Chicago Calling ★★★½

Billed as noir but closer to neo-realism, most notably for the fantastic location shooting in and around Bunker Hill. The plot here begins slightly convoluted—Dan Dureya, left by his wife, must now raise money to get a long distance phone call to know whether his daughter survived an auto-accident in Chicago—but the actual street dealings are authentic and always talk in terms of real dollars and cents. Dureya's odd friendship with a neighborhood kid directly recalls Bicycle Thieves, but the center of the narrative is the man's shattered masculinity, his search throughout the downtown area for some way to make a living in a society indifferent to the poor. Structured via melodramatic means with a lot of up and down plot developments at times, but the way that Reinchart focuses on money in the mise-en-scene makes this feel like this could be an essential text for Straub-Huillet.