Presented by Chicago Filmmakers, the 29th Reeling festival continues Thursday through Saturday, November 11-13, at Chicago Filmmakers, Columbia College Film Row Cinema, Instituto Cervantes, and Landmark's Century Centre. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all screenings are $10, $8 for matinees (before 5 PM), and passes are available for $45 (five shows), $80 (ten shows), $125 (all shows, excepting special admissions), and $150 (all shows and events). Tickets can be purchased online at reelingfilmfestival.org, in person at Chicago Filmmakers, and at the venue prior to the show. For more information, including a complete schedule, see reelingfilmfestival.org.
Flight of the Cardinal In Robert Gaston's formulaic psychological thriller, an attractive young sociopath joins the staff of a lakeside resort lodge. His scheme: to drive the lodge's bipolar gay owner to suicide by preying on the man's paranoia, which has already been stoked by his boyfriend's decision to end their relationship. The only distinctive thing about this derivative film is its setting—the scenic Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. 87 min. —Albert Williams Thu 11/11, 7 PM, Landmark's Century Centre
The Game of Juan's Life Written and directed by Joselito Altareios, this candid look at gay life in the squalid slums of Manila focuses on a young performer at a private sex club who dreams of returning to his hometown in the provinces, even though this would mean leaving his handsome, devoted lover. The direct, honest performances and Richard Gonzalez's evocative score give this downbeat but unsentimental 2009 drama an understated power, and Pao Pangan's intimate, verite-style cinematography fosters a compelling, documentary-style authenticity. In English and subtitled Tagalog. 73 min. —Albert Williams Sat 11/13, 5:15 PM, Columbia College Film Row Cinema
Undertow This touching film by Javier Fuentes-Leon puts a supernatural spin on the familiar premise of the bisexual love triangle. Set in a Peruvian seaside village, it's the story of a married fisherman who has an affair with a gay painter while waiting for his wife to give birth. When the painter is killed in a swimming accident, his spirit haunts the fisherman, whose grief for his dead lover is exacerbated by his guilt over having betrayed his wife and his embarrassment over nude paintings of him discovered in the artist's studio. Heartfelt performances, sly humor, and beautiful scenery complement the offbeat but romantic ghost story. In Spanish with subtitles. 100 min. —Albert Williams Sat 11/13, 7 PM, Instituto Cervantes. Screening as part of the closing-night program; tickets are $20 and include a reception afterward.