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2010 — 46th Chicago International Film Festival

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Daniel Schmid: Le chat qui pense Daniel Schmid: Le chat qui pense

Directors: Benny Jaberg and Pascal Hofmann

This cinematic kaleidoscope is an enigmatic journey into the heart of an intensely imaginative boy who would grow up to be one of Swiss cinema’s most extraordinary artists. A natural storyteller, Daniel Schmid was reared during the 1940s in an old hotel that became his stage, its guests his characters. He’d grow up to direct film, theater, and opera alongside Fassbinder, von Praunheim, and Schroeter. This luminous documentary proves wonderful things can happen when a child discovers the art of expression.

English, German with minutes, 83 min.

Days of Desire Days of Desire

Director: József Pacskovszky

A wealthy couple recovering from a tragedy hires a mute orphan to serve as their housekeeper and silent confessor, providing her with lodging and the loving parents she never had. But when she attempts to bring an outsider into their circle, their shared fantasy of domestic bliss shatters as they’re forced to confront the unspoken lies buttressing their fragile peace. Beautiful black-and-white cinematography casts light and shadow on this story of secrets and surrogates.

Hungarian with minutes, 104 min.

Debt, The Debt, The

Director: John Madden

Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington star in The Debt, the powerful story of Rachel Singer, a former Mossad agent who endeavored to capture and bring to trial a notorious Nazi war criminal

112 min.

Deeper Than Yesterday Deeper Than Yesterday

Director: Ariel Kleiman

Life is brutal and short onboard a Russian submarine in Deeper than Yesterday.

Russian with subtitles, 20 min.

Defiled, The Defiled, The

Director: Julian Grant

In a plague-ravaged near future, a virus-infected, flesh-eating man comes into possession of a newborn baby. He must take up with a vulnerable, uninfected woman to protect the child from other post-apocalyptic horrors and an unfeeling paramilitary group patrolling the ruins. Shot on location in the Chicagoland area, this Romero-esque chiller is a zombie movie seen through fresh eyes

100 min.

Delmer Builds a Machine Delmer Builds a Machine

Director: Landon Zakheim

A little boy creates an unusual contraption in Delmer Builds a Machine.

3 min.

Descent, The Descent, The

Director: Shai Miedzinski

On a journey to find materials for their son’s tombstone, a family’s repressed feelings of loss come to the surface in The Descent.

Hebrew with subtitles, 20 min.

Devil's Town Devil's Town

Director: Vladimir Paskaljevic

In this savagely funny black comedy, a tennis championship breeds nationalistic fervor across Belgrade as a seemingly unconnected cast of characters struggles through the moral challenges of a single day. Their lives seem close to intersecting, but what could a penniless young girl, a soft-hearted prostitute, a violently angry cab driver, a monk who can only communicate via his laptop, and a heartbroken teenage boy all have in common with each other?

Serbian with minutes, 82 min.

Drunkboat Drunkboat

Director: Bob Meyer

The lives of a cast of misfits collide in this engagingly off-kilter character study with deep ties to Chicago. There’s Mort (John Malkovich), a Vietnam veteran trying to soothe his survivor’s guilt with alcohol; Fletcher (John Goodman), a used-boat salesman who’s as corrupt as he is jocular; and Mort’s nephew Abe, a wide-eyed suburban teen pursuing his quixotic dream of buying a boat and sailing the world… while keeping his mother (Dana Delany) in the dark.

98 min.