When a petty thief attempts to rob an old man, he not only fails but finds himself on a boat heading towards the lonely island where the man lives. A de facto prisoner on the island, the thief spends his days looking for escape, even as he can’t help but become more entangled in the lives of the few island misfits. Filled with beautiful images and light humor, Color of Sky is a thoroughly likeable modern-day fable.
Malayalam with subtitles 117 min
From Chicago filmmaker Julian Grant comes this “neo-noir musical crime drama.” Benji is set up to take the fall for an ill-fated kidnapping, but still finds time to sing when he isn’t hastily bandaging injuries or trying to determine the motivations of a stripper with questionable loyalties. Mixing visual styles and utterly defying any attempt at clear categorization, this catchy, gritty film is not to be missed.
English 84 min
A poetic, tender road movie, A Secret World follows tormented teenager Maria as she makes her way through Mexico seeking her place in life. The film focuses on the pleasant beauty of the landscape and the eccentric, endearing personality of Maria as she comes into her own. Gorgeously filmed, this lyrical coming-of-age story doubles as a wistful hymn to a young woman’s self-discovery.
Spanish with subtitles 87 min
Alejandra and Maria make an unlikely couple, to say the least. Alejandra is a painfully shy middle-aged intellectual, while Maria is a loud, outgoing teenager attending a private high school. This stylish film explores the joys, complexities, and limitations of love between two very different people.
Spanish with subtitles 100 min
This gorgeously shot debut feature follows an Argentine family as they prepare to leave their tightly-knit German-speaking village for good. After a plague decimates their farm, they have no choice but to leave their home behind. As they say goodbye to old friends, the family attempts to reconcile the past and all their memories, good and bad, with their uncertain future in a town far away.
Spanish and German Dialect with subtitles 75 min
Starring director Terence Nance as a version of himself, a young man attempts to make a female friend something more. A single event motivates an abstract and witty introspection into the origins of his feelings toward her. Brazenly mixing live action with animation and eschewing classical narrative structure, An Oversimplfication of Her Beauty is a stylish, exhilarating American debut.
English 90 min
On the Polish-German border just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of friends wants to take charge of their lives and make their mark. Bored and lacking any direction, they lead the lives of outlaws, living hard and fast and not worrying about the consequences. Delightfully mixing a Scorsese-inflected gangster film with a modern-day Western, Yuma (based on actual events) makes for surreal, hugely enjoyable viewing.
Polish and German with subtitles 113 min
Just out of medical school, Veronica takes a challenging position at a local public hospital. Full of doubts and insecurity and reluctant to give up her sense of freedom, she finds herself questioning her career, personal, and romantic choices. When her beloved father is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, she must face her adult responsibilities head on.
Portuguese with subtitles 90 min
One of the most revered actresses in Middle Eastern cinema, Soad Hosni was a staple of the Egyptian screen in the 1960s and 1970s. This unconventional, lovingly crafted tribute recreates Hosni’s life story exclusively through her fictional performances, mined from VHS tapes that preserve this rich period of Egyptian film history.
Arabic with subtitles 70 min
In a diverse and cosmopolitan contemporary Havana, young Arthur meets and falls in love with Cecilia, a beautiful prostitute. Their idyllic aspirations for love and happiness quickly meet with complications. Fable is ultimately a moving, sincere exploration of the possibilities for love in a city defined by economic and social adversity.
Spanish with subtitles 92 min
When new mom Jenny inherits a cabin in Montana, she sees an opportunity to leave behind the drab routine of her stay-at-home life in Chicago. Baby in tow, she embraces a life of independence while she waits for her husband to join her. Her idyllic life takes an unsettling turn when she begins a relationship with a local handyman in this subtle, beautiful film from actor-filmmaker Kris Swanberg.
English 70 min
Inspired by real-life events, Our Children unfolds the riveting story of Murielle, a mother caught in a claustrophobic domestic nightmare. Struggling financially, she and her family are forced to move in with her husbands’s authoritarian mentor Dr. Pinget. The oppressive atmosphere of Pinget’s home overwhelms Murielle, making her increasingly desperate and irrational in this taut psychological drama.
French with subtitles 111 min
Hailing from Chicago, Steve James is one of America’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers. From the classic Hoop Dreams to the recent spectacular success of The Interrupters, James’s films illuminate their subjects with an intimate, observational style that is rarely matched. James will discuss his films, Chicago, and the state of documentary film in general. Moderated by Scott Tobias.
