Death be proud, and the rest of this week's screenings | Bleader

Death be proud, and the rest of this week's screenings


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A Band Called Death
  • A Band Called Death
The Summer Music Film Festival, a five-day compendium of music documentaries, opens today at Music Box with a 4 PM screening of A Band Called Death, about three African-American brothers from Detroit who helped invent punk rock. A reception follows, and Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis of Sound Opinions introduce the 7 PM feature, the Levon Helm profile Ain't in It for My Health.

Check out this week's issue for our review of Byzantium, a vampire drama by British director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With the Vampire) and plenty of new capsule reviews. Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner takes a look at the venerable actor and theater director known for My Dinner With Andre; As Cool as I Am stars Claire Danes as the mother of a disaffected teen; Games, a 1967 chiller by Curtis Harrington (Night Tide), has James Caan and Katherine Ross as a hip couple who take in hustler Simone Signoret; The Heat stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as mismatched cops; Men in Hope, a new sex farce from the Czech Republic, "perpetuates disgusting notions of male privilege along with worn-out genre conventions"; 100 Bloody Acres tells the weird tale of Australian brothers who make manure from corpses; Unfinished Song features Vanessa Redgrave as a dying woman and Terence Stamp as her bereaved husband; and White House Down is the latest mega-blockbuster from Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow).

Best bets for repertory: Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski (1998), Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994), and Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959), all late-night Friday through Sunday at the Logan; Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club, Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library; Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff (1983), Tuesday and Thursday at Gene Siskel Film Center; Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall (1990), tonight at University of Chicago Doc Films; David Wain's Wet Hot American Summer (2001), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark's Century Centre; and Michael Curtiz's Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Thursday afternoon at Music Box.

Don't let the sparkers blind you to these idiosyncratic special events: at Jane Addams Hull House, Vivian Maier's South Side collects work by the Chicago photographer and filmmaker; at Black Cinema House, Radical Speculation features "speculative design videos"; and at Chicago Filmmakers, Tied House Film Festival whoops it up with short films about intoxication. Please remember to watch responsibly.