On episode #4 of the Cine-Cast, Cine-File associate editors Ben and Kat Sachs get the party started—banter ensues between the married critics; contributor JB Mabe interviews Chicago Underground Film Festival programmer and artistic director Bryan Wendorf about the festival, which just celebrated its 25th year; associate editor Kat Sachs interviews local filmmaker and all-around delightful human Lori Felker about her new film, FUTURE LANGUAGE: THE DIMENSIONS OF VON LMO, which was the closing night film at CUFF; associate editor Ben Sachs and contributors Kian Bergstrom and Kyle Cubr discuss the "Stanley Kubrick: The Filmworker Series" at the Music Box Theatre, during which Ben tells a joke about Kubrick that you won't want to miss.
Listen here. As always, special thanks to our producer, Andy Miles, of Transistor Chicago.
Masahiro Shinoda’s DOUBLE SUICIDE (Japanese Revival)
Chicago Film Society (at Northeastern Illinois University, The Auditorium, Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) — Tuesday, 7:30pm
Adapted from a famous Japanese play, The Love Suicides at Amijima, from 1721 that is typically depicted in bunraku style (with puppets), DOUBLE SUICIDE illustrates Masahiro Shinoda’s unique style and its importance to the Japanese New Wave. Centered on the forbidden yet doomed love between a married paper merchant and a courtesan whose fates shouldn’t be hard to guess, this film adheres to its dramaturgic roots in its presentation. Incorporating the classical puppet action traditional to the presentation of the original play before substituting puppets for live actors, DOUBLE SUICIDE also intermixes stagehands dressed entirely in black (known as kurokos in Japan) that invisibly interact with the cast or scenery much like a live production of the play would and the idea of the fourth wall is constantly toyed with. Set pieces remain static at times as principal characters seemingly float through them and secondary characters remain frozen, much like a theatrical aside. These sequences showcase Shinoda’s gift for tracking shots and are a natural evolution of his technique found during some of the on-foot street chase scenes found in one of his previous films, PALE FLOWER. The film’s ability to juxtapose the classical with the modern creates a striking, stylized aesthetic that makes for a singular viewing experience. The deepness of the blacks seen on screen contrasted with the various whites present only furthers this beauty. DOUBLE SUICIDE is a rare successful blending of cinema and theater that works so well because of the respect paid to its story’s origins and the ingenuity in combining multiple forms. Preceded by Anna Vesela and Vaclav Zykmund’s c. 1950 Czech film BUDULINEK AND THE LITTLE FOXES (10 min, 35mm). (1969, 104 min, 35mm) KC
Michael Curtiz’s DOCTOR X (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre — Saturday, 11:30am
Of the film’s Michael Curtiz directed during the Pre-Code Era, none celebrates the expressive freedoms available in that comparatively permissive time more so than his early-Technicolor horror-comedy DOCTOR X. After a series of murders committed during full moons, which show signs of cannibalism, a sarcastic reporter, Lee (Lee Tracy), is sent to investigate (and provide some wisecracks). An expert, Doctor Xavier (Lionel Atwill), is brought in to consult, but it’s soon discovered that the killings all link back to his medical institute. A handful of possible suspects crop up, each with their own respective aberrances that could implicate them in the killings. DOCTOR X explores themes rather shocking for the film’s era, including the aforementioned cannibalism, sexual deviance, and extreme medical experimentation. Throw in a love story angle between Lee and the doctor’s daughter Joan (Fay Wray), and DOCTOR X becomes an amalgamation of many genres. Reminiscent at times of two successful films from the year before, James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN and Lewis Milestone’s THE FRONT PAGE, DOCTOR X is Curtiz at his most grisly and showcases the director’s deftness in dealing with a multitude of genres. (1932, 76 min, 35mm) KC
Out of the Vault: Secrets of Nature (Documentary and Animation Revivals)
Chicago Filmmakers (5720 N. Ridge Ave.) and Chicago Film Archives – Saturday, 8pm
