Presented by the Chicago-based documentary production and distribution company Terra Nova Films, the Silver Images Film Festival continues Friday through Thursday, May 16 through 22, at Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson; AARP Information Center, 222 N. LaSalle; Atlas Senior Center, 1767 E. 79th St.; Catholic Health Partners/Columbus Hospital Auditorium, 2520 N. Lakeview; Catholic Health Partners/Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Boikan Conference Center, 2900 N. Lake Shore Dr.; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; Copernicus Senior Center, 3160 N. Milwaukee; District 214 Community Education, 2121 S. Goebbert, Arlington Heights; Mayer Kaplan Jewish Community Center, 5050 W. Church, Skokie; Oakton Community College, 7701 N. Lincoln, Skokie; Dominican Univ. Fine Arts Bldg., 7900 W. Division, River Forest; and Saint Anthony Hospital, 2875 W. 19th St. Tickets for Film Center screenings are $6, $4 for those over 62; tickets for Dominican University, District 214 Community Education, and Oakton Community College screenings are $3; all other screenings are free. For more information call 773-881-6940.


Roam Sweet Home

A 1996 documentary by Ellen Spiro (who may attend the screening) about her and her dog’s travels on the road with a group of seniors. (Copernicus Senior Center, 10:00 am)

Short films, program one

Three short documentaries from the U.S. about older women. (Catholic Health Partners/Saint Joseph’s Hospital, 10:00 am)

Roam Sweet Home

See listing above, this date; on the same program, Bubbeh Lee and Me and an Australian short. (Chicago Cultural Center, 1:30)


The Cherry Pick

Arno Kranenborg’s Dutch feature (1996) about a 13-year-old boy’s summer visit to his grandfather’s farm. On the same program, Dancing, Somedays, a short from Scotland. (Film Center, 1:30)

Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press

Rick Goldsmith directed this 1996 documentary portrait of foreign correspondent and press critic George Seldes, now 98 years old; nominated for an Oscar, the film is narrated by Susan Sarandon. (Film Center, 3:30)


Riding the Rails

Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell’s 1996 documentary tells the story of teenagers who rode freight trains during the Depression. On the same program, two short films: Patrick Stettner’s Flux and Dianne Houston’s Tuesday Morning Ride. (Film Center, 1:45)

The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story

See Critic’s Choice. On the same program, Jessica Yu’s Better Late and Martin Murphy’s Adventures of Handyman. (Film Center, 4:00)

The King of Masks

The title character in Wu Tianming’s 1995 tearjerker is a grandfatherly street performer in rural Szechwan with a cast of colorful masks he puts on and off in a wink. He treasures his independence, rejecting offers to join a traveling opera company, but despairs at not being able to pass his secret art on to a male heir. When he buys what he thinks is a boy at a village market, the boy turns out to be a girl; but after a series of encounters with corrupt cops and devious bureaucrats, the two forge a properly Confucian bond of parental guidance and filial obedience. Wu–who headed the Xian Film Studio, where he was mentor to many Fifth Generation filmmakers, and who fled to California after the Tiananmen massacre–no doubt sees something of himself in this lonesome curmudgeon who fiercely protects his artistry and freedom. Yet Wu offers a hopeful message–that compassion is still kindling in his homeland, challenging oppressive old customs and pointing to a true reconfiguration of the social order. The pathos in his storytelling might be overwrought, but the sincerity is heartfelt and the emotional relationship between the king (a stoic yet empathic performance by Zhu Xu) and his adopted daughter is genuinely affecting. (TS) On the same program, Lance Mungia’s 1996 short film A Garden for Rio. (Film Center, 6:00)

Gentle Into the Night

An Italian feature (1996) by Antonio Baiocco stars Julie Harris as a woman who flees her nursing home and Tcheky Karyo as the private investigator who befriends her. Pat Metheny provides the musical score. On the same program, Don Coutts’s Dead Sea Reels (1996), a short film from Scotland. (Film Center, 8:00)


Short films, program two

Ward Serrill’s The Bear Stands Up (1994), Ronit Bezalel’s Canadian film When Shirley Met Florence (1994), Mark Hallar-Wade’s Flowers for Charlie (1996), and Betsy Thompson’s Bookends (1994). (Dominican Univ. Fine Arts Bldg., 10:00 am)


Short films, program three

Nicholas Spark’s Just Puttering Around (1992) and Jack Ofield’s Mario Sanchez: Painter of Memories (1979). (AARP Information Center, program repeated once an hour between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm)

Young at Heart

An Oscar-winning documentary short (1988) by Sue Marx and Pamela Conn about a widow and widower in their 80s who end up getting married. On the same program, JoDee Samuelson’s The Bath and Mark Hallar-Wade’s Flowers for Charlie. (District 214 Community Education, 1:30)


Flowers for Charlie

A 1996 short film by Mark Hallar-Wade about an elderly bus passenger. (Saint Anthony’s Hospital, 9:00 am)

You Are the Miracle

Andrea Simmons directed this 1994 documentary about five older artists, including 103-year-old potter Beatrice Wood. (AARP Information Center, 12:00)


An appealing first feature (1993) by Virginia independent David Williams, this somewhat fictionalized documentary chronicles a day in the life of its narrator, Lillian Folley, an extraordinary middle-aged African-American woman who devotes her life to foster parenting even as she cares for three elderly adults in the same house. The film succeeds mainly as a rich character study of Folley, a strong individual with a mind and will of her own; the plot is secondary. (JR) (Atlas Senior Center, 1:00)

Roam Sweet Home

See listing under Friday, May 16. On the same program, Ann Marie Kirk’s Happy Birthday Tutu Ruth and Ward Serrill’s The Bear Stands Up. (Oakton Community College, 1:30)


Beyond the Pulpit

Jennifer Freedman’s documentary portrait of a rabbi, lawyer, college professor, and actor. On the same program, Don Coutts’s Dead Sea Reels. (Catholic Health Partners/Columbus Hospital, 10:00 am)

Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years

A U.S. documentary by Yale Strom about a Jewish man in the Ukraine and his friendship with his Gypsy neighbors. (Mayer Kaplan Jewish Community Center, 1:30)