Monthly Archives: August 2012

New Season! New Laffs! Lombard and MacMurray in
Hands Across the Table in 35mm at the Portage!

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.

Wednesday, September 5th @ 7:30pm
HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1935
Hoping to pull herself out of the working class and into the arms of a millionaire, hotel manicurist Carole Lombard pines after playboy Fred MacMurray only to find out his family lost its fortune in the Crash and he’s trying to land a millionaire, too. A missed ocean liner to Bermuda lands him on her couch for a week, and in the end their fates are left to the toss of a coin. Not to be mistaken for a screwball comedy (though a delightful scene in which MacMurray scares a very young William Demarest into taking a nasty tumble down Lombard’s apartment stairs may as well make it one), this is much more bitter, tender, lovely stuff… everyone involved will break your heart in the funniest sort of way. Delicately and affectionately handled by Leisen, two misguided dumbells looking for love or money at any expense were never so graceful. (JA)
80 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Cartoon: Bugs Bunny in “Hair-Raising Hare” (Chuck Jones, 1946) • 16mm • 7 min

—————-

And join us on Sunday, September 9 for the return of Cinema Borealis!

1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor
$10 Suggested Donation
Two Shows! 7:00pm and 9:15pm Tony Scott RIP.

UNSTOPPABLE
Directed by Tony Scott • 2010
The recent death of director/producer Tony Scott has left an irreparable rupture in Hollywood cinema: the Paul Sharits of testosterone-driven action filmmaking, Scott staged mayhem with a singularly florid intensity—color outside of time. After the operatic assault of The Hunger, Scott settled into a series of relatively staid blockbusters before an abstract late-career renaissance that encompassed Man on Fire, Domino, Deja Vu, and his final masterpiece, Unstoppable. A mere plot summary of Unstoppable makes it sounds like a Denzel-ized retread of Speed, but trust us: if your idea of a perfect night at the movies is watching trains hurdle through the verdant backwoods of Pennsylvania at a hundred miles per hour in throbbing primary shades, this is your kind of movie. One of the rare recent action films to take full advantage of the scope of Cinemascope, Unstoppable also found praise in the Canadian journal Cinemascope for its “daring, forceful plunges into abstraction combined with a hardscrabble, working-class metaphysics.” (KW)
98 min • 20th Century Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA

Posted in News | Comments Off

This is the Way the World Ends — in 1966
Arthur Penn’s The Chase This Wednesday in 35mm

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.

August 29
THE CHASE
Directed by Arthur Penn • 1966
A bold and somewhat irresponsible diagnosis of a good half-dozen uniquely American illnesses, The Chase is an epic serving of Southern Gothic updated for an age of civil rights and Cinemascope. It’s Saturday night in Tarl, Texas and the usual barbecues and wife swaps take a back seat to the collective anxieties unleashed by the prison break of “Bubbers” Reeves (Robert Redford), the local bad boy who may harbor a sound grudge against a prominent town father. Only Marlon Brando’s professional martyr Sheriff Calder stands between the townsfolk and a junkyard cataclysm. As a follow-up to producer Sam Spiegel’s Lawrence of Arabia, The Chase manages a crazy but equally prestigious pedigree: Lillian Hellman adapts Horton Foote’s play, hot shot director Arthur Penn works with his largest and messiest canvas yet, and the unstable all-star constellation mixes rising talent (Jane Fonda, Robert Duvall, Angie Dickinson) and declining veterans (Miriam Hopkins, Bruce Cabot, Grady Sutton). Uncomfortably in tune with a violent and complex contemporary landscape, The Chase was a much-mocked flop (Judith Crist called it “a mishmash of Peyton Place sociology, Western mythology, and Deep South psychology”) gone from theaters by the time that Summer 1966 brought fresh news of riots in Chicago and Cleveland. (KW)
135 min. • Columbia Pictures • 35mm Vault Print from Sony Pictures Repertory
Cartoon: Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner in “Fast and Furry-ous” (Chuck Jones, 1949) – 35mm Technicolor – 7 min

Posted in News | 1 Comment

You’ll Never Forget This One: This Day and Age
DeMille’s Berserk Call to Arms Calls This Wednesday

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.

