Last Day in Chicago

Though I wouldn’t call it an unqualified success, this highly evocative black-and-white short feature by Chicagoan Louis Antonelli, which has already received some well-deserved praise from Hollywood actress-director Ida Lupino, re-creates (or, more precisely, rediscovers) Chicago between 1945 and the present in a lovely noirish mood piece–shot in both film and video–about one woman’s loneliness, guided by her offscreen narration. In the dislocations between sight and sound, past and present, fiction and documentary, a haunted obsessional nostalgia takes shape, surrealist in feeling. Antonelli’s wonderful selection of period music (including Frank Sinatra, Claude Thornhill, Cab Calloway, and early Nat Cole) to inflect and caress his images works as effectively as his skilled cast, headed by RKO veteran Bonnie Blair Parker. With Randy Steinmeyer, Kayla Klien, Joan Paxton, and Tracie Harkovich. On the same program, another new film by Antonelli, The Wizard of Austin Boulevard, which I haven’t seen, about the quest of Chicagoan Alexander Kouvalis to restore the northwest side’s Patio Theatre, where this program is being held. There’s also a performance by Dennis Scott on the theater’s organ. Patio, 6008 W. Irving Park, Sunday, December 11, 2:00, 736-0956 or 777-5628.

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