• Drug War

I know it’s just a coincidence, but it feels appropriate that Johnnie To’s Drug War is opening in Chicago on the same weekend that a series of newly restored Alfred Hitchcock films comes through town. To is one of the only contemporary filmmakers in a position similar to the one Hitchcock enjoyed in his prime—that is, he’s simultaneously one of his country’s most commercially successful directors and one of its most important living artists. Through the mastery of a popular genre, To has developed a unique and intricate cinematic language. His filmmaking, like Hitchcock’s, is immediately accessible and profound in its implications, suggesting a fluid interconnectivity between all his subjects. Drug War, which plays this week at the Siskel Center, is the subject of this week’s featured review; the “Hitchcock 9,” which runs at the Music Box from Friday to Tuesday, gets special mention as well. We also have a sidebar devoted to the 19th annual Black Harvest Film Festival, which is now in its second week.