Walt Disney's PINOCCHIO (American Animation Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Tuesday, 6pm
Where does one begin with PINOCCHIO, the greatest and most durable animated feature produced by the Walt Disney Company? There is the extraordinary creative decision that all movement should follow the example of the crooked, pre-automobile cobblestone streets of Collodi's Italy, with characters constantly pivoting and colliding at odd angles, continually twisting and re-jiggering the space between themselves and the camera. There is the remarkable casting of washed-up vaudevillian Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards (who had lately been cutting pornographic party records with such blunt titles as "Take Out That Thing") as Jiminy Cricket, the puppet boy's literal Conscience, who is crucially both a moral authority and a naïf nearly as fallible as Pinocchio himself. ("Why doesn't Jiminy know how worried Geppetto will be?" asks Roger Ebert. His lovely and logical conclusion: "Maybe crickets don't understand human love.") There is the terrifying scale of Monstro the Whale, a rigorous abstraction to equal anything in FANTASIA and the all-around least cute creature in the Disney canon, abetted by innovative effects animation that masterfully suggests ocean spray. But unsurprisingly, it's the moral education that cuts deepest and lingers longest in PINOCCHIO. The naughty puppet's erect nostril is justly famous, but for me the jaunt to Pleasure Island has no parallel. (The only other sequence that can scare the bejesus out of children so thoroughly is the worship of the Golden Calf in DeMille's Technicolor TEN COMMANDMENTS remake.) The late critic Richard Schickel famously surveyed the specter of butt stuff in the studio's character animation and conjectured that Disney had some sort of rectal fixation, but the kink is more diffuse and mysterious in PINOCCHIO. The boys are initiated by a nameless, burly pederast with an alcoholic's maroon nose, spirited away to a run-down amusement park of pre-pubescent delights. Through an alchemy that remains unexplained, the boys slowly, then suddenly, adopt the ears and tails of donkeys, braying an donkey's HEE-haaaaaw into the thick night air. The dirty old man herds the donkeyboys into cages and earmarks them for salt mine slavery and circus chicanery, as if donkeys were ever so rare as to justify an industrial-scale bootlegging operation. Watching this sequence again as an adult, you get the unmistakable sense that the evil coachmaster doesn't so much need the donkeys or the money they'll fetch on the black market; he just gets off on the sense of irrevocable violation. When Pinocchio's ne'er-do-well buddy Lampwick tugs at his friend's shoulders and discovers only hooves, his horror is ours—the impotence that knows no expression, the stolen manhood that will never be restored. I don't know if I learned the right lessons from PINOCCHIO, but I tell you this: I've never so much as picked up a cigar. Nota bene: the Disney vault giveth and taketh away. PINOCCHIO played on nearly 2,000 screens when it was restored in 1992, but 35mm screenings today are few and far between. This edition is especially noteworthy as among the last Disney restorations that stopped short of buffing out film grain and eliminating cel shadows, the unforgivable indication that these corporate evergreens were once assembled by human hands. PINOCCHIO simply looks stupendous in 35mm—none of the video editions come close. Preceded by a lecture by Donald Crafton. (1940, 88 min, 35mm) KAW
Bertrand Bonello’s NOCTURAMA (New French)
Facets Cinémathèque – Check Venue website for showtimes
At first glance, Bertrand Bonello's films (HOUSE OF PLEASURES and SAINT LAURENT being the most well-known in the states) appear to be exercises in excess, the works of a perfectionist concerned only with the surface of things. Much of the criticism heaped on the writer-director’s divisive 2016 film NOCTURAMA, which was shot before the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and is just now being released in the US, has to do with the seeming trivialization of its characters’ egregious actions. Set in contemporary Paris and broken down in real-time segments, the film follows a group of young people from varying ethnic and economic backgrounds as they implement a city-wide terrorist attack, then retreat to a luxury department store to wait out the immediate causatum; flashbacks to the planning stage pierce the otherwise taut linear narrative, an ingenious, if confusing, story device common in Bonello’s films. Even more baffling is that the terrorists are everything mainstream media would have you believe they couldn’t possibly be: enfants terribles who are, for the most