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2011 — 47th Chicago Film Festival

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A Conversation with John C. Reilly A Conversation with John C. Reilly

From Chicago’s Southwest side to Hollywood’s A-list, the undeniably loveable John C. Reilly joins us for a talk about his life and work. The Oscar® and Tony® nominated actor best known for a range of character types in films like Magnolia, Gangs of New York, The Thin Red Line and, now, in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (p. 41), began his acting career on stage with Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theater Company and the Organic Theater. Help us welcome home one of the rising stars of the big screen.

60 min

A Little Closer A Little Closer

USA
Director: Matt Petock

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.

73 min

After-School Special After-School Special

USA
Director: Jacob Chase

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.

9 min

All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert

USA
Director: Vivian Ducat

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.

78 min

Almanya: Welcome to Germany Almanya: Welcome to Germany

Germany
Director: Yasemin Samdereli

A six-year-old in Germany confronts and questions the nature of self-identity after learning of his Turkish grandfather’s journey as a guest worker in the 1960s.The discussion leads the whole family to travel to their original home in Turkey, a trip that will prove surprising in more ways than one. This delightful comedy shows that your identity is not determined by where you live or where your parents come from, but rather what you feel inside.

German with subtitles, 101 min

Amador Amador

Spain
Director: Fernando Léon de Aranoa

Marcela’s pregnancy couldn’t have come at a worse time. A Latin American immigrant living in the outskirts of Madrid, Marcela is stuck in a stagnant relationship with a man who works a dead-end job selling flowers. Things begin to improve when she’s hired to care for a friend’s ailing father, Amador. When Amador suddenly dies, leaving her jobless, Marcela is faced with an unusual moral dilemma in this heartfelt drama about life and death.

Spanish with subtitles, 112 min

American Translation American Translation

France
Directors: Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal Arnold

Why is it always the cute ones who harbor the deep dark secrets? When Aurore, the daughter of a wealthy American, falls for sexy Frenchman Chris, she has no idea what adventure lies ahead. Escaping the doldrums of life in the city, the two set out on a road trip with some unexpected, unsavory detours. A thrilling blend of passionate devotion and degeneracy, this French Natural Born Killers asks how far you would go for love.

English, French with subtitles, 109 min

Amnesty Amnesty

Albania / France / Greece
Director: Bujar Alimani

An unemployed mother of two with a convict for a husband and a meddlesome father-in-law, Elsa’s life could not get any harder. When a new law coerces her into joyless conjugal visits, she unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in Septim, whose monthly visits to his wife coincide with Elsa’s. Their newfound joy, however, has an expiration date. This unconventional, pathos-filled love story probes the possibility for solace in companionship in the face of adversity and poverty.

Albanian with subtitles, 83 min

Andrew Bird: Fever Year Andrew Bird: Fever Year

USA
Director: Xan Aranda

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.

80 min

Artist, The Artist, The

France
Director: Michel Hazanavicius

A darling at this year’s 2011 Cannes Film Festival, The Artist is a black and white love song to silent cinema, and movies. Directed by  Michel Hazanavicius (the OSS 117 films), The Artist tells the story of George Valentin (Jean Dujardin, best actor at Cannes) a very successful silent movie star who meets Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), a young extra, and helps her on her way up the Hollywood ladder. But when talking pictures arrive, disaster strikes not only George’s career but also the blossoming romance between the two. A visually stunning film with arresting performances, The Artist perfectly captures the silent film era while staying relevant today.

Silent with intertitles, 100 min

Azhagarsamy's Horse Azhagarsamy's Horse

India
Director: Suseendhiran

The small village of Mallayapuram is frantic when they realize the holy wooden statue of god Azhagarsamy’s horse is missing from the local temple. When a real horse turns up soon after, people are convinced it is the wooden horse come to life bringing luck to the drought-striken village. However when a man named (would you believe it) Azhagarsamy arrives claiming the horse is his, the entire village turns topsy-turvy in this delightful comic romp.

Tamil with subtitles, 122 min