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Noi Albinoi

Writer-director Dagur Kari’s 2003 feature debut is a tale of alienated youth set among the fjords of Iceland. Noi (Tomas Lemarquis) is a disaffected albino teen who lives with his grandmother in a snowbound, claustrophobic village far removed from hip Reykjavik. He struggles to get along with his alcoholic father, fights with the narrow-minded authorities […]

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Four Days in September

Brazil’s entry for the 1997 Academy Awards, this is the kind of controlled, authentic political drama nobody makes anymore. Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands) returns to an incident in Brazil’s history that continues to resonate: in 1969 a Marxist guerrilla cadre kidnapped the American ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick, and demanded […]

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Roberto Succo

French filmmaker Cedric Kahn’s sweeping, almost epic 2001 re-creation of the life of a notorious Italian-born serial killer, whose major mayhem occurred in the 1980s along the Mediterranean coast of France, makes for engrossing cinema. Kahn has cast a nonprofessional, the blue-eyed and baby-faced Stefano Cassetti, as the devilishly psychotic Succo, and he’s cast the […]

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American Hollow

Rory Kennedy is the youngest child of Robert Kennedy (she was getting married on the day of the fatal John Kennedy Jr. crash), and her compassionate, leftist documentaries are a testament to her father’s final days. For American Hollow she spent months living in the ramshackle Appalachian homestead of her salt-of-the-earth protagonist, Iree Bowling, the […]

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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 […]