Stranger Than Fiction:

Documentary Premieres

January 2 – February 3

From January 2 though February 3, the Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres, our annual January showcase for the new, adventurous, and/or literally stranger than fiction in the documentary world.

A film critic goes in search of the real-life models for the comic book teens who were his childhood idols in ARCHIE’S BETTY, while the tragic tale of the lounge singer whose star-crossed career was burdened by his vocal twinship with Elvis unreels in ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. The filmmaker who became known as “the father of African cinema” is profiled with truthfulness and affection in SEMBENE!, and the innovations and rivalries of the maverick artists who created a movement are detailed in TROUBLEMAKERS: THE STORY OF LAND ART.

Chicago filmmaker Holly De Ruyter appears in person with her delightfully nostalgic road movie documentary OLD-FASHIONED: THE STORY OF THE WISCONSIN SUPPER CLUB. Former Chicagoan Annika Iltis and co-director Tim Kane appear with THE BARKLEY MARATHONS: THE RACE THAT EATS ITS YOUNG, their festival-favorite chronicle of the world’s most eccentric marathon. Another former Chicagoan, director Holly Morris, appears with THE BABUSHKAS OF CHERNOBYL, a moving account of the grandmothers who tempt fate by refusing to move from the Ukraine’s radiation-poisoned “Dead Zone.”

British standup comic Russell Brand is seen employing Michael Moore-like tactics as a firebrand crusader for income equality in Michael Winterbottom’s THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES. WESTERN explores the threatened friendship of two bicultural towns facing each other across the Rio Grande. ALL THINGS MUST PASS: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOWER RECORDS is sure to resonate with anyone who remembers the fabled music mecca fondly.

Be sure to check back for updates on personal appearances.

– Barbara Scharres, Director of Programming, Gene Siskel Film Center

PREVIOUSLY

Chicago premiere!

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

2015, Jeanie Finlay, UK, 86 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 2nd 7:45pm
  • Tue, Jan 5th 8:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Archie's Betty

2015, Gerald Peary, USA, 70 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sun, Jan 3rd 3:00pm
  • Thu, Jan 7th 6:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Western

2015, Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, Mexico/USA, 92 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 8th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jan 14th 8:00pm

Chicago premiere!

The Emperor's New Clothes

2015, Michael Winterbottom, USA/UK/France, 101 min. With Russell Brand.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 9th 7:45pm
  • Thu, Jan 14th 6:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Sembene!

2015, Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman, USA/Senegal, 86 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 15th 8:30pm
  • Thu, Jan 21st 7:45pm

Chicago premiere! Filmmaker in person!

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

2015, Holly Morris and Anne Bogart, USA, 71 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 16th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Jan 17th 5:00pm

Chicago premiere! Filmmaker in person!

Old-Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club

2015, Holly De Ruyter, USA, 51 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 23rd 7:45pm
  • Thu, Jan 28th 6:00pm

Chicago premiere!

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

2015, Colin Hanks, USA, 100 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sun, Jan 24th 3:00pm
  • Tue, Jan 26th 6:00pm

Chicago premiere!

Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art

2015, James Crump, USA, 72 min.

Showtimes:

  • Fri, Jan 29th 6:15pm
  • Wed, Feb 3rd 6:15pm

Chicago premiere! Filmmakers in person!

The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

2015, Annika Iltis and Tim Kane, USA, 90 min.

Showtimes:

  • Sat, Jan 30th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Jan 31st 5:15pm