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The Chicago Rep-port: 6/2 to 6/8, by Aaron Pinkston

1 Jun

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

With the calendar turning to June, the dawn of new film series has come. The Siskel Film Center is celebrating an ultra-cool French New Wave auteur with their retrospective Jean-Pierre Melville: Criminal Codes. The series starts with a bang with two of Melville’s most important films: the nightclub noir Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1955, 35mm) and all-time crime classic Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970, DCP). These two films are a perfect introduction to Melville’s specific style and dark undertones, full of crime and shadow.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/26 to 6/1, by Aaron Pinkston

25 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

The Essential Lina Wertmüller series enters its final week with two remaining films: Love and Anarchy (Lina Wertmüller, 1973, DCP) and Ferdinando and Carolina (Lina Wertmüller, 1999, DCP). Love and Anarchy, playing on Saturday and Thursday this week, is an alluring period comedy with a plan to assassinate Mussolini plot. Ferdinando and Carolina (Saturday and Tuesday) is set in 18th Century Naples, featuring the comedic sexual lives of the upper and royal classes. As has been the case throughout the series, you can catch them both on Saturday, May 27 for a reduced cost.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/19 to 5/25, by Aaron Pinkston

18 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

The Siskel’s offerings are a bit light on the rep screening front this week, save for their continued profile series on Italian director Lina Wertmüller. This week showcases two more wild dark comedies: The Seduction of Mimi (Lina Wertmüller, 1972, DCP) and Summer Night (Lina Wertmüller, 1986, DCP). Both films star Wertmüller muse Mariangela Melato amidst gloriously shot and steamy crime and violence. If you’re interested in a double bill, you can see both on Saturday, May 20 for a discounted price. Otherwise, Summer Night is also showing on Monday, May 22 while The Seduction of Mimi replays on Wednesday, May 24.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/12 to 5/18, by Aaron Pinkston

11 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

Leading the Siskel’s week of limited engagements is a rep showcase of a new 4k restoration of Taipei Story (Edward Yang, 1985, DCP). The leading filmmaker of the New Taiwanese Cinema, Yang’s second feature was his international breakthrough, a vibrant drama where traditional Chinese society and modernized Western cultures collide in the emerging Taiwan. The film runs on Friday, May 12 and Sunday, May 14.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/5 to 5/11, by Aaron Pinkston

5 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

All month long, the Siskel Film Center will be running a new series called “The Essential Lina Wertmüller,” looking at the best work from the underrated director. They are kicking off the series with her masterpiece, Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975, DCP). Oscar trivia buffs know that this was the film that made Wertmüller the first woman to be nominated for Best Director. Screenings for the film are being held on Friday, May 5 (with a reception sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute) and Sunday, May 7.

Continuing the New Sensory Cinema School of the Art Institute of Chicago series is Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004, 35mm). The film is a strange take on the coming-of-age story wherein a young girl awakens on the grounds of a boarding school and must adapt to their mysterious rules. Innocence screens on Sunday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 9 with a post-screening discussion led by professor Melika Bass.

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Ebertfest 2017: Day Four, by Aaron Pinkston

27 Apr

I always have mixed emotions about Saturday at Ebertfest. It is the busiest day, with an extra matinee screening—and who would complain about more movies? But considering I’m already exhausted from the week, tired of eating garbage food for every meal and missing home, the end seems sweet. Thankfully, the festival will end with a bang for me, with two profile documentaries, a 90s fantasy well worth revisiting, and my first viewing of a Hal Ashby classic comedy.

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Ebertfest 2017: Day Three, by Aaron Pinkston

26 Apr

Whereas Day Two of the 2017 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival highlighted its aims to showcase the overlooked and underappreciated, Day Three showed off its diverse interests.

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Ebertfest 2017: Day Two, by Aaron Pinkston

21 Apr

When the Roger Ebert’s Film Festival was formed in 1999 it was specifically meant to shine a light on a number of films that the prolific film critic saw throughout his years that didn’t get the recognition he thought they deserved. The then-named “Overlooked Film Festival” used this thesis to span tiny indies like Henry Bromell’s Panic, internationally acclaimed but little seen at their release films like Songs from the Second Floor, and minor entries in big filmographies like Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. Over the years, that specific aim has shifted a bit, but there is always room in the schedule for a few underappreciated and overlooked—the second day of the 19th Ebertfest is a great example of this as it starts with two perfect examples of the festival’s spirit.

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A Quiet Passion: Without Feathers, by Aaron Pinkston

20 Apr

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A Quiet Passion could be the title of most Terence Davies films, so it is particularly fun that the film called A Quiet Passion is, at least at times, an outlier for the filmmaker. Chronicling the adult life of poet Emily Dickinson (from what I can tell, the first film to take on her life), A Quiet Passion is a surprising blend of subject and filmmaker. Primarily known for deep and silently emotional dramas that tell the stories of simple people and British communities, Davies has been on a recent role with The Deep Blue Sea and Sunset Song (released last year). Emily Dickinson is a fantastic subject for Davies as a strong, independent and opinionated woman. A Quiet Passion’s comedic sensibility, however, seems like new territory.

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Ebertfest 2017: Opening Night, by Aaron Pinkston

20 Apr

The 19th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival is built on four key principles: empathy, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. Even if not as explicitly, this has always been the mission of the festival, as was true of its namesake. Each year in Champaign, Illinois, the home of the main campus of the University of Illinois, Ebert’s alma mater, film lovers flock to celebrate films and carry out the legacy of the greatest film critic. This is now my sixth straight year covering the festival and it has become a part of my life. I unfortunately never got to experience the festival with Roger as the key figure (by 2012 the effects of his cancer had taken his ability to speak, and with that, his role in leading the film introductions and Q&As), but I’ve seen it grow past the “Overlooked Film Festival” of its roots to championing Ebert’s spirit. Since he passed a few short weeks before the festival in 2013, Ebertfest has embodied the man’s legacy with love and through those four principles that he looked for in every film that he loved. This year’s slate is as interesting as any I’ve attended, a mix of classics ready for a reevaluation and contemporaries that carry on what Ebert looked for in a great film.

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