Daily Archives: November 5, 2004

The Adventures Of Iron Pussy

The experimental filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (who got his MFA from the School of the Art Institute) has proved himself a real original with films like Mysterious Object at Noon and Blissfully Yours. This 2003 video, codirected by Michael Shaowanasai, is a campy action adventure about a shy nobody who doubles as a butt-kicking government spy. Indefatigably cheerful about its own silliness, enlivened by muscial numbers and asides about Thai politics, it often feels like it’s about to collapse into giggles. It’s worthy of its title, if not its celebrated director. In Thai with subtitles. 90 min. (JR) Read more


For me the calling cards of the 1966 film were Michael Caine as the title character, a working-class chauffeur and ladies’ man, and the music of Sonny Rollins. Jude Law and the team of Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart may sound like viable replacements, but this new adaptation of Bill Naughton’s play is more concerned with attitude than character and too moralistic to be much fun. Hollywood hack Charles Shyer (Father of the Bride) has discarded the London setting and cockney milieu, moving the action to New York City (though, perversely, this was shot in London). He seems less interested in storytelling than in TV-commercial fast cutting, though Alfie’s ladiesMarisa Tomei, Nia Long, Jane Krakowski, Sienna Miller, and Susan Sarandonprovide some minimal interest and continuity; with Omar Epps. R, 105 min. (JR) Read more

Kings of the Sky

Chicagoan Deborah Stratman, who specializes in experimental documentaries, spent four months with tightrope walker Adil Hoxur–cited in the Guinness Book of World Records and the latest descendant of a family of tightrope performers over many centuries–as he and his troupe toured Chinese Turkestan and performed nightly in small villages. Among his biggest fans are fellow Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people seeking religious and political autonomy. Stratman emphasizes the everyday over the exotic, a consistently fresh and personal way of relating to the material; she trusts viewers to make many of the right connections but never comes across as esoteric. Her sense of rhythm in this digital video, particularly evident in the way she edits and lingers over certain kinds of movement, is especially impressive. 68 min. Stratman will attend the screenings; this is a U.S. premiere. Fri-Sat 11/5-11/6, 8:30 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2800. Read more