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:: Friday, MAY 20 -
Thursday, MAY 26 ::
Leo Hurwitz's STRANGE VICTORY (American Documentary Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 6:15pm, Sunday, 3pm, and Monday, 6pm
Following the victories of World War II, American life became engulfed in an ideological battle royale in the latter half of the 1940s--an enormously consequential period that set the boundaries of political discourse for the remainder of the century. The New Deal consensus collapsed, wartime labor peace eroded, and forces of reaction exacted payback after a decade in the political wilderness. The contradictions and countervailing movements of this extraordinary historical moment are legion: a prosperous peace on the homefront and the reckless seeds of Cold War escalation abroad; an unprecedented wave of activism from the labor movement and the near-total defenestration of workers' rights courtesy of the Taft-Hartley Act; the rapid radicalization of citizen groups like the American Veterans Committee and the equally swift Red-baiting of the Dies Committee; Henry Wallace's 1948 Progressive Party presidential bid and Strom Thurmond's concurrent Dixiecrat campaign, which reaped more votes. None of this was inevitable, and American society might well have gone down a very different, more social-democratic path under slightly altered conditions. The best evidence for this alternate history is Leo Hurwitz's documentary STRANGE VICTORY, which proceeds from the unaccountable fact that "the ideas of the loser [are] still active in the land of the winner": religious bigotry, racial supremacy, fascistic calls to violence. The product of a disintegrating Popular Front, STRANGE VICTORY's argument is not dissimilar to contemporaneous Soviet propaganda that sought to discredit capitalism by reciting the inequities of the Jim Crow South. Like NATIVE LAND, Hurwitz's celebrated collaboration with Paul Strand, STRANGE VICTORY is a parade of stock footage, occasionally punctuated with hidden-camera moments and staged scenes shot around New York City. At its most provocative, STRANGE VICTORY intercuts concentration camp footage with shots of window-shopping matrons, suggesting American atrocities lurking in plain view. Sequences like this make you wish that the unimpeachably sincere STRANGE VICTORY were more precise and closely-argued: the connections between genocide and consumerism are implied without really being exhumed or examined. There are strange omissions at the heart of STRANGE VICTORY: Hurwitz and his team devote considerable time to demonstrating the toll of anti-black and anti-Jewish prejudice, but make no mention of America's recent experiment in imprisoning citizens of Japanese descent and confiscating their property. Revealingly, STRANGE VICTORY's producer, Barney Rosset, misremembered the film's argument in a subsequent interview: "And [we] showed what place [people] would have in society. A woman opposed to a man, a black as opposed to a white, and so on. And that was the film. When I looked back at it, I was amazed. It showed the place women played in the war. In the industrial effort. It was enormous. Though after the war they were all thrown out. Including by the unions." Actually, the version of STRANGE VICTORY that comes down to us is almost completely silent on questions of gender, and its argument is immeasurably poorer for that. These failures of imagination actually make STRANGE VICTORY all the more instructive, essential, and moving today: watching it, you viscerally understand the tragedy of the postwar American left and the inherent insufficiency of the coalition its stalwarts dreamt of building. It's an hour of hard truth, and it's still nowhere near enough. (1948, 64 min, DCP Digital; New Restoration) KAW
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Tsai Ming-Liang's JOURNEY TO THE WEST (Contemporary Taiwanese)
Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) - Saturday, 8pm; Repeats at Columbia College (Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash Ave.) on Tuesday at 6:30pm
JOURNEY TO THE WEST (2014), the second and most recent installment in director Tsai Ming-Liang's ongoing "Walker" series, receives its belated local premiere at Chicago Filmmakers this weekend thanks to the enterprising efforts of Beguiled Cinema (the programming endeavor of Cine-File critics Ben and Kat Sachs). This fascinating series, which began with 2012's WALKER, was inspired by the life of Xuanzang, a 7th-century Buddhist monk who became famous for making a 17-year pilgrimage from China to India by foot. Dispensing with narrative and dialogue altogether, the aptly titled JOURNEY TO THE WEST consists of just a few shots, done in Tsai's customary long-take style, of a red-robed monk (Lee Kang-Sheng) walking about as slow as humanly possible around densely populated areas of contemporary Marseilles, France. Eventually, he is joined by a man in Western clothing (Denis Lavant) who walks behind him at the same snail's pace. Tsai has memorably worked in France before--in 2001's WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?--but the pairing here of his inevitable leading man Lee with Leos Carax's favorite leading man Lavant was a genuine masterstroke; they are arguably the two best physical actors working today, known for the kind of expressive body language reminiscent of silent-film acting rather than the traditional facial/vocal emoting that has been popular in cinema since the early sound era. Different viewers will likely take away different things from this experiment; I personally see it as a complex statement about how ancient Eastern religions seem "out of step" with the fast pace of modern Western life, and how there are elements of contemporary Western civilization that, for this very reason, feel irresistibly drawn towards Eastern philosophy. Regardless of how one interprets it, what's not in dispute is the film's extreme formal beauty (the shot of the monk, surrounded by what looks like a red halo created by his robe, walking down a flight of subway stairs is astonishing), as well as its unexpected, ineffable sense of humor. (2014, 56 min, Blu-Ray Projection) MGS
More info at www.chicagofilmmakers.org.
Sadie Benning's FLAT IS BEAUTIFUL (American/Experimental Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Saturday, 5 pm [Free Admission]
Sadie Benning's impact on American experimental film in the Nineties was seismic. That such painfully intimate work could come from one so young--she began making Pixelvision videos in her teens--might not have been a surprise, but her play of space and light, her prodigious sense of rhythm and quotidian drama was unique and remains so to this day. Her early diaristic explorations of nascent queerness and gender play were set, in the main, in her bedroom; she broke down its small space into individual worlds by keying in on its particulars (game shows, tabloid headlines, a snow globe, her own scrawled messages, extreme closeups of her eyes, mouth, nose, a blemish.) Over a decade, her increasing mastery of shadow and angle, her move from tentative but promising in-camera cutting sense to total editing command, her hand-held camera used as an extension of self--a literal lifeline to self--cemented her reputation and more often than not branded her work on the brain of those who encountered it. FLAT IS BEAUTIFUL is Benning's longest piece, simultaneously a summation and a transition, a leap forward and look back; it bursts out of the bedroom and into the streets and playgrounds of her Milwaukee home, appraising it with a balefully expressive eye, presenting its streets, signage, and even its public art as signifiers of oppressive uniform identity. The film juggles video, Super-8 film, and stop-motion cut-out animation to consider the inner life and scrubby outer circumstances of Taylor, a young androgyne in the midst of making sense of gender, sex, her own terrors, and adults who are either condescending, palliative, or happy talk-ish. (Taylor's mother is shown shoveling chips in her mouth while watching Sally Jessy Raphael interview a trans person, and her phone conversations with her absentee art world father are excruciating--perhaps close to the bone for Benning, those.) The cast is kitted out in masks, a gambit that shouldn't work at all, but that one acclimates to almost immediately; their flatness expresses volumes about presentation and representation of self, and that their use resists the easy reduction that description may evoke says something of Benning's true north and nearly unerring art sense. Hopefully newcomers to Benning will discover what others have long known: that her filmography represents a genuine Art Decade, a truly heroic body of work. (1998, 50 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format) JG
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Edward Yang's A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (Taiwanese Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 2pm and Saturday, 7pm
Along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien's A CITY OF SADNESS and Tsai Ming-liang's THE RIVER, this is one of the supreme masterpieces of the Taiwanese New Wave. "Edward Yang's fourth feature retains an inexhaustible freshness that speaks to viewers the world over," Godfrey Cheshire recently wrote for the Criterion Collection. "Like a Taiwanese REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE made with the gravity and epic sweep of THE GODFATHER, the film, which has more than a hundred speaking parts, is above al a vision, in terms of both place and time. The place is Taipei, Yang's home and the setting and subject of all seven of his features. As for time, we might consider two meanings. The years depicted are 1960-61, a particular juncture in Taiwanese history. But the time we witness is also that of adolescence, with all its inner turmoil, outer self-consciousness, and obsessive quest for identity." (1991, 237 min, DCP Digital) BS
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Claude Sautet's CÉSAR AND ROSALIE and LES CHOSES DE LA VIE (French Revivals)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Showtimes listed below
