Jonathan Demme hasn't made a dramatic feature since his acclaimed Rachel Getting Married (2008), though his latest film, A Master Builder, has so many competing levels of authorship—it was adapted by Wallace Shawn from the Ibsen play, and staged over a period of many years by theater director Andre Gregory—that the finished product probably has more in common with Demme's music movies than with Philadelphia or The Silence of the Lambs. Lisa Joyce, a Chicago native and DePaul University graduate, gives a standout performance in the new movie, and she'll appear in person at the Saturday and Sunday screenings at Gene Siskel Film Center. Our review is here.
Also in this week's issue, Ben Sachs revisits One Day Pina Asked . . .
(1983), a documentary about choreographer Pina Bausch that was shot for German TV by Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
). And we've got recommended reviews of Calvary
, a powerful spiritual drama with Brendan Gleeson as an Irish Catholic priest marked for death, and Unsound
, a local indie project by Darius Britt that screens at Film Center as part of the Black Harvest Film Festival.
Check out our new reviews of: Alive Inside
, a documentary about the healing power of music; The 4th Meeting
, a local drama about a businesswoman who takes in her drug-addicted sister; Guardians of the Galaxy
, the latest comic-book adventure from Marvel Studios; The Hundred-Foot Journey
, with Helen Mirren as the harrumphing owner of a French restaurant facing new competition from the Indian place across the street; Into the Storm
, a disaster movie about a level-five tornado; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
, a reboot of the 90s children's franchise about crime-fighting giant turtles; Violette
, a French biopic starring Emmanuelle Devos as prefeminist writer Violette Leduc; and What If
, a 20-something rom-com with Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe.
Best bets for repertory: George Lucas's American Graffiti
(1973), Tuesday outdoors at Millennium Park; Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief
(1948), Monday at the Tivoli in Downers Grove, presented by the After Hours Film Society; Alfred Hitchcock's early talkie Blackmail
(1929), Saturday and Thursday at Film Center; John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy
(1969), Thursday at the Logan; Rouben Mamoulian's Silk Stockings
(1957), Sunday morning at Music Box; and David Wain's Wet Hot American Summer
(2001), Saturday at University of Chicago Doc Films.
And don't forget these special events: at noon on Saturday at Music Box, organist Dennis Scott accompanies the silent Hoot Gibson western King of the Rodeo, part of the Second Saturday Silent Cinema series, and on Tuesday at Hideout, music critic Jessica Hopper introduces a program of shorts from the Chicago Film Archives.