Most Vampiric Gift of the Season: Valkoinen peura (The White Reindeer) This Sunday at Cinema Borealis!

Cinema Borealis – 1550 North Milwaukee Ave, 4th floor (NOTE: There is no elevator!)
Suggested donation is $10 – Seating is limited so please arrive early!

Sunday, December 18th – 6 pm & 8:15 pm
Directed by Erik Blomberg • 1952
When her deadbeat Lapland Shepard husband takes off and leaves her hungry and heartbroken, Mirjami Kuosmanen (director Erik Blomberg’s real world wife) seeks the help of a local shaman who turns her into a white reindeer vampire. Adapted from a Finnish folk tale, the film is beautifully shot against staggering Finnish snowscapes and herds of reindeer who don’t have marital problems. The Finnish entry at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, Valkoinen peura won the award for Best Fairy Tale Film with Jean Cocteau as the president of the mostly French jury, and made its way to the US as The White Reindeer in 1957 as a limited release. Also on the bill tonight is a 16mm kinescope of the Space Patrol episode “A Christmas Party for Happy,” originally aired on Christmas Day 1954, and featuring (briefly) a reindeer-driven spaceship. (JA)
67 min • Junior-Filmi • 35mm Print courtesy of Douris Corp., special thanks to Tim Lanza


Afraid of vampires (or reindeer-driven spaceships)? Don’t worry–we’ve got an altogether genial, lovely, and hilarious holiday treat for you, too:

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.

December 21st
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1940
With the sort of wholehearted American kindness that seems possible only in a Preston Sturges Script (this was his last before he started directing that same year with The Great McGinty), Lee Leander, one of those tough-as-nails shoplifting types best played by Barbara Stanwyck, is bailed out of spending Christmas in prison by her prosecuting attorney (Fred MacMurray). The couple falls in love, but that doesn’t solve the problem of Stanwyck’s upcoming trial and MacMurray’s mother (Beulah Bondi), who worries that the young shoplifter will destroy her son’s hard-earned career. Leisen’s sense of emotional detail gives Sturges’ script a tenderness and depth only really found again in Sturges’ Christmas in July, and Stanwyck and MacMurray, who would star together again in Double Indemnity, The Moonlighter, and There’s Always Tomorrow, only add to that delicate balance. Our third favorite Christmas film, right after Meet Me In St. Louis and The Shop Around the Corner . . . it’s in very good company. (JA)
94 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm print from Universal
Short: “The Fairy Princess” (Margaret Conneely) – 16mm courtesy Chicago Film Archives

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