Monthly Archives: October 2013

Joseph Losey’s Ultra-Rare Remake of M – Tom Gunning Introduces New 35mm Print from the Library of Congress

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

11B MWednesday, November 6 @ 7:30pm
M
Directed by Joseph Losey • 1951
Long before Gus Van Sant reinterpreted Psycho and Chris Rock revamped Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon, Wisconsinite neophyte Joe Losey embarked on the unenviable task of remaking Fritz Lang’s 1931 Weimar masterpiece M in postwar Los Angeles. With two defiantly liberal feature films and a handful of “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts to his name, Losey received the commission after Lang turned down the remake offer from fellow Hollywood émigré Seymour Nebenzal, who had also produced the original. (If anything, M reminds us that it’s the producer, not the director, who holds the lion’s share of power in Hollywood.) This version follows the plot of the original fairly closely, with David Wayne taking over Peter Lorre’s child-killer role and investing the character with a seething air of pathetic repression. When LA’s top cop (Howard Da Silva) initiates a dragnet to catch the killer, the underworld takes matters into its own hands. With noir-tinged paranoia and beautiful location photography in now-vanished working class neighborhoods, Losey’s M easily holds it own. Ironically oblivious to the movie’s anti-mob mentality message, morality crusaders managed to ban M in eight states on account of its salacious content and the Communist sympathies of several key contributors. Long out of circulation after the producer’s short-term distribution deal with Columbia Pictures lapsed, M has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress (KW)
Introduced by Tom Gunning, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
88 min • Superior Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Harold Nebenzal

————————

Whew! Anybody up for a breezy, cute movie for a change?

12A NO TIME FOR LOVE
Sunday, November 17 @ 11:30am – Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
NO TIME FOR LOVE
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1943
When nosey photojournalist Claudette Colbert gets muscley sandhog Fred MacMurray suspended by publishing a photo of him goofing off at work, she takes him on as her personal assistant. They squabble, fall in love, squabble some more, part ways, and reunite in a tunnel full of muck and mud from the Hudson River that MacMurray is nobly attempting to freeze. (To convince Colbert to get in the mud, director Leisen plunged himself in headfirst and directed the scene drenched.) Because of the war effort, No Time For Love was shot on a shoestring budget reusing sets from The Palm Beach Story (which earned it an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction – Interior Decoration) and most scenes were shot in just one take. The mud is real, though (and mixed with baby oil!), and Colbert and MacMurray’s on-screen chemistry is unsinkable. (JA)
83 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

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A Double Feature from Hell! The Gamma People and
The Beginning of the End — Always Scarier in 35mm

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

10B GAMMA
Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30pm
FIFTIES SCI-FI DOUBLE FEATURE

THE GAMMA PEOPLE
Directed by John Gilling • 1956
When the last car of a passenger train serendipitously wanders into Gudavia, a fictional European country whose borders have been closed to the rest of civilization for years, two reporters (Paul Douglas and Leslie Phillips) find themselves on the cusp of the biggest news story of the decade: a crazed dictator is melting the minds of local urchins with gamma rays. The only problem is that there’s no way out of Gudavia, and now who will cover the music festival in Salzburg? A terrific blend of odd-couple antics, cold war paranoia, squealing terror, and bizarrely picturesque location photography, The Gamma People is a strange and compelling piece of science fiction pulp. (JA)
79 min • Warwick Film Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

and

BEGINNING OF THE END
Directed by Bert I. Gordon • 1957
… meanwhile, back in Chicago, Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) accidentally feeds some radioactive goo to a family of locusts, who acquire a taste for human flesh. Almost overnight, the Chicago suburbs are demolished by swarms of grasshoppers bigger than the Abominable Snowmonster, and they’re closing in on Michigan Avenue. It’s like Days of Heaven, only BIGGER. This was the second directorial effort of rear-projection master Bert I. Gordon (aka Mr. BIG), whose other larger than life films include King Dinosaur, Earth vs. the Spider, and Empire of the Ants, and while these films (for better or worse) tend to defy analysis, there’s no denying the hypnotic call of the thirty-foot grasshopper. Don’t get eaten. (JA)
76 min • AB-PT Pictures Corp • 35mm from private collections

10B BotE
———-

Still quivering? Come back next week for a whole different kind of terror!

M (1951) Directed by Joseph Losey Shown from left: David Wayne. Janine Perreau

Wednesday, November 6 @ 7:30pm
M
Directed by Joseph Losey • 1951
Long before Gus Van Sant reinterpreted Psycho and Chris Rock revamped Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon, Wisconsinite neophyte Joe Losey embarked on the unenviable task of remaking Fritz Lang’s 1931 Weimar masterpiece M in postwar Los Angeles. With two defiantly liberal feature films and a handful of “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts to his name, Losey received the commission after Lang turned down the remake offer from fellow Hollywood émigré Seymour Nebenzal, who had also produced the original. (If anything, M reminds us that it’s the producer, not the director, who holds the lion’s share of power in Hollywood.) This version follows the plot of the original fairly closely, with David Wayne taking over Peter Lorre’s child-killer role and investing the character with a seething air of pathetic repression. When LA’s top cop (Howard Da Silva) initiates a dragnet to catch the killer, the underworld takes matters into its own hands. With noir-tinged paranoia and beautiful location photography in now-vanished working class neighborhoods, Losey’s M easily holds it own. Ironically oblivious to the movie’s anti-mob mentality message, morality crusaders managed to ban M in eight states on account of its salacious content and the Communist sympathies of several key contributors. Long out of circulation after the producer’s short-term distribution deal with Columbia Pictures lapsed, M has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress (KW)
Introduced by Tom Gunning, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
88 min • Superior Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Harold Nebenzal

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The Beginning of the End — Always Scarier in 35mm

Stick ‘Em Up! Robert Altman’s Melancholy
Thieves Like Us in 35mm at the Patio

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

09B THIEVES
Wednesday, October 23 @ 7:30pm
THIEVES LIKE US
Directed by Robert Altman • 1974
Derived from the same celebrated Edward Anderson novel that inspired Nicholas Ray’s delicately romantic They Live By Night, Thieves Like Us takes a decidedly earthier approach to the material. We follow a trio of low-level crooks through Depression-era Mississippi, but characteristically Altman devotes more time to slow days holing up in motels and safehouses than to the perfunctory business of bank robbery.  At the center is the adolescent courtship of dim killer Bowie (Keith Carradine) and gawky gas station attendant Keechie (Shelley Duvall), positioned by Altman as the hillbilly Romeo and Juliet. Quiet and slightly narcotized, Thieves Like Us plays as a weathered, realistic counterpoint to the rebel chic of Bonnie and Clyde. It also projects the ambiance of the 1930s with greater exactitude than any other period recreation—a totally lived-in experience, with tentative emotions rippling under the ever-present din of Radioland. (KW)
123 min • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus

—————

In case you haven’t noticed the store shelves overrun with candy and the funny tombstones littering Chicago’s lawns, we’d like to remind you that Halloween is just around the corner!

Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30pm
FIFTIES SCI-FI DOUBLE FEATURE

10A GAMMA

THE GAMMA PEOPLE
Directed by John Gilling • 1956
When the last car of a passenger train serendipitously wanders into Gudavia, a fictional European country whose borders have been closed to the rest of civilization for years, two reporters (Paul Douglas and Leslie Phillips) find themselves on the cusp of the biggest news story of the decade: a crazed dictator is melting the minds of local urchins with gamma rays. The only problem is that there’s no way out of Gudavia, and now who will cover the music festival in Salzburg? A terrific blend of odd-couple antics, cold war paranoia, squealing terror, and bizarrely picturesque location photography, The Gamma People is a strange and compelling piece of science fiction pulp. (JA)
79 min • Warwick Film Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

