Category Archives: News

Eat or Be Et: Nicholas Ray and Budd Schulberg’s
Wind Across the Everglades in Gatorific 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, January 25 @ 7:30 PM
WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES
Directed by Nicholas Ray • 1958
Dead in the midst of another brutal Chicago winter, we may look upon the vision of balmy South Florida seen in Nicholas Ray’s brilliantly haphazard environmentalist swamp western Wind Across the Everglades for a glimpse of all we’re missing: fever, drunken madness, and death by any one of the region’s plethora of toxic flora and fauna. Having just arrived in turn-of-the-century Miami, outspoken conservationist Walt Murdock (Christopher Plummer) is summarily hired as game warden for the Everglades and immediately tasked with going after a gang of poachers who are killing off the region’s birds and selling their feathers. A career-best Burl Ives leads the gang as Cottonmouth, named for the venomous snake kept in his pocket, who lives by the philosophy of “eat or be et”, and prides himself on being “swamp-born, swamp-fattened.” The all-location production of Wind Across the Everglades was notoriously tempestuous, with cast and crew members sick or soused for much of its making. Ray himself was fired before the film wrapped due to his erratic behavior and conspicuous heroin habit. While Wind Across the Everglades certainly bears the scars of its troubled makings, it remains a key film in Ray’s filmography. It’s hard to imagine a smoother shoot yielding a film so unique, vigorous, or full of life. (CW)
93 min •  Warner Bros. • 35mm from Warner Bros.
Preceded by: “Weekend at Weeki Wachee” (1964) – 35mm – 12 min

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Morning Post Editor Saves Hanged Man, Colleague:
The Front Page – Chicago Restoration Premiere in 35mm

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $7

Monday, January 23 @ 7:00 PM / Chicago Restoration Premiere
THE FRONT PAGE
Directed by Lewis Milestone • 1931
Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s 1928 play is one of the most durable comedies in the American repertory, and Lewis Milestone’s brash and brisk screen adaptation deserves a place of pride alongside it. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, this cynical valentine to the ink-stained wretches of the world chronicles ace reporter Hildy Johnson’s fitful efforts to get married, settle down, and leave his yellow profession behind. But Hildy’s hard-assed editor, Walter Burns, can’t lose his best scrivener, especially when the imminent execution of a Red rabble-rouser is worth its weight in column inches. The play would be adapted for the screen another half-dozen times (including formidable efforts by Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder), but Milestone’s 1931 version with Pat O’Brien and Adolphe Menjou comes closest to matching Hecht and MacArthur’s devil-may-care immediacy; it’s not a period piece, but a vulgar salute ripping through the air. Contemporary reviewers lavished The Front Page with superlatives: Harry Alan Potamkin anointed Milestone the first major cinema innovator since D. W. Griffith, and Pare Lorentz urged his readers to see this “extraordinary movie” before “Mr. Hays, Mr. Akerson, or the Republican Committee on Humor burn all the available prints.” No prints were burned, but we’ve had to suffice with a toned-down version prepared for European audiences from alternate takes — until now. Finally restored to the original American release version for the first time in decades, The Front Page is a pre-Code marvel with a machine-gun stride. (KW)
Restored in 2016 by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. Elements for this restoration provided by The Howard Hughes Corporation, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Department of Film and its Howard Hughes Collection at the Academy Film Archive.
98 min • The Caddo Company • 35mm from Academy Film Archive
Film Stock: Kodak Lab: Fotokem
Preceded by: Betty Boop in “Admission Free” (Dave Fleischer, 1932) – 16mm – 7 min

Buy Tickets in advance on Brown Paper Tickets.

——

And join us again next week for our regularly scheduled program at:

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, January 25 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES
Directed by Nicholas Ray • 1958
Dead in the midst of another brutal Chicago winter, we may look upon the vision of balmy South Florida seen in Nicholas Ray’s brilliantly haphazard environmentalist swamp western Wind Across the Everglades for a glimpse of all we’re missing: fever, drunken madness, and death by any one of the region’s plethora of toxic flora and fauna. Having just arrived in turn-of-the-century Miami, outspoken conservationist Walt Murdock (Christopher Plummer) is summarily hired as game warden for the Everglades and immediately tasked with going after a gang of poachers who are killing off the region’s birds and selling their feathers. A career-best Burl Ives leads the gang as Cottonmouth, named for the venomous snake kept in his pocket, who lives by the philosophy of “eat or be et”, and prides himself on being “swamp-born, swamp-fattened.” The all-location production of Wind Across the Everglades was notoriously tempestuous, with cast and crew members sick or soused for much of its making. Ray himself was fired before the film wrapped due to his erratic behavior and conspicuous heroin habit. While Wind Across the Everglades certainly bears the scars of its troubled makings, it remains a key film in Ray’s filmography. It’s hard to imagine a smoother shoot yielding a film so unique, vigorous, or full of life. (CW)
93 min •  Warner Bros. • 35mm from Warner Bros.
Preceded by: “Weekend at Weeki Wachee” (1964) – 35mm – 12 min

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Credit Card Cinema: Robert Townsend’s Hilarious
Satire Hollywood Shuffle Returns in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

02 Hollywood SHuffle 600

Wednesday, January 18 @ 7:30 PM
HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE
Directed by Robert Townsend • 1987
Bobby Taylor works for the Winky-Dinky-Dog stand but dreams of stardom and sets out for Hollywood despite the advice of his coworkers. A funny-as-hell, take-no-prisoners critique of Hollywood’s stereotypical portrayal of African Americans, Hollywood Shuffle was inspired by Chicago-born Robert Townsend’s own experiences in show business after his starring role in A Soldier’s Story: “I started getting calls for slaves, pimps, muggers, and rapists, and I said ‘I can’t do this…’ so I said ‘I’ll go do my own film. I didn’t go to film school, but I had seen enough bad movies to know what I don’t like.’” Made for $100,000 using Townsend’s savings and credit cards, Hollywood Shuffle’s energy is manic and infectious, so much so that it made its budget back fifty times over. The jokes still cut close to the bone, and, per the Washington Post, “should thoroughly embarrass those studios that routinely offer up badly made, multimillion-dollar disasters.” (JA)
82 min •  Conquering Unicorn • 35mm from Park Circus
Film Stock: Eastman LPP (1986)
Preceded by: “Uptown Saturday Night” Production Short – 16mm – 9 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on Credit Card Cinema: Robert Townsend’s Hilarious
Satire Hollywood Shuffle Returns in 35mm

Experience Boardinghouse in All the Psychedelic Madness of Horror Vision – Music Box Midnights – 35mm Screening

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $9

01A Boardinghouse 600Friday, January 13 & Saturday, January 14 @ 11:59 PM
BOARDINGHOUSE
Directed by John Wintergate • 1982
Co-presented by Odd Obsession, Chicago Film Society, and the Music Box Theatre
A decade after a series of unexplained deaths occurred on the property, new age meditation specialist and psychic warrior Jim Royce has inherited the ominous Hoffman house and opened it as a residence for “unattached and beautiful” women. Soon enough, people begin dying in gruesome and mysterious ways and it’s up to Jim and one of his psychically gifted tenants to go to battle with the dark forces attached to the house. The brainchild of new age workshop leaders and rock musicians Johnima and Kalassu Wintergate (playing the leads, with Johnima also writing and directing) and prominently featuring the music of their band Lightstorm (who’ve recently been feted with a greatest hits compilation courtesy of Drag City Records), Boardinghouse found the couple’s spiritual concerns inscrutably butting up against the excesses of sex and violence endemic to the independent horror marketplace. Possessed with a bizarre energy all its own, as well as an arbitrarily deployed “Horror Vision” gimmick, Boardinghouse manages to never coast or sit still throughout its runtime, ping-ponging between stalk-and-slash fakeouts, psychedelic video effects-laden freakouts, and legitimately eerie paranormal creep-outs. The first horror film to be shot on oh-so-80s analog video, Boardinghouse is an essential piece of lunatic cinema, complete with requisite high levels of gore and camp and presented in an archival 35mm print! (CW)
98 min • Blustarr • 35mm from the American Genre Film Archive

——

And join us again next week for our regularly scheduled program at:

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

02 Hollywood SHuffle 600

Wednesday, January 18 @ 7:30 PM
HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE
Directed by Robert Townsend • 1987
Bobby Taylor works for the Winky-Dinky-Dog stand but dreams of stardom and sets out for Hollywood despite the advice of his coworkers. A funny-as-hell, take-no-prisoners critique of Hollywood’s stereotypical portrayal of African Americans, Hollywood Shuffle was inspired by Chicago-born Robert Townsend’s own experiences in show business after his starring role in A Soldier’s Story: “I started getting calls for slaves, pimps, muggers, and rapists, and I said ‘I can’t do this…’ so I said ‘I’ll go do my own film. I didn’t go to film school, but I had seen enough bad movies to know what I don’t like.’” Made for $100,000 using Townsend’s savings and credit cards, Hollywood Shuffle’s energy is manic and infectious, so much so that it made its budget back fifty times over. The jokes still cut close to the bone, and, per the Washington Post, “should thoroughly embarrass those studios that routinely offer up badly made, multimillion-dollar disasters.” (JA)
82 min •  Conquering Unicorn • 35mm Park Circus
Preceded by: “Uptown Saturday Night” Production Short – 16mm – 9 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on Experience Boardinghouse in All the Psychedelic Madness of Horror Vision – Music Box Midnights – 35mm Screening