I can't say that I've been to any of the world's greatest gardens (heck, I don’t even know what that list might look like), but I take immense pleasure from the flowers and plant life I see on my walk to the train every morning. Just as I can't list the world's great gardens, I can't list the actual names of the flora in question; all I know is that I like their colors and their shapes, and that they generally make the neighborhood a more beautiful place to reside. But thanks to this program, "Secrets of Nature," the next in the “CFA Out of the Vault” series, which is proving itself to be one of the recurring series I most look forward to, I now know a little more about how they came to brighten up my daily commute. The first film in the program, SECRETS OF NATURE (Unknown Filmmaker, 1951, 6 min, 16mm), part of a news magazine series called “Nature’s Wonderland,” is a concise examination of the work of Dr. John Ott, who helped develop time-lapse photography and full-spectrum lighting, using the techniques to capture plants as they went about their planty ways. The black-and-white cinematography obscures the vibrancy of its perennial subject matter, yet adds a chiaroscuro quality that’s almost artful. Excerpts from WHEELS ACROSS AMERICA (Julian Gromer, 1968, 6 min, 16mm transferred to digital), which were “originally spliced into an edited travelogue following young men on a bicycle trip cross-country,” according to the Chicago Film Archives’ description of the film, is the colorful version of its predecessor as it captures flowers, plants, and their inner workings in motion, oftentimes via Ott’s stop-motion photographic methods. The result, in all its vibrant glory, is unintentionally experimental and very near sensual. MISSION THIRD PLANET: GREEN GROW THE PLANTS (1979, 15 min, 16mm) was written and directed by Chicago-based filmmaker Don Klugman; an educational film, it’s the kind of kooky that only scholastic content of its ilk can be. In the film, aliens come to Earth to study our plant life, teaching us a thing or two in the process. LIFE CYCLE OF A FLOWERING PLANT, PART 1: THE PLANT CELL, MALE AND FEMALE FLOWER PARTS (1971, 11 min, 16mm) features animation from Don. T. Schloat, who worked on both the He-Man and Spider Man television series, among many others. The first of a three-part series, the film breaks down the process by which plants reproduce. It’s another educational film, and while its animation style doesn’t necessarily appeal to me, there’s no denying that it’s a rather fun way to learn about plant sex. With the next film, imagine if one of the angel voice-overs from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE narrated the lifecycle of a leaf. What you’re imagining is likely similar to THE FALL OF FREDDIE THE LEAF (UI Takashi, 1986, 17 min, 16mm). Based on the classic children's book by Leo Buscaglia, it’s as moving as it is maudlin, as the life cycle of a leaf stands in for the tenuous cycle of human life. The final two films take us back to the experimental territory of WHEELS ACROSS AMERICA. Chicago-based experimental filmmaker JoAnn Elam was apparently a prodigious gardener, as is evident in her film COLLARDS GARDEN 1985 (8 min, 8mm transferred to digital), one of several short films she made about her hobby. Entirely silent, the film depicts Elam as she tends to her collard green plants; not much of a gardener myself, it convinces me as to the activity’s meditative effect. The final film, REBELLION OF THE FLOWERS (Millie Goldsholl, 1992, 9 min, 35mm transferred to digital), is my favorite. A veritable masterpiece, it boasts the talents of Goldsholl, wife of Mort Goldsholl and head of the film division at the renowned Morton Goldsholl Associates, the Chicago-based design firm that she co-founded with Mort in the 1950s. Not only is its animation incredible, its story is something of a cautionary tale, one that’s timely as ever—what first seems to be a story of man in harmony with nature turns into one of man versus nature, the latter being the obvious victor. It’s dedicated both to Mort and “all the Good People who resist the abuse of power in any form.” Have tissues on hand for this one; its final frames will have you crying tears of joy and despair. KS
Jiří Trnka’s THE GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK (Czech Animation Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Sunday, 3:30pm and Wednesday, 6pm
