In this week's issue, Ben Sachs
reviews the old-school gothic thriller Stonehearst Asylum
, with Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine; adapted from Edgar Allan Poe's "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether," it's the tale of a young psychiatrist who arrives at a remote mental hospital to learn that the doctor in charge allows even the most unhinged patients to mingle freely with the hospital staff. The movie opens Friday at South Barrington 30; there are actually 30 screening rooms in this place, which probably makes it more of a madhouse than the one in the movie.
- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Also reviewed this week: Anda Korsts's Video Metropolis
, a collection of experimental documentaries from the pioneering Chicago video journalist; Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
, starring Michael Keaton as the washed-up star of a superhero franchise who's trying to stage a comeback on Broadway; The Blue Room
, a French mystery written by, directed by, and starring Mathieu Amalric; Creative Writing
, a locally produced black-and-white indie about strife inside a community college writing course; Dear White People
, a satirical comedy about black students at a prestigious and mostly white university; John Wick
, a love letter to Asian action cinema from Keanu Reeves; Levitated Mass
, a documentary about the title sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Listen Up Philip
, Alex Ross Perry's follow-up to his breakout indie comedy The Color Wheel
, starring Jason Schwartzman (who will attend the Friday and Saturday screenings at Music Box).
Best bets for repertory: Nagisa Oshima's Death by Hanging
(1968), Saturday and Wednesday, and Empire of Passion
(1978), Friday and Saturday, at Gene Siskel Film Center; Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead
(1981), next Thursday at the Logan; John Carpenter's Halloween
(1978), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box and Sunday and Thursday at the Logan; Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali
(1955), Monday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Avi Nesher's The Secrets
(2007), Thursday at Music Box as part of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, with Nesher attending; Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure
(2008), Thursday at Doc; and Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood
(1957), Wednesday at Doc.
Special events this week include the aforementioned Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
, with shows at Music Box on October 30 and November 6; the Chicago International Children's Film Festival
, with shows at Music Box, Facets Cinematheque, and other area venues; "Fatal Frame: Avant-Garde Horror on 16mm
," presented next Thursday by South Side Projections; Robert Downey Sr.'s Putney Swope
(1968), screening Sunday at Black Cinema House with an introduction by Daily Show
correspondent Wyatt Cenac; and the last Chicago screening this year of Lav Diaz's epic Norte, the End of History
, Friday at University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts.