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:: Friday, MAY 20 - Thursday, MAY 26 ::


(New Romanian)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Check Venue website for showtimes
Two months after the local premiere of Cristi Puiu's AURORA, Chicago gets to see Romanian cinema's other three-hour formalist experiment of 2010. AUTOBIOGRAPHY is “a true film-object,” J. Hoberman wrote in one of his enthusiastic write-ups last year, “[an] unexplicated assemblage of official newsreels that earns its title by presenting the Romanian dictator's image as he wanted it seen not only at home but on the world stage.” The Ceausescu dictatorship of 1965 to 1989, one of the most repressive in the entire Soviet Bloc, brought Romania untold injustice and economic devastation. One can sense the lasting memory of this period in the recent masterpieces of Romanian cinema—films that create palpable feelings of confinement, surveillance, and desperation. The so-called Romanian New Wave has been noteworthy not only for its willingness to confront painful experience, but for maintaining a certain gallows humor in doing so. Surely, the nation's intellects learned much about bitter irony during the Ceausescu years, when the man who transformed their nation into a third-world police state paraded himself before the world as a classy champion of progress. Tellingly, this epic collage is constructed from footage of Ceausescu's speeches, public appearances, and meetings with foreign officials, yet it contains very little discussion of actual politics. To quote Hoberman again, “Andrei Ujica's film is a monument to delusion, a celluloid Potemkin Village, and a grotesque psychodrama with mass deception and megalomania pushed past the absurd.” (2010, 180 min, 35mm) BS
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Frank Borzage's LITTLE MAN, WHAT NOW? (American Revival)

Northwest Chicago Film Society (at the Portage Theater) — Wednesday, 7:30pm
Oscar Micheaux's UNDERWORLD (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) — Tuesday, 7pm

