On episode #2 of Cine-Cast, Cine-File managing editor Patrick Friel and associate editors Ben Sachs and K.A. Westphal discuss upcoming screenings and the Music Box Theatre's recent Steven Spielberg mini-retrospective; contributor JB Mabe rounds upcoming experimental screenings in April, including the Nightingale Cinema's 10th anniversary celebration and two 3-D films by Toronto-based filmmaker Blake Williams screening at the Film Studies Center; Ben talks with contributor John Dickson about the Lucrecia Martel series at the Siskel Film Center in April, which includes the local premiere of her new film ZAMA and in-person appearances by the director; and contributor Tien-Tien Jong interviews current Doc Films programming chairs Antonia Glaser and Alexander Fee, as well as one of next year's chairs, Alex Kong, about this quarter's calendar, which includes Michael Haneke and Elia Kazan retrospectives.
As always, special thanks to our producer, Andy Miles, of Transistor Chicago.
Lucrecia Martel’s THE HEADLESS WOMAN (Argentine Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 8:15pm and Sunday, 5:30pm
Lucrecia Martel’s films demand your attention to infinitesimal details and then upbraid you—albeit thoughtfully, like a sage imploring you to reconsider all your preconceived notions—for caring too much about them. Her 2008 film THE HEADLESS WOMAN, the last in her de facto Salta Trilogy (called as such because all three, with LA CIÉNAGA from 2002 and THE HOLY GIRL from 2004, are set in the eponymous Argentine province, also her hometown) and her most recent film before last year’s ZAMA, is the preeminent example of this tactic within her oeuvre. The plot is deceptively simple: before the title card even appears, a well-to-do Argentine woman, Verónica (referred to as Vero and played in a masterful performance by María Onetto), gets distracted by her phone while driving and hits something—possibly a dog, possibly a child. Rather than verify and, if necessary, help the victim, she drives on, presumably stopping only to get out and seek assistance for herself. The film’s Byzantine trajectory is rendered dreamlike via Martel’s perversely epical perspective (and real-life inspiration; she reportedly conceived of the film in a dream)—nothing is what it seems, neither for the protagonist nor the viewer. Although this is a recent trend in world cinema of late, considering some noteworthy films born of the Iranian and Romanian New Waves such as Asghar Farhadi’s A SEPARATION (2011) and Călin Peter Netzer’s CHILD’S POSE (2013), Martel’s disembodied approach is less tactical and more intrinsic than others’ use of such means. It may be trite to say that Martel challenges viewers to question what they see (and hear—her use of sound is exquisite), but it’s a logical assumption. After Vero hits whatever it is, I was almost sure that, when the film shows the casualty in the car’s rear window (movie pun unintended, though many critics reference its Hitchcockian overtones) as she drives away, it was in fact a dog; but when her family starts quietly helping cover up the accident following a series of disconcerting events—a servant’s child goes missing and is then found drowned in the canal next to the road where the accident occurred—I wondered what it was I think I saw, this newfound confusion mirroring Vero’s while likewise reinforcing the flimsy impudence of the very sense most crucial to film viewing. Martel’s sound design is similarly dumbfounding, the acousmatic dialogue further distancing us from already removed figures, practically unable to be called characters in how little is revealed about them. This distance, then, makes us question our own complicity, thus positioning the role of spectator, a seemingly passive viewpoint, as an active, if not political, stance. Martel said in an interview that “[t]here is a relationship between the dead body you never see and the desaparecidos,” referring to when a military junta disappeared tens of thousands of political dissidents during Argentina’s 'Dirty War' of the 1970s. This context reframes the scenario, prompting one to wonder if there’s any real difference between what one thinks they see and what one, either naively or maliciously, wants to see. There’s also an intriguing motif involving Vero’s hair, dyed blonde, making her bourgeois status even more prominent against the darker-skinned, lower-class people who serve her, that ties all this together. It’s another element that confronts one’s perceptions—what seems like a clever embodiment of the film’s central metaphor is, when Vero dyes her hair dark brown towards the end, further indictment of one’s connivance. Where Martel challenges her viewer’s preoccupation with minute narrative details, she impugns for what is confessed in that very absorption. If there’s no detail too small, how do we miss—or, better yet, ignore—so many big ones? (2008, 87 min, 35mm Archival Print) KS
Hiroshi Teshigahara’s THE FACE OF ANOTHER (Japanese Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Thursday, 9pm