part, white, affluent, stylish, even sexy (if Rolling Stone’s Boston bomber cover made you tingle in all the wrong places, prepare for even more downstairs discomfort). Bonello takes his contradictory depiction a step further by divorcing them so far from zealotry that their motivations are unstated, even if implied. Europe is in the throes of political and economic turmoil, the result of which has been staggeringly high unemployment, a phenomenon that’s depicted—albeit less violently—in recent films such as the Dardennes brothers’ TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (2014), Stéphane Brizé’s THE MEASURE OF A MAN (2015), and Paul Calori and Kostia Testut’s FOOTNOTES (2016), the latter two also set in France; subtle narrative hints suggest that it wouldn’t necessarily be incorrect to assume this issue plays a part in the groups’ collective disillusionment, some more personally than others. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the film, however, isn’t the violence or even the antipathy with which the characters execute and appraise their actions, but the empathy Bonello displays towards their hypocrisy, consumerist impulses and prioritization of one's self over a group (the latter of which is sublimely represented via a mesmerizing lip-sync performance of “My Way,” also featured in the trailer for the KINGSMEN sequel, though in a decidedly anti-terroristic fashion). “Today’s world is much more complex and full of ambiguity,” he told Film Comment in an interview. “It can produce terrorism and capitalism at the same time. I wanted the film to express this ambiguity. They’re young and they’re a little lost in the head. It’s not so clear and not so easy. I wanted the film to reflect that.” Much like Sofia Coppola’s films, which are often read as literal endorsements of hazy dogma and rampant consumerism, Bonello's work reflects and challenges its viewer's perception of those very things. Holed up in the department store, with unparalleled access to luxury goods from the world's top brands, the group indulge in all that they can eat, drink, wear and play, showing that, like many, they’re not above that which they claim—at least presumably—to despise. In this way, Bonello confronts viewers with their own hypocrisy. Who among us would deny these comforts if they were available for the taking? In another scene, one of the young men leaves the store to have a cigarette; while wandering the streets, he asks a woman for updates about the day’s events. At one point she says, “Well it had to happen, didn’t it?,” an oft-repeated aphorism in this Golden Age of Cheetolini and all its resulting discord. Misguided as its characters’ actions may be (or are they?), the film suggests terrorism as the logical—if immoral—conclusion to our capitalist surveillance society, with little distinction between Muslim radicals and disenfranchised Parisians. But while its subject matter is political, its execution is rooted in cinephilia. Bonello cites Alan Clarke’s ELEPHANT, George Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD, Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO, and John Carpenter’s ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 as inspiration, all undeniable. With that in mind, the film becomes less a dogmatic abstraction and more a New Wave-ish amalgamation of influences rendered current out of necessity rather than ideology (or the deliberate lack of it). Unique to Bonello, however, is its masterful soundtrack, usually a high point of his films. If you thought BABY DRIVER used music in an inventive way, NOCTURAMA—all of Bonello’s films, really—will reveal the true zenith of such a tactic. You’ll have fun, but you might hate yourself for it. And if you don’t, well, you just might be on Bonello’s wavelength. (130 minutes, Video Projection) KS
Kogonada's COLUMBUS (New American)
Music Box Theatre – Check Venue website for showtimes
I cherish Kogonada's COLUMBUS for what it values, and questions, in architecture and cinema both. At the same time, it's a thoughtful, moving story of a budding friendship that becomes a form of love, and a middle-aged man contemplating a parent's mortality. Kogonada is a justly celebrated video essayist; I highly recommend you visit his site, kogonada.com, and check out his beautiful, exhilarating video essays on the likes of Ozu, Godard, Bresson, Bergman, Malick, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Tarkovsky, and Kore-eda. He wrote, directed and edited this dramatic feature debut, and he's filled it with compositional homages: Kubrick's one-point perspective, Ozu's passageways, Bergman's mirrors. It's about a pensive, melancholy middle-aged man (John Cho) who arrives in Columbus, Indiana, from Seoul, after his