August 22
THIS DAY AND AGE
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille • 1933
One of the more unaccountable artifacts in the history of American cinema, DeMille’s filmic op-ed opens with montages of barreling airplanes and never lets up from there. DeMille returns to the high school milieu of The Godless Girl when that institution was still so fresh on the mass culture landscape that any examination of it felt ultra-contemporary and important. Temporarily empowered with law-enforcement authority in a Boys Week gambit, the valedictorians of North High School embark on a vigilante crusade to rid the city of the gangsterism that the adults and their due process niceties can’t quash. Though nominally one of DeMille’s modern stories, the boys’ solutions have a decidedly Old Testament flavor, not least extracting information from one hood by dangling him over a pit of live rats. Simultaneously awestruck by fascist methodology and solidly anti-bigotry (the boys’ crusade is set in motion by the murder of a Jewish tailor), This Day and Age is civic-minded in a one-of-a-kind way. As a social document of the anxieties and options in the air at the dawn of the New Deal era, This Day and Age remains unmatched. It also includes a line about olives that ranks with the filthiest moments of pre-Code Hollywood. (KW)
Co-presented with portoluz–WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal
86 min. • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Cartoon: Popeye in “The Man on the Flying Trapeze” (Dave Fleischer, 1934) – 16mm – 7 min
Short: “Hollywood Extra Girl” (Herbert Moulton, 1935) – 16mm – 11 min

Posted in News | Comments Off

Yasujiro Ozu’s Devastating Post-war Masterpiece!
A Hen in the Wind This Wednesday in 35mm

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.

August 15
A HEN IN THE WIND
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1948
Post-war strife weighs heavily on impoverished dress-maker Tokiko (Kinuyo Tanaka), who eventually prostitutes herself to pay for her son’s medical care. The much-anticipated demobilization of Tokiko’s husband becomes a dangerous balancing act as she attempts to restore her life while keeping this potentially devastating secret. Long dismissed as an uncharacteristically angry and violent film from Japan’s most serene auteur (not least by the director himself), A Hen in the Wind now looks like a masterful melodrama that challenges viewers with a radical and insistent brand of empathy. It’s true that it’s starker than most Ozu films–the domestic dysfunction doesn’t have to be teased out or assembled from an accumulation of details–but this up-front righteousness is refreshing. That such an urgent social tract emerged from a culture whose entire discourse was so closely regulated by the American occupation is doubly remarkable. In Japanese with English subtitles. (KW)
84 min. • Shôchiku Eiga • 35mm from Janus Films
Cartoon: “The Cat Came Back” (Cordell Barker, 1988) – 35mm – 7 min

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Give Us a Handout to Revive Us Again
Hallelujah, I’m a Bum! in 35mm This Wednesday

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.

August 8
HALLELUJAH I’M A BUM
Directed by Lewis Milestone • 1933
Also known as Happy Go Lucky, Lazy Bones, and The Heart of New York, this Rodgers and Hart semi-musical takes its original US title from a popular 1908 folk song of sarcastic protest to upper class moralizing of the homeless. Al Jolson (in one of his few non-blackface roles, also his most enjoyable) plays a tramp who falls in love with the girlfriend of an old acquaintance who happens to be the mayor of New York (played by Frank Morgan). Harry Langdon and Edgar Connor are Jolson’s compatriots Egghead and Acorn who remind him that he’ll never leave Central Park. Highly thought of today, most of the original reviews were ambivalent (perhaps the film’s rhyming couplets were too much, too soon…), but the New York Times had the benefit of taking the film at face value: “It is really a sort of tramp’s dream. Sometimes the characters converse in rhyme and on other occasions they sing their opinions. Even Mayor Hastings, presumably of New York, played by Mr. Morgan, is inspired to regale his subordinates with doggerel.” (JA)
Co-presented with portoluz–WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal
82 min • Feature Productions• 35mm from the Library of Congress
Cartoon: Betty Boop in “The Old Man of the Mountain” (Dave Fleischer, 1933) – 35mm – 7 min

Posted in News | Comments Off