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2010 — 46th Chicago International Film Festival

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France

All Good Children All Good Children

The dizzying heights and dark depths of obsessive young love are depicted with dreamlike lyricism in this haunting film. Sent to live with their aunt in France, Irish 12

English, French with subtitles, 80 min.

Cassava Metaphor, The Cassava Metaphor, The

A taxi driver flirts with his passenger only to have the tables dramatically turned in The Cassava Metaphor.

15 min.

Certified Copy Certified Copy

A gallery owner (Juliette Binoche, named Best Actress at Cannes) invites an accomplished author (William Shimell) on a drive with her to a picturesque Italian town. Their banter about the difference between artistic originals and copies is filled with flirtation, but the nature of their relationship becomes ambiguous when an honest misunderstanding leads to them feigning a marriage. Iranian visionary Abbas Kiarostami directs this meditation on authenticity and artifice.

English, French, Italian with subtitles, 106 min.

Copacabana Copacabana

Babou (Isabelle Huppert, flexing her comedic muscles) has always enjoyed her freewheeling bohemian lifestyle, but it’s about to cost her dearly: Her daughter Esmeralda, embarrassed by her mother’s flightiness, may not invite Babou to her upcoming wedding. To prove that she can play the reliable mom as well as the impulsive free spirit, Babou takes a job selling real estate, surprising everyone (including herself) by rising to the top despite her devil-may-care attitude.

English, French, Flemish with subtitles, 105 min.

Family Tree Family Tree

When stern patriarch Frédérick refuses to attend his eldest son’s funeral, his absence outrages his surviving children and dredges up secrets that threaten to shatter the family. The directors behind Born in ’68 present a generous meditation on shame and its multigenerational repercussions, breathing life into its buried-secret storyline. Three generations of actors create an unforgettable portrait of a family that doesn’t know itself.

French with subtitles, 97 min.

Hitler in Hollywood Hitler in Hollywood

What if WWII-era Hollywood took advantage of the war to undermine the burgeoning rival film industry in Europe? That’s the uproarious premise of this playful mockumentary, which follows Pulp Fiction’s Maria de Medeiros

English, French, Portuguese with subtitles, 86 min.

Love Like Poison Love Like Poison

Summer brings many changes for Anna, a quiet 14-year-old preparing for her confirmation. Her sexual awakening, brought about by her experimentation with a choirboy and the casual raunchiness of her grandfather, provokes doubts about her faith. She tries to work through her questions aided by her newly separated parents and the sensitive yet troubled village priest, but the conflict between faith and love may be irreconcilable.

French with subtitles, 92 min.

Man at Bath Man at Bath

From the lauded director of Love Songs comes this steamy exploration of the aesthetics and emotions underlying sexual intimacy. After his lover Omar (Omar Ben Sellem) breaks up with him, the gorgeous, musclebound Emmanuel (French porn star François Sagat) embarks on an erotic tour of Paris. Both men try to forget each other through a series of passionate trysts, but are the physical delights they find elsewhere enough to heal the rift that has opened between them? Mature audiences only.

French with subtitles, 72 min.

Michel Ciment, The Art of Sharing Movies Michel Ciment, The Art of Sharing Movies

France’s answer to Roger Ebert, Michel Ciment is one of the most revered film critics in the world. Testimonies by everyone from Bertrand Tavernier and Arnaud Desplechin to Quentin Tarantino and Joel Coen back up that claim. Director Simoné Laine delves into Ciment’s influential life, including his history with film periodical Positif (and its infamous rivalry with Cahiers du cinema, penned by Truffaut and Godard). A longtime friend and advisor to the Festival, Ciment will participate in a special conversation after the film.

French with subtitles, 52 min.

Moskito Bravo Moskito Bravo

What you see is invariably not what you get in Moskito Bravo.

4 min.

Nannerl, Mozart's Sister Nannerl, Mozart's Sister

In this dynamic biopic centering on the other musical prodigy in the Mozart family, 14

French with subtitles, 120 min.

On Tour On Tour

Once a successful television producer, Joachim Zand (Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) has returned to France with an enticing new entourage prepared to delight. Straight from the States, Zand’s new burlesque dancers are as lively as they are shameless, as unruly as they are voluptuous, and aggressive in their artful striptease. Touring the country, the girls wreak havoc while Zand’s personal and professional problems overwhelm the entire scheme.

English, French with subtitles, 111 min.

Our Life Our Life

Despite his myriad flaws, construction worker Claudio is a devoted husband and father, willing to do whatever it takes, even blackmail, to keep his family afloat. After the death of his wife, though, his sins catch up with him and he must battle his grief while trying to protect the fragile life he has built. With its perceptive depiction of life in Italy’s working class, this poignant drama echoes the fiery social conscience of Ken Loach.

Italian with subtitles, 98 min.

Princess of Montpensier, The Princess of Montpensier, The

Chicago favorite Bertrand Tavernier (’Round Midnight) directs this lush, unsentimental take on the historical romance, which takes a clear-eyed look at the intersection of passion and power in 16th-century France. Young, beautiful aristocrat Marie favors war hero Henri, but she’s married off to the Prince of Montpensier for political reasons. Once at court, she inspires love, violence, and thirst for power in the men around her as civil war tears the country apart.

French with subtitles, 139 min.

Screaming Man, A Screaming Man, A

Oblivious to the civil war raging around him, Adam, a pool attendant at a private club, takes fierce pride in his job and his son. The implications of the war land at his doorstep when the club changes hands and he loses his position, replaced by his son. Seething with humiliation and envy and under pressure from military factions, Adam finds himself contemplating a shocking act of betrayal in this Cannes Jury Prize winner.

Arabic, French with subtitles, 91 min.

Sentiment of the Flesh, The Sentiment of the Flesh, The

When a beautiful young anatomical artist falls for a sexy doctor, it seems like a match made in heaven. But their shared fascination with the interior workings of the human body takes a disturbing turn when their obsessive interest in each other becomes more than just skin-deep. Unable to escape their desire for scientific as well as carnal knowledge, the two are drawn inexorably toward a shocking conclusion.

French with subtitles, 92 min.

Tehroun Tehroun

Ibrahim scrapes by as a beggar on the streets of Tehran with a baby under his arm and the sorrow of his wife’s death on his lips. But not everything is what it seems: the baby is a mere prop, rented from a local gang lord. When the child is kidnapped and Ibrahim is unable to pay back the bloodthirsty owner, he must go to extreme lengths just to save his own skin in this gritty street drama.

Farsi with subtitles, 95 min.