As the Chicago International Film Festival draws to a close this weekend, the remaining schedule includes plenty of things worth seeing. Most of these, however, will open here in the weeks or months ahead: 4 Little Girls (to be shown at the Music Box and eventually on HBO), The Sweet Hereafter (expected to open around Christmas), Voyage to the Beginning of the World (sometime next year), and Love and Death on Long Island (February). Less likely to turn up in the foreseeable future and eminently worth seeing are The Life of Jesus and the short film The Spitball Story. And though I can only recommend them guardedly, Artemisia (which Mirimax, in a burst of inspiration--and with its usual indifference to the workings of festivals, the press, and filmgoers--has just decided to rename Untitled Agnes Merlet Project) and Post coitum, animal triste are also unlikely to return. For the rest, check out the capsules below and follow your instincts. (Reviews preceded by a check mark are especially recommended by the reviewer.)
The festival runs through Sunday, October 19, with screenings at the 600 N. Michigan theater. Tickets can be bought at the festival store (located in the Viacom Entertainment Store at the theater) or at the box office an hour before show time. They're also available (with a service charge) by phone at 312-332-3456 or at Ticketmaster (312-902-1500); on-line at www.ticketmaster.com or www.chicago.ddbn.com/filmfest/; by mail at 32 W. Randolph, suite 600, Chicago 60601; or by fax at 312-425-0944. General admission to most programs is $3 for weekday matinees (before 5 PM) and $9 for most of the other screenings ($7.50 for Cinema/Chicago members). Passes and other savings of various kinds are also available; call 312-332-3456 for information. Our on-line guide to the festival, at www.chicagoreader.com, will provide the complete remaining schedule and whatever last-minute changes we can uncover.