This week's movie action

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Into the Abyss
  • Into the Abyss
Werner Herzog interviewed five death row inmates in Florida and Texas for his documentary about capital punishment, but the finished film, Into the Abyss, focuses on only one: Michael James Perry, who died by lethal injection on July 1, 2010, for his role in a triple murder nine years earlier. (The others will be featured in a subsequent documentary, Death Row, to air next year on the cable channel Investigation Discovery.) Into the Abyss is the subject of this week's long review, along with the 2008 Kartemquin Films documentary At the Death House Door, by Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Stevie, The Interrupters) and Peter Gilbert.

Also in this week's issue, Fred Camper previews the University of Chicago Film Studies Center's forthcoming program on experimental filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos. And we have new reviews of Every Song Is About Me and Lope, both screening in the Gene Siskel Film Center's Festival of New Spanish Cinema, and 3, a new German import by writer-director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).

Best bets for repertory: Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows (1969), Tuesday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972), tonight and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), screening daily in a digitally restored print at Music Box; and Jean-Luc Godard's Week-end (1967), screening daily in a new 35-millimeter print at Film Center.

Three weekend mini-festivals open today as well: the Chicago Food Film Festival at Kendall College, 900 N. Branch, and Intelligentsia Roasting Works, 1850 W. Fulton; the Illinois International Film Festival at the Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western; and the Kinky Film Festival at the Leather Archives and Museum, 6418 N. Greenview.

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