Luis Buñuel’s El: An Ode to An Insect in 35mmThis Wednesday at the Portage!

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

Wednesday, October 10th @ 7:30pm
EL
Directed by Luis Buñuel • 1953
El is one of the crown jewels of Buñuel’s prolific Mexican period, which saw the director seeding everyday interactions and unpromising genre exercises with surrealist absurdities. We know where this is going from the opening moments when a priest lovingly caresses a row of bare young feet, no? Devout businessman Don Francisco (Arturo de Córdova) sets out on an impulsive romantic conquest to win such a pair of feet and eventually steals Gloria (Delia Garcés) from her fiancé. Their marriage is instantly marked by irrational jealousy and delirious compensations, mainly involving needles. Equally sympathetic to Gloria’s untenable domestic nightmare and Don Francisco’s unspeakable desires, El is a violent and committed expression of l’amour fou. “The hero of El interests me as a beetle, or a disease-carrying fly does,” wrote Buñuel. “I’ve always found insects exciting.” Originally distributed in the US under the generically Buñuelian title This Strange Passion, El remains a crucial classic despite limited availability over the past two decades. (KW)
92 min • Producciones Tepeyac • 35mm from private collections • In Spanish with English subtitles
Short: Laurel & Hardy in “Helpmates” (James Parrott, 1932) – 35mm – 20 min

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And don’t forget about more fun and games at Cinema Borealis!


Cinema Borealis in Wicker Park • 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor
Suggested Donation: $10

Sunday, October 14 @ 7:00pm
HOME MOVIES AND THE AVANT-GARDE – PROGRAM 2
For decades, home movies and avant-garde films were jointly denigrated as ‘amateur’ in the least appealing sense: precious, obscure, endless, and immeasurably handicapped by a lack of professional polish. They were judged as failed attempts at Hollywood-style filmmaking, though their aspirations and implications often could not be more removed. In the 1960s, avant-garde filmmakers like Jonas Mekas and Stan Vanderbeek began reclaiming the epithet of ‘home moviemakers,’ producing work that challenged the borders of amateur cinema and domesticity itself. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Home Movie Day, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will be screening two programs of avant-garde films that exalt, appropriate, and reshuffle home movies. Co-sponsored by Chicago Film Archives

The Program
The Persistence of Memory (Ricardo Block, 1984, 16.5 min, 16mm from Filmmaker’s Coop)
A Trip to the Land of Knowledge (Zoe Beloff, 1995, 65 min, 16mm from Filmmaker’s Coop)
Reflexfilm/Familyfilm (Dana Hodgdon, 1978, 22 min, 16mm from Chicago Filmmakers)

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