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Second Chance Theater: Siskel Film Center Edition

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 20, 2012 3:00PM

2012_4_20_stonyisland.jpg Next month the Siskel Film Center will feature encore screenings of several movies that knocked our socks off the first time they were shown. Whether you missed them then, or want to take a fresh look at them on the big screen, it's time to block off some time on your calendar:

The Turin Horse

In our long writeup of Bela Tarr's long movie last year, we wrote, "If we offer our gaze to Tarr's film, the last thing he would permit is its escape. Rather, he would turn it back onto the very physical world from which we can never escape, in all of its brutal beauty ... Here is an art that forces you to take possession, if not ownership, of the space in which you find yourself and to dwell on it: an occupationist cinema." It's possibly the bleakest film we've set seen, but it's also extraordinarily beautiful, especially in the 35mm print which the Siskel will be projecting. (May 11-17)

-The Kid With A Bike

We completely missed the Dardennes Brothers' latest when it had a brief run earlier this year, so we're very excited to see that it's being brought back. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. (May 12--17)

- A Separation

Odd to have such passionate feelings about such a thorny movie, perhaps, but this intense drama already has dibs for a spot on our Best of 2012 list. We doubt it'll lose any of its power with another viewing. We were rooting for it all the way and were exceedingly pleased that it won an Oscar. It makes pretty much any Hollywood drama seem petty and lunkheaded by comparison. (May 25-31)

And what about movies that were featured at the Siskel but have since moved on? Well, thanks to the magic of home entertainment distribution, there's no reason to miss those either.

Stony Island, a film which was largely unseen for decades but has now been remastered and otherwise spruced up, comes out on DVD this Tuesday. It had a pair of screenings at the Siskel a few weeks ago, at least one of which was sold out. Made in 1978 on a shoestring, and none the worse for it, it's an amazingly energetic musical shot on location all over Chicago. It was Andrew Davis' first feature film; he would go on to direct movies such as The Package and The Fugitive (remember when Harrison Ford tangled with Daley?) In addition to priceless footage of late 70's Chicago, including the funeral procession of Daley Senior, it's also got the funkiest soundtrack this side of The Blues Brothers. Oh, and there's also The Bangles' Susannah Hoffs in a small role as well as Dennis Franz making his film debut, playing an exotic fish salesman (!)

Lastly, if you missed The Phantom Father at the EU Film Festival last month, you have another chance to see it. For free! Prescreen is streaming the movie free of charge through May 26.