I can't speak highly enough of Kaneto Shindo's The Naked Island (1960), which screens at 3 PM on Saturday and 6 PM on Wednesday at Gene Siskel Film Center. Shot in beautiful black-and-white widescreen that ought to be appreciated on the big screen, and staged with virtually no dialogue, it tells the poignant story of a little farming family trying to survive on a secluded island in the Seto Inland Sea. Film Center is in the middle of a month-long retrospective on Shindo, and this is the gem (a nine-minute excerpt follows after the jump).
This week's long review considers Tabloid, Errol Morris's latest documentary and one of the year's funniest movies. We also have new reviews of Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, a documentary about the 90s hip-hop act; Beautiful Darling, a new documentary about Warhol superstar Candy Darling; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the shortest-ever installment of the franchise at 130 minutes, though it brings the final tally to a mind-bending 19 hours and 38 minutes; Identification Marks: None, a story of disaffected youth that marked the debut of Polish actor-director Jerzy Skolimowski; A Love Affair of Sorts, a cell phone-shot mockumentary about a chance meeting; Mother, Shindo's 1963 drama about the suffering people of Hiroshima; and Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese's HBO documentary about New York writer and raconteur Fran Lebowitz.
Best bets for repertory: Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934), screening in celluloid at the Portage courtesy of Northwest Chicago Film Society; Patricio Guzman's The Battle of Chile, Part One: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie and Part Two: The Coup D'Etat, at Film Center; Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Buck Privates (1941), screening by DVD projection at Pritzker Military Library with an introduction by Ed Tracy, plus the 1947 sequel Buck Privates Come Home; Rene Clair's The Crazy Ray (1923), next Thursday at University of Chicago Doc Films; and Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box.