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2011 Chicago Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

Poster for 2011 Chicago Underground Film Festival featuring woman sleeping in forest

The 18th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival is ready to have another monumental year at the Gene Siskel Film Center on June 2-9, featuring a killer lineup with new films from some true underground legends.

First, Usama Alshaibi will screen his latest, most visually stunning and conceptually innovative feature Profane, about a spiritually confused Muslim sex worker trying to recapture her lost jinn — a demon of smokeless fire — on streets of the Windy City.

Then, documentary filmmakers Jeff Krulik and John Heyn return to their hard rockin’ roots with Heavy Metal Picnic, which relives one of the most notorious ’80s weekend parties in the history of Maryland and the world — the Full Moon Jamboree, which if you can remember it means you weren’t there. Plus, HMP will be screened with Heyn and Krulik’s underground classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Also in the documentary vein, are Marie Losier‘s profile of underground music pioneer Genesis P-Orridge, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, which is tearing it up on the festival circuit this year; and Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley‘s gentrification smackdown Battle for Brooklyn, a much anticipated documentary that’s been in the works for 7 years!

In the fictional narrative universe, there’s the Opening Night World Premiere of Some Girls Never Learn by Jerzy Rose, a transdimensional fantasy featuring Amelia Earhart, animals in concentric circles and a trip to the underworld. Plus, there’s the second feature by Alex Ross Perry, The Color Wheel, about a sibling rivalry to end all sibling rivalries.

On the short film front, there’s work by Kerry Laitala, Jem Cohen, Jodie Mack, Mike Olenick, Deborah Stratman, Ann Steurnagel and Zachary Epcar‘s visually haunting A Time Share Unlimited.

And all that’s just a taste of a fest that’s crammed to the gills with underground goodness. There’s also Bob Ray‘s Total Badass, Jacqueline GossThe Observers, Ben Russell‘s Trypps #7; and short films by Dominic Angerame, Leighton Pierce, Daniel Martinico, Ben Popp and more.

For more info about the fest, please visit the official website for the Chicago Underground Film Festival. The full lineup is below:

June 2

8:00 p.m.: Some Girls Never Learn, dir. Jerzy Rose. After discovering the leg bone of Amelia Earhart, a diver begins receiving messages from the deceased pilot. Meanwhile, a high school science teacher has to go to the underworld to get his girlfriend back and animals begin spontaneously gathering in concentric circles.
Screening with:
Monica Panzarino Sings the Star-Spangled Banner, dir. Monica Panzarino

June 3

6:00 p.m.: “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains”
Tamalpais, dir. Chris Kennedy
Anne Truitt, Working, dir. Jem Cohen
Peripetei’em, dir. Andrew Mauset-Mooney
Second Law: South Leh St., dir. Mike Gibisser
Retrograde Premonition, dir. Leighton Pierce
Projections, dir. Kendra Ryan
Zeitriss, dir. Quimu Casalprim i Suárez
Home Movie, dir. John Price

8:00 p.m.: The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, dir. Marie Losier. A portrait of industrial music pioneer Genesis P-Orridge and his late wife, Lady Jaye, who subjected themselves to an art project in which they attempted to become a singular pandrogenous entity, Breyer P-Orridge.
Screening with:
Irma, dir. Charlie Fairbanks
Lazslo Lassu, dir. Ben Popp

10:00 p.m.: Profane, dir. Usama Alshaibi. A Muslim sex worker has a devastating spiritual crisis after she believes her “jinn” — an Islamic demon — has been exorcised from her body. (Read the review)
Screening with:
Tears Cannot Restore Here: Therefore, I Weep, dir. Jennifer Reeder

June 4

1:00 p.m.: And Again, dir. Adele Horne. This documentary examines the lives of former residents of the small town of Playas, New Mexico who now pretend to be terrorists and victims for Homeland Security simulation training.
Screening with:
Devil’s Gate, dir. Laura Kraning
The Voice of God, dir. Bernd Lützeler

