Films & Events

THE OFFICIAL SELECTIONS OF THE 2023 REFOCUS FILM FESTIVAL

The 2nd edition of the Refocus Film Festival features over 30 films and events.
 
VIEW SCHEDULE

About Dry Grasses

See Showtimes

A young teacher hopes to be appointed to Istanbul after mandatory duty at a small village. After a long time waiting he loses all hope of escaping from this gloomy life. However, his colleague Nuray helps him to regain perspective.

Runtime: 197 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Language(s): Turkish

Blue Giant

See Showtimes

Dai's life is completely changed the day he discovers jazz. A dedicated saxophonist, he moves from his small town to Tokyo and starts a young trio, determined to be the best player in the world.

Runtime: 120 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Yuzuru Tachikawa
Language(s): Japanese

Cat Person

See Showtimes

When Margot (Emilia Jones), a college sophomore goes on a date with the older Robert (Nicholas Braun), she finds that IRL Robert doesn't live up to the Robert she has been flirting with over texts.

Runtime: 120 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Susanna Fogel
Language(s): English

Cinema Savant: Werner Herzog

See Showtimes

Legendary film director Werner Herzog will receive FilmScene’s Cinema Savant award and appear in conversation to discuss his life in film and will read from his soon-to-be-released autobiography, Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir.

Runtime: 90 minutes
Year Released: 
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Language(s): 

Cobra Verde

See Showtimes

During the 1800s, paroled Brazilian bandit Cobra Verde is sent to West Africa with a few troops to man an old Portuguese fort and to convince the local African ruler to resume the slave trade with Brazil.

Runtime: 111 minutes
Year Released: 1987
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Language(s): German, Ewe, Portuguese

Egoist

See Showtimes

Touching on themes of sexuality and class in contemporary Japan, this deeply moving story follows fashion magazine editor Kosuke and personal trainer Ryuta whose romantic relationship flies in the face of their society's traditional values.

Runtime: 120 minutes
Year Released: 2022
Director(s): Daishi Matsunaga
Language(s): Japanese

Eileen

See Showtimes

Adapted from Ottessa Moshfegh's celebrated novel of the same name, this dark tale of friendship and unrequited love in the 1964 Boston suburbs follows Eileen, a young secretary (Thomasin McKenzie) at a juvenile correctional facility, who is immediately taken by the new psychologist (Anne Hathaway).

Runtime: 97 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): William Oldroyd
Language(s): English

Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia

See Showtimes

Ernest and Celestine fight a fascist ban on music in this loveable follow up to the Oscar-nominated film based on characters from the French children's book series by Gabrielle Vincent.

Runtime: 80 minutes
Year Released: 2022
Director(s): Julien Chheng, Jean-Christophe Roger
Language(s): France

Filmspotting Live

See Showtimes

The #1 podcast for the movie buff according to the New York Times, Chicago’s Filmspotting has provided in-depth movie discussions, interviews, and Top 5 lists since 2005. Join co-hosts Josh Larsen and Adam Kempenaar (UI professor) as they record a live episode, “The Enigma of Werner Herzog,” exploring the ecstatic truths of one of cinema’s most daring and iconoclastic filmmakers.

Runtime: 60 minutes
Year Released: 
Director(s): Adam Kempenaar, Josh Larsen
Language(s): English

Four Daughters

See Showtimes
Reconstructing the true story of Olfa Hamrouni and her four daughters is a riveting exploration of rebellion, memory, and sisterhood.
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Kaouther Ben Hania
Language(s): Arabic

Gueule d'Amour (Lady Killer)

See Showtimes

This adaptation of a novel by André Boucler features a foreign-legion Casanova – the “lady killer” Lucien Bourrache – who meets his match in the mysterious seductress Madeleine.

Runtime: 94 minutes
Year Released: 1937
Director(s): Jean Grémillon
Language(s): France

John Irving: The Cider House Rules

See Showtimes

John Irving is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop who he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. Irving will join us in person for a screening and discussion of how his acclaimed book became an Oscar-winning script.

