Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal brings us another film in our Real Chicago series: Jill Godmilow’s The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago (1976). Godmilow follows members of The Popovich Brothers, a Chicago-based Serbian-American tamburitza band, as they slowly recover from the death of fellow band mate and brother, ‘Marko’ Popovich. After 50 […]
Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal brings us the documentary Maxwell Street Blues from filmmakers Linda Williams and Raul Zaritsky. Shot in 1979, as the area was transitioning from a century old massive outdoor marketplace to an upscale shopping district and university campus, the filmmakers were able to document the last […]
Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal brings us a collection of short documentary films from Chicago-based filmmaker Tom Palazzolo. In 1979’s Labor Day, East Chicago, Palazollo heads to the southeast section of Chicago to take in the day’s celebrations. In 1994’s I Married a Munchkin he interviews local little person Mary Ellen […]
Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal brings us Luis Buñuel’s 1953 film El Bruto (The Brute). Produced during Buñuel’s Mexican Period, El Bruto tells a complex story concerning abuses of power and the redemptive nature of love. Though not what one might expect from the surrealist Buñuel, El Bruto is fascinating in […]
Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal explores William Klein’s Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (1974). Klein, an American ex-pat living in France, is best known for his street and fashion photography as well as several feature films he made in the 1960s and 70s. His interests in photography, politics, and documentary are on full […]
Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal explores Alexander Sokurov’s Confessions (1998). Shot aboard a Russian Navy ship in the late 90’s, this five-part epic is a strikingly beautiful, achingly sad meditation on desperation and loneliness on the high seas.
The Mansion of Madness is a wonderful introduction to Juan Lopez Moctezum’s twisted world.
Though dedicated to the memory of Hans Christian Anderson, this version of The Little Mermaid is about as far from the original as the Disney version, but in the opposite direction on the happiness scale. The filmmakers succeed in making the already sad story even more tragic while attempting to keep it entertaining for children. […]
“That sort of thing only happens in novels!” exclaims the main character of the novel just as that very thing is happening to them. Is the intended effect to give us a sensation of sudden closeness with the character or of distance? Is it supposed to make us feel as if some joke is being […]
One of Nikita Mikhalkov’s earlier films, An Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano is considered one of the best film adaptations of a Chekhov play. It is based on an early play, abandoned by the writer, called Platonov. The film powerfully integrates theatrical and cinematic elements to portray an emotional upheaval during a meeting between […]