The summer film season has begun! All around Chicago, several independent, edgy films are making the rounds. Below, see a brief compilation of some of the most critically acclaimed indies coming to Chicago venues.
Born to be Wild (2011). David Lickley, USA, 40 min.
Location: Museum of Science and Industry
Run Time: May 29, 2012-March 1, 2013
"Narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, Born to Be Wild is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them—saving endangered species one life at a time.
Born to Be Wild is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild." --Museum of Science and Industry
Some Things Might Happen (2010). John Delk.
Location: Thomas Robertello Gallery
Run Time: June 8-August 18
Some Things Might Happen (Thomas Robertello Gallery)
"Concurrent with Molly Springfield's exhibition, the gallery will present Some Things That Might Happen in its project space; a 2010 video by Newburgh, NY based John Delk. Some Things That Might Happen consists of the last half of 119 drug ads wherein side effects are enumerated. The ads are played endlessly in a random sequence.
Some Things That Might Happen is the product of a profit driven medical machine that attacks our collective psyche with bodily maladies only it can heal. Though treatments may produce nausea, stroke, dry mouth, heart attack, dizziness, high blood pressure and diarrhea, “patients” maintain the happy demeanor of those who live in an American dream." --Thomas Robertello Gallery
Last Ride (2009). Glendyn Ivin, Australia, 90 min.
Location: Music Box
Run Time: Opens June 14
Last Ride (Music Box)
"On the run after committing a violent crime, a desperate father takes along his ten-year-old son, Chook. As the two journey into the desert and an unknown future, their troubled relationship and the need to survive sees them battling the elements and each other. Chook eventually takes control and the choice he is forced to make has a devastating effect on both their lives." --Music Box
Portrait of Wally (2012). Andrew Shea, USA, 90 min.
Location: Siskel Film Center
Run Time: Opens June 15
Portrait of Wally (Siskel Film Center)
"A documentary as rich in character, incident, and intrigue as a Graham Greene novel, PORTRAIT OF WALLY traces the tangled history of an Egon Schiele painting that became a cause célèbre of the art restitution movement. Schiele’s haunting 1912 portrait of his teenage mistress Valerie “Wally” Neuzil was coerced from its Jewish owner by a Nazi art-dealer in post-Anschluss Vienna, obtained under cloudy circumstances by an obsessive Klimt collector after the war, and subpoenaed while on loan to a 1997 MoMA exhibition in New York, where it became the focus of an epic, seesaw court battle that makes
“Bleak House” look like an open-and-shut case. Any fears one might have of a dry legal procedural are more than offset by the film’s ample display of Schiele’s still-provocative canvases, a vivid cast of characters ranging from noble to nefarious (with several in the art-museum establishment coming off especially poorly), and an exemplary battle between those seeking to erase the past and those seeking to reclaim it. In English and German with English subtitles." --Siskel Film Center
The 24th Onion City Experimental Film Festival
Run Time: Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 8:00pm.
Location: Gene Siskel Film Center, 165 N. State St.
"Onion City's Opening Night Program features an eclectic and diverse group of works on 35MM, video, and 35MM slides. All are Chicago premieres.
BIG IN VIETNAM (2012, France, 29 min.): Mati Diop’s Rotterdam Film Festival prize-winner is a stunningly-photographed and resonant look at loss and displacement as Henriette, a French-Vietnamese film director, searches Marseille for a missing actor while her son carries on the production of an adaptation of “Les liaisons dangereuses.”
BOXING IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (2011, The Philippines, 7 min.): Ghostlike images of amateur boxers and of favorite Filipino son Manny Pacquiao shimmer, jitter, glitch, and struggle for perceptibility in Raya Martin’s mesmerizing take on his country’s boxing obsession.
WELL THEN THERE NOW (2012, USA, 13 min.): Basing the film primarily on a 1980s script by musician John Zorn, with additional narration taken from Alain Robbe-Grillet and Phillipe Soupalt, Lewis Klahr fashions a haunting and elusive tale of desire and uncertainty.
ONE WAY TO FIND OUT (2012, USA, 5 min.) by Scott Stark: Hand-printed sections from 35mm movie trailers create a chaotic and densely layered retelling of Hollywood form. Loosely about desire, fear of coupling, and the consequences of moving forward, with results both catastrophic and ecstatic."--Chicago Filmmakers
The Woman in the Fifth (2011). Pawel Pawlikowski. 83 mins. France, Poland, UK.
Location: Music Box Theatre
Run Time: Opens June 22
The Woman in the Fifth (Music Box)
"American writer Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke) arrives in Paris to be closer to his young daughter who is living with his estranged ex-wife. Completely broke, he accepts a job as a night guard for a local crime boss. Stationed in a basement office, his only task is to push a button when a bell rings. The tranquility of the night, he hopes, will help him focus on his new novel.
His days become more exciting when he starts a romance with Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), a mysterious and elegant widow who sets strange rules to their meetings: she will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement, at 5pm sharp, twice a week and he should ask no questions about her work or her past life.
When people suddenly start dying around Tom, he begins to believe that a dark force has entered his life, punishing anyone who has recently done him wrong. After the police accuse him of murdering his neighbor, Tom tries to use his weekly visits to Margit’s apartment as an alibi, only to find out that she hasn’t lived at this address for the past 15 years." --Music Box Theatre
Kill Daddy Goodnight (Das Vaterspiel; 2009). Michael Glawogger, Austria, 110 min.
Location: Siskel Film Center
Run Time: Opens June 22
Kill Daddy Goodnight (Siskel Film Center)
"Best known for his documentaries WORKINGMAN’S DEATH and the 2012 EU Film Festival hit WHORE’S GLORY, Austrian auteur Glawogger brings the same edgy sensibility to this provocative adaptation of Josef Haslinger’s acclaimed novel. The globe-hopping storyline (compared by critics to Assayas’s DEMONLOVER) encompasses Vienna, Lithuania, New York, Nazi war criminals, incest, patricide, computer games, and the Y2K virus. The life of antihero Ratz (Köpping) is dominated by two figures: his father, an Austrian politician whose hypocrisy inspires Ratz to invent a papa-perforating computer game, and Mimi (Timeteo), a hairless (all over!) femme fatale who entices Ratz to her Long Island home to oversee a redecorating project with a sinister hidden motive. In German and English with English subtitles." --Siskel Film Center
Caitlin Plays Herself & Marriage Material (Double Feature)
Run Time: Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 8:00pm.
Location: Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL
"Prolific local filmmaker Joe Swanberg premieres two new films about young relationships in flux. In Marriage Material (2012, 55 min.), a young couple, played by Kentucker Audley and Caroline White, babysit for visiting friends, played by Joe and Kris Swanberg and their son Jude. The simple favor gradually opens a Pandora’s box of issues about marriage, family and commitment that leads them to reckon with their future together. In Caitlin Plays Herself (2011, 58 min.), a young actress, played by Neo-Futurist member Caitlin Stainken, struggles to break out of a chronic holding pattern embodied by relationship with a casual boyfriend (Swanberg) who likes being intimate but dislikes her provocative performances. Both films display Swanberg’s distinctive improvisational style where identifiable characters create fresh stories by working out their own inner conflicts." --Chicago Filmmakers