The subjects of Claude Sautet's character studies are as enigmatic as André Téchiné's, as unpredictable as Maurice Pialat's, and as finely drawn as either, yet Sautet (1924-2000) hasn't enjoyed lasting admiration in the U.S. along the lines of what Pialat or Téchiné have achieved. This may be because Sautet focused primarily on comfortably bourgeois characters without ever calling their socio-economic worldview into question, which can create the impression that he's some kind of complacent middlebrow. That Sautet never developed a visual aesthetic comparable to the ambition and density of screenplays may also play a role in his low reputation among American cinephiles. Yet Sautet's films have all aged remarkably well, their humanity as supple as ever and their ambiguities as tantalizing as ever. Take, for instance, CÉSAR AND ROSALIE (1972, 106 min, DCP Digital; Saturday, 3pm and Thursday, 6:15pm), which communicates in every scene an exciting curiosity about other people's lives. The title characters are a nouveau-riche scrap yard owner (Yves Montand) and his girlfriend (Romy Schneider, Sautet's frequent muse throughout the 1970s), a smart single mother at least a decade his junior. Into this happy relationship walks David (Sami Frey), a suave cartoonist and onetime potential suitor for Rosalie who has been out of the country for several years. Soon after he arrives, he brazenly announces to Cesar that he still carries a torch for Rosalie and intends to seduce her; his action sets off a succession of relationships made, broken, and made again between the main characters. The plot has the makings of a melodrama or a farce, yet Sautet doesn't play it for either; rather, he lets the characterization determine the tone of any given scene. David, Cesar, and Rosalie are all alternately rational and crazy, compassionate and selfish. Their unexpected--though never implausible--changes in behavior point to the complexity within us all. Also screening this week is Sautet's first mature film, LES CHOSES DE LA VIE (1970, 89 min, DCP Digital; Saturday, 5pm and Tuesday, 6pm). Another love triangle story, its main characters are an architect (Michel Piccoli), his wife (Lea Massari), and his lover (Schneider). The film features an achronological narrative structure that speaks to Sautet's growing ambition at the time; Aquarello of Strictly Film School explains: "As the film opens, a badly injured Pierre (Piccoli), drifting into and out of consciousness, is rushed to the hospital after being ejected from his sports car following a high velocity crash... The film alternates between past and present--reconstructing, like the police traffic investigation that proceeds in the aftermath of the accident--the seemingly mundane fragments of his inextricable romantic entanglements.... Sautet figuratively reflects Pierre's emotional uncertainty as he struggles with the inertia of commitment and a new life with Helene, unable to sever the bonds of common history associated with his failed marriage to Catherine... Inevitably, as Pierre unconsciously ponders his unfinished household tasks--the trivial 'things of life' that bind him to his estranged family--what is revealed is a resigned longing for a lifetime of irretrievable memories and an irreconcilable sentiment of profound regret." BS
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Yasujiro Ozu's TOKYO TWILIGHT (Japanese Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Wednesday, 6:45 and 9:30pm
Writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda once said he considered TOKYO STORY to be an outlier in Yasujiro Ozu's body of work. The film's portrait of an irreparably broken family was closer in spirit, Kore-eda argued, to the cynical domestic dramas of Mikio Naruse than to the reassuring stories for which Ozu was celebrated. That reading isn't hard to defend. When you consider that Chishu Ryu's character was probably a selfish drunk when he was younger, the chilly reception he gets from his grown children seems less a result of their insensitivity than the inevitable result of his. STORY is a downer, but it isn't the only one Ozu ever made--indeed, A HEN IN THE WIND and TOKYO TWILIGHT may be even grimmer. A despairing work that looks and feels as much like film noir as it does Ozu, TWILIGHT considers a middle-class family at the end of its long decline. Shukichi Sugiyama (Ryu) is a moderately successful banker who lives with one of his grown daughters, Akiko; the young woman shows no ambition except to someday go to junior college for transcription, and she's started hanging out with a bad crowd. Soon after the movie begins, Sukichi's other daughter, Takako (Setsuko Hara, in her saddest performance for Ozu) moves in with her two-year-old after a long period of strife with her loutish husband. None of these three has ever been happy, not since the girls' mother walked out on the family when Akiko was three. This crucial fact about the family isn't revealed until almost halfway into TWILIGHT; regardless, one senses from the characters' behavior that they've suffered serious loss. (The first hour positively simmers with negative energy.) In the second half, the revelations hit the audience like a hailstorm; the film takes place in the dead of winter (it's one of the only postwar Ozu films that does), and since so much painful history is revealed, it comes to feel as though it's always been winter for these characters. (1957, 141 min, 35mm) BS
