My favorite short animation from last year's Chicago International Film Festival, Jackie Smessaert Brennan's ten-minute cartoon Botnik, resurfaces tonight at Th!nkArt Salon, 1530 N. Paulina, where it will be screening on the hour, from 6 to 11 PM, with Shanti Masud's 43-minute documentary But We Have the Music.
It's part of the opening-night festivities for an exhibition by the French rock photographer Richard Bellia, who'll be on hand. Shot between 1982 and 2007, Bellia's photogaphs document Bjork, David Bowie, James Brown, the Clash, the Cure, Paul McCartney, Metallica, Nirvana, Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Rolling Stones.
The opening is copresented by the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, heavily covered in this week's paper: in addition to a selective schedule, we've got a profile of festival cofounder Ilko Davidov, and I review two movies screening Saturday: Gregori Viens's superior comedy Punching the Clown and Burt Kearns's profile of Neil Innes, The Seventh Python.
Also as part of the festival, I'll debate the greatest rock movie ever made with Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times, Keith Phipps of the Onion, author Arnie Bernstein (Hollywood on Lake Michigan), and filmmaker Lech Kowalski, who has several projects screening this weekend as part of the festival. The panel takes place Sunday, 3:30 PM, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington.
I've narrowed it down to 17 titles, but I'm having a hell of a time making up my mind, which doesn't bode well for my debate performance:
COMEDIES: The Girl Can't Help It (1956), Viva Las Vegas (1964), A Hard Day's Night (1964), The T.A.M.I. Show (1964), Don't Look Back (1967), Wild in the Streets (1968), Head (1968), Monterey Pop (1969), The Kids Are Alright (1979), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), Stop Making Sense (1984).