Jiří Trnka animates three episodes from Jaroslav Hasek’s beloved Czech saga of a seemingly hapless but ever-cheerful and unflappable grunt wandering about the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. Svejk is an everyman who each higher-up assumes is a simpleton, but through every guileless act and innocent-sounding story Svejk exposes the lunacy and mendacity of wartime and the men who oversee it. This little man with the button nose and beatific smile has stayed dear to me ever since stories about him were read to me as a child. It is Joseph Lada’s 1920s illustrations—added and published after Hasek’s premature death—which I remember as well as any of the good soldier’s escapades. These illustrations served as crucial an inspiration to Trnka as Hasek’s text did. In addition to his signature wood and cloth dolls, Trnka employs paper cutouts to bring to life the adventures Svejk recounts to his alternately baffled and enraged superiors. While many of the particular conflicts Hasek skewers may be lost on those unfamiliar with the labyrinthine intrigues and machinations of World War I, the absurd arrogance and craven foolishness of men in power is a theme as resonant and evergreen today as it was in Hasek’s or Trnka’s time. As with so much of Trnka’s work, you often forget you’re watching animation. His mastery over the bits of wood, paper, ink, and cloth that make up the universe he’s created is such that he makes us experience it as an evocation our own world. (1954, 74 min, DCP Digital) DS
Also showing this week is Trnka Shorts Program III (76 min, 35mm and DCP Digital), a program of short animated films directed or designed by Trnka and made between 1954-60, on Sunday at 2pm and Monday at 6pm.
Sara Driver’s BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (New Documentary)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Check Venue website for showtimes
Sara Driver’s ode to New York’s Lower East Side in the ‘70s begins with the voice of President Gerald Ford enunciating in his benign manner that there would be no bailout of the city, over a montage of burned out, crumbling blocks. While the nominal subject is the early years of an artist who overdosed at twenty-seven and whose work now goes for hundreds of millions, Driver is really making a portrait of a vital scene of painters, writers, musicians, and filmmakers who made a home of an area the rest of NYC (and the country) left for dead. Interviews with graffiti pioneer Lee Quinones, writer Luc Sante, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and others pay tribute to Basquiat and mourn his passing as well as that of the city they loved. This is at least the third feature-length documentary devoted to an artist whose career lasted less than ten years. Tamra Davis’s JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: THE RADIANT CHILD (2010) benefits from a wealth of interviews shot with the painter while he was still alive and David Shulman’s BASQUIAT: RAGE TO RICHES (2017) features insight from Basquiat’s sisters. But none of the three have gotten to the root of why Basquiat’s work became such a sensation. What Driver’s film does far better than the others is paint a picture of the time and place from which this artist emerged and without which his success would’ve been impossible. Driver wisely ends her film before Basquiat’s ascent up the Olympus of the art world and his premature, self-inflicted death as these will be familiar to anyone who’s ever seen an episode of VH1’s Behind The Music. The young genius type felled before his time is a cliché Basquiat fits to a T; whether his work warrants it or not is another matter. But there is plenty to love in Driver’s beautifully constructed and edited film no matter one’s opinion of Basquiat’s worth. (2017, 78 min, DCP Digital) DS
Zacharias Kunuk's ATANARJUAT: THE FAST RUNNER (Canadian Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) — Thursday, 7pm
Every era of cinema will be historicized sooner or later, even our current moment of Marvel spinoffs, rip-offs, and blow offs. So it is with the early 2000s, the nursery school of the then-nascent digital cinema devolution, recently unpacked by Anthology Film Archives and Screen Slate's repertory series "This is miniDV (on 35mm)." Despite heated industry rhetoric about the imminent junking of analog film projectors (which would take another decade—and the mafia-esque Virtual Print Fee kickback scheme—to come to fruition), the early prosumer digital milestones were largely exhibited theatrically in 35mm transfers. Using the primitive film-out technology developed to return computer-generated special effects to the realm of 35mm internegatives, these hybrid exhibition copies looked distinctively cruddy and otherworldly, especially the ones produced between 1999 and 2002. Harmony Korine's JULIEN DONKEYBOY married video noise and film grain in a singular swirl. Jean-Luc Godard took the exaggerated hues of analog video to a new apex in IN PRAISE OF LOVE. The aptly named InDigEnt (short for Independent Digital