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Xavier Giannoli's MARGUERITE (New French)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Check Venue website for showtimes
Everyone has that one friend who cannot sing to save their life but who delusionally continue to do so anyway. Jean Hagen's character in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN comes to mind. Such is the story of MARGUERITE. Set in France during the 1920's, the film follows Marguerite (Catherine Frot), a wealthy baroness with a tin ear and a dreadful singing voice. Her friends don't dare to tell her of her caterwauling (for fear of losing out on all the perks she can provide), and the elephant in the room only grows larger when she decides to start singing publicly for larger audiences. The film examines the notion of martyrdom, likening Frot's character to Joan of Arc. There's an image revisited several times throughout the film of a country road that forks with a tree, a large boulder, and a cross. This iconography recounts Biblical figures such as John The Baptist, but within the framework of the film, whose cross it is to bear for all the fallout shifts depending on the avenue taken. Halos of light and angel wings only further these theological undertones. The sound design is one of MARGUERITE's strongest features. Backed by a soundtrack of classical music, the film elegantly juxtaposes harsh dins like peacocks squawking and the soothing sounds of Mozart to create a cacophonous soundscape that feels like its own character. MARGUERITE ultimately plays like an inside joke between two friends at the expense of another. It is funny, tragic, and tongue in cheek. (2015, 128 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Ale Abreu's BOY AND THE WORLD (Contemporary Brazilian Animation)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Saturday, 7 and 9pm and Sunday, 3:45pm
A nominee last year for Best Animated Feature, and the kind of fascinating, kaleidoscopic, "small" picture that gets a pat on the head before the heavy equipment gets handed out to the usual suspects, even though it has an honesty about the emotional intensity and tactility of a child's experience that more garlanded films don't approach. It introduces the Boy's countryside upbringing as a torrent of discrete experiences, a barrage of birds, light, sentient plant life, fireflies, and dust motes the size of baseballs. The external happenings burn inward, causing time-shift flickers of memory in his mind, surreal, quicksilver whipsaws of past, present, and future. The plot is simple--the father must leave the farm to find work, and the boy runs away to find him--but the details are all, and all in all stunning: clinging to his father's leg as he leaves, the mother and father appear as wraiths, almost, prefiguring loss (the father is given a classic stitched mouth, as if to point up his leaving as a little death); a moment where an aging laborer steels himself momentarily in front of a field boss to present toughness he doesn't possess; and the exemplary imagemaking of the boy's entrance into the city, with a parade of blackshirts and armored vehicles burrowing into its heart to the sounds of downbeat electronica. The film sends the boy on railway and highway, through fogscape and heatscape, becoming a phantasmagorical critique of rapine capital, a dystopic vision of happy talk news, and exploitation of workers and resources. It is agitprop, and it is lovely; it's not necessarily a "children's film," but it's the kind of thing that can burn in the memories of smart, sensitive kids for the rest of their days. The 7pm screening on Saturday finds BOY AND THE WORLD following Sadie Benning's FLAT IS BEAUTIFUL, an accidentally inspired bill that is what repertory cinema is all about, and comes highly recommended. (2013, 80 min, DCP Digital) JG
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Abbas Kiarostami's LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (Japanese Contemporary)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Monday, 7pm
