This week I review Vikram Jayanti’s documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which combines the classic Wall of Sound singles Spector produced in the early to mid-60s with an interview he granted Jayanti in March 2003, a month before he was scheduled to stand trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
The Chicago International Film Festival is over, but the fall festival season is just getting started: this week we have sidebars for the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. There’s also a Critic’s Choice box for Film Ist. A Girl & a Gun, a found-footage collage from the early days of cinema by Austrian artist Gustav Deutsch.
The big event for repertory fans is the Music Box’s two-week Chaplin retrospective. But there are plenty of other worthwhile screenings too: D.W. Griffith’s epochal The Birth of a Nation (1915), Sunday at Doc Films; Dziga Vertov’s Russian silent The Man With the Movie Camera (1928), with live accompaniment by Voxare String Quartet, Monday and Tuesday at High Concept Laboratories; Vincente Minnelli’s heart-tugging Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Saturday at Bank of America Cinema; Jacques Tourneur’s classic noir Out of the Past (1947), Friday and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Roman Polanki’s creepy Repulsion (1966), Wednesday at Alliance Francais; Raoul Walsh’s rarely screened The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956), Saturday and Wednesday at Film Center; and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Wednesday at Doc.
Trailers after the jump.