Current Season

All screenings are held at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road, unless otherwise noted. Admission is $5.

Programmed and Projected by Julian Antos, Becca Hall, and Kyle Westphal. Assistants: Sonia Lupher and Hannah Greenberg

Wednesday, February 26 @ 7:30pmKiss the Blood Off My Hands_300
Directed by Norman Foster • 1948
A film that requires no tagline, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands is the first feature made by Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht’s Harold Hecht-Norma Productions, and a trendsetter for independent “tough guy who just needs some understanding” film noirs. After killing a man in a sloshy bar fight, former POW Bill Saunders (Lancaster) takes shelter in the arms of a kindhearted nurse (Joan Fontaine), who gets him a job delivering medical supplies. Lancaster’s past catches up with him soon enough, and a witness to his killing blackmails him into doing a robbery and throwing his new love away. Set in an eerie backlot approximation of London, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands is a violent, menacing emotional trainwreck held together by one of Joan Fontaine’s best performances. (JA)
79 min • Harold Hecht-Norma Productions • 35mm from Universal

Wednesday, March 12 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur and Lee Garmes • 1934Crime Without Passion _300
Granted a baffling degree of freedom by distributor Paramount Pictures, professional script doctors Hecht and MacArthur set up shop at Astoria’s Eastern Service Studios and vowed to produce independent movies that would expose the sickening bloat of the studio system. By all accounts, Hecht and MacArthur banged out a crackerjack script and deemed the rest of the process superfluous: they lounged about on the floor while drunkenly playing backgammon and left the technical niceties to cameraman (and de facto director) Lee Garmes. The indifference extended to their protagonist, too—Lee Gentry (Claude Rains), a cocksure and conscienceless defense attorney whose peerless contempt for the “pitiful insects” of the world marks him as a pre-Ayn Rand übermensch. Gentry’s attempt to dispose of his mistress (Margo) leads to inevitable tragedy, complete with the flight of the Furies courtesy of montage maestro Slavko Vorkapich. An unlikely hit, Crime Without Passion offered audiences their first opportunity to scrutinize Rains without a bevy of bandages and a cloak of invisibility. (KW)
80 min • Hecht-MacArthur Productions, Inc. • 35mm from Universal

Wednesday, March 26 @ 7pm – Comfort Station Logan Square, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave.
Go down to the basement and dig out your Super 8 memories of that interminable trip to Idaho or that embarrassing 16mm footage of your mother’s rockin’ bat mitzvah and bring them to the Comfort Station on Wednesday, March 26 for a Logan Square edition of Home Movie Day. Jointly presented by NWCFS, Chicago Film Archives, Logan Square International Film Series, and The Post Family, Home Movie Day offers Chicagoans the opportunity to gather together and share their celluloid histories. Home movies provide invaluable records of our families and our communities: they document vanished storefronts, questionable fashions, adorable pets, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods-in-transition. Many Chicagoans still possess these old reels, passed down from generation to generation, but lack the projection equipment to view them properly and safely. That’s where Home Movie Day comes in: you bring the films, and we inspect them, project them, and offer tips on storage, preservation, and video transfer–all free of charge. And best of all, you get to watch them with an enthusiastic audience, equally hungry for local history. Plus: CFA presents rare films from the JoAnn Elam, the best filmmaker and letter-carrier that Logan Square ever had!

Wednesday, April 2 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Milos Forman • 1971Taking Off_300
Roger Ebert said it best: “[Milos Forman has] a rich appreciation for the everyday lives of people who do not realize how funny they are.” Few people are as funny, sweet, or immensely human as the middle-aged couple Larry and Lynn Tyne (played by Buck Henry and Lynn Carlin), whose teenage daughter Jeannie (Linnea Heacock) has run away from home to be with the hippie weirdos of 1971 (led in part by Carly Simon). As the couple searches for their daughter, they meet other parents looking for their runaway children and inadvertently rediscover their youth with the help of the Society for Parents of Fugitive Children. At once a vibrant cultural artifact and a gentle social commentary, Forman has kinder things to say about dysfunctional people living in  dysfunctional times than any of his peers, and finds genuine joy even in the bleakest situations. With Paul Benedict, Vincent Schiavelli, and Ike and Tina Turner. (JA)
93 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal

Wednesday, April 23 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1932The_Strange_Love_of_Molly_Louvain_300
Iowa cigarette counter salesgirl Molly Louvain (Ann Dvorak) has everything figured out until her country club boyfriend leaves her penniless and pregnant. Hitting the road with a greasy lowlife (Leslie Fenton), Molly eventually winds up in Chicago, where she gets mixed up with a cop killing. Fawned over by a hayseed hometown suitor (Richard Cromwell) and pursued by transparently cynical newspaperman Scotty “Peanuts” Cornell (Lee Tracy), Molly finds herself in a clinch that even blonde hair dye can’t fix. A rare starring showcase for the wonderful Dvorak, The Strange Love of Molly Louvain is a brisk maternal melodrama and a mettle-testing gauntlet of spontaneous sincerity. Based on a play by Chicago’s Maurine Watkins, this nevertheless rates as one of the most geographically inept depictions of the Second City on film: a key scene occurs at the intersection of Clark and Dearborn, while Hyde Park comes across as Lake Michigan’s version of The Bronx.  (KW)
73 min • First National • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Warner Bros.
Co-sponsored by Park Ridge Classic Film Series
Introduced by Christina Rice, author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel