3 movies today at the Chicago International Film Festival
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The Chicago International Film Festival continues through Sunday at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois.
‘This Magnificent Cake!’ (Belgium/France/Netherlands)
Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels — I loved their “A Town Called Panic” — employ felt, wool and other textiles to animate a stop-motion marvel. Episodes leap between Europe and Africa to thread an hourlong saga with a good heart and a good-mannered critique of colonialism. Characters include a king with wanderlust, a dissed clarinetist, and a Pygmy employed in a posh hotel to bear an ashtray atop his head. 11:45 a.m. Oct. 20
‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ (U.S.)
Morgan Neville takes on Orson Welles after making documentaries about Mister Rogers, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal. Cleverly self-conscious, this making-of excavates a drama Welles shot between 1970 and 1976 with industry insiders. A fictive 70-year-old director hosts a party. He screens clips of his latest effort to studio dinosaurs and young turks. Welles speculates on his unfinished folly: “Supposing that during the course of the picture that it turns out it’s more interesting hearing the actors and myself talk about it than making the picture — that will be the picture.” Neville made that picture. Netflix touts: “This movie is: Visionary, Cerebral.” 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20
‘American Dharma’ (U.S./U.K.)
After interrogating Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris continues his articulate monster series with Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign CEO and then chief strategist in the White House. Bannon repeatedly invokes “The Twelve O’Clock High,” a WWII bomber film, to make sense of himself. (On his site Morris lists “Donald Trump discussing ‘Citizen Kane’” as an “aborted project.”) Bannon extols Trump as a “blunt force instrument” and “armor-piercing shell.” “You need some killers,” he urges. “You get some killers, you’re going to see some some change. Do you have the guts to do it? Trump had it and that’s why he’s President of the United States.” Heather Heyer and Jamal Khashoggi met those agents of change. 5 p.m. Oct. 20; 12 p.m. Oct. 21