Hiroshi Teshigahara may be the director of THE FACE OF ANOTHER, but he is only one of several authorial voices reflected in the film. The most prominent may be author Kobo Abe, who not only adapted his experimental novel, but transformed it into cinematic terms. Composer Toru Takemitsu made a significant impact on the film as well, with an ambitious score that incorporates atonal melodies and Viennese-style waltzes (the latter used to convey the film’s theme of conformism and lock-step behavior). The cinematographer, Hiroshi Segawa, is responsible for the film’s stark look, which employs high-contrast black-and-white photography to create a cold yet familiar atmosphere. All three men collaborated on Teshigahara’s previous two features, PITFALL (1962) and WOMAN IN THE DUNES (1964), creating a brain trust as strong as any in the Japanese New Wave; THE FACE OF ANOTHER represents perhaps the pinnacle of their work together. The film is an eerie allegory about the loss of identity in modern Japan, following a middle-aged man whose face is burned off in an industrial accident. At the start of the story, Okuyama undergoes an existential crisis as a result of his accident—he feels that, without a face, he no longer has a firm identity. After taking a leave of absence from his job and spending lots of time alone, he connects with an ambitious doctor who promises to provide him with a new face, which he plans to mold from that of a stranger. Okuyama accepts the offer, but only after much deliberating (the film features much soul-searching of the post-Bergman variety) and graphic scenes of surgery that anticipate the body horror of David Cronenberg. The film’s second half considers the antihero as he adjusts to his new appearance, taking pleasure in modifying his behavior so as to match the new look; the story culminates when Okuyama, testing whether he can succeed as a new person, sets out to seduce his own wife while pretending to be someone else. Teshigahara plays brilliantly with style; some passages are expressionistic in nature, while other feel almost like cinema verite documentary. The destabilizing approach fits perfectly with the thematic content, resulting in a memorably unnerving film. (1966, 122 min, 35mm) BS
Rashid Masharawi’s WRITING ON SNOW (New Palestinian)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Thursday, 8:15pm
Rashid Masharawi’s LAILA’S BIRTHDAY (2008) is one of the essential Palestinian films, a sad and funny story that balances its political argument with a detailed sense of character and everyday life. WRITING ON SNOW lacks the earlier movie’s humor and warmth, but it generates a ferocious intensity that renders political crises. The movie begins with the bombing of a residential neighborhood in Gaza, with resulting images of chaos and bloodshed; from there, Masharawi takes the story into more intimate territory that suggests a miniature version of the terror outside. A Red Crescent volunteer, waiting on an ambulance to take a wounded man to the ER, takes her charge to the home of an old man and his wife, who stubbornly refuse to leave the neighborhood. Also seeking shelter is a fundamentalist Muslim man who believes that violent uprising against the Israeli government is the only way to end the suffering of people in Gaza. The fundamentalist will come to terrorize the other characters over the course of their long night of waiting, ordering others how to behave and even trying to establish martial law. The divisions between the characters—who come from different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds—reflect those within the whole of Palestinian society, yet it’s to Masharawi’s credit the story never feels diagrammatic. The men and women in WRITING ON SNOW emerge as fully formed individuals who are struggling not to let their historical circumstances define who they are; as in LAILA’S BIRTHDAY, the director treats this struggle sensitively and probingly. (2017, 71 min, Digital Projection) BS
Eric Rohmer’s BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS (French Revival)
Film Studies Center (at the Logan Center of the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.) – Thursday, 7pm
As serene and complex as a natural body of water, Eric Rohmer’s cinema taps into the cosmos of human relations better than almost anyone. His films are as fresh and revitalizing as opening a window to the outside air, yet so tightly constructed, you can see why one of Rohmer’s greatest influences was that of Alfred Hitchcock, a director he wrote frequently about during his days writing for the legendary film journal, Cahiers du Cinema; certainly the way Rohmer’s plots unfold show how deeply he appreciated, and closely studied, Hitchcock’s work. This isn’t to say Rohmer’s films are thrillers though, at least not in the conventional sense, but his films do certainly keep one on the edge of their seat. BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS, one