This Week's Movie Action

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The Adventures of Prince Achmed
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed

In this week's issue the indefatigable Ed M. Koziarski profiles local documentary maker Daniel Kraus, whose "Work" series includes portraits of a sheriff, a musician, and now a professor. Cliff Doerksen recommends the last of these, which makes its Chicago premiere at Gene Siskel Film Center on Saturday and Wednesday.

Also in this week's issue are Critic's Choice boxes for Casino Jack and the United States of Money, a documentary by Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) about the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and Lourdes, a drama by Austrian writer-director Jessica Hausner about religious pilgrims journeying to the legendary French town. And we have a roundup of Forbidden Cinema, a trio of screening/lectures by Portland, Oregon, archivist Dennis Nyback, this weekend at Chicago Filmmakers.

Other new movies reviewed this week: Breathless, a Korean crime drama about a mob enforcer who falls for a tough high school girl; Just Wright, a rom-com with Queen Latifah as a physical therapist ministering to injured NBA star Common; Letters to Juliet, a Euro-romance starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave; and Women Without Men, Shirin Neshat's drama about four Iranian women in the days leading up to the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mosaddegh.

In repertory the week's most notable screening is the Silent Film Society of Chicago's Sunday afternoon presentation of Lotte Reiniger's landmark animation feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed, accompanied by organist Jay Warren and introduced by talented local animator Jacqueline Smessaert Brennan (Botnik). Also screening this week: Robert Siodmak's Cobra Woman (1944), on Friday night at Block Films; Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru (1952), on Saturday afternoon and Thursday night at Doc Films; Robert Bresson's L'Argent (1983), on Tuesday at Doc; Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944), on Saturday at Bank of America Cinema; and Kurosawa's Rashomon (1951), on Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night at Film Center.

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