1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor • $10 Suggested Donation
Two Shows! 7:00pm and 9:15pm!
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
And if that wasn’t enough, be sure to come out to the Portage Theater on Wednesday for our first-ever double bill. That’s two chills for the price of one!
Wednesday, September 12th
Directed by Lambert Hillyer • 1936
“Who can define the boundary between the superstition of yesterday and the scientific fact of tomorrow?” Picking up only a few minutes from where Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula left off, Dracula’s Daughter (sourced very loosely from “Dracula’s Guest,” a chapter from Bram Stoker’s original novel) follows Gloria Holden as she preys on unsuspecting early-twentysomething-year-old girls. The only one who’s wise to her is Professor Von Helsing (Edward Van Sloan), but he’s under investigation for driving a stake through Bela Lugosi’s heart. (Lugosi appeared only as a wax bust, for which he reportedly charged $4,000 for use of his likeness.) Now famous for being the first lesbian vampire movie (what took so long?), it’s also the last film in Universal’s horror cycle made before production head Carl Laemmle, Jr. was forced out of Universal for a string of over-budget projects (including this one). Charles R. Rogers took over in early 1936 and would never oversee anything as weird, wonderful, and erotic as this. (JA)
71 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Short: Dracula (Castle Condensation) – 16mm from the Chicago Film Archives – 8 min
WEREWOLF OF LONDON
Directed by Stuart Walker • 1935
Those still complaining about Sony and Marvel deciding to ‘reboot’ their Spider-Man franchise so soon after the last effort would do well to look at Werewolf of London, the nearly forgotten template for the lycanthropic horror cycle that Universal brushed aside a mere six years after its release to make way for Lon Chaney, Jr., in The Wolf Man. The set-up in Werewolf of London is exotic, even by Universal horror standards: a werewolf roves the forests of Tibet (here represented by Angeles National Forest) and infects famed botanist Wilfred Glendon (Henry Hull) with dangerous full-moon impulses. Back in London, Glendon learns from the mysterious Dr. Yogami (Warner Oland, in a welcome respite from Charlie Chan) that a rare flower from the same Tibetan forest is the only check on his animal instincts. Glendon’s efforts to impose self-discipline fail brutally; he must balance his appetite for a cure with the realization that he cannot truly protect those he loves. An atmospheric effort that smartly downplays fantastic makeup schemes (Hull found the full facial regime tedious), Werewolf of London is a worthy late effort in the Universal horror cycle. (KW)
75 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal
The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30pm – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.