Entertainment) planted the flag for an American Dogme 95 movement with such deliberately ugly movies as TAPE and TADPOLE. Major international filmmakers like Wim Wenders showcased the Sony Digital BetaCam in the worst possible light with the indifferently photographed BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB. Soon enough, a new age of digital cinema would be ushered in with RUSSIAN ARK and STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES, which put a familiar 24 fps sheen on videography, inaugurating a style that sought to emulate celluloid in most of its particulars. Standing alone is Zacharias Kunuk's ATANARJUAT (the subtitle, THE FAST RUNNER, was added for the US), perhaps the only work of this confused era to demonstrate a video aesthetic fully conceived in unashamed, positive terms. Given the unique difficulties of shooting and processing celluloid in subzero temperatures, ATANARJUAT was the rare work to offer a practical justification to its chosen medium. (It was also, much publicized at the time, the first movie in the Inuktitut language; perhaps Mel Gibson's divisive efforts to advance Aramaic- and Mayan-language cinema diminished the novelty of this hook in subsequent years.) Unlike the American productions that hitched their wagon to the democratizing sales pitch of miniDV, ATANARJUAT was the work of videographers with deep experience in documentary filmmaking. It neither thumbs its nose at the possibility of cinematic beauty nor tries to feebly imitate the response curve of Kodak Vision 250D camera stock. There's no effort to hide the video-ness; when two men fight in an igloo, it has the unadorned, shaky-cam verité of an episode of Cops. (Its only real successor is the recent, unapologetically digital cinema of Michael Mann, particularly PUBLIC ENEMIES.) At its most compelling, ATANARJUAT is simultaneously pre- and post-cinematic—an embroidered work of oral tradition that skipped the 20th century entirely to take up the tools of the 21st. Its sequences aren't cut together with the typical just-so art-house purposefulness; even the centerpiece of the ATANARJUAT, the sequence where our titular hero dashes naked across the ice sheets, eschews the grammar of conventional decoupage for long takes that preserve the primacy of the frame. That ATANARJUAT was released on 35mm (and lengthened by several minutes when the 30 fps original had to be converted to 24 fps) is an aberration of its historical moment. Sadly, its $3.8m North American box office gross is probably best regarded in the same light; would a movie like this find theatrical distribution today, or gross a fraction of its original total? Atanarjuat remains a man out of time—and so does his movie. (2001, 172 min, 35mm) KAW
Alain Tanner’s IN THE WHITE CITY (Swiss Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Saturday, 3pm and Thursday, 6pm
The Siskel Center concludes their month-long Alain Tanner series with the last of the director’s films to receive a significant U.S. release, IN THE WHITE CITY. The film builds upon the theme of nomadism introduced in Tanner’s MESSIDOR and returns to the eroticism of his THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD. As I noted last week, every movie in the series explores alternative ways of living in modern, capitalist society, but usually finds them to be dead ends. Here, Bruno Ganz plays a German-speaking Swiss seaman who, on a whim, leaves his ship after docking in Lisbon and takes up a life of pleasure until his money runs out. He checks into a hotel above a bistro and casually enters into an affair with one of the employees. Their romance is intensely erotic but ultimately superficial; when it ends, Ganz finds himself with little sense of longing. Tanner often cuts to scenes of Ganz’s longtime girlfriend back in Switzerland, who reads the letters and watches the Super-8 movies he sends home. These cut-aways put the seaman’s adventures into a sober perspective, reminding us of the life he left behind. Indeed the whole movie feels somewhat clinical and detached, as if Tanner had lost faith in the idea of escape and was now looking at it skeptically. This almost-scientific perspective distinguishes WHITE CITY from Wim Wenders’ existential road movies of the 1970s, to which it bears thematic similarities. Whereas Wenders found solace in friendship and pop culture, Tanner eschews any sentimental feeling—even the sex feels devoid of meaningful connection. Yet the film is not a heavy experience, as Tanner drifts from one episode to another with the agility of his hero. This sense of openness is the flipside of the film’s rootless despair. Tanner understands how the anonymity of modern, urban life can lead to a loss of self, but he also recognizes the exciting possibilities of being a stranger. (1983, 108 min, 35mm) BS
