Chicago Guide to Independent and Underground Cinema
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:: Friday, OCT. 18 - Thursday, OCT. 24 ::


Brett Kashmere's FROM DEEP (Experimental Documentary/Essay)
Conversations at the Edge at the Gene Siskel Film Center - Thursday, 6pm

Painstakingly researched and chock full of archival footage from the game's century-long history, FROM DEEP is Brett Kashmere's sophisticated essay on the cultural history of basketball. He skillfully balances a poetic consideration of the game with a semiotic inquiry into the symbols created as the game develops from a rec center pastime into a multi-million dollar industry. Kashmere doesn't shy away from complicated analysis surrounding class, race, and capital. Rather he creates slick and compelling collages from the archives, letting his clearly passionate and personal intellectual curiosity lead. FROM DEEP is like sitting next to your smartest friend during the game, the wonk with all the relevant stats and obscure facts, broadening the game into an exploration of wider cultural symbols and one's own involvement with them. Kashmere in person. (2013, 85 min, HD Video) CL
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Jason Osder's LET THE FIRE BURN (New Documentary)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Check Venue website for showtimes

Few non-Philadelphians have more than a casual understanding of the May 1985 MOVE bombing, in which then-mayor Wilson Goode ordered explosives delivered by helicopter to the roof of the house of a small group of controversial religious radicals in a middle-class African-American neighborhood; this ultimately lead to a larger conflagration which immolated multiple city blocks. This impressive documentary, composed entirely of period film and video footage from the 1970s through the mid-1980s (including a fascinating commissioned hearing subsequent to the catastrophe with a level of public, civic introspection inconceivable in Chicago), eschews talking heads for the mediated verité of home movies and live TV. The facts are mind-blowing enough for those unfamiliar, but the jumble of images is dense enough to support more in-depth considerations on the limits of cultural radicalism in the urban environment. While animal-liberation, anti-capitalist, pro-naturalism, anti-materialism, and even anti-technology positions continue here-and-there in cities today, what this film makes clear is that if your community constructs a stable belief system from these sentiments (as opposed to a linguistic rhetoric which you wear like a Halloween costume when writing English papers), the state will wage war on you and it will not stop until you and your family have been murdered and your home and the homes of your neighbors are burned to the ground. (2013, 93 min, DCP Digital Projection) MC
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Home Movie Day (Special Event)
Chicago History Museum - Saturday, 11am-3pm (Free Admission)

This yearly, worldwide celebration of home movies is absolutely essential viewing for anyone who cares a whit about motion picture art, history, sociology, ethnography, science, or technology. Anyone who loves the sound of a projector. Anyone who loves deep, luscious Kodachrome II stock that is as gorgeous as the day it was shot. Anyone who loves dated, faded, scratched, and bruised film—every emulsion scar a sacred glyph created by your grandfather's careless handling 60 years ago. Anyone who wants to revel in the performance of the primping and strutting families readying for their close up. Anyone who wants to see what the neighborhood looked like before you got there. So find your 100 foot reels of 16mm you just had processed from your sister's Quinceañera or your grandfather's thousands of feet of Super 8mm from your uncle's Bar Mitzvah in 1976 or that 8mm your great aunt shot from Dealey Plaza in 1963 and come out for Home Movie Day. Just walk in with your films for staff and volunteers from the Chicago Film Archives and The Northwest Chicago Film Society to inspect your home movies that day! Co-Presented by the Chicago Film Archive and the Northwest Chicago Film Society. JBM
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Chicago 8: Small Gauge Film Festival - Special Screenings (Experimental/Revival)
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) - Saturday, 8pm and 9:30pm

