About Brian Belak

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April 24 at Doc Films: “Love Unto Death”

April 24 at Doc Films: “Love Unto Death”

BY BRIAN BELAK Alain Resnais’ 1984 film Love Unto Death, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago as part of a career retrospective for the late French filmmaker, features a title that reveals the film’s plot rather plainly. This is a love story between a man and a woman, Simon Roche and Elisabeth(…)

April 18 at Doc Films: “Toy Story 2″

April 18 at Doc Films: “Toy Story 2″

What makes a good sequel? When Pixar Studios produced Toy Story 2, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago on April 18, they provided what is one of the better answers to this question in film to date. Originally conceived as a direct-to-video sequel to Pixar’s smash-hit Toy Story (1995) (and possibly related(…)

April 7 at Doc Films: “Walkabout”

April 7 at Doc Films: “Walkabout”

In Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 film Walkabout, showing at Doc Films at the University of Chicago on April 7, a white teenaged girl and her younger brother are stranded in the Australian desert and must make their way back to civilization, meeting an Aborigine boy who helps them on their way. But that’s not nearly what(…)

March 3 at Doc Films: “Holiday”

March 3 at Doc Films: “Holiday”

When George Cukor’s 1938 film “Holiday” hit theaters in the midst of the Great Depression it did rather poorly — and it’s easy to see why. By BRIAN BELAK.

City Symphonies at Doc Films

City Symphonies at Doc Films

“City of the world (for all races are here)  City of tall facades of marble and iron, Proud and passionate city.” These lines, excerpted from the Walt Whitman poem “City of Ships,” open the 1921 avant-garde film Manhatta, showing at Doc Films on Wednesday, August 21, as part of a collection of “city symphonies.” In(…)

Film Review: “Fruitvale Station”

Film Review: “Fruitvale Station”

The story is pretty familiar to anyone who paid attention to the news four years ago, especially if you were in California at the time. On January 1, 2009, after a night of celebrating the new year in San Francisco, 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer(…)

CAT Film Festival celebrates cats on film

CAT Film Festival celebrates cats on film

By Brian Belak It’s arguably the most important development of the last decade, though probably not for furthering the development of society, but for stunting it. It is the cute cat video, the great time-waster of the Internet, holding millions of users hostage on Youtube as they choose one more meow over whatever work they(…)