Monday, December 22, 2014



Chicago premiere! Two week run! A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (January 2-15), called “the biggest honest-to-God discovery of 2014” by Andrew O’Hehir of, is a spookily sumptuous vampire Western tale set in a dusty ghost town crawling with low-life losers who just happen to speak Persian.

First Chicago run! Viva la libertà (January 2-7) is the story of how glum, unpopular party leader Enrico goes missing and his bipolar, uninhibited twin brother Giovanni becomes his stand-in; both roles are played by Italian star Toni Servillo.

Presented in 35mm! Interstellar (January 2-8) is Christopher Nolan’s intricate, emotionally charged visionary blockbuster. As the earth suffocates in the grip of a latter-day Dust Bowl, astronaut-turned-farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) leaves his beloved daughter behind to pilot a last-ditch expedition in search of a habitable planet on the other side of the universe.

New restoration! Le jour se lève (January 9-15), a quintessential classic of French “poetic realism” and a major forerunner of film noir, concerns a desperate killer and how he came to be at the end of his rope. This 4K restoration brings back long-unseen footage censored under the Vichy regime.

A fictional Ivy League university is the setting for provocative Sundance prizewinner Dear White People (January 9-15) that gives a daring comic poke to issues and stereotypes at all points on the racial/multicultural spectrum. Just announced! A multiracial panel is being formed to follow the Sunday, January 11, 5:30 pm screening, panelists TBA. Check this link for updates:

Exclusive Chicago engagement! Three week run! Jean-Luc Godard’s foray into 3D creates the cinema experience of the decade with Goodbye to Language 3D (January 16-February 5) in which democracy, terrorism, unemployment, economy, and war collide with the loose narrative of a man, a woman, a friendly dog, and an argument.
   The Wednesday, January 21, 6:00 pm screening, the monthly Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club, features a post-show discussion facilitated by Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips. The Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club is supported by HBO. 

The Thursday, January 22, 7:45 pm screening will feature a post-show discussion led by University of Chicago professor Daniel Morgan, author of Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema.

Due to the temporary installation of a 3-D system at the GSFC, special admission prices apply for Goodbye to Language 3D. More details are towards the end of this press release.

A psychological thriller with touches of comedy, pathos, spine-tingling threat, and even the supernatural, Oscar buzzed Force Majeure (January 16-22) finds a seemingly happy family on holiday at a French ski resort where a cataclysmic event changes everything, opening a wide icy chasm in a picture-perfect marriage.

Chicago premiere! Adapted by director Stephen Belber from his Broadway hit, Match (January 23-29) provides Patrick Stewart with a showcase role as Tobi Powell, an aging danseur, choreographer, and Julliard instructor, who crosses paths with a young couple with a vested interest in exploring a long-buried secret from Powell’s reckless past.

Chicago premiere! Dark, droll British humor with a poignant edge marks offbeat comedy-drama Still Life (January 30-February 5), directed by Uberto Pasolini. Death proves to be a life-changer for one tightly buttoned middle-aged bachelor John May (Eddie Marsan of Happy-Go-Lucky) as he tries to piece together the past of one of his deceased clients, attempting to track down the client’s missing daughter Kelly Stoke (Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey)

Godard: The First Wave (January 3-March 4) is a series of 17 features and three shorts focusing on the still vigorous 84-year-old French auteur’s early career. Godard has been the seminar figure of modernist cinema holding a position in film history roughly equivalent to that of James Joyce in literature, Paul Cezanne in painting, and Charlie Parker in jazz. Featured in January in the following formats will be: Breathless (January 3, 8, 10), Le Petit Soldat (January 3,6), Vivre sa vie (January 17, 22), Band of Outsiders (January 24, 27), and Masculine Feminine (January 31, February 5) (all in 35mm); Les carabiniers (January 31, February 3)(in archival 35mm); A Woman is a Woman (January 10, 15) and Pierrot le fou (January 24, 29) (in 35mm widescreen); and Contempt (January 17, 20) (in DCP digital widescreen).

Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres (January 9-February 4) is the GSFC’s annual showcase of the new and unusual in the world of documentary filmmaking featuring filmmakers and subjects in person at select screenings. Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres is made possible in part by grants from the Reva & David Logan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The series kicks of with Compass Cabaret 55 (January 9 and 14), a chronicle of Chicago’s improv theater scene, highlighting the Compass Players which launched the careers of such legends as Alan Arkin and the late Mike Nichols and became the model for Second City and Saturday Night Live. Director Mark Siska appears in person for audience discussion at both shows.

The Immortalists (January 10 and 12) looks at two scientists who have devoted their careers to finding a cure for death.

Kartemquin Films project Almost There (January 10 and 11) is a portrait of East Chicago, Indiana, outsider artist Peter Anton who comes into the limelight thanks to an acclaimed retrospective at Intuit. Filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden and artist Anton appear in person for audience discussion at both shows.

A swashbuckling profile assembled by the late auteur’s daughter Samantha, A Fuller Life (January 17 and 19) features the director Sam Fuller’s own words as channeled by such admirers as William Friedkin and Wim Wenders and looks at a career that ranged from newsboy and crime report to G.I., author, adventurer, and filmmaker.

