A contemporary of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German director Werner Schroeter divided his time between opera and film, and the avant-garde works he made from 1968 through 2008 were heavily influenced by his immersion in opera. This week Goethe-Institut and Facets Cinematheque present a 12-film retrospective on Schroeter, the first ever in Chicago; our sidebar includes reviews of four features, and the Facets site has information on the rest.
Also in this week's issue, we've got a Reader Recommends box for The Paperboy, the latest from director Lee Daniels (Precious, Shadowboxer), and new reviews of: About Cherry, a dismal drama about a young woman becoming an online porn star, with James Franco, Dev Patel, Lili Taylor, and Heather Graham; The Ambassador, an audacious new documentary from Danish troublemaker Mads Brugger (The Red Chapel); Escape Fire, a documentary about our ailing health care system; Frankenweenie, Tim Burton's feature-length animation based on his early live-action short; The Last Step, an Iranian drama in which an actress (Leila Hatami of A Separation) is visited by her husband's ghost; The Oranges, an indie drama about suburban angst starring Hugh Laurie, Allison Janney, Catherine Keener, and Oliver Platt; Three Films: Straub and Huillet, featuring the Chicago premiere of the last film completed by the legendary French team; Twenty Days Without War, the story of a Russian war correspondent during World War II, directed by Aleksei Guerman; V/H/S, a horror anthology with contributions by Ti West and Joe Swanberg; The Well-Digger's Daughter, a remake of the Marcel Pagnol classic by actor Daniel Auteuil; and Won't Back Down, a drama about public school reform starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Holly Hunter.
The Girl Can't Help It
Best bets for repertory: Stanley Donen's Charade (1963), Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library; King Hu's Come Drink With Me (1966), next Thursday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Vera Chytilova's Daisies (1966), all week at Gene Siskel Film Center, with an introduction by Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Sunday screening; Alexander Payne's Election (1999), Tuesday at Columbia College Film Row Cinema, as part of the "Cinema Slapdown" series of screening/debates; Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It (1956), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center, with a lecture by Fred Camper at the second show; Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984), Tuesday at Doc Films, screening from an archival print; Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965), Monday at Doc; and Ken Jacobs's Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son (1969), Sunday at Doc.
Also check out the Greek Film Festival, with screenings tonight through October 10 at at Gene Siskel Film Center, the National Hellenic Museum, the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, and Film Row Cinema. Click here for a full schedule.