This week I review The Company Men, a fine new drama about white-collar workers downsized after the September 2008 financial collapse. We also have a Critic's Choice box for William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, Yony Leyser's documentary about the legendary author and cult hero. Ed Koziarski published a profile of Leyser in the Reader last year, and I have two old pieces about Burroughs, one written after his death and another about his boxed set of readings.
Check out this week's issue for new capsule reviews of Barney's Version, an adaptation of Mordechai Richler's final novel, with Paul Giamatti in the title role; Dissolution, an eerie update of Crime and Punishment set in Tel Aviv and directed by LA indie Nina Menkes; Great Directors, in which first-time filmmaker Angela Ismailos interviews her cinematic heroes; Martha, a Mexican drama about a 75-year-old file clerk put out to pasture; 12th and Delaware, a cinema verite documentary by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) about an abortion clinic under siege in Fort Pierce, Florida; The Way Back, a World War II survival drama directed by Peter Weir (Witness, The Truman Show); and Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny, produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to stress Churchill's critical role in halting the Holocaust.
Leading off this week's repertory screenings: the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary Shoah (1985), showing in two parts through February 3. Also screening this week: Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself (1980), Saturday through Sunday and Tuesday through Wednesday at Film Center; Charles Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925) on Friday at Symphony Center, accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) on Wednesday at Doc Films; David MacKenzie's Spread (2009), little seen at the time of its release last year, showing on Monday at Doc with an introduction by Reader contributor Ben Sachs; Howard Hawks's To Have and Have Not (1944) on Tuesday at Doc; and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), showing in 35-millimeter Panavision at Northbrook Public Library.