x x x x x
|> Sign up
> Editorial Statement
> Last Week
|a weekly guide to alternative cinema- -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
:: Friday, OCT. 17 -
Thursday, OCT. 23 ::
Tony Scott's THE HUNGER (British/American Revival)
Doc Films - Thursday, 9:15pm
Long before Tony Scott was celebrated as the vulgar auteur of DEJA VU and UNSTOPPABLE, he directed THE HUNGER--the infamous midnight movie where sleep scientist Susan Sarandon trades a Big Mac and an obnoxious boyfriend for a glass of sherry and the promise of centuries of vampire sex with Catherine Deneuve. Scott's first commercial feature after a decade and half making student films and advertising spots, THE HUNGER was roundly ignored by audiences (it ranked 95th at the 1983 box office) and ferociously derided by critics. Roger Ebert called it "an agonizingly bad vampire movie ... that has been so ruthlessly overproduced that it's all flash and style and no story." (The only unabashed fans of THE HUNGER were probably horny teenagers who sought out the male-gaze-optimized sex scenes on Cinemax.) This reaction is understandable. With its propulsive but senseless editing, its portentous self-regard, its indifference to exposition, THE HUNGER aggressively imports an overwrought advertising aesthetic to cinema. It plays like a feature-length cologne commercial with soft-core flourishes. Ebert was not wrong about "all flash and style and no story." As narrative, the failures of THE HUNGER are total, but they are radical, deliberate failures. Instead of individual shots building towards a sequence, each frame dissolves into a miasma of details that refuse assimilation into conventional storytelling rhythm. This strategy is evident from the opening scene, when Bauhaus's performance of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" is continually ruptured by silence and spatio-temporal discontinuity. The shambolic New Grammar (or Neu! Grammar?) of THE HUNGER acts as a blood-letting for classical Hollywood. (The nod to ur-vamp Lugosi isn't the only po-mo touch; between Bessie Love's grotesque cameo, the Schubert cue lifted from BARRY LYNDON, and the left-over doves and smoke machines from brother Ridley's BLADE RUNNER of the previous year, THE HUNGER is an undead edifice of allusion.) It also contains a lovely, low-key performance from David Bowie as Deneuve's deader half, grisly "make-up illusions" from Dick Smith, and an affecting, largely non-fantastic approach to its core mythology. (These vampires don't even have fangs.) If anything, this roundly-ridiculed movie has cast a long shadow over its tonier successors: Jim Jarmusch's pretentious vampire comedy ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE probably owes more to THE HUNGER and less to Marlowe than it would like to admit, and Michael Haneke's AMOUR is a bloodless, glorified remark. Too long dismissed as camp, THE HUNGER actually restores an essential aspect to Susan Sontag's original formulation of that aesthetic--this movie courts absurdity with such guile-free sincerity that it could scarcely see itself in the mirror. (1983, 97 min, 35mm) KAW
Also showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on Saturday at 9pm (on DVD); see the MCA section in More Screenings below.
