The season's best film events
Eyes Wide Shut
Why yes, Kubrick’s last movie is set at Christmastime. You don’t associate masked orgies on Long Island with holiday cheer? Your loss. Doc Films, University of Chicago, 1212 E 59th St (773-702-8574). Dec 1 at 6:30, 9:30pm. $5.
The Bank of America Cinema—long an outpost for extreme cinephilia on the Northwest Side—will shut its doors for good next month, and this Chicago-shot, character-driven Warren Beatty vehicle—directed by the late Arthur Penn—seems like a fitting sendoff. Bank of America Cinema, 4901 W Irving Park Rd (312-904-9442). Dec 11 at 8pm. $5 (seniors $3).
Why does the Siskel show Hiroshi Teshigahara’s portrait of the Spanish architect every December? Apparently it’s just a coincidence: It showed at that time one year and patrons simply expect it to return. “When people request it, they often say, is it coming back for the holidays?” programming assistant Chris Sanew explains. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St (312-846-2600). Dec 11–17 at various times. $9, students $7, members $5, SAIC students and faculty $4.
A Christmas Tale
Arnaud Desplechin’s wondrous, mythically scaled 2008 drama about a dysfunctional French family is heartwarming, heartbreaking and peculiar all at once. Alliance Française, 54 W Chicago Ave entrance (312-337-1070). Dec 15 at 6:30pm. $7, which includes a glass of wine (but of course!).
27th Annual Music Box Christmas Show
Music Box, 3733 N Southport Ave (773-871-6604). You’ve probably seen It’s a Wonderful Life on TV, but is it possible that the Music Box has been hosting this double feature since 1983, and you still haven’t caught Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in White Christmas? Dec 17–24; see musicboxtheatre.com for showtimes and ticket information. In advance: $17 for double feature (kids $15); $12 for one film (kids $10). At the door: $20 for double feature (kids $15); $14 for one film (kids $10).
Catch up with 2010 releases
The Siskel always revives a few 2010 releases at the end of the year, giving patrons a last chance to catch them as best lists roll out. We’re not sure You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will factor in too heavily, but Inside Job is excellent, and Enter the Void won’t work on video at all. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St (312-846-2600). Dec 17–Jan 6 at various times. $9, students $7, members $5, SAIC students and faculty $4.
A Very Silent Christmas
Usher in the Ghost of Christmas Past with a series of holiday shorts from the silent era. Piano maestro David Drazin will provide live accompaniment. The Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave, Wilmette (847-251-7424). Dec 19 at 2. $12.