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Films & Schedules - Monday, February 21, 2011

THE DOUBLE HOUR

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 2 PM (B4)
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THE DOUBLE HOUR

DIRECTOR: Giuseppe Capotondi - ITALY

Filippo Timi (Vincere) and Kseniya Rappoport, winner of the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her role, star in this ever-changing thriller. She’s a maid, he’s an ex-cop; they meet via a speed-dating service, and for a while their relationship has real promise. But then a mysterious murder happens, and nothing is what it appeared to be. Is she a dangerous femme fatale or just a woman with terrible luck? Combining elements of film noir, melodrama, and finely-tuned suspense, The Double Hour keeps viewers on edge throughout its final moments. (95 mins.)

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MY JOY

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 2 PM (CM)
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MY JOY

DIRECTOR: Sergei Loznitsa - UKRAINE

A road movie through the dark side of rural Russia, My Joy posits a violence-filled former Soviet Union absent the most basic humanity. Georg leaves his hometown with a truckload of goods for the market. A wrong turn leads him down back roads where brutal local police, mysterious passengers, hostile locals, and a teenage prostitute he picks up at an endless traffic jam all offer their own picture of a surreal and oddly timeless hidden society. Here, the scars of the past are ever in the present. As Georg descends into the wilds, it seems a matter of time before...

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A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 2:15 PM (B3)
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A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN

DIRECTOR: Hans Petter Moland - NORWAY

Released from prison after doing time for murder, laconic Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgård) struggles to stay on the straight and narrow in a world that won’t believe he has changed. His ex mob boss, a quirky ex-wife, staccato-speaking garage owner/boss, an estranged son, a crazily libidinous landlady—trouble lurks at nearly every turn. An oddball mix of eccentric characters, bawdy behavior, and Nordic minimalism, the sensibility of Moland’s off-kilter tragicomedy has been compared to that of the Coen Brothers and Aki Kaurismaki—dark in tone but light in spirit. “A Somewhat Gentle Man is a film about our painful shortcomings, a tribute to...

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CHEKHOV FOR CHILDREN

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 2:30 PM (WH)
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CHEKHOV FOR CHILDREN

DIRECTOR: Sasha Waters Freyer - UNITED STATES

Chekhov for Children tells the inspiring, charming story of the 1979 Broadway staging of “Uncle Vanya,” a heartbreaking play about middle-aged longing—by New York City fifth and sixth graders, under the direction of celebrated New York writer Phillip Lopate. Using a wealth of often amusing student-made films and videos from the time, mixed with contemporary interviews with some of the now middle-aged participants, Freyer, himself one of the students, explores the interplay between art and life for a dozen friends across three decades. “It is childhood which animates our adult lives, and it is through the arts that we all...

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PINK SARIS

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 2:30 PM (B1)
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PINK SARIS

DIRECTOR: Kim Longinotto - GREAT BRITAIN

“Pink Saris” refers to the hot-colored garments worn by the Gulabi Gang, women who resist the traditionalist view of Indian society, including the ostracization of so-called “untouchables,” the taboos surrounding inter-caste marriages, the routine physical abuse of “disobedient” wives, and the marrying-off of girls before they’ve entered puberty. Longinotto, whose past films have celebrated strong-willed women fighting for justice, follows Sampat Pal Devi, leader of the “Pink Gang,” a group of female activists from the Dalit caste who crusade to help battle practices that have kept Indian women subservient for centuries. As Longinotto tracks the remarkable Sampat’s effective conflict resolution...

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THE MAN WHO WILL COME

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 4:15 PM (B4)
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THE MAN WHO WILL COME

DIRECTOR: Giorgio Diritti - ITALY

Winner of the Jury Prize at the Rome Film Festival and this year’s David de Donatello (Italian Oscar) Award for Best Film, Diritti’s film is a moving anti-war parable. In the fall of 1944, the German army committed an atrocity of Italian genocide known as the Massacre of Marzabotto—slaughtering almost 800 Italian peasants near Bologna, many women, children, and the elderly. Diritti explores the events that led to this act through the eyes of an eight-year-old peasant girl and her family, including the fateful decision by their community to aid the partisans fighting the occupying Fascist forces. Diritti, who worked...

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RUSSIAN LESSONS

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 4:45 PM (B1)
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RUSSIAN LESSONS

DIRECTOR: Andrei Nekrasov, Olga Konskaya - NORWAY

Nekrasov and Konskaya, familiar with Russia’s ease in spreading misinformation, suspected that the official version of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia—which painted Georgia as the aggressor—was far from true. With Russian Lessons, they set out to prove it. Examining the damage and interviewing witnesses, the truth soon surfaces—not only the truth about which country was to blame, but about how the Russians were so successful in spinning their version in the press and in the court of world opinion. A damning indictment of the Putin government and the laxity of Western media, this fascinating film is a cautionary...

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CAMERAMAN: THE LIFE AND WORK OF JACK CARDIFF

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 5 PM (B3)
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CAMERAMAN: THE LIFE AND WORK OF JACK CARDIFF

DIRECTOR: Craig McCall - UNITED STATES

Over his 70-year career, Jack Cardiff shot some of the most visually dazzling films in screen history, working for great directors like John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock, and Michael Powell and earning equal praise from his leading men (John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston) and his leading ladies (Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn). Craig McCall’s accomplished documentary illuminates the cinematographer’s art and provides a rare insight into the workings of the movie world. With a wealth of interviews and glorious Technicolor film clips—including Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The African Queen, and even Rambo—this passionate tribute and rich film history...

