How the sausage is made (ugh) | Bleader

How the sausage is made (ugh)

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This is going to kill your mother: a young offender prepares to go down in Frederick Wisemans Juvenile Court
  • This is going to kill your mother: a young offender prepares to go down in Frederick Wiseman's Juvenile Court
My headline for Ben Sachs's long review this week was "Really Generic," though I came to my senses at the last minute and used the one Sachs suggested. Mine was a good example of what they call "too clever by half" (maybe even two-thirds), because the movies of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are anything but generic. On the other hand, the discarded headline does encapsulate Sachs's novel thesis—that the Dardennes' latest, The Kid With a Bike, incorporates all kinds of genre elements to enhance their otherwise scrupulously realistic story.

Also in this week's issue we have a Reader Recommends for Juvenile Court, an early masterpiece (1973) by documentary maker Frederick Wiseman (whose latest effort, Crazy Horse, just galloped through town). We have one last sidebar for the European Union Film Festival, with reviews of seven films making their Chicago premieres, including Alps, the latest from Greek writer-director Giorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth); Hors Satan, by French director Bruno Dumont (The Life of Jesus, Twentynine Palms); and The Fairy, by the Belgian team of Bruno Romy, Fiona Gordon, and Dominique Abel (Rumba). And there are new reviews as well of Delicacy, a French rom-com with saucer-eyed Audrey Tautou, and The Hunger Games, which I'm not familiar with.

Best bets for repertory: Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer's Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003), screening by DVD projection on Wednesday at Chicago Cultural Center; Anthony Mann's Man of the West (1958), Wednesday at the Portage, presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society; Jacques Perrin's Winged Migration (2001), also by DVD projection, on Saturday at Alliance Francais; Stephen Cone's The Wise Kids (2011), by DVD projection at Evanston Public Library on Thursday, and Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind (1957), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box.

Last but not least, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) screens at Music Box on Tuesday as part of Turner Classic Movies' annual touring festival, introduced by star Tippi Hedren and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Tommy Wiseau and actor Greg Sestero appear Friday through Sunday at Music Box to introduce screenings of Wiseau's cult sensation The Room. And Facets Cinematheque pays tribute to the late, great Vaclav Havel with a screening of the 2008 documentary Citizen Havel, to be followed by a panel with WBEZ's Jerome McDonnell and Northwestern University professor Benjamin Frommer.

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