Screening as the opening-night program of the 19th annual Onion City festival, these eight shorts might seem to be all over the place--Manoel de Oliveira's The Improbable Is Not Impossible (2006), an eclectic tribute to Portugal's Gulbenkian Foundation, isn't even experimental. But many of them share the same alienated fascination with history: Jean-Luc Godard's archival, corpse-laden Origin of the 21st Century (2000), Guy Ben-Ner's Moby Dick (2000), which comically restages Melville's novel in the filmmaker's kitchen, and Bill Morrison's Outerborough (2005) and Ken Jacobs's The Surging Sea of Humanity (2006), which both use footage from the 1890s, all seem to poeticize the weight of the past. Also showing are Kyle Canterbury's Man (2006), a world premiere; Olivo Barbieri's Sevilla --> (_) 06 (2006), with abstract aerial views of Spain; and Michael Robinson's The General Returns From One Place to Another (2006), derived from a Frank O'Hara play. 94 min. The festival continues June 15 through 17 at Chicago Filmmakers; for a schedule visit www.chicagofilmmakers.org. a Thu 6/14, 8 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.