What do Wes Anderson and the Khmer Rouge have in common? Well, nothing, but that’s never stopped us before. This week’s long review considers Anderson’s latest fancy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Rithy Panh’s humbling Oscar nominee The Missing Picture, which opens Friday at Music Box. Meanwhile Ben Sachs goes eye to eye with The Face of Love, about a lonely widow (Annette Bening) who falls in love with a ringer for her late husband (Ed Harris).
Friday brings week two of the European Union Film Festival at Gene Siskel Film Center, and we review four featured titles: Expedition to the End of the World follows a group of scientists and artists documenting the fjords of northeastern Greenland, once snow-covered but now exposed through climate change; The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies captures the twilight years of pioneering art-porno director Joe Sarno; The Stuart Hall Project by John Akomfrah uses collage techniques to portray Hall, the Jamaican-born multicultural scholar; and When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism is the latest from Romanian New Waver Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective).
And that’s not all, damn it! Check out our new capsule reviews of Need for Speed, featuring car thrills with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad); Particle Fever, a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland; Rock My Religion, a 1984 video essay about the religious roots of the devil’s music; Veronica Mars, a big-screen spin-off of the cable series about a teenage detective; Visitors, the latest metaphysical journey from Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass; and, all week at Facets Cinematheque, the retrospective series Independent of Reality: The Films of Jan Nemec, revisiting the work of the Czech New Wave filmmaker.
Best bets for repertory: Sebastian Silva’s The Maid (2009), Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Trinh T. Minh-ha ‘s Naked Spaces—Living Is Round (1985), Sunday at Black Cinema House; Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason (1967), Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box; and George Kuchar’s Unstrap Me! (1968), Saturday at Nightingale Cinema.
Don’t forget these special events: Friday at University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts, Charlemagne Palestine Videoworks collects the music-based video art of 70s pioneer Charlemagne Palestine, and later that night at Music Box, CLAW: The Movie tells the fearsome tale of the Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers.