Monthly Archives: May 1992

Locked Up in Time

A fascinating German documentary by Sybille Schonemann about her return to the East German penitentiary where she spent a year as a political prisoner before Germany’s reunification. In addition to restaging portions of her own arrest and incarceration, she films her confrontations with the officials who brought unspecified charges against her, the secret police who arrested her, and the prison matrons and warden. It’s as if Kafka’s Joseph K. went back and tried to conduct rational and even-tempered interviews with the bureaucrats who condemned him–most of the people she speaks to are friendly, vague, evasive, and forgetful, and something about the state apparatus they were a part of courses through the film like a chilly draft (1991). A Chicago premiere, cosponsored by the Goethe-Institut; Schonemann will be present at both Saturday screenings. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, May 2, 6:00 and 8:15; Sunday, May 3, 1:00 and 3:00; and Tuesday, May 5, 6:00; 443-3737)… Read more »

All the Vermeers in New York

Jon Jost’s ravishing independent feature about art, money, and loneliness in Manhattan–beautifully shot in ‘Scope by Jost himself and with a wonderful, Gil Evans-ish big-band jazz score by Jon A. English–can be viewed as a kind of companion piece to Jost’s earlier Rembrandt Laughing (1988), which dealt with several friends and acquaintances over several months in San Francisco. The main characters here are three young women who share a spacious apartment–Emmanuelle Chaulet (from Rohmer’s Boyfriends and Girlfriends), Katherine Bean, and Grace Phillips–and a Wall Street broker (Stephen Lack) who loves the Vermeers in the Metropolitan Museum. As in Jost’s other features, the narrative is elliptically constructed–the film seems more concerned with evoking a place, time, and milieu than with a dramatically shaped story–but there’s still a lot of lyrical passion and drama in the sounds, images, and characters themselves (1990). This Chicago premiere complements the comprehensive Jost retrospective that begins next week at Chicago Filmmakers. (Music Box, Friday through Thursday, May 1 through 7)… Read more »