Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’ (Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General, is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’ anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.
The thin veneer of youth, money, good looks and love are shattered when David is diagnosed with HIV. With his pregnant fiancée kept in the dark, David confronts the realization that he may have infected them as well. Sessions with a therapist become a narrative device that filmmaker Stephen Lloyd Jackson uses to document David’s descent into hedonistic despair.
After Cassie murders her abusive husband, a manipulative neighbor tries to run her off her land. Help seems to come in the form of gruff Scotsman Aden, but Cassie soon regrets letting Aden into her life when his true nature begins to manifest itself. Stylish direction and taut performances keep adrenaline running high in this accomplished, atmospheric gothic thriller.
A group of friends get much more than they bargained for when a weekend of extreme mountain climbing turns into a terrifying ordeal. This tension-filled thriller makes the most of its setting in the stunning but treacherous landscape of the Scottish Highlands with immersive camerawork, an atmospheric Celtic soundtrack, and imagery straight out of The Wicker Man. Featuring a chilling standout performance from Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People, The Red Riding Trilogy).
In the early summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. The film famously united Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), who was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott). When Miller leaves England, the coast is clear for Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life.
Legendary German filmmaker (and Chicago Film Festival discovery) Wim Wenders brings long-time friend and dance innovator Pina Bausch's revolutionary work to life through state-of-the-art 3D in Pina. A labor of love for both Wenders and the Tanztheater Wuppertal, Bausch's company, Pina features four of her most acclaimed choreographies ingeniously staged indoors and outdoors. By focusing on depth and perspective instead of flashy effects, Wenders creates a submersive experience for dance fans and neophytes alike.
Multiple languages with subtitles, 103 min
Actor Paddy Considine (In America) delivers a gritty tale of self-destruction and redemption in his feature-length directorial debut. Expanded from his award-winning short film, Dog Altogether, Tyrannosaur follows the unlikely friendship between rage-filled Joseph (Peter Mullan) and Christian Goodwill store worker, Hannah (Olivia Colman). Mullan’s electrifying performance finds a perfect counterpoint in Colman’s measured portrayal.
In a tour-de-force performance, Tilda Swinton plays reluctant mother Eva grappling with her fraught relationship with troubled son Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on Lionel Shriver’s eponymous novel and featuring a shining performance by Chicago’s very own John C. Reilly as Eva’s husband, Lynne Ramsay’s masterful psychological thriller presents a provocative tale, which crescendos to a chilling, unforgettable climax.
Not everyone is pleased when wild Bill Hayward rolls into town after serving eight years in jail on drug charges. His two sons, Dean and Jimmy, have been living alone ever since their mother abandoned them, and his old cohorts want Bill back in the “saddle” again. Bill and his sons begin to bond, but trouble strikes when Jimmy gets mixed up with his father’s old crew, causing Bill to realize that the town ain’t big enough for the both of them in this contemporary Western influenced gangster vehicle set in London’s East End.
Reality and imagination become indistinguishable in this loose adaptation of Douglas Kennedy’s novel. Tom (Ethan Hawke in an extraordinary performance) arrives in Paris to reconnect with his daughter, even though his ex-wife has placed a restraining order on him. To make ends meet, Tom accepts a job as a watchman for a seedy operation. Life takes a strange turn when he meets mysterious Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), and down the rabbit hole he goes in this strange Kafka-esque tale.
English, French with subtitles, 84 min
Joe just doesn’t get it. He has been enjoying the slacker life - until he finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. He is finally ready to settle down, but can a leopard ever change his spots? Enlisting the help of his best friend, Joe sets out to make amends for past misdemeanors in this Woody Allen-esque comedy.
Oscar is coming of age, against his better judgment. In doing so he must experience the necessary evil of leaving something behind, but he can still feel it in the pit of his stomach. Belly features a beautiful hand-drawn animation style, a distinctive color palette and an unsettling, offbeat mood.
Henpecked Carlos yearns for order and calm amidst the chaos of his loud family of women. The arrival of adorable Alfonso, an energetic poodle puppy, shatters any dreams he had of peace and quiet. El Macho uses traditional 2D pen on paper animation, with individual screenprints for backgrounds.