estranged father, a noted professor of architecture, falls into a coma. Columbus is a small, rural midwestern town that also happens to be a kind of open-air museum, where some of the greatest figures in Mid-Century Modern architecture created masterpieces of the form. (Just for starters, there's First Christian Church by Eliel Saarinen, North Christian Church by his son Eero, and Michael Van Valkenburgh's beautiful Mill Race Park, with its covered bridge and lookout tower.) While waiting on the fate of his father, Cho forms a friendship with a bright, young working-class woman (Haley Lu Richardson), an "architecture nerd" who's stayed in town a year after high school because she's essentially a mother for her own mother, a recovered meth addict (Michelle Forbes). He also gets reacquainted with his father's protégé (Parker Posey), who's just a couple years older than he. We only see his father, truly, at the beginning: from a distance, standing with his back to us in the gardens of Eero Saarinen's famous Miller House. (Watch for, and think about, how this sequence is mirrored later in the film.) Yet his father's absence is seen and felt throughout, as Cho moves through the man's vacated rooms at the historic Inn at Irwin Gardens: in a game of Chinese checkers with the absent man, in his hat on a chair. (Kogonada frequently deploys still-life views, absent of the people who were present before, or will be later.) The movie features beautifully-played interaction by the actors, as they circle and discover one another and make, or miss, connections. (As in Bresson, Kogonada's characters express feelings beyond words with hands: a squeeze, a caress.) Previously known for comedy, Cho gives a fine dramatic performance. Richardson is amused by other people, and I enjoyed watching that amusement break over her face, as well as the wonder when she engages the buildings, tracing their contours with her hand. She's also good at showing the wrenching burden for a young person of carrying the world on her shoulders. At the local library, designed by I.M. Pei, she shelves books alongside her co-worker, a thoughtful grad student who's not quite her boyfriend (Rory Culkin, who tickled me, as he does her, with the earnest way he engages ideas.) At the Republic newspaper offices, a historic building designed by Myron Goldsmith, Richardson applies for a newsroom job; this also happens to be where her mother cleans at night. This gets to the crux of Kogonada's concerns. What is the effect of these buildings, if any, on contemporary everyday life? What is the legacy for modern human beings of the modernists' promise that architecture could change the world? That, as Polshek believed, architecture is the healing art, the one that has the power to restore? If the buildings are just the unnoticed, almost unseen, places where people live and work, whose failure is it, if anyone's? As shot by Elisha Christian, Columbus is a magical place, but there's something forlorn about it, as well, as if the buildings are telling their own story about the way their spirit has been abandoned. For her part, Richardson likes to park her car in the middle of the night and sit in front of Deborah Berke's Irwin Union Bank, glowing ghostly in the darkness. She tells Cho the story of how she'd probably seen it a thousand times, until the day, near her darkest hour, when she finally saw it. Suddenly, the place she'd lived her whole life felt different. There is a vision here, of art as comfort, and maybe even life-saver, that at least begins to answer some of the questions the film’s asking. With director Kogonada in person at the 7pm Friday (sold out) and 4:15pm Saturday screenings. (2017, 104 min, DCP Digital) SP
Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (American Revival)
Chicago Film Society (at Northeastern Illinois University, The Auditorium, Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) – Wednesday, 7:30pm
The recently departed Tobe Hooper was not just a prodigious scaremeister; he crafted some of the most intricate mise-en-scene in the horror genre and possessed a sly wit to boot. