The Reader's guide to the 43rd annual Chicago International Film Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

The Reader's guide to the 43rd annual Chicago International Film Festival 

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The 43rd annual Chicago International Film Festival certainly covers lots of bases, what with 160 films from 37 countries and loads of special events. But while wanting to be all-inclusive by showing anything and everything has a curatorial purpose and value of its own, it's doubtful any film festival can realize this. For better and for worse, the programming at Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam, Toronto, Venice, and many other festivals reflects particular visions of what cinema should be. Discerning a point of view or critical agenda behind the CIFF lineup this year--or any year--is virtually impossible.

So welcome back, in other words, to Michael Kutza's annual potluck bash--a mix of previews for commercial openings that one can expect later in the season (most high-profile items) or next year (most films not in English), some gems and turkeys that will never come this way again, and a good deal of more forgettable stuff in between. Cinema/Chicago--the parent organization behind CIFF--launched a summer series this year that consisted of DVD screenings of foreign language films chosen by representatives from 13 consulates. Happily, the selections at this fall's festival are being shown on film and were presumably selected by the festival itself. Beyond such basic facts, the experience is anyone's guess, but here's a little critical guidance based on the films we've seen at the Toronto International Film Festival and elsewhere this year. --Jonathan Rosenbaum

Reviews by Andrea Gronvall (AG), J.R. Jones (JJ), Dave Kehr (DK), Reece Pendleton (RP), and Jonathan Rosenbaum (JR)

The Age of Ignorance

Instead of furthering the thoughtful examination of generational politics at the heart of his 2003 film, The Barbarian Invasions, Canadian Denys Arcand reverts to facile satire in this glossy tale about a Walter Mitty-ish civil servant (Marc Labr�che). Saddled with a wife and children who spend the bulk of their time glued to cell phones or video games and a job that basically entails denying disaster victims government assistance, the numbed bureaucrat escapes by indulging in elaborate revenge and sexual fantasies. Arcand's attempts to expose the soul-deadening shallowness of modern culture fall flat; the intended targets are much too easy (the frequent skewering of "political correctness" feels about ten years out of date), and there's a glib quality to the whole project that belies its ambition. In French with subtitles. 109 min. (RP) a Thu 10/11, 4 PM, and Fri 10/12, 6:30 PM, River East 21; Mon 10/15, 9:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

R America the Beautiful

Director Darryl Roberts (How U Like Me Now) makes his feature documentary debut with this unexpectedly witty and affecting expose of the American beauty industry. Starting out as an essay on contemporary male attitudes about female beauty, the movie expands into an examination of the larger societal forces that influence and reinforce those attitudes, particularly the synergy between fashion magazines, advertising and modeling agencies, plastic surgeons, and the cosmetics industry. Roberts casts a wide net here, almost too wide at times, but the narrative thread that holds it all together is his devastating account of a 12-year-old fashion model's decline from fashion superstar to unwanted has-been. 105 min. (RP) Screening on Saturday, October 6, as part of the "Spotlight Chicago" program; tickets are $40. a Sat 10/6, 7 PM, Chicago Cultural Center; Sat 10/13, 4:45 PM, River East 21; Sun 10/14, 2:15 PM,Landmark's Century Centre

RThe Banishment

William Saroyan's story "The Laughing Matter" provided the basis for this chilling domestic drama from Russia, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return). The film opens with a shady urban character (Alexander Baluev) seeking his younger brother's help in sewing up his bleeding arm. When the brother (Konstantin Lavronenko) vacations with his kids and troubled wife (Maria Bonnevie of Reconstruction) at the family's country place, she suddenly blurts out that the child she's carrying isn't his. More wounds will confound this brood when the gangster sibling reappears with a potential solution to the couple's dilemma. Spare dialogue and long takes add to the sense of foreboding, with Lavronenko (who won the best actor prize at Cannes) keeping his character so buttoned-up you could burst from anxiety watching him consider his revenge, while the verdant landscape devolves from pastoral to sinister in the space of a phone call. In Russian with subtitles. 150 min. (AG) a Sun 10/7, 7:30 PM, and Mon 10/8, 8:15 PM, Landmark's Century Centre; also Tue 10/16, 4:30 PM, River East 21

