Marking time with Powell and Pressburger, and other highlights from this week's film section | Bleader

Friday, April 26, 2013

Marking time with Powell and Pressburger, and other highlights from this week's film section

Posted By on 04.26.13 at 01:50 PM

The Palestinian documentary 5 Broken Cameras is one of this weeks recommended movies.
  • The Palestinian documentary 5 Broken Cameras is one of this week's recommended movies.
In the film section of this week's Reader, J.R. Jones reflects on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1943 masterpiece The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp on the occasion of a new DVD release of the film. As Tom Gunning once wrote of Ken Jacobs's work, Jones identifies Blimp as "a movie that tells us time," noting how the film plays differently to young, middle-aged, and elderly viewers and how it deepens in meaning as one grows older. I recommend reading the essay now, putting it aside for 20 or 30 years, then looking at it again. Jones also writes positively of a few newer films: Ken Loach's comedy The Angels' Share, the Palestinian documentary 5 Broken Cameras, and the Colombian drama La Playa DC.

This week's issue also contains new reviews of: Arthur Newman, a Colin Firth vehicle about sex in strange places; Blancanieves, a Spanish pastiche of late silent-era cinema; a Danish-Canadian cult item called Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal; Habibi Rasak Kharban, playing in the Siskel Center's Chicago Palestinian Film Festival; The Lords of Salem, which Drew Hunt selects as one of our critics' choices for the week; Oblivion, the latest Tom Cruise vehicle about how great Tom Cruise is; Pain & Gain, Michael Bay's satirical true-crime saga; Rafea: Solar Mama, a documentary about Bedouin women playing in the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (also at the Siskel); Renoir, a drama about the famous painter and his filmmaker son; and Violeta Went to Heaven, another artist biopic, this one about the internationally celebrated Chilean folk singer Violeta Parra.

As usual in Chicago, this week offers an embarrassment of riches in terms of revival screenings. To single out a few must-sees: Maurice Pialat's A Nos Amours, one of the key French films of the 1980s, plays at the Siskel tomorrow and Tuesday; the great Charles Burnett will introduce his 1985 feature My Brother's Wedding at the U. of C. Film Studies Center on Thursday; and the Northwest Chicago Film Society will screen John Ford's late masterwork The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on Wednesday at the Portage Theater. The Music Box is reviving Orson Welles's Mr. Arkadin (aka Confidential Report) on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 AM and John Waters's Desperate Living on Friday and Saturday at midnight. The Logan Theatre will present The Last Waltz tonight, tomorrow, and Monday at 11:15 PM. And last but not least, Doc Films has a killer week ahead: a 35-millimeter print of The Godfather screens tonight and Sunday afternoon; Agnes Varda's Cleo From 5 to 7 plays Sunday night; the Dashiell Hammett adaptation The Glass Key plays Monday; a little-known Japanese feature called Gushing Prayer: A Fifteen-Year-Old Prostitute plays Tuesday in the Japanese underground series; Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass is on Wednesday; and Billy Wilder's iconic The Seven Year Itch plays Thursday.

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