Frank Borzage was the great romantic of cinema (rivaled only, perhaps, by Leo McCarey) whose images glow with an almost ethereal light; Oscar Micheaux was a would-be social commentator and storyteller whose hardscrabble and gritty all-black-cast race films transcend their unbelievably bad technical qualities and “acting” to become (accidentally) quasi-experimental modernist investigations of film form. Both are great, for obviously different reasons, and their films excite me like few others. Borzage's LITTLE MAN, WHAT NOW? (1934, 98 min, 35mm) is the story of a young married couple in Germany, struggling in the post-WWI economy to make ends meet. Borzage combines the intense romanticism of these two lovebirds with the harsh realities of the world around—a pattern seen in many of his films. Micheaux's UNDERWORLD (1937, unconfirmed run time, 16mm) is about a young man newly-graduated from a southern university who comes to Chicago and finds himself entangled with shady friends, a disreputable woman, and a murder. That's enough plot. What I really want to talk about are the close-ups, which are extraordinary moments in each of the films. In LITTLE MAN, they are reserved primarily for Margaret Sullavan, the young wife. Borzage uses soft, radiant lighting that emphasizes her beauty; but the close-ups of Sullavan also serve to situate her as the emotional and moral center of the film. Borzage develops her character in a more profound way than Douglass Montgomery's husband through her close-ups. It's subtle, but more effective for it. Joe McElhaney writes that Borzage's close-ups “often seem suspended above the direct unfolding of the action, assuming a form of portraiture of infinitesimal movement specific to the cinema.” They are tiny moments out of time, but integral to the film's success as a harmonious whole. Not so the close-ups in UNDERWORLD. Micheaux's narratives jump in fits and starts, leaving holes and illogical connections. The films are a series of ruptures and the complete lack of technical skill compounds them. The cut-aways to close-ups in UNDERWORLD serve no purpose. They are ill-timed, too brief, and awkwardly constructed—usually from “wrong” angles or camera positions and with mis-matched lighting and sound. But they are electric. They jolt the viewer and disrupt any sense of narrative grounding Micheaux may have achieved. They make no sense—seemingly only there because films are “supposed” to have them. They're a convention of Continuity Editing, right? But here, instead of seamlessly drawing one deeper into the filmic illusion, they shatter what little there was of it in the first place. Micheaux inadvertently breaks the spell, performing the kind of formal/materialist interventions one expects from Yvonne Rainer or Raul Ruiz or late-60's Godard instead. PF
LITTLE MAN screens with Robert Clampett's 1944 cartoon TICK TOCK TUCKERED and a 1934 newsreel.
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(Czech Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Showtimes noted below
When THE WHITE DOVE (Saturday, 5pm and Tuesday, 6pm) played at the Venice Film Festival in 1961, it was decried by the Italian Left as a "non-political fantasy," one of the first in a long line of Czech films from that decade to be criticized by the Western European film community for its lack of explicit revolutionary content. While the Italians may not have warmed to this poetic interpretation of life on opposite sides of the Cold War, Vláčil's first feature-length film quickly cemented his position within the Czech New Wave as its preeminent formal master. It also established his trademark aesthetic and political sensibilities, both of which can be characterized as strange, solemn, and precise—a relentless attack on dogmatism and expression of humanist ideals through lyrical forms. In the hands of a filmmaker lacking such a clear set of visual and political priorities, THE WHITE DOVE could have been a straightforward allegory with an uplifting message: two young (and of course, innocent) children who inhabit different political realities are united through a universal symbol of peace, the titular white dove. Vláčil's film calmly resists this kind of universalizing and symbolic reading with its disconcerting sense of proportions and dark undertones; the parallel narrative is ultimately disjointed, and the innocent, universal figures of childhood are often lonely and frightened. This sense of fear and isolation is sometimes offset (and sometimes heightened) by cinematographer Jan Čuřik's (VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS) playful and surrealistic sensibilities. The careful balance of whimsy against critique may have been what allowed some to read it as "non-political fantasy," but it's also what set the stage for a career defined by the exquisite execution of complex principles and ideals. (1960, 76 min, 35mm)
Vláčíl spent a sizable portion of the 1960s trying to recreate the 13th century, a process that nearly drove him insane, but yielded two stunning medieval epics that defined his career. The two films, MARKETA LAZAROVÁ and VALLEY OF THE BEES (Saturday, 3pm and Thursday, 8:30pm), were released back-to-back and share many of the same props and costumes, all of which were excruciatingly prepared in as authentic a manner as possible. But beyond sharing the same historical setting and visual vocabulary, VALLEY OF THE BEES departs significantly from the sprawling, pagan, and polymorphous perverse world of its sibling film, charting the life of a young Teutonic Knight. It's a glimpse into a highly codified world of law, order, and religious zealotry, where the slightest transgression is met with brutal violence and expulsion. The film begins with an example of this volatile social dynamic, as Ondřej plays a practical joke on his father and his young bride at their wedding, and is promptly beaten and then banished. This scene quickly establishes Vláčíl's fascination with fear as the dominant human emotion and his studied sense of humor, which allows him to examine the capricious reaction against Ondřej's joke alongside the original, subversive intent of that joke. The rest of the film recounts Ondřej's life in terms of two defining relationships, the first with a fellow Knight and the second with his stepmother. Both episodes feature scenes of repressed sexual desire against a landscape of rigid, unforgiving forms—natural in the first, architectural in the second, and legal and social throughout—and a detailed catalog of how all attempts to break with the dominant order end in violence. (1967, 97 min, 35 mm) AO
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Huang Weikai's DISORDER (New Chinese Documentary)
White Light Cinema at the Nightingale — Friday, 8pm
Part cinema verité, part city symphony, part essay on humans living in an urban reality, and part celebration of digital egalitarianism, Huang's film is surprisingly cohesive and concise in it's focus. Casting the city of Guangzhou (the least famous city of 10 million people in the world) as the dominant manipulator of human behavior, the filmmaker allows the viewer to make connections between the chaotic behavior of a scam artist pretending to be hit by a car, a group of men swimming in protest of an oppressive government, a black market dealer of bear paws and frozen anteaters, and countless other actual occurrences that are at once absurd and commonplace. Compiled from what is purported to be over 1000 hours of footage shot by amateur videographers, DISORDER is a seesaw between anxiety and gleeful wonderment. The sequences are bridged by asynchronous sound, bleeding from one event to the next, and the most common through-line is a never-ending parade of apathetic authority figures. “It will lead to paperwork, we have bigger problems” would be an apt alternate title for this modern masterpiece, if that didn't sidestep the greater argument being made here. By shedding light on the magnificent number of situations people get into for which there is no logical resolution, Huang renders these occurrences mundane. The man seeking relief from a health inspector for the roach in his meal is just as crazy as the man threatening to jump of a bridge unless the police help him get relief (from what we never really know). Life as a system of orderly events is not just an illusion, but is the most illogical thought of all. (2010, 58 min, Video) JH

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Note: This screening is organized by C-F editor Patrick Friel.


