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.
Bill Gunn’s PERSONAL PROBLEMS (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Saturday, 5pm and Tuesday, 6:15pm
A major influence on black independent filmmakers, Bill Gunn may be best known today as the screenwriter of Hal Ashby’s satirical THE LANDLORD and as the writer-director of the subversive horror film GANJA AND HESS. But PERSONAL PROBLEMS shows that Gunn was also adept at chamber drama—the movie conveys keen psychological insight and showcases several powerful performances. Imagined as an “experimental soap opera” and shot on 3/4-inch videotape, PROBLEMS achieves the intimacy of television while advancing a cinematic sweep; it develops such a comprehensive sense of black life in Harlem circa 1980 that it seems like a crucial document of its time. Author Ishmael Reed developed the story, but Gunn fleshed it out through improvisations with his remarkable cast. As Dave Kehr wrote of A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, it feels not made, but found, with Gunn capturing the messiness of life as it’s lived. The principal character is a middle-aged emergency room nurse named Johnnie Mae Brown (Vertamae Grosvenor). A southern transplant to New York, she’s a complicated figure, motivated to do good in the world but incapable of maintaining order in her personal life. Johnnie Mae argues constantly with her husband and her father-in-law (who lives with the couple in their cramped apartment) and recklessly cheats on her spouse. Gunn doesn’t editorialize on her actions, but rather embraces the character’s contradictions and establishes a rich social context that allows viewers to understand her motivations. Frequently he stops the narrative to have characters discuss their pasts and political concerns, giving PROBLEMS the feel of a case study. The title notwithstanding, the characters’ problems are social as well as personal, as Gunn shows how their feelings about social mobility, race relations, and the American political landscape impact their behavior. The movie raises more questions about the characters than it can possibly resolve, which is exactly the point—it’s a work intended to make you more curious about the world you inhabit. (1980-81, 165 min, DCP Digital) BS
Harmony Korine's SPRING BREAKERS (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre — Friday and Saturday, Midnight
In the light of day, GUMMO may be Harmony Korine’s more enduring, trailblazing achievement, and TRASH HUMPERS is surely his most gleefully, deviantly fascinating, but SPRING BREAKERS stands as his most shiny, indulgent, Day-Glo-drenched ticket to midnight movie infamy. Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez—self-consciously cast here as cast-outs from the corporate House of Mouse—are joined by Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine (wife of director Harmony) as part of an unholy foursome, vivid and bright, gunning for the ultimate spring break glory...until the path turns, almost imperceptibly, into something decidedly darker and looser. Leaning on an unmistakably specific, Floridian iconography of teen hedonism, and infiltrating the vibe of ‘90s cable television (American exceptionalism as filtered through MTV and Girls Gone Wild), SPRING BREAKERS was shrewdly recognized by critics, notably Steven Shaviro, for the radicalism behind its audiovisual experimentation and its formally innovative, recursive editing patterns. Korine’s maximalist aesthetic of flash-forwards, flashbacks, music montages, and mixed formats (from glorious anamorphic 35mm all the way down to VHS camcorder glitchiness) careens into a free association between themes of irony, sincerity, clichés about pop culture, clichés about spirituality, and clichés about co-ed sexuality, like a raunchy Rorschach blot for the midnight or multiplex spectator. The circular narrative structure of SPRING BREAKERS emphasizes the way that cinematic images and sounds not only acquire, but also importantly shed, their meanings when they are repeated ad nauseum. But by emphasizing the stimulation of feelings over meanings, does Korine successfully exploit the cult of spring break, or does he just do it to lull you into a stupor? In the music-video logic of formal rhymes, where endings turn back into beginnings, and you can see the end of the road as the same place you started from, innocence and objectification go hand-in-hand, no need to ask Is it feminist?. In the meantime, never has a Britney Spears song been so incisively, intelligently choreographed. Never has James Franco, starring as cosmic gangster/rapper Alien and a one-man minstrel show, looked so high off his own supply. Never has spring break looked so liberating and tedious at the same time, when the empty, endless drudgery of partying becomes its own punishment. This is where our story ends. Spring Break...for-ever. (2012, 94 min, 35mm) TTJ
William Dieterle’s THE JEWEL ROBBERY (American Revival)
