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See This: Independence Day Weekend Edition

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 1, 2009 4:00PM

Every man, woman and child in the Chicago-area will probably either go see Public Enemies (and watch for our review tomorrow) or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at the movies this weekend, but there are a ton of cinematic alternatives available. Because, you know, there's more to America than murderous gangsters and robots. Such as:

  • The CIA! For the ultimate in patriotic irony, catch the Siskel's encore presentation of Che, Steven Soderbergh's epic biopic of the revolutionary. In the second half, Guerrilla, we see how the leader's hubris coupled with covert CIA inference led to his downfall. We were blown away the first time we saw it (well, some of us were) and it definitely begs for a big screen experience. The full 257-minute "roadshow" version screens July 4 at 3:00 with a special ticket price of $17 (Students $14, Members $10), and again on July 6 and 8.
  • 2009_6_28seethis.jpg
    Clark Gable makes like Bugs Bunny in It Happened One Night
  • The open road and Nazi-fighting archeologists! The Music Box revives two American classics, awfully different from each other but both box office smashes in their day. First, as part of their "Musicals and Comedies of the Great Depression" program, we get It Happened One Night. Frank Capra's screwball prototype centers on the battle of the sexes between footloose heiress Claudette Colbert and no nonsense newspaperman Clark Gable. It won five Oscars. Secondly there's Raiders of the Lost Ark. We figure you might have heard of it already. Who can argue that it isn't the best in the series? Check the Music Box website for showtime info.
  • Innovative animation! On Sunday, The Nightingale presents a special Animation Double Feature. The marathon screening features two programs of new works from Chicago and Seattle. The variety is almost dizzying: digital, hand-drawn, stop motion, even animation created using a photocopier, and a PowerPoint presentation entitled Duck Lessons. They range in length from 11 minutes to 25 seconds. The show is Sunday at 6:00 at The Nightingale, 1084 N Milwaukee Ave. For more info call (773) 595-2312.
  • Questionable childcare skills! Tilda Swinton sets the screen on fire as Julia, a brassy alcoholic who kidnaps a youngster for ransom and accidentally winds up in Tijuana, where the two are menaced by a group of murderous thugs. We saw this at CIFF last year and are thrilled it's getting a proper run at Facets. It's an unpredictable rollercoaster of a movie with a knockout performance by Swinton. She galvanizes the movie and makes the story's aggressive lack of credibility irrelevant. It shows daily July 3-9.