After you spend your afternoon at Home Movie Day, extend the love for small gauge film at The Nightingale with these two excellent and rare presentations from out of town artists. A Pocket-sized Constellation: Experimental Films from Argentina at 8pm is introduced by curator Pablo Marin, who will be presenting a small selection of his own Super 8 film work in addition to other Argentinean work that stretches from 1968 to 2013. Marin says "almost all of the experimental filmmaking in Argentina was done—and still is being made—in Regular 8, Super 8 or Single 8," so this is an incredibly rare opportunity to engage with these works in their proper formats. Next up is The Middle Six Feet + Songs at 9:30pm, featuring the work of Bill Baldewicz and Stan Brakhage in Regular 8mm. While Super 8 film is loaded into a cartridge, Regular 8mm film is simply 16mm that is shot separately on each half of the film and then split down the middle. No matter how straightforward, the oddities of the Regular 8 format allow for, and nearly force, more experimentation with the film form. Baldewicz's program is named after one of those technical oddities—that the middle six feet of a reel will always be bathed in sometimes extraordinarily beautiful overexposed light due to flipping the film reel in order to expose both halves. And closing out this program is a truly amazing opportunity to see Stan Brakhage's legendary SONGS (#1-14, and 16-18) in Regular 8mm. These very short films were created by Brakhage in 8mm for economic reasons and marked a true leap forward in his film language. They are highly personal works that were hugely expressive and seemingly freed from physical limitations—allowing for pure visual poetics. (1966-2013, Various Runtimes, 8mm, Super 8mm, and Unslit 8mm) JBM
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Terence Davies' DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES (British Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Monday, 7pm

Terence Davies' first feature is one of the most original and accomplished debuts of the 1980s, and a masterpiece of personal filmmaking. Fixated on memory, Davies makes films whose unorthodox structures create a sense of present-moment immediacy while reinforcing the idea that the viewer is watching a past event; for this overtly autobiographical diptych (the film actually consists of two 40-minute narratives: DISTANT VOICES and STILL LIVES), he mines his childhood in postwar Liverpool to create an impressionistic, chronologically-jumbled portrait of working-class British life. By inventing a style that reflects his own memories, Davies touches upon a universal theme: our relationship to the past. A visionary work. (1988, 80 min, 35mm)  IV
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Jacques Becker's ANTOINE ET ANTOINETTE (French Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Sunday, 3pm and Monday, 6pm

This tragicomedy was a major breakthrough for Jacques Becker, an oft-overlooked master who straddled the Tradition of Quality while earning the respect of the young Turks at Cahiers du cinema. Though the plot—which involves a poor Parisian couple winning a small sum in the lottery—has the makings of a satire, nothing could be further from Becker's mind; instead, he hones in on the characters' modest hopes and fears, and builds the drama around them. Sensitive but worldly, the film bristles with a sense of real life that hearkens back to Jean Renoir's mid-1930s work while anticipating the New Wave—a movement which Becker, who died of cancer in 1960, never saw flourish. (1947, 78 min, DCP Digital Projection)  IV
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Robert Altman's THIEVES LIKE US (American Revival) 
Northwest Chicago Film Society (at the Patio Theater) - Wednesday, 7:30pm

