Facets Cinémathèque

Archives +

July 18–24, 2014

Chicago Premiere

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Film still: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors Film still: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors Film still: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors Film still: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors


Special Jury Prize
Tribeca Film Fest


"Terrifically conceived and executed... Consistently fascinating and suspenseful"
Critics' Pick "Wonderfully witty and understated... A small miracle of a film"
  —New York Times
Critics' Pick
  —Village Voice
"In its depiction of fragility and resilience, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors rings true from beginning to end without a trace of sentimentality"
  —Film Comment
"Richly textured, fully engaging... an exceptional film"
"Artfully observant and humane... With a sharp eye for offbeat visual details and an ear for the music and cacophony of the transit system and its denizens, [director Sam Fleischner] uncannily recreates the sensitive perspective of his autistic protagonist"
  —Film Journal International
3 stars½ "Fleischner paints a vivid portrait of New York life"
  —Slant Magazine
"The film's vision is original and beguiling"
Recommended "[The film] captures a rare, teeming intimacy"
  —NewCity Chicago

Autistic teen Ricky lives in Far Rockaway, Queens, and while his family struggles with economic hardship, he faces the difficulties of fitting in at school. When he is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway, embarking on a long underground odyssey among the subway's disparate denizens as his guilt-ridden mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. With Hurricane Sandy lurking menacingly on the horizon, she has precious little time to locate her son.

Filmmaker Sam Fleischner's suspenseful and fascinating drama has been celebrated by The New York Times' Stephen Holden for delivering "as intense and indelible an immersion in the real New York as I have seen in a long time... [The film is] completely, exhilaratingly alive." Furthermore, it represents an incredible example of artistic resourcefulness as Fleischner not only managed the practically impossible task of shooting guerrilla-style on the New York subway (releases were signed between stops), but also rolled with the devastation wrought by a natural disaster, masterfully incorporating it into his already fraught narrative.

Directed by Sam Fleischner, U.S.A., 2013, 102 mins. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Jul. 18 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jul. 19 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jul. 20 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jul. 21–24 at 7 & 9 pm
Order tickets


$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation