If you’re a devoted filmgoer, you know that January is the direst month for new commercial releases: the studios have already rolled out their Oscar bait during the holiday season, and most people with any sense are barricaded in their homes and wrapped up in a comforter. Looking ahead, all I see are dubious horror flicks and Last Chance Harvey. So if you’ve already caught up with Revolutionary Road and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, this might be a good time to explore some older titles.

This month the Gene Siskel Film Center launches retrospectives on Nagisa Oshima (beginning this week with Boy and A Town of Love and Hope), Youssef Chahine (The Sparrow and Alexandria, Why?), and Chicago native Howard Alk.

Doc Films has announced its winter 2009 schedule, which includes a Monday-night series on Stan Brakhage (with one program introduced by Reader contributor and Brakhage scholar Fred Camper) and a Wednesday-night series on the Coen Brothers (beginning next week with Fargo).

And opening today at Music Box is a restored print of Fellini’s Amarcord.

Bundle up.