The big opening night gala may have been this evening, but the 44th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicks off its regular programming tomorrow, Friday, October 17, and runs for the next 12 days.
As to be expected, most of the Chicago press printed reports in the last two days, with J.R. Jones providing an especially nice overview in the Reader. At Cine-File, however, we've chosen to wait 'til the last minute and write about the festival as it happens--hence, the blog you're reading. We hope this better-late-than-never approach (characteristic, as any of writers would tell you) proves as interesting for us as it does informative for you. In addition to covering the films being screened, we intend to report on special events, memorable crowd responses, and the overall busy-body atmosphere: In short, everything that separates a film festival from a mere collection of movies.
A large international festival like this one is a great reminder of the complexity of the world, with media overload practically a boon to this end. I, for one, intend to kick off the festival tomorrow with screenings of LAILA'S BIRTHDAY (Palestine; River East 21, 4pm), HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (UK; RE 21, 7pm), and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Sweden; RE 21, 10pm). Jones compared the last one to George Romero's MARTIN; if he's even 50% accurate, this film should be spectacular.