Gene Siskel Film Center adds new program to its
TALKING PICTURES VIRTUAL FILM LECTURE SERIES:
PERSISTENT RESISTANCE: UNKNOWABLE WOMEN IN FILM
led by Chicago filmmaker Jennifer Reeder
Tuesdays at 6pm/April 13 - 27
CHICAGO—The Gene Siskel Film Center is pleased to offer a new program as part of its Talking Pictures virtual film lecture series, facilitated by Chicago filmmaker Jennifer Reeder. Reeder’s own films feature almost exclusively “difficult” female protagonists, and the new series, “Persistent Resistance: Unknowable Women in Film,” will explore “difficult” or “unknowable” female protagonists at the heart of three films: SAFE, JEANNE DIELMANN: 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES , and VAGABOND. The discussion series will take every Tuesday from April 13 through April 27 at 6:00pm CT.
The Film Center’s Talking Pictures lecture series offers patrons the opportunity for deeper engagement with the moving image through the exploration of film genres, auteurs, eras, and themes. The virtual programs take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm via the Film Center’s Eventive platform. Other programs in the series are currently led by Oscar-nominated filmmaker, actor, and novelist John Sayles; renowned, longtime Chicago Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum; and film critic and Black Harvest Film Festival co-founder and co-programer Sergio Mims.
Participants watch films on their own, using a source list with streaming links provided by the Film Center; all films are available on various streaming platforms for free or a small rental fee. Patrons can purchase a ticket for a single Talking Pictures lecture for $6 (Film Center members) or $12 (General Admission) or purchase a series pass for an entire series at a discounted rate. All conversations will have the option for closed captioning.
Here is a complete list of programs currently part of the Film Center’s Talking Pictures lecture series:
During each of these three evenings led by Jennifer Reeder, participants will dive into one of the films SAFE, JEANNE DIELMANN, and VAGABOND. In Reeder’s own films, her female protagonists are almost exclusively "difficult." The films listed above are three of her very favorite and all feature a kind of difficult or unknowable woman. They all are also along the genre spectrum, presenting varying levels of either death or decay.
Member Ticket per session - $6
General admission ticket per session - $12
Member series pass - $15
General admission series pass - $30
April 13: SAFE (Todd Haynes, 1995, 119 min.)
April 20: JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (Chantal Akerman, 1975, 225 min.)
April 27: VAGABOND (Agnes Varda, 1985, 106 min.)
Jennifer Reeder was recently named by Bong Joon Ho as a filmmaker to watch in the 2020s and and was recently named as a 2020 United States Artists fellow. She will also be facilitating a conversation with filmmaker Miranda July on Tuesday, March 30 at 6:30pm via the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Reeder constructs personal fiction films about relationships, trauma, and coping. Her award-winning narratives borrow from a range of forms including after school specials, amateur music videos, and magical realism. These films have shown consistently around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the London Film Festival, SXSW, the Venice Biennale, and the Whitney Biennial. Reeder was a Herb Alpert Film Award nominee in 2018 and 2020. She was the 2019 recipient of the Alpert Film Award residency at the MacDowell Colony. Her most recent film, KNIVES AND SKIN, was theatrically released in France in November 2019 through UFO and in the US in December 2019 through IFC Midnight. She is currently in pre-production for a feature length film, PERPETRATOR, which is being produced by 30West, Divide&Conquer and WTFilms.
Jonathan Rosenbaum presents eight films that provide a suggestive and varied representation of the 1940s, a decade of transformation that saw the end of World War II and ushered in an era of American optimism and global change. Cinema provides audiences with an entertaining and instructive view of history, and with this series, Rosenbaum will explore a cross section of perspectives from the United States to France, Russia, Italy, mainland China, and Japan. Each session will explore themes, genres, and filmmakers alongside examinations of production details and historical context.
Member Ticket per session - $6
General admission ticket per session - $12
Member series pass - $45
General admission series pass - $85
February 23: CHRISTMAS IN JULY (Preston Sturges, 1940, 67 min.)
March 2: LA NUIT FANTASTIQUE (Marcel L’Herbier, 1942, 103 min.)
March 9: I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943, 69 min.) & THE LEOPARD MAN (Jacques Tourneur, 1943, 66 min.)
March 16: IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART II (Sergei Eisenstein, 1945, 86 min.)
March 23: PAISAN (Roberto Rossellini, 1946, 126 min.)
