On Saturday, October 11, director Taylor Hackford presents the opening film of the 1980 festival, The Idolmaker, and later, his Cold-War era thriller White Nights. Acclaimed director Oliver Stone will present his films Natural Born Killers, and his Alexander the Great biopic Alexander on Sunday, October 12. The controversial Natural Born Killers chronicles two young lovers as they embark on a crosscountry journey of murder and rampage.
Then on Saturday, October 18, the festival will honor producer Saul Zaentz with a screening of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Premiered at the festival in 1975, the film stars Jack Nicholson as the rebellious mental institution inmate.
Rounding out the retrospective will be Michael Moore and his 1989 documentary Roger and Me at 7 p.m. October 22. In the film, Moore goes to great efforts to meet then-General Motors CEO Roger Smith, whose closure of a Flint GM plant cut 30,000 jobs in Moore’s hometown.
The festival is also hosting much anticipated new releases:
Birdman – Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, this film stars Michael Keaton as a fading superstar looking to reclaim his glory. 10/18, 7:30 p.m.
Dear White People – Awarded at Sundance, the film is a humorous take on racial identity in America. 10/20, 6 p.m.
Low Down – Ethan Hawke stars as pianist Joe Albany, whose vices tear him from his daughter (Elle Fanning.) 10/18, 7:30 p.m.St. Vincent – Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy star in this comedy about growing up and embracing life. 10/15, 8:15 p.m.
Wild – Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed who ventures on a hike of over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. 10/23, 7 p.m.
The Imitation Game – Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the British mathematician who led the group that broke the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII, only to be prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1952. 10/16, 8 p.m.
The CIFF runs October 9 through October 23, at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. For a complete schedule of the festival and to purchase tickets, visit www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
By Austin Sanchez, StreetWise Editorial Intern