David Robinson will introduce a selection of discoveries from the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. An Italian comedy of 1914 THE MIRACULOUS WATERS shows that audiences of 100 years ago had no inhibitions about sexually risky subjects. Other moments from the festival demonstrate the importance of music in silent cinema, with an extract from the historic 2011 performance of Shostakovich's score for NEW BABYON. David Robinson also describes the spectacular 2012 restoration of the marvel of the 1900 Paris Exposition PHONO-CINEMA-THEATRE, which put on record the greatest stage stars of the day, so that the public of 2012 can still see Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet and legendary dancers like Cleo de Merode, masterfully recorded by cameramen of 112 years ago. In addition the Chicago audience will see Pordenone's resident silent star, Jean Darling, the blonde bombshell of 1920s OUR GANG movies, and later creator of the role of Carrie ("When I Marry Mr Snow") in the original 1944 Broadway production of CAROUSEL.
When Shun Li is moved from Rome to Venice to pay off her “debt” working in a bar, she does whatever it takes to bring her young son over from China. Feeling isolated, Shun Li forms an unlikely friendship with café regular Bepi, an older Slavic fisherman. The two souls find solace in each other in spite of their cultural differences in this poignant celebration of the beauty of human connection.
Italian with subtitles 100 min
A gritty political thriller, Shadow Dancer follows IRA agent Collette McVeigh as she’s caught by the police and forced to inform on her family. Collette’s handler, Mac (Clive Owen), is surprised and frustrated to find himself shut out of certain aspects of his own operation, while Collette is sure that her family and colleagues suspect her. An increasingly complex network of secrets and betrayals is uncovered in this stark, beautifully acted drama.
English 100 min
Produced by members of the film collective behind the acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, Tchoupitoulas provides a very different evocation of New Orleans life. The Ross brothers’ cameras follow three young boys and their dog as they cheerfully wander the French Quarter from sunset to sunrise. The result is a lyrical city symphony, capturing New Orleans, childhood, and the spirit of exploration with quiet observation and deft imagery.
English 80 min
Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything -- his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own who offers to help, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
English 117 min
Married to one of Denmark’s most celebrated 19th century painters, Marie Krøyer’s life is both privileged and fraught. With artistic aspirations of her own, Marie struggles to discover her identity while managing her husband’s increasingly erratic behavior and begins to look outside of her marriage for affirmation and autonomy. But at what cost? This beautifully crafted period drama presents a compelling portrait of a woman ahead of her time.
Danish with subtitles 103 min
When he develops a crush on the lovely young Kaltham, 16-year-old Mansoor finds himself unequipped for wooing her - an especially tricky problem in a society that regulates interaction between boys and girls. His best friend concocts the seemingly perfect solution of declaring his love with a gift, but that brings its own complications and deceits. Sea Shadow’s touching coming-of-age story brings out a tender, personal side of its Dubai setting.
Arabic with subtitles 98 min
Twelve-year-old Simon lives with his jobless, aimless sister in the industrial valley below a luxury ski resort. A small-time thief who preys on the rich tourists up above, Simon longs to escape from the drab poverty of his home life. As his schemes grow more grandiose, they also become more complex and risky, complicating his already fraught relationship with his sister in this bleak but tender coming-of-age story.
French with subtitles 97 min
In their 80s, Rosa and Bruno meet and are suddenly reminded what it means to love and live fully. The two - knowing that their time together is limited - discover a new lust for life and run off together, leaving much and many in their wake. This unconventional romantic drama paints a powerful portrait of love and loss by turns stark, passion-filled, and heartbreaking.
Since the death of her mother, Hemel has been very close with her father Gijs, her only other consolation being an endless series of men. Gijs has gone through a number of romances with beautiful women, and, similarly, none of them were serious enough to threaten the father-daughter relationship. When Gijs meets Sophie, however, Hemel feels like her close bond with her father is in serious danger in this powerful, erotic melodrama.
Dutch with subtitles 80 min
The lives of married couple Kanya and Satoko are turned upside down when they lose their restaurant in a fire. Depressed and desperate, the couple concocts an unlikely confidence scheme to pay the bills: Kanya marries and swindles lonely spinsters. Successful as they are, the fraud wears on the couple, driving an even greater wedge between them.
Japanese with subtitles 134 min
King Curling is a rollicking, boisterous comedy about the high-stakes world of curling, that most glorious of broom-based ice sports. After breaking under the intense pressure of championship competition, former star Truls Paulsen has fallen far from his former exalted station, battling OCD and a reliance on pills. When he learns that his former coach is in the hospital and in desperate need of an expensive operation, Truls gets himself together for one more, potentially lucrative competition.
Norwegian with subtitles 75 min
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