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Indiefest Film Festival

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"The world's first completely liberated film market," also a festival for the public, runs Friday, August 1, through Sunday, August 10, at Water Tower. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $10. Following is the schedule through August 7; a complete schedule is available on/line at www.chicagoreader.com.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1

Opening Night Welcome

Scheduled to last five hours, this opening program includes a screening of John Putch's 90-minute comedy Bachelorman as well as shorts by Peter Evan Smith, David Schmidt, Benjamin Brammeier, Mike Nirenberg, Daniel Pico, and Dale Spencer. Tickets are $20. (6:00)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2

The Hunt

Video makers Sean T. Daily and Christopher R. Plotner examine the University of Chicago's annual four-day scavenger hunt, when students take a break from their high-pressure pursuit of obscure ideas to enjoy the high-pressure pursuit of obscure objects. Founded in 1987, the contest asks teams to make road trips as long as a thousand miles, construct elaborate craft projects, and take part in goofy public displays (during a climactic foot race, teams of runners are connected by dental floss strung through their body piercings). With the success of TV shows like Jackass and Fear Factor, a documentary like this may be an idea whose time has come, though its paper-dry voice-over is more suggestive of an 8 AM physics class. 108 min. (JJ) Also on the program: Kaitlin Parker and Frank Alexander's Faggots (9 min.). (Noon)

Short works, program one

Work by Benjamin Brammeier, J.P. Fanshawe, and Gary Prusaitis. 88 min. (2:00)

Spook Barry Levy directed this fact-based drama (2002, 93 min.) about a Canadian man who served as a CIA sniper in Vietnam. Also on the program: Lorin B. Colman's 16-minute drama Faith (2002). (4:00)

The Isle

Notorious on the festival circuit for its excruciating scenes of self-mutilation, this 2000 feature by South Korean bad boy Ki-duk Kim traces the deepening sadomasochistic relationship between two lost souls living on a remote lake. Hiding from the police, a suicidal young man takes up residence in one of the rough houseboats that service vacationing fishermen; the caretaker of the business, a silent young woman who sells bait by day and her ass by night, takes a shine to the visitor, who ultimately rewards her attentions by kicking her repeatedly in the crotch. Critics have compared the film to Takashi Miike's Audition, and its sexual psychodrama also owes a clear debt to Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses. But if I had to draw a parallel between Kim and another filmmaker, I'd have to choose Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl); both use their dazzling cinematic skills to dignify an utterly juvenile view of men and women. In Korean with subtitles. 89 min. (JJ) Also on the program: Daniel Pico's 28-minute drama Two Days in Limbo. (6:00)

Lizzie

The premise of Lee Alan's independent thriller (2000) is ridiculous: a Court TV-style cable channel covering an evidentiary hearing in a murder case is airing--unedited and unpreviewed--a videotape thought to document the slaughter of a suburban family. Shot by the title character, a high school senior with lesbian leanings, the video alternates between cliched scenes of her uptight parents berating her and terminally dull sequences of three male pals smoking dope, talking trash, and giving the camera the finger. At the center of all this is an affecting portrait of a misfit teen struggling to come to terms with her sexuality in the shark-infested waters of a public high school, but the rest is so laboriously transgressive I'm inclined to think the good parts happened by accident. 87 min. (JJ) Also on the program: Ely Mennin's 15-minute drama Love, Lenore (1999). (8:00)

After Midnight

Michael Amato wrote and directed this mystery (2002, 117 min.) about a man who loses his memory and is rescued by a widow, herself the object of a stalker. Also on the program: David Schmidt's nine-minute drama Grave Invitations. (10:00)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3

Short works, program two

Work by David Schmidt, Sam Goldberg, Gloria McCord, J.P. Fanshawe, Ely Mennin, and Daniel Pico. 98 min. (Noon)

El Matador

Bronx stand-up comedian Joey Medina wrote, produced, and directed this comedy (2002, 75 min.) about a Mexican-American pizza deliveryman who wants to become a bullfighter. Also on the program: shorts by Peter Evan Smith and Xhou Xiaohu. (2:00)

Janice Beard

An eccentric secretary uncovers espionage at a car company in this British comedy (2000, 78 min.) by Claire Kilner. Also on the program: shorts by Brough Johnson and Mike Nirenberg. (4:00)

