July has just begun and Chicago is already a couple heatwaves deep into this summer. If you’re jonesing for better A/C than your third-floor walk-up can muster, knock out a few hours of these long summer days at the cinema. Here are a handful of very cool (figuratively and literally) movies and film-centric events to enjoy this month.
July 3 (and 10; and 17; and 24; and 31)
Tuesdays with Robin Williams – On July 16, HBO premieres a new documentary about the comic gone too soon, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind. To celebrate, the Music Box Theater is hosting a members-only premiere of the film on July 9. If you’re not a member, you get perhaps the better end of the deal here, as the theater features a different Williams films every Tuesday of the month. From Aladdin to Mrs. Doubtfire to Jumanji, grab the family and see a legend back on the big screen. More on the whole series is here.
Jane Campion’s Two Friends in 16mm – Filmmaker Jane Campion has built a name for herself through deeply felt, beautifully rendered pictures like The Piano, Bright Star and even the brooding, dark Top of the Lake. The fine folks at the Chicago Film Society dig deep into Campion’s creative past for a very unique screening of her very first work, Two Friends. The film was originally made in 1986 for Australian television; it received a U.S. theatrical release in 1996. Now, CFS screens the restored 16mm print in conjunction with Chicago Filmmakers. Learn more about the screening here.
Screening and Talk: Rita Coburn Whack on Maya Angelou – If you haven’t been to the American Writers Museum yet (open a year now at the corner of Lake Street and Michigan Ave), consider this your formal invitation. On July 12, the museum—the first and only one of its kind in the U.S.—hosts filmmaker Rita Coburn Whack for a screening of the documentary she co-directed, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. The film is streaming widely, so you may have already seen it. But have you seen it and had a conversation with the director? Didn’t think so. Here’s where to get tickets.
Eighth Grade – The Chicago Critics Film Festival closed this year’s event in May with a sold-out screening of Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade, a sweetly vulnerable, hyper-modern tale of middle school angst. The film finally arrives in cinemas nationwide on Friday, July 13, and you’d be very lucky indeed to spend that ominous day with this gem. Featuring a stellar performance from a very young and very talented Elsie Fisher as Kayla, the movie is a salvo for anyone who ever had to face the jungle that is the year before high school and survived.
Get Out at Millennium Park – The best-designed outdoor space in the city, Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, always features great outdoor film screenings during the warm summer months. This year, they’ve partnered with the bajillion film festivals around the city to screen selections that reflect those events. Of the many series and festivals that the Gene Siskel Film Center presents throughout the year, they’re highlighting their upcoming Black Harvest Film Festival with a screening of Get Out. Chances are you’ve seen the movie that took movies by storm last year; consider this your chance to see it under the stars with a thousand of your closest friends.
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