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Chicago's Own Hits The Big Screen This Weekend

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 5, 2005 4:18PM

2005_08_05_murray.jpgEven if Bill Murray wasn’t originally from the Chicago area, we’d still plan on seeing his latest collaboration with Jim Jarmusch, Broken Flowers, which hits Piper’s Alley and the AMC River East this weekend.

Chicagoist has long believed that the way to tell the really compelling actors from the lousy ones is with The Phone Book Test. That is, if an actor is really good then listening to them read the phone book will still be interesting. Wilmette’s favorite son, Bill Murray, passes our Phone Book Test. Of course, with Murray we’d expect some droll asides and dry remarks about “Flood Zone Consultants” and “Nuts-Edible-Retail.”

When working with a director who appreciates his talents, Murray’s unstoppable. Hence our interest in Broken Flowers, his second collaboration with Jarmusch after 2003's Coffee and Cigarettes. Murray plays a man forced to confront his womanizing past when he travels cross-country in search of an adult son he never knew he had. We usually wait until an indie talker like this hits DVD before we see it. But since The Dukes of Hazzard is the only major movie opening this weekend, plunking our nine bucks down for Flowers is worth it if only as a form of political protest.

Though you wouldn’t know it from their website, Chicago Filmmakers is also keeping it local with a screening tonight of homegrown short films. Metromix has the full program for Chicago’s Own: Selected Works 1996-2005, which starts at 8 PM tonight. Tickets are $7 and go on sale at 6:30 PM before the 7 PM reception.

If none of the above suits you and you intend on seeing The Dukes Of Hazzard anyway, perhaps you might enjoy it more with a lobotomy! If so, consider a consultation at Facets Multimedia for the Chicago premiere of A Hole In One, starring Michelle Williams and Meatloaf. It’s the story of one woman’s pursuit of a trans-orbital lobotomy set against the backdrop of the Cold War in the 1950s. Ah, independent film: God bless your innate quirkiness.