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Nagisa Oshima's THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM (Japanese Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday, 5:30pm and Thursday, 7:45pm
Much like his DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF (1968), Nagisa Oshima's THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM is a disjointed examination of Japanese postwar politics that's hyper-respective to the time in which it was made. It's not an expansive allegory; rather, it's a specific metaphor that's best understood with an in-depth knowledge of the era. It's almost impossible to summarize, as Oshima's deployment of Brechtian techniques is effective in alienating the viewer through a lack of narrative cohesiveness. (The aforementioned cultural specificity adds another alienating element for modern audiences, though it's obviously an unintended one.) But in a nutshell, it's about the enigmatic suicide of a young man who'd been filming his seemingly vacuous surroundings instead of the protest his student group had intended to document--or is it? The result of this false start is a sort-of faux narrative that's undoubtedly one of Oshima's most experimental endeavors. It's also self-reflexive, but in a personal sense rather than a filmic one; it's a critical reflection by Oshima on the craft he'd previously been using to actively participate in the revolutionary politics that consume his misguided protagonists. In his piece for the Film Society of Lincoln Center's website, Robert Koehler quoted one of Oshima's contemporaries on the matter; director Masao Adachi had previously compared Oshima to Jean-Luc Godard and said that both took it "as their duty to question the matter of film in its entirety." Made exactly ten years after his political magnum opus, NIGHT AND FOG IN JAPAN, THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM closes out his most outwardly political period (which, in addition to DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF, includes another 1968 film, DEATH BY HANGING), and presented Oshima as a filmmaker willing to question himself as much he did anything else. (1970, 94 min, 35mm) KS
Nagisa Oshima's THE CEREMONY (Japanese Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Saturday, 3pm and Wednesday, 7:45pm
By the time he would make THE CEREMONY, after several years of more improvisatory filmmaking, Oshima was again taking greater care with the structure of his films, a strategy that would lead to the classical style of his final masterpieces MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (1983) and TABOO (1999). Chronologically tangled, but given structure by a series of traditional family rituals, the film is a cubist portrait of an extended family in postwar Japan. The narrative gradually reveals histories of incest, war crimes, and suicide within a powerful industrialist's clan, and the approach alone embodies the major theme of Oshima's work, if not the Japanese New Wave as a whole: the brutal confrontation with the nation's imperial past, which left countless foreigners dead and many Japanese in a cycle of poverty that continued well after the war. According to some critics, THE CEREMONY is one of Oshima's most sustained and pointed films. (1971, 122 min, 35mm) BS
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
DeWitt Beall's LORD THING & Robert Ford's THE CORNER (Documentary Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 8pm and Thursday, 8:15pm
For most of its history, Chicago has been a hotbed of gang culture in America. Although the street gangs of Los Angeles get more attention from the national media and Hollywood screenwriters, the Chicago gangs that formed in the late 1950s and expanded throughout the Civil Rights era really created the model for what we know today. The beginnings of the Vice Lords, one of the oldest and largest street gangs to emerge from this era, is the subject of the two documentaries presented in this rare screening of almost-forgotten films. Made just a few years after some young men from the North Lawndale neighborhood met at a juvenile correctional facility and founded the gang in 1958, Robert Ford's THE CORNER (1962) is perhaps the earliest glimpse of the "club." Highlighting their increasing impact on Chicago's African-American communities, it feels like an industrial or educational film, but is more concerned with the feelings and viewpoints of its subjects than either would be. Utilizing non-synch narration by members of the gang, we get a sense of how these young men see themselves. They talk about why they joined a gang, why they drink, how they feel when they fight, their respect for hardworking single mothers, and their indifference towards absent fathers. These matter-of-fact statements are powerful in their self-awareness, even if they were obviously staged in a studio. We hear an articulation of the despair and hopelessness that these young men have about their prospects for a job and financial security, and their knowledge of being trapped in a cycle of poverty. This