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2012 — 48th Chicago Film Festival

Overview Movies A-Z Directors A-Z Countries A-Z

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Maniac Maniac

France / USA
Director: Franck Khalfoun

Elijah Wood stars as a psychotic loner with a tendency to scalp women and a penchant for mannequins in this bold re-imagining of the 1980 cult classic. Daringly shot entirely from the first-person perspective of its lead anti-hero, this deeply disturbing horror film from director Khalfoun and co-writer Alexandre Aja (High Tension) paints a nightmarish portrait of a deranged mind overwhelmed by violence and obsession.

English, 90 min

Marie Kroyer Marie Kroyer

Director: Bille August

Married to one of Denmark’s most celebrated 19th century painters, Marie Krøyer’s life is both privileged and fraught. With artistic aspirations of her own, Marie struggles to discover her identity while managing her husband’s increasingly erratic behavior and begins to look outside of her marriage for affirmation and autonomy. But at what cost? This beautifully crafted period drama presents a compelling portrait of a woman ahead of her time.

Danish with subtitles, 103 min

Marla Marla

Director: Nick King

Marla and Sam meet and flirt in the restroom of a bar, but this isn’t just a story of boy meets girl. Hands down, this just may be the strangest, and most inventive, love story you've ever seen.

Part of: Shorts 4: Not OK, Cupid!

English, 15 min

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God


From Oscar® and Gold Hugo winner Alex Gibney comes this searing documentary about the response to sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church. Starting with a string of allegations at a Milwaukee school for deaf boys in the late 70s and early 80s, the film charts a decades-long, systematic cover-up that reaches all the way to Vatican. Mea Maxima Culpa provides an impassioned and detailed look at one of contemporary society’s enduring controversies.

English and Italian with subtitles, 106 min

Meeting Leila Meeting Leila

Director: Adel Yaraghi

Featuring a brilliant performance from A Separation star Leila Hatami, Meeting Leila follows a young woman who demands that her chain-smoking fiancé quits smoking before their marriage. This poses a problem for this advertising agency idea man for whom smoking is an integral part of his creative process in this gently comic, insightful look at the compromises and negotiations required in any relationship.

Farsi with subtitles, 88 min

Mekong Hotel Mekong Hotel

France / Thailand / UK
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

From Apichaptong “Joe” Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee…), whose gorgeous, thoughtful films are counted among the most acclaimed masterpieces of the new century, Mekong Hotel is a portrait of a hotel near the Mekong River on Thailand’s border with Laos. Blending fantasy and reality, fiction and documentary, the present and the future, this exquisite poem of a film strikingly expresses the bonds of love and family between people, and the looming presence of the river in their lives.

Thai with subtitles, 61 min

Modest Reception Modest Reception

Director: Mani Haghighi

Tasked with giving away huge sums of money by whatever means possible, Kaveh and Layla drive through the remote, war-torn mountains of Iran with a trunkful of cash. What begins as a seemingly harmless game soon reveals itself to be a twisted bout of charity as the power, humiliation, and shame inherent in their act plays out between the privileged couple and the impoverished villagers.

Modest Reception is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit

Farsi with subtitles, 100 min

A Monkey on My Shoulder A Monkey on My Shoulder

Argentina / France
Director: Marion Laine

Mila (Juliette Binoche) and Javier are brilliant heart surgeons and passionately in love. While their professional lives are clinical and require precision and perfection, their married life is entirely opposite - they drink, eat and make love to excess. When Mila discovers she is pregnant, she and Javier continue to deny what everyone else recognizes: that Javier is an alcoholic. As her pregnancy develops, their impulsive and unpredictable relationship is derailed - and held together by ego, addiction and hope.

French with subtitles, 91 min

Mr. Christmas Mr. Christmas

Director: Nick Palmer

An offbeat, touching documentary portrait of Bruce Metz reveals how he became Mr. Christmas, a man whose astonishing holiday light displays have earned him fame in his community.

Part of: Shorts 6: Truth Be Told

English, 14 min

Mr. Sophistication Mr. Sophistication

Director: Danny Green

In the 90s, Ron Waters (Harry Lennix) was the hottest comic in Hollywood. Richard Pryor-like in his trenchant social and political commentary, Ron ultimately was driven away by controversy that increased as he grew more successful. Now settled in Chicago doing regular standup routines at his wife’s (Tatum O’Neal) club, he is given a second shot at the big time. But, as he learns once again, fame and fortune come at a price.

English, 97 min

Murderer Alias X Murderer Alias X

Director: Antonio Veiras

In this darkly comedic animated tale, a serial killer is prowling in a small town. But who can really be trusted?

Part of: Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem

French with English subtitles, 9 min

My Bow Breathing My Bow Breathing

Director: Enrico Maria Artale

A girl attunes her breathing to the movements of her bow, but her talent for archery hides violent instincts in this visceral, powerfully immediate piece of filmmaking.

Part of: Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem

Italian with English subtitles, 11 min