This Sunday sees one of the most important Chicago film events of the year as Beguiled Cinema (the programming endeavor of critics Ben and Kat Sachs) plays host to Frederick Wiseman’s 1989 masterpiece Near Death at Chicago Filmmakers. This mammoth 6-hour documentary about the intensive-care unit at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital is one of the greatest documentaries I’ve ever seen and one that’s not a minute too short. Chicago cinephiles should jump at the rare chance to see it projected on 16mm (in its local celluloid debut). I reviewed it for Cine-File Chicago here.
On Monday evening, I’ll be introducing a book club discussion of one of my favorite memoirs of the 21st century, Bob Dylan’s Chronicles Vol. 1, at the Wilmette Public Library. I’ll be showing clips from various Dylan-related films, including Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home, that correspond to passages in the book. I wrote this description of the event for the WPL website:
Musical legend Bob Dylan surprised many longtime admirers with the 2004 release of his memoir Chronicles Vol. 1. A critical and commercial success, the book eschews a linear approach to the troubadour’s life and instead hopscotches around in time — focusing primarily on his first arrival in New York City in the winter of 1961, his seclusion from public life and ill-fated collaboration with poet Archibald MacLeish in 1970 and his recommitment to live touring and the recording of his comeback album Oh Mercy in the late 1980s.
For more info, check out the WPL’s Off the Shelf newsletter.