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Sneak A Peek At The Chicago International Film Festival

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 7, 2005 3:06PM

2005_09_06_filmfest.jpgThe Chicago International Film Festival has a “sneak peek” on their website of the films that will screen at the festival this October. This year’s theme is “Film Capital of the World.”

Wow. We get one Batman prequel and a Vince Vaughn flick and hyperbole breaks out faster at the Chicago Film Office than a teenage girl does on the day of Prom.

Opening the fest will be the new Cameron Crowe film, Elizabethtown. We’re such suckers for Crowe’s movies we think even Vanilla Sky is underrated. Crowe has an especially deft touch when it comes to offbeat romance so we’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. (Pretty much since Ashton Kutcher’s Demi-shagging ass was bounced off the project for sucking so hard that linguists are still trying to come up with the words in the English language to properly describe it).

Anyway, the other film that people who sat in their dorm rooms making mix tapes will be looking forward to is Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. Baumbach’s cult following began with his work as writer/director of the film Kicking and Screaming (no, not that one—the other one) and grew with the film Mr. Jealousy plus a co-writing credit on Wes Anderson’s The Life Acquatic. Leaving comedy behind, Squid is his first drama—a semi-autobiographical story about the pressures that fame and success can have on a marriage.

Chicago filmmakers are usually well represented at the fest and this year should be no exception. Local filmmaker Joe Swanberg shot Kissing On The Mouth in the city as well as in Joliet and Naperville. While we’re loath to revisit the days of post-collegiate dating in real life, we’re fine with watching someone else’s cinematic travails and we enjoy a good game of “Name That Building.” We'll also be playing that game with the fest's closer The Weather Man, filmed here and starring Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine.

Other films we’re checking out include Transamerica, Free Zone, Black Brush and How To Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), a documentary on black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.

The full schedule will be available in the Chicago Reader and Chicago Tribune on September 23rd with discounted passes available now.