This Week's Movie Action

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The Abominable Dr. Phibes
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Jonathan Rosenbaum returns to the pages of the Reader this week as part of our 40th-anniversary issue, revisiting his much-read 1998 piece "List-o-Mania, or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies." He'll also appear at Cinema Borealis on Saturday to discuss Pedro Costa's music documentary Change Nothing.

Also this week, check out our coverage of week two of the Chicago International Film Festival. Among the films reviewed are new releases by Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt, Sideways), Mia Hansen-Love (Father of My Children), and Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Movern Callar).

Additional new releases reviewed this week include Beloved Sky and From No. 37, both screening as part of the Gene Siskel Film Center's annual Festival of Films From Iran; The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, a documentary using recently unearthed Swedish TV footage to recall the Black Power movement in America; Blackthorn, a Spanish western in which an aging Butch Cassidy (Sam Shepard) tries to make his way from Bolivia back to the United States; Footloose, a remake of the 80s cult favorite; Happy Happy, a Norwegian comedy about the sexual misadventures of two married couples; Limelight, a documentary about the Canadian nightclub impresario Peter Gatien; Lowlands, an essay film about painter Johannes Vermeer (among other things) by local filmmaker and Columbia College professor Peter Thompson; and Shut Up Little Man!, a documentary about the notorious audiotapes surreptitiously recorded of two feuding alcoholic roommates in late-80s San Francisco.

Best bets for repertory: Jan Svankmajer's Alice (1988), Tuesday night by DVD projection at Comfort Station; Tod Browning's Dracula (1931), next Thursday at Doc Films; John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), Friday night at Doc; Valery Todorovsky's Hipsters (2008), Friday night at Block Museum of Art; Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With a Zombie (1943), screening by DVD projection at midnight Saturday as part of Facets Night School; Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff, Saturday night at Doc; and Mark Robson's The Seventh Victim (1943), next Thursday at Doc.

Filmmaker Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss) appears in person at the Music Box on Sunday as part of the ongoing series "The Film That Changed My Life." She'll introduce a 3 PM screening of The Godfather (1972) and an 8 PM screening of Boys Don't Cry.

Last but not least, Music Box presents the annual Music Box Massacre, a 24-hour marathon of horror movies and trailers that begins Saturday at noon with the little-seen German expressionist silent Waxworks (1924). This year's special guest is legendary 60s gore-meister Herschell Gordon Lewis, who will introduce a 6:30 PM screening of his 1971 shocker The Wizard of Gore. Among the other movies screening in the marathon are Burn, Witch, Burn, Hour of the Wolf, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, and Poltergeist.

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