Posted inFilm

Welcome to Sarajevo

Much anticipated at the 1997 Cannes festival, where it was received with quiet disappointment, this film by Michael Winterbottom provides yet another cinematic perspective on the war in Bosnia—the most tepid contribution to the genre to date. Combining fiction, news footage, and reenactments of actual events, the film tells the story of a British journalist’s […]

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Foxy Brown

With her strong, chiseled features and take-no-prisoners attitude, Pam Grier was the best of the blaxploitation heroines of the 70s, transcending the tawdriness of vehicles like this one through sheer presence. She gamely bears the weight of this 1974 feature’s ideological inconsistency, functioning simultaneously as heroine and victim, avenger and sex kitten, conscience of the […]

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The Man Without a Past

Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki perfects his trademark formula of deadpan humor and arctic circle pathos in this brilliantly ironic 2002 comedy. After arriving in Helsinki by late-night train, a thuggish middle-aged man is beaten to a pulp, left unconscious in a park, and ends up an amnesiac shell in a waterfront squatters’ camp where Scandinavian […]

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My Mother’s Smile

In his best film in years, Marco Bellocchio crafts a stringently moral tale (2002) that carries a hint of horror, as if his hero had caught a whiff of hellfire. Ernesto (Sergio Castellitto, in a broodingly charismatic performance) is awakened one morning by a Vatican emissary who reveals that Ernesto’s deceased mother, a woman of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Be True To the School

Dear Reader: Patrick Z. McGavin’s piece “Film Threat” in the April 30 issue inadvertently gave the impression that the Film Center’s move in the fall of 2000 will involve severing ties with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Just to clarify, the Film Center is a public program of the School of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago International Film Festival

Friday, October 10 Private Confessions Private Confessions was scripted by the retired Ingmar Bergman, who seems to delight in having other filmmakers expand on his parents’ private lives. Pernilla August and Samuel Froler reprise the roles of Anna and Henrik Bergman they played in Bille August’s 1989 The Best Intentions, with Bergman standby Max von […]

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29th Chicago International Film Festival: The Week’s Worth

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8 Rudy A worthy addition to the “faith, grit, and hard work conquers all” genre that includes Rocky and Hoosiers (which was directed by David Anspaugh and written by Angelo Pizzo, the same team that created Rudy). This is a surprisingly involving, deceptively straightforward story of an average–maybe less-than-average–guy who dreams of going […]