Think of an animated movie — what first comes to mind?
Often, people think of their childhood. Animated movies conjure feelings of comfort and nostalgia — memories of a simpler time held together by reels of film on old, stashed-away VHS tapes. However, animated films can also challenge adults with their exploration of heavy topics, such as “Persepolis” (2007) shining a light on the political turmoil in Iran or “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” (2012) tackling the existential fears that all humans share. Animation’s ability to appeal to the child as well as to the adult is something the Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) intends to explore in its upcoming series “Making ‘Em Move: A History of Animation.”
Named after one half of the legendary Chicago film critic duo, “Siskel and Ebert,” the GSFC off State and Lake streets is a champion for classic, indie and art-house films. The team is set on educating the masses on the art of cinema in the true spirit of its namesake.
The GSFC is a place for lovers of the arts to delve into one of the greatest art forms: cinema. The building overlooks State Street and stands across from the Chicago Theatre. The inside is quiet and cozy — a perfect way to spend a rainy day in the city. It is an area easily accessible by taking the Red Line south from campus, so stop by before the series ends and catch a movie as well as a history lesson.
Beginning on Sept. 2 and lasting through Nov. 28, the GSFC will be hosting screenings of 13 animated movies that make up a skeleton for the history of the genre. A lecture from a local film historian will follow each screening to educate audiences on why the movie was chosen, why it’s a crucial step in the history of animation and what techniques were used in making the film.
While there are Disney films on the list, including “Pinocchio” (1940) and “The Good Dinosaur” (2015), the series will feature animation from around the world, from France and Germany to Japan and Czechoslovakia.
The full list of films is as follows:
“The Good Dinosaur” (2015)
“The Adventures of Prince Achmed” (1926)
“It’s Such A Beautiful Day” (2012)
“Institute Benjamenta” (1995)
“Waltz with Bashir” (2008)
“The Boxtrolls” (2014)
“The Illusionist” (2010)
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988)
“Spirited Away” (2001)
“The Red Turtle” (2016)
Tickets are $11 per film for non-GSFC members and $5 for members. “The Good Dinosaur” kicks off the series this Saturday, and doors are open to anyone interested.
Visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org for more information, including exact show times.