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Lamb

Lamb captures grief by oscillating between the beautiful and the horrific in a way so authentic to the human experience that for a moment, one might forget just how peculiar the otherworldly youngster at the center of the film is. Half-human and half-lamb, Ada is readily accepted by a childless couple who run an idyllic-looking […]

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The Last Duel

The Last Duel recounts the story of the last legally sanctioned trial by combat in France. In 1386, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) accuses family friend, squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), of rape. Seeking justice and vengeance, knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) challenges Le Gris to a fight to the death to prove […]

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El Planeta

Like the films of French master Philippe Garrel, conceptual artist and filmmaker Amalia Ulman’s feature debut is both of its time and yet somehow not. References to social media, influencer culture, and other modernities ground it in the present era, while the spartan black-and-white aesthetic, dispassionate sensibility, and even its fashion and hairstyles evoke a […]

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Cannibals, vampires, and visions, oh my!

After 18 months of virtual programming, Facets reopened its doors in September to Chicagoans buzzing to see independent films on the big screen. But the return to in-person screenings is not the only thing different at Facets—the storied cinema house is trying something different this season with a series of “Alternative Horror” picks. Programmed by […]

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Julia Ducournau takes the wheel with Titane

It’s been five years since Julie Ducournau’s debut feature Raw made audience members at the Toronto International Film Festival allegedly pass out and throw up. Her highly-anticipated—and Palme d’Or winning—sophomore effort, Titane, continued the trend with reported walkouts from disgusted audience members at the Cannes Film Festival, and a reported faint at its TIFF premiere. […]

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Dementia 13

Dementia 13 remains undeniably thrilling almost 60 years after its original release. The independently made black and white horror-thriller film was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Roger Corman before being released in 1963. This new director’s cut includes Coppola’s introduction and audio commentary and an amusing prologue called the Dementia […]

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I’m Your Man

Film has always been a fascinating medium to examine the intersection of love and technology. From more recent examples like Her and Ex Machina, to the various iterations of The Stepford Wives, and even as far back as Metropolis—there’s an intrinsic curiosity about humans and machines, and if they can ever coexist. Maria Schrader’s I’m […]

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Lady of the Manor

Lady of the Manor sees a great cast struggle under the weight of a sloppy script. Billed as a “supernaturally funny buddy comedy,” the movie follows slacker Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) as she stumbles into a tour guide job portraying Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), a Southern belle from the late 1800s. Greer appears in more than […]

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Azor

The engrossing debut feature from director Andreas Fontana, Azor, is a tense and looming feature set in the high-stakes world of international finance in Argentina in 1980 that sets a firm focus on the failings of aristocracy. Setting out to replace his missing partner, private banker Yvan De Wiel (Fabrizio Rongione) and his wife Ines […]

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Storm Lake

Beth Levison and Jerry Risius’s profound documentary is simultaneously a love letter to and a eulogy for local news—even more than that, it’s a sincere inquiry into the meaning of community and the role played by the dissemination of information in holding together further distabled societal connections. John Cullen began publishing small-town Iowa newspaper The […]

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Wife of a Spy

Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa beautifully and methodically renders the story of a married couple plunged into uncertainty in the days leading up to World War II. With a slow-burn plot, the film marries historical drama with psychological tension, highlighted by intensely focused performances from Yû Aoi, who plays a wife slowly suspecting her husband of being […]

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The Nowhere Inn

In The Nowhere Inn, musician Annie Clark (St. Vincent) collaborates with best friend Carrie Brownstein to create a documentary about her life and music. Finding the largely private and mundane life of Clark uninspiring, the collaboration takes a turn for the bizarre when Annie takes Carrie’s suggestions of livening up the documentary a bit too […]