of the least-discussed entries in the directors entire body of work, is part of his “Comedies and Proverbs” series which, like its thriller roots, isn’t right in your face; in fact the more immediate aspects of the traditional “comedy” and “thriller” seem almost entirely absent. Yet the constellation of romantic human interaction that Rohmer weaves is unlike anything else before or after it, resulting in a type of comedy rooted in its more literal definition. This particular plot concerns Blanche, a young clerk with a steady but dead-end job, who is living in a suburb of France, that is constructed in such a way, that meetings of chance are less intrusions of fate, and more the results of modern architectural planning. One day she meets Lea and the two young women strike up a fast friendship. Lea introduces Blanche to her boyfriend, Fabien, and tries to set her up with Fabien’s “astonishingly handsome friend” Alexandre. As Blanche tries unsuccessfully to play it coy with Alexandre, Lea informs her that she wants to dump Fabien. The news of this causes Blanche to look desire in the face, whose very face happens to be Fabien’s, who it turns out is more her speed than the dashing and charming Alexandre. However, when competing passions intersect, it is less a matter of over-wrought melodrama finally being unleashed, and more the understated politeness that usually exists in real life. Characters aren’t tragically drawn down into metaphorical pits of sorrow and sadness, and are even less inclined to reveal how they actually feel. Yet as feelings change and new couplings take shape, there is a heightened sense of thrill as to who will figure out what before the other; less a rainy-blue drama and more a summer time cavalcade of the “comedy” inherent in modern romance. As always with Rohmer, his sense of space and atmosphere is legion, as people move from the smooth, cleaned-up modernism of their homes in the suburbs, to beaches kissed by salt water breezes and wafting smells of hotdogs cooking, to finally the magnificent and cleansing woods nearby, a place as free and hidden as anything not modernized by the surrounding world. It is this very setting, the untouched realm of nature, that Rohmer would set his final film, the 17th century set THE ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON, closing the circular nature of his work. If you’ve ever been curious where the sun-dappled freedom of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME came from, where the genesis of Hong Sang-soo’s cinema started, or just wondered what Woody Allen wishes his one-after-the-other movies could be, you should start here; you will be drawn into a world uniquely its own, possibly capable of relieving just what ails you. This screening will feature the guest-appearance by one of the film’s actresses, Sophie Renoir. (1987, 103 min, DCP) JD
Xavier Dolan’s LAURENCE ANYWAYS (French Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Monday, 7pm
Without descending into pointless pastiche, LAURENCE ANYWAYS draws from iconic styles of filmmakers like Sirk, Fassbinder (who actually drew a lot from Sirk), and Almodóvar to deliver a hypersaturated melodrama that follows Laurence (Melvil Poupaud), a transgender woman, through ten years of her life from 1989-1999, as she begins her transition and wrangles with societal acceptance, tense family ties, and the crumbling of her passionate long-term relationship with Fred (played by Suzanne Clément, who also stars in Dolan's MOMMY). The highly stylized film language serves to draw us closer to Laurence instead of distancing us as viewers. As Chuck Bowen put it in his Slant review, "[Dolan] wants you to feel what he feels, damn it, intensely and immensely," and the film largely achieves that clear directorial intent. Without setting up any characters as foils or easy villains, LAURENCE ANYWAYS bares the emotional core of a tragic love story: Laurence and Fred are a heterosexual couple passionately in love, even after several years together, as the film begins—so much in love, in fact, that Fred decides to stay with Laurence during her transition and attempt to transcend gender through their passionate attachment. Rather than demonizing Fred for being unable to succeed in this, Dolan explores the frailty and endurance of human connection, attraction, and gender identity in a way that never delivers easy answers, and often delivers emotional wallops punctuated by surreal visualizations and operatic usage of kitschy period-pop songs. The film also explores Laurence's identity as a writer and poet and the struggle to find creative expression as she transitions and loses her job at a school to narrow-minded parents. Most notably, the film opens and is punctuated by sequences of Laurence walking through life (school hallways, streets, stores, and other public spaces) and experiencing micro-aggressions in the form of staring. Because Dolan keeps the camera in first-person point-of-view for these slow motion