Jafar Panahi's OFFSIDE (Contemporary Iranian Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Thursday, 7pm


Maryam Keshavarz's CIRCUMSTANCE (New Iranian/International)
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) — Wednesday, 7:30pm
The last feature completed by Jafar Panahi before he was banned (unsuccessfully) from making movies in his native Iran, OFFSIDE is an improbably joyous movie on the subject of institutionalized chauvinism. Bucking the temptation to lapse into despair, OFFSIDE is an exciting, upbeat, and often very funny movie about women's resilience in the face of persecution. The film takes place outside a sports arena in Tehran, where a group of young women (unable to attend sporting events under current Iranian law) have disguised themselves as men in order to sneak into a major soccer game. None of the characters manages to make it inside—in fact, they all end up getting detained by security—but they exhibit such enthusiasm and camaraderie that you might leave the theater feeling victorious anyway. In formal terms, the film can be read as a continuation of Panahi's THE CIRCLE, which also confronted Iranian chauvinism with a concentrated time frame and ambitious long takes. (Notably, both films progress from day to night, suggesting a descent into hopelessness.) Yet the tone is a complete reversal of Panahi's earlier masterpiece, not only in its overall buoyancy but in its handling of suspense: Playing on the excitement of the off-screen soccer game, Panahi makes the women's persecution seem less like an inevitable tragedy and more like an opponent than can be overcome. (2006, 93 min, 35mm)
This revival of OFFSIDE is especially welcome in light of this week's special advance screening of CIRCUMSTANCE, a prize-winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The debut feature of Maryam Keshavarz is also about young women acting in defiance of Iran's social code. It is a lesbian romance between two teenage girls from middle-class Tehran families—and which was made, for reasons of political necessity, in Lebanon. Wesley Morris, writing for the Boston Globe, called the movie “a cheap erotic provocation with political wrapping” (as though that were a demerit), though he praised the daring of its politics. Manhola Dargis, writing in the New York Times, was far more optimistic in her assessment: “It's how Ms. Keshavarz blends the love story with a portrait of liberal Iranians struggling against fundamentalism in their homes and out in the world—the brother of one of the girls has recently found God, with a vengeance—which gives the movie its power.” In any case, this screening is free and Keshavarz is scheduled to attend, so you have plenty of motivation to go and judge for yourself. (2011, 107 min, 35mm) BS
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Out of the Vault 2011: Family Firsts: 3 Tales of Immigration
(Documentary Revival)

Chicago Film Archives at the Chicago Cultural Center — Tuesday, 6:30pm
The three films in this documentary program cover different decades, different cultures (Mexican, Greek, Chinese-Vietnamese), and different styles (anthropological verite, docu-narrative, and home movie), but they are all tied by their focus on the varying ways immigrant communities and families interact with their new homes (Chicago and Deerfield, Illinois). The program was built around the CFA's new preservation of MI RAZA: PORTRAIT OF A FAMILY (1972) by Susan Stechnij. Shot as a university anthropological project, it documents three generations in the Mexican-American Navarro family, who lived in the Pilsen neighborhood. Instead of the traditional anthropological film distance and “objective” observation, MI RAZA features a more intimate style with the handheld camera moving among its subjects, capturing fragments and glimpses of the Navarro family's life rather than aiming for a more totalizing understanding. It's a synecdochal approach, inferring larger meaning and insight from disparate elements. Perhaps it's not as scientifically valuable, but it presents a decidedly human and resonant look at a family maintaining cultural traditions and beliefs in the midst of the city. Also showing are KALI NIKTA, SOCRATES (GOOD NIGHT, SOCRATES) (1962) by Stuart Hagmann and Maria Moraites and THE DO FAMILY: NEW AMERICANS FOR THE '80s (1980) by John Sanner. (1962-80, approx. 81 min total, Video Projection) PF
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Richard Press's BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK (New Documentary)
Music Box — Check Venue website for showtimes

