GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER (GSFC)
OF THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO (SAIC)
SCREENINGS AND EVENTS, AUGUST 5-SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE!
GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER’S 22ND ANNUAL BLACK HARVEST
FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS AUGUST 5-SEPTEMBER 1
FESTIVAL PASSES ARE AVAILABLE!
22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival (August 5-September 1) – see festival information below.
Crime à la Française: Six Imported Prints (August 6-25) is a series of six classic films all centered on crime and criminals, and all presented in archival 35mm prints, courtesy of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Saturday Double-Bill Discount: Buy a ticket at the regular price to the first French crime film on any of the first three Saturdays in August, and get a ticket for the second French crime film that day at the discounted rate with proof of original purchase: $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/frenchcrime
Chicago premiere! Diary of a Chambermaid (August 5-11) is an adaptation of Octave Mirbeau's 1900 novel centering on a maid with dreams and desires beyond her lowly station. This latest version of the film stars Léa Seydoux as Célestine who falls into a relationship of convenience with a sinister gardener, aspiring to gain the upper hand in service to the cruel Madam Lanlaiers and her lecherous husband. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/diaryofachambermaid
Chicago premiere! Roseanne for President! (August 5-11) is the journey of the outspoken comedian’s 2012 bid for the Green Party nomination. As an unorthodox candidate, she fervently champions women’s rights, universal health care, and anti-corruption in salty campaign speeches peppered with f-bombs.
Chicago premiere! The Kind Words (August 12-18) is an Israeli family drama with melodramatic hilarity in which three siblings learn of a secret long-kept by their estranged father in the wake of their mother's death. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/thekindwords
In Maggie’s Plan (August 12-18), 30-ish Maggie (Greta Gerwig) succumbs to the charms of a struggling academic (Ethan Hawke) who is overshadowed by his superstar professor wife (Julianne Moore). Marriage and motherhood follow, but, when the former starts to go south, Maggie comes up with a plan, and it’s a doozy. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/maggiesplan
Chicago premiere! My King (August 19-25) is a look at the tumultuous marriage of Tony and Georgio, a mutual obsession that explodes into horseplay and maniacal laughter in the best of times but descends into addictive habits and affairs in the worst. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/myking
Chicago premiere! Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary (August 19-25) looks at the friendship of the two major counterculture figures from their days as outlaw Harvard professors to the present as Leary faces death from cancer, an event he anticipates with eager curiosity, as the two reflect on a lifetime of learning and exploration. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/dyingtoknow
Chicago premiere! The Bride (August 26-September 1) is a darkly poetic adaptation of Federico García Lorca's play Blood Wedding with flashbacks hinting at the inseparable friendship of a girl and two boys, with the girl in love with them both. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/thebride
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (August 26-September 1) is about the Silk Road ensemble celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma conceived of and how this collective of musicians transcends boundaries. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/musicofstrangers
Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club: Class Divide (August 23): The high price of gentrification in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood where one side of the street lies an aging public housing project with black and Latino families while the other side are condos with “bargain” price tags around $10 million as revealed in this HBO documentary. Facilitator and guests TBA. Sponsored by HBO. Presented as part of the 22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. Admission to this screening is free. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/movieclub
National Theatre Live Encore: In The Audience (August 27), Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II journeying through the monarch's 60 years of private weekly meetings with her 12 Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill to David Cameron and all matters she has advised them on, both public and personal. Note ticket prices are $14/general admission and $8/students and Film Center members. http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/theaudience
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22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival
The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (164 N. State St.) presents its 22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival (August 5-September 1), the Midwest’s largest festival of the black experience on film featuring movies from the African diaspora. Presenting a combined total of over 50 narrative and documentary features and shorts, the festival will feature directors in person, discussions, special events, and more.
ACTIVATE: SEE + Purple Rain (August 5) is a pre-festival party in Couch Alley (170 N. State St.) with clips of films from the festival plus other film/video footage. ACTIVATE is an economic and place-making initiative of the Chicago Loop Alliance. Afterwards there will be a presentation of the late Prince’s legendary feature Purple Rain. Admission to ACTIVATE is free; admission to Purple Rain is $5. RSVPs are required to attend ACTIVATE: http://do312.com/events/2016/8/5/activate-see
Opening Night: A Black Harvest Feast (August 6) sets the tone and conveys the overall spirit of the festival with six shorts. This evening will be a “homecoming” for Black Harvest filmmakers past and present. A reception follows for all ticketholders at Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph. Admission to Opening Night is $25/general admission; $20/students; and $15/Film Center members.
