Added Lessons

Chicago filmmaker Tom Palazzolo’s sequel to his semiautobiographical Caligari’s Cure, featuring Chicago performance artists Carmella Rago, Jim Grigsby, Lynn Book, Michael K. Meyers, Ellen Fisher, Jack Helbig, Kapra Fleming, and Liam Hayes. I haven’t seen its predecessor, but this free-form fan-tasy/absurdist vaudevillewhich leads its affectless young hero through some striking surrealist and expressionist sets as well as some Chicago locationsis much more enjoyable to look at than to think about or to follow as a consecutive (or even nonconsecutive) narrative. References to such movie landmarks as Les vampires, Un chien andalou, and The Blue Angel are scattered through this picaresque free-for-all (along with confetti, a painted lunch pail, and a bird cage, among other significant images), but the loosely satirical SF framework promises more than it delivers, and Palazzolo’s deft cutting and sense of visual extravagance rarely matches his dialogue or his direction of actors. On the same program, Hey Girls, a ten-minute short by Palazzolo and Heather McAdams described as a live-action comic strip. (JR)

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