Like some kook in a kids' book, New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham lives in a closet-sized space in Carnegie Hall. An affable enigma in a blue smock, an effortless workaholic, a perpetually friendly man who appears to have no interior life, he has no bathroom and no kitchen, sleeps on a cot stacked on two milk crates and hasn't listened to music in years. "It's not what I think, it's what I see," he says, and Richard Press' documentary does its best to follow that credo. In a sense, Press transposes the approach Cunningham himself uses for his popular “On the Street” column—which the photographer creates by compulsively photographing every interesting person he sees and then discerning fashion trends from his contact sheets—by largely avoiding speculation about his somewhat mysterious subject and instead focusing on what patterns and ideas can be gleaned from constantly filming him. It's interesting, entertaining, and, by design, significantly more revealing about the value of work in a person's life than it is about Cunningham himself. (2010, 90 min, 35mm) IV
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Terrence Malick's THE NEW WORLD (US/UK Contemporary Revival)
Music Box — Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am
There's something awfully Germanic about THE NEW WORLD, which (to unsurprisingly mixed reviews) posed "the story of our land" as an unconsummated, tragic love affair between an ingenuous, skeptical intelligence (Q'orianka Kilcher) and a weary, unsatisfied transience (Colin Farrell). Its admittedly transcendent powers should, at the outset, be seen as primarily reliant on its three entire repetitions of the dizzying, ecstatic Prelude to Das Rheingold—an infamous, proto-minimalist superposition of arpeggiated E-flat major triads that came to Richard Wagner as an oneiric vision in 1854. THE NEW WORLD uses it (along with Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23) as a sort of affective amplifier, around which Emmanuel Lubezki's simultaneously weightless and terrestrial natural-light Steadicam cinematography is artfully arranged. Malick here uniquely stresses an architectural, ecological, and sonic realism: his Jamestown is (correctly) a shitty, jury-rigged mudpit of starving illiterates, gnawing on boiled leather belts, and it is surrounded by an outstanding and perpetual Virginia-swamp room tone of crickets, songbirds, and thunderstorms. But this is at the expense of any anthropological, musical, or indeed "historical" realism: the Powhatan culture is mostly improvised; the soundtrack blatantly Teutonic; and the invented, poetic voiceovers, anachronistic. That Malick, a former Heidegger scholar, should repurpose the weapons of a phenomenal naturalism and a nationalist Romanticism for this luscious anti-Enlightenment polemic (in which all of England is merely a shitty-mudpit writ large, paved with stones, cathedrals, and gardens) should not be surprising; and that it all played poorly in Peoria, even less so. (2005, 135 min, 35mm) MC
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Ben Kolak's SCHIZCAGO (New American)
The Building Stage (412 N. Carpenter St.) — Friday and Saturday, 10pm
Chicago filmmaker Ben Kolak's directorial debut is so crazy it just might work. Appropriately enough, it has three working titles, even on the eve of its Chicago premier: SCHIZOCOOL, SCHIZCAGO and AMERICAN QUALITY AND FREEDOM. The film follows a pack of cute, indolent twenty-somethings through a summer in the city as they hustle drugs and money from medical researchers, Craigslist perverts, corporate suits, and the military. They more-than-comfortably survive as parasites of the behemoths of late capitalism. Their jaded slang is made of buzzwords, catch-phrases and technical jargon, gesturing at big ideas they don't have the will or the need to grasp. And yet Kolak and Rachel Wolther's script is deathly funny; sharp-witted, slapstick, or absurdist, whatever the moment requires. Alex Inglizian's sound design is also slyly hilarious, adding an under-layer of disorientation and parody to improbable scenarios. We see a lot of microphones poking out of garments or into the frame, and sometimes the acting is awkward in the 'Ma, I'm on the TeeVee!' kind of way. And yet the look of the film is authentic, this human artifice backdropped by the muraled overpasses, grated bridges and chemical sunrises that feel like home to anyone who's ever ridden down Archer avenue at the end of a long, weird night. SCHIZCAGO maintains a steady awareness of Haskell Wexler's MEDIUM COOL, but there's a big, important difference; in the four decades that have passed, righteous anger has withered into consumer effrontery. SCHIZCAGO is the philosophical mayhem that follows from asking a generation that has everything 'what more could you wish for?' (2011, 89 min, HD Video) JF