Chicago Film Society (at Northeastern Illinois University, The Auditorium, Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.) – Tuesday, 7:30pm
This bauble of a romantic comedy stars William Powell as a gentleman robber whose heart is stolen by a bored aristocrat’s wife (Kay Francis) in Vienna circa 1930. Powell and his gang make fleecing the city’s premier jeweler a delightfully precise clockwork ballet, replete with synchronized, visually rhymed movement and endless smart-aleck patter. He prefers to disarm those in his path by drugging their cigarettes rather than strong-arming them. The result is all-around laughter, even from those who are on the losing end. Powell’s tuxedoed Robin Hood skewers the rich and powerful and has a blast doing so. Made before the Hays Code clamped down on lewd banter and illicit behavior in movies, the film bounces along on single entendres and a devil-may-care attitude towards consequences of any kind that don’t result in pleasure. Francis can’t quite match Powell’s impeccable timing the way Myrna Loy and Carole Lombard would a few years later in classics like MY MAN GODFREY (1936) or the Thin Man films but there is more than enough charm to make this brisk romp a joy throughout. It must have been quite a relief to watch something like this at the height of the Great Depression, when it was released. Preceded by James Parrott’s 1931 Laurel and Hardy short NIGHT OWLS (19 min, 16mm). (1932, 68 min, Archival 35mm Print) DS
Michael Curtiz’s MILDRED PIERCE (American Revival)
Music Box Theatre – Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am
In her journey from page to screen, Mildred Pierce underwent quite a transformation, going from long-suffering working woman who aimed to get stinko following her bratty daughter’s abandonment to a more genteel version played with painful elegance by Joan Crawford, whose Mildred is more hard-working than hard-living and for whom getting stinko simply means drinking whiskey straight. But the most bizarre iteration was likely William Faulkner’s, one of several writers (including Catherine Turney and Ranald MacDougall, who eventually received the screenwriting credit) brought on by producer Jerry Wald to attempt the feat. “Faulkner’s 101-page draft screenplay turned melodrama into Hollywood gothic,” writes Alan Rode in his book, Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. “Mildred sleepwalks with circles under her eyes that are found to be mascara, Veda swallows poison on her mother’s wedding night… [h]is sole contribution was the addition of Lottie, the… maid in the film who was portrayed by Butterfly McQueen.” More than just an interesting factoid, it highlights the nuances by which this woman’s picture-cum-noir classic could have been entirely different had someone else written it, begging an altogether separate question: what if someone else had directed it? Crawford’s Mildred is a housewife turned businesswoman who’s driven by a desire to win the affection of her oldest daughter, Veda (Ann Blyth). There are men, of course: first, her first husband, Bert, whom Mildred divorces after their marriage disintegrates due to her fixation and his philandering; along the way, Wally, a skeevy suitor who nevertheless helps get her restaurant franchise off the ground; and finally, Monte, a slick playboy who agrees to marry Mildred so she can sufficiently appease Veda’s desire to live the high life. Crawford is undoubtedly the glue holding all this together—previously considered “box office poison” at MGM, her performance in this Warner Brothers film is said to have revived her career, earning her the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role even though she was reportedly third choice to play Mildred after Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck. If Crawford is the glue in this picture—a mosaic of uneven elements, from the undue intensity of Blyth’s young villainess to the almost-too-brilliant comical asides from McQueen to the queer allure of Zachary Scott’s Monte—Curtiz would then be its assembler, the artiste taking pre-existing elements, elements perhaps better at home in another work but whose fate has sent them elsewhere, here, and piecing them together into something that appears cohesive. One might say that’s the job of any director, but Curtiz’s gift lies in his ability to make all those uneven pieces fit via a “workmanlike” finesse, to borrow a phrase from Don Druker’s Chicago Reader review. The result is at once artful and solid, appreciable for its goodness and admirable for the sense one gets that no one could have hoped for better. (1945, 111 min, 35mm) KS
Umetsugu Inoue’s THE GREEN MUSIC BOX (Japanese Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center - Friday, 6:15pm and Tuesday, 6pm