Becoming John Ford

Nick Redman's uneven documentary about the great American filmmaker from his silent days through My Darling Clementine in 1946--almost all of it in black and white and devoted to Ford's films at Fox--often feels like a rough cut. Talking heads are identified belatedly or not at all while sometimes echoing one another, backtracking, and offering alternately solid scholarship (from Joseph McBride and Janet Bergstrom, among others), lazy misinformation (such as the claim that Pinky didn't show anywhere in the south, or Ford's own absurd boast that he eliminated farce from his films), and odd mixtures of the two. We hear both real and alleged statements by Ford (read by Walter Hill) and Darryl F. Zanuck (read by Ron Shelton), whose sources are never cited. With many glaring omissions en route (including Judge Priest at Fox and Stagecoach at RKO), this patchy survey does, however, have many incidental pleasures: Peter Fonda offers a great John Wayne imitation, and some of the clips are fabulous even when they aren't identified. 94 min. (JR) a Sun 10/7, 1 PM, and Mon 10/8, 5 PM, River East 21

RChicago 10

The antiwar protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic convention and the notorious conspiracy trial that followed a year later have become so integral to 60s mythology that you'd think any self-respecting documentarian would come after their romance with a sledgehammer. But Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture) has made an electrifying picture by doing exactly the opposite: in the brightly colored motion-capture animation used to re-create the trial, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Tom Hayden, and the other defendants seem like freaky superheroes. The courtroom sequences alternate with news footage documenting the protests and ensuing police riot, some of it strikingly fresh despite the well-worn topic (kids in a poor neighborhood play "cops and protesters"; a young black woman approached on the street expresses no sympathy for the white college kids beaten and jailed). We remember the violence of those days, but Morgen reminds us also of the absurdist comedy that the Yippies (principally Hoffman) brought to the protests and the trial, and the soundtrack of aggressive tunes by Rage Against the Machine, Eminem, and the Beastie Boys makes plain the director's desire to inflame dissent for another war 40 years later. 103 min. (JJ) a Tue 10/9, 7 PM, and Wed 10/10, 9:30 PM, River East 21

RControl

Anton Corbijn transcends the conventions of the rock biopic with his reverberating portrait of Ian Curtis, the lyricist and front man for Joy Division, who committed suicide at 23 just as the postpunk band was taking off. The movie sheds light on Curtis's death by focusing on the ordinary aspects of his life; he was dogged by poverty, early marriage, fatherhood, and the onset of epilepsy even as Joy Division gathered a local following, broke through on TV, and signed with Tony Wilson's Factory Records. Martin Ruhe's lustrous black-and-white cinematography evokes the tumultuous Manchester of the late 70s, a working-class milieu enlivened by punk. Sam Riley is fascinating as Curtis, a hypersensitive young man hobbled by his incurable disease, and Samantha Morton is poignant as his put-upon wife. R, 121 min. (AG) a Fri 10/5, 7:15 PM, River East 21; also Mon 10/8, 6:45 PM, and Tue 10/16, 6:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

R4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Cristian Mungiu's masterful chronicle of two young women negotiating for an illegal abortion in 1987 Romania over a 24-hour period, near the end of Ceausescu's communist regime, is impressive above all for the way it respects the audience, expecting them to follow the implications of its multifaceted tale without always spelling them out. (When one of the women has to prostitute herself with the abortionist before he'll agree to proceed, and pointedly keeps this fact from her boyfriend, we can already see their relationship foundering as a consequence.) Filmed in 'Scope, largely in long takes, this is moving and gripping throughout. In Romanian with subtitles. 113 min. (JR) a Sun 10/7, 6 PM, River East 21, and Tue 10/9, 8:45 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

RGone Baby Gone

"I always thought it was the things you don't choose that make you who you are," declares the narrator at the opening of this powerful mystery, words that turn out to be hauntingly prophetic. Adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), the movie centers on the disappearance of a four-year-old girl whose life has already been sadly defined by her vile single mother, squalid home life, and grim working-class Boston neighborhood. Suspecting the mother of foul play, the girl's aunt hires a pair of private detectives (Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan) to assist the police investigation, and as they get closer to the truth, even the child's rescue begins to seem like a tragic fate. Ben Affleck, sealing the professional comeback he began with Hollywoodland, cowrote the script and directed; his biggest gamble was casting his irksome little brother as a pistol-whipping tough guy, but the picture is so superbly executed in every other respect that Casey seems more quirky than miscast. With Amy Ryan, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman. R, 104 min. (JJ) The Afflecks will attend the screening. a Wed 10/10, 7 PM, Music Box

