October 10th, 2021


CIFF Me As Though It Were The Last Time

I've split my attendance at the Chicago International Film Festival between virtual and in-person screenings, the latter of which appear below. Bereft as I will be this year of the boon companionship of his_regard (work thing) I turn to my Friends community to step into the vacant boon slot and slip into the vacant seat next to me at any of:

Thu, Oct 14, 2021

BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION (US, Jacob Gentry) Video archivist becomes obsessed, paranoid thriller-style, with a mysterious masked intruder captured in old TV broadcasts. [9:30 PM, Music Box Theatre]

Tue, Oct 19, 2021

IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE (South Korea, Hong Sangsoo) Actress returning to Korea conceals a mystery -- or does she? Dramatic doings, doubtless, in the Fest's (*sighs heavily*) only Korean film. [7:00 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center]

Wed, Oct 20, 2021

THE BETA TEST (US, Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe) Hollywood weasel lured into anonymous sexual liaison goes slowly berserk. A paranoid dark-comic sex thriller from the auteur of WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW. [3:30 PM, AMC River East 21 #9]

PETITE MAMAN (France, Céline Sciamma) On an idyllic vacation, young Nelly meets her own mother as a girl, or does she? By the director of PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE. [5:30 PM, AMC River East 21 #11]

Thu, Oct 21, 2021

THE LAST EXECUTION (Germany, Franziska Stünkel) Scientist Walter goes to work for the Stasi in 1981 and eventually repents; looks like an estimably white-knuckle psychological pressure cooker. [5:15 PM, AMC River East 21 #7]

SUNDOWN (Mexico, Michel Franco) Tim Roth plays a man suspended in the weird limbo of a Mexican seaside resort; may be a hangout film, might be a mystery. [8:15 PM, AMC River East 21 #11]

Fri, Oct 22, 2021

MAD GOD (US, Phil Tippett) Stop-motion animated weird war film about a lone soldier in a nightmare battlefield. Sounds Carcosa-ish maybe, wildly inventive definitely. [10:30 PM, AMC River East 21 #4]

Sat, Oct 23, 2021

MEMORIA (Colombia, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Tilda Swinton plays a woman living in Bogotá haunted by a weird sound. Guaranteed to be beautiful, strange, and slow as whatever Colombia has instead of molasses. For extra fun, the director swears this film will *never* come to streaming. [2:00 PM, AMC River East 21 #11]

Sun, Oct 24, 2021

THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION (UK, Mark Cousins) Brings the acclaimed 2011 TV series up to date, one hopes with a big wet kiss to South Korea for saving the art form just before the streaming wars can kill it. [12:45 PM, AMC River East 21 #4]

ONE SECOND (China, Zhang Yimou) In Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution, an escaped prisoner and a local girl jockey with the town projectionist for a revelatory film reel. SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE but with Mao instead of Franco? Daringly exploring the power of film in a totalitarian hell; one hopes Zhang doesn't have any Pooh dolls in his house. [4:45 PM, AMC River East 21 #11]

For the 'satiably curious, I'm also streaming the NKVD atonement thriller CAPTAIN VOLKONOGOV ESCAPED; Weimar hangout flick FABIAN: GOING TO THE DOGS; Spanish were-horror tale THE HOUSE OF SNAILS; Chicago food god doc LOVE, CHARLIE: THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLIE TROTTER; self-explanatory doc OSCAR MICHEAUX: THE SUPERHERO OF BLACK FILMMAKING; portmanteau romance PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT; Filipino urban magic realist post-disaster film WHETHER THE WEATHER IS FINE; Italian teen girl vs Mafia movie A CHIARA; Mexican hybrid corruption doc A COP MOVIE; and the After Dark horror shorts.