When I was a kid parked in front of the TV set, my father would say things to me like, “Too bad you can’t get a job watching cartoons.” Well, I guess I showed him: in this week’s long review I consider the five animated shorts, screening at Landmark’s Century Centre, that made the cut for the 2014 Academy Awards. We’ve also reviewed the nominated live-action shorts, screening at Landmark on a separate bill, and the nominated documentary shorts, showing at Music Box in two installments. Speaking of Music Box, this week it presents the first Chicago run of Hirokazu Kore-edu’s Like Father, Like Son, which Ben Sachs counted among the best films of 2013 after it screened at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Check out the new issue for capsule reviews of: Fire in the Blood, an eye-opening documentary about the ten million people who died of AIDS because Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline were busy protecting their drug patents; I Am Breathing, a profile of a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease; I, Frankenstein, a futuristic fantasy with Aaron Eckhart as the Frankenstein monster; Jobriath A.D., a documentary about the openly gay glam rocker whose career crashed and burned in the 1970s; and Labor Day, the latest from Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), starring Josh Brolin as an escaped convict and Kate Winslet as the lonely divorcee who takes him in.
Best bets for repertory: Wong Kar-wai’s As Tears Go By (1988) and Days of Being Wild (1991) at Gene Siskel Film Center; Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box; Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960), Wednesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Wednesday with free admission at Northbrook Public Library; Paul Strand and Leo Hurwitz’s Native Land (1942), Saturday afternoon at Block Museum of Art; John Cassavetes’s Shadows (1959), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center; George Cukor’s Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Monday at Doc; and Jia Zhang-ke’s A Touch of Sin, all week at Film Center.
Don’t forget these special events: Crispin Glover appears in person at Music Box on Friday to read from his work and introduce It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.; White Light Cinema presents a quartet of shorts by German essayist Harun Farocki; and University of Chicago Film Studies Center presents Has the Film Already Started?, which “asks the audience to consider when exactly a film screening starts and ends by separating out the elements of light, sound, projection and spectators.” The program begins Friday at 5:30 PM, we think.