Sunday, October 12, 2014

50th Chicago International Film Fest
















2014 Chicago Film Festival

The 50th Chicago Film festival is stocked with former prize winning films, where one in particular will be catching my attention, the first Jan Troell feature Here's Your Life (1967), a three-hour epic work that won the Gold Hugo for Best Film and Best Director in 1967, before being released the following year in a truncated version that cut an entire hour out of the film. 

The others are easier to find, George Cukor's A Star Is Born (1954), Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, 3-hour version (1983), Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994), von Trier's Breaking the Waves (1996), Haneke's The Piano Teacher (2001), Claire Denis White Material (2009) - - stuff like that.

But these oldies but goodies are taking up much of the space of new films, so there may be fewer new films this year.

The Festival is showing the Oscar nominated Foreign Films from 10 countries, http://www.thewrap.com/50-countries-enter-oscar-foreign-language-race-the-complete-list-so-far/, while they will also screen the Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Dardennes, Olivier Assayas, and Sissako films from Cannes, all regular priced, also the new Fred Wiseman.

The biggest conflict is Sunday the 19th, as all playing at the same times are the one-time only screening of Fred Wiseman's National Gallery, the one-time only screening of a Chuck Workman documentary on Orson Welles, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, and the one-time only screening of an already rarely screened Colleen Moore silent film, Why Be Good? (1929) - - a real faux pas in the scheduling, as any one of this trio could easily be among the best films screened at the fest. 

While other festivals garner more acclaim by premiering more highly touted, festival seasoned films, nonetheless, we get excited about it every year as you never really know what to expect, as there can always be surprises that come out of nowhere that can take your breath away.

Here's hoping. 

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