Now in its second week, the European Union Film Festival continues through Sunday, February 22, at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Screenings through Thursday, February 19, are listed below; admission is $6, $3 for Film Center members. For further information call 312-443-3737.



At the center of this sleek, unsentimental drama, which contains many more references and self-references than I could recognize, is has-been comedian Franco Melis (Massimo Boldi), long ago acquitted of a criminal charge but never forgiven by the public. He’s the lead in a serious feature that’s in competition at the Venice film festival and is ambivalent about attending, but he goes–with a tiny entourage, including a hanger-on (Isabelle Pasco) who sets about making better connections as soon as they get there. Melis and a festival judge (Alberto di Stasio) share a complicated past, and both men are expressive in acknowledging the awkwardness of their relationship; one of the most moving scenes involves the two sneaking glances at each other during a screening. A son, from whose mother Melis is estranged, avidly follows news reports about his father’s chances of being selected best actor. Melis’s often humiliating experiences are depicted with conviction and generosity, and though highly manipulative, the story is a satisfying rendition of an event whose hype it both perpetuates and explodes. Directed by Pupi Avati, who wrote the screenplay with Antonio Avati, Giorgio Gosetti, Doriano Fasoli, and Nino Marino. (LA) (6:00)

Black Dju

Pol Cruchten’s 1996 feature from Luxembourg charts the friendship between a young man from the Cape Verde Islands (Flora-Praxo) looking for his father and a lonely police detective (Philippe Leotard) who helps him out. (8:00)


The Bachelor

Nick Panayatopoulos directed this 1996 Greek thriller set in contemporary Athens, about a man whose 35-year-old wife disappears and becomes an expensive hooker. (3:30)

Will It Snow for Christmas?

Sandrine Veysset once worked as a chauffeur for French director Leos Carax; her 1996 autobiographical film, about a single mother of seven at a family-run produce farm in Provence, won a Cesar (the French equivalent of an Oscar) for best first feature. The film is slated for a commercial run in Chicago later this year. (6:00)

Everything Must Go

Flemish director Jan Verheyen will attend this screening of his 1996 comic road movie, which he and Christophe Dirickx adapted from the Belgian best-seller by gay author Tom Lanoye. With Stany Crets and Peter Van den Begin. (7:45)


Nature’s Warrior

Swedish documentarist Stefan Jarl directed this fictional adventure about a 13-year-old who finds a secret hiding place in the woods where his imagination can flourish. (2:00)


Jan Troell’s 1996 biopic about the Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian author Knut Hamsun (Max von Sydow), who was convicted of treason at age 86 because of his pro-Nazi views during World War II. This 160-minute Danish-Swedish-Norwegian-German coproduction will open commercially in Chicago later this year. (4:00)

How to Cheat on the Leaving Certificate

A 1997 Irish comedy about six friends conspiring to help a friend cheat on a comprehensive exam. Produced, directed, and written by Graham Jones. (7:00)


Small Time

See Critic’s Choice. (6:00)

Adam and Eve

A popular and controversial Portuguese feature (1996) directed by Joaquim Leitao about a 30-year-old TV star (Maria de Madeiros) in love with another woman but determined to have a baby. (7:30)