Edward Anderson's acclaimed Depression-era novel Thieves Like Us inspired two equally laudable film adaptations: Nicholas Ray's THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1940), a stylish film that is not only a noir classic but also the film that marked the beginning of Ray's noteworthy career, and one by Robert Altman, a straightforward narrative with the same title as the novel that preceded his later sprawling ensemble pieces. Like the novel and previous adaptation, the film is about a young man named Bowie, who, along with fellow convicts T-Dub and Chicamaw, escapes from prison and robs banks. Along the way, the seemingly dimwitted country boy played by the all-angles charmer Keith Carradine meets and falls in love with Keechie, a gas station attendant played to inscrutable perfection by Altman's longtime muse, Shelley Duvall. The story is as simple as its characters, and Altman's interpretation humors no pretense of narrative complexity. Indeed, this laxness of form inspired Pauline Kael to write in her admiring review for the New Yorker that, "[W]hen an artist works right on the edge of his unconscious, like Altman, not asking himself why he's doing what he's doing but trusting to instinct...a movie is a special kind of gamble. If Altman fails, his pictures won't have the usual mechanical story elements to carry it, or the impersonal citement of a standard film. And if he succeeds aesthetically, audiences still may not respond, because the light, prodigal way in which he succeeds is alien to them." Though THIEVES LIKE US has received a mostly positive critical reception, it seems to fall under Kael's latter prediction as being a simplistic film that is complex only in the audience's confusion over Altman's natural artistry. Even Altman's choice of Jean Boffety as the film's cinematographer represents such a conundrum; having previously worked with the renowned French filmmakers Alain Resnais, Pierre Etaix, and Claude Sautet, it suffices to say that Boffety was unfamiliar with the physical and cultural landscape of the rural American South. Yet he brings to the film a sense of visual gratification so instinctive as to be perplexing, so precise as to resemble a period drama but with a dueling concision of emotional atmosphere that raises it above mere genre. Keechie sips from her ubiquitous Coca-Cola bottle, and in lieu of a formal film score, Altman used old-time radio programs and diegetic music to add ambience and a sense of setting to his tale of crime and romance in the 1930s South. Altman's use of such elements of setting and atmosphere avoids cloying nostalgia, belonging as much to the story as this thing and those sounds belonged to the times. The film feels as natural to the audience as it must feel for Keechie to take a swig of Coke, and yet, when accompanied by a radio play of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, one realizes that Altman's vision is that of an exquisite innateness. (1974, 123 min, 35mm) KK
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Ben Kolak and Ricardo Gamboa's MAYDAYS (Contemporary American) 
Juarez Community High School (2151 S. Laflin Ave.) - Friday, 5pm (Free Admission)

MAYDAYS is an experiment in community filmmaking: a narrative feature created by Chicago-based filmmakers, activists, and performance artists, starring Chicago high-schoolers and filmed documentary-style in schools, businesses, and streets around the city. The story is a simple wrong-side-of-the-tracks teen romance between Alicia, a working class Mexican girl from Pilsen, and Daniel, a well-off white boy from Winnetka. The two meet at a model UN conference, connect through their shared interest in politics and activism, and embark on a romance, beset by class and racial tensions. Like a real teen relationship, the film starts off awkwardly but hits its stride when things get physical—between the protagonists, but also between the filmmakers and the city, as they become less concerned with establishing the architecture of the narrative and more immersed in the sights and sounds of the city itself.  MAYDAYS' greatest success is in placing its fictional characters in the midst of real history: in an extended sequence towards the end of the film, Alica and Daniel wander through last year's anti-NATO protests, past black blockers, riot cops, angry old folk singers, and beatific Hare Krishnas. By filtering these events and images through the perspective of its teen protagonists, MAYDAYS creates a distance between our present political moment, and us as viewers making us more sensitive to the idealism, the chaos, and the futility underlying it. As part of Chicago Artists Month, MAYDAYS will be playing at Juarez Community High School where much of it was filmed. Co-Director Gamboa in person. (2012, 93 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) ML

Roberto Rossellini's VOYAGE TO ITALY (Italian Revival) 
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Saturday, 7 and 9pm; Sunday, 4:45pm

Having hired the cast and crew for a production, but failed to secure rights to the script, Roberto Rossellini more or less improvised this story about an English couple (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) traveling to Naples to sell a piece of property; the result is an unlikely masterpiece, and one of the cornerstones of modernist filmmaking. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape, Rossellini envisions his protagonists as disconnected moderns staring at history, haunted by a sense of meaning they suspect they've lost. The film's two threads, pseudo-documentary essay and psychological drama, converge at an archeological dig in Pompeii—an image of humanity moved by its own frailty that stands as one of the seminal moments in film history. (1954, 97 min, DCP Digital Projection - not 35mm as listed on Doc's websiteIV
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Olivier Assayas' LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER (French Revival) 
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Thursday, 7pm