mood changes significantly in DeWitt Beall's LORD THING (1970), which chronicles the VL's growth into a large coalition of gangs with over 20,000 members, and its emergence as both a community and business force. During the late 60s and early 70s, the leaders of the gang, now sometimes know as the Conservative Vice Lords (or even CVL, Inc.), began thinking well beyond their immediate surroundings and utilized their collective confidence in completely new ways. Beall gives us a fair amount of back-story, presented through re-enactments of historical fights with rival gangs, played by a cast of actual CVL members. He also documents numerous meetings of gang leaders that look and feel like town-hall meetings, and show both their increasing size and expanding concerns. Political actions such as protests carried out at construction sites, and a march on city hall--conducted as a joint action with other large Chicago gangs--illustrate how the CVL chose to use their power to influence the economic and social conditions in their turf and beyond. At times, Beall's film feels rather propagandistic--pro VL-- but this may only be due to the desire that leaders like Bobby Gore have for using the VL's power to effect social and economic change. Perhaps this sympathetic depiction is the reason the film was never shown in the US, despite screening at Cannes and winning an award at the Venice Film Festival. After funding the film, the Xerox Corporation decided not to release it. Allegedly, they bowed to pressure from Richard J. Daley and the Chicago Democratic Machine, both of whom are roundly criticized in the film's final moments. In 2011, Cine-File contributor Michael W. Phillips Jr. programmed LORD THING at the inaugural South Side Projections screening after viewing a DVD burn of a VHS recording of a French television broadcast that University of Illinois-Chicago professor John Hagedorn located in the director's garage after he passed. Chicago Film Archives collections manager Anne Wells alerted Phillips to THE CORNER, a copy of which was in the CFA's collection, which was added to that screening. The following year, CFA located the original LORD THING elements and received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to restore both films. (1970/1962, 58 min/26 min, Newly Restored 16mm Prints) JH
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD (New American)
Gene Siskel Film Center -- Check Venue website for showtimes
Why revisit BOYHOOD? Exhibit A: with unthinking universal acclaim more befitting a generic Pixar or Marvel endeavor, the collective corpus of extant BOYHOOD reviews are a sign that contemporary film criticism (and its extraordinarily brief post-screening turnaround times) needs to be burned to the ground and its ashes tossed to sea. This is not because the movie isn't any good--it's because the myth of its diachronic production revealed the majority of pundits' inability to distinguish between fiction, documentary, and/or real life. (Even a relatively reflective late submission in the New York Review of Books explicitly assumed that there must be footage left over for one or "several" features.) Once one accepts that BOYHOOD is a conventional narrative fiction, with actors, a script, and the usual Linklater IRL influences (such as the armchair philosophy and/or unsubtle musical taste of Ethan Hawke) that happens to have had an extraordinarily staggered production schedule, it might become possible to consider--as few critics seemed to have managed to do--what the subject matter of the film might be. For example, it's not about "time" (none of the scripted content has anything interesting to say about that). A little bit is about adolescent psychological development--note the academic lectures moving from teacher to student: Pavlov replaced with Bowlby. But now observe the film's morality of technicity: 35mm cameras, cars, guns, blues-rock, (small amounts of) drugs: good, everything else (TV, beer, steroids): bad. It's pure Austin, TX, but Linklater's take on video games, cell phones, and the mobile Internet is far from incidental (no director points a camera at Halo on Xbox--or holds a lengthy Facetime conversation within a single static frame--by accident). Ellar Coltrane's Max Weber-esque speech on the iron cage of social media is the film's passionate précis; and its suggestive conclusion for the youth of today--to tune in, drop out and Be Here Now at Big Bend National Park--as radical a statement as one would find in any 2014 film festival. What Twitter-crippled, deskilled scribe could resist it? (2014, 163 min, DCP Digital) MC
More info at www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
Josef von Sternberg's BLONDE VENUS (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre - Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am
