Facets Cinémathèque

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July 3–9, 2015

Chicago Premiere

The Strongest Man

Film still: The Strongest Man

Film Fest
"Beautifully oddball... it's like Terrence Malick directing Napoleon Dynamite"

The Strongest Man is Beef (played by Miami artist Robert "Meatball" Lorie), a dexterous Cuban construction worker with massive biceps and an even more prodigious set of curls. Despite being able to knock down physical walls with casual non-chalance, Beef cannot shake off the odd sense of anxiety that looms over all his personal choices. His best friend, Conan the Korean, is not much help in this department as Conan has his own angst-ridden jitters, brought upon by the bewildered disapproval of his parents at his failure to follow in his older brother's super-achieving footsteps.

When Beef's neighbor Illi talks Beef and Conan into joining her at Guru Fred's spiritual meditation class, the pair are inspired to take their destiny into their own hands, but Miami's eccentric landscape ably distracts them from their metaphysical quests.

Filmmaker Kenny Riches shows a distinctive as well as an unconventional gift for original textures in The Strongest Man, which recalls the deadpan style of Hal Hartley (The Unbelievable Truth, Trust) and this delightfully quirky film is as warm and playful as it is profound.

Directed by Kenny Riches, U.S.A., 2014, 99 mins. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Jul. 3 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jul. 4 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jul. 5 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jul. 6–9 at 7 & 9 pm
Order tickets


$10 general admission

$5 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