The final entry in the Gene Siskel Film Center’s four-film Umetsugu Inoue series, THE GREEN MUSIC BOX was the first theatrical feature shot using the three-strip Konicolor process, a one-time rival to Fujicolor invented by Konishi Roku. (Not much information is readily available about Konicolor or its inventor except for that it came about in 1948 and its projection method is subtractive.) Unavailable for preview, the film is described as a “musical action film for children” about a young girl who goes in search of her kidnapped parents along with three boys she meets on the way. It’s likewise described by film programmer and historian Tom Vick, who curated the series, as having "a WIZARD OF OZ vibe," according to the Siskel’s website. The unsubtitled trailer certainly evokes the whimsical majesty of that beloved classic; similarly to Victor Fleming’s cinematic paragon, THE GREEN MUSIC BOX is based on a children’s book, the eponymous novel by Makoto Hojo. Though not intended for adults, adding to its appeal is that it’s also screening in a restored 35mm print that’s unlikely to come around again, so be sure to make it out for this one. And hey, bring the kids—or at least your childlike enthusiasm for a bibelot curio on celluloid. (1955, 90 min, 35mm) KS
Slava Tsukerman’s LIQUID SKY (American Revival)
Gene Siskel Film Center — Check Venue website for showtimes
Written and directed by Soviet expat Slava Tsukerman in 1982, LIQUID SKY is an essential entry in the No Wave canon, a time capsule of the 1980s’ Downtown zeitgeist, and one of the most audacious and avant-garde sci-fi movies ever made. Aside from an epic four year run at the Waverly, the film has been otherwise difficult to see outside of occasional repertory showings, so its arrival on the big screen is a welcome sight. LIQUID SKY concerns an alien spacecraft that lands in downtown New York to feast on drug-induced euphoria, but finds that the orgasmic energy of the city’s bohemian club kids is even more potent, zapping up its victims post climax. Margaret, a WASP turned fashion model, mistakes the alien’s supernatural powers for her own, and begins to murder various sexual predators via intercourse. The film’s threadbare, amorphous plot is secondary to its iconic style and aesthetic, characterized by Day-Glo face paint, Bruce Nauman-esque neon signage, and flamboyant costumes, the influence of which can be seen on everyone from Lady Gaga to Nicolas Winding Refn. The most hallucinatory moments, however, are a series of analog image processing sequences meant to convey the alien’s perspective. Though it exudes the same DIY ethos as other No Wave films of the era, LIQUID SKY is more polished, and this 4K restoration does the film’s phantasmagoric cinematography justice. Tsukerman also composed the soundtrack, which is characterized by grating and minimal electronic rhythms that sound like Art of Noise in minor key, adding a further sense of harshness to the already bleak atmosphere. As a recent Fandor video essay points out, for millennial viewers (this one included) who associate New York City with the films of Noah Baumbach or GIRLS, the desolate, dystopian metropolis depicted here will feel foreign and otherworldly. The inherent problem with camp or exploitation cinema is that it can’t help but implicitly venerate what it purports to critique, and LIQUID SKY is both a celebration and an indictment of the vapid and vacuous Warholian glam culture that it portrays. Anne Carlisle’s phenomenal gender-bending performance as both Margaret—who proudly proclaims, “I kill with my cunt”—and her male nemesis Johnny, makes this an unabashedly queer and feminist film, however, there’s enough misogyny and sexual violence here to complicate its progressive politics. It’s worth noting LIQUID SKY was released on the cusp of the AIDS epidemic, and reading it retroactively, it’s difficult not to see the themes of fatal sex and drug use as a thinly veiled metaphor for that crisis, yet Tsukerman has said this wasn’t his intention. Metaphorical interpretations aside, LIQUID SKY is an experimental midnight movie par excellence and remains required viewing for its trippy visuals alone. (1982, 112 min, DCP Digital) HS
Eric Rohmer’s LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON [aka CHLOE IN THE AFTERNOON] (French Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Friday, 7 and 9:30pm
Each of the films in Eric Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales” cycle tells more or less the same story: a man who’s attached to one woman becomes tempted by another, mulls on his attraction, and ultimately decides to remain faithful to the first. Yet this premise proved inexhaustible for the French writer-director, who employed it to consider subjects ranging from social mobility (in SUZANNE’S CAREER) to Catholicism (in MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S) to the art-making process (in CLAIRE’S KNEE). In LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (originally released in the U.S. as CHLOE IN THE AFTERNOON), Rohmer considers nothing less than human beings’ place in the universe, advancing a cosmic perspective that encourages viewers to meditate on notions of free will and social organization. The