Never Trust a Serial Killer

An uptight yuppie is surprised by a visit from his old college pal, who's obsessed by a serial killer and seems to know entirely too much about him. Juan C. Garza directed this comedy video (2002, 84 min.). Also on the program: Contract Killers (23 min.) by Dale Spencer. (6:00)

The 3 Marias

In this 2002 revenge drama set in Brazil's northeastern frontier, a brooding widow dispatches her three daughters (all named Maria) to hire three assassins to kill the men responsible for murdering her husband and sons. Striving for the elemental power of a Sergio Leone western, director Aluizio Abranches lards his schematic story with mystical portents (the number three is everywhere, and biblical allusions abound) and props it up with some dazzling visuals, but the stylistic bombast undercuts the storytelling and the vengeful matriarch's feminist posturing borders on the ludicrous. In Portuguese with subtitles. 90 min. (TS) Also on the program: Peter Mervis's 21-minute drama The Curse and the Smoking Jacket. (8:00)

Spook

See listing for Saturday, August 2. Also on the program: Gloria McCord's 14-minute drama A Freudian Image. (10:00)

MONDAY, AUGUST 4

Our House

Sevan Matossian directed this 2002 documentary (83 min.) about three mentally disabled people living in the same house. Also on the program: Karine Baczynski's 28-minute documentary Shine, Confessions of a Rubber Fetishist. (Noon)

A Legal Person

Steven Wise, a legal scholar who has defended the rights of chimpanzees and bonobos, is the focus of this documentary (2002, 100 min.) by Donna Thomas and Paul Garstki. Also on the program: Joshua Tickell's 12-minute documentary The Veggie Van Voyage. (2:00)

Short works, program three

Documentaries by Caroline Laskow and Naghmeh Shirkhan. 95 min. (4:00)

Short works, program four

Documentaries by Kaitlin Parker, Karine Baczynski, and Jimbeau Andrews. 83 min. (6:00)

Short works, program five

Documentaries by Kaitlin Parker, Joshua Tickell, and Shannon O'Rourke. 83 min. (8:00)

The Hunt

See listing for Saturday, August 2. Also on the program: Joshua Tickell's 12-minute documentary The Veggie Van Voyage. (10:00)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 5

Short works, program five

See listing for Monday, August 4. (Noon)

Short works, program four

See listing for Monday, August 4. (2:00)

Short works, program six

Dramas by Benjamin Brammeier, Salvatore DiSalvetore, Jason Weisner, Lorin B. Colman, and Peter Mervis. 96 min. (4:00)

Short works, program three

See listing for Monday, August 4. (6:00)

Short works, program seven

Nine comedy shorts, totaling about 90 minutes. (8:00)

Short works, program two

See listing for Sunday, August 3. (10:00)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6

A Legal Person

See listing for Monday, August 4. (Noon)

Our House

See listing for Monday, August 4. Also on the program: Salvatore DiSalvetore's ten-minute drama Circus. (2:00)

After Midnight

See listing for Saturday, August 2. Also on the program: Sam Goldberg's 13-minute drama The Day I Tried to Live. (4:00)

Short works, program eight

Work by Jason Weisner and Gary Prusaitis. 100 min. (6:00)

The Isle

See listing for Saturday, August 2. Also on the program: Ely Mennin's 19-minute drama Love, Lenore (1999, 15 min.). (8:00)

Lizzie

See listing for Saturday, August 2. Also on the program: J.P. Fanshawe's 19-minute drama Daylight. (10:00)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 7

Short works, program seven

See listing for Tuesday, August 5. (Noon)

Bachelorman

A ladies' man meets his match when a beautiful woman moves in next door; John Putch directed this 90-minute romantic comedy. Also on the program: short work by Xhou Xiaohu and Jay Duplass. (2:00)

Never Trust a Serial Killer

See listing for Sunday, August 3. Also on the program: shorts by Laura Horak and Joe Anaya. (4:00)

Janice Beard

See listing for Sunday, August 3. Also on the program: shorts by Brough Johnson and Jude Talmor. (6:00)

Bachelorman

See listing this date above. Also on the program: shorts by Peter Evan Smith and Mike Nirenberg. (8:00)

El Matador

See listing for Sunday, August 3. Also on the program: Dale Spencer's 23-minute comedy Contract Killers.(10:00)

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