• Thom Andersen
  • The Thoughts That Once We Had

With Mad Max: Fury Road, writer-director George Miller returns to the futuristic story that put him on the map, reimagining in greater detail the dystopian Australia of his original action cycle from the 70s and 80s (Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). Ben Sachs looks at the summer blockbuster in this week’s long review, and in a shorter piece I consider The Thoughts That Once We Had, the latest from the masterful film essayist Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself).

  • On the Way to School

Check out the new issue for capsule reviews of: Animals, a local indie drama about heroin-addicted lovers; Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke as an Air Force pilot assigned to operate fighter drones; I’ll See You in My Dreams, with Blythe Danner as an old woman who needs a lift and Martin Starr as the pool boy who becomes her partner in disappointment; The Lesson, a Bulgarian suspense film about a financially strapped schoolteacher driven to desperate measures; On the Way to School, a documentary about four children who each surmount huge physical obstacles to get an education; Slow West, with Kodi Smit-McPhee as a young Scot crossing the Colorado territory and Michael Fassbender as the gunslinger who protects him; and Tomorrowland, a Disney release starring George Clooney and based on the Disneyland theme-park attraction.

  • Magnificent Obsession

Best bets for repertory: Douglas Sirk’s Magnificent Obsession (1953), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (1956), next Thursday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Orson Welles’s Othello (1952), Wednesday at Doc; Frederick Wiseman’s Public Housing (1997), Tuesday at Doc; Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), Friday through Sunday at Doc; and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2002), Saturday and next Thursday at Gene Siskel Film Center.

  • UHF

Don’t forget these special events: on Wednesday at Music Box, director Jay Levey and star “Weird Al” Yankovic introduce two screenings of their 1989 comedy UHF (the first show is already sold out, so get a move on), and on Friday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art, Chris Sullivan presents his 2012 feature-length animation Consuming Spirits.