Short Runs

Commentary by Ray Pride

*RECOMMENDED



THU/26

BLONDE COBRA/FLAMING CREATURES (1958-63, USA) Directed by Ken Jacobs/Jack Smith. Writes the American Museum of the Moving Image: "Reviled, banned and rioted over, 'Flaming Creatures' was the only American avant-garde film whose reception equaled the tumults that greeted 'L'Age d'Or" and 'Zero de Conduite.' It was the most liberating underground film of the 1960s. 'Blonde Cobra,' a milestone of the New York experimental film movement, was made by Ken Jacobs from... footage of Smith performing monster-movie antics in a decrepit Lower East Side apartment." Program 75m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 6.

*CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (La Cite Des Enfants Perdus) (1995, France) Directed by Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. As photographed by cinematographer Darius Khondji ("Seven") and designed by "Delicatessen" alumnus Jean Rabasse, the city is a dank cauchemar, an unpopulated port haunted by foghorns, with ships and shapes materializing out of gentle mist. The gently colored backdrops look lavishly hand-painted, like an early, tinted Melies short. (Beautifully shaped and brightly colored costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier heighten the spell.) Along the cobbles, children scamper, scurry, hide, fearful of Dr. Krank, a sick, wizened old man who kidnaps kids to steal their dreams. In Krank's laboratory, Jeunet and Caro are gleeful anachronisms--it's a horrible place, part Jules Verne, part Dr. Frankenstein. The dream-simple and dream-baroque story follows the quest of One, a gentle, simple-minded circus strongman (Ron Perlman) to find Denree, his abducted baby brother. He's helped by Miette, a grave and disturbingly mature-looking 9-year-old gamin (Judith Vittet). "City of Lost Children" is a monument of glistening detritus, filled with visions like a collective memory coursing through the city as a great cloud of green vapor. The murky depths of Jeunet and Caro's invented world are dreams come true. 112m. Shown with Edwin S. Porter's 1906 "The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend." $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 9:15.

JACK SMITH SHORTS Five shorts by Smith and five by Ken Jacobs which star the artist. Program 122m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 7:30.

*JU DOU (1990, China) Directed by Zhang Yimou. Gong Li and Li Wei star in a richly designed, emotionally vibrant melodrama of a 1920s adultery told against the hypnotic backdrop of a small Chinese village's dyeing factory. 93m. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 7.

CROOKLYN (1994, USA) Directed by Spike Lee. Lee's semi-autobiographical "Crooklyn" is a chaotic look at a dysfunctional family with five children growing up--and apart--in Brooklyn in the early '70s. Lee refuses to tell a story straight; the frenetic style in which "Crooklyn"'s sketches are assembled makes Oliver Stone look like a subtle stylist. While Lee insists that the story is mostly fiction, his co-scenarists and siblings, Cinque and Joie Susannah Lee, have insisted equally strongly that there's more truth than invention in the tale. Which leads to the creative-writing-class axiom that what's "true" is not necessarily interesting to anyone outside of your family. Two scenes in particular typify Lee's sloppiness. Much of the story, refreshingly, is told from the point of view of Troy, a 10-year-old girl (the charming Zelda Harris). A lengthy sequence involving a summer visit by Troy to relatives in Virginia is shot with the images squeezed, so that the "oddness" of the suburbs in Troy's eyes is depicted with everyone elongated. Like much of Lee's "innovation," it's a device that suggests creativity without being appropriate to the subject matter (it also suggests that Lee is more provincial than he might claim, that he finds everything outside of Brooklyn to be either spooky or strange). A second oddity is a running feud between the family and a dog-loving next-door neighbor that's filled with slurs that Lee presents without comment. The rationale for their dubbing him a "funky nasty faggot" and its role in the story is never made clear. With each new picture, it seems likely that Lee's one great film, "Do The Right Thing" is destined to stand alongside a great rank of pumped-up, overscored, underplotted, hyped-to-the-heavens, merchandised-to-the-rafters, mightier-holier-and-more-Knicks-loving-than-thou mediocrities. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 9:30.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (1994, USA) Directed by Neil Jordan. The undead in brocade vests. Not as annoying as the technically inept "Francis Coppola's Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," but "Interview," while gorgeous to look at from shot to shot, has virtually no suspense, little eroticism--although much is indicated if one feels compelled to read between the lines--and perfervidly florid dialogue, that, brought down from its flighty heights, translates into anemic banalities. I had hoped that "Interview" would have some the visceral power of "Company of Wolves," Jordan's collaboration with the late, great English novelist Angela Carter, which turned werewolf legends inside out with wit, speed and visual beauty of dreamlike clarity, and while playing games with narrative, notions of female representation and the insights of Bruno Bettelheim's "Uses of Enchantment," still managed to put a smile on the lips of even hardened gore-fans. But the megabudgeted "Interview" is a case of the emperor's new fangs, a much-touted product with indifferent performances. Tom Cruise as Lestat? Not sexy, still boyish, boring. Brad Pitt as Louis? Grave presence, little drive. Christian Slater as the interviewer? Very Christian Slater. And how could anyone make Antonio Banderas look puffy and unattractive? Check the movie for the answer. The script is flat and cluttered, crammed with uninvolving incident after incident, and filled with uninteresting internal contradictions (why does an immortal, moments after announcing his sad fate, worry so much about starving to death?) Jordan, with the astute help of cinematographer Phillippe Rousselot and designer Dante Ferretti, makes shots suffused with the feeling of night, the feeling of deathless melancholy (a lot of art history gets tossed off in sweet, rapid allusions). The movie has shots of daring darkness, like figures on streets caught in pools of lesser dark, rather than light. But the mood of the picture is deadly, a humid languor like swamp rot. There are interesting--if underdramatized--notions lying about. Louis and Lestat augment their symbolic homoerotic union with the sanguinary seduction of a 10-year-old girl (Kirsten Dunst), who must remain that age for centuries. Just as a swooning gay eroticism can be read into many scenes, the story's text does not rule out pedophilia until late in the picture. Briefly, there seems a chance that Jordan will get at something about the sexuality of children--an almost completely forbidden topic in our culture. There's one sad moment that should work, but doesn't, in which, the girl learns she's stuck in her child's body forever and Louis points out an aged woman to her, saying, "That's how you'll never be." It's small comfort to the child, and for an instant, it seems a worthy analogy to how those words, meant to be soothing to someone with, say, AIDS, would instead be the most piercingly inappropriate of thoughts. If only the movie were suffused with that brief sadness, the result would be worthy of the undead, instead of merely lifeless. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 7:15.

*THE STORY OF ADELE H. (1975, France) Directed by Franois Truffaut. Isabelle Adjani is torrid as the daughter of novelist Victor Hugo, ruined by her obsession with a British lieutenant (Bruce Robinson, who went on to write "The Killing Fields" and to write and direct "Withnail and I.") 98m. $3. International House (773)753-2274, 1414 E. 59th, 7:30.

*SWINGERS (1997, USA) Directed by Doug Liman. The first few minutes were unpromising. Oh-oh, mopey trash, a tale of Hollywood lowlifes, actor wannabes angling toward remunerative mediocrity, then their dating woes, their feeble foibles, their maudlin selfish, self-regarding boy-patter. Jeez, cockroaches, I thought. It's narrow turf, minuscule turf. Then Favreau's script makes a few little shifts, capably turning into a straightforward comedy about contemporary dating, not a hipster movie in the least. It's less abut hip and cutting-edge than bored and killing time. It's like a scrupulously detailed little sociological treatise. Favreau, a stand-up whose every aside withers into painful silence, more Charles Grodin than Woody Allen, suffers through enough self-humiliation, by the end of the movie, that his character would have to become a better person or commit suicide. (The man lives.) "Swingers" is a delicate little scalpel job, slivering away at the sorry sadisms and masochisms of a microcosm of dating rituals. They're boys being boys, indeed, but boys doing more damage to themselves than anything else. What a simple Hollywood paradigm--one grows up, one doesn't. They're no Linaklateresque slackers, thinking deep, if ponderous thoughts, they're guys who get their tans shuttling from numbing audition to audition, intoxicated by the beauty and promise of that sorry, mottled landscape, L.A.'s demi-Mediterranean cornucopia of desire and fulfillment, of self-delusion and scumbag lies. 85m. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, Midnight.


FRI/27

BLONDE COBRA/FLAMING CREATURES See Feb 26. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 8.