Emir Kusturica's BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT
(Contemporary Yugoslav / International Revival)
Logan Square International Film Series (The Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave)
Tuesday 8pm

As delirious and expansively upbeat as his war allegory Underground is tragic, Kusturica's farce BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT is now inexplicably obscure. Difficult to find on DVD despite critical adoration, an opportunity to see it on the (relatively) big screen should be regarded as a rare treat indeed. As in much of his work, big colorful images—the wilder the better—capture the viewer's imagination until the zany plot kicks in. Like early Herzog, animal behaviors abound—subtle commentary on human action. Here, action involves three generations of two families of Romany swindlers, their slapdash exotic settlement on the Danube, a vanished train, young love, true love, brotherly love, and a performer who may just be able to pull a nail out of a board with her ponderous ass. Any plot summary invites such detours, as in life. But here goes: Matko's shady business deal with Dadan, local coke-addled gangster, goes awry, courtesy of Dadan, who demands a marriage between his tiny sister Afrodita and Zare, Matko's son, in order to settle accounts. Unfortunately, Afrodita demands to wait for the man of her dreams, and Zare has just fallen madly in love with the charming Ida, tempestuous waitress and scooter girl. The ensuing wedding is the centerpiece around which surreality and sweetness revolve. Making sure everything turns out okay in the end are old cronies Grga and Zarije. Srdjan Todorovic stands out among the grotesques as Dadan, a-twitch with mirth and self-regard, not to mention piles of cocaine. Even his eyebrows dance. Branka Katic is also earthy and eccentric as the lovely Ida. Somehow all the frenetic nuttiness adds up to something nearly profound, and awfully convincing, about the kindness of the universe. Even if, climactically, a hog finishes devouring an automobile, and villains set dead grandfathers to cool under ice blocks in the attic (the better not to disrupt the wedding), Kusturica dazzles us with a love of life that persists for days afterwards. (1998, 135 min, DVD Projection) VS
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(American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center
Showtimes noted below
One of the most courageous films ever made, Chaplin's satire attacked Adolph Hitler while the US government was still officially neutral towards Nazi Germany, but it's even more remarkable for its understanding of the complex relationship between Fascism and popular culture. Chaplin famously quipped that he first hated Hitler for stealing the Tramp's mustache, and he portrays his Hitler caricature Adenoid Hynkel as the Tramp turned inside out by the evils of the twentieth century. The clownish, neurotic dictator is motivated not only by delusions of grandeur (which Chaplin displays, gorgeously, in a ballet sequence where he dances with a balloon globe) but also by an insatiable need for popular acceptance. Chaplin also plays a victim of the dictatorship, a Jewish barber who's even more reminiscent of the Tramp. The scenes depicting the barber's social life in the Jewish ghetto are so deeply felt in their Old World humor that THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940, 124 min, 35mm; Sunday, 4:45pm and Thursday, 6pm) could be ranked justifiably with the great Jewish films. Given his worldwide popularity, Chaplin's decision to ally his screen image so closely with the Jews had deeply radical implications, but that's no match for the openly Leftist monologue at the film's end. Following a series of impossible complications, the plot breaks away and Chaplin addresses the camera for a three-minute unbroken shot. What begins as an outcry against Fascism turns into a plea for universal brotherhood, and it's audacious in how fully it manipulates the communicative nature of cinema. Writing about this scene in 1974, Jonathan Rosenbaum was justly in awe of its impact: "Seen with historical hindsight, there are few moments in film as raw and convulsive as this desperate coda. Being foolish enough to believe that he can save the world, Chaplin winds up breaking our hearts in a way that no mere artist ever could." Also playing this week is THE CIRCUS (1928, 72 min, 35mm; Sunday, 3pm and Tuesday, 6:15pm), Chaplin's last purely silent film, and the feature containing his most spectacular stunt work. BS
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Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY (British Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) — Wednesday, 7 and 9:15pm
On the surface, much of Hitchcock's penultimate film feels like well-worn territory, featuring both a serial killer passing for an Average Joe and a wrongly accused man on the run from the law. FRENZY is also a homecoming of sorts, as it marks a final return to Hitchcock's native England, and finds its central location in the fruit and vegetable market of Covent Garden, where Hitchcock's father worked as a vendor throughout his childhood. However, any sense of comfort or familiarity ends here, as the film quickly descends into exceedingly dark territory, not only in terms of the graphic rape and murder scene that dominates most conversations about it, but also the comparatively grimy atmosphere that permeates the entire film, such as the recurring scenes of highly unappetizing French cuisine, the relative dowdiness of protagonists and victims alike, and other details of working class verisimilitude that are notably absent from most of Hitchcock's other films. Even Hitchcock's treatment of the Neck-tie Murderer's motives and methods feels unfamiliar; instead of reveling in Freudian melodrama, the killer's Oedipal motives are legible to the point of being irrelevant and ornamental, with his weapon of choice serving as a catch-all metaphor for both sexual deviance and dysfunction. It's not necessarily that Hitchcock has abandoned this style of psychological investigation, just a gesture towards the fact that he's outgrown it and had begun to replace it with an eye forensic detail and pathology that will be familiar to anyone well-versed in the procedural crime dramas of contemporary television. Truffaut said that FRENZY felt like a "young man's film," meaning to praise its sense of formal innovation and creative camera work, but he could just as easily have been referring to the sense of curiosity and openness to experimentation that's actually a mark of artistic and personal maturity. (1972, 116 min, 35mm) AO
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Sidney Lumet's THE VERDICT (American Revival)
Music Box — Friday, Noon