In recent years, master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has moved out of his native Iran into the eclectic arena of world cinema: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE, set and shot in Japan, is his second film to be made outside of his home country after the critically acclaimed CERTIFIED COPY (2010). Despite his emerging status as a symbol of international cinema, Kiarostami remains true to his roots in both of his recent productions. That's not to mean that aspects of Iranian culture are evident in these films, but that his artistic voice remains the same despite the stamps in his passport. LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE is about the chance meeting between a young call girl and an elderly client, a deceptive union that is more familial than sexual. Such seemingly chance meetings occur often in Kiarostami's films, with the relationships toeing a fine line between being fortuitous or fated. Much of the film takes place in a car, bringing to mind his films TEN (2002) and the Palme d'Or winning film TASTE OF CHERRY (1997). And just as in those and some of his previous films, the forward shots of singular persons within such a claustrophobic space combine uneasy feelings of voyeurism with replications of personal conversation, which create a perplexity that parallels the story. That which is lurid might actually be innocent, or even pure: prostitution is maybe just friendship, broken marriage could be a chance at new love, and death can be overruled by life. As always, Kiarostami doesn't care to correct his viewer's assumptions one way or the other. Though his work provides a wealth of material over which one could exhaust their brain, it's better to watch with the heart. (2012, 109 min, DCP Digital) KS
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Ben Wheatley's HIGH-RISE (Contemporary British)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
If David Cronenberg's interpretation of J.G. Ballard's Crash was a communion with Ballard's clinical, gimlet-eyed aspect, then director Ben Wheatley and screenwriter Amy Jump's adaptation of High-Rise might profitably be thought of as Ballard seen through the eyes of a Crass-besotted teenager who would never quite grow past that first encounter and frisson of transgression. This is not a pejorative statement, depending on your tolerance for Wheatley's fourth-wall-breaking, cheekily presentational style. The movie's a punk riff on Ballard, by turns angular and weirdly elegant, right down to the Can-Fall tracks clashing with Clint Mansell's orchestral dissonances; it's as if the bespoke suit of Tom Hiddleston's Dr. Laing, which progressively becomes stinking and paint-spattered, came to life as a movie. (The not-so-good doctor's name is no less funny for being a blunt reference, just as Jump's use of voiceover lifted from the novel is on-the-nose, but repurposed to make Laing a self-mythomaniac, driven insane by the infernal building he moved into to escape personal tragedy.) As in the novel, the film begins at 10 on the depravity scale and busts through to infinity within minutes. The visualization of the high-rise, with its gyms, squash courts, supermarket, and rooftop garden and bestiary is magnificent; at one point Hiddleston embraces an ornamental concrete beam, literally fondles it as if it were a person, sentient, which is kind of Ballard's point. The edifice, both physical and social, goes to hell quickly, though, first fed to us in small doses--mysterious holes in walls, dog shit on shag carpets--and eventually becomes a horrorshow of fritzy electrical service, clogged garbage chutes, murder, assault, and implied bestiality. Ballard is all about the death wish, and the movie's got a bit of death wish about it, too. Wheatley plays with it like a kid in mud; he digs the screwing and the smoking and scrips written in crayon--the fraying of every damn thing, in Seventies drag. (One character says of another's environmentalism, "She cares. That's her thing." Wheatley cares about the Seventies: that's his thing.) He may dig it a bit too much. The last half hour wanders some, and leans too heavily on Jump's gift for absurd invective, but it's still a good show, and perhaps as far as you can take Ballard on these days and still get widely exhibited--a pity, that. Two things that demand special attention are: Jump's ferociously funny and cruel script as well as her remarkable partnership with the director (her editing, done in concert with Wheatley, is sterling; not for nothing do they share a lead title); and Hiddleston's superior film acting, his marvelous play of face, and his Bogarde-like ambition--his mixing up of Marvel factory films with his eagerness to work with directors such as Wheatley, Jarmusch, and Joanna Hogg is laudatory. It seems at this point that when all's said and done he'll have had a career to be proud of. Starring a fine Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons, Elisabeth Moss (luminous despite the circumstances,) Luke Evans as a cocaine hit-pig, rugby-thuggish documentarian, and an extended cameo by a poster for Karel Reisz's MORGAN: A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT. (2015, 119 min, DCP Digital) JG