Bill Gunn’s GANJA AND HESS (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Friday, 8:15pm and Tuesday, 8pm
Bill Gunn’s experimental, avant-garde horror masterpiece, GANJA AND HESS, makes its way to the Siskel in a stunning 4K restoration this week. Any screening of this movie is cause for celebration, not least because it almost never existed in the first place. Its original producers, Kelly/Jordan Enterprises, were eager to capitalize on the commercial viability of BLACULA, which was released the year prior. Gunn, who was a fixture in the NYC theater scene, and had written the screenplay for Hal Ashby’s THE LANDLORD, was tapped for the project. Though he was leery of working in the Blaxploitation genre, Gunn saw an opportunity to use studio resources to bring about his own audacious vision. The result, despite winning the Critics Prize at Cannes in 1973, was a wholesale departure from the script approved by Kelly/Jordan, who subsequently sold the film, which lead to it being cut from 112 to 78 minutes and re-released under the guise of a handful of other titles like BLOOD COUPLE, DOUBLE POSSESSION, and so on. The original version was virtually unavailable for decades until MoMA restored a 35mm negative several years ago, enabling a Kino-Lorber re-release. If the producers were expecting anything resembling a formulaic Blaxploitation movie—or, for that matter, something with any semblance of a conventional narrative—you can see why they were dismayed by the final product. GANJA AND HESS is less campy B-movie and more Ingmar Bergman or David Lynch, with a plot that’s deliberately enigmatic and driven by poetic symbolism. The film centers on Dr. Hess Green, an anthropologist stabbed by his deranged assistant (played by Gunn) with a diseased dagger from an ancient civilization, thereby causing him to metamorphose into a vampire (although the term “vampire” is never explicitly used throughout the film). The titular Ganja arrives not long after and is infected with the vampiric germ, prompting the couple to spend the rest of the film attempting to satiate their newfound bloodlust. It’s not hard to read vampirism in GANJA AND HESS as a thinly veiled metaphor for drug addiction, an interpretation that has been confirmed by producer Chiz Schultz, but there are deeper valences here. Tasked with making a Blaxploitation film, Gunn instead opted to use the trope of the vampire—a creature that’s all about sucking up human life force—to tell a story about the actual exploitation of black people throughout history. Gunn’s film is not didactic, though. Instead, his thesis is embedded within the visual syntax of the film, which employs elaborate montage editing techniques to subliminally display signifiers—including nooses, body bags, and copious amounts of blood—that conjure up the atrocities of racism throughout American history. Along the way, he interpolates surreal (flash)back to Africa imagery, religious symbolism, and shots of various artworks from the Brooklyn Museum (a commentary, I think, on the reification of living people into things). Moreover, the half-human/half-other hybridity of the vampire is used here by Gunn as an analog to decry the ways in which black people are systematically treated as less than human—put simply, GANJA AND HESS is a horror film made by a director who knew that reality is much more horrific than fiction. (1973, 112 mins, DCP Digital) HS
Terence Davies’ THE HOUSE OF MIRTH (British/American Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Friday, 7 and 9:30pm
Terence Davies’ second adaptation of an American novel (after THE NEON BIBLE in 1996) is a subtle period spectacle in the tradition of William Wyler. Based on a 1905 book by Edith Wharton, it follows heroine Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson) as she descends the social ladder, starting off as a socialite and ending up as a seamstress. Lily becomes acquainted with a fascinating gallery of men over the course of her journey (the excellent supporting cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Eric Stoltz, Terry Kinney, and Anthony LaPaglia); the relationships range from the quasi-romantic to the strictly financial, yet Wharton and Davies present them all as transactional in nature. Everyone is always trying to win something in THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, whether it’s sex, money, or respect—ultimately it’s a story about capitalism. Davies’ romantic style—with its sumptuous production design, graceful camera movements, and a musical flow of imagery—connotes a longing for something better than what we’re seeing, and this mood, sustained over the course of nearly two and a half hours, accumulates into a feeling of profound tragedy. (2000, 140 min, 35mm) BS
