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Lord Thing, screening next Thursday at Gene Siskel Film Center as part of the Black Harvest Film Festival, is a 1970 documentary about the Chicago street gang the Conservative Vice Lords, whose late-60s campaign to reinvent themselves as a positive social force in the city’s blighted Lawndale neighborhood was derailed by the first Mayor Daley. Chicago Film Archives has recently restored Lord Thing, as well as Robert Ford’s The Corner (1963), another documentary about life on the city’s west side; they screen on the same bill, along with a panel discussion to include Lance Williams of Northeastern Illinois University, Cynthia Kobel of Second Chance Initiative, and Benneth Lee of the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated. Check out our review of Lord Thing here.
Also in this week’s issue, Ben Sachs looks at the comedy concert film The Fluffy Movie, starring Gabriel Iglesias; we review four features from the Chicago French Film Festival, playing Friday through Tuesday at Music Box; and there are new reviews of: Get On Up, starring Chadwick Boseman (42) as James Brown; Jayhawkers, a docudrama about the college career of basketball great Wilt Chamberlain, with personal appearances by director Kevin Willmott (C.S.A.: Confederate States of America); and Melvin & Jean: An American Story, about the North Carolina couple who hijacked a Delta Airlines Flight as part of the Black Liberation Army.
Best bets for repertory: Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994), midnight Saturday at the New 400; Emmanuel Bourdieu’s Poison Friends (2006), next Thursday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Fred Astaire, Joan Leslie, Robert Benchley, and Robert Ryan in The Sky’s the Limit (1943), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; and at Doc, an oddball pairing of two related features, David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune on Friday, and on Saturday, Frank Pavich’s 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, about the doomed quest of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Holy Mountain) to mount a big-screen adaptation of the Herbert novel in the 1970s.