sequences, we as the viewer are uncomfortably placed in the position of recipient of these stares and the variety of reactions Laurence elicits just by existing. Curiosity, attraction, hostility, embarrassment, confusion, and a mixture of several conflicting emotions sometimes play out on the faces of the spectators. Without feeling didactic or crude, LAURENCE ANYWAYS manages to explore Laurences relationship to her partner, mother, coworkers, friends, and society-at-large in a way that harnesses both visceral reactions and thoughtful speculation, transporting the viewer into the transgender experience with masterful ability. Dolan has been dubbed the "wunderkind filmmaker" from Montreal by quite a few critics, and it's easy to see why with six heartbreaking and brilliantly directed films under his belt before the age of 30! (2012, 168 min, DCP) AE
Bavo Defurne’s SOUVENIR (New Belgian)
Facets Cinémathèque - Check Venue website for showtimes
SOUVENIR presents disarmingly light and digestible territory for an actress we all know for much darker roles, but Isabelle Huppert effortlessly carries the film despite a somewhat weak script and predictable plotlines. Huppert plays Liliane, a washed-up chanteuse who works at a paté factory and re-ignites her career at the urging of a much younger lover (Kévin Azaïs). Inevitable complications arise due to age difference and Liliane's fear of rejection, which is outweighed by her desire to escape from the humdrum life into which she has settled post-fame. The plot matters little in this film, which is obviously an homage by a director who loves both Huppert and Douglas Sirk: the film is merely a vehicle to watch Liliane's inner self emerge à la ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS supported by the love of a modern-day Rock Hudson. Even the hand-written titles and credits pay homage to Sirk and lush, warm "women's pictures" of the 1950's, which is why the lack of dark subtext and twisted subplots don't spoil the pleasure of watching this film. Huppert is magnificent, as always, and her persona from darker films such as ELLE and THE PIANO TEACHER lends a particular thrill to watching SOUVENIR: at times we are not quite certain if the film will veer into darker territory as Liliane swigs another scotch in solitary confinement, unleashing something more sinister than a sweet comeback story. Instead, SOUVENIR ends up remaining a rather delightful departure from such films, and an opportunity to see Huppert in a softer, sweeter light, which can be a rather welcome digestif for those who might have needed to recover from ELLE with a stiff scotch as this reviewer did. (2016, 90 min, Video Projection) AE
Michael Haneke’s CODE UNKNOWN (French Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Tuesday, 7pm
Michael Haneke’s first film made in France, CODE UNKNOWN is the director’s finest achievement to date, a formally adventurous and socially astute account of modern social problems. The movie is structured like a puzzle; each scene transpires in a single long take that begins after the principal action has started and ends before it’s been resolved. Haneke also jumps between a number of primary characters, including a French actress (Juliette Binoche), an Romanian woman who’s emigrated illegally to France (Luminita Gheorghiu), a teacher of African descent (Ona Lu Yenke) who works with deaf children, the actress’ war-photographer boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s wayward teenage brother. Watching the movie, one works to figure out not only how the characters are associated with each other, but also their motivations for behaving as they do. “One might plausibly consider the sum of the film’s fragments as a map for the political, social, and psychological ills of our globalized world, one made not of symbols but of clues and forceful hints,” Nick James wrote for the Criterion Collection in 2015. “Such clues have been consistently supplied by Haneke’s films from the beginning of his career, but CODE UNKNOWN marks a moment of readjustment and transition, in terms not only of the scope of its treatment of social and political themes but also his relationship to cinema’s aesthetic techniques.” It also marks the film in which the Austrian writer-director started to seem more comfortable with actors; in comparison to the rigid performances of his earlier films, the acting in CODE UNKNOWN is generally warm and relatable, conveying a human sentiment beneath the film’s intellectual structure. Binoche is especially impressive—you can never tell when her character is acting or being herself. The mystery of her character infuses the whole of CODE UNKNOWN, which extends its interrogation of European society to the most intimate behavior of its denizens. (2000, 117 min, 35mm) BS
Abbas Kiarostami's 24 FRAMES (New Iranian/Experimental)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Saturday, 7 and 9:30pm and Sunday, 4pm
