by J.R. Jones
One of the year's indispensable film events, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, kicks off tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center and continues through July 1; check out this week's sidebar for selected reviews of this year's features (including the locally produced Scrappers, above).
Also in this week's issue are Critic's Choice boxes for four new releases: Cyrus, the latest from indie favorites Jay and Mark Duplass (Baghead, The Puffy Chair), starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Jonah Hill; I Am Love, a sensual, high-toned Italian family saga starring Tilda Swinton; The Killer Inside Me, Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of the pulp classic by Jim Thompson, starring Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba; and Sweetgrass, a documentary about contemporary shepherds in the American northwest.
Other new releases reviewed this week: Grown Ups, the latest Adam Sandler comedy, with Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider; Jonah Hex, a Wild West fantasy adapted from the DC Comics series; Knight and Day, an action comedy starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; and Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee, a rock mockumentary by British director Shane Meadows.
Best bets in repertory: Nicholas Ray's Bigger Than Life (1956), screening Friday at Doc Films; Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), continuing daily at Music Box; David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), screening in 35-millimeter at Northbrook Public Library; Ousmane Sembene's Ceddo (1977), showing Sunday night at DuSable Museum of African American History; Max Ophuls's Lola Montes, screening Saturday night at Doc; and Howard Hughes's The Outlaw (1943), showing Saturday night at Bank of America Cinema.