Chicago (September 13, 2016) The Chicago International Film Festival today announces Opening and Closing Night selections, as well as the full slate of films included in the Festival’s U.S. Indies, Spotlight: Musicals and After Dark categories. Chicago will play host to gala screenings of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival as respective bookends to the 52nd Festival, opening on October 13 and closing on October 27. A full list of these newly announced programs is below and at www.chicagofilmfestival.com . Tickets for these events and all film screenings go on sale September 21 for Cinema/Chicago members and September 23 for the general public.
La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and hailed as a “musical masterpiece” ( The Guardian), kicks off the Festival as a whole (details on tickets, time and location below), as well as this year’s Spotlight: Musicals category, featuring the newest global contributions to this timeless genre. Joining the previously announced Junction 48 in this category is the North American premiere of Elis, the energetic, pulsating musical biopic about Elis Regina, arguably the biggest Brazilian singer of all time? a new restorati on of 1930’s King of Jazz, featuring soon to be superstar Bing Crosby in a fascinating Technicolor time capsule from the bigband era? and a special presentation of Trolls in 3D, the new animated feature from 20th Century Fox about those optimistic creatures with a dance in their hips and a song on their lips.
As the Festival closes on October 27, audiences will enjoy a Closing N ight presentation of Arrival, the stirring and thoughtful drama starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker as an elite team enlisted to help humankind communicate with aliens. The selection complements the Festival’s After Dark program, featuring the best in new sciencefiction, thrillers and horror films from around the world. In addi tion to The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (celebrating its 30th anniversary re-release at the Festival where it first premiered), featured After Dark selections include Prevenge, the venomous dark comedy about a pregnant woman convinced her unborn baby is urging her to murder ? Raw, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week and the feminist horror tale that follows a young vegetarian who discovers an insatiable taste for meat? and first time filmmaker Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother, the elegant, visually striking nightmare a bout a young woman’s isolated adulthood. Also announced today is the full U.S. Indies category, highlighting the emerging and established voices of filmmakers from across the country. Recently announced Mi ddle Man is joined by Hunter Gatherer, the story of a newly released convict (Andre Royo, The Wire and Empire) trying to get back on his feet? Women Who Kill, Ingrid Jungermann’s deadpan mystery about two Brooklyn based podcasters and the suspicious new woman in their life? and The View From Tall, the Chicago based production about a high schooler reeling from a very public affair with her teacher and the therapist
she makes an unexpected connection with.
AFTER DARK The best in genre cinema from around the world.
- Dir. Vardan Tozija, Macedonia
Two sharp, introverted boys struggle against a foster care system that is, at best, indifferent and, at worst, wholly corrupt and cruel. While Petar dreams of escape and prosperity, Filip lashes out and forms a gang of “lost boys” hellbent on punishing each of their abusers. In this chilly Eastern European City of God, violence, exploitation, and revenge rule the streets.
Macedonian with subtitles.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
- Dir. André Øvredal, U.S./U.K. (previously announced)
A fatherson coroner team (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) face the ultimate head-scratcher with their latest corpse: an unidentified beautiful young woman who boasts no obvious cause of death. As they dig deeper into the examination (and into Jane Doe’s body), the duo uncover increasingly strange and terrifying things. This bloody, clever, and medically rigorous horror film turns the morbid conventions of the genre literally inside-out.
The Darkness (Las Tinieblas)
-Dir. Daniel Castron Zimbrón, Mexico
In a fog-drenched forest trapped in eternal dusk, a father and his three children are sequestered in a log cabin, hiding from a monster lurking just outside. When the eldest son disappears, the middle child begins to question his father’s judgement and the truth of what really lies beyond. Fantasy, terror, and Oedipal conflicts combine in this hypnotizing post-apocalyptic fable that evokes both Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy-scapes and Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive.
The Eyes of My Mother
-Dir. Nicolas Pesce, U.S.
In this visually striking nightmare, one horrific act forever alters a young farm woman’s life. We follow Francisca, a surgeon’s daughter, from this traumatic event to an isolated adulthood, as she seeks to fulfill her parents’ legacy in increasingly gruesome ways. Elegant black and white cinematography elevates shocking body horror into the realm of a timeless folktale.
- Dirs. Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, Indonesia
This bloody martial arts extravaganza is filled to the brim with eye-popping stunts. A nameless amnesiac (The Raid’s Iko Uwais) wakes up in a hospital with severe head trauma. Dubbed “Ishmael” by his doctors, the only thing he remembers is his uncanny ability to kick ass—and that a crime syndicate wants him
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
- Dir. John McNaughton, U.S. (previously announced)
Thirty years after its premiere at the Festival, John McNaughton’s unflinching, fact-based exploration of a sociopathic mind remains one of the most disturbing horror films ever made. Michael Rooker is galvanizing as the titular loner who catches the eye of Becky (Tracy Arnold), the troubled sister of his leering roommate. This masterful independent film will screen in a never before seen anniversary restoration, with cast and crew in attendance.
– Dir. Alice Lowe, U.K.
At seven months expecting and on her own, Ruth becomes convinced her unborn baby is instructing her to kill people—and so she does, giving new meaning to the term “pregnancy craving.” Writer-director star Alice Lowe (Sightseers) made Prevenge while she herself was pregnant, adding another subversive layer to a venomous comedy that skewers the mystique of motherhood.
- Dir. Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium
Justine’s having a tough time adjusting at her new veterinary school. After the timid vegetarian is forced to eat raw meat for the first time in a hazing ritual, she’s overtaken by a different sort of insatiable hunger—and an unexpected sexual appetite. This gruesome feminist horror tale cooks up a deadly dish of sexual identity with a dash of dark humor and a generous helping of gore.
We are the Flesh (Tenemos la carne)
-Dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter, Mexico
This psychedelic carnival of S&M, incest, cannibalism, and other X-rated taboos follows a fleeing brother and sister who seek shelter in a dilapidated building inhabited by a modern day ogre. In order to survive, they must submit to his every sick whim and enact his most depraved fantasies. Produced by Mexican compatriot Carlos Reygadas and endorsed by Alejandro G. Iñarritu, We are the Flesh represents a shockingly original vision from a new Mexican auteur.
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Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year round not for profit arts and education organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art form of the moving image. In addition to the annual Festival, the organization presents a number of film centric programs throughout the year, including the International Screening Program, the Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, the Education Program and Members Film Screening Series. Celebrating its 52nd edition October 1327, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America’s longest running competitive film festival.