Herewith, my (and his_regard's) schedule as we know it for this year's Chicago International Film Festival. Consider this an open invite to show up and watch with us. All shows are at the River East 21 AMC downtown.
Friday, October 7
5:45 p.m. King of Devil's Island (Marius Holst, Norway/France) Mutiny at a reform school in 1915 put down by gunfire. Take that, Dead Poet's Society.
8:50 p.m. The Giants (Bouli Lanners, Belgium) A Belgian Huck Finn; two brothers left alone to have adventures in the countryside -- with a drug dealer as the King and Duke combined.
11:15 p.m. Rabies (Aharon Keshales, Israel) Israel's first slasher/splatter/what's that in the woods chasing us flick.
Saturday, October 8
2:40 p.m. Michael (Markus Schleinzer, Austria) A robin_d_laws recommendation! "Unassuming insurance man's affinity for routine detail assists him as he keeps a young boy imprisoned in his basement. Wickedly matter-of-fact take on the banality of evil can safely be called the most restrained horror film in movie history."
10:40 p.m. A Lonely Place To Die (Julian Gibley, UK) Highland-set ordeal thriller looks like it might be The Wicker Man updated to the Neil Marshall era. Cross fingers! Or don't, if that means you'll be killed by Druids.
Sunday, October 9
12:30 p.m. On the Edge (Leila Kilani, Morocco/Germany) Girls stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in Tangier make a play for the "Free Zone" in what might be a sense-of-place crime thriller, or some of that.
8:30 p.m. Kaidan Horror Classics (Masayuki Ochiai, Shinya Taukamoto, Lee Sang-ii, Hirokazu Kore-Eda; Japan) Anthology of short chillers based on classic Japanese horror stories.
Monday, October 10
3:40 p.m. Day Is Done (Thomas Imbach, Switzerland) Fifteen years of camera footage of one spot in Zurich meshes with fifteen years of answering machine messages to build a portrait of a place and time.
Tuesday, October 11
3:00 p.m. The Jewel (Andrea Molaioli, Italy) Corporate intrigue thriller, with a full day's serving of dairy.
6:00 p.m. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Johnnie To, Hong Kong) Robin got the new crime movie; we get the romantic comedy. I will allow it.
10:15 p.m. The Whisperer In Darkness (Sean Branney, USA) Period adaptation of Lovecraft's great Fortean horror tale, shot as if made by Universal in the year the novella came out (1931). Attendance at this showing is mandatory. It will be in the test.
Wednesday, October 12
6:10 p.m. Wild Bill (Dexter Fletcher, UK) A gangster Western set in the East End of London. It's like they know me or something.
8:30 p.m. Smuggler (Katsuhito Ishii, Japan) A man in debt to the Yakuza is forced to smuggle dead bodies. Of course nothing goes wrong whatsoever.
Thursday, October 13
6:10 p.m. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) It's amazing how easy it is to get me to go see your movie if you just put a Sergio Leone reference in the title. This one begins as a police procedural and spirals into a drama of perception, truth, and reality.
Friday, October 14
3:15 p.m. Chico & Rita (Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, and Fernando Trueba; Spain) Animated feature set in Havana against a theme of Afro-Cuban jazz.
5:40 p.m. Nobody Else But You (Gerald Hustache-Mathieu, France) Cozy mystery set in a strange small Swiss town; Maigret meets Twin Peaks?
8:00 p.m. The Silver Cliff (Karim Ainouz, Brazil) Sense-of-place film for Rio; the city reflects the changing mood of the protagonist trying to find out why her husband left her.
10:00 p.m. Haunters (Min-suk Kim, South Korea) If the words "South Korean mind-control thief adventure" mean nothing to you, then by all means skip this. Because you're dead and dead people can't enjoy movies.
Saturday, October 15
12:10 p.m. The Destiny of Lesser Animals (Deron Albright, Ghana/USA) Ghanaian noir? The hunt for a stolen forged passport takes Ghanaian policeman through the seamy side of Accra.
9:40 p.m. Snowtown (Justin Kurzel, Australia) My father figure is a serial killer! Psychological thriller ensues, as well it might.
Sunday, October 16
3:00 p.m. Play (Ruben Östlund, Sweden) Another robin_d_laws recommendation! "Pre-teen trio gets dragged across Gothenburg by bullying, older immigrant kids. Coolly upsetting crime docudrama takes a despairing look at Swedish race relations." Not precisely how I wanted to see Gothenburg again, but I'll take what I can get.
Tuesday, October 18
6:00 p.m. Love Is In The Air (Simon Staho, Denmark) If Douglas Sirk made a musical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, only in Denmark, this might be it.
8:50 p.m. Target (Alexander Zeldovich, Russia) Every year we give a Russian film a shot. This is the year of the Russian film about the fountain of youth, aphrodisiacs, alignment goggles, and secret military compounds. Yes, it's Anna Karenina 2020.