12 Years a Slave
  • 12 Years a Slave

If you’ve picked up this week’s print edition, you know that we reviewed 15 titles in week two of the 49th Chicago Film Festival. Online you can check them out as part of our big festival package, with even more reviews of films screening through Thursday, October 25. This week also brings the Chicago premieres of Let the Fire Burn, Jason Osder’s documentary about the infamous 1985 police raid against the black liberation group MOVE in west Philadelphia, and the first commercial run of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.

  • Antoine and Antoinette

Check out our new reviews of After Tiller, about the four doctors in the U.S. who still perform third-trimester abortions; Jacques Becker’s fine romantic comedy Antoine and Antoinette, screening Sunday and Monday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Escape Plan, starring the very big and strong Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenneger; The Fifth Estate, an absorbing Hollywood thriller about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange; and Top of the Heap, an oddball blaxploitation item directed by and starring Christopher St. John, who takes part in a Skype interview at the screening. (Sorry, sucker, the event is already sold out.)

Best bets for repertory: Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (Tue 10/22) and Before Sunset (Wed 10/23) at University of Chicago Doc Films; Jacques Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon (1958), screening with a lecture by Phil Morehart as part of the Facets Fright School, Friday at midnight; Terence Davies’s Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), Monday at Doc; David Fincher’s Fight Club (1999), Friday and Sunday at Doc; D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916), Friday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Olivier Assayas’s Late August, Early September (1998), Thursday at Doc; Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973), Saturday and Tuesday at Film Center; Charles Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Sunday at Doc; Todd Haynes’s Safe (1995), Thursday at Doc; Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), Saturday and Wednesday at Film Center; and Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy, Saturday and Sunday at Doc.

Special events this week: Silent Film Society of Chicago presents its annual Halloween screening, Nosferatu, with live organ accompaniment at Carl Schurz Slocum Hall. Chicago Film Archives and Northwest Chicago Film Society present the open screening Home Movie Day at Chicago History Museum. And Music Box presents an eight-film Werner Herzog retrospective, the 24-hour horror marathon Music Box of Horrors, and a Sound Opinions screening of the Chicago-set High Fidelity.