Her Wild Oat

I haven't been able to preview this restoration of a silent comedy starring Colleen Moore, directed by the prolific Marshall Neilan and rediscovered by chance in the Czech Film Archive. But 1927 (a date curiously missing from the festival flyer) was clearly a much better year for Hollywood movies than 2007 has been so far, and David Drazin will be offering piano accompaniment, which alone should make this worth the price of admission. The story follows an orphaned tenement dweller (Moore) as she blows her savings by living it up at a beach resort, where she gets misidentified as a duchess. 90 min. (JR) Joe Lindner, an archivist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will introduce the screening. a Sun 10/7, 5 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

I Served the King of England

Forty years have passed since Czech director Jiri Menzel won an Oscar for Closely Watched Trains, yet the basic formula for this 2006 feature (based, like the other film, on a novel by Bohumil Hrabal) seems nearly identical: a virginal young man, an assortment of hotties, plenty of slapstick, and the Third Reich. The story covers many years in the life of a devoted hotel waiter (Ivan Barnev) as he learns the profession from his dignified elders and gets his sexual initiation from the beautiful prostitutes who service the hotel's fat old industrialists. The tone darkens somewhat when the Nazis overrun the Czech lands and the waiter, infatuated with a newly arrived fraulein, gradually betrays his friends and coworkers. The deft physical comedy is a pleasure, though the leering chauvinism becomes more embarrassing as the movie progresses. Mel Brooks never had it this good. In subtitled Czech and unsubtitled German. 115 min. (JJ) a Wed 10/10, 9 PM, and Thu 10/11, 6:30 PM, River East 21; also Tue 10/16, 5 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

In Memory of Myself

Saverio Costanzo's slow, somber religious drama caused a steady stream of walkouts when I saw it screened at the Toronto film festival, which seems ironic given the subject: a class of novice monks washing out one by one as they find the limits to their faith. The central character (Christo Jivkov) arrives at the Jesuit seminary on the Ventian island of San Giorgio Maggiore and embraces its severe regimen of silence and prayer. Yet the community's core values of obedience and humility begin to lose their luster as he gets to know his fellow novitiates; the brighter ones tend to leave, departing not in shame but with new and exciting insights into themselves. One can't become a lamb of God without being a sheep among men, Costanzo suggests, though in the end he comes back around to the principle of erasing one's ego in pursuit of spiritual transcendence. By that time, however, most of the audience may have transcended the theater. In Italian with subtitles. 115 min. (JJ) a Wed 10/10, 6:30 PM, and Thu 10/11, 9:45 PM, River East 21; also Sat 10/13, 2:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

Iska's Journey

The demise of the Soviet Union triggered seismic upheavals throughout eastern Europe, emboldening criminals and putting the most vulnerable--women and children--at particular risk. This fable by Hungary's Csaba Bollok unfolds like a contemporary take on the Brothers Grimm, with its plucky young heroine (Maria Varga) navigating the urban jungle of her depressed mining town to scavenge for food and scrap metal and escape the wrath of her alcoholic mother. Iska and her ailing younger sister (Rozalia Varga) land in an orphanage, but soon a wolfish pimp snaps up the older girl with promises of easy money. One of the more successful examples of casting nonactors in a drama, the movie nonetheless presents such an unrelievedly bleak outlook that it's difficult to locate any transformative power in the story. Darkness reigns--which may be the point. In Hungarian with subtitles. 93 min. (AG) a Wed 10/10, 8:45 PM, and Thu 10/11, 9:15 PM, Landmark's Century Centre; also Sat 10/13, noon, River East 21