Plucked from an idyllic forest spring of bathing maidens in the opening scene, Marlene Dietrich is thrust into one of the grittier temples--er, films--Josef von Sternberg ever constructed around her. BLONDE VENUS is the story of a woman bound to a terminally ill husband, for whom treatment would appear financially impossible, who finds herself on the road to ruin after her severely limited options open unexpected doors of passion, escape, and ultimately dishonor. Even amongst the densely packed seven-film streak that paired von Sternberg with his glacial leading lady, this one has always struggled to get its due. It's overlooked enough that even Bertolucci's titular dreamers Michael Pitt and Louis Garrell, proud cinema connoisseurs that they are, fail to decipher Eva Green's reenactment of Dietrich's exotic nightclub number, "Hot Voodoo"--a hypnotic, swinging jungle cabaret in which the sultry German beauty literally emerges from the skin of a beast. It's the next step in the pageantry von Sternberg would lavish upon his star, collaborator, and obscure object of desire. Up to this point, Dietrich would appear haute and basked in shadow, but here is her first juxtaposition with the grotesque, imagery which he would carry to delirious heights soon enough in THE SCARLET EMPRESS. Her path here from sylvan beauty to impoverished squalor is masterfully lensed and adoringly framed, but the effect is to only further underscore how trapped she is by the confines of this world. (1932, 93 min, 35mm) TJ
More info at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Yasujiro Ozu's OHAYÔ [GOOD MORNING] (Japanese Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Monday, 7pm
Perhaps his most commercially successful film, Ozu's GOOD MORNING is a deft mix of tender comedy and cultural critique as Japan modernizes, lurching towards American-style consumerism. Two adorable and affecting young boys engage in silent protest at home and school in order to leverage their father into buying a television. Set in a lower-middle class community where the comings and goings are a source of much curiosity--and modern appliances are the source of much envy--Ozu's masterfully executed intertwining of plot elements suggests a society of "interdependent yet insulated busybodies." But this is a much lighter affair than Ozu's melodramatic masterworks, and his societal critiques are kept at arms' distance in favor of the story. GOOD MORNING is a loose remake of Ozu's silent film I WAS BORN, BUT... and it takes a moment to adjust from his usual tone and aesthetic. Shot in bright, radiant Agfacolor, GOOD MORNING is evocative of the work of Jacque Tati: humorous, amiable, meticulous, and prescient. GOOD MORNING is still Ozu's though, and the filmmaker's ability to quietly invite the viewer into a restrained cinematic world that espouses the serenity of life's passage is part of its charm. (1959, 94 min, 35mm) BW
More info at www.docfilms.uchicago.edu.
Michel Hazanavicius' OSS 117: LOST IN RIO (Contemporary French)
Alliance Française (54 W. Chicago Ave.) - Saturday, 3:30pm
Jean Dujardin and his village-idiot-grin return in the second movie in Michel Hazanavicius' re-launching of the once-popular OSS 117 series. The conceit is pretty simple: to re-frame a mid-20th century espionage thriller franchise (which involved 8 films and over 200 books, the first 90 written by creator Jean Bruce--who, appropriately enough, died in a Jaguar crash) as a comedy. But what separates the new OSS 117 movies from their obvious American counterparts, the Austin Powers movies--besides the fact that they're better directed and less indulgent towards their star--is that where the Austin Powers movies grow out of a sort of fondness or sweetness, the jokes in OSS 117 are all bile. This is not an "affectionate parody." And while the central joke of the Powers movies was the agent's out-datedness in the modern world, the OSS 117 movies are set in the 1960s (more specifically, the cinema of the 1960s, recreated with jarring set/location mismatches and rear-projected car chases). The joke is no longer the reductive "the world has changed," but the more incendiary idea that the world of those films never actually existed--that there was never a right time to present these sorts of characters as heroes. The dialogue given to Dujardin is the subtext of spy movies literally stated: Agent 117 blurts out misogynist, racist, and imperialist gibberish (LOST IN RIO, which teams him with Mossad agents, also mines his unconscious anti-Semitism), and most of the other characters are his straight-men (the notable exceptions: an equally horrifying CIA agent and an ex-Nazi who surreally delivers Shylock's trial speech from The Merchant of Venice as a plea for sympathy--"Hath not a Nazi eyes?"), forced to either politely react to his jackassery or fix his blunders. Dujardin himself is more or less The Rock plus Terry Crews--a handsome leading man who knows exactly how ridiculous and useless his handsomeness is, playing a character convinced that God made the world for people like him. (2009, 101 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) IV
Michel Hazanivicius' 2008 film OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES (99 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) is showing at 1:30pm
More info at www.af-chicago.org.
