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45th Chicago International Film Festival: Choose Our Adventure

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 23, 2009 6:20PM

45CIFFSneakPreview-Cover.jpg The schedule for CIFF is now online and browseable! There are around 150 films this year, and in honor of the festival's 45th year there'll be an extra day of movies (15 instead of the usual 14.) That's a whole lot of cinema. And obviously we can't see everything. That means making some painful choices. But rather than plunge ourselves into agony, we're trying something different this year. We'd like you to tell us what to see.

It's simple. We've created a poll (Part 1 and Part 2; there are so many movies we had to split it in half). Browse the schedule and then pick ten titles. Vote. Vote early and often. The poll closes Tuesday, September 29. The top ten vote-winners will make it on our schedule, and we'll have reviews up early enough for you to catch each title at least once. So what are you waiting for?

The lineup is stellar. Interestingly, there is an abundance of suspense thrillers and horror movies. These include Spy(ies), from France; zombie comedy The Revenant; Revenge, from Brazil; Paranormal Activity and The House of the Devil, both American; and the epic three-part crime drama Red Riding. As usual, the schedule is packed with intriguing documentaries. Beyond Ipanema, about the music of Brazil, Cooking History, which examines culinary history through the lens of warfare (!), The Moon Inside You, a documentary about menstruation (!!), and Videocracy, about Berlusconi's stranglehold on Italian media, all stood out for us.

New this year is OUTrageous, a sidebar of GLBT-themed fare. Mexico's poetic Raging Sun, Raging Sky and South Korea's A Frozen Flower, about the taboo love between a 13th-century king and his male guard, are among the selections. There's going to be plenty of star-power this year too. Willem Dafoe is scheduled to be here for the screening of Lars von Trier's Antichrist, and John Woo will put in an appearance for his Red Cliff. Martin Landau will be present for Lovely, Still and North by Northwest. Hitchcock's classic is being presented in a meticulous restoration using the original VistaVision production elements. Oh, and there's Oprah: the film that she executive produced, and which just won the top prize at Toronto, gets a gala screening.

That's our on-the-fly overview. Check out the lineup for yourself and then start voting!