The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Sidemen: Long Road To Glory
2016, Scott D. Rosenbaum, USA, 81 min. With Pinetop Perkins, Willie Smith, Hubert Sumlin.
"An exceptionally entertaining and captivating tribute to the men and their music." — Joe Leydon, Variety
"A loving tribute that never feels indulgently fannish...Very highly recommended." — Joe Bendel, j.b. spins
Three of the most influential musicians you probably never heard of are given their long-overdue due in this behind-the-headliners documentary in the spirit of 20 FEET FROM STARDOM and THE WRECKING CREW. Associated with such blues giants as Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, pianist Perkins, drummer Smith, and guitar hero Sumlin were instrumental in bringing the Delta sound from the Deep South to Chicago, where it became the electrified blues and spawned the revolution known as rock 'n' roll. Rockers old and not-so-old, including Gregg Allman, Keith Richards, and Derek Trucks, testify to their importance, while the three bluesmen relate moving and funny stories of their hardscrabble upbringings, flush times, years in the wilderness, and late-career revival, including a 2011 Grammy for Smith and Perkins (the oldest person ever to win the award). Narrated by Marc Maron. DCP digital. (MR)
2017, José María Cabral, Dominican Republic, 107 min. With Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez.
“Exhilarating…it’s enough to give you butterflies in your stomach.” — John Fink, The Film Stage
“High octane, bruising…an authentic, distinctive and watchable blend of the tough and the tender.” — Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter
A violently jealous love triangle festers, and an affair takes wings within the walls of a high-security prison in this startlingly original romantic drama-thriller. Newly arrived prisoner Julián (Jean Jean) quickly learns the survival skills of bribery and intimidation from top-dog Manaury (Ramón Emilio Candelario). When Manaury is transferred, Julián is entrusted with messaging his girlfriend at the adjacent women’s prison by way of “pecking,” a system of hand signals the men use to communicate to women from windows. Redheaded spitfire Yanelly (Rodriguez) rejects the messages but falls for the messenger from afar, initiating a courtship of subterfuge and smuggled love tokens that will ultimately touch off a prison riot. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)