2:00 p.m.: “The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or the Big Dig)”
Current (Reprise), dir. Brian Doyle
History Minor, dir. Ryan Garrett
Arsenic, dir. Robert Todd
Broad Channel, dir. Sarah Christman
The Soul of Things, dir. Dominic Angerame
Measures Kindling, dir. JB Mabe
To Another, dir. JB Mabe
Young Bird Season, dir. Nellie Kluz

4:00 p.m.: “Pompadour Swamp”
How to Have a Seizure, dir. Michael Wawzenek
Blood & Cinnamon, dir. Jessie Mott and Steve Reinke
Uncontrollable Joy for Life, dir. Kari Corbett and Crispin Rosenkranz
Chainsaw Found Jesus, dir. Spencer Parsons
Unicornhole, dir. Lucas Dimick and Dax Norman
Dare Double, dir. James, N Kienitz Wilkins, Eugene Wasserman and Dan Fridman
Unsubscribe #3: Glitch Envy, dir. Jodie Mack
Second Firing, dir. Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen
Zoltan: The Hungarian Gangster of Love, dir. Justin Reardon

5:15 p.m.: “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby”
Spaceboy, dir. Mike Olenick
Mercurial Madness, dir. Kerry Laitala
These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us, dir. Michael Robinson
Against Cinema, dir. Alberto Cabrera Bernal
The Prognosticator (Or We Are All Pythagoreans Now), dir. Brent Coughenour
Ceibas Epilogue: The Well of Representation, dir. Evan Meaney
The Blockbuster Tapes, dir. Daniel Martinico
Long Live the New Flesh, dir. Nicolas Provost

6:00 p.m.: The Color Wheel, dir. Alex Ross Perry. A young woman enlists her brother’s help to remove her belongings from her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, except that the siblings share an especially acrimonious relationship that may prevent them from actually ever getting anything done.

8:00 p.m.: Battle for Brooklyn, dir. Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley. Shot over the course of seven years, this documentary chronicles the long fight between the residents of Brooklyn who have to fight the city and greedy developers looking to tear down a beloved neighborhood to make way for a basketball stadium surrounded by enormous skyscrapers. Includes appearances by NYc Mayor Michael Bloomberg, architect Frank Gehry, Jay Z, developer Bruce Ratner, Steve Buscemi and others. (Read the review)

10:00 p.m.: Snow on Tha Bluff, dir. Damon Russell. An Atlanta crack dealer steals a video camera during a drug deal and begins documenting his own tragic, crime-filled life.
Screening with:
We’re Leaving, dir. Zachary Treitz

June 5

1:00 p.m.: “A Carrot Is As Close As a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond”
The Man Who Went Outside, dir. Jennet Thomas
Negating the Increasing Powerlessness of the Most Photographed Thing in America, dir. Olivia Ciummo
Postface, dir. Frédéric Moffet
Like, dir. Luis Arnias
Accepting the Image, dir. Karel De Cock
Bathing in Milk, dir. Jenna Feldman
Slipstream, dir. D. Rickman
Magic for Beginners, dir. Jesse McLean (Watch online)

1:45 p.m.: Total Badass, dir. Bob Ray. Dive deep into the lunatic world of Austin, TX’s seedy underground music and arts scene with your tour guide Chad Holt, a local deviant, sex fiend, Guinea pig enthusiast and hip-hop impressario.
Screening with:
The Forest, dir. Steven Summers

4:00 p.m.: The Observers, dir. Jacqueline Goss. A solitary meteorologist measures and records the weather way up on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Based on the observers who perform this very real work.
Screening with:
Trypps #7 (Badlands), dir. Ben Russell
Imum Coeli (Bottom of the Sky), dir. Mirka Morales
Everything Is Everyday, dir. Patrick Tarrant

6:00 p.m.: “Flash Gordon’s Ape”
These Blazeing Stars, dir. Deborah Stratman
Beads, dir. Andrew Rosinski
A Time Shared Unlimited, dir. Zachary Epcar (Read the review)
Alter Human, dir. Lars Stiltberg
Slow Action, dir. Ben Rivers