Calling All Geeks: Unforgettable Carnival Noir Nightmare Alley Inaugurates New Season – 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

01-nightmare-alley-600

Wednesday, January 11 @ 7:30 PM
NIGHTMARE ALLEY
Directed by Edmund Goulding • 1947
Tyrone Power bought the rights to William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley out of a desire for a role with more psychological depth than his usual swashbucklers, an aspiration more than fulfilled in this brutal film noir. (It was probably hard for a man to don the mask of Zorro after returning from the horrors of World War II.) Power plays small-time carnival barker Stan Carlisle, who begins his descent after witnessing the most sinister of sideshow acts: a “geek” who bites the heads off live chickens. Stan reacts with both horror and fascination, and thus begins his unintentional journey to find out exactly how a man could sink to such depths. He uses a tragic accident to convince Zeena (Joan Blondell) to teach him the code for a mind-reading act that once had her and her husband Pete (Ian Keith) at the top of the vaudeville game. With the help of Molly (aka Elektra the electric chair wonder, played by Coleen Gray) and a crooked psychologist (Helen Walker) willing to offer up her patients’ secrets, Stan turns his mentalist stage act into something much more ambitious, providing “spiritual comfort, whatever the cost,” to members of Chicago high society. (Perhaps in another story Stan might have gone on to create Dianetics.) Nightmare Alley was a flop upon its release due to its unsavory subject matter and the studio’s open dislike for the property, but it remains a nasty and unforgettable film. Nightmare Alley stumbles briefly in an attempt to insert a moral message that the original novel lacked, but don’t worry–even these half-hearted attempts can’t help Stan (and us) escape the screams of the geek and the bottom of the bottle. (RL)
110 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA
Cartoon: “Make Me Psychic” (Sally Cruikshank, 1978) – 35mm – 8 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on Calling All Geeks: Unforgettable Carnival Noir Nightmare Alley Inaugurates New Season – 35mm Screening

Our New Season Is Around the Corner

season-16-announcement

Jerry Lewis, Jim Jarmusch, Danny Lyon, Robert Frank, and a little pig in a big city–all this and more in our sixteenth season:

Check out the full schedule.

——

First up:

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

01-nightmare-alley-600

Wednesday, January 11 @ 7:30 PM
NIGHTMARE ALLEY
Directed by Edmund Goulding • 1947
Tyrone Power bought the rights to William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley out of a desire for a role with more psychological depth than his usual swashbucklers, an aspiration more than fulfilled in this brutal film noir. (It was probably hard for a man to don the mask of Zorro after returning from the horrors of World War II.) Power plays small-time carnival barker Stan Carlisle, who begins his descent after witnessing the most sinister of sideshow acts: a “geek” who bites the heads off live chickens. Stan reacts with both horror and fascination, and thus begins his unintentional journey to find out exactly how a man could sink to such depths. He uses a tragic accident to convince Zeena (Joan Blondell) to teach him the code for a mind-reading act that once had her and her husband Pete (Ian Keith) at the top of the vaudeville game. With the help of Molly (aka Elektra the electric chair wonder, played by Coleen Gray) and a crooked psychologist (Helen Walker) willing to offer up her patients’ secrets, Stan turns his mentalist stage act into something much more ambitious, providing “spiritual comfort, whatever the cost,” to members of Chicago high society. (Perhaps in another story Stan might have gone on to create Dianetics.) Nightmare Alley was a flop upon its release due to its unsavory subject matter and the studio’s open dislike for the property, but it remains a nasty and unforgettable film. Nightmare Alley stumbles briefly in an attempt to insert a moral message that the original novel lacked, but don’t worry–even these half-hearted attempts can’t help Stan (and us) escape the screams of the geek and the bottom of the bottle. (RL)
110 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA
Cartoon: “Make Me Psychic” (Sally Cruikshank, 1978) – 35mm – 8 min

 

Posted in News | Comments Off on Our New Season Is Around the Corner

Stay Tuned for Our Latest Schedule

s16-preview
We’re making our list and checking it twice — our latest line-up will be released imminently. Stay by your rotary phone and await further details.

Happy holidays to all our film friends!