film’s prologue introduces Frédéric, a thirtysomething lawyer who lives in the suburbs of Paris with his infant daughter and schoolteacher wife, who’s pregnant with a second child. Short, briskly edited scenes lay out Frédéric’s daily routine, his primary relationships, and his innermost thoughts—it’s as though Rohmer is presenting him from the vantage point of a curious, compassionate God. Frédéric admits in his narration that he fantasizes about other women, but adds that he wouldn’t dare cheat on his wife; he doesn’t want to disrupt the comfortable life he’s created. Yet disruption—or at least the threat of disruption—appears in the form of Chloé, the former girlfriend of one of Frédéric’s old college friends. The free-spirited Chloé returns to Paris after several years abroad and seeks out Frédéric in search of a job; they start meeting regularly during his lunch breaks, becoming exceedingly close. Their conversations are sexy and probing in classic Rohmer fashion, and the leads generate intoxicating chemistry. But though the film creates suspense from the question of whether the two will sleep together, its real concern is the extent to which Frédéric values the bond of monogamy that he claims to value so highly. This bond means more to Frédéric—and to Rohmer—than just his marriage; it represents his connection to the entire social order. That order may be somewhat arbitrary (“If I lived in a polygamous society, I would be polygamous,” Frédéric says to Chloé late in the film), but it gives meaning to life nonetheless. In choosing monogamy, the hero makes more than a moral decision; he reaffirms his footing in a universe that can so easily erupt into chaos. What’s most remarkable about the film is the gentleness with which Rohmer approaches these heavy ideas, easing viewers into philosophical meditation with the effortlessness of a master. (1972, 98 min, DCP Digital) BS
Maren Ade's EVERYONE ELSE (German Revival)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Friday, 7 and 9:30pm
Chris and Gitti, a sensitive couple with little discernible ambition, come apart during a lazy vacation in Sardinia, though their dissolution isn't the result of violent flare-ups so much as personal insecurities and deep-seated passive-aggression. In synopsis, Maren Ade's second feature sounds like the sort of low-budget relationship drama we've come so accustomed to forgetting in recent years; and, indeed, its opening stretches look out over a great pitfall of solipsism. But EVERYONE ELSE displays rare patience and its insights are well worth waiting for. It becomes apparent, for instance, that this seemingly aimless film is actually moving at a pace unique to its main characters—who, like many newly-serious couples, operate on their own time, governed in part by libido but just as much by curiosity, a willingness to drop everything for the revelation of a lover's secret, a shared discovery, a new inside joke. (It should be noted that Ade is as deliberate in her handling of time as Bela Tarr.) It's also revealed that what appeared to be the filmmakers' solipsism is actually the characters' denial of certain hard realities; and, in fact, this revelation becomes the driving force of the entire film. Chris and Gitti are well aware of the middle-class lifestyle they're trying to escape—it's the source of the film's title—as well as darker philosophic issues most everyone spends adult life trying to avoid. The film contains several monologues of self-examination reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman's chamber dramas, probably the closest point-of-reference for Ade's psychological examination, and the leads respond to the material with performances of uncommon complexity. Needless to say, this sort of filmmaking is an acquired taste (It requires that you see universal angst even in these thirty-something fuck-ups), but Ade and her cast are so thorough in their characterizations that even irritated viewers should be impressed with their perceptiveness; those receptive to their mission should find this downright unsettling. Once the couple's happiness is proven to be unsustainable, EVERYONE ELSE proceeds with the anxious tension of a horror movie. Every revelation of character carries a sense of unspoken threat, a nervousness that's in no way diminished by the sexiness of the leads or the edenic palette of Bernhard Keller's 35mm photography. (2009, 119 min, 35mm) BS
Matt Tyrnauer’s CITIZEN JANE: BATTLE FOR THE CITY (Documentary Revival)
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago — Friday, 6pm
Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary has a clear hero in journalist and urban advocate Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) and an obvious villain in city planner Robert Moses (1888-1981). The battle between the two is traced succinctly by a series of historians and experts as a clash of top-down authoritarianism versus street-level activism. Jacobs argued for a human-centered theory of civic organization in her journalism and her landmark book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). Her critique was largely inspired by seeing what Moses’ bulldozing of neighborhoods had done to her beloved New York City. While urban renewal was inspired by idealistic Modernist thinkers like Le Corbusier (1887-1965), who believed a clean, orderly plan would improve the life of city dwellers, in practice it resulted in vertical ghettos and desolate, dangerous streets. It also disproportionately affected minority and immigrant populations. “Urban renewal is negro removal,” says James Baldwin in one appropriately blunt sound clip. Jacobs helped defeat Moses’ plan to build a Mid-Town Manhattan Expressway, which would have leveled iconic neighborhoods like SoHo, but his legacy of grim mega-cities, tied together by endless expressways is in full flower today in China and elsewhere. This film is a good primer for anyone interested in the history and the future of urban living, which should be everyone. Jacob’s vision of city life as an intricate ballet in which every participant plays a vital role is hopeful, inspiring, and more necessary than ever today. Followed by a discussion. (2016, 92 min, Digital Projection) DS
Henri-Georges Clouzot's LE CORBEAU & QUAI DES ORFÈVRES (French Revivals)
Gene Siskel Film Center – Friday, 2pm, Saturday, 3pm, Monday, 7:45pm, and Wednesday, 3pm (Corbeau); Friday, 4pm, Saturday and Wednesday, 5pm, and Thursday, 6pm (Quai)
The Nazi-run film Continental Films might've taken its production orders from Joseph Goebbels, but it must have had one heck of a lazy oversight committee, considering it let slip three bleak anti-Occupation films in 1943 alone: Maurice Tourneur's LE VAL D'ENFER, André Cayatte's blatantly Socialist Zola adaptation SHOP GIRLS OF PARIS and, most famously, LE CORBEAU. Actually, LE CORBEAU is so bleak and bitter, it passed for an anti-Resistance film and got lead actor Pierre Fresnay imprisoned for six months after the Liberation. A big ball of Gallic gall, Clouzot's poison-pen drama centers on a series of anonymous letters that implicate the citizens of an anonymous town in all sorts of indiscretions. The director's misanthropic wit treats the thriller characters as something close to comic types and turns the town into a carousel of caricatures; accusations go 'round and 'round against the backdrop of André Andrejew's carefully detailed production design. (1942, 92 min, DCP Digital) IV
Viewers turned off by the screeching allegory of LE CORBEAU and dumbstruck machismo of WAGES OF FEAR would do well to check out Clouzot's most accomplished and least characteristic film, QUAI DES ORFÈVRES. (Cine-File contributor Ignatius Vishnevetsky once accurately described QUAI as "the only one of Clouzot's major works that could ostensibly be called 'humanist,' and even then only by a stretch.") Largely ignored in America until 2003, this continually surprising and playfully frustrating work is a lousy mystery thriller, a suspiciously flattering post-colonial national portrait, and a quite superior character study. In other words, it breaks the genre paradigm, rendering the poetic realism of LE JOUR SE LÈVE and LE QUAI DES BRUMES inoperable and trite. QUAI DES ORFÈVRES justifies the then-recent coinage of 'film noir,' a designation that moves our sense of genre towards aesthetic and atmospheric considerations and away from rote commercial expectations. And Clouzot delivers atmosphere in spades: QUAI DES ORFÈVRES is a veritable diorama of the demimonde, its authenticity accepted automatically and unconsciously. In its cavernous music hall, the stripteasers mingle with the trained dogs and horse acts, the camaraderie of the trade evoked by every backstage glance and gesture. But don't let the slick and sleazy milieu obscure the emotional core. Everyone has their reasons, as Renoir declared, but the mystery of those reasons—the inexplicable resilience of conjugal devotion, the tranquil recognition of a love that will never be, the respect that one hard-hearted professional harbors for another—is what makes QUAI DES ORFÈVRES an inexhaustibly rich panorama of post-war reconciliation. (1947, 107 min, DCP Digital) KAW
Anna Rose Holmer’s THE FITS (Contemporary American)
Black Cinema House (at the Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave.) – Friday, 7:30pm (Free Admission)