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 showcases all sides of his talent—equally frightening and hilarious, the film is one of the great funhouse rides of 1980s cinema. (It’s as much a follow-up to Hooper’s 1981 THE FUNHOUSE as it is the original TEXAS CHAINSAW.) Integral to its stomach-churning appeal are the vivid sets and make-up effects, the latter designed by George A. Romero’s regular collaborator Tom Savini (who considered this his best work). The villainous family is memorably grotesque, each member given a distinctive look of decay. And the lair where they trap and torment their victims is a fascinating, expressionistic environment—full of caverns and tunnels, the space seems to grow larger and more unusual as the movie proceeds. Robin Wood and other critics praised the original TEXAS CHAINSAW as a satiric commentary on U.S. values, with the cannibal villains representing a distorted version of the ideal American family: Not only do they stick together no matter what, they’re the ultimate consumers. The sequel pushes that satirical element to the forefront. The humor is broad, even overstated, but it fits perfectly with the exaggerated visual design. The script is credited to L.M. Kit Carson (who also penned Jim McBride’s remake of BREATHLESS), but the comedy is definitely a reflection of Hooper’s sensibility. Perhaps the more valuable collaborators here are producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the adventurous team behind Cannon Films. In addition to backing this and Hooper’s LIFEFORCE and INVADERS FROM MARS, Cannon also bankrolled around this time Cassavetes’ LOVE STREAMS and Godard’s KING LEAR. All of these exemplify uncompromising personal expression in cinema. Preceded by a selection of 1980s film trailers. (1986, 101 min, 35mm) BS
Billy Woodberry’s BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Saturday, 5pm and Monday, 6pm
Charles Burnett’s KILLER OF SHEEP has long been recognized as a landmark of African-American cinema, but BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS—a film whose thematic and stylistic concerns seem to grow directly out of SHEEP’s—is not as well-known, probably because it’s been a lot harder to see. Hopefully this new digital restoration is a step towards building the film’s reputation. Written and shot by Burnett, HEARTS takes a sensitive and sympathetic look at a black family in working-poor Los Angeles, much like SHEEP did. But where the patriarch of SHEEP held down a job, the father of HEARTS is unemployed. Not coincidentally, HEARTS (which is structured around the hero’s efforts to find work) is deliberately lacking in the sort of lyricism that defined SHEEP. There’s not much levity here, either; Burnett and Woodberry present the fate of unemployed black men as the stuff of quiet tragedy. Yet HEARTS is not difficult to watch; the non-professional actors are too sympathetic to resist one’s attention, and Woodberry’s inventive direction is commanding as well. Woodberry works in a mode of poetic realism that mixes the gritty detail of direct-cinema documentary with the cadences and relaxed candor of jazz and blues. The film culminates with a shot lasting several minutes that depicts the lengthy argument between the main character and his wife. It’s masterful in writing, acting, and staging. The argument builds in intensity without ever seeming to go anywhere—a brilliant dramatization of how poverty can trap people in emotional stasis. Preceded by Woodberry’s 13-minute short THE POCKETBOOK (1980), a touching and understated adaptation of a Langston Hughes story. (1984, 86 min, DCP Digital) BS
Amat Escalante’s THE UNTAMED (New Mexican/Danish)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Check Venue website for showtimes
[Note: spoilers!] Fiercely original in subject matter, THE UNTAMED is an exploration into primal instinct and urges. Alejandra and Ángel’s marriage has grown distant, thanks in large part to Ángel secretly cheating on his wife with her brother, Fabián, who is a doctor. Meanwhile, Verónica has recently become friends with Fabián after she’s been admitted to the hospital for bite wounds she suffered from an obscure creature featured during the film’s opening. It is discovered that this creature is actually an alien that arrived on Earth via a meteorite and that causes both humans and animals to succumb to their most immediate and primal urges, primarily sex (including acts performed with the alien itself). While capable of instilling great pleasure, the alien has a more sadistic side that doles out pain to those that it grows tired of. This interweaving of carnal yearnings and forbidden love triangles is what makes THE UNTAMED so distinct. Amat Escalante creates a shroud of mystery over the film, as only slivers of backstory are revealed, in piecemeal. Striving for a sense of realism in sci-fi can be ham-fisted at times, but Escalante combats this by sticking the viewer right in the action through his use of natural lightning and diegetic sound. His dual use of light to create a sense of warmth when things are good and the void that is left when these features are not employed leave the viewer in a sort of moral purgatory as the characters are left to traverse their emotional landscapes. THE UNTAMED is a hypersexual mystery about the innate desires of mankind and how those notions can all shift when an enlightening figure forces introspection. (2016, 100 mins, DCP Digital) KC
Raoul Walsh's WHAT PRICE GLORY? (Silent American Revival)
Music Box Theatre – Saturday, Noon
A canonical silent epic that's more cited than seen, WHAT PRICE GLORY? is probably more notable for what came before it and what followed in its wake than for the film itself. When the stage version of WHAT PRICE GLORY? by Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings opened on Broadway in 1924, it sought to demonstrate that the Great War was a suitable subject for mass entertainment. Immediately acclaimed for its salty and realistic dialogue, the play reclaimed the misfits and damaged men as the War's reluctant heroes. Stallings was immediately hired to pen a big war film called THE BIG PARADE (1925) for the recently amalgamated M-G-M, and the screen version of WHAT PRICE GLORY? followed in that blockbuster's wake. The Great War remembrances to come—WINGS (1927), 7TH HEAVEN (1927), HELL'S ANGELS (1930), ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930), THE DAWN PATROL (1930), etc.—all owe their existence in a very direct way to Anderson and Stallings's stage success and the cinematic examples proffered by King Vidor and Raoul Walsh; they constitute the missing link between the anti-Hun melodramas made during the War and the romantic and action-packed spectacles that were only palatable at a decade's remove. Because some of its successors are reckoned to be pacifist and because it spouts a winking "War Is Hell" posture, WHAT PRICE GLORY? is sometimes described as an anti-war film. (Walsh himself later bragged that the film "promoted more enlistments in the Marine Corps than any picture that was ever made.") But to truly be an 'anti' anything, WHAT PRICE GLORY? would first need a thought, any thought, in its head and mighty good luck finding one. The battle sequences are impressive, but the most durable part of WHAT PRICE GLORY? proved to be the skirt-chasing, he-man brawling debauchery. (There's also a monkey in a chamber pot, providing a nearly direct connection between WHAT PRICE GLORY? and the gross-out, bro-centric comedies that soil the multiplexes today.) WHAT PRICE GLORY? inspired three sequels with Victor McLaglen and Edward Lowe—not paeans to the service, but continuations of the smutty adventures of servicemen: THE C*CK-EYED WORLD (1929), WOMEN OF ALL NATIONS (1931), and HOT PEPPER (1933). And though WHAT PRICE GLORY? is hardly Raoul Walsh's best silent—it shares a sense of scale with THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924), but neither is a patch on his early gangster melodrama REGENERATION (1915)—it surely paves the way for the masterworks of American vulgarity, THE BOWERY (1933) and SAILOR'S LUCK (1933), that he would turn out in the early years of the talkies. Neither those films nor WHAT PRICE GLORY? enjoyed the linguistic freedom of the stage version, though silent-era audiences, who were functionally adept lip-readers, allegedly picked up some whoppers. If you've only seen this one in a Killiam Shows 16mm copy, maybe you, too, will pick up more cussing in this archival 35mm version. Live organ accompaniment from Dennis Scott. (1926, 115 min, 35mm) KAW
Charles Burnett’s KILLER OF SHEEP (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Saturday, 3pm and Wednesday, 6pm
Critic J. Hoberman proposed two types of film debuts that can perhaps unfairly overshadow a director’s entire career: First, debuts that are radically new and arrive seemingly fully-formed—think CITIZEN KANE and BREATHLESS—and second, works that have an innocence and rawness born of circumstances that can never be replicated, for which he cites Satyajit Ray’s PATHER PANCHALI, Jack Smith’s FLAMING CREATURES, and Charles Burnett’s 1978 masterpiece KILLER OF SHEEP. In Burnett’s case those lightning-in-a-bottle circumstances involved a shoestring budget and weekend-only shooting with mostly non-professional actors over the course of several years beginning in 1972, all in service of what was to be the young director’s MFA thesis at UCLA. Because Burnett initially had academic, not theatrical, aspirations for the work he never secured the rights to the 22 classic R&B, jazz, and soul songs on the soundtrack. For this reason the film never saw a wide release until 2007. The film takes place in post-riot Watts, Los Angeles and involves the day-to-day lives of families in the neighborhood. The main protagonist is Stan, an amiable slaughterhouse worker who toils mightily to support his wife and two children while maintaining his integrity. The rhyming of Stan’s lot in life—a powerless man conveyed from scene to scene by an overwhelming sense of inevitability—with his own methodical killing and processing at