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Anime Escape

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 18, 2005 4:35PM

Chicagoist and its fellow cinemaphiles have it rough this weekend. With the college crowd on Spring Break, most of our favorite off-the-beaten-path movie houses (Block Cinema, Doc Films) are dark. Don’t even get us started on the mainstream box office this weekend. We know The Ring was a big hit, but we saw the sequel the first time, you know? As for the new Woody Allen film, we’re skipping that one too. Unlike the family dog, we only have to be hit on the nose with a newspaper twice before we learn our lesson. And as much as we love Joan Cusack and Buffy’s little sister, we’re not sure we can bring ourselves to see The Ice Princess especially when our local video store has The Cutting Edge on DVD. Now THAT'S an ice skating movie.

2005_03_18_book.jpgSo we’re ditching the idea of watching real, live actors and gearing up for an animation overload instead. Steamboy opens today at the Landmark in both English and subtitled Japanese versions (!!). Directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo (Akira), it’s the story of a young man who receives an invention from his grandfather Roid (snicker snicker): the steam ball, a quasi-weapon of mass destruction. Adventure ensues as he tries to keep it out of the hands of the British government and the standard-issue Shadowy Organization of Evil. The subtitled version is playing during the 9:50 PM show only.

Also at the Landmark this weekend: The Animation Show 2005. It features the Academy award-nominated Guard Dog as well as Ward 13, which has been getting a lot of buzz at festivals.

Rounding out your animation offerings this weekend is Animated Adventures with Jim Trainor, a show at Chicago Filmmakers. Since he’s local, Trainor will be appearing in person to present several new and old works, none of which have been seen before. We’ve never met the man so forgive us for saying we’re picturing him looking something like Earthworm Jim from back in our Sega days. The show screens in their Andersonville space at 8 PM tomorrow.