RJellyfish

The celebrated Israeli author Etgar Keret and his wife, screenwriter Shira Geffen, directed this luminous foray into magic realism, Tel Aviv style. A withdrawn, disheveled waitress (Sarah Adler of Marie Antoinette and Notre Musique), abandoned by her boyfriend and out of step with her busy divorced parents, befriends a little girl who's emerged mysteriously from the sea. Across town, an old woman makes trouble for her Filipino caregiver, and newlyweds find their fragile happiness threatened when the husband is distracted by a seductive poet. The locals drift until the outsiders (the child, the caregiver, the poet) evolve into agents of psychological transference. The overlapping stories pulse with a tidal rhythm, the film's sensibility flowing between serious and wry, and there are memorable turns from Assi Dayan as the waitress's henpecked dad and Tzahi Grad as a cop with a nonchalant attitude toward babysitting. In Hebrew with subtitles. 78 min. (AG) a Thu 10/11, 6:45 PM, River East 21, and Sun 10/14, 5:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

The Kite Runner

I'm writing this about an hour after watching Marc Forster's high-toned adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini, but already the movie's Oscar-bait spell is beginning to dissipate. David Benioff (25th Hour) deserves credit for the well-proportioned script, which manages to cover 22 years in the lives of a proud Afghan businessman and his feckless son while encompassing the Soviet invasion, the family's exile to California, and the rise of the Taliban back home. But the powerful themes of loyalty, shame, and redemption tend to be muted by the same glass-table treatment Forster brought to Finding Neverland, not to mention the narrative contrivance (an evil kid who magically appears two decades later as an evil adult) and overripe imagery (kites sailing through the limitless blue sky). I'd recommend this, but only if you liked The English Patient. PG-13. (JJ) Forster and festival honoree Roger Ebert will attend the screening, part of the opening-night program; tickets for the screening only are $30-$35. a Thu 10/4, 7:30 PM, Chicago Theatre

RLars and the Real Girl

If someone had told me this comedy was directed by the guy who did Mr. Woodcock and most of the humor revolved around a sex doll, I wouldn't have gone near it. But that would have been my loss, because Lars and the Real Girl is both hilarious and poignant, with a Capraesque humanity that caught me completely off guard. The title character (Ryan Gosling), an awkward young man in a small Minnesota town, invites his older brother (the lovably goofy Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer) to meet his new fiancee, but to their horror and embarrassment she turns out to be made of rubber. The local psychiatrist (Patricia Clarkson) advises them to play along with Lars's delusion, and eventually the close-knit religious community, moved by concern for the brothers, joins in. I'm not sure I believe there's still that much compassion in the world, but in keeping with the spirit of the movie, I was willing to pretend. Craig Gillespie directed a script by Nancy Oliver, a veteran of HBO's Six Feet Under. PG-13, 106 min. (JJ) a Tue 10/9, 7 PM, and Thu 10/11, 9 PM, River East 21; also Sat 10/13, 5:45 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

RThe Man From London

After the more complicated story lines of Satantango and Werckmeister Harmonies, Hungarian master Bela Tarr boils a Georges Simenon novel down to a few primal essentials: a railway worker in a dank and decaying port town witnesses a crime while stationed on a tower and then stumbles into some of the resulting situations. It's a film about looking and listening, with a suggestive minimalist soundtrack and ravishing black-and-white cinematography by German filmmaker Fred Kelemen. Tarr's slow-as-molasses camera movements and endlessly protracted takes generate a trancelike sense of wonder, giving us time to think and always implying far more than they show. (As Tarr himself puts it, "The camera is inside and outside at the same time.") The fine cast includes Tilda Swinton and Hungarian actress Erika Bok, who played in Satantango when she was 11 and is now in her early 20s. In Hungarian with subtitles. 135 min. (JR) a Thu 10/11, 4:15 PM, and Fri 10/12, 6:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre; also Sun 10/14, 8:45 PM, River East 21

Michael Clayton

George Clooney is the title character, a consummate fixer for a high-powered Manhattan law firm who's so sick of doing the company's dirty work he seems ready to bite off his own tongue. When one of the rainmaking attorneys (Tom Wilkinson) goes nuts, endangering the firm's defense of an agrochemical giant against a class-action suit, Clayton is dispatched to silence him. Like The Verdict, this is a big, crowd-pleasing Hollywood redemption drama in which the lonely hero not only thwarts the corporate villains in the end but silences them with a killer riposte. The plot elements are painfully familiar, but the story is just solid enough to support the entertaining star turns: Clooney is lined and wearily handsome; Wilkinson rants like King Lear; Tilda Swinton, as a corrupt counsel, is alternately ruthless and terrified; and Sydney Pollack, as the firm's head honcho, could make genocide seem reasonable. This doesn't begin to deserve the Oscar nominations it's likely to get, but I had a good time with it nonetheless. Tony Gilroy directed his own script. R, 120 min. (JJ) Gilroy will attend the screening. a Mon 10/8, 7 PM, River East 21

