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The Chicago International Film Festival 

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The festival concludes this weekend with screenings at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets can be purchased by phone (644-3456), by fax (644-0784), or through the World Wide Web (http://www.ticketmaster.com), all of which entail service charges, or at the theatre box office an hour before show time. General admission to most programs is $7.50; $6.50 for students and seniors; $5.50 for Cinema/Chicago members (the exception is the Best of Fest screening, which costs $10). Shows before 6 are $5. For more information call 644-3456 (644-FILM).

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27

Best Performance

The jury's choice of the film with the best performance by an actor or actress. To be announced. (5:00)

Best First Feature

The film the jury voted best first feature in the festival. To be announced. (7:00)

Audience Choice I

The film audiences voted for as the best in the festival. To be announced. (9:00)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28

Best Documentary

The jury's favorite documentary in the festival. To be announced. (1:00)

Norma Rae

Sally Field whips the textile workers of a small southern town into union solidarity, helped by New York emissary Ron Liebman, who has seen too many John Garfield movies (1979). Strained social consciousness from Martin Ritt, who, after a happy respite with Casey's Shadow, is back to his old tricks, peddling liberal pieties to the masses. Photographed in murky yellows and browns by John Alonzo, the film is sluggish and vague, trivializing its subjects in a wash of unearned sentimentality. With Beau Bridges, Pat Hingle, and Barbara Baxley. (DK) (3:00)

Best of Fest

A grab-bag program of the jury's choices of best works in all categories, including best feature, best documentary, and best short. To be announced. (8:00)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29

Jury Prize

The winner of the Gold Hugo. To be announced. (4:00)

Audience Choice II

The film audiences voted second best in the festival. To be announced. (6:00)

Mighty Aphrodite

This might be said to bear the same relationship to Woody Allen's other comedies that September bears to his other dramas--which is to say it's somewhere near the bottom. In it's opening moments it's sufficiently self-serving to take a swipe at Allen's ex-wife for her desire to adopt children, and when the Allen hero decides to track down the mother of his adopted son, who proves to be (surprise, surprise) a bimbo prostitute (Mira Sorvino) with a heart of gold, Allen unloads all his usual patronizing contempt for and middle-class "wisdom" about his own working-class origins. Here his awe of and nervousness about high art translate into a Greek chorus complete with ancient amphitheater speaking in New York vernacular that only made me hunger for the more honest vulgarity of Mel Brooks. I heard a lot of laughter around me when I previewed this in Toronto, and something tells me that if Allen decided to portray himself as a thoughtful ax murderer, as long as all his victims lived in Brooklyn his affectionate consistency would probably remain intact. With Helena Bonham Carter, Olympia Dukakis, Claire Bloom, Jack Warden, Michael Rapaport, David Ogden Stiers, Peter Weller, and F. Murray Abraham. (8:00)

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