Best Free Movie Series

Critics' Picks

Cinema/Chicago

at the Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington

tiny.cc/cinemachicago

If you live in the north suburbs, the hands-down winner of this title is the Northbrook Public Library’s classic film series on Wednesday afternoons and evenings; unlike most public libraries, which project DVDs, Northbrook has acquired a 35-millimeter rig and often takes advantage of it to present wide-screen classics (David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai screens on June 30). Another free series worth checking out is the Saturday-night DVD screening at Hotti Biscotti in Logan Square (3545 W. Fullerton); the projection here tends toward the other extreme (at one point they were using a bedsheet for a screen), but the schedule is first-rate, favoring substantial art-house and international films.

The best thing going in the city, though, is Cinema/Chicago’s summer series of international movies at the Chicago Cultural Center, now in its seventh year. Covering 19 countries in as many weeks, it offers the same sort of broad cultural experience as Cinema/Chicago’s other big project—the Chicago International Film Festival—without charging a dime. It’s proved so popular that, beginning this year, Cinema/Chicago is screening most titles twice, on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM and on Saturdays at 2 PM.


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