Before establishing himself as the preeminent stylist of globalized paranoia, Olivier Assayas penned a handful of screenplays for André Téchiné; this exceptional ensemble drama—cast with a Who's Who of up-and-coming French actors circa 1998—feels like Assayas' tribute to his mentor. The fascination with weather and changing seasons, the chaptered narrative, the prickly and self-destructive characters, the focus on cycles, departures, and interpersonal relationships—nearly all of Téchiné's pet themes and subjects are present and accounted for; the big giveaway that this is un film de Olivier Assayas and not de André Téchiné is the style: jittery, kinetic, slightly disorienting, with a motile camera that is pretty much the opposite of Téchiné's plaintive-but-unsentimental visual classicism. Look out for Cine-File favorite (and future Mrs. Olivier Assayas) Mia Hansen-Løve in a small but key role. (1998, 112 min, 35mm)  IV
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Charles Chaplin's MONSIEUR VERDOUX (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Sunday, 7pm

One of the most sublime missteps in the history of cinema—though to call it a misstep is to subscribe to a version of said history that leaves no room for the glorious centaurs Chaplin's post-war, post-Tramp talkie period loosed on the (mainly disinterested) world. Such a view would take it as read that Chaplin's first role after abandoning his beloved mustache and bowler oughtn't to have been a remorseless mass murderer—let alone a mass murderer in a melo-slapstick-satire so sincerely anti-war and anti-capital that all its highly compartmentalized and contradictory attempts to amuse, edify, and/or move us are drowned out in the end by the sound of its auteur's own awkward cri de coeur—but, really, what use is such wisdom? Admittedly, Chaplin is no Brecht: his murder-equals-capitalism-equals-war-equals-murder statement is powerful not due to its novelty or the brilliance of its rhetoric, but entirely for reasons of context: this is Chaplin, for God's sake, dispatching dowagers with charm and wit. Certainly too, the peculiarities of the film's construction (as often lyrical as stage-bound, as often deft as amateurish), plus its Sternbergian mishmash of acting styles and accents, can together easily wrong-foot the inattentive viewer come expecting a homogeneous and cannily constructed Chaplin entertainment. The glory of VERDOUX, however—and all of CC's sound work—is in the ways it refuses to be just that: intent on creating its own vocabulary from the castoffs of early film grammar (your Hitchcocks and Langs and Fords be damned), VERDOUX manages the trick of being gauche and magical all at once. That is, VERDOUX is a continuation of THE GREAT DICTATOR's first fragmentation of Chaplin's poetics; and it points the way to LIMELIGHT's almost inscrutable, outsider grace. The joys of the Tramp films wash away utterly in the light of VERDOUX's impossible disregard for the verities and expectations associated with genre—and narrative itself. It contains Chaplin's greatest performance, and may very well be his finest work. (1947, 124 min, 35mm) JD
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David Fincher's FIGHT CLUB (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Friday, 7, 9:30, and Midnight; Sunday, 2pm

Viewed without the constraints of political interpretation, David Fincher's FIGHT CLUB is one of the rare great films to come out of contemporary Hollywood—rare because it puts the regular luxuries of the blockbuster studio film at the service of provocative satire and a bottomless imagination. (On first release, its only real precedent was Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL.) It's also the rare film adaptation that actually improves upon its source material, imbuing Chuck Palahnuik's glib, sub-Vonnegut prose with a near-Joycean level of cross-references, allusions, and puns. The wealth of detail helped the film attract a devoted cult following, which made it one of the first true successes of the DVD era, but the density of Fincher's framing and sound design is best appreciated in a theater. Never arbitrary, Fincher's carefully assembled aesthetic overload captures perfectly the anxiety of the so-called Information Age even when the film's sociopolitical stance becomes muddled. As for that critical knot, tied either out of naivety or cynicism (and which Robin Wood attempts, fairly brilliantly, to untangle in his introduction to Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan... and Beyond), it manages to make the film linger in the mind regardless of one's interpretation. For what it's worth, this writer has overheard lengthy conversations about the moral costs of consumerism at nearly every screening of FIGHT CLUB he's attended. (1999, 139 min, 35mm) BS
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Richard Linklater's BEFORE SUNRISE (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Tuesday, 7pm