English, Spanish, with subtitles, 7 min
If you repeat the word "fly" for long enough it sounds like you're saying "life". This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of the beetle. This funny, philosophical stop-motion animation has been garnering awards at festivals around the world.
Dreams, squirrels and videotapes. A man dreams of a squirrel and then - backed up by battery of machines - mounts an inquiry into the apparition of squirrels in other people’s dreams. Traumdeutung is a funny and thought-provoking journey into the global reserve of dreams which blurs the borders between documentary and the surreal.
In a small apartment in Buenos Aires, an old woman eagerly awaits the birth of her grandchild and all the joys of becoming a grandmother. However, horrific circumstances means she will be forced to wait over 30 years. Using real-life testimonials this powerful animated documentary raises issues of memory, repression and loss.
Spanish, English, with subtitles, 9 min
This lyrical portrait of life in small town Virginia finds a single mother struggling to keep it together, working as a housekeeper and looking for love. Meanwhile, her two adolescent sons explore their own sexuality in the sweltering, stagnant days of summer. This debut family drama presents an intimate study of the emotional landscape of rural America.
If there was ever a case for designating a person a National Treasure, Winfred Rembert is that person. Though he lived through segregation and the civil rights era in the Deep South, Rembert didn’t begin his life as an artist until the 1990s. Working on cured leather canvases that are later painted, Rembert depicts a personalized form of US history that you can’t find in books, or anywhere else for that matter.
Classically trained yet utterly unconventional, musician Andrew Bird has been defying classification for 20 albums and countless live shows. And though Fever Year covers the culminating months of the artist’s last tour, it’s as much about the creative process as it is about performance. The film’s sensuous visual style is a match for the musician whose combination of voice, violin, and whistle could charm Hades himself.
A beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary, The Bully Project follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.
Inspiring, heartwarming, hilarious and full of life, this portrait of the Tony® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress, singer and comedienne weaves Broadway history with an unbelievable love story to capture the unique persona behind the iconic performances in Hello Dolly and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Stay for the end credits: the film's outtakes just cannot be missed.
In light of the demolition of the last building at the Cabrini Green public housing complex, we revisit a crucial period in the history of local Black cinema. Heartfelt and moving, this teen pic follows best friends Leroy “Preach” Jackson and Richard “Cochise” Morris, high school seniors at Cooley Vocational School near the housing complex, as they begin to consider their future. They contend with girl trouble, difficult teachers, a couple of neighborhood thugs, and the police. Directed by Michael Schultz (Car Wash, Krush Groove) and written by Eric Monte, the creator of the smash hit TV series Good Times.
Frederick Wiseman’s latest documentary takes us inside the legendary 60-year-old Parisian cabaret club, presenters of the “best nude dancing show in the world,” as they rehearse and perform a new titillating show called Désirs, staged by famous French choreographer Philippe Decouflé. The third in Wiseman’s trilogy of films about iconic French institutions, Crazy Horse reveals the intense pace these young women must maintain to perform 15 shows a week for hundreds of tourists from around the world.
French with subtitles, 120 min
Nearly a decade after being deported, Ghanaian Police inspector Boniface Koomsin is still trying to get back to the U.S. But when his counterfeit passport is stolen, he mounts a false investigation that takes him on a dangerous journey through contemporary Ghana. As the “investigation” continues, he will have to choose between dreams of escape and the realities of life in his homeland.
Fante, English, Twi, Pidgin, Ga with subtitles, 89 min
A true American visionary, Diana Vreeland became the first fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 and from there proceeded to invent the concept of fashion as we now know it. A talented writer with a larger-than-life personality, she had an innate ability to discover designers, photographers and new ideas often to the point of controversy. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s delightfully playful tribute uses archival footage, family photos, and an animated conversation with George Plympton.
Nik is your run-of-the-mill, digitally savvy, fun-loving teenager. But his dreams for the future come to a screeching halt when a long-simmering feud between his father and a man who inherited land that once belonged to Nik's family comes to a violent end. Now, thanks to an ancient Albanian law, Nik and his brother find themselves under house arrest while their father is on the lam, causing already high tensions to reach a boiling point in this tense drama.
Albanian with subtitles, 109 min
In this dark thriller that skewers modern medical practice and its morals, first-year resident Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) strives to be a “good doctor”. Willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, he has the perfect opportunity to further his ambition when a young beautiful patient is assigned to his care. When the determined doctor unexpectedly falls prey to the seductive charms of his ward, he must choose between hypocrisy and the Hypocratic Oath.
Cartography and passion come together in the first American film made in Armenia. Will, a satellite mapping engineer hired to map Armenia, arrives solo but soon meets Gadarine, a photographer and Armenian expatriate returning home for the first time. An unlikely pair, the two are inexplicably connected from their first encounter and together explore new terrain both literally and figuratively. With a striking visual design, this international road-movie romance premiered at this year’s Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
With only eight days before he’s put to death, Michael Perry’s interview while on Death Row in Texas is not intended as a plea to abolish the death penalty, but rather as an entry into the philosophical underpinnings of death and violence in a country that has not yet done away with state sanctioned executions. Perennial fan favorite and patron saint of daring cinema, Werner Herzog’s latest documentary takes us once again into realms far removed from everyday experience to bring back the extraordinary.
On his way to the store to buy wood glue, Jeff looks for signs from the universe to determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life... and if he’s lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.
Noir infused characters, with plenty to be paranoid about, are thrown together in a desperate situation when recent parolee Nick Burke (Mark Pellegrino) comes to the aid of Michelle (Alicia Witt), an exotic dancer living in a mysterious self-imposed exile in downstate Illinois. When they’re forced to team up and go on the lam, the two wonder whether they can even trust each other.
A young Tutsi girl and Hutu boy fall in love, an army captain tries to stay true to her mission while keeping her humanity intact, and a priest grapples with his faith amidst unspeakable betrayals and horrors. This gorgeously shot first feature magnifies the individual lives of those who suffered and endured in this compelling, wholly original take on the Rwandan Massacre of 1994.
Kinyarwanda with subtitles, 100 min
The Chicago International Film Festival is honored to celebrate the latest creation from two giant Chicago institutions: Dennis Farina and the Steppenwolf Theater Company. Farina (Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Law and Order) gives the finest performance of his career as an aging hustler whose way of life is at a crossroads in this film shot in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Written and directed by Festival veteran Joe Maggio and featuring members of the Steppenwolf ensemble, The Last Rites of Joe May is a prime example of the vitality of Chicago filmmaking.
Sheldon Larry's delightfully cheeky musical about the glamourous world of voguing follows the journey of one young gay African American as he finds his place in the world. After being thrown out of the house by his homophobic mother, Brad stumbles into L.A.'s competitive underground drag ball scene where he discovers a brave new world of friendship, love, and acceptance. Featuring original songs by Beyonce's creative director Kim Burse and dynamic choreography by Frank Gatson, Jr.
A love story is both a physical and emotional tale - one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate, (Anton Yelchin), they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa. Like Crazy explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart.
Elizabeth Olsen stars as Martha, a young woman rapidly unraveling amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing from a cult and its charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Seeking help from her estranged older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), Martha is unable and unwilling to reveal the truth about her disappearance. When her memories trigger a chilling paranoia that her former cult could still be pursuing her, the line between Martha’s reality and delusion begins to blur.
Linda's devoutly religious husband Abe hasn't slept with her since he found out she was barren. That was 20 years ago. But when Abe suffers a stroke she finds out that his sexual needs were long being taken care of at the local sperm bank. And that he has a mullet-headed ex-con son named Raymond. Linda goes to Florida to meet Raymond and the pair embark on a journey of self-discovery in this offbeat, darkly funny road movie that was a big winner at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can be a whole new kind of war for our young men and women returning from Iraq and Afhghanistan. The opposite of fighting alongside your brothers and sisters in arms, this battle is often fought alone, against demons the soldier hides from others. The power of the documentary form is strongly felt as On the Bridge not only gives voice to the personal trauma our warriors endure but also as a means to help them honor their service and move forward as Americans.
