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2009 — 45th Chicago International Film Festival

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UK

The Be All and End All The Be All and End All

Fifteen-year-old lads Robbie and Ziggy have been best mates all their lives. When Robbie finds out he's got a fatal heart condition, he's got just one final wish: "You've got to get a girl to shag me," he pleads with Ziggy. Now it's up to Ziggy to get a girl into Robbie's bed… by any means necessary. Packed with plenty of delightfully slangy Brit wit, this hilarious and heartwarming tale is a mature account of what it means to be a friend.

100 minutes

Cherry on the Cake Cherry on the Cake

The smaller Cherry feels, the smaller she gets

8 minutes

An Education An Education

In the post-war, pre-Beatles London suburbs, a bright schoolgirl (Carey Mulligan) is torn between studying for a place at Oxford and the more exciting alternative offered to her by a charismatic older man (Peter Sarsgaard). Directed by award-winning Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, Italian for Beginners) from a screenplay by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), An Education was adapted from a memoir by journalist Lynn Barber. Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams, Sally Hawkins, and Emma Thompson also star.

95 minutes

Fish Tank Fish Tank

Oscar® winner Andrea Arnold asserts her place at the pinnacle of contemporary British cinema with Fish Tank, her keenly observed and unflinchingly realistic portrait of life in a rough Essex housing project. Mia (Katie Jarvis, a revelation in her first screen role) is an alienated, emotionally volatile teenager whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of her mother's charming new boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender, named best actor at last year's Festival for Hunger).

124 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

Photograph of Jesus Photograph of Jesus

Looking for photographs of Jesus, yetis, and Hitler in 1948? Help is at hand with this documentary-fantasy based on true stories of requests for impossible images.

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

7 minutes

Rabbit Punch Rabbit Punch

Two mischief makers are brewing trouble in their neighborhood. Nothing happens where they live, so they decide to conduct some specials operations.

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

5 minutes

Red Riding 1974 Red Riding 1974

The moody, haunting first film of a trilogy that winds its way through a labyrinth of police corruption and mysterious murders, Red Riding: 1974 immerses the audience in an investigation by Eddie Dunford, a newspaper crime correspondent. While reporting on the disappearance of a young Yorkshire girl, Dunford stumbles into a sordid world of graft and brutality presided over by the local police. From the director of Becoming Jane.

102 minutes

Red Riding 1980 Red Riding 1980

Six years after the events of the first Red Riding film, West Yorkshire is still plagued by violence, this time in the form of a serial killer who preys on young women. When detective Peter Hunter (Paddy Considine, In America) is dispatched by his superiors to investigate local police for their failure to apprehend the killer, he uncovers a situation far more sinister than mere incompetence. From the Oscar®-winning director of Man on Wire.

93 minutes

Red Riding 1983 Red Riding 1983

Nine years after the conviction and imprisonment of a suspected child murderer, the disturbingly familiar disappearance of a new victim sends deep tremors through the life of policeman Maurice Jobson. Through this new disappearance, the sad-eyed, subdued Jobson is forced to come to terms with—and atone for—the role he has played in the police department's unsavory past practices. Anand Tucker (Shopgirl, Hilary and Jackie) directs the final installment in this engrossing trilogy.

103 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

Steel Homes Steel Homes

A poetic exploration of memory and loss, this poignant documentary takes viewers inside the world of a self-storage warehouse, uncovering the hidden treasure and secrets behind the locked doors.

Steel Homes will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

10 minutes

The Young Victoria The Young Victoria

In The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) delivers an incredibly appealing performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign. Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) portrays Prince Albert, the suitor who wins her heart and becomes her partner in one of history's greatest romances. This love story, set amongst all the intrigue of the court, also features Paul Bettany (Iron Man, The Da Vinci Code), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Jim Broadbent (The Damned United, The Chronicles of Narnia), Thomas Kretschmann (Valkyrie), and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Tristan & Isolde).

100 minutes

Uruguay

Gigante Gigante

This gentle and subtly humorous one-sided love story follows Jara, a shy, heavyset supermarket security guard whose humdrum life is turned upside down when he notices his coworker Julia on the security monitors. Jara's fascination soon moves off the video screens and into the streets, but when rumors of layoffs begin to circulate at work, Jara realizes he must make a move or risk never seeing her again.

Spanish with subtitles, 84 minutes

USA

Acting for the Camera Acting for the Camera

Two students in an acting class are assigned the task of replicating the orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally. Unbeknownst to them, the class's instructor is about to get intimately involved.

Acting for the Camera will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

14 minutes

Against the Current Against the Current

Paul, still wracked with grief five years after his wife's death, has a goal: to swim the entire length of the Hudson River in a month. His friends Jeff and Liz come along on the adventure, but they are dismayed when Paul reveals the true purpose behind his trip. By turns wry and sorrowful, this unconventional indie-drama-meets-road-trip stars Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare In Love), Justin Kirk (Angels In America), Elizabeth Reaser, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Mary Tyler Moore.

99 minutes

Astro Boy Astro Boy

A thrilling tale of a true hero, Astro Boy is full of action, adventure, humor, and heart brought to life on the big screen in breathtaking CGI animation. Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, he learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. When his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero. Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage lead an all-star voice cast.

94 minutes

The Athlete The Athlete

In 1960, the barefoot Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila stunned the world by becoming the first African to win the Olympic gold medal. Then he won gold again four years later in Tokyo. But his story had just begun with Olympic medals. A few years later in Ethiopia, fate presents this champion with his greatest challenge. Seamlessly blending autobiography, biopic, drama, and documentary, The Athlete is a beautiful and moving investigation of a man who is ceaseless in his journey for greatness.

English, Amharic with subtitles, 93 minutes

Beyond Ipanema Beyond Ipanema

Starting in the '40s with Carmen Miranda and continuing ever since, Brazil's music has created waves across the globe. Featuring infectious samples of different musical styles and interviews with David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, M.I.A., Os Mutantes, Seu Jorge, Thievery Corporation, CSS, Creed Taylor, and many others, this vibrant documentary explores how the inimitable sound and spirit of Brazilian music has been adopted and transformed throughout the world.

English, Portugese with subtitles, 80 minutes

Blue Blue

Murder. Robbery. Abandonment. Gary "Blue" Meekins' past is one he'd prefer not to remember. Even after surviving the rough streets of Harlem, Blue finds himself struggling to make it through the days. Now, with the help of an old coach and his emotionally damaged neighbor, this burgeoning prizefighter is finally getting his shot at the title. But after so much, will Blue make it to the fight of his life?

110 minutes

Chicago Overcoat Chicago Overcoat

Twenty years ago, Lou Marazano (Frank Vincent, The Sopranos, Casino) was the deadliest triggerman in the notorious Chicago Outfit. When Lou's jailed boss (Armand Assante) orders a wave of hits to cover up a conspiracy between city officials and the mob, Lou sees a chance to finance his retirement and relive his glory days. But does he still have what it takes? This neo-noir crime drama is an accomplished debut from first-time local filmmakers.

95 minutes

Cropsey Cropsey

The directors, who both grew up on Staten Island, connect the urban myth of a child-snatching escaped mental patient that haunted their youth with the true stories of the kids who actually went missing in their community. This chilling horror documentary follows the filmmakers as they investigate the seedy underbelly of their borough, searching for answers only to unearth more mysteries.

84 minutes

Cuts Cuts

Michael Taylor Jr. strikes out in a big baseball game, but he's found a new way to prove his manhood to his father: pursuing a girl from school.

Cuts will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

12 minutes

Cycle Cycle

Set in a society where bicycles have come to replace all other forms of power generation, the leader of an exertion-harnessing auxiliary of the municipal pedal power plant is beckoned off course into the disquieting beyond.

Cycle will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Don't Let Me Drown Don't Let Me Drown

Two Brooklyn teens search for solace in a city brimming with hatred and trepidation in this comical and touching coming-of-age drama. A month after 9/11, Lalo and Stefanie meet at a birthday party. Lalo's father cleans up at Ground Zero, where Stefanie lost her sister in the attacks. As their friendship blossoms into a romance, they're forced to keep each other hidden from their families, each struggling with still-fresh wounds.

105 minutes

An Evening with Emery Long An Evening with Emery Long

Industrial carpet salesman Emery Long prepares for his first date with receptionist and "office hottie" Della. Emery has planned the perfect evening, but soon he realizes things might not turn out as he imagined.

An Evening with Emery Long will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Girls on the Wall Girls on the Wall

In this affecting documentary, the girls of the Warrenville, Illinois prison are given a chance to tell their stories in a musical based on their lives. To do this, they must reach within themselves and reflect on the life choices they have made. With unprecedented access to the juvenile prison, director Heather Ross skillfully traces these young women's attempts to reclaim their humanity and ultimately their freedom.

61 minutes

Good People Good People

On her way to work one morning, Amy comes across a suicide note. Determined to do what is "right," she attempts to find the note's mysterious author.

Good People will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

25 minutes

Happy 95th Birthday Grandpa Happy 95th Birthday Grandpa

Using dreamlike recollections, director Gary Huggins presents a fleeting memory of childhood quarrels at Grandpa's party.

Happy 95th Birthday Grandpa will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

6 minutes

The House of the Devil The House of the Devil

A cute college girl takes a babysitting gig at a creaky country house lorded over by a creepy old couple with big plans to celebrate the night’s lunar eclipse. Desperate for cash, she agrees to stay even after she finds out there’s no baby…. Set in the mid-’80s, this simmering suspense thriller is a throwback to the retro school of slow-burn terror.

91 minutes

Horn Dog Horn Dog

The latest of Oscar® nominee Bill Plympton’s “Dog” series, Horn Dog chronicles the newest misadventure of our beloved plucky canine.

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

5 minutes

I Know a Woman Like That I Know a Woman Like That

The world is full of women who sidestepped retirement to pursue their passion. In this inspiring doc, Emmy® winner Elaine Madsen (alongside her actress daughter Virginia Madsen, who produced) sits down with more than a dozen of them—including Rita Moreno, Eartha Kitt, and Evanston mayor Lorraine Morton—to reflect on their extraordinary accomplishments.

NOTE: There will be an addition screening of I Know a Woman Like That on Oct 13th at 5:00pm at Film Row Cinema at Columbia College in conjunction with our Reel Women panel.

103 minutes

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond

How often do you hear about "the new Tennessee Williams film"? That's just what you get in this long-unproduced Southern Gothic tale Williams penned for director Elia Kazan in the '50s. Bryce Dallas Howard stars alongside Ellen Burstyn and Ann-Margret as a free-spirited young heiress who falls for a handsome but humble guy in this 1920s-set story of jealousy, status, and good old-fashioned backstabbery.

102 minutes

Lovely, Still Lovely, Still

Christmas brings elderly Robert Malone (Oscar® winner Martin Landau) an unexpected present: love. One evening when Robert returns to his lonely home, he finds a stranger (Oscar® winner Ellen Burstyn) in his living room. She’s his new neighbor, and it isn’t long before a romance begins to blossom. Robert’s on cloud nine—his only worry is whether his health can keep up with his heart.

90 minutes

Made in China Made in China

A wide-eyed Texas hayseed travels to China to find a manufacturer for the novelty product he hopes will put him right up there with the guy who invented the whoopee cushion. But when he gets sucked into a world of scammers and schemers, this eternal optimist will have to figure out just how far he's willing to pursue the American Dream. Wes Anderson's whimsy meets David Mamet's love of duplicity in this peppy comic debut.

87 minutes

The Messenger The Messenger

There are war movies about the battles in the field, and there are war movies about the battle at home. Will Montgomery has just returned from Iraq a hero, but he's finding it difficult adjusting to life off the front lines. With three months to serve stateside, he's partnered with hard-bitten captain Tony Stone, whose mission it is to—day after day—shatter the lives of wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers by delivering them the news of their soldier's death. Above all, Stone believes in following the rules, but Montgomery breaks a big one. Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster (Six Feet Under) deliver Oscar®-caliber performances in this solid, intensely emotional debut.

105 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

Non-Love-Song Non-Love-Song

On the last day of summer before heading off to college, two 18-year-old best friends attempt to connect as adults, and for the first time in their lives share a "real" moment.

Non-Love-Song will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

8 minutes

North by Northwest North by Northwest

The arrival of North by Northwest on Blu-ray is a landmark event in home video history, as it marks the very first of Alfred Hitchcock’s films to become available on this state-of-the-art format. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed director’s Oscar®-nominated thriller with this special screening and retrospective conversation with Martin Landau and Hitchcock historian and biographer John Russell Taylor. The film has received a meticulous restoration and remastering for this release with Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging scanning the original VistaVision production elements in 8K resolution. The resulting presentation reveals a depth of field and clarity never before possible, serving to heighten every thrill-packed moment.

131 minutes

Osvaldo's Osvaldo's

A family faces up to the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future when daddy comes home with his special guest, Ana Daisy, the hairdresser from the barbershop.

Osvaldo's will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

20 minutes

Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate

Two brothers, unaware of each other's existence, are brought together by their fathers deceptions. Caught off guard by the revelation, the brothers reflect on their separate, but equally painful, childhoods.

Popous Pane and the Kids He Loves to Hate will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

13 minutes

Premature Premature

After Tisha, a streetwise teenager from the Bronx, discovers she’s pregnant, she must face a difficult decision. With nowhere to turn, she confronts the grim realities of her situation alone.

Premature will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

14 minutes

Public Speaking Public Speaking

With mere seconds before his big speech, a high school student turns to President Ronald Reagan to help him conquer his fear of public speaking.

Public Speaking will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

4 minutes

Racing Dreams Racing Dreams

Academy Award®-nominated director Marshall Curry (Street Fight) returns with an equally exhilarating and emotional documentary following a year in the life of three top go-kart racers as they compete for the national championship. Barely 13 years old, Anna, Josh, and Brandon—and their families—must find out if they truly have what it takes to make it to NASCAR. Racing Dreams won the top documentary prize at the Tribeca Film Festival.

95 minutes

Red Revenge Red Revenge

Based on Freud's dream theory, Red Revenge straddles the line between dream and reality as one woman recounts her fantasies of childhood revenge.

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

6 minutes

The Revenant The Revenant

A zombie buddy comedy with political overtones? After being killed in combat, U.S. soldier Bart Gregory inexplicably rises from his grave-a walking, talking rotting corpse (or revenant), but otherwise himself. With the help of his friend Joey, he discovers he can not only keep from decomposing without killing the innocent but also clean up the mean streets of Los Angeles, all while cruising through the night in a 1979 Camaro.

105 minutes

The Roe Effect The Roe Effect

High schooler Dawn and her girlfriend Sam are madly in love, but when Dawn winds up pregnant she must choose between exposing a painful truth and losing the girl she loves.

The Roe Effect will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 5: Best of the American Black Film Festival: Information & Show Times

19 minutes

Short Term 12 Short Term 12

Denim, the supervisor for a residential facility housing 15 kids affected by child abuse, begins to realize that, in a lot of ways, he is no different than the children he tries to help.

Short Term 12 will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

22 minutes

Soundtrack for a Revolution Soundtrack for a Revolution

Relive the American civil rights movement through the soul-stirring folk songs that fortified protestors struggling for equality. This powerful doc pairs modern renditions by Wyclef Jean, John Legend, TV on the Radio, the Roots, and others with footage from the bitter days of segregation and emotional present-day interviews with the people (including Harry Belafonte and Congressman John Lewis) who fought and lived through it.

82 minutes

Team Taliban Team Taliban

This thoughtful documentary provides a provocative glimpse into the world of independent professional wrestling. Adeel Alam, a Muslim wrestler who plays a terrorist in the ring, struggles to balance his devout faith with a life-long passion for wrestling.

Team Taliban will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

12 minutes

Ten for Grandpa Ten for Grandpa

A fast-paced look at the life of an influential ancestor, Ten for Grandpa tries to uncover whether Grandpa was a manipulative antihero or simply a victim of a McCarthy-era witch hunt.

Ten for Grandpa will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 3: Rediscovery: Information & Show Times

7 minutes

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

In his eight-decade career, California-based Julius Shulman became the world's preeminent architecture photographer and the man who defined the way we view modernism. This visually inventive documentary—narrated by Dustin Hoffman—revisits with the joyful, whip-smart photographer some of the landmark houses he has immortalized on film. Shulman passed away in July at age 98, so Bricker's film has become a fitting eulogy to an American icon.

83 minutes

Wet Wet

A seemingly pleasant day for the rest of Chicago turns stormy for one young man. Faced with the grim reality of being eternally wet, he must decide whether he belongs on land or sea.

Wet will be presented as part of the short film program, Shorts 1: Illinois[e]makers: Information & Show Times

5 minutes

Women in Trouble Women in Trouble

A pregnant porn star, a couple of call girls, a scorned psychiatrist, a teenage goth, a flight attendant with a crush on a famous passenger… the troubles of this cluster of LA women couldn't be more different, but on one crazy day feminine compassion will alter all of their lives. Devilish humor, razor-sharp scripting, and a knockout ensemble of talented actresses (including Carla Gugino, Connie Britton, and Marley Shelton) turn Trouble into pure pleasure.

94 minutes

The Yellow Handkerchief The Yellow Handkerchief

Gorgeous in its visual execution and sublime in its emotional resonance, The Yellow Handkerchief is a timeless story of trust, forgiveness, and love. After serving six years, Brett Hanson (William Hurt) is released from prison with quiet dignity and subtle remorse. Bound for home, but unsure if his wife (Maria Bello) will welcome him, Brett accepts a ride from two wayward teens (Kristen Stewart, Eddie Redmayne). At first, he keeps to himself, but in time he becomes a trusted father figure and begins to slowly reveal the secrets of his troubled past. As Brett watches young love blossom between his two new friends, he is reminded that true love is worth waiting for, and sometimes fate gives you a second chance.

102 minutes

The Young Victoria The Young Victoria

In The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) delivers an incredibly appealing performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign. Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) portrays Prince Albert, the suitor who wins her heart and becomes her partner in one of history's greatest romances. This love story, set amongst all the intrigue of the court, also features Paul Bettany (Iron Man, The Da Vinci Code), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Jim Broadbent (The Damned United, The Chronicles of Narnia), Thomas Kretschmann (Valkyrie), and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Tristan & Isolde).

100 minutes

A Single Man A Single Man

Iconic fashion designer Tom Ford

99 minutes