A French woman and an American man (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke) spontaneously disembark from a train in Vienna and spend the afternoon, evening, and wee hours of the morning together—talking, walking, listening, flirting. Before this slender movie became the opening chapter of a trilogy, it was easy to dismiss its premise as flattering, post-collegiate wish fulfillment—a narcissistic ode to pitter-prattle interpersonal profundity that bears a striking proximity to resoundingly conventional male fantasies. Yes, but—viewing BEFORE SUNRISE in narrowly heterosexual terms or pigeonholing it as a precociously alt-Gen X love story would be enormous errors. More so than any screen romance I know, BEFORE SUNRISE exalts the pliability of gender roles and records a desperate, joyous urge to inhabit another person's consciousness. (By contrast, the deflationary exhaustion of BEFORE MIDNIGHT endorses a middle-aged imperative to live in one's own stubborn body and to ridicule and repudiate youthful idealism; but see below for an alternate opinion.) The closest direct antecedent to the radical vision of BEFORE SUNRISE is Jean Vigo's L'ATALANTE, but that film is about characters who can't talk to each other, who thrash about and dream of faraway cities and disembodied hands in jars. BEFORE SUNRISE, instead, is about the endlessly fecund possibility of connection. When Delpy sits in a restaurant, leans into her imaginary telephone, and belches, "Hey dude, what's up?," we're witnessing one of the most quietly utopian moments in movies. In another one of BEFORE SUNRISE's key moments, we watch Delpy and Hawke in a cramped record booth, listening to a Kath Bloom LP and trying so hard to conceal their mutual interest in one another: she cannot let him know that she's looking at him, just as surely as she must not know that he's looking at her. It's a scene that bedeviled Robin Wood's famously inexhaustible powers of analysis, perhaps because the content, form, and emotion are thoroughly irreducible and inseparable. In this movie, where people cannot help but reveal the totality of themselves to strangers, a single glance could prove fatal. Eschewing the concentrated intensity of its even finer follow-up, BEFORE SUNRISE manages to present a parade of deftly sketched supporting characters as well, none appearing for more than a minute or two but each suggesting an infinite expanse of possible feeling outside of Delpy and Hawke's bodies. A landmark of modern cinema. (1995, 101 min, DVD Projection) KAW
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Richard Linklater's BEFORE SUNSET (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Wednesday, 7 and 9pm

Each film in the Delpy/Hawke/Linklater BEFORE series has succeeded as a dialogue by being, in reality, a trialogue—with the screenwriting a collective process, the content is always closer to WAKING LIFE than MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, a lattice of thoughts and ideas, sequentially highlighted in each new setting and context. The character of Jesse, for example, can be initially characterized by an unlikely oscillation between "Ethan Hawke" mode—the disenchanted downtown celebrity who'd rather keep it real writing novels, turning down blockbusters, and picking up girls in the Chelsea Hotel lobby—and "Richard Linklater" mode: the everyman intellectual, reading voluminous quantities of philosophy and literature but deliberately never using any words a freshman UT stoner wouldn't use. And in BEFORE SUNSET, Celine becomes rather more "Julie Delpy"—a dedicated artist and musician (and now, composer and director)—with Delpy's own songs (from her self-titled 2003 album on the Belgian PIAS label) bookending the film. The ingeniously relaxed acting and Steadicam cinematography is especially impressive given that the location shooting here (much more so than 1990s Vienna in the middle of the night) was undoubtedly a total nightmare; more so than its engaged interrogation of the possibility of thoughtful and reflexive romantic love among creative artists, filming 15 straight summer mornings in Paris without filling the frame with tourists might be the most heroic achievement of the entire series. (2004, 80 min, 35mm) MC
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François Truffaut's THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN (French Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Sunday, 4:45pm and Wednesday, 6pm

Like many of François Truffaut's films, this lengthy comedy has a morbid worldview lurking underneath its light, playful surface. Charles Denner plays the Truffaut surrogate, a womanizer, wannabe author, and leg fetishist who is not named Antoine Doinel. The blatantly personal nature of the project makes its problematic treatment of women a little more palatable; they aren't supposed to be "real" women, but are instead manifestations of Truffaut's fears and fantasies about the opposite sex. While not without its flaws, the movie represents one of Truffaut's more thorough examinations of male ego, a central theme of his work. (1977, 120 min, archival 35mm) IV
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Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cyn, and Anonymous' THE ACT OF KILLING (Documentary/Experimental)
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) - Friday, 7pm
Gene Siskel Film Center - Check Venue website for showtimes

Grotesque, absurd, and stunningly strange, THE ACT OF KILLING is a full-bodied treatise on violence, as it's imagined, organized, and performed. One of its directors, Joshua Oppenheimer, spent years working with survivors of political violence in Indonesia and in the process developed a robust frame on the region's terrifying history of paramilitary control. The movie follows a few aging members of one of the country's death squads, the Pancasila Youth—chiefly one man, Anwar Congo—as they live now, enjoying the privilege afforded to victors. Adding a layer to the story, the filmmakers collaborate with the killers to create filmed re-enactments of the murders they committed. Oppenheimer, his collaborator Christine Cyn, along with a rotating cast and crew of Indonesian people, participate in a bizarre creative process. The work required simultaneously engages the history of the murders and evokes rich portraits of the murderers themselves as they conceptualize and perform their own artistic interpretations of their actions. THE ACT OF KILLING is an elusive piece on non-fiction that slips in and out of several realms at once: a conventional doc view of a country whose chaotic government openly colludes with thugs, at times a darkly comic look at the close familial bond of Anwar and his men, and finally a chilling look at how the brutal logic of violence reverberates out into personal, national, and global consequences. (2012, 116 min, DCP Digital Projection) CL
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Jean Vigo's L'ATALANTE (French Revival)
Alliance Française (54 W. Chicago Ave.) - Wednesday, 6:30pm

There are movies that put you to sleep, and then there are movies that remind you that you are asleep: Jean Vigo's cryptically peerless L'ATALANTE, only somewhat recognizable as narrative cinema, sometimes seems as close a document as any of the inspired dreamlife of a modernizing Europe. Deliberately given an uninteresting screenplay by his producer, the literally feverish (he would die of Tuberculosis later that year) 28-year-old Jean Vigo orchestrated (and improvised) the playful and violent titular floating world (partially filmed on an actual barge in the Seine) which would magically transport its honeymooning, rural protagonist Juliette (Dita Parlo) into the strange crowds and technological chaos of Parisian urbanity. And in his legendary performance of the barge's old hand Jules, Swiss actor Michel Simon portrays the rage and kindness of the perpetually besotted with an empathy worthy of WITHNAIL AND I's Richard E. Grant. Meticulously restored in 1989 from Vigo's notes, the resultant ludic limbo—where the provincial certainty and simplicity of heterosexual kinship is perpetually thrown into doubt—will be either recognizable as The Way We Live Now, or as an explicitly political affront to the dozing apathy of cultural conservatism in all of its forms. Introduced by musician Billy Corgan. (1934, 89 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) MC
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Jacques Tourneur's CURSE OF THE DEMON [aka NIGHT OF THE DEMON] (UK Revival)
Facets Fright School at Facets Cinémathèque - Friday, Midnight