Despite its quiet peculiarity, Anna Rose Holmer’s THE FITS is a veritable “hysterical text,” as once written about by critic Susan Morrison and expanded upon by Robin Wood in his essay on Vincente Minnelli’s MADAME BOVARY. This makes its quietness even more pronounced, setting it apart from other similarly burnished contemporary films that rely on silence to convey meaning that perhaps isn’t there. The young protagonist, Toni (played by auspiciously talented newcomer Royalty Hightower), is also quiet, shy in a way that only preteen girls can be, though that doesn’t stop her from joining the drill team at her community center after watching them from afar while helping out around her brother’s boxing gym. What initially posits itself as a straightforward coming-of-age story soon becomes something of a psychological thriller after members of Toni’s squad start experiencing inexplicable convulsions. They keep happening to more and more of the girls—just the girls, not the boys—until the unaffected begin to wait their turn, patiently, almost enthusiastically. It’s hysteria in the truest sense of the word, and even the sexist implications of the condition are referenced; Toni’s brother tells her not to worry, that it’s all in their heads, even singling out one of the older girls as being “the craziest one out of all of them.” Wood aptly observes that “[b]roadly speaking, hysteria...in its more wider, popular sense than in its strictly psychoanalytic one...can be seen as a response to the frustration of the desire for power—the power, at least, to make one’s own decisions, control one’s destiny, achieve a measure of personal autonomy.” (Because he’s writing about Minnelli’s MADAME BOVARY, Wood connects these underpinnings of female hysteria to the woman’s melodrama; THE FITS is most certainly a hysterical text but definitely not a melodrama, at least not in the traditional sense. This is another way in which the film sublimates unfair categorization.) His assessment is especially poignant in light of whose story THE FITS is telling. Toni and her friends are young African American girls whose economic situations are hinted at as being less than desirable. Naturally, their frustration would be understandable on many levels, even when it’s suggested that some of them may be faking it—unlike Madame Bovary, it’s not their inherent creativity that’s being stifled, but their very personhood. In keeping with the references to Minnelli’s underrated masterpiece, one must note the final dance number that’s comparable to set pieces from his more musically inclined work. Just one more thing that will stay with you after watching this singular film. Also as impressive as the story and performances is its mise-en-scene; Holmer is no mere stylist—she’s an emerging auteur. (2015, 72 min, Digital Projection) KS
MORE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
Chicago Filmmakers (5720 N. Ridge Ave.) presents Emily Esperanza's Wretched Woman (2015-17, approx. 72 min total, Digital Projection), a program of short films by the formerly-local filmmaker, with Esperanza in person.
Den Theatre (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.) hosts the Wretched Nobles shorts program Bon Voyage: Travels Through Lands, Space, and Time on Tuesday at 9pm.
The Goethe-Institut Chicago (150 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 200) screens Fatih Akin’s 2002 German film SOLINO (124 min, Video Projection) on Thursday at 6pm. Free admission.
Also at the Gene Siskel Film Center this week: Vivian Qu’s 2017 Chinese film ANGELS WEAR WHITE (107 min, DCP Digital) and Tiffany Bartok’s 2017 documentary LARGER THAN LIFE: THE KEVYN AUCOIN STORY (103 min, DCP Digital) have week-long runs; Trnka Shorts Program IV (1962-65, 84 min total, DCP Digital), featuring four of the Czech animator Jiri Trnka’s short films, is on Sunday at 2pm and Monday at 6pm; and Trnka’s 1959 feature A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (72 min, 35mm) is on Sunday at 3:45pm and Wednesday at 3:15pm.
Also at Doc Films (University of Chicago) this week: Manuel José Álvarez and Nicolás Buenaventura’s 1997 Columbian film LA DEUDA (90 min, 35mm) is on Thursday at 7pm.
At the Music Box Theatre this week: David and Nathan Zellner’s 2018 film DAMSEL (113 min, DCP Digital) opens; Bart Layton’s 2018 film AMERICAN ANIMALS (91 min, DCP Digital) continues; Jennifer Peedom’s 2017 Australian documentary MOUNTAIN (74 min, DCP Digital) is on Saturday and Sunday at 11:45am; Ron Clements and John Musker’s 1992 Disney animated film ALADDIN (90 min, Unconfirmed Format) is on Tuesday at 7pm; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2015 music film JUNUN (54 min, DCP Digital) is on Thursday at 9:30pm, preceded by Anderson’s 2016 Radiohead music video DAYDREAMING (6 min, 35mm).
Facets Cinémathèque plays Licínio Azevedo’s 2016 Mozambican/Brazilian/Portuguese film THE TRAIN OF SALT AND SUGAR (93 min, Video Projection) for a week-long run.
Comfort Film at Comfort Station Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) presents an outdoor screening of Victor Sjöström's THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (1921, 104 min, Video Projection), with live musical accompaniment by The Blood Sisters, on Wednesday at 8:30pm. Free admission.
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 29 - July 5, 2018
MANAGING EDITOR // Patrick Friel
ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Ben Sachs, Kathleen Sachs, Kyle A. Westphal
CONTRIBUTORS // Tien-Tien Jong, Dmitry Samarov, Harrison Sherrod, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky