Short Films From Around the World | Chicago Reader

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A mixed bag of short films and videos, ranging from work by Samuel Beckett to Eric Fensler's ubiquitous series of dubbed GI Joe cartoons. The haunting Film (1965), directed by Alan Schneider, casts 68-year-old Buster Keaton in a Beckett script about a man hiding his face from the camera and the world; Keaton was the filmmakers' fourth choice for the role (after Chaplin, Zero Mostel, and Jack MacGowran), but his artful pantomime is the best thing the film has going for it. Most of the gems on the program are animation: in Blister Freak Circus Presents 4 Films in 5 Minutes, Skizz P. Cyzyk uses hand-drawn and cutout vignettes to illustrate songs by the band Blister Freak Circus; in Usama Alshaibi's Allahu Akbar dazzling white-on-black mandalas spin to various Hindi pop tunes; and in Eva Honegger's No Place Like Home two hand-drawn American tourists sit oblivious in their sealed train car as cutouts of European landmarks outside the window sail past them. But nothing made me laugh like Bob Odenkirk's Bread Winnerz, in which suburban dads serenade their kids with an ersatz Limp Bizkit tune called “My House, My Rulez.”

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