RPloy

Though less well-known than Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang is in many ways as impressive a figure in his versatility, in features that usually work with more commercial genres (as in his 6ixtynin9 and Invisible Waves). This masterful art film is an exception, charting a few hours in the lives of several characters in which their fantasies and actual events are given equal amounts of attention. Returning to Bangkok for a funeral after a decade's absence, a couple whose marriage seems to be foundering check into a luxury hotel in the middle of the night, and things grow especially edgy between them after the husband meets a teenage girl named Ploy in the bar downstairs and invites her to come upstairs while she waits for her mother to arrive. A film that perfectly captures the look and mood of jet lag and early dawn, with erotic tension to spare. In Thai with subtitles. 107 min. (JR) a Mon 10/8, noon, Landmark's Century Centre; also Wed 10/10, 9:30 PM, and Mon 10/15, 5 PM, River East 21

Rails & Ties

Alison Eastwood, whose good looks and last name have served her well as a Hollywood actress, makes her directing debut with this mediocre cancer drama. Kevin Bacon does his best impersonation of the director's dad as a taciturn railroad engineer who's brought up for review after his LA-to-Seattle passenger train kills a suicidal woman parked on the tracks. When the woman's traumatized 11-year-old son shows up on the engineer's doorstep to hurl accusations at him, his stage-four wife (Marcia Gay Harden) insists on caring for the orphaned child. The opening act is strong, but the story's trajectory is so obvious this often seems to be traveling along tracks as well--into a valley of soap suds. PG, 108 min. (JJ) a Sun 10/7, 7 PM, River East 21

RThe River

Jean Renoir's 1951 masterpiece, his first film in color. The story concerns a group of English colonialists living on the banks of the Ganges, but beyond that the film describes how the European mind gradually succumbs to the eternal perspectives of India. Renoir's images flow with the same still motion as his metaphorical river: entering or leaving the frame is a matter of life and death, but in the end it is the same. For Andre Bazin, this was the Rules of the Game of Renoir's postwar period, a film in which the screen no longer exists; there is nothing but reality. 99 min. (DK) A restored version will be shown. a Wed 10/10, 6:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

Stuck

A white-collar worker down on his luck (Stephen Rea) gets hit by a car late one night and plunges halfway through the windshield; the driver (Mena Suvari), still flying on ecstasy after leaving a club, is so stunned she continues home, hides her car in the garage, and leaves her victim to suffer alone in the dark. "You should have watched where you were going," she tells him as he stares in disbelief, bloodied and pinned down by glass shards and a snapped wiper that's punctured his gut. As the title of this splatter comedy by writer-director Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) indicates, he's like a bug stuck to her windshield, and that's about the level of humanity and insight one can expect here. 85 min. (JJ) a Sat 10/6, 9 PM, and Sun 10/7, 10:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre; also Fri 10/12, 10 PM, Music Box

RThings We Lost in the Fire

Hollywood has finally gotten hip to Susanne Bier: two of her powerful Danish dramas, Brothers (2004) and Open Hearts (2002), are slated for U.S. remakes, and Bier herself came over to direct this incisive story of a death in the family. After a good-hearted husband and father (David Duchovny) is randomly murdered, his traumatized wife (Halle Berry) offers room and board to his old childhood friend (Benicio Del Toro), a pathetic junkie shocked into recovery by the crime. Allan Loeb wrote the screenplay, though one can easily see why it attracted Bier; like her own writing, it explores the irrational impulses, emotional substitutions, and misdirected rage that often follow great loss. Bier is one of the cinema's most acute observers of intimate relations, her Scandinavian reserve muting the inherent melodrama of her material, and she draws piercing, modestly scaled performances from Duchovny, Del Toro, Alison Lohman, and John Carroll Lynch. R, 113 min. (JJ) Bier will attend the screening. a Thu 10/11, 7 PM, River East 21