This year’s festival again looks at a wide range of subjects and stories reflecting on the black community of yesterday and today via feature-length and short films.
All the Difference (August 7, 8) is the journey of two South Side Chicagoans—Krishaun and Robert—as they prepare for and embark on their college journey; currently only 16% of African American men graduate from a college or a university; Gordon Parks Elementary (August 14), by Black Harvest veteran (Jayhawkers) filmmaker and Chi-Raq screenwriter Kevin Willmott, turns a documentary eye on his native Kansas City where Gordon Parks Elementary School—serving some of the most disadvantaged children in the community—finds itself facing closure due to low test scores; and Saving Barbara Sizemore (August 28, 31), about the Betty Shabazz-Barbara A. Sizemore Academy in Englewood, which was put on the chopping block by Chicago Public Schools, but the school—noted for its unique family atmosphere and emphasis on African culture—fought back as captured by teacher/filmmaker David J. Steiner.
Love and relationships
Confused…by Love (August 8, 10) looks at the one-year point in a marriage headed for the rocks; Love Isn’t Enough (August 16, 17) concerns an interracial marriage which is put to the test when a dispute over the Thanksgiving turkey precipitates an emotional look at the very roots of the relationship; Love African American Style (August 19, 20), a shorts program looking at love for better…and for worse; and How to Tell You’re a Douchebag (August 26, 29) in which a player meets his match (note: includes sex and nudity).
Tear the Roof Off: The Untold Story of Parliament Funkadelic (August 12, 13) looks at the journey of the revolutionary funk band, the behind-the-scenes escapades, and controversial front man George Clinton; Rock & Roll Hall of Fame former band members and other special guests appear in person at both post-show Q&As; a funk dance party courtesy of DJ I.N.C. takes place after the August 13 Q&A; Walk All Night: A Drum Beat Journey (August 14, 15) is the story of Chicago bucket drummers and their journey to Senegal to study under a master percussionist; Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (August 17) is the story of the late talented jazz saxophonist who was inspired by the great Charlie Parker, including emulating Parker’s heroin habit; before the screening, media personality Richard Steele will be honored with the first-ever Gene Siskel Legacy Award; and The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price (August 21) is an absorbing chronicle of the remarkable life and work of the first African American woman whose work was performed by a major orchestra and a key figure in the Chicago Black Renaissance.
This Is Not Chiraq (August 19, 24) is a series pilot that was locally created and directed—and a departure from Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq–in which Chicago becomes a battleground for two gangs portrayed in a more complex human reality; intimate drama Dark Seed (August 23, 24) brings a hard-driving executive to a decision not shared by her husband as the ticking of the wife’s biological clock becomes more prevalent; and Sunshine Day (August 26, 30), based on Chicago author April Tylon-Warren’s novel, examines mental illness, a much-taboo topic in the black community.
The LA Rebellion
This significant filmmaking movement that came out of UCLA in the late 60s is showcased with the new documentary Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film from UCLA (August 27), a lively inside look at the movement with excerpts and interviews with such directors as Charles Burnett and Julie Dash; and two classics: Compensation (August 27) in which two African American love stories—each involving a deaf woman and a hearing man-play out in this moving drama, and To Sleep with Anger (August 28, 29), a dark, semi-mystical comedy featuring Danny Glover as a folkloric trickster who spreads discord, doubt, and disease around middle-class South Central Los Angeles.
Systemic justice is examined in Time Simply Passes (August 10) in which a man is wrongfully convicted only to live in poverty as a free man; Jerico (August 20, 21) is set in the Jim Crow South and daring for creating high comedy from the darker and more violent aspects of segregation; the high price of gentrification in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood where one side of the street lies an aging public housing project with black and Latino families while the other side are condos with “bargain” price tags around $10 million as revealed in HBO documentary Class Divide (August 23) which is also the Gene Siskel Film Center Movie Club selection for August, sponsored by HBO; admission is free; and Maya Angelou: And I Still Rise (August 27) is an in-depth portrait of the late writer, activist, and performer. This screening is sold out. The film is embargoed for press coverage and reviews until Maya Angelou: And I Still Rise opens for its theatrical run at the Gene Siskel Film Center September 16-29.
