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Reeling: Looking for Cheyenne

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 2, 2006 9:01PM

Reeling, the Chicago International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, continues through November 12. Tomorrow at 9 p.m. the French film Looking for Cheyenne screens at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema.

LOOKINGFORCHEYENNE.jpgCheyenne, an unemployed journalist, decides that she's fed up with capitalist society and decides to live off the grid by moving to the country. Her beautiful girlfriend Sophie, a high school chemistry teacher, must decide whether she loves her enough to join her. It's a simple story that steers clear of most lesbian clichés and is extremely well-acted by an attractive cast. It's refreshing to see a gay film that isn't obsessed with preaching tolerance or wallowing in doleful misery. The characters are not mere archetypes, but living, breathing, imperfect people. Some philosophical speechifying and the odd device of having characters enter scenes in order to comment on the action (á la Annie Hall) skirt pretentiousness, but a dry sense of humor and some sharp dialog bring the movie back down to earth. Moreover director/co-writer Valerie Minetto brings a stylish look to the film without being show-offy about it. We wonder how much of herself she projected into one of the supporting characters: a young man who creates political aphorisms, prints them on fliers, and sticks them in mailboxes and on windshields. Like him, this is a film that freely speaks its mind -- but at conversational level and not through a megaphone.

Film Row Cinema is at 1104 S. Wabash on the Columbia College campus. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 773-293-1447.