The Walker

"Has there ever been a good Paul Schrader film?" a colleague asked me on my way into the press screening for this feature, the director's 16th. I haven't seen quite all of them, but I couldn't come up with a single title, even though some have their compensations (Patty Hearst, Light Sleeper). As does this weak thriller, about a gay southern dandy (Woody Harrelson) who escorts aging society ladies around Washington, D.C., and becomes the prime suspect when the lover of one gets murdered. The main compensation is Harrelson's well-judged and finely shaded performance; the secondary ones are the ladies he hangs out with--Lauren Bacall, Lily Tomlin, and Kristin Scott Thomas. But the rest of this mainly drifts. R, 107 min. (JR) a Sat 10/6, 6:30 PM, River East 21; also Thu 10/11, 6:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

Weirdsville

This brash Canadian comedy takes place in Weedsville, a northern Ontario town so remote its inhabitants haven't gotten the word that Pulp Fiction is way over. A pair of wisecracking heroin addicts (Wes Bentley, Scott Speedman) plan a burglary in order to pay off their dealer, but after their hooker friend (Taryn Manning) dies of an overdose, they try to bury her in the boiler room of a drive-in theater and stumble upon a trio of satanists making a human sacrifice. Luckily, help arrives in the form of dwarfs clad in medieval chain mail--need I go on? A high-spirited cast and some pretty funny dialogue manage to put this across, though it will probably help if you're weird, and help even more if you have weed. Allan Moyle directed. R, 92 min. (JJ) a Sat 10/6, 9:45 PM, and Sat 10/13, 10:30 PM, River East 21; also Tue 10/16, 9:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

Wolfsbergen

Great life events--and death inevitably is one--try the most cohesive families in the best of times, so what chance do already estranged relatives have when their patriarch announces he no longer wants to live? The watery light of the Netherlands defines the mood of writer-director Nanouk Leopold's existential chamber piece about a Dutch clan that has lost its moorings: a middle-aged couple barely touches or speaks; their bitchy older daughter (Tamar van den Dop) carries on with her former lover years after she's married someone else, while the younger single daughter (Karina Smulders) is perilously thin-skinned. When the dying man's son-in-law (Jan Decleir of Memory of a Killer) takes his elder's declaration seriously, the group decamps to the family country estate to contemplate mortality. Skilled pros Decleir and van den Dop are the reasons to watch this story, which otherwise is Bergman lite. In Dutch with subtitles. 95 min. (AG) a Sun 10/7, 12:45 PM, Landmark's Century Centre; also Sat 10/13, 8:15 PM, and Sun 10/14, 9:45 PM, River East 21

RYou, the Living

"Keaton-esque" hardly begins to describe this brutally deadpan comedy by Swedish director Roy Andersson (Songs From the Second Floor), who seems to have translated the entire range of human misery into a loosely connected series of slapstick gags. His black humor is impressively layered, each layer darker than the last: when a joker at a family banquet insists on performing that old parlor trick of yanking the tablecloth out from under the dishes, he not only shatters a huge collection of crystal and china but also reveals--look sharp or you'll miss it--a vintage dining table inlaid with swastikas. Andersson's building block is a static long shot so solidly composed it suggests a panel in a comic strip; the central figure is often encased in his own suffering, and sometimes additional laughs come from a background figure surveying his despair in openmouthed bewilderment. I laughed so hard I hurt--or was it the other way around? In Swedish with subtitles. 92 min. (JJ) a Mon 10/8, 2:30 PM; Tue 10/9, 7 PM; and Thu 10/11, 4:30 PM, Landmark's Century Centre

VENUES River East 21, 322 E. Illinois; Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State (opening night); Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark; Music Box, 3733 N. Southport.

ADMISSION $13 ($9 for Cinema/Chicago members), $10 seniors, $7 matinees; $115 for a 10-admission pass and $400 for a 40-admission pass. Special prices and party packages for opening- and closing-night galas--see Web site.

ADVANCE SALES Cinema/Chicago, 30 E. Adams, suite 800; Borders, 830 N. Michigan and 2817 N. Clark; festival hotline. By phone: 312-332-3456 (48 hours in advance) or Ticketmaster, 312-902-1500 or ticketmaster.com (24 hours in advance). After October 5 at AMC, Landmark, and Music Box box offices on the day of the screening (cash only).

INFO 312-332-3456 or chicagofilmfestival.org.

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