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Chicago International Film Festival continues through Thursday. Full schedule at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
Home Movie Day takes place on Saturday from 11am-3pm at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St., in the "Guild Room"). Presented by the Chicago Film Archives and the Northwest Chicago Film Society, the event will feature inspection of home movie prints (bring celluloid prints for inspection, not home videos) from 11am-1:30pm; followed by a curated screening of films from the CFA and NWCFS collections. Free admission. More info at www.chicagofilmarchives.org.
The Film Studies Center (at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) presents Films by John Smith on Friday at 7pm, with Smith in person. The screening includes SLOW GLASS (1988-91), BLIGHT (1994-96), and PYRAMIDS/SKUNK (HOTEL DIARIES #5) (2006-07) (Various Years, approx. 76 min total, Various Formats). Check last week's list for an overview on John Smith. Free Admission.
The Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Cao Fei: Haze and Fog on Thursday at 6pm. Chinese artist Fei will screen her 2013 film HAZE AND FOG, along with her 2007 Second Life short I.MIRROR. (Approx. 80 min total, Multiple Formats)
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Anthromentaries, Three: Recent Works and Words by Steve Wetzel on Saturday at 7pm. Wetzel will screen KID BEAT BOX: TWENTY-TWO TAPES, EDIT NINE (2012, 9 min), THE FIRST SHOT IS SILENT (2010, 15 min), and OF THE IRON RANGE (2014, 19 min) (All Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format), and will present a selection of short readings.
Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.) and The Nightingale present Tristan Patterson's 2011 documentary DRAGONSLAYER (74 min, Digital Projection) on Monday at 7pm. Preceded by Eva Marie Rødbro's 2010 Danish short I TOUCHED HER LEGS (15 min). Part of the new experimental documentary series Run of Life, co-presented by Constellation and The Nightingale.
SAIC's Eye and Ear Clinic series presents Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté's 2012 film BESTIARE (72 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Monday at 4:15pm in SAIC's MacLean Building (112 S. Michigan Ave., Room 1307), followed by a discussion with Côté in room 1428. Free Admission.
Terror in the Aisles presents the 24-hour horror film marathon The Massacre at the Portage Theatre from Saturday, Noon to Sunday, Noon. We have not been able to confirm formats, but believe that everything will be showing digitally, with the possible exception of a 16mm print of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN. Screening are Tod Browning's 1927 silent film THE UNKNOWN (with live accompaniment by Jay Warren), Roger Corman's 1963 THE HAUNTED PALACE, Peter Bogdanovich's 1968 TARGETS, Dan Curtis' 1975 made-for-television TRILOGY OF TERROR, Jim Wynorski's 1986 CHOPPING MALL (with Wynorski in person), Douglas McKeown's 1983 THE DEADLY SPAWN (with McKeown in person), Bob Clark's 1974 BLACK CHRISTMAS, Michael Dougherty's 2007 TRICK 'R TREAT, Michele Soavi's 1994 CEMETARY MAN, Dario Argento's 1982 TENEBRAE, EATEN ALIVE (unclear which film by this title), John Hough's 1971 TWINS OF EVIL, Charles B. Pierce's 1976 THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, DAY OF THE DEAD (we're assuming the 1985 George A. Romero film, not the 2008 film), plus a selection of short films. More info at www.facebook.com/events/683261171729311.
The Pop Up Film Festival takes place at Oakton Community College (Footlik Theater, Room 1344) in Des Plaines with one screening daily from Tuesday through Friday, October 24. Screening are Kris Swanberg's 2012 film EMPIRE BUILDER (70 min) on Tuesday at 2pm, with Swanberg in person; Melika Bass' 2012 film SHOALS (52 min) on Wednesday at 12:30pm, with Bass in person; John Rangel's 2013 film THE GIRLS ON LIBERTY STREET (62 min) on Thursday at 6pm, with Rangel in person; and Dan Sallitt's 2012 film THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT (91 min) on Friday, October 24 at 12:30pm. Unconfirmed Formats. Free Admission.
