2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016
March 3rd to March 30th at the Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street Chicago Illinois

Vito Goes to the Fest

The European Union Film Festival is running until the end of March at the Gene Siskel Center. Here are some mini-reviews on the films I have seen so far (some of them have already been shown, but many will open for longer runs later in the year at the Siskel Center and other places.) The films are rated from * (terrible) to **** (outstanding).

Franz ****
J Francois Ozonís intensely moving drama is about a man from Germany who goes to visit the French family of Frantz, a man he killed in World War II. He tells the family he was friends with Franz and eventually he even starts to date Franzís ex. Itís clear that he wants to replace Frantz on some level but what will happen when they find out the truth? In French and German with English subtitles.

Playing on Sun, Mar 19, 2017 - 03:00pm and Thu, Mar 23, 2017 - 06:00pm

A Holy Mess **
Two male lovers buy a house with a woman, and she is impregnated by one of them (sheís not sure which one.) So one of the men decides to break the news to his family over the holidays. Standard comedy about a family gathering at Christmas time is not particularly original, and it does not reveal much about Swedish culture. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Playing on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 - 02:00pm and Sat, Mar 25, 2017 - 03:45pm

Slack Bay ***1/2
Bruno Dumontís weirdly wonderful and surreal film shows how a series of murders affects a small town. A pair of bumbling policeman arrive to investigate the disappearances, and they resemble and act like Laurel and Hardy. The film contains is chock full of visually odd scenes and situations such as a man who loves an androgynous character who may or may not be a woman, and a happy family of cannibals. Juliette Binoche shows up as a pompous society woman in a ridiculous hat, and Iím sure most of the audience hopes she will get eaten. This film is not quite up to the level of quality of Dumontís last film, Liíl Quinquin (which also includes a humorous policeman) but itís still great fun. The social satire and religious criticism in this work make it reminiscent of the classic films of the great Spanish film maker Luis Bunuel. In French with English sub-titles.

Playing on Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 04:00pm and Thu, Mar 16, 2017 - 06

Suntan ****
A repressed ,middle aged doctor moves to an Edenic Greek island that is full of nude beach goers and lusty locals (one of his buddies acts like Zorba the Greek). He hits it off with a free spirited 22 year old patient, and he begins going everywhere with her and her friends. He becomes intoxicated with her beauty, energy and raw sexuality. The movie gets darker and darker once the relationship begins to sour. The film is very suspenseful and almost perfect until we get to the ambiguous and not totally satisfying ending. The director, Helmer Argyris Papadimitropoulos (I dare you to say that five times fast) is definitely a talent to watch. In Greek and English with English sub-titles.

Playing on Sat, Mar 18, 2017 - 08:15pm and Wed, Mar 22, 2017 - 08:00pm


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