Chicago International Film Festival 2010 | 10.07.10-10.21.10

If you can’t make it to opening night there’s lots more to come at the festival, which runs through Oct. 21 and includes over 150 films, as well as numerous panels, parties and other special events.

 
The 46th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 7 with a gala screening of Stone. The film, directed by John Curran, stars Edward Norton as the title character, an arsonist seeking parole, and Robert De Niro as the soon-to-retire parole officer assigned to his case. Norton and De Niro are scheduled to attend the screening at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, which will be followed by the gala party at the Wit Hotel.
If you can’t make it to opening night there’s lots more to come at the festival, which runs through Oct. 21 and includes over 150 films, as well as numerous panels, parties and other special events. Chicago is a reasonable road trip from St. Louis or a quick hop by air, so my advice is to check out the festival website http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/ and see what’s on offer; with so many films and special events there’s bound to be something to please any taste. I’ll be checking in regularly with reviews of what I’ve seen.
The festival centerpiece (Oct. 13) is 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston. Boyle is scheduled to be in attendance and the film will be followed by a Q&A session and after party. The Debt, directed by John Madden and starring Helen Mirren as Rachel Singer, a Mossad agent on a mission to capture a Nazi war criminal, is the festival closer (Oct. 21) and Jessica Chastain, who plays the young Rachel Singer, is scheduled to attend.
Other highly touted festival films include Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren; Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe, based on the comic by Posy Simmonds and starring Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper; Robert Schwentke’s Red, based on the DC Comics series and boasting an all-star cast including Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren; and Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction, starring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Minnie Driver.
Several free panels will be offered during the course of the festival. Topics include “Sex on Screen” (Saturday, Oct. 9), “Songs of the Screen: Music in Black Film” (Tuesday, Oct. 12), “Telling the Truth” (about documentaries; Friday, Oct. 15), “Triple Threat” (filmmakers who wear multiple hats, like Edward Burns, writer/director/star of Nice Guy Johnny: Friday, Oct. 15) and “Reel Women: Power Players” (Sunday, Oct. 17).
One great advantage of the festival is that all films except for the opening night gala are shown under one roof, on the various screens of the AMC River East 21 Theatre (322 E. Illinois St., just north of the Loop). It’s accessible by public transportation and discounted parking is available; for more information and a map see http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival_guide/theaters/. Most panels and special events are within walking distance as well, making this the perfect festival for people who want to spend all day immersed in the movies without having to drive between venues.
Tickets for most films are $13 for regular admission and $10 for Cinema/Chicago members. Tickets for students and seniors, and for matinees (screenings Mon.-Fri. through 5 pm) are only $5.00. Several discount plans are available until Oct. 8, and prices for special events vary. More information is available from http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival_guide/tickets/.
Advance ticketing is highly recommended, as several films are already on rush-only status. Tickets may be ordered by phone (312-332-FILM), through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com/h/ticketfast.html; the latter sends your tickets by email so you can print them at home), or in person at the Festival Theatre Box Office at the AMC River East (noon-8 pm on all festival days) or Festival Office (30 E Adams, Suite 800, Chicago, 60603; Monday-Friday, 10 am-6pm). | Sarah Boslaugh

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