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Jeremy Saulnier's GREEN ROOM (New American)
Music Box Theatre - Check Venue website for showtimes
Director Jeremy Saulnier's follow up to 2013's BLUE RUIN is an audacious new thriller that draws inspiration from SID AND NANCY and AMERICAN HISTORY X. A struggling punk band books a show at a backwoods bar after which they witness a murder and fight to survive against a group of Neo-Nazis. Patrick Stewart's Darcy, the bar/concert venue owner, is ruthless and methodical, akin to Brian Cranston's Heisenberg in BREAKING BAD. Saulnier's mise en scene is gritty, dirty, and claustrophobic. Characters hang along the peripheries of the frame, constantly looking for a way to escape their "nightmare" situation. Saulnier's narrative plays out like a scuba diving expedition: escape attempt excursions that end unsuccessfully, forcing a return to the haven of the green room for 'air'. The film is self-aware and never succumbs to its baser undertones as a horror movie. Instead, it eases some of the razor-thin tension with tongue in cheek dialogue punctuated by punk rock jargon and music references. The prevalent extreme violence is showcased in a way that only Alex DeLarge in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE could approve of. GREEN ROOM doesn't pretend to any profound statements; rather it embarks on a thrilling ride that's entertaining and taut throughout. (2016, 94 min, DCP Digital) KC
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) presents METAMEDIA: Film Journals and Diaries of Jud Yalkut on Thursday at 7pm. The program includes Yalkut's films US DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE (1966, 3 min, 16mm), METAMEDIA (1966-71 50 min, 16mm), and JOHN CAGE MUSHROOM HUNTING IN STONY POINT (1972-73, 8 min, 16mm). Anthology Film Archives' archivist John Klacsmann in person.
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) hosts Critical Paranoia: The Aquarian Conspiracy - CUFF Kick-Off Screening and Fundraiser on Friday at 8pm. The event includes a selection of short works by CUFF staff members Danielle Campbell, LJ Frezza, Tommy Heffron, Emily Oscarson, and Adam Paradis; along with the Ernest J. Ramon's CRITICAL PARANOIA: THE AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY.
Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Moment of Truth: Christian Horror and "Scare" Films: Films by Fred Carpenter on Wednesday at 8pm. Screening are Carpenter's ONE IN A MILLION (1986, 17 min), WITHOUT RESERVATION (1988, 25 min), and MOMENT OF TRUTH (1992, 30 min). Digital Projection. Free admission.
The Film Studies Center (University of Chicago) presents Layers of Images: Lecture by Raymond Bellour on Friday at 4pm. Bellour's talk will be on the work of experimental filmmaker and artist Michael Snow, and will be preceded by a screening of Snow's 1967 experimental film WAVELENGTH (45 min, 16mm) at 2:30pm. This event is at the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St.). Free admission.
The Chicago Critics Film Festival takes place at the Music Box Theatre this week. Included are new films by Anne Hamilton (AMERICAN FABLE), Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross (CONTEMPORARY COLOR), Alice Winocour (DISORDER), Ti West (IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE), Ira Sachs (LITTLE MEN), Penny Lane (NUTS!), Logan Kibbens (OPERATOR) and others. More info and complete schedule at www.musicboxtheatre.com/festivals/CCFF2016.
Filmfront (1740 W. 18th St.) presents Cinema of Humanist Anarchy II program on Sunday at 7pm. Screening are: Jorge Furtado's ISLE OF FLOWERS (1989), Agnès Varda's UNCLE YANCO (1967) and Jean Vigo's ZERO FOR CONDUCT (1933). Unconfirmed Format. Free admission.
Little House (1851 S Allport, in the back) presents Little Films, a program of unannounced titles showing on 16mm, on Saturday at 9pm. Free admission.
The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (University of Chicago) screens Jules Rosskam's 2005 documentary TRANSPARENT (61 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 4:30pm in the Centers for Gender/Race Studies' Community Room (Room 105, 5733 S. University). Free admission.
South Side Projections presents Animated Folktale Films on Saturday at 2pm at the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago). Screening are: ANANSI THE SPIDER (Gerald McDermott, 1969, 10 min), ARROW TO THE SUN (Gerald McDermott, 1972, 12 min), THE DRAGON'S TEARS (John Korty, 1962, 6 min), THE HOARDER (Evelyn Lambart, 1969, 8 min), and MONKEYS FISH THE MOON (Keqin Zhou, 1983, 11 min). DVD Projection. Free admission.
The Spertus Institute (610 S. Michigan Ave.) presents a talk by Eric Goldman (Yeshiva University; author of American Jewish Story through the Cinema) titled Film, Television, and the American Jewish Story on Sunday at 2pm.
Black Cinema House (at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) presents Student Videos from the Self + Otherness Film Workshop on Saturday at 2pm. Free admission.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Anders Thomas Jensen's 2015 Danish film MEN & CHICKEN (104 min, DCP Digital) and Randall Wright's 2014 documentary HOCKNEY (108 min, DCP Digital) both play for a week.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Mike Mills' 2010 film BEGINNERS (105 min, 35mm) is on Friday at 7 and 9pm and Sunday at 1:30pm; Mark Robson's 1957 film PEYTON PLACE (157 min, DCP Digital) is on Sunday at 7pm; Luis Buñuel's 1950 film LOS OLVIDADOS (80 min 35mm) is on Tuesday at 7pm; Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones' 1975 film MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (91 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 7pm; and Terry Jones' 1979 film MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (94 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 9pm; Also: Doc will be re-screening Abbas Kiarostami's 2002 film TEN (94 min) on 35mm on Tuesday at 9pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: the Chicago Critics Film Festival takes place (see above); and Luca Lucini and Nico Malaspina's 2016 documentary LEONARDO DA VINCI: THE GENIUS IN MILAN (90 min) is on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am; and Michael Arias and Takashi Nakamura's 2015 Japanese animated film HARMONY (119 min; English dubbed) is on Saturday at Midnight.
Facets Cinémathèque plays Betzabé García's 2015 Mexican documentary KINGS OF NOWHERE (83 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) and Sharon Shattuck's 2015 documentary FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (74 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) for week-long runs.
The Chicago Cultural Center screens Ronit Bezalel's 2015 documentary 70 ACRES IN CHICAGO: CABRINI GREEN (56 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Saturday at 2pm. Free admission.
The Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Park Ridge Public Library (20 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge) screens David Butler's 1942 Hope and Crosby film ROAD TO MOROCCO (83 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 7pm. Free Admission. http://parkridgeclassicfilm.com
Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.) screens José Alejandro González's 2015 documentary THE CROSSROAD OF ÁNGEL SANZ BRIZ (93 min, DVD Projection) on Wednesday at 6pm. Free admission, but RSVP required: http://bit.ly/1WFAE84.
The Goethe-Institut Chicago and The Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.) present Take the Green Line (2009-15, approx. 104 min total, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format), a program of environmental issue themed shorts, on Wednesday at 6pm.
The Goethe-Institut Chicago (150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 200) screens Andreas Pichler's 2012 documentary THE LITHIUM REVOLUTION (52 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 6pm. Free admission but RSVP: 312-263-0472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens Joel and Ethan Coen's 1991 film BARTON FINK (116 min, DCP Digital) on Wednesday at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission. www.northbrook.info/events/film
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
The exhibition Kartemquin Films: 50 Years of Democracy Through Documentary is on view at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph St.) through August 20. Opening reception is Friday from 5:30- 8pm. The exhibit will include film stills, documents, cameras, and other material related to the organization's history, and new items will be added through the show's run. More info and a list of scheduled gallery talks at www.ktq50.org/exhibit.
The Arts Club of Chicago (201 East Ontario St.) presents the exhibition Sharon Lockhart Rudzienko though August 13. The show includes Lockhart's newest film RUDZIENKO (2016, two channel video installation), along with related photographic work.
Scottish artist Luke Fowler has an exhibition of work at the University of Chicago's Neubauer Collegium (5701 S. Woodlawn Ave.). The show runs through July 1. Included are Fowler's 2016 film FOR CHRISTIAN and his 2009 film series TENEMENT FILMS.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents Dennis Oppenheim: Projections through May 30. On view are three slide-projection works: 2000' SHADOW PROJECTION (1972), GROUND GEL #2 (1972), and POLARITIES (1972).