He lost his job, his wife and his home, but not his sense of honor. When Joe (Sam Witwer) returns to Chicago he looks up his aging but still dangerous, Uncle Dom (Armand Assante) in the hopes of getting “connected” and living the life of a made man. When Uncle Dom resists, Joe makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
Calling all Hulkamaniacs! When you’re done training, taking your vitamins, and saying your prayers, then you can meet the purest fan of all, Chris Sader, in a story that travels from childhood obsession to an unexpected and touching friendship. In this inspirational tale, Chris and Hulk Hogan relate how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely friendship that develops between them.
When violent images of Iraq are all the Western world is accustomed to, it’s easy to forget that life continues in the war-torn nation. At the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, life does just that, as is extraordinarily personified by the school ’s women’s basketball team. In a sports movie for the ages, Salaam Dunk follows the team’s season, chronicling their triumphs and tragedies both on and off the court.
English, Arabic, Kurdish with subtitles, 83 min
Thom (Sam Jaeger, NBC’S Parenthood) just can’t win. After losing a job offer and getting evicted, he decides to buckle up as an illegal New York City cab driver. When he picks up Claire (Amber Jaeger), they embark on a trip neither one anticipated. This comedy finds solace in the back seat of a cab, the landscape of the USA, and even in a complete stranger. This classic road movie shows how a little cross-country drive can lead you to a different exit.
They are known as Porthos, Athos, and Aramis - three elite warriors who serve the King of France as his best Musketeers. After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the King, the Musketeers come across a young, aspiring hero - D'Artagnan - and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot that not only threatens the Crown, but the future of Europe itself in this big-screen action adventure update of the Alexandre Dumas' novel shot in state-of-the-art 3D.
Set in Memphis, Undefeated chronicles the Manassas Tigers’ 2009 football season as they strive to win the first playoff game in the high school’s 110-year history. A perennial whipping boy, in recent decades Manassas had gone so far as to sell their home games to the highest bidder, but that all changed in the spring of 2004 when Bill Courtney volunteered to lend a hand. The football program began resurrecting itself and, in 2009, features the most talented team it has ever fielded.
Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness is an eerily deft recreation of classic 1930’s studio horror fare. Professor Albert Wilmarth, a smug skeptic, is forced to question his views by a series of increasingly bizarre encounters with the supernatural. Genuinely terrifying and highly entertaining, Whisperer is a fitting homage for Lovecraft aficionados and, for newcomers, a perfect introduction to one of the great horror masterminds of the 20th century.
On remote Whidbey Island, Joslyn is in charge of caring for an old man in a vegetative state while his family is on vacation. Totally isolated from the world - no Internet, no cell phone signal - her fragile mental state slowly begins to crumble. In a chilling and nuanced debut, Joslyn Jensen delivers an outstanding performance as a young woman struggling with her sexuality, loneliness, and frail mind in this haunting film.
A man tries to pick up a woman at an indoor playground. The woman isn’t interested, but the reason is unclear … a slice of black humor penned by Neil LaBute and starring Wes Bentley and Sarah Paulson.
A Cyndi Lauper singalong becomes about much more than just the song in this wonderfully effective cinematic portrayal of “awkwardness.”
A spellbinding mix of 2- and 3-D animation, live action and prosthetic effects are employed to tell a tale of hope and negligence in which a young, fanciful girl mines her past for answers regarding the accident which, years earlier, took her middle finger. Flowers for Jupiter explores the world that exists between imagination and memory.
Animation impresario Bill Plympton’s short film Guard Dog won the Oscar in 2004. In 2010 he decided to remake the film via the internet, with 70 artists from around the world, with different levels of expertise, recreating each shot of the film in their own style. Guard Dog Global Jam is the eye-popping result, featuring pretty much every animation style you can think of, and some you probably haven’t!
A young boy is dropped off at an elderly woman’s home for the day. Her house sits amongst fields of weeds and rotting pears, and a lone tenant adds to the unsettling atmosphere. The savage slaughter of a chicken makes this daycare a harsh and confusing world for the boy, who learns caring can be shown in unexpected ways. A multi-award winning short with a unique, visceral look and feel.
A Frankenstein love story centering on a doctor who must save his ailing wife. This gorgeous 3D animated film is a testament to love, the cinema of yesterday and the grand music of The Steampunk Quartet.
A sheltered teenage girl’s life is turned on its head when a mysterious greaser gang swarms into her sleepy suburb and she falls in love with their tough, handsome leader. The Ghosts authentically and lovingly recreates the look and feel of 50’s small town America.
L Train is the story of Sunny, a teenaged African American girl. Her commute through an inner city Chicago winter reinforces a negativity in her, until one day an encounter with a young woman who is differently abled forces her to consider replacing her anger with compassion. L Train is a brief, humble reminder of what we all might miss every day.
After a succession of late work nights, unexplained whereabouts and suspicious behavior, Carter, suspecting that his wife Betty has been unfaithful and demanding to know the truth, receives news that devastates their marriage and forever changes their lives - while imparting an important life lesson.
Kyle is a 5th grade boy from Michigan who stands up for what he believes in - his love for the vacuum cleaner. What started out as an obsession has now made him into a source of pride and curiosity. But it's not always easy being a town celebrity. Kyle understands something many people never will - love is worth the risk. A wonderful documentary character study- respectful, touching, and very funny.
A heavy pickaxe and chains aren't the only things weighing down a daydreaming chain-gang member. Mocking guards, cold weather, and meaningless work are all trying to break his spirit. However, with the help of a fresh snowfall the prisoner is able to make an escape. Winter’s unique look was achieved by shooting on 8mm and edited digitally.
Two former lovers navigate their fizzled relationship by confusing their emotional needs with their physical desires. Ex-Sex makes it better. Ex-Sex makes it worse. A bittersweet, honest glimpse at a relationship which reminds us how we always hurt the ones we love.
A 75-year-old Japanese man has a dirty secret - he has been acting in adult videos for 15 years without telling his family. Featuring some priceless behind the scenes footage and insights from friends, business associates and of course Grandpa himself, this is an insightful look at the Japanese porn industry and one man's personal quest to leave something behind.
Japanese, with subtitles, 16 min
When an actress lands the role of her dreams, she takes her preparation seriously. A little too seriously. Pretty Woman fans will love this witty parody of the industry.
Dinner. A glass of wine. Stimulating conversation. What better way to wind down the day? A couple's dinner repartee quickly morphs into a scene ripped straight from the script of an adult film. Who wins this battle of the sexes is anyone’s guess. Starring Seymour Cassel as you’ve never seen him before.
A harrowing take on family ties, true love and murder. A gruesome scene unfolds at the hands of a little girl and an older man in a seemingly peaceful home by the sea. Beating Hearts reverses the typical horror structure by opening with the blood-spattered act of violence while the rest of the narrative resides in the stillness and quiet of the aftermath.
A man and a boy, traveling to an unknown destination, find respite in a motel swimming pool. On the surface all seems normal, but nothing is what it seems to be. Haunting and evocative, The Strange Ones hints at a complicated, dangerous and secret world lurking beneath the surface.
A tale of competition at its most cutthroat, Butter surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the wife of Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), Iowa’s long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically gifted husband. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. In the tradition of Best In Show and Election, Butter can be enjoyed as a straightforward, albeit merrily twisted, comedy about American life and culture.
English, 91 min
Adopting from the animal shelter can be both joyful and heartwarming, unless of course, you try to adopt them from two volunteers by the names of Brad and Emily. Then your experience might go from slightly uncomfortable to simply terrifying. Perfectly pitched mockumentary magic.
Matt King (George Clooney), a husband and father of two girls, must re-examine his past and navigate his future when his wife is in a boating accident off Waikiki. He awkwardly attempts to repair his relationship with his daughters - 10-year-old precocious Scottie (Amara Miller) and rebellious 17-year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) - while wrestling with a decision to sell his family’s land. When Alexandra drops the bombshell that her mother was in the midst of a romantic fling at the time of the accident, Matt has to take a whole new look at his life, not to mention his legacy, during a week of momentous decisions.