In this week’s long review I complain about not being able to masturbate during a multiplex screening of Fifty Shades of Grey. My mother will be so, so proud. Also, we’ve also got medium-length reviews of The Last Five Years, a musical romance starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, and Daniel Nearing’s period Chicago dramas Hogtown (2014) and Chicago Heights (2010), both screening at Gene Siskel Film Center in honor of Black History Month.
Check out the new issue for capsule reviews of: Concerning Violence, a documentary about Frantz Fanon’s book The Wretched of the Earth and the death knell of European colonialism in Africa; The DUFF, a teen comedy about a high school loser who hires a jock Henry Higgins to raise her social stock; Hot Tub Time Machine 2, a sequel to the 2010 comedy about pals who go time-traveling; Joy of Man’s Desiring, a poetic study of industrialized labor by Quebecois filmmaker Denis Côté (Bestiaire); Kingsman: The Secret Service, an action comedy from director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass); McFarland, USA, better than you might expect of a Disney drama starring Kevin Costner as an inspirational coach; Rebecca Baron: Detour de Force, a shorts program by the LA-based video artist; and Song of the Sea, a feature-length animation from Irish fantasist Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells).
Best bets for repertory: Adam McKay’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Tuesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; the four Marx Bros. in Animal Crackers (1930), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (1966), Sunday at Doc; Federico Fellini’s Casanova (1976), Wednesday at Doc; Thom Andersen’s Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center; Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994), next Thursday at Doc; and Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967), Saturday and Wednesday at Film Center.
And don’t forget these special events: American Denial, a documentary about racial bias in American institutions, Saturday at Chicago Cultural Center; The Stuart Hall Project (2013), John Akomfrah’s essay film about the multiculturalist writer, next Thursday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art with free admission; They Don’t Give a Damn, a documentary about the public housing in Chicago, Friday with a panel discussion at Logan Center for the Arts; and Through a Lens Darkly, Thomas Allen Harris’s documentary on African-American photography, Friday at Block Museum.