WINDY CITY TIMES
||KNIGHT AT THE MOVIES Lake of Fire
by Richard Knight, Jr.
This article shared 2890 times since Wed Oct 31, 2007
Director Tony Kaye—infamous for the creative battles over his first feature, 1998's American History X—is not one to shy away from controversy and with Lake of Fire, his self-financed, 2½-hour documentary on the ongoing battle over abortion rights in this country, he reaffirms this. The movie is tough, extremely graphic and never boring. Though it seems biased toward the religious zealots, that's clearly because the much more dramatic pro-lifers are better camera subjects than their cool-headed counterparts and Kaye, who doesn't comment or offer narration throughout the sprawling film, doesn't offer a viewpoint. Indeed, supporters on both sides of the issue will find moments here to shake their beliefs. This tremendous but disturbing film is in the midst of an exclusive run at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
'Lake of fire' refers to that place in hell where the religious fundamentalists profiled in the movie insist will be the eventual home for those involved in the abortion 'trade' who does not hew to their narrow belief system. Kaye spent over 16 years working on his film and, during that time period, caught plenty of amazing and ironic footage. In one horrifying moment, Paul Hill is shown decrying the guilty verdict after a fellow pro life fanatic is convicted for murdering a doctor who performed abortions. When a cameraman asks him, 'So can we expect to see you on trial for murder soon?' Hill merely cracks a half smile and, indeed, a year and a half later Hill was tried ( and later executed ) for doing just that.
It is only possible to view the film's graphic sections because of Kaye's decision to shoot in black and white, which offers a distance that color would not afford. However, they're still pretty tough to watch. The toughest to watch is an emotionally wrenching sequence that ends the film in which Kaye follows a young woman through her entire visit to a clinic to have an abortion. The young woman's unblemished reaction throughout and later as she wipes away the tears with an apologetic, 'It's just been a very long day' speaks volumes about the difficulties inherent in such a decision and puts a face on this highly personal issue. www.siskelfilmcenter.com
—Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi masterpiece is remade as Blade Runner: The Final Cut returns to theaters in an extended director's cut 25 years after its debut. The film, set in the toxic wasteland of Los Angeles of 2019, looked like nothing else when it debuted in 1982. The film, which stars Harrison Ford as a hired gun ( called a blade runner ) tracking down killer robots ( known as replicants ) , was a flop with the public and had a mixed critical reception in its initial release but Scott's visionary movie has influenced scores of films since. Though a multi-set DVD release is forthcoming, this is a rare chance to see this visual masterpiece in all its glory on the large screen. Opens exclusively at the Music Box Theatre on Nov. 2. www.musicboxtheatre.com
—Two DVDs of note are out: This Filthy World, from Dokument Films, captures queer writer-director John Waters' hilarious one-man show. Dear Jesse, from Sovereign films, is a thoughtful and sobering 1998 first-person documentary that found gay director Tim Kirkman returning to his home state of North Carolina to discern the reason for the state's long-term support of its ultraconservative senator, Jesse Helms, who was then running for office one last time. In an incredible coincidence, Kirkman's film includes a brief interview with Matthew Shepard two years before his unfortunate death. My interviews with both Waters and Kirkman are coming soon to Windy City Times.
Check out my archived reviews at www.windycitytimes.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter website where there is also ordering information on my new book of collected film reviews, Knight at the Movies 2004-2006.
This article shared 2890 times since Wed Oct 31, 2007
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Pritzker Military Museum, Library to screen TransMilitary doc, Q&A with special guests 2021-09-28|
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (September 27, 2021) On Thursday, Sept. 30, at 5:30 p.m., the Pritzker Military Museum & Library will host the screening of the 2018 SXSW Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary TransMilitary. The program will ...
|SHOWBIZ Transgender Talent, celebrity deaths, film festival, Whitney Houston 2021-09-26|
- Transgender Talent—the trans-owned and operated management and production company—is looking to help Hollywood get better at portraying transgender and non-binary characters on screen with the launch of a new consulting ...
|MOVIES 24-hour horror marathon at Music Box on Oct. 23-24 2021-09-24|
- "The Music Box of Horrors," sponsored by CreepyCo., will return to the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., from noon on Saturday, Oct. 23 through noon on Sunday, Oct. 24. The event will include special ...
|'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight 2021-09-23|
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...
|REVIEWS: Movies of Reeling 2021 2021-09-22|
- Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will take place Friday, Sept. 23-Thursday, Oct. 7. After a virtual edition in 2020, Reeling returns with in-person screenings this year, kicking off with the Estonian romantic drama ...
|MOVIES 'Shang-Chi' actor in anti-gay controversy 2021-09-20|
- Actor Simu Liuthe star of the latest Marvel action movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ringsis embroiled in controversy over alleged Reddit comments he made about how pedophilia is "no different from being gay," ...
|FILM REVIEW Chastain mesmerizes in 'Tammy Faye,' but bio offers few surprises 2021-09-20|
- Televangelists featured in some of the of the most spectacular falls from grace in the '80s. Television preachers who'd spent the better part of the '70s and the '80s insinuating themselves into pocketbooks, not to mention ...
|8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7 2021-09-17|
- The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...
|Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15|
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...
|THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15|
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehaba comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12|
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...
|MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' 2021-09-08|
- The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...
|Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold' 2021-09-07|
- WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...
|MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01|
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...
|MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park 2021-09-01|
- As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...