24 FRAMES is the final film by the late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, left unfinished when he died in 2016 and completed through the efforts of his son. Here, Kiarostami has made one of the most experimental films of his career: it’s a series of twenty-four short (roughly 4 ½ minutes each scenes), or “frames,” of mostly landscapes. The first is of a Bruegel painting (he had originally intended to compose the film of various paintings) and the remaining ones are based on twenty-three of Kiarostami’s own still photographs. Kiarostami then manipulates the images digitally, compositing in various moving elements to imagine what was taking place immediately before and after the moment of stillness he captured with his camera. Particular visual themes recur: snowy fields, the seashore, cows and other farm animals, and birds. Lots of birds. Each frame is a minimalist miniature, carefully composed and strikingly shot. Or sort of shot, and that’s the point. What we are seeing didn’t really exist. These are creative constructions, based on reality but not real. They are imaginary, artificially constructed spaces, but ones that (with one exception) are believable. The level of Kiarostami’s fabrication is not entirely evident—though they all achieve an otherworldly quality that calls into question the truth of what we’re seeing. I could quibble at the margins (I might lose a few of the particular frames, and think perhaps the film is a bit too long), but overall the film is extraordinary and at times profoundly moving, even as Kiarostami displays some wry humor and makes some surprising, but effective, music choices. (2017, 114 min, DCP Digital) PF
Richard Linklater's DAZED AND CONFUSED (American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) - Friday, 7 and 9:30pm and Sunday, 1:30pm
Usually when a movie relishes its period detail this intensely it cuts corners elsewhere, but the rare feat of DAZED AND CONFUSED is its fully inhabited nostalgia. On the last day of school in the year of the bicentennial, incoming freshmen and seniors try on their respective roles for the first time through hazing rituals and the party to end all parties. Slapstick, sadism, stoner silliness, and sentiment all have their moments, but never overwhelm. Of course we can laugh at the pants and hair absurdities of high school in 1976; the aesthetic is not so far off from That 70's Show, but the difference is that while a cool guy is cracking a dirty joke at a freshman's expense, there's room onscreen for the pathos of the freshman's subtle facial reaction. Here the collar is wide, but the heart is true. Like all Linklater movies, DAZED AND CONFUSED is in no hurry to get anywhere, because it's all right there. This generous patience pays off; every character is worth spending time with, or they wouldn't be in the movie, right? Spanning from the last day of school until the following dawn, conversations get looser and more astral as the movie progresses, allowing even the squarest kids a chance to express some truly wonderful thinky-thoughts. Throughout the night the little triumphs and scores settled aren't inflated cinematically, they remain human-sized through Linklater's even-handedness, the large number of characters, and the skill of the young performers. It's an impressive cast of familiar faces, most at the very beginning of careers, and that wave of earnest effort floats the movie, giving it a very optimistic feeling. (1993, 103 min, 35mm) JF
Steven Spielberg’s E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (American Revival)
Wilmette Theater (1122 Central Ave., Wilmette) – Sunday, 2pm
Perhaps the definitive Steven Spielberg statement, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is a potent mix of wonderment and sentimentality. The film imagines the friendship between a grade-school boy and an affectionate space alien, advancing the optimistic message that love is truly the universal language. In his essay “Papering the Cracks,” critic Robin Wood attacked E.T. for its emotional opportunism, noting that Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison fail to characterize the title character consistently; the alien alternates between seeming wise, innocent, helpless, and godlike, depending on how the filmmakers want the audience to feel at any given moment. Yet this lack of consistency is integral to the movie’s fantasy: one reason why the character of E.T. seems so magical is because he provides what Elliot needs at exactly the right time. The alien is a playmate, a teacher, and a source of emotional support—he fills the gaps in Elliot’s broken family unit. Indeed the film derives much of its power from Spielberg’s sincere and nuanced depiction of a suburban family after a divorce. One recognizes from the opening scenes that the family is missing something and longs to be made whole. These feelings of abandonment and longing give weight to the movie’s fantasy—the wonderment comes as a source of relief. The movie is no less astute in its depiction of children, which shows the influence of François Truffaut (whom Spielberg cast in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND). The kids of E.T. are adorable yet retain a certain realistic scrappiness—Spielberg clearly relates to his young characters, and he loves them, warts and all. Post-screening discussion led by film critic and blogger Don Shanahan. (1982, 115 min, Digital Projection) BS
