Did Jimi Hendrix like to whale on his girlfriends? I don’t know, but you should always avoid angering a man who can chop a mountain down with the edge of his hand. The controversial new biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side opens Friday at Music Box. We also look at Level Five, Chris Marker’s experimental feature about a computer programmer trying to rewrite World War II history, which screens Friday and Saturday at Chicago Filmmakers and one more time on Wednesday at Columbia College.
Check out the new issue for recommended reviews of: Blonde Crazy, a 1931 pre-Code comedy with James Cagney and Joan Blondell; Julius Caesar, a 1950 indie relic shot in Chicago and starring Northwestern University’s own Charlton Heston; and Rocks in My Pockets, a feature-length fantasia about bipolar disorder by Latvian animator Signe Baumane. And let me get a couple more licks in for two fine films, reviewed in previous weeks, that you won’t be able to catch for much longer: Norte, the End of History, an epic take on Crime and Punishment by Filipino director Lav Diaz, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, a powerful drama about a fractured marriage, starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, William Hurt, Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, and Bill Hader.
More films reviewed this week: The Equalizer, a big-screen remake of the old Edward Woodward spy series, starring Denzel Washington; Hector and the Search for Happiness, with Simon Pegg as a psychiatrist who tours the world looking for the secret of life; Take Me to the River, a documentary about Memphis music, featuring Otis Clay, Mavis Staples, and the North Mississippi Allstars; A Terrible Beauty, a docudrama about the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Dublin; and Tracks, starring Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, who traveled on foot 1,700 miles across the Australian desert in the late 1970s.
Best bets for repertory: Eric Rohmer’s Autumn Tale (1998), Tuesday by DVD projection at Transistor; Josef von Sternberg’s Dishonored (1931), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), late-night Friday, Saturday, and Monday at the Logan; Howard Hawks’s A Girl in Every Port (1928), Friday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art; Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn’s Golub: Late Works Are the Catastrophes (1988), Wednesday by DVD projection at Chicago Cultural Center; and W.S. Van Dyke’s The Thin Man (1934), Tuesday at University of Chicago Doc Films.