This week brings the 22nd edition of the Chicago Underground Film Festival, with screenings through Sunday at the Logan; our festival roundup is here. And on the B Side, I interview director James D. Cooper, whose documentary Lambert & Stamp, opening Friday, revisits the two London filmmakers who became the unlikely managers of the Who.
Check out the latest issue for new reviews of: Cousin Jules, a 1972 documentary that was the only feature by French visual effects wizard Dominique Benicheti; The Film Critic, an Argentinian comedy about a high-toned critic whose life begins turning into a formulaic rom-com; Hot Pursuit, starring Reese Witherspoon as a Texas cop and Sofia Vergara as the drug-cartel wife she’s escorting to the Witness Protection Program; I Am Big Bird, a documentary about Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who’s been loping alone in the yellow-feathered costume for 46 years; Iris, a documentary profile of octogenarian fashion plate Iris Apfel; Lost in the White City, a drama about two young New York artists hoping for inspiration during a trip to Tel Aviv; Metalhead, an Icelandic character study of a teenage girl who goes metal after seeing her brother die in an accident; The People vs. Paul Crump, a 1962 documentary about a death row inmate that marked the feature debut of director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection); She’s Lost Control, a drama about a psychology student doing extracurricular research as a sex surrogate; and Soul Boys of the Western World, a music documentary about the back-from-the-dead Spandau Ballet.
Best bets for repertory: Frederick Wiseman’s Ballet (1995), Tuesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975), Friday through Sunday at Doc; Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Saturday and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Orson Welles’s The Immortal Story (1968), Wednesday at Doc; Mario Bava’s Kidnapped (1971), Thursday at Doc; Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Monday at Doc; and Errol Morris’s The Thin Blue Line (1988), Friday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art.
Don’t forget these special events: Bert Williams, Rediscovered, Friday at Logan Center for the Arts; Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, May 18 to 22 at Links Hall; and Urban Renewal and Its Aftermath, 1953-Present, Saturday at Black Cinema House.