Like many great directors, Jacques Tourneur cultivated a style that's essentially paradoxical: predicated on a sort of controlled and heightened indistinctness, it is, for lack of a better term, unambiguously about ambiguity. Instead of being merely suggestive, Tourneur puts imagination—as much the audience's as the characters'—front and center. At one point in this late masterpiece, the urbane Satanist villain (Niall MacGinnis) even asks the psychologist hero (B-movie man's man/trouble magnet Dana Andrews) how he can "differentiate between the powers of darkness and the powers of the mind;" it's as close to a statement of intent as J.T. ever offered. The movie's got a lot to offer besides Tourneur's head games ("a rational apprehension of the irrational," per Dave Kehr); it's potent "weird fiction" stuff, steeped in creepy atmosphere. Despite the cheesy-looking rubber monster (added by the producer against Tourneur's wishes), it's still the greatest horror film of the 1950s. Introduced by Phil Morehart. (1957, 83 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format)  IV
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Chicago Filmmakers presents Jesse Malmed: Cinemanifesto, with local artist Malmed in person, on Saturday at 7:30pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) and Wednesday at 6:30pm at Columbia College's Ferguson Theater (600 S. Michigan Ave.). Screening are a selection of Malmed's videos from the past several years along with Stephanie Barber's 2005 video TOTAL POWER: DEAD DEAD DEAD, Mel Brooks' 1963 film THE CRITIC, Owen Land's 1975 film WIDE ANGLE SAXON, and Max Friedenberg's 2001 video THE NEARLY INFINITE REGRESSION OF JANUS SHILLING.

FVNMA Media Archeologies Institute at SAIC presents Erkki Huhtamo: Tracing the Topoi, A Media Archaeologist's Notes on Monday at 6pm at SAIC's Leroy Neiman Center (37 S. Wabash Ave.). Huhtamo, a professor at UCLA, will discuss "a selection of topoi associated with modern media technology such as the 'hand of God,' permeable screen surfaces, the 'cloud,' and the relationship between 19th astronomical lanterns and stargazing apps available today on mobile phones." Free admission.

Tritriangle (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., Third Floor) presents 1st Annum-Hurrahs-Lorry Celebration on Saturday at 7pm. This first-year anniversary celebration of the arts space includes work and performances from Harvey Moon, Nick Briz, Yaloo Pop, Jason Soliday, William Robertson, Daniel Rourke, Incidental Music, shawne michaelain holloway and Kevin Carey aka Yung Pharaoh, and Chris McLaughlin.

Afterglowings presents Bedsheet Cinema on Wednesday at 8pm in the backyard at 3149 W. Lyndale. Screening are Bill Brown's 2003 film MOUNTAIN STATE and Deborah Stratman's 2009 film O'ER THE LAND Approx. 71 min total, DVD Projection.

The Chicago International Film Festival concludes this week, with screenings running through Thursday. Full schedule at

Black Cinema House (6901 S. Dorchester Ave.) screens Christopher St. John's 1972 film TOP OF THE HEAP (92 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Sunday at 4pm. The event is sold out, but watch Cine-File for another upcoming opportunity to see it.

The Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) screens John Cromwell's 1947 film DEAD RECKONING (100 min, 35mm) on Wednesday at 1 and 7:30pm. Free admission.

Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: D.W. Griffith's 1916 masterpiece INTOLERANCE (167 min, DCP Digital Projection; new digital restoration) is on Friday at 6:30pm; Pablo Berger's 2012 Spanish film BLANCANIEVES (104 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 3:15pm and Thursday at 8:15pm; Robert Altman's 1973 film THE LONG GOODBYE (112 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 5:15pm and Tuesday at 6pm, with a lecture by Laurence Knapp at the Tuesday show; Victor Erice's 1973 film THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (95 min, 35mm) is on Saturday at 5:15pm and Wednesday at 8:15pm; and José Enrique Pardo's 2012 documentary CUBAMERICAN (107 min, DCP Digital Projection) screens on Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 7:15pm, and Monday at 7:45pm, with Pardo in person at all shows.

Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Todd Haynes' 1995 film SAFE (119 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 9:30pm.

The Music Box Theatre opens Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's 2013 documentary AFTER TILLER (85 min, Unconfirmed Format); Douglas Tirola's 2013 documentary HEY BARTENDER (92 min, Unconfirmed Format) is on Monday at 2pm; the Sound Opinions series presents Stephen Frears' 2000 film HIGH FIDELITY (113 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Thursday at 7:30pm; a series of seven films by Werner Herzog screens this week (tentatively all on 35mm, but unconfirmed), along with Les Blank's documentary on the making of FITZCARRALDO. Showing are NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE, AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD, FITZCARRALDO, SIGNS OF LIFE, KASPAR HAUSER, STROSZEK, and HEART OF GLASS. Check the Music Box schedule for days and showtimes; and starting this Saturday at Noon and running through early Sunday afternoon is the Music Box of Horrors, with an impressive lineup of films, all but one showing from 35mm: Jean Epstein's 1928 FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, Erle C. Kenton's 1933 ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, Roy William Neill's 1935 THE BLACK ROOM, Ford Beebe's 1942 NIGHT MONSTER, William Girdler's 1978 THE MANITOU, David Schmoeller's 1986 CRAWLSPACE (David Schmoeller in person), William Lustig's 1990 MANIAC COP 2 (New Restoration - DCP Digital Projection; William Lustig in person), Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 POSSESSION, Amy Holden Jones' 1982 THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, Tom Holland's 1988 CHILD'S PLAY, Chuck Russell's 1987 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, a mystery film, Ted Nicolaou's 1986 TERRORVISION, Douglas Cheek's 1984 C.H.U.D. (rare early cut of the film), and Mario Bava's 1971 TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE [aka A BAY OF BLOOD]. Check the Music Box schedule for showtimes.

Facets Cinémathèque screens Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews' 2013 film ZERO CHARISMA (97 min, Unconfirmed Format) for a week's run; and Robert Hiltzik's 1983 film SLEEPAWAY CAMP (88 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) screens in the Facets Fright School series on Saturday at Midnight, with an introduction by Lauren Whalen.

Landmark's Century Centre Cinema opens Steve McQueen's 2013 film 12 YEARS A SLAVE (133 min, Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format).

The Logan Theatre screens Wes Craven's 1996 film SCREAM (111 min) on Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 10:30pm and Saturday and Sunday at 12:50pm; Sean S. Cunningham's 1980 film FRIDAY THE 13TH (95 min) on Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 11pm and Saturday and Sunday at 12:40pm; and Roman Polanski's 1968 film ROSEMARY'S BABY (136 min) on Thursday at 10:30pm. All Digital Projection - Unconfirmed Format.

The Patio Theater screens Ridley Scott's 1979 film ALIEN (117 min, DCP Digital Projection) on Friday at 7:30pm; and Eric Crosland and Dave Mossop's 2013 documentary INTO THE MIND (Unconfirmed Running Time and Format) on Saturday at 8pm.

Also at Alliance Française (54 W. Chicago Ave.) this week: Roland Joffé's 2012 film VATEL (103 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) screens on Saturday at 1pm, with an introduction by Randy Williams.

The Chicago Public Library - Bezazian Branch (1226 W. Ainslie St.) screens Hugh Hartford's 2012 documentary PING PONG (80 min, Video Projection - Unconfirmed Format) on Saturday at 2pm. Free admission.

The Logan Square International Film Series at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents a double feature of Jeff Lieberman's 1978 film BLUE SUNSHINE (94 min, DVD Projection) and Bruce McDonald's 2008 film PONTYPOOL (93 min, DVD Projection) on Wednesday at 7pm (BLUE) and approx. 8:30pm (PONTYPOOL). Free admission.


Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., Second Floor) opens the show Night Without Sleep on Friday. The exhibition, which runs through October 27, includes work (including some video work) by Jessica Bardsley, Gwynne Johnson, and Ashley Thomas.


The Portage Theatre remains closed for the foreseeable future.

The Patio Theater has discontinued its regular programming and will instead focus on presenting special events, rental screenings, revival screenings in digital, and The Northwest Chicago Film Society's weekly screenings.

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CINE-LIST: October 18 - October 17, 2013

Patrick Friel

CONTRIBUTORS / Michael Castelle, Jeremy M. Davies, Kathleen Keish, Mojo Lorwin, J.B. Mabe, Christy Le Master, Ben Sachs, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Kyle A. Westphal, Darnell Witt

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