Bluntly stated, the two greatest movies in the "lawyer on the skids decides to take a case in a last-ditch attempt to redeem himself" genre are ANATOMY OF A MURDER and THE VERDICT. Whereas the former is leavened with a wry sense of humor, thanks to Jimmy Stewart's hem-hawing, Eve Arden's wisecracks, and Lee Remick's lazy sex kitten, THE VERDICT is most often chilly and cerebral. And no less fascinating for it. Every character is a "type," a mere cog in the story's machine. The story's contrivances are such a pleasure to experience because, as usual, Lumet assembled such a perfect cast. Jack Warden's gruffness, Charlotte Rampling's icy sensuality, Milo O'Shea's Irish pragmatism, and of course Paul Newman's expertly calibrated weariness are all wonderfully balanced against each other. But James Mason is the film's secret weapon. No one else could have played such a ruthless and rapacious lawyer with such mysterious dignity and grace—he steals every scene he's in. THE VERDICT is screening as part of “Movies On Trial,” a film series worth 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit, which includes a panel discussion featuring Peter V. Baugher (Schopf & Weiss LLP), The Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer (Northern District of Illinois), Joseph J. Duffy (Stetler, Duffy & Rotert, Ltd) and Patricia B. Holmes (Schiff Hardin LLP). This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To RSVP send an e-mail to (1982, 129 min, Video Projection) RC
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On Friday at 9pm at Enemy (1550 N. Milwaukee), filmmaker Lori Felker will present a new live projector performance work, one that emphasizes sound, to mark the release of a new 7” record. Both the record and performance are titled “Light Makes Music.”

At the Film Studies Center (University of Chicago) this week: On Thursday at 5pm, it's Comedy for Export: A Chinese Shadowplay Goes to Paris New Faculty Lecture by Xinyu Dong; and on Friday at 7pm grad student Emily Jones screens her new 40-minute experimental video blinder.