Raoul Peck’s THE YOUNG KARL MARX (New German)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Check Venue website for showtimes
Would the release of Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s THE YOUNG KARL MARX have even made a blip on the radar in the U.S. just over a decade ago? These were the pre-Great Recession, pre-Occupy, pre-Trump halcyon days. Marx? Who needs him?! Over the next few months and years, the answer would become clear: everybody. And that answer still resounds like a code red clarion call in our contemporary political climate, which explains the electric charge Peck’s film holds in 2018, when words like socialism and fascism don’t seem so antiquated stateside. Peck is no stranger to finding topical relevance in historical figures; part of what makes his 2017 documentary on James Baldwin, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, so compelling is the way the film lays painfully bare how little progress we’ve made in vanquishing racism since Baldwin’s time. On the one hand, it’s shocking that this film hasn’t been made before, a testament, no doubt, to Marx’s taboo status. Curiously, he’s had only a handful of other onscreen incarnations, including a USSR 1966 propagandist biopic titled YEAR AS LIFE and Alexander Kluge's 570 minute NEWS FROM IDEOLOGICAL ANTIQUITY, most notably. Marx, arguably the most controversial (and misunderstood) thinker in modern history, is many things to many people—champion of the labor movement, bogeyman of the free market, grand architect of Soviet ideology, patron saint of graduate students everywhere—and Peck’s film sets out to achieve the admirable goal of separating man from myth. One of Marx’s most revolutionary claims was that material circumstances directly determine consciousness, and indeed, his theories of political economy did not occur in a vacuum. The film chronicles a formative period in Marx’s life as he and his family bounce around Europe, getting expelled from Prussia and Paris for political dissent before settling in London, where Marx penned his most famous work, The Communist Manifesto. This is not a portrait of Marx as demigod, but as a spunky, scrappy intellectual, so impoverished that he can barely feed his family, and discriminated against for his Jewish surname. Not only does the film do justice to the historical Marx, it also sheds light on the formative relationships that contributed to his thinking. His bromance with Friedrich Engels, a lifelong friend, collaborator, and benefactor, is front and center, but it’s the duo’s female counterparts who steal the show. Jenny von Westphalen Marx, who edited and transcribed her husband’s works, is clearly the shrewder, wittier partner here, while Engels’s better half, Mary Burns, an irreverent Irish factory worker with ties to underground labor organizations, provides an invaluable window onto the conditions of the working class. One can only fantasize about a different young Marx movie, helmed by Judd Apatow in the style of THE HANGOVER trilogy, that chronicles some of his, um, lesser known subversive antics, such as gallivanting around Berlin on a donkey, getting tossed in prison for public intoxication, and challenging a soldier to a duel. With the exception of a stunning tableau vivant that breaks the fourth wall, Peck’s movie is not Marxist when it comes to film form, like Godard’s Brechtian agitprop experiments LA CHINOISE and TOUT VA BIEN, or Eisenstein’s montage masterworks. At moments it has the feel of a stodgy period piece that the evil parents from GET OUT might pride themselves on seeing to bank some progressive capital, begging the question: can revolutionary ideas be transmitted in a decidedly non-revolutionary form? The movie is not, thankfully, intended to function as a lecture on Marxist philosophy, and while all the fuss about the Young Hegelians and competing conceptions of materialism might leave some viewers feeling alienated, Peck is careful not to veer into outright didacticism; even those unacquainted with Marx’s writings will be able to discern the broad strokes contours of his thought, e.g. private property is bad, profit equals exploitation, and so on. Marx’s communism was always envisioned as a global affair, and Peck’s film is an urgent reminder that collectivism remains possible amidst the torrent of jingoistic, isolationist rhetoric spewing from the White House. In short, this is not the best movie of the year so far, but it may very well be one of the most important. (2017, 114 min, DCP Digital) HS
