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Chicago Film Fest Continues This Week
by Gregg Shapiro

This article shared 2259 times since Wed Oct 8, 2003
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Limited runs and special events:

39th Annual Chicago International Film Festival

—(312) 332-FILM:

@ Landmark Century Center Cinema, 2828 N. Clark and @ Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport—Oct. 8-16:

Pieces Of April (Indigent/IFC): Peter Hedges, who wrote the screenplays for What's Eating Gilbert Grape and About A Boy, wrote and directed Pieces Of April, an amusing and moving digital video feature that takes place on Thanksgiving. April (Katie Holmes) is the eldest daughter of Joy (the remarkable Patricia Clarkson of Far From Heaven and High Art) and Jim (Oliver Platt). She has been a constant source of disappointment to her parents, but she wants to make it up to them by inviting them, her brother, sister and grandmother to her Lower East Side apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. The holiday is made even more poignant when it becomes clear that Joy, who has breast cancer, may not be around for another Thanksgiving dinner. After April's boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke) leaves to buy a suit at the 'retail store' where is friend Latrell (Sisqo) works (to Bobby's chagrin, it turns out to be a Salvation Army Thrift Store), she discovers that her oven doesn't work. April then tries to find a neighbor's oven that she can borrow. On her quest she meets Evette (Tony-award winning actress Lillias White) and Eugene (Isiah Whitlock, Jr), who are able to offer her their oven and cooking expertise for a couple of hours. Later, she meets shirt, tie, vest and watch-fob wearing asexual Wayne (Sean Hayes = queer interest), who has a pug and a self-cleaning convection oven. This discovery is short-lived, when she insults Wayne and is left with a partially cooked turkey. She eventually overcomes a language barrier and is able to finish cooking the turkey in her Chinese neighbors' oven. Meanwhile, her family is living through their own comedies and dramas on the drive into the city. The pieces of Pieces Of April come together beautifully by the end of the film, all of which is due to Hedges's sensitive script and the terrific cast. (Oct. 12 at Music Box and Oct. 13 at Landmark)

Don't You Worry, It Will Probably Pass: In the documentary category, Don't You Worry, It Will Probably Pass is an absorbing film directed by Cecilia Neant-Falk. Falk opens the piece with the personal quote, 'When I was 14, it occurred to me that I liked girls. The year was 1985.' At the time, she placed an ad in OKEJ Magazine, a popular Swedish publication, to get in touch with other girls like her. She received responses from all over the country. As a filmmaker, 15 years later, she wondered it would be like in the present day. She ran the same ad copy in 1999 that she had in 1986, and from the 80 responses she received selected three girls—Natalie, My and Johanna (a.k.a. Joppe)—and followed them with her camera (and also provided a camera for the girls with which to film themselves) for three years. In candid and compelling video interviews, the three girls speak openly about their sexuality, the issues that are raised for them in their mostly small hometowns with family members and friends, the search for role models, and falling in love. (Oct. 11, 12 and 14 Music Box)

Sexual Dependency (Cinema Vault) is an ambitious, if distracting, split-screen effort, directed by Rodrigo Bellott, which follows a series of interconnected stories, spanning two countries (Bolivia and the United States). The focus of the film are teenage boys and girls, ranging in age from 15 through college age, and the ways in which they deal with issues of sexuality, including losing one's virginity. One segment, set in America, focuses on misogyny and homophobia on a college campus, as well as a closeted athlete. (Oct. 9 at Music Box and Oct. 10 at Landmark)

Shattered Glass (Lions Gate), the impressive directorial debut of screenwriter Billy Ray, has an unusual distinction among the movies being shown at the film festival. Several of the lead and supporting cast members have starred in movies in which they have either played a gay character or the main character has been gay. Based on an article in Vanity Fair, which exposed young and rising journalist, and Highland Park High School graduate, Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), a staff writer at the New Republic and contributing writer to Rolling Stone, Harper's and others, as having concocted a majority of his pieces, Shattered Glass is a depiction of the levels to which someone will go when they are under undue amounts of familial pressure and how trust can be irreparably damaged. The sexually ambiguous Glass is even taken for gay and tells the story of finding himself on the corner of 18th and T, in Washington, D.C., with a man's tongue halfway down his throat. The cast includes Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don't Cry) as Glass's New Republic co-worker and subsequent editor Chuck Lane; Hank Azaria (The Birdcage) as Glass's former New Republic editor Michael Kelly; Steve Zahn (Happy, Texas, The Object of My Affection) as Adam Penenberg, a writer at Forbes Digital, who initially uncovers the discrepancies in Glass's work; and Chloe Sevigny (Party Monster, Boys Don't Cry, If These Walls Could Talk 2), Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, But I'm A Cheerleader), and Luke Kirby (Mambo Italiano, Lost and Delirious), as fellow New Republic staff writers and editors who fall under Glass's spell. (Oct. 16 at the Music Box)

Also keep in mind -

Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space is a futuristic computer animated, black & white and color Japanese film written and directed by Tol that covers the time periods of 3500 B.C., 1469 A.D. and 2010 A.D. (Oct. 10 12 at Landmark ) Neon, a short feature about gay Arno/Nora, who is a meat packer by day and a drag performer by night (Oct. 10, 11 and 14 at Music Box)

My Life Without Me (Sony Pictures Classics), which co-stars gay icon Deborah Harry as the mother of a 23-year-old woman (played by Sarah Polley) who keeps her cancer diagnosis a secret from her husband (Scott Speedman), her young children, her mother and her lover (Mark Ruffalo). (Oct. 10 at Landmark and Oct. 11 at Music Box)

@ Big Wig, 1551 W. Division, (773) 235-9100: Mummification Night at the 2nd Pleasure Play Party to benefit the movie Dominatrix Waitrix - Oct. 12

@ Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, (773) 293-1447: Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train – documentary directed by Deb Ellis – Oct. 11

@ Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W Fullerton, (800) 532-2387: Chicago International Children's Film Festival – Oct. 23 – Nov. 2

@ Ferguson Theater/Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 344-7812 (event info only): Con Un Punal En El Corazon: Gay Eros in the Land of Machos film series – Y Tu Mama Tambien – Oct. 30

@ Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, (312) 846-2600: Theater series featuring the 1973 adaptations of plays into movies: The Homecoming – Oct. 8; Luther – Oct. 8; A Delicate Balance – Oct. 9; Galileo – Oct. 20; The Maids – Oct. 24, 27, 28; The Man In The Glass Booth – Oct. 24, 27; The Iceman Cometh – Oct. 25, 29, Nov. 5; In Celebration – Oct. 26, 28, 30; The Party's Over – Political documentary hosted by Philip Seymour Hoffman, featuring Susan Sarandon and others – Oct. 10-16; In The Mirror of Maya Deren – Oct. 31, Nov. 1-6; Nina Simone, Love Sorceress – Oct. 31, Nov. 3; The Films of Maya Deren – Nov. 3, 5; 21 Grams, starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro – Nov. 6.

@ Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, (815) 836-5291: Latino Film Festival –American Me – Oct. 15

@ Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, (312) 747-4050: Platoon – Oct. 11; The Deer Hunter – Oct. 18; Regret To Inform – Oct. 25

@ Museum of Contemporary Art – (312) 344-7812 (event info only): Con Un Punal En El Corazon: Gay Eros in the Land of Machos film series – Santo y Blue Demon vs. el Dr. Frankenstein – Oct. 14 In theaters:

Kill Bill, Volume 1 (Miramax) – Exhilarating and mind-blowing, Quentin Tarantino's fourth movie, Kill Bill, Volume 1, is the season's wildest, bloodiest and wackiest ride. Tarantino doesn't just break the rules with this one; he rewrites them in movie blood. By messing with chronology, shooting in color and black and white, including Japanese anime, paying homage to his various influences (as well as himself), Tarantino covers the bases as he blows each one sky high. Back to work in a big way, Uma Thurman (a longtime LGBT community fave for bi roles in Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Henry & June) plays the Bride, a woman whose name is bleeped each time it is spoken. A one-time member of the DiVAS (Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) and the former lover of Bill (a heard, but unseen David Carradine), the Bride, pregnant with Bill's child tries to get out of 'the life' and start anew, which includes getting married to someone else. Bill and the other DiVAS put a stop to the wedding by brutally assassinating the entire 10-person wedding party at a church in Texas. Left for dead, the Bride remarkably survives the massacre and after four years in a coma (during which time a hospital orderly sold her motionless body for sexual favors) awakens while being bitten by a mosquito. 'Revenge is a dish best served cold' is a quote credited to the Klingons that opens the movie, and it is the order of the day, as the Bride sets out to avenge the wrongs done to her and those around her. The gymnastic and exceptionally graphic and gory fight scenes between the Bride and Vernita (Vivica A. Fox) and the Bride and O-Ren Ishi (Lucy Liu), and her 88 henchmen, are spectacular for their sheer velocity and vehemence. With two adversaries out of the way, the Bride prepares to pick up where she left off, gunning for Reservoir Dogs alum Michael Madsen as Budd and 2003 comeback queen Daryl Hannah (who will have had at least three movies playing in theaters by year's end) as eye-patch-wearing Elle Driver. Simply put: Kill Bill thrills! (A-)

On TV:

Sundance Channel (check local listings for times) – E Minha Cara / That's My Face - Oct. 10, 25, 30; Priest – Oct. 9, 21; The Sum of Us – Oct. 17, 22, 25; The Adventures of Sebastian Cole – Oct. 11, 15, 23, 28; Fire - Oct. 12, 25, 30; My Beautiful Laundrette – Oct. 9, 12, 22, 28; Get Real – Oct. 11, 16, 19, 22, 28; Aimee & Jaguar – Oct. 14, 19, 24, 30; 'Shorts Out Loud 4': Sleeping Beauties, Stuck, An Early Frost, Beautiful… – Oct. 19

here! Pay-Per-View (now available): Sordid Lives; Food Of Love; Circuit; The Brotherhood (airdate: Oct. 31); Voodoo Academy; When Boys Fly (coming soon); The Business of Fancy Dancing (coming soon).

This article shared 2259 times since Wed Oct 8, 2003
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