In this week’s issue Ben Sachs looks at Yona, a biopic of poet Yona Wallach that screens as part of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. And we’ve got new reviews of: The Amazing Nina Simone, a documentary about the trailblazing singer and composer; Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard as the controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram; Modern Metropolis: Mid-Century Chicago on Film, a program of architecturally relevant shorts from the vaults of the Chicago Film Archives; Rock the Kasbah, with Bill Murray as a washed-up music manager who goes to Afghanistan and shepherds a Pashtun teenager onto the reality show Afghan Star; and Room, the latest from director Lenny Abrahamson (Frank), about a woman and her young son held captive for years.
Best bets for repertory: Charles Barton’s Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), next Thursday at the Pickwick in Park Ridge, with Chris Costello, the comedian’s daughter, in person; Wim Wenders’s The American Friend (1977), Friday and Saturday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Robert Bresson’s L’Argent (1983), Saturday and Tuesday at Film Center; Edmund Goulding’s Dark Victory (1939), with Bette Davis, Wednesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry (1971), Friday and Sunday at Doc; George Cukor’s My Fair Lady (1964), Monday at Music Box; F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), Monday at Doc with live organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott; Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (1982), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark’s Century Centre . . .
. . . the Dardenne brothers’ La Promesse (1996), Friday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art; Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987), Thursday at Doc; Eric Rohmer’s Summer (1986), aka The Green Ray, Tuesday at Doc; Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger (1990), Sunday at River East 21 as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, with Burnett accepting a career achievement award; Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E (2008), Wednesday at Music Box with an intro by conservation ecologist Abigail Derby Lewis; Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957), Wednesday at Doc; and Benjamin Christensen’s Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922), Wednesday at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium.
Don’t miss these special events: the Chicago International Film Festival continues through October 29 at River East 21 (our coverage is here, with fresh reviews added); the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival opens Friday; Brew & View at the Vic presents two premieres of local indies, Chicago Rot and The Cockups; and Mad Max: Fury Road screens at Columbia College as part of the “Cinema Slapdown” series. Last but not least, Music Box of Horrors, the theater’s annual 24-hour horror-movie marathon, kicks off Saturday at noon.