Wake in Fright leads this weekend's movie openings
Even for the prestige-heavy fall movie season, this weekend offers an unusually strong array of film openings. The one you'll have to run to see is Ted Kotcheff's Wake in Fright, a restored classic of Australian cinema that shows at the Siskel for one week only, beginning today. Stranded in a secluded outback town, a pretentious schoolteacher (Gary Bond) drinks, drinks and drinks some more as the locals acclimate him to their free-living ways. The theater serves beer; depending on your disposition, inebriation is either the ideal or the most horrifying state in which to watch Kotcheff's hallucinatory odyssey.
More mainstream—and definitely not one to see under the influence—Robert Zemeckis's Flight is a thorny morality play unlike anything the Back to the Future director has made. Starring Denzel Washington as, basically, Bad Pilot, the movie has a rare capacity to surprise from scene to scene. (Read our review and our interview with Zemeckis.) And at the Music Box, you can catch The Loneliest Planet, which A.A. Dowd gives five stars. It's best seen with as little foreknowledge as possible. Warning: Don't look at your watch or go out for popcorn. Every second counts.