It was 1964 when filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza, eager for an indie alternative to the saturation of Hollywood commercialism, launched the Chicago International Film Festival, the nationâ€™s oldest competitive film festival. Since then itâ€™s gone on to discover such filmmaker luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Mike Leigh, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This yearâ€™s installment takes place October 12-26, with a roster of screenings that fit into categories running the spectrum from shorts, architecture, world cinema, and international film noir to After Dark and Black Perspectives. Issues covered are at turns heady and magical as revealed by films like Jem Cohenâ€™s documentary Birth of a Nation, capturing Washington D.C. on the day of Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration; Sergio Castelitoâ€™s Fortunata chronicling a suburban Roman womanâ€™s affair with her daughterâ€™s therapist; Atsuko Hirayanagiâ€™s Oh, Lucy!, in which a Japanese woman escapes drudgery through English lessons; and Simon Curtisâ€™ Goodbye Christopher Robin, depicting how author A.A. Milne dreamed up Winnie-the-Pooh.
Photos: Oh, Lucy, via CIFF Facebook page (above) andÂ Fortunata, via CIFF Facebook page (featured)