the slaughterhouse transcends the political. The depiction of black family life solely for the purposes of overt polemic is the type of cliché Burnett fought throughout his career. Ultimately, the film is too warm to be scathing. Instead, much like Stan, KILLER OF SHEEP feels innocent and unassuming. It’s a sincere statement by a young director that earns its comparisons to the classics of Italian neorealism. And like those classics, Burnett’s sense of realism is universal: The characters’ victories and defeats are all small—a stroke of the knee and a smirk, a flat tire, a scraped elbow—but feel earth shattering in the moment. We sense out of narrative habit redemption is coming in the end, but when art imitates life and it doesn’t we accept it like fate. Dinah Washington’s “The Bitter Earth,” which is played multiple times to increasingly devastating effect, perfectly encapsulates KILLER OF SHEEP. At once beautiful, fatalistic, despairing, in the end it leaves us only with hope: “I’m sure someone may answer my call, and this bitter earth may not be so bitter after all.” (1978, 81 min, DCP Digital) JS
Alfred Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW (American Revival)
Park Ridge Classic Film Series (at the Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge) – Thursday, 2 and 7:30pm
Grace Kelly was never lovelier, "the right girl for any man with half a brain who can get one eye open." Thus spoke Thelma Ritter to Jimmy Stewart's sardonic photographer. The three function as a superb trio, as jazzy as Franz Waxman's score; equally matched and indivisible, perhaps the only such formation in any Hitchcock film. Through an alchemy yet to be duplicated, Hitchcock and writer John Michael Hayes got together and somehow fashioned the most perfect screenplay ever created. The characters' dialogue as written and performed meshes seamlessly with Hitchcock's own monologue, one that brilliantly uses camera, editing table, and sound design. Especially the latter. Its diegetic soundscape remains thrillingly unique. And its pacing is flawless; it's tightly conceived and executed yet never seems to be in a hurry. No matter how many times you've seen it, this is one movie that never stops offering up new pleasures. (1954, 112 min, Digital Projection) RC
Frank Borzage's 7TH HEAVEN (Silent American Revival)
Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) – Wednesday, 1 and 7:30pm (Free Admission)
Along with Murnau's SUNRISE, Frank Borzage's 7TH HEAVEN was the most accoladed American film of 1927, and in fact received more nominations at the first-ever Academy Awards. Its stature has since been eclipsed by that of SUNRISE, but it remains a major film by one of American cinema's major artists. Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell play working-poor types in pre-World War I Paris. They are brought together by circumstance and are forced to marry; as this is a Borzage film, however, the arbitrariness of their union only intensifies the love that develops between them. In his later masterpiece THE MORTAL STORM (1940), Borzage would demonize Nazism by showing a good family ripped apart by its dictates; in 7TH HEAVEN, he depicts the Great War as a force that cruelly separated the lovers of Europe. Such ideas may seem facile on the page, but Borzage's greatness is in the utter conviction with which he argues them: No, there is nothing more important in life than to love and anything that prevents us from doing so should be treated with skepticism, if not repulsion. Even though Borzage spent the second half of his directorial career in the Sound Age, he remained one of the great silent filmmakers until his retirement in 1959: Few directors were as good at charting a direct passage from the image (especially the sensitive close-up of a loving face) to pure emotion. Live musical accompaniment by David Drazin. (1927, 110 min, DCP Digital) BS
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents the program Inner Distances (approx. 68 min total, Unconfirmed Formats) on Friday at 8pm, with programmer Amanda VanValkenburg in person. Screening are: BUNTE KUH (Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko, and Faraz Anoushahpour), EMBARGO (Johann Lurf), CLINTON AND SANDERS LOOKING AT THE WORLD AND NAMING THINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME (Orr Menirom), REUNION 1 (Brock Neilson), THE AGE OF BRANCHES (Daniel Spangler), UNNATURAL DISASTERS (Amanda VanValkenburg), TERRESTRIAL (Calum Walter), and RED CAPRICCIO (Blake Williams); and on Thursday at 8pm, it’s Peter de Rome’s 1976 gay pornographic classic THE DESTROYING ANGEL (60 min, Digital Projection), showing with Curt McDowell’s explicit 1976/1985 gay experimental film LOADS (19 min, DVD Projection).
At Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) this week: Group 312 Films: 2017 Annual Report is on Friday at 8pm, with work by Angela Branstrom, Anna Munzesheimer, Dave Purdie, Brian Klein, Richard Syska, Kevin B. Chatham, Evan Senger, Eric Branstrom, John Babbin, Emily Tolan, Vesna Jovanovic, Joseph Witkowski; and Miguel M. Delgado’s 1973 Mexican film SANTO AND BLUE DEMON VS. DRACULA AND THE WOLF MAN (90 min, DVD Projection), starring Mexican wrestling and cultural phenomenon Santo, is on Wednesday at 8pm. Free admission.
The Black Cinema House (at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) presents Perform. Self/Reflect on Friday at 7pm. The event features multimedia artists Nic Kay, Ester Alegria, Amina Ross, and Ireashia Monét, who will screen and discuss their work. Free admission.
The 48 Hour Film Project presents screenings at the Music Box Theatre on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. Visit www.48hourfilm.com/chicago-il or the Music Box website for more information.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljocaj’s 2016 French film POLINA (108 min, DCP Digital) and Baltasar Kormákur’s 2016 Icelandic film THE OATH (104 min, DCP Digital) both play for a week; the animated short compendium The Animation Show of Shows (2015-16, approx. 106 min total, DCP Digital) is on Friday at 8:15pm and Sunday at 5:15pm; and Francesca Molteni’s 2017 Italian documentary SUPERDESIGN: WHEN DESIGN WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD (67 min, Digital Projection) is on Thursday at 6pm, with Molteni, artists and architects Gianni Pettena and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, and independent curator Maria Cristina Didero scheduled to be in person.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Edgar Wright’s 2017 film BABY DRIVER (112 min, 35mm) continues; Alex Cox’s 1987 film WALKER (94 min, 35mm) is on Friday at 7:15pm, with Cox in person; Jim Henson’s 1986 film LABYRINTH (101 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 2 and 7pm, in a subtitled “quote-along” version; Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s 2017 concert film/documentary MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS (104 min, DCP Digital) is on Tuesday at 7 and 9:30pm; Gavin Elder’s 2017 concert film DAVID GILMOUR: LIVE AT POMPEII (125 min, DCP Digital) is on Wednesday at 7pm; and Jay Roach’s 1997 film AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY (89 min, 35mm) is on Friday and Saturday at Midnight.
Also at Facets Cinémathèque this week: former Chicagoan Jake Mahaffy’s 2015 US/New Zealand film FREE IN DEED (98 min, Video Projection) has a week-long run.
The Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.) screens Neus Ballús’ 2013 Spanish film THE PLAGUE (108 min, DVD Projection) on Thursday at 6pm. Free admission.
Also at the Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) this week: Aisling Walsh’s 2016 Irish/Canadian film MAUDIE (115 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 2 and 7:30pm. Free admission.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
The Graham Foundation presents David Hartt’s installation in the forest from September 14 to January 6 at the Madlener House (4 W. Burton Place). The show features photography, sculpture, and a newly commissioned film.
At the Art Institute of Chicago, British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen’s video installation work END CREDITS (2012-ongoing), which is currently comprised on nearly 13-hours of footage and 19-hours of soundtrack, is on view until October 1.
The Art Institute of Chicago (Modern Wing Galleries) has Dara Birnbaum’s 1979 two-channel video KISS THE GIRLS: MAKE THEM CRY (6 min) currently on view.
CINE-LIST: September 8 - September 14, 2017
MANAGING EDITOR // Patrick Friel
ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Ben Sachs, Kathleen Sachs, Kyle A. Westphal
CONTRIBUTORS // Rob Christopher, Kyle Cubr, Scott Pfeiffer, James Stroble