Posted in News | Comments Off on Stay Tuned for Our Latest Schedule

Christmas Comes Early This Year: Bill Forsyth’s
Comfort and Joy – Rare 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

15-comfort-joy-600

Tuesday, December 6 @ 7:30 PM
COMFORT AND JOY
Directed by Bill Forsyth • 1984
Heartbroken after his girlfriend of four years leaves him just before Christmas, disc jockey Alan Bird (Bill Paterson) goes out for a drive and finds himself in the middle of a war between two rival ice cream truck gangs — If this sounds like a joke, it isn’t: throughout the 80s Glasgow was considered the murder capital of Western Europe, with rival gangs fighting for turf for their ice cream trucks full of drugs and stolen goods (and legit ice cream). The last of a quartet of films Bill Forsyth made in his native Scotland, Comfort and Joy was the highlight of a quietly awe-inspiring and productive period in Forsyth’s career, released a few years before NWCFS favorite Housekeeping. A foggy, melancholy comedy about “temporary insanity and loss of identity” (Forsyth’s words), Comfort and Joy captures the absurd melancholy of the yuletide season like lightning in a bottle. (JA)
106 min • Kings Road Entertainment •  35mm from Universal
Film Stock: Eastman LPP (1983) Lab: Technicolor
Preceded by: “Augusta Makes Herself Beautiful” (Csaba Varga, 1983) – 16mm – 5 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on Christmas Comes Early This Year: Bill Forsyth’s
Comfort and Joy – Rare 35mm Screening

Return to Washington Square: William Wyler’s Academy Award-Winning Classic The Heiress – 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

14-heiress-600Wednesday, November 30 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
THE HEIRESS
Directed by William Wyler • 1949
Here for once is a Hollywood literary adaptation that lives up to its eight Academy Award nominations and its finely-honed sense of self-importance. (The original ad campaign simply tagged it as “A Truly Great Motion Picture,” confident that no further elaboration was necessary.) The project was instigated by Olivia DeHavilland, who caught Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s dramatization of Henry James’s novel Washington Square on Broadway and brought the property to the attention of William Wyler. Improbably, DeHavilland saw herself as the ideal actress to play sullen society spinster Catherine Sloper, daughter of a prominent New York doctor (Ralph Richardson, reprising his role from the London stage production) who shames and berates her constantly. Swept off her feet by the flirtatious entreaties of wastrel bachelor Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), Catherine must balance carnal desire and character judgment for the first time in her life. None of Wyler’s contemporaries could match him for stature or craftsmanship, and his films formed the backbone of André Bazin’s theories of mise en scène, yet his work is now screened all too infrequently. Assailed by Manny Farber and the auteurist critics who followed in his wake for the supposed crime of making arty films with social aspirations, Wyler and his work need no apology. A class act in every respect (including Aaron Copland’s score), The Heiress remains an expertly calibrated chamber drama that builds to an unforgettably cruel climax. (KW)
Film Stock: Kodak B+W (2001)
115 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

Preceded by: Selected Cartoon

Posted in News | Comments Off on Return to Washington Square: William Wyler’s Academy Award-Winning Classic The Heiress – 35mm Screening

Chicago Weather Got You Down? Take a Mediterranean Vacation with Jules Dassin’s Topkapi – 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

13-topkapi-600

Wednesday, November 23 @ 7:30 PM
TOPKAPI
Directed by Jules Dassin • 1964
Ever watch Jules Dassin’s Rififi and wish it was a little less devastating? That the hardened criminals were a little less…hard? No? Ten years after Dassin made one of history’s greatest heist films, he does what on paper seems like a truly awful idea, a Technicolor spoof of the very genre he helped define. Shot on location in Turkey and Greece, the result is a surprisingly well crafted and joyous mix of tension and laughs. Elizabeth Lipp (Melina Mercouri) is our purring tour guide and mastermind behind the theft of a bejeweled dagger kept in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace. She and her ex-lover (Maximilian Schell) gather together a motley crew of thieves for the job, including Robert Morley as a mechanics wiz, French actor and mime Gilles Ségal as “The Human Fly,” and last but not least, Peter Ustinov as a small-time con man hired as the driver. Ustinov’s sweating, bumbling hustler is widely considered to be the heart of the film (he won an Oscar for it that year), and he spoke highly of the role. “The character is so absurd. I love the idea of a man who aims low and misses.” Topkapi is famous for its 40-minute final heist scene, but don’t be late to this one because the psychedelic opening sequence is just as memorable. (RL)
120 min • Filmways Pictures • 35mm from Park Circus
Preceded by: “Sports in Action: Best in Show” (Richard Wink, 1964) – 35mm IB Technicolor –  10 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on Chicago Weather Got You Down? Take a Mediterranean Vacation with Jules Dassin’s Topkapi – 35mm Screening