Roots & Culture Gallery (1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents +Playlist: Latham Zearfoss: Speech! Speech!! Speech!!! - a mixtape wo/manifesto on Sunday at 7:30pm. Zearfoss will screen an "audiovisual mixtape of monologues, diatribes, interviews, stump speeches and good old testifying."
On Thursday at 7pm, Dorkbot presents and artist talk with new media artist Nick Briz at Catalyze Chicago (650 W. Lake St., Suite #220). Free admission. More info and RSVP at www.facebook.com/events/323730744472857.
The Bijou (1349 N. Wells St.) presents its latest edition of Upstairs/Downstairs on Thursday at 9pm. The multimedia event will include a supercut by Future Schlock, video and performance works by Darling Shear, Kaycee Conaway, Molly Hewitt, Heather Marie, and Madison Jane Brotherton, and live music by Echo Beds, The Bookhouse Boys, and Chris Sullivan.
The U of C Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Chicago International Film Festival, present a discussion with filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek, followed by a screening of his film 2001 film HIS SECRET LIFE (106 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Friday at 4:15pm at the Social Sciences Research Building (1126 E. 59th St., Room 122).
The Italian Cultural Institute (500 N. Michigan Ave.) screens Giuliano Montaldo's 2008 film THE DEMONS OF ST. PETERSBURG (118 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Tuesday at 6pm.
Red & White Wine Shop (1861 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Terroir Film Night, a program of short local films curated by Emily Railsback, on Sunday at 8pm (wine tasting at 7pm). Included are films by Michael Smith, Lindsay Rathert, Michael Burgner, Al Benoit, Larissa Berringer, Chris Hefner, and Railsback. Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format.
The Museum of Contemporary Art presents Films by Charles Atlas on Friday. Screening are HAIL THE NEW PURITAN (1986, 84 min) at 6 and 9pm, WALKAROUND TIME (1973, 51 min) at 7:30pm, and THE MYTH OF MODERN DANCE (1990, 26 min) at 8:30pm. Unconfirmed Formats; and a Bowie Film Fest on Saturday and Sunday. Screening are Julian Schnabel's 1996 film BASQUIAT (108 min; Saturday, 1pm), Francis Whately's 2013 documentary DAVID BOWIE 5 YEARS (59 min; Saturday, 3pm), Nicolas Roeg's 1976 film THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (139 min; Saturday, 4:15pm), D.A. Pennebaker's 1973 concert film ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (90 min; Saturday, 7:30pm), Tony Scott's 1983 film THE HUNGER (97 min; Saturday, 9pm), Jim Henson's 1986 film LABYRINTH (101 min; Sunday, Noon), and Julien Temple's 1986 film ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (108 min; Sunday, 2:30pm). All DVD/Video Projection.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Daniel Dencik's 2013 documentary EXPEDITION TO THE END OF THE WORLD (90 min, DCP Digital) plays for a week; Jeff Margolis' 1979 film RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT (78 min, 35mm) is on Friday at 9pm and Tuesday at 6pm (with a lecture by Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Tuesday screening); Gabe Klinger's 2013 documentary DOUBLE PLAY: JAMES BENNING AND RICHARD LINKLATER (70 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday and Sunday at 5:30pm and Tuesday at 6pm, with Klinger tentatively in person at all shows; and Fatih Akin's 2009 film SOUL KITCHEN (99 min, 35mm) is on Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 6pm.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Rob Reiner's 1986 film STAND BY ME (89 min, 35mm) is on Friday at 7 and 9pm and Sunday at 1pm; Steve James' 2014 documentary LIFE ITSELF (119 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 7 and 9:30pm and Sunday at 3pm; Edgar G. Ulmer's 1938 Yiddish film THE SINGING BLACKSMITH (115 min, 35mm; Free Admission) is on Sunday at 7pm; Sidney Gillat's 1946 film GREEN FOR DANGER (91 min, 35mm) is on 7pm; Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film SEVEN SAMURAI (207 min, 35mm) is on Wednesday at 6pm (note that the originally scheduled late show is cancelled); and Errol Morris' 2003 documentary THE FOG OF WAR (107 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 7pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Alan Hicks' 2014 documentary KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON (84 min; check the MB website for details on screenings with a live performance and Q&A) and Nadav Schirman's 2014 documentary THE GREEN PRINCE (95 min) both open; Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker's 2014 documentary ART AND CRAFT (89 min) is on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm only; Erik Poppe's 2013 film 1,000 TIMES GOODNIGHT (117 min) is on Tuesday at 7:30pm, as part of the New York Film Critics series; and Tommy Wirkola's 2014 film DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (100 min) and John Carpenter's 1978 film HALLOWEEN (91 min) are on Friday and Saturday at Midnight. Unconfirmed Formats for all.
Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) holds an Open Screening on Saturday at 8pm. Bring work to screen (max. 20 minutes per person; Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Files) or just attend to watch. Free admission.
This week at Facets Cinémathèque: Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's 2013 film 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (95 min, Unconfirmed Format) has a week-long run; and Cutter Hodierne's 2014 film FISHING WITHOUT NETS (109 min, Unconfirmed Format) screens on Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 and 7:30pm and Monday at 7:30pm.
Retrospective titles at the Logan Theatre this week: Joe Dante's 1984 film GREMLINS (106 min) is on Friday-Monday at 10:30pm; Tom Holland's 1988 film CHILD'S PLAY (87 min) is on Friday-Monday at 11pm; Genndy Tartakovsky's 2012 film HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (91 min) is on Saturday and Sunday at Noon; George A. Romero's 1968 film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (96 min) is on Tuesday-Thursday at 10:30pm; and Tim Burton's 1988 film BEETLEJUICE (92 min) is on Tuesday-Thursday at 11pm. All Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format.
At Chicago Public Library locations this week: the Back of the Yards Branch (2111 W. 47th St.) screens George A. Romero's 1968 film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (96 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Friday at 3pm. Free admission.
The DuSable Museum screens Alex Gibney's 2014 documentary FINDING FELA! (119 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Friday at 7pm; and Chris Eska's 2013 film THE RETRIEVAL (92 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 6pm, followed by the lecture "The Way of the Jenga" by 'Kwesi' Ronald Harris and Kwaw Oscar 'Triple Blak' Lester.
The Logan Square International Film Series at Comfort Station in Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.), in collaboration with Daily Grindhouse present Larry G. Brown's 1973 film THE PSYCHOPATH (84 min, DVD Projection) on Wednesday at 7:30pm. Free admission.
Also at the Portage Theater this week: Chad Matthews' skateboarding film BUMMER II (no additional info available) on Friday at 7pm; a double feature of SUPER 8 and THE MONSTER SQUAD on Sunday at 2pm; and a double feature of MONSTERS VS. ALIENS and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN on Sunday at 6pm. All Video Projection - Unconfirmed Formats.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
Bruce Nauman's 1987 four channel video installation Clown Torture (60 min loop) has been extended at the Art Institute of Chicago through October 26.
The Art Institute of Chicago presents Lucy McKenzie and Richard Kern's 2014 single channel video The Girl Who Followed Marple (10 min loop) beginning Thursday and running through January 18.
I Am Logan Square (2644 ½ N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents a show of horror movie posters from the collection of the Logan Theater through November 14.
The Northbrook Public Library film series is on hiatus during renovations at the library. Expected completion is Spring 2015.
The Portage Theatre has resumed occasional screenings (from Blu-Ray/DVD only we believe).
As of July 2014 the Patio Theater is up for sale.
The Northwest Chicago Film Society is again on hiatus for their weekly series, with the closing of the Patio Theater. They plan to do occasional screenings as opportunities arise.