Steven Spielberg's RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (American Revival)
Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) - Friday, 7pm (Free Admission)
A monument in the Cold War's conservative cinema of reassurance, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is today undeniably a fairy tale about the origin of the atomic bomb. While in reality, nuclear weapons were the intentional outcome of a race between America and Germany's large-scale militarization of the physical sciences, here they are represented not as a technological invention of bureaucratic rationalism but as an archaeological re-discovery, of the Old Testament's famously powerful Ark of the Covenant. Mild-mannered, crushworthy, U of C-educated anthropology professor Jones—teaching at a time when one was morally obligated to kill as many Nazis as possible in the course of one's fieldwork—teams up with his former advisor's daughter (now a hard-drinking expat Nepalese barmaid) to engage in battles of dubious detective-work and elaborately staged, violent fisticuffs with rival archaeologist Belloq, a variety of expendable German soldiers, and the seemingly re-indentured residents of Egypt. At stake is the primary fetish object of the Books of Joshua and Samuel, certainly the closest material embodiment of God in the Bible; however, like GHOSTBUSTERS—which also treated the Abrahamic religions as a mere historical elaboration on occult Mesopotamian ritual—RAIDERS romanticizes the agnostic and empirical logic of its hard-nosed protagonist, who eventually realizes that the only way to escape The Lord's wrath is to close one's eyes to His power. This reassurance returns conclusively in the coda, which seems to say: oh, the wrath of God, we'll never use that again; we're just filing it away with the fruits of America's other positivist projects in some Library of Babel-sized warehouse. (1981, 118 min, Unconfirmed Format) MC
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Chicago Film Society and the Music Box Theatre (at the Music Box) screen Michael Curtiz’s 1927 silent film A MILLION BID (65 min, Restored 35mm Archival Print) on Saturday at 11:30am. Preceded by a TBA short. Live accompaniment by Dennis Scott.
The Film Studies Center (at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., University of Chicago) hosts the Sensing Media: Department of Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Student Conference on Friday and Saturday. The schedule is at sensingmedia.wordpress.com; and Eric Rohmer’s 1987 French film BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS (103 min, DCP Digital) is on Thursday at 7pm, with actress Sophie Renoir in person. Free admission.
Chicago Filmmakers (5720 N. Ridge Ave.) screens a double feature of two films by Amir Motlagh: MAN (2018, 85 min, Digital Projection) and THREE WORLDS (2018, 90 min, Digital Projection) on Saturday at 6:30pm (6pm reception). With producer and writer Charles Borg and sound designer Stephen Holliger in person.
Block Cinema (Northwestern University) screens Phillip Warnell’s 2014 documentary MING OF HARLEM: TWENTY ONE STOREYS IN THE AIR (71 min, DCP Digital) on Thursday at 7pm, with Warnell in person. Free admission.
The Chicago Cultural Center screens Youth Produced Films by Free Spirit Media on Saturday at 2pm. Followed by a discussion. Free admission.
Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents an untitled program in their guest curator series on Monday at 8pm. Emily Hutchings has selected and will introduce a program of work by Jacob Ciocci, Dean Cercone, Miller Schulman, MJ Brotherton, Molly Hewitt, Blair Bogin, Selden Paterson, and Ben Fain; and I’m Not Sure What You Mean? on Wednesday at 8pm. The shorts program, curated and introduced by Rebecca Ladida and Jess Lee, includes work by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, Kristin Li, Rami George, Jess Lee, Hannah Welever, and Alli Logout. Free admission.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography (600 S. Michigan Ave.) presents an edition of their occasional Video Playlist series on Wednesday at 6pm. This one is curated by Columbus, Ohio-based filmmaker Cameron Granger. Free admission.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago screens Andrew Rossi’s 2017 documentary BRONX GOTHIC (91 min, Video Projection) on Sunday at 3pm, followed by a discussion with local artists Brendan Fernandes, Darrell Jones, and Amina Ross; and local filmmaker Amir George presents and discusses excerpts from a work-in-progress film for the museum’s “In Progress” series on Tuesday at 6pm.
Black Cinema House (at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, 1456 E 70th St.) presents Double Feature: Chelsea Williams and Keenan Dailey on Friday at 7pm. Screening are two student films: NYU student Chelsea Williams’ WAKE UP: A DOPE SHORT and UIC Urbana–Champaign student Keenan Dailey’s GREENE, with Dailey in person. Free admission.
Cinema/Chicago’s CineYouth Festival takes place Friday-Sunday at the Music Box Theatre. Full schedule at www.chicagofilmfestival.com/cineyouth.
The Define American Film Festival takes place Friday-Sunday at Venue SIX10 (610 S. Michigan Ave.). Full schedule at https://defineamerican.com.
The Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Pickwick Theatre (5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge) screens William A. Wellman’s 1927 silent film WINGS (144 min, Digital Projection) on Wednesday at 2 and 7:30pm, with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren. Co-presented by the Silent Film Society of Chicago.
Also at the Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) this week: Barbra Streisand’s 1991 film THE PRINCE OF TIDES (132 min, 35mm) is on Wednesday at 1 and 7pm. Free admission.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Christian Duguay’s 2017 French feature A BAG OF MARBLES (110 min, DCP Digital), Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki’s 2017 documentary EL MAR LA MAR (94 min, DCP Digital), Marc Meyers’ 2017 American feature MY FRIEND DAHMER (108 min, DCP Digital), and Koki Shigeno’s 2017 Japanese documentary RAMEN HEADS (93 min, DCP Digital) have week-long runs; Davy Chou’s 2011 French-Cambodian co-production GOLDEN SLUMBERS (96 min, HDCAM Video) is on Friday at 4pm and Tuesday at 6pm, with a lecture at the Tuesday show by SAIC professor Nora Annesley Taylor; and the Chicago Palestine Film Festival begins on Saturday with Annemarie Jacir’s WAJIB (2017, 96 min, Unconfirmed Format) at 8pm (screening is sold out) and continues with Carol Mansour’s STITCHING PALESTINE (2017, 78 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Sunday at 5:15pm, Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s documentary DISTURBING THE PEACE (2016, 87 min, Unconfirmed Format) on Wednesday at 8:15pm, and Rashid Masharawi’s WRITING ON SNOW (see above for our review).
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Jang Joon-hwan’s 2003 film SAVE THE GREEN PLANET (110 min, 35mm) is on Sunday at 7pm; Elia Kazan's 1955 film EAST OF EDEN (118 min, 35mm); and David Lean’s 1945 film BRIEF ENCOUNTER (86 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 7pm.
Also at the Music Box Theatre this week: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s 2017 film THE ENDLESS (111 min, DCP Digital) opens, and Cédric Klapisch's 2017 French film BACK TO BURGUNDY (113 min, DCP Digital) continues for another week; Lou Adler’s 1978 film UP IN SMOKE (86 min, DCP Digital) is on Friday and Saturday at midnight; Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 film THE ROOM (99 min, 35mm) is on Friday at midnight; Jim Sharman’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is on Saturday at midnight; and the Chicago Humanities Festival presents An Evening With Errol Morris on Tuesday at 7pm.
The Gorton Center (400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest) screens Carey Lundin’s 2013 documentary JENS JENSEN: THE LIVING GREEN (54 min, Video Projection) on Friday at 11am and 7pm, with Lundin in person; and John Hughes’ 1984 film SIXTEEN CANDLES (93 min, Video Projection) on Thursday at 7pm.
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has artist Paul Pfeiffer’s two-channel video installation Three Figures in a Room (2016, 48 min looped) on view through May 20.
The Art Institute of Chicago (Stone Gallery) has on view a show of two large-scale installation works by French artist Philippe Parreno. One of these, With a Rhythmic Instinction to Be Able to Travel beyond Existing Forces of Life (2014) includes a moving-image component.
Also currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago: Frances Stark’s 2010 video installation NOTHING IS ENOUGH (14 min loop) in Gallery 295C; and Nam June Paik’s 1986 video sculpture FAMILY OF ROBOT: BABY in Gallery 288.
CINE-LIST: April 20 - April 26, 2018
MANAGING EDITOR // Patrick Friel
ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Ben Sachs, Kathleen Sachs, K.A. Westphal
CONTRIBUTORS // Michael Castelle, John Dickson, Alexandra Ensign, Josephine Ferorelli