New Sensory Cinema
January 27 - May 9
From January 27 through May 9, we offer a series of fourteen programs entitled New Sensory Cinema, with weekly Tuesday lectures by award-winning filmmaker and installation artist Melika Bass, Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The series is presented in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Additional screenings of the films on Friday or Saturday do not include Prof. Bass’s lecture. Admission to all New Sensory Cinema programs is $5 for Film Center members; usual admission prices apply for non-members.
— Martin Rubin, Associate Director of Programming, Gene Siskel Film Center
Our age of the pocket camera and handheld screen hails the contemporary body as a site of surveillance, capture, and voyeurism, but our screen-centric world often overlooks the sensations of bodies themselves. New Sensory Cinema explores fourteen films, all made in the last thirty years, in which the body acts as a territory of desire, a vessel of transformation, a site of return, and a mode of resistance to cinematic capture. Each movie offers a provocation of the senses — devotion, entrapment, obliteration, ecstasy, possession — in which the filmmaker pushes against the boundaries of genre to propose new cinematic forms.
— Melika Bass
1984, Alan Rudolph, USA, 106 min. With Geneviève Bujold, Keith Carradine.
- Fri, Apr 14th 6:00pm
- Tue, Apr 18th 6:00pm
"An audaciously intriguing movie." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
The intersecting love lives of several lost and adrift Los Angelenos are at the center of Rudolph's dreamy low-budget comedy CHOOSE ME. Having just been released from a mental hospital, Mickey (Carradine) shows up at Eve's Lounge, site of a good many couplings and uncouplings, and is immediately thrust into the petty feuds and intrigues of L.A. night life. Employing the smooth, roving camerawork and overcrowded sound mix that were the stylistic hallmarks of his mentor Robert Altman, Rudolph's film maintains a substantial baseline sexiness throughout, further buoyed by an ever present soundtrack of quiet storm radio favorites. 35mm. (Cameron Worden)
Trouble Every Day
2001, Claire Denis, France, 101 min. With Vincent Gallo, Béatrice Dalle.
“Startlingly original...Denis creates a horror film unlike any other, buttressing the shocks with an eye and an ear for beauty.” — Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club
TROUBLE EVERY DAY is Denis’s most controversial, divisive film, an audacious change-of-pace that transposes some of her recurring themes and performers into the framework of an erotic splatter film. The film parallels two characters — an American (Gallo) on honeymoon in Paris, and a Frenchwoman (Dalle) imprisoned by her scientist husband (Alex Descas). Both are struggling with a drug-induced affliction that yokes sexual hunger with a literal hunger for flesh, so that consummation inevitably leads to cannibalism — seen in two harrowing scenes whose over-the-top blood-letting led one critic to compare them to action-painting. In French and English with English subtitles. 35mm. (MR)
River of Grass
1994, Kelly Reichardt, USA, 76 min. With Lisa Bowman, Larry Fessenden.
"RIVER OF GRASS is very funny, but in a more somber key it also test-drives what will become Reichardt's specialty: the transformation of cheerless wastelands into backdrops for journeys of the parched soul." — Ella Taylor, NPR
More than a decade before her run of some of the most critically acclaimed features of the 21st century, Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY, CERTAIN WOMEN) began her career with this low-key sunshine noir. Homemaker Cozy (Bowman) flees her house and family after possibly killing somebody with an accidental gunshot. A chance meeting with perpetual layabout Lee (Fessenden) sends them both on the lam, although the two can't seem to make it out of the Everglades enclave both live in. Recalling the sly humor and couple-on-the-run narrative of Terrence Malick's BADLANDS, RIVER OF GRASS is an essential debut from one of America's best working filmmakers. DCP digital. (Cameron Worden)
2004, Lucile Hadžihalilović, Belgium/France, 120 min. With Zoé Auclair, Marion Cotillard.
"INNOCENCE is not merely the year's best first film, but one of the great statements on the politics of being 'tween." — Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
Arriving interred in a coffin, 6-year-old Iris awakens on the grounds of her mysterious new boarding school, confused but pliable to the strange rules and customs of the place. Dressed in the same white uniform and color-coded ribbons, the students in this all-female institution are given lessons in science and dance and await the arrival of a much whispered-about headmistress who will select one of them to take away to parts unknown. Shot in an off-kilter style inspired by the surreal schoolgirl narratives of THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE and SUSPIRIA, Hadžihalilović's feature debut is a one-of-a-kind puzzle box, beguiling and menacing in equal measure. In French with English subtitles. 35mm widescreen. (Cameron Worden)