March 30: THE BICYCLE THIEF (Vittorio de Sica, 1948, 89 min.)
April 6: SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN (Fei Mu, 1948, 90 min.)
April 13: LATE SPRING (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949, 107 min.)
Jonathan Rosenbaum was film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. His 15 books include CINEMATIC ENCOUNTERS (two volumes), GOODBYE CINEMA, HELLO CINEPHILIA, DISCOVERING ORSON WELLES, ESSENTIAL CINEMA, ABBAS KIAROSTAMI (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa), MOVIE WARS, DEAD MAN, MOVIES AS POLITICS, PLACING MOVIES, GREED, MIDNIGHT MOVIES (with J. Hoberman), and MOVING PLACES. He has taught at New York University, the University of California campuses at Berkeley, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Sarajevo’s FilmFactory. He maintains a web site archiving most of his work at jonathanrosenbaum.net.
Who better than John Sayles to lead an exploration of the filmography of John Sayles? In this exclusive series of five film conversations moderated by the Film Center’s Director of Programming Rebecca Fons, the Oscar-nominated indie filmmaker John Sayles himself will choose and discuss one of his own films each Monday night in March, offering unique insights and opening up dialogue. A pioneer in films with a conscience, Sayles' storytelling springs from a backdrop of truth and history.
Member ticket per session - $6
General Admission per session - $12
Members series pass - $25
General Admission series pass - $50
March 1: CITY OF HOPE (1991, 129 min.)
March 8: LONE STAR (1996, 135 min.)
March 15: LIMBO (1999, 103 min.)
March 22: CASA DE LOS BABYS (2003, 95 min.)
March 29: HONEYDRIPPER (2007, 123 min.)
Oscar-nominated director, screenwriter, novelist, and actor John Sayles is among the most prominent independent filmmakers in the United States. Sayles created an oeuvre in which the personal and the political intersect at the heart of the American experience. Beginning as an author, Sayles has published numerous award-winning novels and short stories. His writing talent made him a sought-after screenwriter in Hollywood, and Sayles eventually made his directorial debut with RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS 7 in 1980. Other highlights from Sayles career include LIANNA, MATEWAN, THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, CITY OF HOPE, PASSION FISH, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, LIMBO, SUNSHINE STATE, and HONEYDRIPPER, to name a few. Three decades, countless films, and two Academy Award nominations (Best Original Screenplay, PASSION FISH and LONE STAR) have earned Sayles the title of a leading independent director of our time.
Sergio Mims examines images of the Black male in American Cinema from BIRTH OF A NATION to ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI. How have Black men been portrayed in American films from the silent era to today? We’ll examine stereotypical depictions of Black men in film and how these have contributed to negative perceptions of Black men in society. However, the series will also examine efforts by filmmakers to counteract and even satirize those images.
Member ticket - $6
General Admission ticket - $12
Member series Pass - $45
General Admission series pass - $90
April 5: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (D.W.Griffith, 1915, 193 min.)
April 12: THE GIRL FROM CHICAGO (Oscar Micheaux, 1932, 70 min.) (You Tube)
April 19: CABIN IN THE SKY (Vincente Minnelli, 1943, 98 min.)
April 26: NO WAY OUT (Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, 1950, 106 min.)
May 3: UPTIGHT (Jules Dassin, 1968,104 min.)
May 10: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (Norman Frederick Jewison, 1967, 110 min.)
May 17: SUPER FLY (Gordon Roger Parks Jr., 1972, 93 min.)
May 24: MO BETTER BLUES (Spike Lee, 1990, 122 min.)
May 31: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (Regina King, 2021, 104 min.)
Sergio Mims is a film critic, journalist, the host and producer of the weekly Bad Mutha’ Film Show on WHPK-FM (88.5 FM Chicago), and a screenwriter who appears every week on the Movie Madness podcast on the Now Playing Network. He is also the co-founder and co-programmer of the Gene Siskel Film Center's Black Harvest Film Festival, which is one of the largest Black film festivals in the world and will be celebrating it's 27th year in 2021. Sergio is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and is also a commentator for Blu-ray DVDs for Vinegar Syndrome, Kino Lorber, Arrow Films, and Imprint Video.
Gene Siskel Film Center
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center, a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has presented critically acclaimed cinema to an annual audience of 85,000. 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 200 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 siskelfilmcenter.org to learn more and find out what’s playing today.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 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.