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The Chicago Traveler

Chicago International Film Festival

by Matt B on October 5th, 2007

Chicago International Film Festival

This weekend marks the 43rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival, featuring screenings of more than 100 feature films, 30 shorts, 10 documentaries, and a handful of anime films from around the world. Founded in 1965, this is North America’s oldest competitive international film festival. This world-renowned annual event discovers and presents new filmmakers to Chicago, acknowledging and awarding them for their craft.

The IFF continues to discover new talent and create opportunities for talented artists. The festival has introduced the world to directors like John Carpenter, Victor Nunez, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, and Gregory Nava. This year’s recommendations (c/o the Chicago Reader):

' America the Beautiful. Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty? (United States)

' The Banishment. Alex hurries his wife, Vera, and two children from an anonymous city to the countryside, where Vera reveals to Alex that she’s pregnant' and the child isn’t his. (Russia)

' Chicago 10. Archival footage, animation, and music are used to look back at the anti-war protesters who were put on trial following the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (United States)

' Control. A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23. (United Kingdom)

' 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days. Drama about a woman who assists her friend to arrange an illegal abortion in 1980s Romania. (Romania)

' Gone Baby Gone. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel about two Boston area detectives investigating a little girl’s kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. (United States)

' Jellyfish. A kaleidoscopic look at the lives of four Tel Avivians-a struggling caterer, a newlywed, a Filipino housekeeper, and an overbearing mother-bound by common themes. (France, Israel)

' Lars and the Real Girl. A young introvert begins an unconventional relationship with a life-size doll whom he treats like a real person. (United States)

' The Man from London. After witnessing a murder, railway worker Maloin’s quiet life of seaside isolation changes forever, forced to examine his thoughts on crime, punishment, self-worth, and the meaning of life. (Germany, France, Hungary)

' Ploy. Does every relationship have an expiration date? The breakdown of a marriage is fueled by a husband’s friendship with a young girl and his wife’s paranoid delusions. (Thailand)

' The River. Restoration of Jean Renoir’s 1951 film, his first in Technicolor. Three teenage girls living in Bengal all find their first love… in the same man. (India)

' Things We Lost in the Fire. A recent widow invites her husband’s troubled best friend to live with her and her children. As he turns his life around, he helps the family cope. (United States, United Kingdom)

' You, the Living. The powerful story of the desire for self-fulfillment in a surreal world. (France, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway)

The Festival runs through October 17. For a full list of titles, times, locations, and tickets, check out http://www.chicagofilmfestival.org/

Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival, Internet Movie Poster Awards

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