*BRECHT AND FILM Two programs: "Bertolt Brecht Practice Pieces for Actors" (UbungstŸcke fŸr Schauspieler), a 1964 video directed by Nick Howinga, with Lotte Lenya, Roscoe Lee Browne, Micki Grant and Oliver Clark rehearsing two pieces written by Brecht to train actors in his own method for doing classical drama; they contain scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet." Lenya and translator Michael Lebeck are shown discussing Brecht after the performance. The second program consists of three films, Slatan Dudov's 1932 "Kuhle Wampe" (Who Owns the World?), cowritten by Brecht (75m), shown with two shorts: 1923's "The Mysteries of the Hairdresser's Shop (Die Mysterien eines Frisiersalons)", a burlesque comedy co-directed by Brecht and Erich Engel, co-starring Brecht's favorite clown, the legendary Karl Valentin (24m); and Brecht's 1931 "A Man's A Man," an experimental short that was a product of Brecht's workshop (15m.). Facets (773)281-4114, 1517 W. Fullerton. "Practice Pieces," 7; "Kuhle Wampe," 7:30.

*FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL (1996, USA) Directed by Errol Morris. The pleasure of knowledge for its own sake seems to be at the core of Morris' enigmatic, elegant contraption of a movie, "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control." Yet his concatenation of four subjects that seem impossibly disparate suggests a quirky universe, the meanings of which can be found only in unsettling juxtapositions, such as Morris creates with these four men's work: a lion tamer; a robot designer who believes silicon-based life will succeed the carbon-based variety; a topiary sculptor whose work will likely not outlive him and a man fixated on a strange, blind, subterranean mammal, the naked mole rat, which resembles a penis with fierce teeth. $5. Village (312)642-2403, 1548 N. Clark, Midnight.

*FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982, USA) Directed by Amy Heckerling. When "Fast Times" came out, teen movies were mostly softcore trash or horror movies meting out puritanical punishments to long-limbed, promiscuous teens (not unlike "Kids"). "Fast Times," with its unsentimental excursions into teen sex talk, holds up well, but in light of Heckerling's often-wretched subsequent work has looked increasingly like a fluke (at least until "Clueless"). With Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker. Projected video. Free. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, Midnight.

THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF (1995, France) Directed by Jean-Paul Rappaneau. Heartthrob on the hoof. With Olivier Martinez, Juliette Binoche.135m. $4. International House, (773)753-2274, 1414 E. 59th, 8, 10:30.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE See Feb 26. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 7:30.

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL: A CASE FOR REASONABLE DOUBT? (1996, USA) Directed by John Edginton. An examination of possible mishandling of the arrest and trial of the Philadelphia ideologue, convicted cop killer and "radical" poster boy. 75m. Video. $6. Chicago Filmmakers at Xoinx Tea Room (773)384-5533, 2933 N. Lincoln, 8.

NO PRESIDENT Four Jack Smith shorts: 1967-69's "No President"; 1970's "Song for Rent"; 1967 "Reefers of Technicolor Island" and 12970's "I Was a Male Yvonne de Carlo." Program 110m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 6.

*THE PILLOW BOOK (1996, England-France-Netherlands-Japan) Directed and Written by Peter Greenaway. "The Pillow Book" is an adaptation of the thousand-year-old "Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon," a diary of lovers' stories, of sexual manners, of longings and regret, compiled by a lady-in-waiting to the Japanese Imperial court. Greenaway fashions his most elegant and compelling film in years, following Vivian Wu as a model in contemporary Hong Kong, who dreams of embodying the erotic fantasies of Shonagon by writing stories on the bodies of her lovers in ornate calligraphy. The combination of visual styles is dazzling--black-and-white memories in the style of Yasujiro Ozu's movies about family life; brightly colored scenes of street life and fashion shows, of lovemaking and revenge-getting, in varying screen widths and with frames superimposed within frames; and in one memorable scene, inspired by Karaoke, a French pop song accompanying a lovers' montage, subtitled in English and French with subtitles in calligraphy. Ewan McGregor is also at hand, offering a largely nude performance as Wu's ultimate blank screen, the body she has dreamed of writing her erotic fantasies upon. The lasting pleasures of Greenaway's movies are seldom simply those of narrative, but of found references, chance juxtapositions, painterly eruptions, moments that privilege the viewer in unexpected ways. Water and the shadows of reflected ripples suffuse "The Pillow Book." Hong Kong is shown as all urban delirium and dissociation, then the ripple of watery reflection plays off almost all of the miraculous, unaffordable dream decors of homes and cafs and restaurants. Even fire is photographed with the rippling caress of water. For the eyes, the ears, maybe even the mind. Panavision. $5. Village (312)642-2403, 1548 N. Clark, Midnight.

SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (1997, USA) Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It only seems like it. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 6, 9:45, 11:30

*SICK: THE LIFE AND OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST (1997, USA) Directed by Kirby Dick. The phrase "pain of creation" achieves new heights of meaning after you've seen Kirby Dick's extraordinary documentary, "Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist." "Sick" is an exacting portrait of the late performance artist, poet, lifelong sufferer of cystic fibrosis and "hetero masochist, in extremis" Bob Flanagan. "I've learned to fight sickness with sickness" was Flanagan's standard, typically jokey description of how his masochism helped him endure the chronic pain of CF. In collaboration with his longtime lover and collaborator Sheree Rose, what had been private ritual became a very public art. At his death at 43, Flanagan had lived double the years anyone in his condition is expected to live, and the pain he suffered--fundamentally a slow, breath-by-breath drowning--led him to explore the world of pain with great wit and knowledge. Dick, a friend of Flanagan's, has made a funny, beautifully nuanced, even tender film, touching on issues of intimacy in relationships in art and life in a way that could probably not be depicted in any other genre. 85m. $5. Village (312)642-2403, 1548 N. Clark, Midnight.

*SWINGERS See Feb 26. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 10.

*VERTIGO (1958, USA) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock's 1958 excursion into surrealism and the lure of the blonde has been restored, with a new stereo mix approximating the look of the original VistaVision release. While the palette is both bolder and creamier than the reissue last decade, the deep, piercing colors of the original IB Technicolor process are still only approximated. Bernard Hermann's score is crisply re-recorded, however, and is the major highlight in this edition. Still, "Vertigo" leaves me cold. And it's not just Kim Novak's secondhand Grace Kelley, her plump inability to rise above featureless frowse. Yes, it turns dizzyingly perverse, but it's never dazzlingly perfect. There are daring moments--Hitchcock had a fondness for providing reams of exposition, to brain-deadening lengths, which he does in the first few scenes of "Vertigo." Then, unshackled by the need to provide information, he sends Jimmy Stewart's detective-in-search-of-a-soul on a wordless journey through 1957 San Francisco, his coral De Soto saloon puttering a few yards behind Novak's deep green Jaguar. It should hypnotize. Intellectually, I get it, and the ending has a grandeur worthy of the largest gestures of grand opera, but any deep emotional response on my part would have to be willed. 128m. $5. Village North (773)764-9100, 6746 N. Sheridan, Midnight.


SAT/28

BLAZE (1989, USA) Directed by Ron Shelton. Paul Newman goes wonderfully over the top as Louisiana Governor Earl Long, who admits to his predilection for stripper Blaze Starr, embodied by Lolita Davidovich. The comedy's not very deep, but Newman goes to town on his role. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 1am (Sunday).

BLONDE COBRA/FLAMING CREATURES See Feb 26. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 3.

CROOKLYN See Feb 26. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 7:15.

*FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH See Feb 27. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 11.

*KING KONG (1933, USA) Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack. What a beauty and what a beast. Music Box (773)871-6604, 3733 N. Southport, 11:30am.

*M (1931, Germany) Directed by Fritz Lang. Lang's dazzling 1931 masterpiece about a real-life tale of a child murderer brought to justice by the Berlin underworld becomes something remarkable in Fritz Lang's direction and Peter Lorre's performance: self-loathing, sinister, a metaphor for the city itself. Lang's visual gifts, as well as innovative early use of sound, make for a disturbing, unforgettable classic that seems thoroughly contemporary. (This new print refurbishes the sound and moves the film toward its original length.) Music Box (773)871-6604, 3733 N. Southport, 11:30am.

*FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL See Feb 27. $5. Village (312)642-2403, 1548 N. Clark, Midnight.

NORMAL LOVE (1963, USA) Directed by Jack Smith. Failed heterosexual follow-up to Flaming Creatures," shown in its fullest version ever, with all sound on audiocassette. Starring Mario Montez and Tiny Tim. 125m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 4:30.

*THE PILLOW BOOK See Feb 27. $5. Village (312)642-2403, 1548 N. Clark, Midnight.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975, England) Directed by Jim Sharman. You do the Time Warp again, leave me out of it. With Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick. $5. Village North (773)764-9100, 6746 N. Sheridan, Midnight.

SWINGERS See Feb. 26. Projected video. Celluloid Moviebar (312)707-8888, 1805 W. Division, 915.

*SYBERBERG FILMS BRECHT (Germany, 1953-93) Directed by Hans Jurgen Syberberg. When the retired director of "Parsifal" and "Hitler: A Film From Germany" was a 17-year-old secondary school student, he arrived at Brecht's Berliner Ensemble with an 8mm camera, with which he filmed snippets of Brecht's productions of "Mr. Puntilla and his Hired Man," "Matti," "Die Mutter" and ""UrFaust." Syberberg cobbled the material together at a later date to make this feature. 90m. Facets (773)281-4114, 1517 W. Fullerton, 5:30.

