Multinational movie madness, part 1
A day-by-day guide to the first week of the Chicago International Film Festival.
* 7pm The Brothers Bloom
Dir. Rian Johnson. 109mins. USA. Grifter brothers (Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo) aim to fleece a flighty heiress (Rachel Weisz). This year’s opening night selection is brisk and funny, although the Wes Anderson–isms distract more than they entertain. The Harris Theater.—Ben Kenigsberg
4pm The Arctic: Change at the Top of the World Dir. Charles Annenberg Weingarten. 37mins. USA. Documentary. The Inuit provide a window into the changing climate in extreme latitudes. AMC River East 21.
4pm Laila’s Birthday Dir. Rashid Masharawi. 71mins. Palestine/Tunisia/Netherlands. A cabdriver tries to get a birthday cake through the maze that is the West Bank. AMC River East 21.
6pm The Boot Cake Dir. Kathryn Millard. 73mins. Australia/India. Documentary. Millard looks at fans of Charlie Chaplin. AMC River East 21.
6pm The Pleasure of Being Robbed Dir. Joshua Safdie. 71mins. USA. As a pickpocket, Eleonore Hendricks charms her way through an hour of inoffensive monotony finally disrupted by an eye-catching episode at the Central Park Zoo. AMC River East 21.—BK
6pm Rain of the Children Dir. Vincent Ward. 98mins. New Zealand. Documentary. Ward visits a Maori woman and her mentally disabled son. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 6pm Sparrow
Dir. Johnnie To. 87mins. China. An odd mix of comedy, crime and romance, this completely guileless story of a pickpocketing gang of four stars Hong Kong superstar Simon Lam as the thief in charge. Funny, strange and a little haphazard, like the classic Hollywood caper films Sparrow nods to, this one has charm to spare. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Jonathan Messinger
6:10pm The Sky, the Earth and the Rain Dir. José Luis Torres Leiva. 110mins. Chile. On the rainy Chilean coast, a bunch of people look for love, sex and other connections. Might we suggest the internet? AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:15pm Wolf–The Laws of Wilderness Dir. Daniel Alfredson. 92mins. Sweden/Finland/Norway. Peter Stormare stars as a reindeer-herder whose livelihood is threatened by wolf-protection legislation. He should call Sarah Palin. She’d clear that right up, you betcha. AMC River East 21.
6:20pm The Other Side Dir. Luís Filipe Rocha. 106mins. Portugal. A gay transvestite bonds with his nephew, a teen with Down syndrome. Expect some liberal heartwarming. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 7pm Happy-Go-Lucky
Dir. Mike Leigh. 118mins. U.K. Leigh’s first single-protagonist drama since Naked has an uncharacteristic, if wavering, spring in its step: The director implies that chronic optimists like Poppy (a triumphant Sally Hawkins) can drive the world nuts as much as improve it. AMC River East 21.—BK
8pm Julia Dir. Erick Zonca. 138mins. France/USA/Mexico. A down-on-her-luck woman gets tangled up in a child-kidnapping plot. It’s Tilda frickin’ Swinton, so we’re there. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8pm The Secret of the Grain Dir. Abdel Kechiche. 151mins. France. This drama about an old man who dreams of opening a restaurant starts dragging around the 20-minute mark. The extended scenes of familial strife and slow-building drama are meant to feel closely observed, but they just feel endless. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Hank Sartin
* 8pm The Wrestler
Dir. Darren Aronofsky. 105mins. USA. Will the Oscarcast go for a clip of Mickey Rourke getting his chest stapled or a scene of him pounding meat at the deli counter? This tragicomic crowd-pleaser marks a spectacular comeback for Rourke and a coming-of-age for Aronofsky. AMC River East 21.—BK
8:15pm They Killed Sister Dorothy Dir. Daniel Junge. 95mins. USA/Brazil. Documentary. A nun from Ohio works to protect the inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest, until she ends up murdered. AMC River East 21.