A wide range of short films will be presented, unified by common themes: Made in Chicago I (August 7, 11); International Visions (August 9); Made in Chicago II (August 12, 16); We Are Family (August 18); Love African American Style (August 19, 20); and Women of Color (August 25).
Agents of Change: Black Students and the Transformation of the American University (September 1) is the little-known story of the late 60s grassroots struggle focusing on student protests at San Francisco State and Cornell universities that led to the creation of the departments of black and ethnic studies at American colleges and universities. Following the Q&A with filmmakers will be a reception for all ticketholders sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
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Festival Panel Discussion: Action! The Real Deal About Filmmaking (August 13): A panel of filmmakers—Sandrel “Sanicole” Young (short film: Side Effects); Eleva Singleton (short film: Shinemen): Bobby J. Brown (Tear the Roof Off); and Mallory Sohmer and Kate Benzschawel (Walk All Night)—will be speaking about issues and challenges related to filmmaking, moderated by N.K. Gutierrez. Admission is free.
Family Friendly films in this year’s Black Harvest are All the Difference, Gordon Parks Elementary, The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film from UCLA, and Saving Barbara Sizemore.
Most films in Black Harvest will be accompanied by filmmakers appearing in person for post-screening Q&As. Check the Black Harvest page regularly for updates: http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blackharvest
Support for Black Harvest comes from NBC 5 Chicago (Premier Television Broadcast Sponsor), WBEZ91.5 (Premier Radio Sponsor); Southwest Airlines, ACTIVATE 2016, Allstate, Mesirow Financial, and Whole Foods (Producing Sponsors); The Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Foundation, DCASE, and Illinois Arts Council (Foundation and Government Support); and the DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago Reader, WVON 1690 AM, CIMMFest, Midwest Independent Film Festival, and The South Shore Current (Festival Partners).
Black Harvest Festival Passes are available! Pay $55 for six films and six small popcorns. Turn in the pass at the end of the festival and receive $5 off a Gene Siskel Film Center membership.
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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.
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. Friday 2:00 pm matinee tickets are $8/general admission and $5/Film Center members 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 www.siskelfilmcenter.org/content/ticketsor through the individual films’ weblinks or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org of $1.50 per ticket. The Film Center and its box office are open 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 to 8:30 pm, Friday; 2:00 to 8:30 pm, Saturday; and 2:00 to 5:30 pm, Sunday.
Admission to August 5’s ACTIVATE is free; admission to Purple Rain afterwards is $5. RSVPs are required to attend ACTIVATE: http://do312.com/events/2016/8/5/activate-see
Admission to Opening Night: A Black Harvest Feast on August 6 is $25/general admission; $20/students; and $15/Film Center members; includes reception afterwards at Joffrey Tower.
Crime à la Française: Six Imported Prints (August 6-25) Saturday Double-Bill Discount: Buy a ticket at the regular price to the first French crime film on any of the first three Saturdays in August, and get a ticket for the second French crime film that day at the discounted rate with proof of original purchase: $7/general admission; $5/students; $4/Film Center members.
Admission to Festival Panel Discussion: Action! The Real Deal About Filmmaking on August 13 is free.
Admission to the HBO-sponsored Class Divide on August 23 is free.
Purchase a Black Harvest Festival Pass at $55 for six films and six small popcorns. Turn in the pass at the end of the festival and receive $5 off a Gene Siskel Film Center membership.
Admission to August 27’s National Theatre Live Encore: The Audience are $14/general admission and $8/students and Film Center members.
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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 http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/membership.
Discounted parking is available for $18 for 10 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 www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
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About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience of 80,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 100 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit www.siskelfilmcenter.orgto learn more and find out what’s playing today.
About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at saic.edu.
Young French Cinema, July 1-August 3
The Dept. Q Trilogy, July 22-28
The Witness, July 22-27
Therapy for a Vampire, July 22-28
Ran, July 22, 23, 25
Coming in August: 22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival, August 5-September 1