*TASTE OF CHERRY (1997, Iran) DIrected by Abbas Kiarostami. See Tip of the Week. 95m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 6.

*THE THREEPENNY OPERA (Die Dreigroschenoper) (Germany, 1931) Directed by G. W. Pabst. Brecht and Kurt Weill's great, cynical musical theatre piece is captured with great style by Pabst. 131m. 35mm print. Shown with a few minutes of footage of Brecht and Weill aboard in a ship in 1928-29. Facets (773)281-4114, 1517 W. Fullerton, 7:30.

*THE UNINVITED (1944, USA) Directed by Lewis Allen. Terrific ghost story starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp. Shown with Del Lord's 1943 Stooges short, "Spook Louder." $3. LaSalle Theater (312)904-2507, 4901 W. Irving Park, 8.

THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987, USA) Directed by Brian DePalma. Move over, Eliot Ness, move over, Al Capone, Big Brian and his runaway camera are in town! Nice credit sequence, though. 120m. 119m. Originally widescreen. Shown with captions, on video. Free. Sulzer Regional Library (773)744-7616, 4455 North Lincoln, 1.

*VERTIGO See Feb 27. $5. Village North (773)764-9100, 6746 N. Sheridan, Midnight.

WASHINGTON SQUARE (1997, USA) Directed by Agnieszka Holland. An adaptation of the Henry James novel, made once before in 1949 as "The Heiress" by William Wyler. Heiress Catherine Sloper (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is considered plain and awkward, and when she falls madly in love with handsome young wastrel Morris Townsend (Ben Chaplin), her father, played by Albert Finney, fears for her virtue and her fortune. 115m. $4. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 6, 8:45, 11:30.


SUN/1

ADIEU WINTER (Winter Ade) (1988, East Germany) Directed by Helke Misselwitz. A journey through East Germany before reunification, interviewing women whose stories "document the failed Socialist project of gender equality." 115m. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 5.

*HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF See Feb 27. $4. International House, (773)753-2274, 1414 E. 59th, 8.

*KING KONG See Feb 28. Music Box (773)871-6604, 3733 N. Southport, 11:30am.

THE LEGEND OF PAUL AND PAULA (1973, East Germany) Directed by Heiner Carow. "A polemic against documentary realism turns the everyday of a love affair in East Berlin into the stuff of fairy tales. Plus classic 70s East German pop music." 106m. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 5.

*M See Feb 28. Music Box (773)871-6604, 3733 N. Southport, 11:30am.

SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET See Feb 27. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 2.

*ZU: WARRIORS OF THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN (Shu shan xin shu shan jian xia) (1983, Hong Kong) Directed by Tsui Hark. Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao star in Tsui's earliest treatment of sword and sorcery; new 35mm print. 95m. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 4, 6.


MON/2

*Z (1968, Greece) Directed by Costa-Gavras. Political violence in 1963 leads to the overthrow of the Greek government. Effective, gripping stuff. 125m. New 35mm print. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 7.


TUE/17

*BALLAD OF A SOLIDER (1959, USSR) Directed by Grigori Chukrai. During a 10-day leave from the battlefront, a World War II solider leaves to visit his mother, but his encounters on the way home alter his perspective of the suffering caused to everyone by the war. 89m. 35mm print. Cesar Pawlowski will lecture. $6. Film Center (312)443-3733, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 6:00.

ROSA PARKS (1998, USA) Lawndale Community Academy students take a video camera onto a CTA bus and ask riders what civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks means to them. They find that Parks is in Chicago and travel to the Harold Washington Library to talk to her. DuSable Museum (773)947-0600x336, 740 East 56th Place, 10am.

SCHOOL DAZE (1988, USA) Directed by Spike Lee. Mean-spirited musical comedy set at a fictional southern black college has great ideas and big ambitions, but it's a mess. With Lee, Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell, Tyra Ferrell, Jasmine Guy. Shown with Gjon Mili's 1941 short, "Jammin' the Blues" with Lester Young and Illinois Jacquet. (10m). $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 7.


WED/18

*OPENING NIGHT (1977, USA) Directed by John Cassavetes. Little-seen Cassavetes gem finds middle-aged stage actress Myrtle Gordon (Gene Rowlands) taking on her first character role in a Broadway play; on its trial run in New Haven, things go spectacularly wrong. Amazing performances all around. 143m. $3. DOC Films (773)702-8575, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th, 7.








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