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

European Vacation

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 8, 2007 3:13PM

Because of the weather it's a little hard for it sink in: spring is coming. And with spring (for us, anyway) comes an overwhelming wanderlust, not just the desire to get out of our coats and gloves but also to see somewhere new. While you could be a bachelor in Paris or take a romantic snorkel for two someplace, you could just as easily stay in town and still see 24 countries that span Europe. But this is one European vacation that doesn't include Chevy Chase or Beverly D'Angelo; instead, picture John Malkovich and Isabelle Huppert. They're just two of the actors appearing in the movies of this year's European Union Film Festival, which runs now through the end of March at the Siskel.

2007_3Colour_me_Kubrick.jpgSteppenwolf member Malkovich appears in both Colour Me Kubrick (pictured at right) and Klimt. The former looks most intriguing; in a story based on actual events, he plays a gay con man who passes himself off as director Stanley Kubrick and bilks people out of a fortune. It has its last screening of the festival this evening at 8:15.

This is the tenth edition of the annual festival, and it's the biggest yet with with 55 feature films — all Chicago premieres. Nested among the embarrassment of riches, there are several treats that stand out. The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, a provocative film essay from Slavoj Zizek, uses dozens of clips from movies like Blue Velvet, The Conversation and Psycho to put desire in a whole new perspective. The film has caused a sensation wherever it's shown, but because licensing the rights for all the clips will probably remain prohibitively expensive, this is one movie that might not ever wind up on DVD. Another title we're looking forward to is 84-year-old filmmaker Alain Resnais' Private Fears in Public Places, a biting yet tender comedy of manners which Jonathan Rosenbaum put at the top of his Best of 2006 list. And for the music lover there's Glastonbury, Julien Temple's portrait of the world's longest-running music festival.

Tickets to movies are $9 for general admission, $7 for students, $4 for student/faculty/staff of the Art Institute, and $5 for Film Center members. Usually we'd say, "Screw Ticketmaster!" but in this case, it might come in handy as the more popular screenings are liable to sell out.