The Decent One (January 18 and 21), created by Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, fashions a sometimes uncomfortable portrait of SS commander Heinrich Himmler, a man who chillingly regarded himself as a man of character, including doting father, heroic citizen, and devout Catholic.

This May Be the Last Time (January 25 and 28), by Native American director Sterlin Harjo (Four Sheets to the Wind, Barking Water), is a personal and souful exploration of the roots of tribal spiritual songs as performed in the small Seminole churches throughout Oklahoma. Director Harjo will be present for audience discussion following the Wednesday, January 28 show.

In Emptying the Skies (January 30 and February 4), filmmakers follow novelist and birdwatcher Jonathan Franzen around Europe as a band of vigilante activists work to halt the wholesale slaughter of migrating European songbirds, prized as gourmet treats worth a fortune on the black market.

Giuseppe Makes a Movie (February 1 and 2) is the latest no-budget opus by Giuseppe Andrews featuring his trailer park stock company of real-life drug addicts, alcoholics, and homeless senior citizen. Adam Rifkin, who directed him in Detroit Rock City, follows the chaotic production of Andrews’ Garbanzo Gas. Chicago native Rifkin will be present for audience discussion at both shows.

Dial 3 for 3-D!!! (January 17-February 5) is a series of five films sampling the sporadic history of stereoscopic systems in the cinema:
Vincent Price stars in the first color 3-D movie ever made, House of Wax (January 17, 20)—just added to the National Film Registry—as an unhinged wax sculptor whose Grand Guignol exhibits owe their uncanny realism to a sinister secret recipe;

 Grace Kelly stars in Alfred Hitchcock’s entertaining thriller Dial M for Murder (January 23, 25, 29), which actually was not released in 3-D until nearly 30 years after it was made;

 Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (January 24, 26) is a portrait of a restricted French cave whose 30,000 year-old paintings gives viewers a rare chance to experience the textures and contours of their natural setting;

sci-fi fantasies The Bubble (January 30, 31; February 5), recently restored in a new single-strip 3-D process called Space-Vision, enables objects to appear to float off the screen, and Creature from the Black Lagoon (January 31; February 2) in which 3D technology articulates the separation between the above-water world and the underwater world.
For more details about films in Dial 3 for 3-D!!!:

Spring Film/Lecture Series: Instant Histories: New Documentary Forms (January 23-May 5) with Tuesday night lectures by internationally renowned filmmaker and SAIC Professor of Film, Video, and New Media, Daniel Eisenberg. The series looks at how the fact that cameras are now everywhere and how the footage they gather means they’re subject to discussion and analysis.
The series beings with Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil (January 23, 27) and Wim Wenders’ Pina (February 1, 2, 4), the latter of which will be presented in 3-D. Instant Histories: New Forms in the Digital Age is supported by HBO.

Special events
Free admission! Local critics weigh in on the 2015 Academy Awards nominations at the Oscar Nominations Panel, Thursday, January 15, 4:30 pm. Panelists are J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader; Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune; Steve Prokopy, Ain’t It Cool News + Gapers Block; Tasha Robinson, The Dissolve; and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky,
+ The Onion A.V. Club. Moderator will be Betsy Steinberg of the Illinois Film Office.

The monthly Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club features a post-show discussion facilitated by Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips following the Wednesday, January 21, 6:00 pm screening of Goodbye to Language 3D. The Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club is supported by HBO.

The Opening Night Program (January 28) of the 26th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, a production of Chicago Filmmakers, will feature an exciting and eclectic lineup of the best recent and retrospective work, schedule TBA.

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All screenings and events are at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located at 164 N. State St.

The Gene Siskel Film Center’s theaters will be closed on Christmas Eve (December 24), Christmas Day (December 25), New Year’s Eve (December 31), and New Year’s Day (January 1).

Tickets to each screening--unless stated otherwise--are $11/general admission, $7/students, $6/Film Center members, and $5/Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) staff and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) faculty, staff, and students. Due to the temporary installation of a 3-D system at the GSFC, special admission prices apply for Goodbye to Language 3D: $15/general admission; $10/Film Center members and students; and $5/AIC staff and SAIC faculty, staff, and students. All tickets may be purchased at the Film Center Box Office. Both general admission and Film Center member tickets are available through the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website
or through the individual films’ weblinks on There is a surcharge of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm Sunday.

Lecture series discount! GSFC members pay discounted admission of $5 to any screening in the series Instant Histories: New Documentary Forms.

Godard: The First Wave Saturday Double-Bill Discount! Buy a ticket at the regular price for the first Godard: The First Wave film on any Saturday in January, and get a ticket for the second Godard: The First Wave film that day at the discounted rate with proof of original purchase: $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members.

Admission to the Oscar Nominations Panel is free.

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A Gene Siskel Film Center membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $6 per screening! Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual). For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit

Discounted parking is available for $16-$18 for nine hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.

The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. Nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146. 
For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit

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The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates 43 years of presenting cutting edge programs, independent and international cinema, premieres, retrospectives, and classic films. Internationally recognized for its original film programming, the Film Center is a vibrant cultural destination in Chicago that attracts a diverse and creative annual audience of over 80,000.

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to nearly 3,200 students from around the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

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