Throughout December, J.R. Jones and I will take turns writing about our favorite films that had their Chicago premieres this year.

Cristi Puiu’s masterpiece does something unprecedented: without ever deceiving the audience, Aurora shows everything in exacting detail but explains nothing. At the end of the sold-out screening I attended in March (as part of the Siskel Center’s EU Film Festival), dozens of people complained about how boring they thought the film was, yet none of them had walked out on it. They had been transfixed.