Facets Cinémathèque

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March 4–10, 2016

A Facets Special Event!
20th Anniversary of an American Classic


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Film still: Fargo Film still: Fargo

35mm print!

Best Actress
Best Writing
Best Picture
Best Director
Academy Awards
Best Director
Palme d'Or
Cannes Film Fest
"Fargo is an accumulation of tiny, perfect details... a work of brick-by-brick world-building in the service of characters whose ordinariness is just as carefully crafted"
  —Village Voice
3 stars½ "Eerily screwy... scathingly funny"
  —Chicago Tribune
4 stars
  —Roger Ebert

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir comedy crime thriller written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief investigating roadside homicides that ensue after a struggling car salesman (William H. Macy) hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in order to extort a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law (Harve Presnell). Things go predictably wrong and a series of murders occur, with Marge, waddling along behind her enormous belly and ever-hungering for an all-you-can-eat buffet, hot on the trail of the killers.

The Coen brothers both embraced and poked satirical fun at their Minnesotan roots that earned seven Oscar nominations, winning for Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Original Screenplay. Although the credits for Fargo state that the film is loosely based on real events, the story is entirely fictional, the claim being just an ironic jibe on the part of the Coens.

This exhibition is a 20th Anniversary celebration of this film classic which was declared to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and inducted into the United States National Film Registry for preservation, making it one of six films to have been preserved in their first year of eligibility. The American Film Institute named it one of the 100 greatest American movies of all time and it has received additional acclaim via its successful FX television series, with the Coen brothers acting as executive producers.

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S.A., 1996, 35mm, 97 mins.


  • Fri., Mar. 4 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Mar. 5 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Mar. 6 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Mar. 7–10 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy 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