8:00 p.m.: “Cardboard Cutout Sundown”
The Garden, dir. Ann Steuernagel
Darling, dir. Kate McCabe
Hopper Repair, dir. Ross Nugent
Illness Magnified, dir. Julia Fuller
Shoals, dir. Melika Bass

8:00 p.m.: Heavy Metal Picnic, dir. Jeff Krulik and John Heyn. Via archival home video footage, hang out at Maryland’s Full Moon Jamboree, an over-the-top weekend music festival filled with booze, babes and unrepentant heavy metal debauchery. Plus, through modern reunion interviews, find out what happened to many of the party’s most colorful characters. (Read the review)
Screening with:
Heavy Metal Parking Lot, dir. Jeff Krulik and John Heyn
Moby Dick, dir. Tony Balko

June 6

6:00 p.m.: “Halflifers and Friends: Reactions in Reaction” (Curated by HalfLifers)
Actions in Action, dir. HalfLifers
Ondine’s Curse, dir. Virocode
Ashley, dir. Animal Charm
No Sunshine, dir. Bjorn Melhus
Elegy, dir. Joe Gibbons
Strain Andromeda The (excerpt), dir. Anne McGuire
White Trash Girl: The Devil Inside Me, dir. Jennifer Reeder
Afterlifers: Walking & Talking, dir. HalfLifers

8:00 p.m.: Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry: The Life of Norman K. Collins, dir. Erich Weiss. This documentary explores the past, present and future of the culture of tatooing, particularly the impact and influence of it’s most legendary figures, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins.

June 7

6:00 p.m.: “I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby”
Spaceboy, dir. Mike Olenick
Mercurial Madness, dir. Kerry Laitala
These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us, dir. Michael Robinson
Against Cinema, dir. Alberto Cabrera Bernal
The Prognosticator (Or We Are All Pythagoreans Now), dir. Brent Coughenour
Ceibas Epilogue: The Well of Representation, dir. Evan Meaney
The Blockbuster Tapes, dir. Daniel Martinico
Long Live the New Flesh, dir. Nicolas Provost

8:00 p.m.: Snow on Tha Bluff, dir. Damon Russell. An Atlanta crack dealer steals a video camera during a drug deal and begins documenting his own tragic, crime-filled life.
Screening with:
We’re Leaving, dir. Zachary Treitz

June 8

6:00 p.m.: Battle for Brooklyn, dir. Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley. Shot over the course of seven years, this documentary chronicles the long fight between the residents of Brooklyn who have to fight the city and greedy developers looking to tear down a beloved neighborhood to make way for a basketball stadium surrounded by enormous skyscrapers. Includes appearances by NYc Mayor Michael Bloomberg, architect Frank Gehry, Jay Z, developer Bruce Ratner, Steve Buscemi and others. (Read the review)

8:00 p.m.: Profane, dir. Usama Alshaibi. A Muslim sex worker has a devastating spiritual crisis after she believes her “jinn” — an Islamic demon — has been exorcised from her body. (Read the review)
Screening with:
Tears Cannot Restore Here: Therefore, I Weep, dir. Jennifer Reeder

June 9

6:00 p.m.: “A Carrot Is As Close As a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond”
The Man Who Went Outside, dir. Jennet Thomas
Negating the Increasing Powerlessness of the Most Photographed Thing in America, dir. Olivia Ciummo
Postface, dir. Frédéric Moffet
Like, dir. Luis Arnias
Accepting the Image, dir. Karel De Cock
Bathing in Milk, dir. Jenna Feldman
Slipstream, dir. D. Rickman
Magic for Beginners, dir. Jesse McLean (Watch online)

8:00 p.m.: The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, dir. Marie Losier. A portrait of industrial music pioneer Genesis P-Orridge and his late wife, Lady Jaye, who subjected themselves to an art project in which they attempted to become a singular pandrogenous entity, Breyer P-Orridge.
Screening with:
Irma, dir. Charlie Fairbanks
Lazslo Lassu, dir. Ben Popp


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