Chicago film fest “hit hard” by crisis

The Chicago International Film Festival, currently underway, “has been hit hard by the ripple effect of America’s current crisis,” the Chicago Tribune observed today.

The newspaper noted that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was due to appear at the festival in conjunction with a screening of Collateral Damage, which had been scheduled to open the film festivities, pulled out when the studio yanked its release of the film.

Sissy Spacek, who was to have boosted her In the Bedroom, due to open on Nov. 23, also pulled out saying that she wanted to stay with her family.

And on Tuesday, Christine Lahti, who is making her directorial debut with My First Mister, scheduled to open Friday, said that she also wanted to remain at home. Lahti also told the Tribune that she believes that as a result of last month’s events, audiences will have less of an appetite for films laden with special effects and violence. “I don’t think that’s such a bad thing,” she said.