* 8:30pm Wendy and Lucy
Dir. Kelly Reichardt. 80mins. USA. Michelle Williams plays Wendy, a homeless drifter; Reichardt’s dog plays Lucy, Wendy’s only friend. Closer to traditional neorealism than Reichardt’s Old Joy, but just as economical and affecting. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
8:40pm The Red Awn Dir. Cai Shangjun. 101mins. China. After working in the city, a farmer returns to his roots but finds he has alienated his son. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:40pm Wesley Willis’s Joyrides Dirs. Chris Bagley, Kim Shively. 77mins. USA. The legacy of the late Chicago outsider musician and artist Wesley Willis, who died in 2003, is often overshadowed by inflated stories of his violent, schizophrenic fits he called “hell rides.” This doc focuses as much on his lesser-known, arguably greater talent for unwittingly outré architectural renderings as it does on the absurd music that gained him culty acclaim as a novelty act on the ’90s alt-rock club circuit. AMC River East 21.—Jake Malooley
* 10pm Let the Right One In
Dir. Tomas Alfredson. 114mins. Sweden. This wintry vampire film—about a teen whose slide into puberty coincides with the arrival of a bloodsucker next door—builds creepy menace that recalls the tension of Near Dark, but with subarctic cold instead of desert heat. AMC River East 21.—HS
12:30pm Rain of the Children See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
12:45pm Shorts 4: Intimate Relations Various dirs. and years. 91mins. This program of shorts deals with, um, intimate relations? Damn, we’re good! AMC River East 21.
1:15pm Beautiful Dir. Juhn Jaihong. 88mins. South Korea. After she’s raped and abused, beautiful Eun-young begins to view her good looks as a curse—and then events really take an extreme turn, even as one seemingly decent guy tries to protect her and viewers careen helplessly toward the inevitable moral: ’Twas a beastly culture that killed the beauty. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Frank Sennett
1:30pm The Friend Dir. Micha Lewinsky. 90mins. Switzerland. After one date with a girl, an awkward teen finds himself stuck with the label of grieving boyfriend when she dies. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
2:15pm Native Dancer Dir. Gulshat Omarova. 87mins. Russia/Kazakhstan/France/Germany. A Kazakh shaman loses her home to developers, who learn not to mess with mystical healers. AMC River East 21.
3pm The Boot Cake See Fri 17. AMC River East 21.
3pm The Other Side See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
3:15pm Days in Between Dir. Lola Randl. 104mins. Germany. A woman’s boring life is disrupted when she starts a torrid affair. AMC River East 21.
3:20pm The Sky, the Earth and the Rain See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
3:30pm Wolf—The Laws of Wilderness See Fri 17. AMC River East 21.
3:40pm The Red Awn See Fri 17 8:40pm. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
3:45pm Don’t Look Down Dir. Eliseo Subiela. 85mins. Argentina. This is a slight-but-fun, charming little wet dream of a movie. Hot young Argentines meet cute and start in on an ambitious regimen of athletic—and emotionally healing—debauchery. What’s not to like? AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Ruth Welte
4:40pm Sita Sings the Blues Dir. Nina Paley. 82mins. USA. Paley tells the story of the Hindu epic Ramayana using animation and blues songs of the 1920s in this quirky, fairly engaging experiment. AMC River East 21.—HS
5:15pm They Killed Sister Dorothy See Fri 17. AMC River East 21.
5:30pm Cherry Blossoms Dir. Doris Dörrie. 127mins. Germany/France. In this plodding drama, a boring old couple find their adult children want nothing to do with them. After the wife dies unexpectedly, the husband visits his son in Japan and finds some measure of happiness. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
5:30pm Heaven on Earth Dir. Deepa Mehta. 106mins. Canada. An Indian woman living in Canada is the victim of an abusive husband in this drama from the director of Water. AMC River East 21.
5:45pm Honey I’m in Love Dir. Claude Meunier. 100mins. Canada. Meunier pushes the quirky humor too hard in this comedy about a middle-aged man who dumps his wife for a younger woman, only to find he can’t escape his family. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
* 6pm Sparrow
See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 6pm 24 City
Dir. Jia Zhang-ke. 107mins. China. Like Still Life, 24 City concerns the individual’s place in vanishing terrain. The movie consists mainly of monologues—fiction and nonfiction—centered on a factory that’s being replaced with apartments. Fans shouldn’t miss this, but be warned that Jia’s other films are more accessible. AMC River East 21.—BK
* 6:10pm Wendy and Lucy
See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
7:15pm Shorts 2: Animation Nations Various dirs. and years. 93mins. The emphasis is on the international in this program of animated films. AMC River East 21.
7:45pm Of Time and the City
Dir. Terence Davies. 74mins. U.K. Davies modeled this documentary portrait of Liverpool on Humphrey Jennings’s “Listen to Britain,” also a likely influence on Distant Voices, Still Lives. The film makes terrific use of archival footage, although by Davies standards, it’s a disappointment. AMC River East 21.—BK
* 8pm Born in ’68
Dirs. Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau. 173mins. France. The children of 1960s commune-living radicals face the tests of the late 1980s, including AIDS. The French love examining their recent past. In this moving drama, Ducastel and Martineau do that without either easy recriminations or lazy nostalgia. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
8pm Gomorrah Dir. Matteo Garrone. 135mins. Italy. Garrone’s overrated, Wire manqué look at the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples deliberately skimps on context; individual scenes impress, but characters remain frustratingly distant. AMC River East 21.—BK
8pm The Song of Sparrows Dir. Majid Majidi. 94mins. Iran. A former ostrich farmer finds driving a cab for the well-off people of Tehran puts his morality to the test. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:15pm Lemon Tree Dir. Eran Riklis. 106mins. Israel/France/Germany. When Israel declares her lemon grove a terrorist hot spot, a Palestinian widow has to fight back to preserve her rights. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:30pm The Good, the Bad and the Weird Dir. Kim Jee-woon. 120mins. South Korea. Nothing is more tedious than nonstop craziness, and this manic Sergio Leone homage shoots its load in three minutes, then carries on for another two hours. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
9pm The Chaser Dir. Na Hong-jin. 125mins. South Korea. An ex-cop, now a pimp, investigates the disappearances of some of his prostitutes. The buzz out of Cannes was good for this thriller. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
9:30pm The Pleasure of Being Robbed See Fri 17. AMC River East 21.
10:15pm Surveillance Dir. Jennifer Lynch. 97mins. USA. Fifteen years after Boxing Helena, Lynch returns with a roadside-accident thriller that’s more competent but also more boring, except when Bill Pullman goes berserk. Cannes presumably took this out of deference to Jennifer’s dad, David Lynch. What’s Chicago’s excuse? AMC River East 21.—BK
10:30pm Idiots and Angels Dir. Bill Plympton. 78mins. USA. Animation mastermind Bill Plympton’s latest concerns an abusive grunt whose shoulder blades sprout wings that have a mind of their own, forcing him to do right by others. Visually, the work remains grotesquely fascinating, but as far as the trite story goes, if those wings really cared about doing good, they would have covered our eyes. AMC River East 21.—JM
10:30pm Timecrimes Dir. Nacho Vigalondo. 88mins. Spain. Dude finds a time machine, travels back to earlier in the day. Kind of fun, if you can forget that it’s a rip-off of Primer. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
Dir. Ernesto Díaz Espinoza. 90mins. Chile. The exploitative reality-television media and a boatload of thugs both take brutal kicks in this blackly comic, kung fu, cinema verité twist on Batman. AMC River East 21.—Brent DiCrescenzo
Noon Shorts 1: Illinoisemakers Various dirs. and years. 84mins. USA. The shorts collected here are by noisy people? No, wait, they’re by people from Illinois. That makes much more sense. AMC River East 21.
12:10pm Awaking From a Dream Dir. Freddy Mas Franqueza. 100mins. Spain/Poland. Grumpy Grandpa takes in his grandson when Mom can’t cope. Years later, 20-ish grandson tries to keep his grandfather happy while making his own life. It’s moving in exactly the ways you might predict. AMC River East 21.—HS
12:15pm Sita Sings the Blues See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
12:15pm The Zone Dir. Rodrigo Plá. 95mins. Mexico. Three teens go on a crime spree in a gated community but find the residents don’t tolerate that kind of shit. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
12:30pm The Vanished Empire Dir. Karen Shakhnazarov. 105mins. Russia. Four young Russian friends come of age in the 1970s. AMC River East 21.
12:45pm Katyn Dir. Andrzej Wajda. 118mins. Poland. In 1939, Polish soldiers are massacred by the Soviet army. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
1pm King of Ping Pong Dir. Jens Jonsson. 107mins. Sweden. An oafish boy finds a distraction from Nordic winters in his mastery of Ping-Pong, but it’s cold comfort. Eventually, a family secret is revealed. Beautifully shot among the icy shoals of the north, the film tends to drift a bit too much, and the emotional center of the story gets lost in the storm. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Jonathan Messinger
* 1:15pm Born in ’68
See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
2:20pm Pressure Cooker Dirs. Mark Becker, Jennifer Grausman. 99mins. USA. Food Network fare meets the overdone Stand and Deliver formula. A jock, an immigrant and a broken-home survivor battle for culinary scholarships in a not-actually-bad school in Philly. It’s no spoiler to note they all win…and end up singing the theme from The Hills at graduation. Some ghetto. AMC River East 21.—BD
2:30pm Medicine for Melancholy Dir. Barry Jenkins. 88mins. USA. Aspires to be an African-American, San Francisco Before Sunrise but lacks timing, wit and inspiration. It doesn’t help that The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac can’t act. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
* 2:30pm Tokyo Sonata
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa. 119mins. Japan/Netherlands/Hong Kong. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s homage to Ozu feels at once nostalgic and contemporary—the father loses his job, but that’s just the beginning of the family’s troubles, which diverge and resolve in surreal, unexpected ways. Lovely, elusive, transcendent. AMC River East 21.—BK
* 2:30pm 24 City
See Sat 18 6pm. AMC River East 21.
* 3pm Hunger
Dir. Steve McQueen. 96mins. U.K. Divided into three basic movements—action, talk, action—this stunning and visually spellbinding debut recounts the buildup to IRA leader Bobby Sands’s 1981 hunger strike. AMC River East 21.—BK
3:15pm Beautiful See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
3:30pm The Noise in My Head Dir. Vincent Pluss. 89mins. Switzerland/Germany. A journalist in her 30s takes in a teenage guy and forms a complicated (read: messy) bond somewhere between friendship, parenting and sexual attraction. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4:15pm The Song of Sparrows See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4:30pm La Rabia Dir. Albertina Carri. 83mins. Argentina. Two families in a remote farming community maintain a feud. AMC River East 21.
* 5pm Everlasting Moments
Dir. Jan Troell. 125mins. Sweden. In this lovely meditation on how little things can save you from despair, a woman with a philandering husband finds joy in taking photographs. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
5pm In the Shadow of Hollywood: Race Movies and the Birth of Black Cinema Dir. Brad Osborne. 59mins. USA. Documentary. Osborne does a clear, simply-laid-out history of “race films,” movies with all-black casts. Sometimes, a little more on exhibition would have been nice, but this is informative and engaging. AMC River East 21.—HS
5:15pm Ballast Dir. Lance Hammer. 96mins. USA. Three African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta feel the impact of a suicide. Hammer deploys minimal dialogue, long takes and a mix of artful imagery and shaky camera-work. This is definitely for fans of minimalist indie cinema. AMC River East 21.—HS
5:30pm Honey I’m in Love See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
5:30pm Slumdog Millionaire Dir. Danny Boyle. 120mins. U.K./USA. Accused of cheating, a slum-born Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contestant recounts how he learned the answer to every single question. The appeal has less to do with Boyle’s filmmaking than the fact that no one can resist WWTBAM. AMC River East 21.—BK
6pm Delta Dir. Kornél Mundruczó. 92mins. Hungary/Germany. If you thought every Hungarian art film focused on a near-mute, bearded fat dude who hangs out in a tavern and nurtures incestuous longings for his sister—well, you’re wrong. But Delta offers no evidence to the contrary. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
6:50pm Shanghai Trance See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
7:30pm Jerusalema Dir. Ralph Ziman. 118mins. South Africa. A Soweto carjacker who can’t drive stick blooms into a good-intentioned lord of property scams. Unsurprisingly, the bloody shoot-outs in the first act trump the following hour of housing-development fraud. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BD
7:30pm North Starr Dir. Matthew Stanton. 120mins. USA. A rapper from the big city (Houston) spends some time in a small Texas town, and tensions develop. AMC River East 21.
* 7:30pm Synecdoche, New York
Dir. Charlie Kaufman. 124mins. USA. Staging his autobiography on a life-size set, a theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) gets lost in his own creation. First-time director Charlie Kaufman could use a Spike Jonze to rein him in, but he takes real chances with his structure. AMC River East 21.—BK
7:50pm Fear(s) of the Dark Dirs. Blutch, Marie Caillou, Pierre Di Sciullo, Jerry Kramski, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire, Michel Pirus, Romain Slocombe. 85mins. France. Ten graphic artists tell tales of terror. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8pm The Dead Girl’s Feast Dir. Matheus Nachtergaele. 115mins. Brazil. People flock to a shrine for a girl who went missing 20 years ago, but her family is tired of the exploitation. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8pm Gomorrah See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
8:30pm Don’t Look Down See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
3:45pm North Starr See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
4pm The Arctic Panel See Fri. AMC River East 21.
