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"Rendezvous in Chicago" (2018)

Like Chicago-based critic/filmmaker Smith's COOL APOCALYPSE and MERCURY IN RETROGRADE (both of which received their first Chicago runs at the Gene Siskel Film Center), his third film is built upon sharply observed parallels between multiple couples at crucial turning points in their relationships. This time he adopts a more comic tone and segregates the couples into separate episodes of a three-part anthology film. In the tense and sexy "The Brothers Karamazov," a Russian-lit major (Cooney) calls a pickup artist's bluff by challenging him to a game of Strip Literary Trivia. "Cats and Dogs" is a Rogers Park stroll with a gay couple (Sherbach, Rashaad Hall) who seem made for each other--but can they bridge the gulf between cat-people and dog-people? In the metafictional "The End Is the Beginning," an enraged woman (Ganet) throws her unfaithful mate out of the apartment, then transfers her affections to an unexpected replacement. A cast of prominent Chicago stage actors is augmented with an opening cameo by Haydée Politoff, best known as the star of Eric Rohmer's New Wave classic LA COLLECTIONEUSE. DCP digital. On Monday only, the feature will be followed by Haley McCormick's short film DANCER (7 min.). (MR)

Earlier Event: February 7
Berlin International Film Festival
Later Event: February 24
91st Academy Awards