This week the Polish Film Festival in America
, the largest of its kind outside Poland, celebrates its 25th annual gathering in Chicago, opening Saturday with Andrzej Wajda's long-awaited biopic Walesa, Man of Hope
. And the LGBT fest returns after a one-year hiatus, rechristened Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival
; Drew Hunt has four stars for Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake
We also recommend Dallas Buyers Club
, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto; Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation
, Saturday at Nightingale (check out Jake Fried's Down Into Nothing
on Vimeo); The Motel Life
, an adaptation of the Willy Vlautin novel; and The Trials of Muhammad Ali
, a new documentary by Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground
). The apocalyptic teen romance How I Live Now
and the Marvel Comics fantasy Thor: The Dark World
? Not so much.
Best bets for repertory: Claire Denis's Beau Travail
(1999) and Nenette and Boni
(1996), kicking off a monthlong retrospective on the French filmmaker at Gene Siskel Film Center; David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
, Friday and Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and even Zeppo in Duck Soup
(1933), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Hou Hsiao-hsien's Good Men, Good Women
(1995), Monday at Doc; Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky
(1976), Wednesday at Doc; Haile Gerima's Sankofa
, tonight at University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts; and Ben Stiller's Zoolander
(2001), Friday, Saturday, and Monday at the Logan.
Don't forget the ambitious Mostra IV: Brazilian Film Series in Chicago, with more shows around town through Thursday, or Natural Life, a documentary about young people serving sentences of life without parole, at Film Center with director Tirtza Even attending.
* This week's screenings.