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2009 — 45th Chicago International Film Festival

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France

Antichrist Antichrist

Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in this dark, highly erotic psychological horror story from the controversial writer/director of Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, and Breaking the Waves. A grieving couple retreats to an isolated cabin in the woods to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course, and things go from bad to worse.... Gainsbourg was named best actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her astounding performance.

109 minutes

Bellamy Bellamy

GĂ©rard Depardieu stars in French New Wave veteran Claude Chabrol's 58th film, a playfully witty crime story centered around Paris police chief Paul Bellamy. While on holiday with his wife, the famed detective is approached by a stranger who "sort of killed" another man, and before long Bellamy becomes embroiled in a puzzle that boggles even his mind.

Please note that due to
demand there is now an additional screening of Bellamy on Oct. 10.

French with subtitles, 110 minutes

Face Face

A four-time award winner at the Festival, master Tsai Ming-Liang (Goodbye, Dragon Inn; What Time Is It Over There?) returns with a sumptuously staged, boldly visual film about a Taiwanese filmmaker who casts French actors in his latest disaster-fraught film—despite not speaking a word of French. An artistic tip of the hat to FranÇois Truffaut and the spirit of the New Wave, Face stars Truffaut regulars Jean-Pierre LÉaud and Fanny Ardant.

French, Taiwanese with subtitles, 141 minutes

The Girl on the Train The Girl on the Train

Jeanne is a beautiful, freewheeling 22-year-old with a penchant for telling little white lies and avoiding a real job. When her flash-in-the-pan relationship with the audacious and vaguely mysterious Franck goes sour in a big way, the heartbroken girl spins a story there’s no coming back from. Émilie Dequenne (Rosetta) and Catherine Deneuve highlight the excellent ensemble cast in this sexy, complex drama about deception and its repercussions.

French with subtitles, 105 minutes

Give Me Your Hand Give Me Your Hand

The journey is more important than the destination in this beautifully meditative film. Twin brothers—one gay, one straight—travel to the funeral of a mother they never met, equipped with only their rucksacks. Theirs is a close if combative relationship, but it is threatened by sexual entanglements and betrayal as they progress through the European countryside.

French with subtitles, 80 minutes

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

In 1964, director Henri-Georges Clouzot and his gorgeous ingÉnue, actress Romy Schneider, began filming an ambitious project to revolutionize the art of cinema. Today, it languishes in film cans, unfinished and unseen. How Clouzot set about realizing his vision—and what went wrong along the way—is the subject of this fascinating doc.

French with subtitles, 102 minutes

Hidden Diary Hidden Diary

While visiting her parents in France, Audrey discovers her grandmother's diary, the only memento of a woman who abandoned her family. Audrey's search for understanding uncovers a family secret buried under 50 years of silence, and ultimately illuminates her relationship with her own mother (Catherine Deneuve) and the deep, complex bonds between three generations of women.

English, French with subtitles, 105 minutes

Logorama Logorama

In a world where company logos have come to life—and the earth, galaxy, and universe have become part of the corporate machine—Esso Girl and Big Boy try to escape the wrath of Ronald McDonald.

Logorama will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 2: Animation Nations: Information & Show Times

16 minutes

Looking for Eric Looking for Eric

Estranged from his first wife, abandoned by his second, and plagued by a pair of rebellious teenage stepsons, depressed postman Eric Bishop seeks solace in his devotion to the Manchester United football team. When advice-bearing former star Eric Cantona magically materializes in his bedroom one night, Bishop realizes he must begin putting his life back together. Lauded director Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) directs this gentle, whimsical comedy.

116 minutes

My Neighbor, My Killer My Neighbor, My Killer

"When you bear a child, you make its flesh, but not its heart." These are the words of a peasant woman reflecting on why neighbor turned on neighbor in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Ten years in the making, this documentary by award-winning filmmaker Anne Aghion follows the victims—and perpetrators—as they learn to live side by side in the aftermath of the genocide.

Kinyarwanda with subtitles, 80 minutes

No Hard Feelings No Hard Feelings

It's 1955, and troublemaker Laurent finds himself at a Belgian boarding school, where a teacher there recognizes his intelligence and encourages him to write. As Laurent's talent develops, he adopts his inspiring teacher as a father figure, while at the same time wondering about his real father, who disappeared during the war. As Laurent investigates the past, he is forced to confront his present.

French with subtitles, 104 minutes

Nothing Personal Nothing Personal

The canapés are set, the string quartet is playing, and the champagne is flowing. The Muller pharmaceutical company is hosting a swank company banquet for its execs, but when the rumbling rumor of an imminent buyout and layoffs turns to a roar, suddenly it’s survival of the fittest…. Cleverly constructed and darkly funny, Nothing Personal puts a fresh, timely spin on the cutthroat nature of corporate—and human—relationships.

French with subtitles, 90 minutes

Partners Partners

It was love at first sight for the couple of devil-may-care teens at the heart of this scorchingly sexy mystery. Two months later, Vincent’s dead body is being fished out of the Rhône, and Rebecca is nowhere to be found. Using tension-building flashbacks, Frédéric Mermoud reconstructs the timeline of this ill-fated affair, plunging us into a world of kinky love and sordid prostitution.

French with subtitles, 93 minutes

Persecution Persecution

Daniel has a talent for making life go his way, but lately he’s been put to the test by a stranger who follows him through the streets, to his job, to his apartment. And this strange relationship is not the only one wearing on him: His possessive attitude toward Sonia, his partner of three years, is slowly poisoning them both. Soon Daniel will discover how it feels to be both persecutor and persecuted…. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Romain Duris, and Jean-Hugues Anglade star in this psychological drama from provocative director Patrice Chéreau (Intimacy, Queen Margot).

French with subtitles, 100 minutes

Ricky Ricky

As her new relationship with coworker Paco begins to bloom, single working mother Katie learns she’s pregnant. Baby Ricky soon dominates Katie’s attention, straining the couple’s relationship as well as her bond with her young daughter. Ambitious French director FranÇois Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women) delivers a gritty family drama that takes flight in fantastical directions when a discovery is made: Ricky is growing wings.

Please note new screening dates for Ricky.

French with subtitles, 90 minutes

Skhizein Skhizein

Despite being struck by a 150,000-ton meteorite, Henry is miraculously uninjured. Henry's perception, however, has been drastically altered, and he must now adapt to living precisely 91 centimeters away from himself.

Skhizein will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 2: Animation Nations: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Spy(ies) Spy(ies)

With explosive tension and stark cinematography, Spy(ies) is an intense throwback to classic '70s thrillers. French heartthrob Guillaume Canet stars as a bright but underachieving airport worker who gets his hands on the wrong bag-and finds himself thrust into a dangerous world of international agents and life-threatening secrets. This sexy spy flick also echoes the real-life anxieties of French society and plays on the unjust social prejudices wrought from a world of fear.

French with subtitles, 99 minutes

Tomorrow at Dawn Tomorrow at Dawn

When a man loses himself in the escapist world of historical battle reenactment, his older brother, Mathieu, tries to rescue him. But to help, Mathieu must also immerse himself in a world where the line between role-play and reality is blurred. Denis Dercourt—who proved he can generate unnerving tension in even a piano recital in his debut The Page Turner—returns to the Festival with this compelling psychological thriller.

French with subtitles, 96 minutes

Vincere Vincere

The closely guarded story of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's secret lover and son is revealed in fittingly operatic proportions in this electrifying tour de force. Thunderstruck by the young Mussolini's charisma, Ida Dalser gives up everything to help champion his revolutionary ideas. When he disappears during World War I and later resurfaces with a new wife, the scorned Dasler and her son are locked away in separate asylums for more than a decade. But Ida will not disappear without a fight….

Italian with subtitles, 128 minutes