Runtime: 126 minutes
Year Released: 1999
Director(s): Lasse Hallström
Language(s): English

Monograph Shorts Program

See Showtimes

A Refocus Film Festival shorts block, featuring four selections that expand our understanding of art and adaptation, from directors Jean-Luc Godard, Anthony Ing, Elizabeth Hobbs, and Lonnie Holley & Cyrus Moussavi

Runtime: 73 minutes
Year Released: Various
Director(s): Various
Language(s): English, French

Music

See Showtimes

Freely inspired by the story of Oedipus, Angela Schanelec's latest is as terrifying as myth and as gentle as a folk song.

Runtime: 108 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Angela Schanelec
Language(s): German, Greek, English

Orlando, My Political Biography

See Showtimes

Academic virtuoso turned filmmaker Paul B. Preciado's doc tells his and others' stories of transition through unique reenactments and visual interpretations of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

Runtime: 98 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Paul B. Preciado
Language(s): French

Radical Wolfe

See Showtimes

The first feature film to unpack the inimitable life and career of great American New Journalist Tom Wolfe is as illuminating as it is deeply personal, pulling back the curtain on the man in the white suit.

Runtime: 76 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Richard Dewey
Language(s): English

Robot Dreams

See Showtimes
Adapted from Sara Varon's graphic novel of the same name, this touching story of friendship and loss follows a dog and his robot best friend.
Runtime: 102 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Pablo Berger
Language(s): No dialogue

The Movie Orgy

See Showtimes

A compilation film designed to evoke nostalgia for the shared entertainment experiences of early baby boomers, including clips from television programs and B-movies of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as commercials, newsreels, blooper outtakes, satiric short films and promotional and government films.

Runtime: 275 minutes
Year Released: 1968 and counting
Director(s): Joe Dante
Language(s): English

The Music Room

See Showtimes

A fallen aristocrat's crumbling opulence is on full display in this incandescent depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity, one of the defining works of the master filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

Runtime: 95 minutes
Year Released: 1958
Director(s): Satyajit Ray
Language(s): Bengali, English

The Natural History of Destruction

See Showtimes

An examination of the perception and processing of the phenomenon of mass destruction of the German civilian population in European post-war literature.

Runtime: 112 minutes
Year Released: 2022
Director(s): Sergei Losnitza
Language(s): English, German

The Pigeon Tunnel

See Showtimes
Spanning six decades, John le Carré gives his final and most personal interview, interspersed with rare archival footage and dramatic anecdotes.
Runtime: 92 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Errol Morris
Language(s): English

The Shining

See Showtimes

In this adaptation of Stephen King's horror story, a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Runtime: 146 minutes
Year Released: 1980
Director(s): Stanley Kubrick
Language(s): English

The Taste of Things

See Showtimes

The story of Eugenie, an esteemed cook, and Dodin, the fine gourmet she has been working for over the last 20 years.

Runtime: 145 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Anh Hung Tran
Language(s): French

This Much We Know

See Showtimes
A filmmaker finds personal solace in retracing and expanding a book reflecting on the city with the highest suicide rate in the country and a nation scrambling to bury decades of nuclear excess in a nearby mountain.
Runtime: 105 minutes
Year Released: 2022
Director(s): L. Frances Henderson
Language(s): English

Time Bomb Y2K

See Showtimes

Do you remember making sure to power down and unplug your computer on December 31, 1999? Created using entirely archival footage, this documentary travels back to the turn of the millennium, showcasing a panoply of eccentric characters and all manner of hilariously dated clips.

Runtime: 80 minutes
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Brian Becker, Marley McDonald
Language(s): English

Voorhees Night of the Beast

See Showtimes

When Jason isn't the only beast in the woods, no one is safe. An unauthorized fiction film for Friday the 13th fans.

Runtime: 61 minutes
Year Released: 2021
Director(s): Jason Pitts
Language(s): English

Werckmeister Harmonies

See Showtimes

A naive young man witnesses an escalation of violence in his small hometown following the arrival of a mysterious circus attraction.

Runtime: 145 minutes
Year Released: 2000
Director(s): Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Language(s): Hungarian, Slovak

Xala

See Showtimes

A corrupt politician is cursed with impotence on the night of his third wedding after embezzling 100 tons of rice.

Runtime: 123 minutes
Year Released: 1975
Director(s): Ousmane Sembene
Language(s): French, Wolof
Sign up for festival updates and film announcements!
Subscription Form
Copyright © 2024
Website development and design by Pixel Jam Digital
usercalendar-fullvolume-mediumclock linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram