Controversy in action, and the rest of this week's movies



Detour, a lasting influence on Errol Morris and Guy Maddin, screens from film this Thursday.
  • Detour, a lasting influence on Errol Morris and Guy Maddin, screens from film this Thursday.
Riding into town on a wave of controversy, Kathryn Bigelow's fictionalized account of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, opens in Chicago this weekend. A number of politicians and political journalists have accused the film of factual inaccuracies, with some going so far as to say the film glorifies torture. While acknowledging the debate, J.R. Jones recommends the film in this week's issue, praising Bigelow for confronting "the darkest currents of American military might." I haven't seen it yet myself, though I'd contend that anything by the director of Near Dark and Strange Days is worth seeing for Bigelow's masterful control of pacing, physical detail, and tension. But if you like your suspense films a bit further removed from current events, hey, Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour is playing at Doc Films on Thursday.

This week's issue also has new reviews of Any Day Now, a domestic drama about a gay couple trying to adopt a child in the 1970s; Sergio Corbucci's Spaghetti Western Django (1966), which screens as a midnight show at the Music Box on Friday and Saturday (and which provides a major point of reference for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, which Tal Rosenberg considers at length in this week's issue); The Flat, a real-life mystery story from Israeli documentarian Arnon Goldfinger; How to Re-establish a Vodka Empire, another personal-essay doc playing in the Siskel Center's annual Stranger Than Fiction program; Price Check, an indie drama about office-life drudgery; The Rabbi's Cat, a quirky French animated feature adapted from a series of graphic novels; and Sister, the second feature by Ursula Meier, the talented young director of Home (2008).

Best bets for repertory: William Wellman's seldom-revived WWII drama The Story of G.I. Joe, screening at Doc Films on Monday; John Stahl's seldom-revived film noir The Walls of Jericho, screening at the Portage Theater on Wednesday; Elia Kazan's often-revived On the Waterfront, screening at the Music Box on Saturday and Sunday morning; and Wong Kar-Wai's debut feature, As Tears Go By, playing at Doc on Wednesday.

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