May 6, 2022

Contact: Lori Hile


  Films are presented each Monday to commemorate the Film Center’s 50-year history

May – June titles include: Kiarostami’s CLOSE UP; Denzel Washington in MISSISSIPPI MASALA; HOOP DREAMS with director Steve James in person; John Woo’s HARD BOILED; Frederick Wiseman’s PUBLIC HOUSING (in 16mm!); and more!

Most movies will be presented via 35mm, 16mm, or 4K digital restoration!

CHICAGO—Incorporated in 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago turns 50 this year. 

The Film Center is celebrating 50 years of excellence with 50/50, a year-long series presenting a film from each year we’ve been open, Monday nights at 6:00PM. From films that hold significance to the Film Center’s history, to films that were cultural touch points in a particular year, from art house favorites to locally connected stories, 50/50 invites audiences to steep themselves in a history of cinema.

The Film Center’s 50/50 titles in May and June cover the years 1989 to 1997 and include international titles (Abbas Kiarostami’s CLOSE UP in 35mm, John Woo’s HARD BOILED in 35mm, Jane Campion’s THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY in 35mm), U.S. indies and art house films (Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING in 35mm, which screened Monday 5/2; Mira Nair’s MISSISSIPPI MASALA in 4K; Todd Haynes’ SAFE in 35mm); and Chicago-centric films (Andrew Davis’ THE FUGITIVE in 35mm, Steve James’ Oscar-snubbed doc HOOP DREAMS in 35mm–with Steve James in person!; and Frederick Wiseman’s doc portrait of Chicago’s now-demolished Ida B. Wells public housing development, PUBLIC HOUSING – in 16mm). 

“To properly celebrate our five decades of film exhibition, we knew we couldn’t choose a single film, a single decade, or a single filmmaker. This series allows us to take a journey through our history, as well as film history,” said the Film Center’s Director of Programming Rebecca Fons. “50/50 is a nostalgia trip, a cinema education, and an excuse for us to show some of our favorite films on the big screen again.” 

Patrons can purchase tickets to individual films in the 50/50 series for $12/general admission; $6/members; or $7/students.

The following is a list of films featured in the Film Center’s 50/50 series for May and June, followed by more detailed descriptions. Additional 50/50 titles will be announced in coming months:

DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) – Monday, May 2 – 35mm (already screened)

CLOSE UP (NEMA-YE NAZDIK)  (1990) – Monday, May 9 – 35mm

MISSISSIPPI MASALA (1991) – Monday, May 16 – 4K restoration

HARD BOILED (LAT SAU SAN TAAM)  (1992) – Monday, May 23 – 35mm

THE FUGITIVE (1993) – Monday, May 30 – 35mm

HOOP DREAMS (1994) – Monday, June 6 (director in person!)

SAFE (1995) – Monday, June 13 – 35mm

THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (1996) – Monday, June 20 – 35mm

PUBLIC HOUSING (1997) – Monday, June 17 – 16mm

Monday, May 9

1990, dir. Abbas Kiarostami
Iran, 98 min.
In Persian and Azerbaijani with English subtitles / Format: 35mm
Kiarostami’s most radical, brilliant work uses a sensational real-life event as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence. 

Monday, May 16

1991, dir. Mira Nair
USA, 117 min. 

In English / Format: 4K Digital

Denzel Washington stars opposite Sarita Choudhury in Nair’s radical celebration of love and insightful examination of tradition, culture, and race. 4K digital restoration undertaken by The Criterion Collection, supervised by Nair.

Monday, May 23

1992, dir. John Woo
Hong Kong, 125 min. 

In English and Cantonese with English subtitles / Format: 35mm

Dizzying and exhilarating, Woo’s classic is presented as it was meant to be seen: on the big screen and on film. On the streets of Hong Kong, hardened detective “Tequila” Yeun (Chow Yun-fat) goes after a dangerous mobster. 

Monday, May 30

1993, dir. Andrew Davis
USA, 130 min. 

In English, Polish, and Spanish with English subtitles / Format: 35mm

After being wrongfully accused of murdering his wife, Chicago doctor Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) goes on the run to save himself and find her killer. This screening will include a video introduction from director Andrew Davis. 

Monday, June 6
1994, dir. Steve James
USA, 171 min.
In English / Format: Digital 

Director Steve James in person!
One of the greatest documentaries of all time, HOOP DREAMS is the remarkable true story of William Gates and Arthur Agree. An intimate reflection and time capsule of Chicago’s inner-city, HOOPS DREAMS follows two American dreamers on the courts of the game they love. This screening will be introduced by director Steve James.

Monday, June 13

1995, dir. Todd Haynes
USA, 119 min. 

In English / Format: 35mm
In Haynes’ revelatory and unsettling drama, Carol White (an exceptional Julianne Moore) is an aimless Los Angeles housewife suddenly afflicted with a mysterious and debilitating illness. When her condition cannot be diagnosed, her isolation becomes more profound.

Monday, June 20
1996, dir. Jane Campion

UK, USA, 144 min.
In English and Italian with English subtitles / Format: 35mm
In Campion’s understated and intelligent adaptation of the Henry James novel, Nicole Kidman is Isabel Archer, an independent and desirous young woman manipulated by Madame Merle (Barbara Hershey) and Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich). 

Monday, June 27

1997, dir. Frederick Wiseman

USA, 200 min.
In English / Format: 16mm

Wiseman’s unwavering eye is fixed on daily life at Chicago’s (now demolished) Ida B. Wells public housing development, from work of the tenants council and after-school teenage programs, to street life, elderly residents, and nursery school.


Gene Siskel Film Center

Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center, a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has presented critically acclaimed cinema to an annual audience of 85,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at