE (New American/International)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Saturday, 7 and 10pm and Sunday, 3:30pm
Throughout his long and accomplished career, Martin Scorsese has incorporated religion into many of his films—be it thematically, iconographically, or overtly, as in THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and KUNDUN. After twenty years in the making, his latest film, SILENCE, is a combination of all three. In the 16th century, a pair of Portuguese missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) embarks on a trip to feudal Japan to discover the whereabouts of Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), a priest who is believed to have apostatized due to the intense persecution Christians have been subjected to in that country. SILENCE is the sort of film where one’s personal beliefs or lack thereof will surely shape the one’s reconciliation of the events transpiring on-screen. It is emotionally-tolling and psychologically-straining. Interestingly enough, it is as pro-religion as it is anti-religion. Akira Kurosawa’s influence looms large here, with RASHOMON and SEVEN SAMURAI coming quickly to mind, and Scorsese flirts with other works of Eastern cinema by paying homage to several Japanese greats. The film’s bleak tone and heavy subject matter is aided by a muted color palette before, roughly halfway through, a shift occurs and there is an explosion of color and vibrancy while still maintaining the same somber undertones. In a land where to be Christian is essentially a death sentence to many, it’s captivating and at times, a bit perplexing that Father Rodrigues (Garfield) and the other Japanese converts remain so resolute in their faith. The biggest question raised is the notion of religious truth and whether that truth can be universal to all or not. Although lacking in the subtlety found in some of his other works, Scorsese’s SILENCE is a well-crafted test in the face of hardship and one that is sure to evoke a strong reaction by all. (2016, 161 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Ceyda Torun’s KEDI (New Turkish Documentary)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
In Istanbul, Turkey, feral cats can be found everywhere; however, unlike the rats of our fair Chicago, these animals experience a peaceful co-habitation with the populace that, for some, borders on the reverential. KEDI packages Istanbul’s admiration for its felines in several vignettes and is meant for cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike. The stories told are uplifting. For some of the interviewees, these cats represent a tangential relationship between themselves and their beliefs in religious omnipotence. The cinematography found in KEDI is superb and beautiful. At times providing a cat’s eye view of the city, the camerawork bounces from rooftop to rooftop, scurries up trees, and dives down pathways that only the nimble footed could traverse. Combined with the staccato score, KEDI has succinct and upbeat tempo. The film follows seven cats’ lives and the nuances of their individual personalities are allowed to flourish on screen. Ceyda Torun explores the circumstances of how these animals came to become so prevalent in Istanbul and to paint a portrait of why their existence is a joyous thing for everyone. KEDI is the kind of film that gives essence to mankind’s love for cats and showcases all of the natural and urban beauty that can be found in Istanbul. (2016, 80 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Michael Dudok de Wit’s THE RED TURTLE (New Animation)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
Over the course of its thirty plus year existence, Studio Ghibli has been celebrated for its anime releases, but in that time, have never produced a non-Japanese film. Hayao Miyazaki was so impressed by Michael Dudok de Wit’s FATHER AND DAUGHTER that he had his studio reach out to the Dutch director to collaborate, and THE RED TURTLE was born. This taut, dialogue-free film depicts a shipwrecked sailor marooned on a tropical island. After a mysterious red sea turtle prevents his numerous attempts to flee the island, he flips the creature onto its shell and leaves it to bake in the sun on the beach. When the animal dies, the body is seemingly replaced with that of a red haired woman, and the man gains a companion. Many of the themes of THE RED TURTLE revolve around loneliness, acceptance, and man’s will to survive and, coupled with its basic narrative premise, draw an easy comparison to Robinson Crusoe. The film’s color palette is vibrant and lush and this brightness instills a sense of vitality and tranquility that invites the viewer to imagine the warm breezes rustling through the trees and the cool water lapping along the shores. There is a sense of whimsy that pervades the film and juxtaposed with the lack of dialogue, attunes the eye to the subtleties of the gorgeous animation and the mind to the minimalist, but affecting, story. (2016, 80 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Film Studies Center (at the Logan Center for the Arts
915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) presents Troubling the Image: Re-Framings - Stitched & Collaged on Friday at 7pm. Screening are three retrospective films—Daniel Barnett’s THE CHINESE TYPEWRITER (1978-83, 28 min, 16mm), Keewatin Dewdney’s THE MALTESE CROSS MOVEMENT (1967, 8 min, Restored 16mm Archival Print), and the previously unknown, recently discovered Joseph Cornell film UNTITLED JOSEPH CORNELL FILM (THE WOOL COLLAGE) (c. 1940-1955, 23 min, Restored 16mm Archival Print)—and two new works: UNTITLED (EARTH) (Julie Murray, 2015, 10 min, Digital Projection) and ANSWER PRINT (Mónica Savirón, 2016, 5 min, 16mm). Free admission.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Athina Rachel Tsangari’s 2010 Greek film ATTENBERG (95 min, 35mm) is on Tuesday at 6pm, with a lecture by filmmaker and SAIC instructor Melika Bass.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2008 film BURN AFTER READING (96 min, 35mm) is on Friday at 7 and 9:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm; and Anthony Minghella’s 1999 film THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (139 min, 35mm) is on Sunday at 7pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: the Peace on Earth Film Festival takes place Friday-Sunday. Visit poeff.org/schedule for more information; Claude Barras’ 2016 French animated film MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (70 min, DCP Digital; showing in both French-language and English-dubbed versions. Check the website for showtimes of each) opens;
Anthony C. Ferrante’s 2013 film SHARKNADO (86 min, DCP Digital) is on Tuesday at 7pm, with a discussion between SHARKNADO writer Thunder Levin and Kevin Feldheim, the Manager of the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution; Russell Mulcahy’s 1984 Australian killer animal film RAZORBACK (95 min, 35mm) is on Friday and Saturday at Midnight
Also at Facets Cinémathèque this week: Boo Junfeng’s 2016 film APPRENTICE (96 min, Digital Projection) plays for a week-long run.
Also at the Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) this week: Theodore Melfi’s 2016 film HIDDEN FIGURES (127 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 2 and 7:30pm (tickets are required for this event and are available two hours before showtime; check the website for details); Ana Sofia Joanes’ 2009 documentary FRESH (72 min, Video Projection) is on Monday at 7pm, followed by a discussion with Northbrook Farmers Market president and manager Dale Duda; and the library’s Sci-fi/Fantasy movie discussion group presents a screening and discussion of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (137 min, DCP Digital) on Thursday at 7pm. Free admission for all events. www.northbrook.info/events/film
Also at the Chicago Cultural Center this week: the Chicago Latino Film Festival presents Alejandro García Wiedemann’s 2011 Venezuelan film UPSIDE DOWN (92 min, Video Projection) on Wednesday at 6:30pm. Free admission.
The Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest (400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, IL) screens Robert Redford’s 1980 film ORDINARY PEOPLE (124 min, Digital Projection) on Thursday at 7pm.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
The Art Institute of Chicago exhibition Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is on view through May 7. The large exhibition of work by the acclaimed Brazilian artist includes several films by him, and some related films. Included are Oiticica’s films BRASIL JORGE (1971), FILMORE EAST (1971), and AGRIPPINA IS ROME-MANHATTAN (1972); two slide-show works: NEYRÓTIKA (1973) and CC6 COKE HEAD’S SOUP (1973, made with Thomas Valentin); and Raimundo Amado’s APOCALIPOPÓTESE (1968) and Andreas Valentin’s ONE NIGHT ON GAY STREET (1975, 16mm).
Olympia Centre (737 N. Michigan Ave. - entrance at 151 E. Chicago Ave.) presents Virginio Ferrari & Marco G. Ferrari: Spirit Level through April 6. The show features sculpture, 16mm film, video and installations by artists Virginio Ferrari and Marco G. Ferrari, including Marco Ferrari’s SPIRIT LEVEL (2015-16, 30 min) and CONTRAILS WITH BODY (2011-16, 3 min).
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.
The Art Institute of Chicago (Gallery 186) has Rodney McMillian: A Great Society on view through March 26. The exhibition features three video works by McMillian: UNTITLED (THE GREAT SOCIETY) I (2006, 16 min loop), A MIGRATION TALE (2014-15, 10 min loop), and PREACHER MAN (2015, 6 min loop).