4pm The Sky, the Earth and the Rain See Fri 17. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4:15pm Waltz in Starlight Dir. Shingo Wakagi. 97mins. Japan. A Tokyo photographer reconnects with his hometown by taking pictures. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
5:45pm Beautiful See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 6pm Everlasting Moments
See Sun 19 5pm. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6pm Lemon Tree See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
6pm Pressure Cooker See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
6:10pm Heaven on Earth See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:10pm The Vanished Empire See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
6:20pm Shorts 1: Illinoisemakers See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
6:30pm Out of Tune Dir. Walter Lima Jr. 138mins. Brazil. Four bossa nova musicians find their friendship and their band tested by a hot new singer they meet. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:15pm God Man Dog Dir. Singing Chen. 119mins. Taiwan, China. The multiple storylines that lead up to a car crash feel both underdeveloped and overlong. We don’t know how that can be, but there it is. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
8:20pm Ballast See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
8:30pm Cherry Blossoms See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
8:30pm Nights & Weekends Dirs. Greta Gerwig, Joe Swanberg. 80mins. USA. Chicagoan Swanberg (LOL, Hannah Takes the Stairs) displays the same keen ear for youthful pillow talk that has made him a darling of the lo-fi mumblecore movement. In this loose, largely improved portrait of the unraveling of a long-distance romance, Swanberg and his bewitching costar Greta Gerwig (Hannah) fight, fuck and flap their jaws on the way to intermittent revelations that feel both intimate and universal. AMC River East 21.—Jake Malooley
8:40pm Delta See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:40pm Tranquility Dir. Róbert Alföldi. 108mins. Hungary. A man raised in isolation by his troubled, abusive mother tries to find his way in the world. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:45pm Jerusalema See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 8:45pm Tokyo Sonata
See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
3pm Wolf–The Laws of Wilderness See Fri 17. AMC River East 21.
3:45pm The Other Side See Fri 17 6:20pm. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4pm Everlasting Moments
See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4:10pm Go With Peace Jamil Dir. Omar Shargawi. 87mins. Denmark. Sunni and Shiite Muslims battle it out on the streets of Copenhagen. The look is gritty, the mood is grim and the outlook for peace and understanding is slim. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—HS
4:10pm Shanghai Trance See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
4:15pm God Man Dog See Mon 20. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4:15pm Shorts 2: Animation Nations See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
4:30pm Be Like Others Dir. Tanaz Eshaghian. 76mins. Iran/France/U.K. Documentary. Iranian homosexuals, with severely limited options (they face the death penalty if found out) opt for sex-change surgery as an alternative. AMC River East 21.
6pm Quiet Chaos Dir. Antonello Grimaldi. 105mins. Italy/U.K. Nanni Moretti stars as a man who faces the sudden death of his wife and his new life as a single parent. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 6pm Tokyo Sonata
See Sun 19. AMC River East 21.
6:10pm Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story Dir. Stefan Forbes. 86mins. USA. Documentary. The campaign strategist who made his name by slandering the opposition gets the doc profile treatment. Does his later remorse over the smears he spread count for anything? AMC River East 21.
6:15pm The Dead Girl’s Feast See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:30pm Idiots and Angels See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
6:30pm Medicine for Melancholy See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:30pm Olympic Dreams This free event showcases Olympic footage in an effort to make us all swallow the idea that the 2016 Olympics bid for our fair city is a good idea. AMC River East 21.
7pm I’ve Loved You So Long Dir. Philippe Claudel. 115mins. France. Kristin Scott Thomas is released from prison after serving time for the murder of her son. Why would she kill him? The question, once answered, reveals Long to be as fraudulent as movies come. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.-—BK
8:15pm Zack and Miri Make a Porno Dir. Kevin Smith. 102mins. USA. The idea of shooting a porno in a coffee bar is funny, but fans of the old Kevin Smith should be warned that his maudlin side takes over. Good for three, maybe four laughs. AMC River East 21.—BK
* 8:30pm Hunger
See Sun 19. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 8:30pm Must Read After My Death
Dir. Morgan Dews. 73mins. USA. Dews uses home videos and audio diaries that he found after his grandmother’s death to draw a complex, heartbreaking picture of a family slowly sinking into chaos. AMC River East 21.—RW
8:30pm Of Boys and Men Dir. Carl Seaton. 90mins. USA. Robert Townsend stars as a widower who struggles to keep his sons on the right path. AMC River East 21.
