The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Watching Movies Closer to the Edge

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 11, 2007 4:00PM

rsz_morisotwatersedge.jpgIt's easy to get the impression that all the great places to see a movie in Chicago are either in the Loop or north of the river and a few blocks away from the lake. Multiplex? River East 21. Retrospectives or film series? The Siskel. Arthouse? The Century or the Music Box, of course.

It can be frustrating if you live closer to the edge of things in Chicago, but it doesn't have to be. The LaSalle Bank Cinema, in Portage Park, and DOC Films, in Hyde Park, are two excellent places to see all kinds of movies. And in contrast to the multiplex, where you'll spend almost $10 before even getting to the concession stand, both venues, with their $5 admission, are downright bargains.

Or how about free? Tomorrow at 6 p.m. DOC Films presents the trippy new metaphysical sci-fi flick The Fountain, absolutely free. The big screen is definitely the place to see this one, and if you don't know what the hell it all means, director Darren Aronofsky will be there for a Q & A afterwards. They're expecting to fill every seat so you'll want to get there early.

Meanwhile to the northwest, LaSalle Bank Cinema's 2007 season is underway, and this Saturday the fascinating drama/murder mystery Craig's Wife unspools in a rare screening. The 1936 film was directed by Dorothy Arzner, the lone female director working in the Hollywood studio system during '20s and '30s. It's a surprisingly potent pre-Code examination of materialism and marital dysfunction with a star-making performance by Rosalind Russell. The show's at 8 p.m. and is preceded by the short subject "The Smart Way" from 1937.

DOC Films is located in Ida Noyes Hall, on the University of Chicago campus at 1212 East 59th Street. LaSalle Bank Cinema is at 4901 W. Irving Park Road (enter at the back of the bank).