CIFF: Chicago International Film Festival Retrospective


With the end of October marks the end of this year’s Chicago International Film Festival. Out of the dozen or so films I watched, about 90% of them involved sex scenes, which was an interesting tidbit to note. I guess foreign filmmakers really love sex, huh? Another thing I noticed was how middling a lot of the films I watched were. I’m not sure of it was due to the festival’s selection of films or just my personal choices of films to cover, but I felt that last year’s films were more memorable and entertaining.

Regardless, the 48th Chicago International Film Festival has come to a close. Read on to see my Editor’s Choices, the most disappointing film, and a collection of all the other reviews.

Through the entire film and up to this very moment as I type (and well beyond this review is published, I’m sure), I feel captivated and enthralled over what I just saw. There are bits and pieces that imply exactly what is going on, but it’s not blatantly explained. Is Holy Motors a reflection of the film industry? Is it a mirror of humanity’s differences? Is it an examination of life’s choices? Whatever it is, Holy Motors will keep you guessing, talking, contemplating, discussing, and interested for a long while. [Read the full review here.]

The World is Funny received 15 Ophir (the Israeli equivalent of Oscars) nominations, and it rightfully deserved every single one. Despite its large cast, every actor delivers great performances; despite its multiple subplots, each storyline weaves together perfectly and efficiently. You owe yourselves a favor to check The World is Funny out if it ever arrives in your local indie theaters (or when it eventually releases on home media). [Read the full review here.]

The Day of the Crows wears its influences on its sleeves. While that doesn’t necessarily take away how entertaining and charming it is, something to help separate it from other modern animated films would have been very welcome. However, it captures everything that you love about Studio Ghibli films, and that’s never a bad thing.The Day of the Crows is innocent, bright, and fun like the animated films you remember from your childhood. [Read the full review here.]

As someone who doesn’t like horror films, I just couldn’t care for Citadel. I’m sure some horror buff will watch the film, love it, and flip out at me for “not getting it.” Maybe. Or maybe they’ll watch this and realize just how uninspired modern horror films have become. [Read the full review here.]

Holy Motors [85 – Exceptional]
The World is Funny
[83 – Great]
[77 – Good]The Cleaner [75 – Good]
The Exam 
[75 – Good]
The Day of the Crows 
[73 – Good]
The Weekend [69 – Decent]Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me [67- Decent]Mr. Sophistication [50 – Average]Boys Are Us [50 – Average]A Secret World [50 – Average]Clip [50 – Average]A F*ckload of Scotch Tape [45 – Subpar]