Wild Chicago, which WTTW broadcast on Sunday nights from 1989 to 2003, was a video catalog of quirk around town; ten years after it expired, the show returns on a DVD compiling eight episodes from its first two seasons. Show creators Ben Hollis (the first onscreen host) and John Davies (who produced and directed) appear on Sunday afternoon at the Patio to screen excerpts and talk about their experiences. And on Tuesday at Comfort Station, Chicago Film Archives presents Vanishing Neighborhoods, a program of shorts from the 60s and 70s that deal with demolition and gentrification of old Chicago neighborhoods.
Check out our new reviews of: The Armstrong Lie, Alex Gibney’s engrossing documentary about the Lance Armstrong doping scandal; The Book Thief, a Holocaust drama with Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson; Museum Hours, a low-key gem from Jem Cohen (director of several R.E.M. videos in addition to Benjamin Smoke); No Time for Love, a 1942 comedy from Paramount starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray; Northern Lights, a 1978 indie drama about Norwegian farmers in North Dakota that won the Camera d’Or at Cannes; and Voices of the Gods, Al Santana’s 1985 documentary about the practice of west African religious customs in the U.S.
Best bets for repertory: Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Friday and Saturday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai (1998), Monday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There (2007), Thursday at Doc; John Cassavetes’s The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1978), Wednesday at Doc; F.W. Murnau’s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931), Tuesday at Doc; Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), Sunday at Doc; Raoul Walsh’s The Thief of Bagdad (1924), Wednesday at the Pickwick with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren; Jaromil Jires’s Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), midnight tonight at Music Box; and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler (2008), Friday and Sunday at Doc.
Special events this week include a screening of the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, with a beer tasting before the show, at Music Box; the second week of the Polish Film Festival in America at Facets Cinematheque and Society for Arts; and a talk by director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick about their Showtime documentary The Untold History of the United States.