Ceyda Torun’s KEDI (Contemporary Turkish Documentary)
Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook) – Wednesday, 1 and 7pm (Free Admission)
In Istanbul, Turkey, feral cats can be found everywhere; however, unlike the rats of our fair Chicago, these animals experience a peaceful co-habitation with the populace that, for some, borders on the reverential. KEDI packages Istanbul’s admiration for its felines in several vignettes and is meant for cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike. The stories told are uplifting. For some of the interviewees, these cats represent a tangential relationship between themselves and their beliefs in religious omnipotence. The cinematography found in KEDI is superb and beautiful. At times providing a cat’s eye view of the city, the camerawork bounces from rooftop to rooftop, scurries up trees, and dives down pathways that only the nimble footed could traverse. Combined with the staccato score, KEDI has succinct and upbeat tempo. The film follows seven cats’ lives and the nuances of their individual personalities are allowed to flourish on screen. Ceyda Torun explores the circumstances of how these animals came to become so prevalent in Istanbul and to paint a portrait of why their existence is a joyous thing for everyone. KEDI is the kind of film that gives essence to mankind’s love for cats and showcases all of the natural and urban beauty that can be found in Istanbul. (2016, 80 min, Digital Projection) KC
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
The Cinepocalypse genre film festival opened at the Music Box Theatre on Thursday and runs for another full week, through Thursday, June 28. Complete schedule at www.musicboxtheatre.com.
Black Cinema House (at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) presents the shorts program BCH Mixtape: Vol. 4 (Unconfirmed Total Running Time, Digital Projection) on Friday at 7:30pm. Free admission.
Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents Chicas de Hoy: Screening & Panel on Sunday at 1pm; and Drama3 : Telenovela’s Trace in Latina Video Art Screening on Wednesday at 6pm. Free admission.
Filmfront (1740 W. 18th St.) screens Byambasuren Davaa’s 2005 German/Mongolian film THE CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG (93 min, Digital Projection) on Monday at 7pm.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Chloé Zhao’s 2017 film THE RIDER (104 min, DCP Digital) and Serge Bozon’s 2017 French film MRS. HYDE (95 min, DCP Digital) both play for a week.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Cory Finley’s 2017 film THOROUGHBREDS (92 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday at 7 and 9:30pm.
Facets Cinémathèque plays Sadaf Foroughi’s 2017 Iranian/Canadian/Qatari film AVA (103 min, Video Projection) for a week-long run.
The Chicago Cultural Center screens Phil Siegel’s 2017 documentary COMING OUT: A 50 YEAR HISTORY (60 min, Video Projection) on Saturday at 2pm; and hosts the Cinema/Chicago screening of P.J. Marcellino and Hermon Farahi’s 2017 Canadian music documentary WHEN THEY AWAKE! (90 min, Video Projection) on Wednesday at 6:30pm. Free admission.
The Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.) screens Teresa Constantini’s 2017 Argentinean film I TITA, A LIFE OF TANGO (112 min, DVD Projection) on Tuesday at 6pm. Free Admission.
The Alliance Française (54 W. Chicago Ave.) screens Frederick Wiseman’s 2011 documentary CRAZY HORSE (134 min, Video Projection) on Thursday at 6:30pm. Preceded by Benjamin Kegan’s 2009 short film TEAM TALIBAN (11 min).
ONGOING FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATIONS
Currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago: Cauleen Smith's single-channel video SPACE IS THE PLACE (A MARCH FOR SUN RA) (2001) is in the Stone Gallery; Gretchen Bender's eight-channel video installation TOTAL RECALL (1987) is in Gallery 289; Joan Jonas’ MIRROR PIECES INSTALLATION II (1969/2014) is in Gallery 293B; 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: June 22 - June 28, 2018
MANAGING EDITOR // Patrick Friel
ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Ben Sachs, Kathleen Sachs, Kyle A. Westphal
CONTRIBUTORS // Kyle Cubr, Dmitry Samarov, Harrison Sherrod