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LOUDER THAN A BOMB

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 5 PM (WH)
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LOUDER THAN A BOMB

DIRECTOR: Greg Jacobs, Jon Siskel - UNITED STATES

Chicago’s “Louder than a Bomb” (LTAB) draws more than 600 high school students from 60 schools from all over the city’s diverse neighborhoods to compete in what is now the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. Rather than emphasizing individual performances, however, LTAB is unique in judging teams, not individuals, forcing participants to work collaboratively with their peers. For many kids, being a part of such an environment is life-changing. In the tradition of Spellbound and Wordplay, this irresistibly gripping film gives us an inside look at four teams (and their star “slammers”) as they compete for the...

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THE WHISTLEBLOWER

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 5 PM (CM)
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THE WHISTLEBLOWER

DIRECTOR: Larysa Kondracki - CANADA

Set in 1999, The Whistleblower is a harrowing political thriller chronicling the true story of a former Nebraska police officer named Kathy Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) as she tackles a job as a peacekeeper working for the United Nations in Sarajevo. Arriving in post-war Bosnia expecting a well-organized international effort, she instead finds chaos and cynicism. Working for the UN’s Gender Office, which is assigned to investigate sexual assaults, she quickly stumbles into the grim realities of sex trafficking, discovering that the very people supposedly helping battle injustice and human rights abuse are, in fact, their facilitators. As she works to...

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POETRY

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 6:30 PM (B2)
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POETRY

DIRECTOR: Lee Chang-dong - SOUTH KOREA

A sharp critique of Korean society’s inability to grapple with deep social problems, Poetry tells the story of a woman trying to find the poetry of her own life. Mija, a quiet woman in her sixties, works as caregiver for an elderly disabled man. In the early stages of dementia, she leads a simple existence centered on watching over her troubled grandson. When the boy’s behavior leads to horrible tragedy, the crisis sends her into an existential downward spiral, and she turns to her newfound interest in writing poetry for solace and guidance. As in Lee’s previous works, Poetry explores...

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EASTERN PLAYS

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 6:45 PM (B4)
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EASTERN PLAYS

DIRECTOR: Kamen Kalev - BULGARIA

The challenges of life for youth in Bulgaria and many Eastern European countries in the post-Soviet era—high unemployment, lack of direction and opportunity, and rising nationalism—movingly surface in Kalev’s debut film. Disaffected and impressionable teen Georgi falls in with a gang of skinheads in Sofia. When the gang hassles a Turkish family on the street, the man who comes to their aid turns out to be Georgi’s estranged older brother Christo, nicknamed Itso. An artist and recovering drug addict, Itso is surprised to discover newfound motivation after this incident, reconnecting with his brother and bonding with the beautiful Isil (Saadet...

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IN A BETTER WORLD

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 7:15 PM (B3)
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IN A BETTER WORLD

DIRECTOR: Susanne Bier - DENMARK

Anton commutes between his home in an idyllic Danish town and his work at a Kenyan refugee camp tending to the victims of tribal war. Anton and his wife Marianne, who lives in Denmark, are separated. Their eldest son, ten-year-old Elias, is being bullied at school, until Christian, newly arrived from London and troubled by the recent death of his mother, defends him. The boys quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, lives are put in danger. Anton, seeing life from the perspective of living with violence...

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ALL THAT I LOVE

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 7:30 PM (CM)
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ALL THAT I LOVE

DIRECTOR: Jacek Borcuch - POLAND

Eighteen-year-old Janek has a dream familiar to many kids his age: start a band with your best friends, write provocative music, hang out with your girlfriend, lose your virginity. However, in 1981 Communist Poland, those dreams can lead to nightmares: martial law is threatened as the Solidarity movement gains increasing momentum, and Janek begins to realize that his band’s anti-establishment message could well lead to trouble for his friends and family. With a naval officer father and a girlfriend whose own father is under investigation by the state, Janek’s coming-of-age is fraught with conflict between his ideals and his desire...

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HOW TO DIE IN OREGON

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 7:30 PM (B1)
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HOW TO DIE IN OREGON

DIRECTOR: Peter D. Richardson - UNITED STATES

“From its opening scene, where a terminally ill cancer patient takes a lethal dose of Seconal and literally dies on camera, it becomes shockingly clear that this is a special film. In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. Since 1994, more than 500 Oregonians have taken their mortality into their own hands. Richardson gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether—and...

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PASSIONE: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE

Mon, Feb 21, 2011
at 7:30 PM (WH)
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PASSIONE: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE

DIRECTOR: John Turturro - UNITED STATES

“Napoli is one of those places where after fresh air, food, and shelter, music is an essential ingredient for the survival of the people. There are places that do something to you, deep down in your unconscious, in your soul. Naples is that for me, as it has been for so many other people in the arts—poets, writers, painters, and musicians throughout the ages. We journey through one of the biggest of jukeboxes in the world, a treasure chest of songs, from 1200 to now, conjuring distant stories and myths that still live, a repertoire that speaks of love, sex,...

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