8:30pm Tranquility See Mon 20. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
8:40pm Native Dancer See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
8:45pm Sleep Dealer Dir. Alex Rivera. 89mins. Mexico/ USA. Some tmie in the near future (but not in a scifi way; no flying cars), a man who works on a corporate-owned farm in the countryside loses his father and decides to move to Tijuana to work in a sweatshop. Is it just us, or do a lot of parents die in this year’s festival offerings? AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
9:45pm Lokas Dir. Gonzalo Justiniano. 90mins. Chile/Mexico. A 9-year-old and his homophobic father move in with the kid’s gay grandfather. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
4pm Must Read After My Death See Tue 21. AMC River East 21.
4:10pm Native Dancer See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
4:15pm Another World Dir. Fabiomassimo Lozzi. 110mins. Italy. This series of monologues by men about their sexuality—they all have sex with other men but some don’t identify as gay—feels like a weird mix of porn-tease and preaching, and long before it’s over you’ll tire of these guys. AMC River East 21.—HS
4:30pm Berlin–1st of May Dirs. Jan-Christoph Glaser, Carsten Ludwig, Sven Taddicken, Jakob Ziemnicki. 95mins. Germany. Four directors helm a single storyline set against the May Day riots in Berlin, offering arch comment on those who see violence as a tourist attraction or road to manhood. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—Scott Smith
4:45pm Out of Tune See Mon 20. AMC River East 21.
6pm Finally, Lillian and Dan Dir. Mike Gibisser. 97mins. USA. The titular twentysomething lonely hearts who’re at the center of this dawdling, muted meditation on overcoming paralyzing social isolation spend the film’s entirety staring petulantly at the floor, muttering and generally sulking about. The painfully awkward courtship of Lillian and Dan yields momentary pathos, but Gibisser’s complete lack of insight into the lives of the outcast couple renders them little more than static caricatures of grief. AMC River East 21.—Jake Malooley
6pm Lokas See Tues 21. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6pm Terribly Happy Dir. Henrik Ruben Genz. 90mins. Denmark. A Copenhagen cop is transferred to a small town, where he finds the locals have a lot of secrets. Okay, here’s another fest-wide trend: The big-city dweller goes to a small town. There’s, like, six films with that element. Weird. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:15pm The Friend See Sat 18. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
6:30pm The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Dir. Mark Herman. 93mins. U.K./USA. A Nazi concentration camp is seen through the eyes of the commandant’s son in this drama, which has some sharp moments but relies too heavily on the painful distance between what the boy understands and what we know. That wears thin before the climax. AMC River East 21.—HS
7pm The Dukes Dir. Robert Davi. 96mins. USA. The members of a successful doo-wop singing group find it hard to get by years later, when doo-wop is out and they’re just guys who used to be somebody. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
7pm Idiots and Angels See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
7:30pm Pride and Glory Dir. Gavin O’Connor. 125mins. USA. Good cop Edward Norton squares off against brother-in-law bad cop Colin Farrell in pretty much the least necessary NYPD corruption drama of all time. AMC River East 21.—BK
8:10pm Deadly Delicious Dir. Zhao Tianyu. 79mins. China. A woman cooks exotic, satisfying meals for her married lover, who finds himself getting ill. Hmm… AMC River East 21.
* 8:15pm Two Lovers
Dir. James Gray. 96mins. USA. It’s difficult to explain the appeal of Gray’s first foray outside of the Russian-gangster genre—inspired by Dostoevky’s “White Nights” and Visconti’s film version—which earns as many bad laughs as good ones. Joaquin Phoenix is torn between Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK
8:20pm The Mermaid Dir. Anna Melikyan. 114mins. Russia. Quaint magical realism gets a bucket of cold, hard reality in the face when a naive, Amelie-like waif from the seaside sticks moves to Moscow. A hard-partying lunar-real-estate agent and legless hooker populate this twee downer fable. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BD
8:30pm Sleep Dealer See Tues 21. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.
* 9pm Mirageman
See Sat 18. AMC River East 21.
9:15pm Serbis Dir. Brillante Mendoza. 93mins. Philippines. An unappealing but oddly sincere portrait of a family-operated porn theater resembles a cross between two Tsai Ming-liang films—The Wayward Cloud and Goodbye Dragon Inn—with the notable addition of an exploding ass boil. AMC River East 21.—BK
* 9:30pm Revanche
Dir. Götz Spielman. 122mins. Austria. This well-made story of a hard-luck couple and a robbery gone awry would be better if it didn’t resort to a plot device that Kevin Costner used in The Postman. AMC 600 N Michigan 9.—BK