The lineup for the second week of the Chicago International Film Festival looks at least as good as the first, in some respects even better. I’m sorry to report that two of the best movies scheduled for last week, Olivier Assayas’s Cold Water and Luchino Visconti’s Bellissima, were canceled after the Reader went to press. Both were replaced by an Australian movie, The Sum of Us, that we weren’t able to review.
As we go to press this week, the word from the festival is that no further changes are anticipated, but if you want to be on the safe side, call the festival to be sure. (Last-minute changes and related screwups, I should add, are a bugaboo at virtually all film festivals, and though Chicago has had more than its fair share of them in the past, they’ve diminished in recent years.)
My own recommendations for the week, in rough order of preference, are Satantango (reviewed at length elsewhere in this section), The Leopard, Red, The Red Lotus Society, The Tarnished Angels, The Seventh Continent, Dear Diary, Through the Olive Trees, The Innocent, Dallas Doll, The Silences of the Palace, When Pigs Fly, The Troubles We’ve Seen, Ryaba, My Chicken, Family, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Too Much Happiness, and Paradjanov. That’s undoubtedly too many to choose from, but blame this year’s festival, with its weakness for good movies. (Among the new films, Red, The Seventh Continent, Dear Diary, Through the Olive Trees, and When Pigs Fly all have distributors, which means they’re likely to turn up in Chicago again.)
The festival continues through Sunday, October 23, at Pipers Alley, 1608 N. Wells; the Fine Arts, 418 S. Michigan; and the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets can be purchased at the festival store at Pipers Alley or at theater box offices an hour before show time; they’re also available (with a service charge) by phone at 337-4840 or fax at 337-7964. General admission to most programs is $7.50, $6.50 for students and seniors, $5.50 for Cinema/Chicago members. Shows before 6 PM at all three locations are $5. Discount passes for multiple screenings are also available. For more information, call 644-3456 (644-FILM).
In the reviews that follow, films that our critics especially liked are preceded by a check mark. But we don’t all agree, and we didn’t see everything, so it might be worth your while to do some selective hunting on your own.