The 57th Chicago International Film Festival kicked off last week with “The French Dispatch” by Wes Anderson and “Halloween Kills” by David Gordon Green. Films were among the many films shown at the festival, which is North America’s longest-running competitive film festival. Buzz got to see some of the films shown at the festival ahead of their release. Here is a recap of the first week of the Chicago International Film Festival.
Mia Hansen-LÃ¸ve’s “Bergman Island” premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival on Thursday, October 14, after its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 11. The story follows two filmmakers, Chris and Tony Sanders, who travel to FÃ¥rÃ¶, an island in the Baltic Sea, where famous Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived, made his films and died. The two draw inspiration from the island for their own work as Bergman’s influence surrounds them at all times of their journey. As he progresses and the couple struggle to connect, the film slowly unfolds to reveal another film within it, creating a multi-dimensional story on screen.
While the film itself appears to have its own identity beyond being a direct parallel to Bergman’s work, elements of the film can be traced back to his unique style. Many places in the film are recognizable to those familiar with Bergman’s work and act as Easter eggs for his fans watching the film. The first act feels like a long exposure without construction while the second act is where the film finds its heart. The film hidden in “Bergman Island” is at the heart of the story and worth the wait to pass the first hour. Beautiful cinematography and striking performances illustrate the magic of cinema when art becomes reality.
“The beta test”
Scheduled for a full-scale release on November 15, “The Beta Test” by Jim Cummings is a dark comedy thriller about Hollywood culture and Internet influences. An artistic agent receives a letter inviting him to participate in an anonymous sexual encounter. Afterward, he must start a network of lies to protect himself from the dangers that others find out about the case. He becomes obsessive and filled with paranoia about how he was connected to the situation and uses his privilege to forcefully uncover secrets.
While the film’s commentary on Hollywood and the film industry, as well as power and greed, is something that feels new and contemporary, the performance itself didn’t have the impact it seemed to want. . The concept is strong, but the foundation cracks when the plot is actually drawn, as there are holes in the plot that seemingly irrelevant. The comedy is refreshing and well performed, which kept the film captivating throughout its duration. “The Beta Test” makes an interesting entry into satirical critiques of the problems of the film industry and the privilege that comes with being powerful.
“Drive my car”
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car”, Japan’s entry for the 94th Academy Awards, premiered Saturday at the Chicago International Film Festival. Winner of Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, the film tells the story of YÅ«suke Kafuku and his relationship with his driver. After the death of his wife, YÅ«suke becomes fond of Anton Chekhov’s âUncle Vanyaâ and directs a production of the play as an outlet for his grief. YÅ«suke must face her suffering in order to unravel the mystery of the life his wife left behind.
The film ensures that the audience feels every second for the duration of the screening; while the three hours do not pass quickly, the pace is sufficient for the progression of the plot to be natural. The link between the film and the dialogues of “Uncle Vanya” is a beautiful tribute to the playwright and his style of writing. Because the play is such a widespread piece of history, the film may lack a connection for those unfamiliar with Chekhov’s work; to those who are familiar, the movie can feel much more intimate and complete. Accompanied by touching performances and a complex, introspective storyline, “Drive My Car” explores love, acceptance and peace in such a delicate way on screen.
“The French dispatch”
Wes Anderson’s latest film “The French Dispatch” will finally hit theaters on Friday. With a star cast, including several Oscar nominees such as Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan and TimothÃ©e Chalamet, the film is witty and charming and proves that Anderson is not going anywhere.
The story takes place in a fictional French town, Ennui-sur-BlasÃ©, and is Anderson’s ode to The New Yorker magazine. Based on real people, editors from different sections of The French Dispatch wrote a final edition of the magazine after the death of the editor, played by Bill Murray. The film begins with Owen Wilson cycling through France recounting his section, then moves on to Tilda Swinton recounting the story of an artist in prison falling in love with a guard. While the cast is made up of Anderson veterans like Wilson, Murray and Adrien Brody, one of the more interesting characters is played by young French actress LÃ©a Seydoux, who is also in the latest Bond film.
While Anderson typically includes intersecting stories, this is the first time he’s done so in a segmented fashion. Each story ends before moving on to the next, and some sections are better than others, with the previous sections being the most interesting. The chalet core saturated colors and cinematography are classic Anderson with a twist. Much of the film is set in black and white, and at one point, turns into a comic book.
After two years of waiting, it’s safe to say that the film lives up to the hype. The script is funny, the characters are interesting, and the backdrop is, of course, addicting to watch. Although there are times when you feel like you’re a fan of Anderson and his style, and knowing The New Yorker is a prerequisite for understanding some of the film’s dialogue and nuance.
“The last duel”
âThe Last Duel,â which opened in theaters Friday, is Ridley Scott’s latest film and arguably one of his most entertaining films of the past decade. The film, based on a true story, opens in a dreary 14th century France where women are owned by men and rape is punishable by death because it is a crime against the woman’s male guardian. The epic drama explores what happens when a knight’s wife is raped and tries to talk about it. Not only does no one believe her, but her husband and her abuser must fight to the death on horses to uncover the truth. If her husband dies, she is burned alive for making false statements. If he wins, then she has to tell the truth.
The film stars Adam Driver, Jacques Le Gris, Matt Damon and Jodie Comer. With lots of thrash metal, erratic horses, and bad hairstyles, he moves – rather slowly at first – through three different narratives of how the assault went. By far the most interesting story is that of the woman, Marguerite, played by Comer. Sadly, you have to go through the two hours, which are basically the two men going on a mighty journey, just to see it. Comer, however, gives one of his most impressive performances to date and is by far the most interesting character. With Comer, Ben Affleck is pleasantly funny in his role and steals the show in his limited scenes. This film marks the first reunion of the writing duo, Affleck and Damon, since their box office hit, âGoodwill Huntingâ in 1997. While the film drags a bit and the storyline is confusing at times, it still elicits attention. reflection. story, best described as a medieval look at the #MeToo movement.
After a weekend of new movies, âHalloween Killsâ was hailed as the box office hit that no one saw coming. Even with the film on streaming platforms at the same time, it topped âThe Last Duelâ by Ridley Scott by the millions and every other movie-exclusive movie. For the most part, this might come as a surprise, but after seeing both films, âHalloween Killsâ is the best one to see in theaters. The audience screamed together, laughed together and even cried together. Horror movie junkies will appreciate the fast-paced storytelling, abundance of spooky jumps, and the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and of course, James Jude Courtney as the infamous Michael Myers. It picks up where “Halloween” of 2018 ended with Laurie on her deathbed rushed to hospital after the fire. After 11 movies, countless gun shots, and an entire house fire, Myers and his white mask still managed to survive, which makes sense since this movie isn’t the last. “Halloween Ends”, the last film in the installment, is expected to be released in the next few years. That didn’t stop several characters from dying in this one, which definitely angered some fans of the Halloween saga.
It’s the kind of movie that laughs at itself. The cops are stunned and as frightened as any other person, the characters get screwed and attempt to kill Myers with a small cheese knife, and even after living in the town for years, an unsuspecting couple thinks that someone just knocked on their door to be boring. The dialogue is witty and offers moments of comedic relief between the bloody murders. There is never a dull moment, but the action sometimes feels a bit excessive. There is also a glaring lack of suspense, going from one song to another, leaving characters. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot of entertaining and it’s a great movie to see in the theater with other people.