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Beating the January Doldrums….

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Still from The Illusionist, showing at the Musicbox.

Still from The Illusionist, showing at the Musicbox.

2011 has started in true apocalyptic fashion: biblical proportioned floods in South America and Australia, massive fish and fowl demises, and tragic violence.

To make matters even worse, it is January in Chicago.

It’s enough to make a girl want to drop out of art school and go into seclusion with a cat or two and a large stock of chocolate chip cookies. Luckily, there are more expedient ways of overcoming the January-in-Chicago/the-apocolypse-is-nigh-blues: go to the movies! Here’s a smattering of some of the escapism being offered around town this month:

Through February 2, you can catch new releases from Latin America at the Gene Siskel: http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/ahora

And if all the tropical climate is just too much to contemplate, starting at the end of January is the Siskel’s “Psychological Horror Films” series, something to which most of us can likely relate at the moment.

At the Music Box, you can catch “The Illusionist,” an animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet, the maker of the epic “Triplets of Belleville” — good enough of a recommendation for me!

And finally, if you happen to find yourself on the South Side, you can grab a slice of the classic and contemporary film smorgasbord offered by U of C’s Doc Films on any day of the week.

And don’t forget the popcorn…and chocolate…essential ingredients to film therapy.

–Ania Szremski, Arts Editor

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