The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Last Cab to Darwin
2015, Jeremy Sims, Australia, 123 min. With Michael Caton, Mark Coles Smith, Jacki Weaver.
"Sweet, easygoing ... a sunburnt elegy to both its dying protagonist and a passed era of road-proud Australian filmmaking." — Ray Pride, Newcity
"Offing oneself has never been more winning…wrings gentle pleasures from this most unlikely of subjects." — Harry Windsor, Hollywood Reporter
A trek across the Australian outback takes in miles of scenic spectacle, towns that time forgot, and quirky roadside attractions, as fate assembles a trio of unlikely companions on a strange mission. Rex (Caton), an irascible cab driver who’s never before left his dusty hometown of Broken Hill, gets some dire news about his health. He sets out across the country in search of a doctor who will help him die, not anticipating the complications brought on by hitchhiker Tilly (Smith), the journey’s clown prince, and a British nurse moonlighting as a barmaid (Emma Hamilton). For a film that considers the prospect of euthanasia, LAST CAB TO DARWIN, based on the stage play by Reg Cribb, has a rollicking undercurrent of humor to the bittersweet theme of coming to grips with life, love, and friendship before the final curtain call. DCP digital. (BS)
2015, Anna Rose Holmer, USA, 72 min. With Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett.
"The Fits inspires conversation. We need more films like it." — Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com
"The miracle of the movie is that, like Toni, it transcends blunt, reductive categorization ... Any uplift that you may feel won’t come from having your ideas affirmed, but from something ineluctable — call it art." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"All ups with no downs, it’s a motion picture in the truest sense of the term. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I loved every one of its 72 minutes." — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
A quiet African American girl on the cusp of adolescence looks for solidarity in a dance drill team but finds herself a childish outsider to the rites of womanhood in this drama marked by startling and mysterious bursts of beauty amid the urban harshness of a Midwestern city. Eleven-year-old Toni (Hightower) tags along with her older brother to work out at the community center, but is mesmerized by the powerful strutting routines of the Lionesses in an adjacent gym. With an uncanny sense of rhythm and motion, first-time director Holmer captures girlish yearning and rivalry, and something more, when one by one, the members of the team fall victim to unexplained tremors and fits of fainting, and only Toni is spared. DCP digital. (BS)