Monthly Archives: November 1996

Two-Lane Blacktop

This exciting existentialist road movie by Monte Hellman, with a sharp script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry has my favorite Warren Oates performance and looks even better now than it did in 1971, though it was pretty interesting back then as well. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson are the drivers of a supercharged ’55 Chevy, and Oates is the owner of a new GTO (these nameless characters are in fact identified only by the cars they drive). They meet and agree to race from New Mexico to the east coast, though side interests periodically distract them, including various hitchhikers, among them Laurie Bird. (Oates hilariously assumes a new identity every time he picks up a new passenger, rather like the amorphous narrator in Wurlitzer’s novel Nog.) The unsettling thing about this movie is that it starts off as a narrative but gradually grows into something much more abstract; that’s what’s beautiful about it as well. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, November 1, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, November 4 through 7, 7:00 and 9:00; 773-281-4114. Read more


A gripping, stylish, unpredictable, and provocative 1995 thriller from Spain by Mariano Barroso, who will be present to introduce and discuss the film. An ambitious petty criminal (Javier Bardem) infiltrates the theater world of Madrid by persuading a celebrated film director that he’s his illegitimate and long-abandoned son, meanwhile planning with his two roommates to rob him blind. With Federico Lupi and Silvia Munt. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, November 2, 8:15, and Sunday, November 3, 6:15, 312-443-3737. Read more