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BEST OF FEST ANNOUNCED!!
BEST OF THE FEST!
Wednesday, October 20
As the 46th Chicago International Film Festival comes to a close, Chicagoans will be given one more chance to experience the Festival’s most celebrated films, with this year’s award-winning and most popular films being screened one more time for the general public. Best of the Fest screenings, presented by DePaul University, will be held at the AMC River East 21 Theater (322 E. Illinois St.).
HOW I ENDED THE SUMMER (Russia)
Director: Aleksei Popogrebsky
Winner Gold Hugo: Best Film
The desolate frigidity of the Arctic Circle isn’t enough to dampen the slow boil of anxiety and madness that percolates beneath the surface at a remote science station, where veteran technician Sergei and callow but eager newcomer Pavel struggle to cope with the tedium. Their stress reaches a snapping point when Pavel receives a radio transmission bearing bad news and, afraid of his saturnine partner’s reaction, goes to extreme lengths to keep it a secret.
A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN (Norway)
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Winner Silver Hugo: Special Jury Prize
In this bittersweet smorgasbord of unforgettable characters, bawdy sex, and distinctly Scandinavian tragicomedy, laconic part-time gangster Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgård) leaves prison after a 12-year stint for murder. A free man, he must choose between taking revenge on the snitch who turned him in and attempting reconciliation with his family. Skarsgård delivers a deviously comic and somewhat frightening performance as a man whose gentleness has its limits.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Mexico)
Director: Jorge Michel Grau
Winner Silver Hugo: Special Jury Prize
When the patriarch of a down-on-their-luck family collapses and dies, the discovery of a woman’s finger in his stomach has the police scratching their heads. Meanwhile, the dead man’s family worries about where their next meal will come from in his absence. In this delectably horrifying tale of survival in Mexico City, the chilling revelation of how this family procures its food is the first of many shocking twists to come.
A SCREAMING MAN (France / Belgium / Chad)
Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Winner Silver Hugo: Best Actor - Youssouf Djaoro, Best Screenplay - Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Oblivious to the civil war raging around him, Adam, a pool attendant at a private club, takes fierce pride in his job and his son. The implications of the war land at his doorstep when the club changes hands and he loses his position, replaced by his son. Seething with humiliation and envy and under pressure from military factions, Adam finds himself contemplating a shocking act of betrayal in this Cannes Jury Prize winner.
BROTHER & SISTER (Argentina)
Director: Daniel Burman
Festival Favorite & Winner Silver Hugo: Best Ensemble Acting – Antonio Gasalla and Graciela Borges
In this graceful, wryly amusing character study from Chicago fave Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace), two aging siblings - soft-spoken goldsmith Marcos and controlling Susana-prepare for retirement after the death of their mother. Marcos has always borne Susana's caprices with good-natured resignation, but she goes too far when she attempts to curtail his newly rediscovered passion for acting. In the end, Marcos must decide just how much of her meddling he is willing to take.
THE MATCHMAKER (Israel)
Director: Avi Nesher
Winner Silver Plaque
Teenage Arik’s attitudes toward life and love undergo seismic shifts during one remarkable summer in the newly formed state of Israel when he begins an apprenticeship under slick professional matchmaker and Holocaust survivor Yankale Bride. Bride, who lives in a district full of other survivors, uses Arik to gather information on potential clients. He prides himself on giving clients “what they need, not what they want,” but his and Arik’s own love lives are far from simple.
Director: Marek Lechki
Winner Gold Plaque: New Directors Competition
Years ago, Michal left his small town behind when he set off for university in the city. When work brings him back to his hometown, his plans to avoid running into anyone are thwarted after he inadvertently runs over a stranger. Forced to stay in town during the investigation, Michal must confront the choices he has made. Moody and gorgeous, Erratum contemplates parallel questions: can you ever leave your past behind, and can you ever really go home?
BEAUTIFUL DARLING (USA)
Director: James Rasin
Winner Gold Hugo: Docufest Competition
Transgender pioneer Candy Darling played glamorous muse to some of ’60s-’70s New York’s biggest artists. She shone in Andy Warhol’s films, Lou Reed’s songs, and Tennessee Williams’ plays. But Candy’s rising star hid a crippling isolation that haunted her until her tragic death. Relive this outré version of the American Dream with Candy’s best friend Jeremiah Newton, Candy’s own letters (voiced by Chloë Sevigny), new interviews, and archival footage featuring Warhol, Dennis Hopper, Jane Fonda, and Kim Novak.
LOUDER THAN A BOMB (USA)
Director: Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel
Winner: Special Jury Mention, Chicago Award
Who ever said poetry was boring? Four teams of supremely talented Chicago high school students harness the ecstatic power of words as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth poetry slam right here in Chicago. Come see this rousing, multiple-award-winning smash documentary make its hometown debut with the filmmakers and poets scheduled to attend.
SHORTS 4: TOGETHER APART
Program Includes the Award Winning-Short GRANDMOTHERS
In Zero (New Zealand), a volatile teenager struggles to separate himself from his imprisoned father. A taxi driver flirts with his passenger only to have the tables dramatically turned in The Cassava Metaphor (Cameroon/France). Three estranged siblings reunite following the death of their mother in Domenica Cameron-Scorsese’s Roots in Water (USA). In Grandmothers (Brazil), 10-year-old Leo receives a Super 8 camera for his birthday and finds out that Monica Lewinski is Jewish, that the numbers on his grandparents’ arms are responsible for him being chubby, and that his old camera is worthless. The experience of life in exile is explored through one man’s surreal nightmares and illusions in Shadows of Silence (France/Sri Lanka). Multiple-award-winning documentary White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug (USA) recalls the Bronx in the early 1980s, the old-school days of hip-hop, and the dangerous underworld at the legendary club Disco Fever.
SWORD OF DESPERATION (Japan)
Director: Hideyuki Hirayama
The expert swordsman Kanemi Sanzaemon is a man of principle, first and foremost. His decisive, violent handling of high-level corruption in the court of the local feudal lord landed him in solitary confinement for two years. He has now been released, with one caveat he cannot comprehend: He must serve as bodyguard to the lord he betrayed. This thrilling, masterfully stylized tale of honor combines classic samurai action with a taut story of intrigue and betrayal.
NANNERL, MOZART’S SISTER (France)
Director: René Féret
Back by Popular Demand
In this dynamic biopic centering on the other musical prodigy in the Mozart family, 14-year-old Nannerl lives in the shadow of her famous younger brother as they travel throughout Europe performing for royalty. As a girl, Nannerl is prohibited by her father and society from composing her own music, a restriction under which she chafes. With the encouragement of the handsome French Dauphin, she finds her own ways of challenging the established sexual and social order.
OF LOVE AND OTHER DEMONS (Colombia)
Director: Hilda Hidalgo
Back by Popular Demand
Based on the novel by Gabriel García Marquez, this visually stunning film presents an unconventional love story, full of beauty and mystery. When a 13-year-old girl contracts rabies-thought to be demonic possession-she is sent to a convent to be exorcised by a priest. He alone understands the absurd cruelty of her plight, but his denunciation of her treatment is complicated by the chaste but forbidden love blossoming between them.
BEST OF INTERCOM
The 46th International Communications Media competition recognizes the incredible creativity found in corporate, branded, educational, and interactive multimedia films. This year’s program of winning INTERCOM clips is headlined by the Chicago premiere of Jeff Deutchman’s riveting “participatory documentary,” the SXSW hit (and winner of INTERCOM’s Special Achievement in Interactive Filmmaking award) 11/4/08. Relive all the tension of that fateful election day with footage shot by 20 filmmakers from Chicago to Dubai, and participate in a live-streaming Q+A.