The 28th Chicago International Film Festival has its final screenings Friday through Sunday, October 23 through 25, at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. (Please note the added screenings of Sofie, occasioned by the fact that the print that originally arrived had only French subtitles; the print showing this weekend has English subtitles.) Tickets can be purchased at the festival store at Pipers Alley, 1608 N. Wells, and at the theater box office starting one hour before show time; they are also available by phone (for a service charge) at 559-1212 and 644-3456. General admission to most programs is $7, $6 for Cinema/Chicago members; the first show of the day before 6 PM is is $1 cheaper. For more information call 644-3456 (644-FILM).


Video Program III

Titles to be announced. (5:00)


Liv Ullmann makes a formidable debut as coscreenwriter and director of this rich, passionate, philosophical tale of a young Jewish woman (Karen-Lise Mynster) growing up in Copenhagen at the end of the 19th century. Will Sofie run away with the great love of her life, a Christian painter with a burning soul, or marry a likable dullard, who placates her religious family because he is an Orthodox Jew? Ullmann lets her tale unfold in a deliberate, leisurely, contemplative manner, over several decades of births and deaths, bar mitzvahs, and kosher meals. Erland Josephson, Ullmann’s perennial costar in Ingmar Bergman films, steals the movie in a remarkable performance as Sofie’s Orthodox father. This piece of deft story telling captured the jury prize at the 16th Montreal film festival in September. (Gerald Peary) (7:00)

Like Water for Chocolate

When Tita’s mother forbids her to marry her handsome young lover Pedro according to a family tradition that obliges the youngest daughter to stay at home to care and cook for her mother, Pedro marries the eldest daughter in order to stick around. But Tita, who cried in her mother’s womb when she smelled freshly chopped onions, is a magical cook: when she cries over the wedding cake her mother makes her bake, all the guests are overcome by tears; when she pricks her hands stripping rose petals for the sauce for a dish of grilled quail, erotic heat grips all who taste it, and the middle sister runs naked from the shower that has failed to cool her and into the arms of the rebel soldier who carries her off on horseback to a new life. Like Water for Chocolate, set on the Texas-Mexican border in 1910, is based on Laura Esquivel’s best-selling novel, which comes complete with recipes (just translated and publlshed by Doubleday). Esquivel’s husband, the great Mexican actor-director Alfonso Arau, has translated this delicious, humorous, and erotic magical realist fairy tale to the screen with delicacy and passion. A romantic epic that treats food with the respect it deserves, it satisfies: you won’t be hungry for more, you’ll be hungry for something else–like a great meal or a great love. (Meredith Brody) Winner of the Audience Choice Award. (9:30)



See listing under Friday, October 23. (noon)

Gold Hugo Shorts

Greg Masuak’s comic 50-minute Born With Glasses and Eric Mendelson’s 27-minute dramatic Through an Open Window, both from the U.S., and Koto Bolofo’s 20-minute French-African experimental A Table for Two. (3:00)

Dangerous Moves

The Soviet chess champion, an elderly Jew, battles a young dissident living in exile for the world title. Richard Dembo’s Swiss production won the 1985 Oscar for best foreign-language film; the cast includes Michel Piccoli, Alexandre Arbatt, Leslie Caron, Liv Ullmann, and Michel Aumont. (5:00)

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

One of Vittorio De Sica’s many post-neorealist comebacks (1970), this one, strong and popular enough to win an Oscar, is about a wealthy Jewish family in Ferrara in 1938 who blithely ignore the encroachment of Nazism until it’s too late. Based on a novel of the same title by Giorgio Bassani and attractively shot, this film catapulted Dominique Sanda to stardom and probably helped Helmut Berger along as well; with Lino Capolicchio, Fabio Testi, and Romolo Valli. (7:00)

Dream of Light

This Spanish film by Victor Erice will inevitably be compared to La belle noiseuse, Jacques Rivette’s masterpiece in which Michel Piccoli impersonates a painter who exhaustively sketches Emmanuelle Beart as she tirelessly bends her nude body into increasingly tortuous poses over four hours (two hours in the television version). Erice’s film follows his friend the Spanish realist painter Antonio Lopez as he tortuously (under a canopy in rain, laying boards over the mud when the rain stops) paints a beloved quince tree in his backyard, discarding one painting, starting another, as he tries to capture the elusive quality of Spain’s late-summer light (the original title translates to “Sun on the Quince Tree”). All the while he converses with artist friends, the builders next door, visiting collectors, and family about the work at hand. The art of the film gets inextricably mixed up with the painter’s art, the delicious languorous rhythm of the cutting confounded with the painter’s delicate brushwork. just as the inexplicable touches of white paint that Lopez carefully daubs day after day on the canvas eventually resolve into a coherent pattern of light and shadow, the film’s vagrant bits of information magically add up in the end to a consideration of life and love and beauty. Quite a lot for two hours and 18 minutes–there’s even a surprise in store, as the painter gets painted himself, and Erice moves us out into the velvet dusk of Madrid. It’s an extraordinary film. (Meredith Brody) Dream of Light, the festival’s grand-prize feature, will be preceded by screenings of the festival’s animation winner, Daniel Greaves’s Manipulation; experimental film winner, Koto Bolofo’s A Table for Two; and student-drama winner, Spiro Kyriacou’s Lark. (9:00)



See listing under Friday, October 23. (noon)

The Final Solution

A documentary about the Holocaust (1985) produced by Arthur Cohn, who will be present at the screening. (5:00)

Special Sneak Preview

A new American feature, Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant, will be screened. The festival’s closing night gala follows. (8:00)