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2012 — 48th Chicago Film Festival

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

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Rat Fever Rat Fever

Director: Cláudio Assis

Zizo, a true rebel, is content to spend his days spewing subversive poetry to an audience consisting mostly of his fellow outsider friends. That is, until the arrival of the beautiful Eneida injects a love story into this carefree romp through the stoned and casually promiscuous world of Brazilian bohemian life. Gorgeous black and white cinematography and a dryly comedic, stylized tone perfectly convey the idealism of the youthful characters.

Portuguese with subtitles, 110 min

Reality Reality

Director: Matteo Garrone

A sharp, crowd-pleasing satire on reality television, Reality playfully explores the pervasiveness of an all-consuming lust for fame. Luciano, a cheeky fish merchant, agrees to audition for the Italian version of Big Brother. When the producers show a slight interest, Luciano immediately lets what he assumes to be his inevitably massive fame and glory go to his head, doing everything he can to impress them and win himself a spot on the show.

Italian, 115 min

The Repentant The Repentant

Algeria / France
Director: Merzak Allouache

Repentant terrorist Rashid uses the declaration of national amnesty as an opportunity to reform and re-enter productive civilian life. Settling back into his hometown, however, proves dangerous as he is menaced by angry neighbors whose families have been torn apart by terrorist attacks. Rashid must navigate these treacherous waters while trying to start a new life in this thriller that confronts the moral and practical complications of reconciliation.

Arabic with subtitles, 87 min

Return Return

Director: Shay Levi

After a psychotic breakdown, Shay must readjust to life with his family. A moving, profound study of a troubled young man attempting to rebuild his life.

Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East

Hebrew with subtitles, 19 min

Rhino Season Rhino Season

Iraqi Kurdistan / Turkey
Director: Bahman Ghobadi

Based on a true story, Rhino Season follows Sahel, a poet who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution (and a friend of director Ghobadi). After being released into a world that is, three decades later, greatly changed, Sahel searches for the wife and children he left behind. Rhino Season is, at base, a tragic romance, strikingly told with an impressionistic, dreamlike blending of past and present.

Farsi, 103 min

David Robinson: Silent Surprises David Robinson: Silent Surprises

David Robinson will introduce a selection of discoveries from the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. An Italian comedy of 1914 THE MIRACULOUS WATERS shows that audiences of 100 years ago had no inhibitions about sexually risky subjects. Other moments from the festival demonstrate the importance of music in silent cinema, with an extract from the historic 2011 performance of Shostakovich's score for NEW BABYON. David Robinson also describes the spectacular 2012 restoration of the marvel of the 1900 Paris Exposition PHONO-CINEMA-THEATRE, which put on record the greatest stage stars of the day, so that the public of 2012 can still see Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet and legendary dancers like Cleo de Merode, masterfully recorded by cameramen of 112 years ago. In addition the Chicago audience will see Pordenone's resident silent star, Jean Darling, the blonde bombshell of 1920s OUR GANG movies, and later creator of the role of Carrie ("When I Marry Mr Snow") in the original 1944 Broadway production of CAROUSEL.

90 min

Room 237 Room 237

Director: Rodney Ascher

A “subjective documentary” exploring the numerous theories about the secret, hidden meanings of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Room 237 is a guided tour through the most compelling attempts to decode this endlessly fascinating film. Director Rodney Ascher introduces us to the passionate amateur critics who devote themselves to Kubrick’s gothic horror masterpiece, following their dizzyingly complex, brilliant, and inventive analyses wherever they lead, creating a compulsively watchable tribute to obsessive cinephilia, and to a remarkable film.

English, 102 min

Room 69 Room 69


On a road in an arid desert, a car pulls into the parking lot of a motel. A man holding a cardboard box comes out of it and rushes into the room number 69 … but what is inside the box?

Part of: Shorts 4: Not OK, Cupid!

English, 3 min

A Royal Affair A Royal Affair

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

In this epic historical romance, Queen Caroline falls passionately in love with an idealistic German doctor while her husband, King Christian VII, grows increasingly deranged. Directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel (co-screenwriter of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), A Royal Affair is a powerful story about brave idealists who risk everything for love and for their commitment to the freedom of the Danish people.

Danish with subtitles, 131 min

The Runner The Runner

Montenegro / Serbia / USA
Director: Ana Lazarevic

In the lush, weedy Serbian countryside, a first time human trafficker becomes stranded with the Roma boy he is to deliver in this compelling short drama.

Part of: Shorts 1: City & State

English, 18 min