John Wayne imitators, pre-op transsexuals, and mind-reading iPods | Movie Sidebar | Chicago Reader

John Wayne imitators, pre-op transsexuals, and mind-reading iPods 

Four days of screenings highlight the kinship of music and cinema at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival

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This comedy is no Queens of Country for old men

This comedy is no Queens of Country for old men

The fourth edition of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival runs Thursday through Sunday, April 12 through 15, with screenings and live music at venues across the north side. Reviewing the opening-night film, Queens of Country, Ben Sachs writes, "This indie comedy tries a little too hard for cult status, trading in gags that are deliberately peculiar rather than funny. Set in a small Arizona town, it follows a line dancing champion (Lizzy Caplan) whose loutish fiance (Ron Livingston) likes to imitate John Wayne in The Conqueror during sex and whose best friend (Joe Lo Truglio) is, improbably, a pre-op transsexual. When she finds an iPod containing tracks by her favorite female country singers, she begins searching for the owner, convinced that the person is her soul mate. Directors Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke show more interest in form than most contemporary comedy filmmakers, as evidenced by the movie's detailed production design, romantic night photography, and bizarre narrative turns. But if you aren't hip to their mannered humor, these qualities might seem for naught." Queens of Country screens Thursday, April 12, 7 PM, at Wicker Park Arts Center, 2215 W. North; for more on the music at CIMMFest see our B-side write up, and for a full schedule see

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