Also at The Nightingale this week: On Saturday at 6pm, it's The View from Jackson and Loomis: New Video Work from Whitney Young High School. This program of new student work is co-presented by Homeroom Chicago and curated by Whitney Young foreign exchange student Yiyang Hou. The program includes: FADE by Moriah Martinez, SPEAK TO ME by Lauren Cheung and Jacovic Rodriguez, THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Gillian Asque, Courtney Evans, & James Bobbitt, CARLESS by Sam Redmond, BONY LEGS by Roseann Frech, Devin Jankovich, Joanna Preston, & Rebecca Sconza, EXPERIMENTAL GENIUS by Lief Novak, STEREOTYPES by Lauren Cheung, and ASHES OF THE WHALE by Yiyang Hou.

The Eye & Ear Clinic at the School of the Art Institute (112 S. Michigan Ave., Rm. 1307) concludes its series of features and shorts by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (marking his honorary PhD from the school; he received his MFA at SAIC in 1998) with a Roundtable discussion on Friday at 2:30pm. Introduced and moderated by filmmaker and SAIC professor Daniel Eisenberg. Apichatpong Weerasethakul in person.

Calles y Suenos (1901 S Carpenter St.) presents the program Whose world is this?/The world is yours on Friday at 7pm. The show is curated by Fereshteh Toosi and includes MAZE & LABYRINTH by Hyeon Jung Kim, HEAVY SKIRT by Leang Seckon, WONDER STRANGER by Via Tania & Michelle Ruiz, 1700% PROJECT: MISTAKEN FOR MUSLIM by Anida Yoeu Ali & Masahiro Sugano, TO PERSIA by Yasi Ghanbari, and DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER by Anne Elizabeth Moore. Artists and curators in person.

Sentieri (5430 N. Broadway) continues it's Italian film screening and lecture series, Screening Italy: Italian Cinema through the Lens of History, by Therese Grisham with a talk on “The Post-World War II Landscape“ on Friday at 6:30pm. Call (773) 275-5325 to inquire about registration.

Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week, Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel's 2010 documentary LOUDER THAN A BOMB returns for an encore weeklong run. The filmmakers and selected poets will be in person at various screenings over the week; check the Siskel website for details.

Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is Friday night and Sunday afternoon; Scott Cooper's CRAZY HEART is Saturday night and Sunday afternoon; Roland West's 1930 “old dark house” horror/mystery (and pioneering widescreen film, which was released in 35mm and 65mm!) THE BAT WHISPERS is Sunday night; the experimental film program The Aesthetics of the Apparatus: Paul Sharits and Owen Land is Monday; and the late film (9pm) Thursday is Ted Post's 1970 BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Also at the Music Box this week: Kelly Reichardt's MEEK'S CUTOFF continues; and the Midnight films are THE ROOM (Friday only), THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (Saturday only), and STAKE LAND (Friday and Saturday).

Also at Block Cinema (Northwestern University) this week: Vivien Bittencourt and Vincent Katz's 2006 documentary KIKI SMITH: SQUATTING THE PALACE is on Saturday at 2pm; and Pioneers: New Festival Shorts is on Friday at 7pm and features WE'RE LEAVING by Zachary Treitz, ALL FLOWERS IN TIME by Jonathan Caouette, PIONEER by David Lowery, THE WIND IS BLOWING ON MY STREET by Saba Riazi, and GOD OF LOVE by NU alum Luke Matheny.

At Facets Cinémathèque this week is Leanne Pooley's 2009 New Zealand documentary THE TOPP TWINS, about “the world's only yodeling, lesbian, country-and-western-singing twins.”

Also at the Chicago Cultural Center this week: The new documentary WELCOME TO SHELBYVILLE screens on Saturday at 2pm; and the Cinema/Chicago summer series continues on Wednesday at 6:30pm with Florian Gaag's 2006 German film WHOLETRAIN. Both from DVD.

Also on display at the Chicago Cultural Center through September 18 is the exhibit Movie Mojo: Hand-Painted Posters from Ghana.

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CINE-LIST: May 20 - May 26, 2011


CONTRIBUTORS / Michael Castelle, Rob Christopher, Josephine Ferorelli, Jason Halprin, Anne Orchier, Ben Sachs, Vanya Schroeder, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Darnell Witt

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