The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
THE GIRL CAN’T HELP IT
Directed by Frank Tashlin • 1956
What is rock ‘n’ roll? According to The Girl Can’t Help It, it’s a mob-controlled racket where a no-talent bombshell with a “new sound” can skyrocket up the charts thanks to rigged jukeboxes and a legion of stupefied teenagers. Playing for laughs situations and mantras that would be serious business the next year in Jailhouse Rock, Tashlin’s riotous satire is also a strangely empathetic movie: Jayne Mansfield, the reluctant crooner, obliterates the very sexpot image that Fox was grooming her to fulfill and the music itself plays out in respectful long takes. (Hollywood saw something in rock ‘n’ roll, all right—something that could be shoehorned into cheap exploitation pictures. No other movie has Fats Domino, Little Richard, and the Platters accorded the dignity of color and CinemaScope.) Also featuring Tom Ewell as a beleaguered p.r. problem-solver, Edmond O’Brien as a subliterate gangster with a new sound of his own, and Julie London as the sexiest easy listening ghost you’ve ever heard. (KW)
99 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm CinemaScope print from Criterion Pictures USA
Cartoon: “Rooty Toot Toot” (John Hubley, 1951) 16mm
—– And that’s not all! —–
In its heyday, TV meant more than just microwaves and antennae. Video was in its infancy and local stations built broadcast schedules from mountains of 16mm film–Saturday morning cartoons, syndicated sit-coms, local newsreels, commercials, dramatic anthologies in re-run, C&C Movie Time feature presentations, and much more. Harried studio technicians threaded up each print in real time on an industrial-strength projector with its lens aimed squarely at a TV camera. (Imagine the pressure: if the film breaks, every rugrat in metro Detroit sees your mistake!) These prints have survived the ravages of time and surly station managers to form a foundation for the film collectors’ underground. In an attempt to bridge the gap between couch potatoes and cinephiles, we present a marathon of TV on Film, recreating an imagined broadcast evening wholly through 16mm (and rare 35mm!) prints at Cinema Borealis, Chicago’s favorite and coziest living room. Program includes Superman, Rod Serling, the mind-frying Cattanooga Cats, and plenty of surprises. (KW)
Continuous performance from 6pm through 11pm co presented with the Nightingale. Come and go as you please. Stay if you dare!