This week's movie action | Bleader

This week's movie action

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The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)
If you pick up our print edition you’ll find an attractive digest version of the year-end review pieces we’ve been posting online throughout the month. Of the 20 favorites mentioned in our lists, only one—Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life—is screening in Chicago this week, but it’s well worth checking out if you missed it over the summer. It plays Monday through Thursday at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

The New Year begins in just a few days, and it already looks like 2012 will be an incredible year for revival screenings in Chicago. In January alone, the Film Center will host retrospectives of Sergei Eisenstein and Robert Bresson, two of the most important filmmakers who ever lived. No less impressive (if somewhat more obscure) are Doc Films’s retrospectives of the great Japanese director Mikio Naruse and the great Turkish director Yilmaz Güney, which begin, respectively, on January 9 and February 11. Doc’s winter program begins on Tuesday, with a screening of The Maltese Falcon (1941), and the first week continues with Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961), The Usual Suspects (1995) and A Hard Day’s Night (1964).

Speaking of great retrospectives, the Music Box Theatre’s “Hitchcock for the Holidays” program (which I wrote about here) continues through Wednesday. Tonight, you can catch a double bill of To Catch a Thief (1955) and Vertigo (1958); Saturday and Sunday offers The Lady Vanishes (1938) and North by Northwest (1959); and the series concludes with three days of The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964), the latter being one of Hitchcock’s most underrated films—and for me, one of the most profound. If you’ve never seen that, you’ve got five chances between Monday and Wednesday.

What else? The Music Box continues their Thin Man series this weekend with Saturday and Sunday matinees of After the Thin Man (1936); they’ll also screen Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) as a midnight movie on Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday, the Northwest Chicago Film Society kicks off their stupendous winter calendar with Preston Sturges’s Sullivan’s Travels (1941), which cracks me up every time I see it. And on Thursday, the locally-produced documentary Scrappers (2009) will screen at the Hyde Park Art Center with the directors in attendance.

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