SERIAL KILLER SPECIALIST John Borowski (H.H. Holmes, Albert Fish) has released streaming and DVD versions of his third documentary, Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance.
Borowski combines reenactments with historical documents and archival interviews, including with Henry Lesser, the Washington D.C. prison guard who secretly supplied Panzram with the pencil and paper to write his gruesome autobiography.
John DiMaggio (Futurama) stars as the voice of Panzram. With Tom Lodewyck, David Salmonson, Brett Jetmund, David Weiss, Anya Clingman, and Joe Coleman.
THE COMEDY ROUNDABOUT AMERICAN, directed by Boris Wexler of Escape Films and produced by Julian Grant, about a French immigrant who opens an escort service out of a pizza parlor, has its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Dec. 15 at 7:45 p.m., with an encore screening Dec. 19 at 8:30 p.m.
Starring Édouard Giard, Mariell Rocca-Serra, Patrick Zielinski, Torey Adkins, Mari-Jo Faracci, Howie Johnson, Rom Barkhordar, and Michael Gellman.
Wexler, Grant, Adkins and Zielinski will hold Q&A after the screenings. Wexler is in preproduction on the thriller Chat.
CHICAGO TORTURE JUSTICE MEMORIALS, as part of its Opening the Black Box exhibit, presents A Film Festival Against Torture, collecting three documentaries about the survivors and perpetrators of institutional abuse, Dec. 15 at the School of the Art Institute’s Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor.
Peter Kuttner, Cyndi Moran and Eric Scholl of Community TV Network’s End of the Nightstick, about the movement to expose the systemic cover-up of police torture, screens at noon.
Jackie Rivet-River and John Lyons of Peace Productions’ To Turn a Blind Eye, about the 100 plus abuses committed under police commander John Burge, screens at 2:15 p.m. Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger of Percolator Films’ Beneath the Blindfold, about international torture survivors living in the U.S., follows at 4 p.m.
DIRECTOR AUGUSTO CONTENTO and producer Giancarlo Grande of Paris-based Cineparallax’s experimental documentary about Chicago post-rock, Parallax Sounds, won a special jury award at the 30th Torino Film Festival.
It features local musicians Steve Albini, David Grubbs, Damon Locks, Ken Vandermark, Rick Wojcik, and Ian Williams.
POST-HOUSE COAT OF ARMS completed four explainer videos for Restaurant.com and Various Things Live, promoting the site’s sales commission program. It incorporating art and animation by Jeff McBride, Matthew Darnall, Stefan Draht and Lauren Dumasius. Clara Lehmann wrote the scripts.
SAIC INSTRUCTOR MELIKA BASS’s short Varoeldur, featuring dancer Selma Banich, is one of twelve music films commissioned by Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós for the touring Valtari Film Experiment, which screens Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Siskel Center.
Also featuring films by Alma Har’el (showcasing a nude Shia LaBeouf), Ramin Bahrani, Dash Shaw and John Cameron Mitchell, Arni & Kinski, and Ryan McGinley.
FORMER N0T0X GALLERY OWNER SETI GERSHBERG is making the documentary The Path of the Sun, about shamanism, ancient knowledge and sacred plants of the Q’eros of the high Andes of Peru and the Curanderos of the Peruvian Amazon.