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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Movie Maven
by Gregg Shapiro

This article shared 3166 times since Wed Sep 24, 2003
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Limited runs and special events:

@ Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E Randolph, (312) 744-6630: 'International Dinner & a Movie' – The Third Man – Nov. 18 (cuisine by Kasia's Deli); 39 Steps – Jan. 20 (cuisine by Bob Chinn's Crabhouse); Home Movie – Mar. 23 (cuisine by Polo Café & Catering); Vengo – May 18 (cuisine by Los Dos Laredos).

@ Facets Multi-Media, 1517 W Fullerton, (800) 532-2387 (call for fee and registration info): Facets Film School (screenings and discussions) - The Films of Robert Aldrich, including Whatever Happened To Baby Jane and others – Sept. 29–Nov. 3; The Early Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and others – Oct. 1–Nov. 5; The Films of Ida Lupino – Nov. 10–Dec. 15; All About My Almodovar, including All About My Mother, Talk To Her and others – Nov. 12–Dec. 17; The Evolution of An Icon (Marlene Dietrich), including The Scarlet Empress and others – Nov. 13-20, Dec. 4-18.

@ Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, (815) 836-5291: Latino Film Festival – El Crimen de Padre Amaro – Sept. 24; Tortilla Soup – Sept. 30; Y Tu Mama Tambien - Oct. 2; Talk To Her – Oct. 6; American Me – Oct. 15. Coming next week: A preview of the Chicago International Film Fest, opening next week.

In theaters:

Hotel (Moonstone)—Mike Figgis, who directed Cold Creek Manor, a big-budget Hollywood thriller starring Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone, also has an experimental side which he explored in 2000's Timecode, and again in 2001's Hotel. Combining dogma film techniques with the simultaneous four frames of action that he used in Timecode, Figgis tells the often convoluted story of a film crew making a movie about The Duchess of Malfi in Venice and the creepy Hotel Hungaria in which they are staying.

The one-star hotel staff includes a vampire-like tour guide played by Julian Sands, a manager played by Danny Huston, and an unpleasant maid played by Valentina Cervi. Even more horrifying are the guests including egotistical and despised movie director Trent (Rhys Ifans), an Italian actress (Valeria Golino) who has a lesbian affair with a hotel guest, Jonathan (David Schwimmer), the moody producer who takes over for the hospitalized director and TV documentarian Charlee (Salma Hayek), to name just a few.

If you thought that the horrors that occurred in the hotel in Dirty Pretty Things were beyond belief than you might be better off not checking into this Hotel. (D+, Opening at Landmark)

Under The Tuscan Sun (Touchstone) – Based on the popular memoir by Frances Mayes, Under The Tuscan Sun is an unapologetic 'chick flick' with unexpected queer twists. Frances ( Diane Lane) is a writer and writing instructor in San Francisco who learns that her husband wants a divorce, leaving her without a home and a questionable future. When her lesbian best friend Patti (scene-stealer Sandra Oh, of Further Tales of The City fame) offers Frances a ticket to Tuscany because she is pregnant with the baby that she and her doctor life-partner Grace (Kate Walsh) conceived together, she at first refuses. Soon Frances realizes that getting away from San Francisco would be the best thing for her and she accepts the ticket. It is at this point that the movie reaches its highest comedic point, as Frances is the only straight woman on the Gay & Away tour of Tuscany, leading to a series of amusing scenes. While on the tour, Frances discovers a decrepit villa for sale in Cortona and before you know it she is signing papers and taking possession of the property. Predictably, the town is full of eccentric characters, such as neighbor Placido (Roberto Nobile) and his family, which includes hormonally charged teenage daughter Chiara (Giulia Stiegerwalt); a crew of Polish construction workers, including sexy Pawel (Pawel Szadja) who is interested in Chiara; a handsome realtor named Mr. Martini (Vincenzo Ricotta); Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), a big-hat-wearing flake who claims to have been discovered by Fellini when she was 16; and Marcello (Raoul Bova), a handsome young man with whom Frances begins an affair. What would have been a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy is redeemed by Lane's Shirley MacLaine-esque performance, the radiant comedic presence of the aforementioned Ms. Oh, and the glorious Tuscan setting. (B-)

Passionada (Samuel Goldwyn Films)—This sappy, but well-meaning, romantic comedy tells the story of Celia (Sofia Milos), millworker by day and Fado singer by night. She is a widow and the mother of rebellious Vicky (Emmy Rossum) and she lives in the flat below her mother-in-law Angelica (Lupe Ontiveros, from Chuck & Buck). Celia hasn't dated since her husband was killed at sea more than seven years earlier and Vicky is eager to fix her up. Vicky's prayers are answered when Charlie (Jason Isaacs) begins to court Celia. Needless to say all sorts of melodrama occurs, especially when Celia learns that Charlie is not who he says he is. Directed by Dan (The Velocity Of Gary) Ireland, Passionada is long on passion, but short on sincerity. (C-)

This article shared 3166 times since Wed Sep 24, 2003
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