This week's issue features our annual fall arts roundup, and we've got previews of several movies rolling through town between now and Thanksgiving: Julius Caesar, a rarely screened indie adapted from the Shakespeare play, shot in 1950 on various Chicago locations and starring a young Charlton Heston; Rosewater, Jon Stewart's directorial debut, about the Iranian imprisonment of Canadian reporter Maziar Bahari during the disputed 2009 elections; Blonde Crazy, a James Cagney classic screening as part of Jonathan Rosenbaum's ongoing lecture series about transgressive American comedies; short works by the British avant-gardist John Smith, screening at Gene Siskel Film Center, Northwestern Block Museum of Art, and University of Chicago Film Studies Center, with Smith attending; Foxcatcher, a true-crime story starring Steve Carell and directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball); Gone Girl, adapted by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network) from the best-selling mystery novel; White Bird in a Blizzard, the latest from indie dazzler Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, Kaboom); and The Zero Theorem, a sci-fi fantasy about a neurotic computer programmer, directed by Terry Gilliam (Brazil, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys).
In the movie section proper we've got reviews of Finding Fela
, a documentary profile of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti by the politically inclined Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
, Casino Jack and the United States of Money
, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
) and The Homestretch
, a new documentary about homeless teenagers, produced by the venerable local outfit Kartemquin Films. We recommend Abuse of Weakness
, Catherine Breillat's confessional drama about her 2004 stroke and her subsequent involvement with a notorious confidence man, and The Drop
, a backstreets suspense drama starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in his final big-screen performance. And we've also got reviews of Code Black
, a documentary about ER doctors at the Los Angeles County Hospital; Gringo Trails
, about Western tourists shitting all over exotic third world locales; If Only
, a Filipino drama about a big wedding that goes awry; and Intercat '69
, a collection of short films about felines, screening at Chicago Filmmakers.
Best bets for repertory: Howard Hawks's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
(1953), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center, and Guy Hamilton's Goldfinger
(1964), next Thursday (9/18) at the Pickwick in Park Ridge. That same night brings the opening of the Chicago Asian Film Festival
and Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival
; the latter kicks off at Music Box with the rom-com Boy Meets Girl
, which we'll review next week as part of our Reeling coverage.