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Friday, February 10, 2012

This week's movie action

Posted By on 02.10.12 at 09:00 AM

Careful--spiritual epiphany in progress
  • Careful—spiritual epiphany in progress
This week Ben Sachs reviews House of Pleasures, Bertrand Bonello's French drama about a bordello at the turn of the 20th century; it opens Friday for a week-long run at Gene Siskel Film Center. Like the critic Walter Benjamin, writes Sachs, Bonello tries "to achieve spiritual epiphany through engagement with the material world." I suppose if you're going to do this, there are worse places to start than a French bordello.

Also this week, we have a Reader Recommends box on the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012, which I've been reviewing individually all week on the Bleader. There are also new reviews of Addiction Incorporated, a documentary on the 1990s legal challenges to Big Tobacco; Big Miracle, a better-than-average children's drama with John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore; Chronicle, a sci-fi movie about three kids who develop supernatural powers; Leap Year, a silent comedy that was shelved for decades after its star, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, was mired in a Hollywood scandal; Mr. Rogers & Me, a documentary about everyone's favorite neighbor; The Owls, the latest from local filmmaker Cheryl Dunye; Splinters, a documentary about native surfers in Papua New Guinea; and W.E., Madonna's new movie about the forbidden love of King Edward VIII and the American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Best bets for repertory: Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), on Saturday and Wednesday, and Pickpocket (1959), on Saturday and Monday, at Film Center; Otto Preminger's Fallen Angel (1945), Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library; Todd Haynes's I'm Not There (2007), Friday and Tuesday at Film Center, the second screening with a lecture by Daniel Eisenberg; John Cassavetes's Love Streams (1984), Friday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art; Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), Friday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Mikio Naruse's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960), Monday at Doc; and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's World on a Wire (1973), Saturday at Doc.

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