In this week’s long review I mull over the story of fathers and sons weaving through the Marlon Brando documentary Listen to Me Marlon; it opens today at Landmark’s Century Centre. Also this week, Ben Sachs lays down the beat for We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron as an aspiring creator of electronic dance music.
Check out our new capsule reviews of: Christmas Wedding Baby, a drama about three Florida sisters preparing for a wedding, and College Week, a documentary about kids on the west side daring to dream of higher education, both screening in the final week of the Black Harvest Film Festival at Gene Siskel Film Center; An Eye for Beauty, the latest from Canadian director Denys Arcand (The Barbarian Invasions), in which a Quebecois architect strays into an extramarital affair with a colleague in Toronto; Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin as the irascible title character, who sets out to help her granddaughter abort a pregnancy; Learning to Drive, with Patricia Clarkson as a New York literary critic and Ben Kingsley as the Sikh who becomes her driving instructor; Losing Ground, a little-known but worthwhile 1982 feminist drama by African-American director Kathleen Collins; No Escape, an international thriller starring Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson; She’s Funny That Way, a rancid screwball comedy from Peter Bogdanovich, starring Wilson again as well as Imogen Poots and Jennifer Aniston; and We Come As Friends, a documentary about the Sudan by Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare).
Best bets for repertory: Robert Siodmak’s Criss Cross (1949), Saturday and Monday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Carl Reiner’s The Jerk (1979) with Steve Martin, midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark’s Century Centre; Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956), Saturday and Wednesday at Film Center; Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box; Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea (2014), Saturday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents, Saturday at the Vic; and Torrent (1926), starring Greta Garbo, next Thursday at the Pickwick in Park Ridge as part of the Silent Summer Film Festival.
Last but not least, this week brings the seventh annual Noir City: Chicago festival at Music Box, with screenings of noir classics and rarities. On Tuesday, I’ll be talking with Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation after a screening of The Racket (1951), starring Robert Ryan, and signing copies of my book The Lives of Robert Ryan. Among the other features screening are The Chase, Hangover Square, Ride the Pink Horse, House of Bamboo, Witness to Murder, Criss Cross, and The Underworld Story.