If you plan on heading to the 47th Chicago International Film Festival this month, the list of 146 films from around the world can be overwhelming. Fortunately, festival programmer Penny Bartlett gave us a sneak peek into the most anticipated films of the festival.
The entire festival will take place at AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois. It kicked off Thursday and runs through October 20. Whether you are a hardcore WWE fan or want to learn more about India's kite festival, there is something for everyone.
Patang: This film, shot in India by a Chicago-born director, combines the Chicago International Film Festival's efforts to both bring global film to Chicago and to promote the city's filmmakers and artists. It's also is part of the programming for this year's Spotlight: South Asia, in which the Chicago International Film Festival highlights films from the world's developing regions. Patang, which was also shown at the Berlin International and Tribeca film festivals, follows a successful Delhi businessman and his daughter back to the businessman's childhood home for India's largest kite festival. Bursting with color and culture, Patang weaves together six individual stories in the process of exploring how a family confronts its past, mistrust and regurgitating resentments.
6:10 p.m. Oct. 11, 2:20 p.m. Oct. 13, 9:10 p.m. Oct. 14
Sadermania: From Fanship to Friendship: You know that celebrity you were obsessed with as a kid? That you wrote to, dreamed about and whose image you clipped out of magazines? For Chris Sader, like for thousands of kids, that person was Hulk Hogan. Except that Sader actually met Hogan. And became friends him. And bonded over mutual struggles and losses. This is their story.
6:15 p.m. Oct. 15
A Dangerous Method: This film has perhaps the most recognizable characters -- Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud -- as well as the most recognizable actors -- Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley -- of any film in the festival. Directed by David Cronenberg, "A Dangerous Method" follows the relationship between Jung (Fassbender) and Freud (Mortensen), as well as the evolution of psychoanalysis, as Jung takes on the beautiful, unbalanced Sabina Spielrein (Knightley) as a patient.
7 p.m. Oct. 10
A Conversation with John C. Reilly: Ok, so this isn't really a film, but it's a worthwhile event with one of the most talented actors to come out of Chicago. John C. Reilly, who was raised on the Southwest Side, visits the film festival and sits down for a chat on Oct. 12 about his life and his acting, which began on the stage of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
11 a.m. Oct. 12
We Need to Talk about Kevin: If you miss John C. Reilly on Oct. 12, you can still catch him in the movie, "We Need to Talk about Kevin." Directed by Lynne Ramsay, "We Need to Talk about Kevin" focuses on the relations between a mother, Eva (Tilda Swinton) and her troubled, murderous son, Kevin (Ezra Miller) as Eva reaches out to her estranged husband (Reilly).
7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, 7:45 p.m. Oct. 18
In N' Out: If you couldn't tell by the title, "In N' Out" is a series of shorts that focus on sex. Well, it's also about relationships, but it's definitely about sex. Bartlett mentions "Venus," a film done entirely in claymation, about a couple that wants to spice up their sex life by going to a club. "It's one of my favorite shorts in the festival," Bartlett said. "It's really fantastic." Another short, "Grandpa's Wet Dream," looks at the dirty secret of an old man. The six shorts last about 10 minutes each, with a total playing time of 63 minutes.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 14
Cooley High: In a kind of Chicago retrospective, the CIFF will screen "Cooley High," the 1975 film that focuses on two high school seniors attending Cooley Vocational School, located near what was once Cabrini Green. The movie, a notable work of local black cinema, follows the best friends through their parties, their flirting and then their travails after they meet a pair of criminals.
5:15 p.m. Oct. 9
Crazy Horse: It gets a bit racy in this documentary, directed by Frederick Wiseman, which takes viewers into Crazy Horse, a legendary Parisian cabaret. Known for its titillating nude dancing shows, the cabaret works on rehearsing and performing a new show called Désires as Wiseman follows with cameras. "Crazy Horse" documents the intense work that must be done by the dancers to ready themselves to perform as many as 15 shows each week.
6 p.m. Oct. 14
Juan of the Dead: If you always wondered what a zombie movie from Cuba would look like, this is it. "Juan of the Dead, " or "Juan de Los Muertos," follows 40-year-old Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas), who has basically spent his life doing nothing. Then, when the citizens of Havana begin turn into full-on-attacking flesh eaters, Juan and his gang of friends realize the attackers aren't human and decide to make some money by slaying them.
10:40 p.m. Oct. 13 ; 10:30 p.m. Oct. 14