by Ben Sachs
In this week's issue, we recommend two other French features: Claude Sautet's police procedural-cum-moral drama Max et les Ferrailleurs (1971), which features knockout performances from Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider; and Amour, a new chamber drama by Austrian auteur Michael Haneke (Code Unknown, Caché). We also have new reviews of Gangster Squad, an Untouchables-style period piece from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer (weird, right?); The Iran Job, a documentary about an American basketball player in the ancient city of Shiraz; Last Call at the Oasis, a documentary about global water crises; The Sheik and I, the latest personal-essay film by director-performer Caveh Zahedi (I Am a Sex Addict); and Somewhere Between, a documentary about Chinese adoptees living in the United States.
Apart from Chronicle of a Summer, this week's best repertory screening is Desire, a rarely revived 1936 romantic comedy produced by the great Ernst Lubitsch and directed by the even greater Frank Borzage; it plays at the Portage Theater on Wednesday at 7:30 PM. Other notable revivals include Last Days of Pompeii, a 1926 silent epic playing Saturday at noon at the Music Box; Passage to Marseilles, a 1944 effort that reunited director Michael Curtiz with Casablanca cast members Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre, screening Wednesday night at the Northbrook Public Library; Roman Polanski's Tess, screening at the Siskel Center from a new DCP restoration on Saturday and Monday; and John Carpenter's The Thing, screening at the Music Box on Friday and Saturday at midnight.