Five movies to see as Chicago International Film Festival opens

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Here are five recommended Chicago International Film Festival features screening this weekend at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois. Tickets: $14 (member, student and senior discounts available).


CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL When: Thursday through Oct. 23 Where: AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Tickets: Screenings $5 and up, non-member passes $130 (10 films) and $240 (20 films) Info: (312) 322-FILM; [/one_third] FORCE MAJEURE (Sweden/Denmark/ France/Norway): A young Swedish family goes skiing. What could go wrong? With superb cinematography, director Ruben Ostlund deftly slaloms between poles of tone, from dry comedy to wry melodrama. Ostlund says his source is a true story of a couple reacting to gunfire on a South American holiday. An avalanche in the Alps, not gunmen, triggers a domestic meltdown. 8:15 p.m. Friday; 5:30 p.m. Sunday. WORDS WITH GODS’ A stellar roster of directors — including Bahman Ghobadi, Amos Gitai, Mira Nair and Emir Kusturica — contribute a world parliament of short dramas cued to nine religious traditions, including atheism. The title misleads slightly; no deity gets dialogue. No sermons, just transcendental cinema. 7:30 p.m Friday. WINTER SLEEP (Turkey/Germany/France): Saluted at Cannes, this 196-minute saga by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Climates, Distant) revisits the scene of his earlier films: a wintry terrain of intellectuals far from Istanbul. Running an out-of-the-way inn, a retired actor attempts to write A History of Turkish Theater while dealing with a young wife, an acerbic sister and resentful locals. Characters often dissect one another in insightful lines with three or four adjectives in a row. A Schubert piano sonata cues Chekhovian clashes. 7:15 p.m. Saturday; 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. RELATED: Cinema began at home for Chicago International Film Festival founder THE IRON MINISTRY (China/USA): Leviathan meets Snowpiercer in J.P. Sniadecki’s immersive documentary. Passengers of divergent classes and compartments are recorded on long train trips through China. The title refers to a 7th-century prophecy about iron birds, iron dragons and iron-clad horses. Don’t holler at the projectionist: the first three minutes is an audio-only prologue in the dark. 6 p.m. Friday; 12:45 p.m. Saturday. SUPEREGOS (Austria): An opportunis t hustler on the run gets a gig as the caretaker of an old psychologist once championed by Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. The scholar, who walks with ski poles, also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Chicago. Rare book crooks and hot air balloons also figure in this smart comedy of odd confederates directed by Benjamin Heisenberg. 2:30 p.m. Saturday; 12:30 p.m. Sunday; 1 p.m. Monday.

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