and

BEGINNING OF THE END
Directed by Bert I. Gordon • 1957
… meanwhile, back in Chicago, Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) accidentally feeds some radioactive goo to a family of locusts, who acquire a taste for human flesh. Almost overnight, the Chicago suburbs are demolished by swarms of grasshoppers bigger than the Abominable Snowmonster, and they’re closing in on Michigan Avenue. It’s like Days of Heaven, only BIGGER. This was the second directorial effort of rear-projection master Bert I. Gordon (aka Mr. BIG), whose other larger than life films include King Dinosaur, Earth vs. the Spider, and Empire of the Ants, and while these films (for better or worse) tend to defy analysis, there’s no denying the hypnotic call of the thirty-foot grasshopper. Don’t get eaten. (JA)
76 min • AB-PT Pictures Corp • 35mm from private collections

10A BOTE

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Thieves Like Us in 35mm at the Patio

Break Out the 8mm, It’s That Time of Year Again!
Home Movie Day at the Chicago History Museum

Kodak Baby_HMD

Presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Chicago Film Archives.
Saturday, October 19, 11am – 3pm. Free Admission
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street

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 Chicago History Museum on Saturday, October 19 for this year’s edition of Home Movie Day. Jointly presented for the third year in a row by Chicago Film Archives and the Northwest Chicago Film Society, 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. [Learn More]

——-

And don’t forget to come back next week for our regularly scheduled program

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

09A THIEVESWednesday, October 23 @ 7:30pm
THIEVES LIKE US
Directed by Robert Altman • 1974
Derived from the same celebrated Edward Anderson novel that inspired Nicholas Ray’s delicately romantic They Live By Night, Thieves Like Us takes a decidedly earthier approach to the material. We follow a trio of low-level crooks through Depression-era Mississippi, but characteristically Altman devotes more time to slow days holing up in motels and safehouses than to the perfunctory business of bank robbery.  At the center is the adolescent courtship of dim killer Bowie (Keith Carradine) and gawky gas station attendant Keechie (Shelley Duvall), positioned by Altman as the hillbilly Romeo and Juliet. Quiet and slightly narcotized, Thieves Like Us plays as a weathered, realistic counterpoint to the rebel chic of Bonnie and Clyde. It also projects the ambiance of the 1930s with greater exactitude than any other period recreation—a totally lived-in experience, with tentative emotions rippling under the ever-present din of Radioland. (KW)
123 min • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus

Posted in News | Comments Off on Break Out the 8mm, It’s That Time of Year Again!
Home Movie Day at the Chicago History Museum

Cinema & Shutdown:
What the Library of Congress Teaches Us About Public Life

LC LogoIn the short history of the Northwest Chicago Film Society, we’ve faced some formidable challenges. In our first season, a 16mm print of Silver Lode was lost in transit. In our second season, one of the Portage Theater’s 35mm projectors fell off its pedestal right before a show of Comanche Station. And of course, back in May we found ourselves locked out of the Portage with no advance notice, collateral damage in the new landlord’s curious scorched earth campaign against his own theater. These kinds of obstacles are familiar enough for any film exhibitor or small business owner: logistics problems, equipment malfunctions, property disputes.

But there’s another looming problem that’s definitely out of the ordinary: the ongoing shutdown of the federal government. Continue reading

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What the Library of Congress Teaches Us About Public Life

Horse vs. Helicopter – Place Your Bets!
Kirk Douglas in Lonely Are the Brave in 35mm

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

08B LONELY

Wednesday, October 16 @ 7:30pm
LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
Directed by David Miller • 1962
Shortly after Kirk Douglas broke the Blacklist by insisting screenwriter Dalton Trumbo be given screen credit on Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, the two Hollywood legends made a film that deals as much with America’s twisted and constantly changing cultural landscape as it does the spiritual decline of the West. Adapted from Edward Abbey’s 1956 novel The Brave Cowboy, the film follows Douglas on the run from the law after a failed jailbreak, eventually pitting him against Walter Matthau and a menacing helicopter. While early-sixties contemporaries like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Ride the High Country give their aging stars a quiet dignity, Lonely are the Brave is explosive and desperate, slamming cowboy fables onto the hard pavement of modern civilization. Known as Douglas’s favorite film, Lonely wears its heart on its sleeve and is all the better for it. With Gena Rowlands, George Kennedy, and Jerry Goldsmith’s first major score. (JA)
107 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal

—–

Borzage HMD

Presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Chicago Film Archives.
Saturday, October 19, 11am – 3pm. Free Admission
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street

Learn the tricks of the trade!  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 Chicago History Museum on Saturday, October 19 for this year’s edition of Home Movie Day. Jointly presented for the third year in a row by Chicago Film Archives and the Northwest Chicago Film Society, 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. [Learn More]

Posted in News | Comments Off on Horse vs. Helicopter – Place Your Bets!
Kirk Douglas in Lonely Are the Brave in 35mm

This Town Has Gone to the Bugs! Join Hoppity & Friends for a Fun-Filled Adventure from the Brothers Fleischer

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

07B MR BUGWednesday, October 9 @ 7:30pm
MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN
Directed by Dave Fleischer • 1941
Deep in the heart of New York City, a tiny town of adorable bugs is threatened by the impending construction of a skyscraper—and it’s up to a friendly grasshopper to relocate Bug Town to greener pastures. Things work out for Hoppity and friends, but 1941 wasn’t a very good year for Fleischer Studios: production on Mr. Bug Goes to Town began before their first weird and wonderful animated feature Gulliver’s Travels was released, and the Fleischers ran out of money about halfway in. Paramount bought the studio and funded the rest of the feature, but Max and Dave were forced to quit when the film tanked at the box office. (It didn’t help that the movie was released two days before Pearl Harbor). As his girlfriend Honey would say: “Oh Hoppity, you make everything so complicated!” (This after Mr. Bug accidentally blows up part of Bug Town by trying to extinguish a cigar with gasoline.) Financial disasters aside, Mr. Bug Goes to Town is as worthy of the animation canon as any of Disney’s best films, and the Fleischer’s strange signature rotoscoped humans and backgrounds are eerily compelling. (JA)
78 min • Fleischer Studios • 35mm from Paramount

Before the show, join us for an hour of hands-on fun with live bugs presented by scientist Jim Louderman and interactive exhibits about the secret lives of insects from the Harris Learning Collection at the Field Museum!

——–

Too much fun for you? Rest up and come back next week for …

08A LONELYWednesday, October 16 @ 7:30pm
LONELY ARE THE BRAVE
Directed by David Miller • 1962
Shortly after Kirk Douglas broke the Blacklist by insisting screenwriter Dalton Trumbo be given screen credit on Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, the two Hollywood legends made a film that deals as much with America’s twisted and constantly changing cultural landscape as it does the spiritual decline of the West. Adapted from Edward Abbey’s 1956 novel The Brave Cowboy, the film follows Douglas on the run from the law after a failed jailbreak, eventually pitting him against Walter Matthau and a menacing helicopter. While early-sixties contemporaries like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Ride the High Country give their aging stars a quiet dignity, Lonely are the Brave is explosive and desperate, slamming cowboy fables onto the hard pavement of modern civilization. Known as Douglas’s favorite film, Lonely wears its heart on its sleeve and is all the better for it. With Gena Rowlands, George Kennedy, and Jerry Goldsmith’s first major score. (JA)
107 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal

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Celebrate the Vanished Chicago of Goldstein
Restored 35mm Print of Philip Kaufman’s Debut Feature

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

06B GOLDSTEINFriday, October 4 @ 7:30pm
GOLDSTEIN
Directed by Philip Kaufman and Benjamin Manaster • 1964
A ragtag, charmingly self-conscious attempt at forging an American nouvelle vague, Goldstein was the first feature of University of Chicago graduate Philip Kaufman. Shot entirely on the streets of Chicago during the fall of 1963, Goldstein offers an invaluable record of apartments, factories, and downtown movie palaces soon buried by urban renewal. The loose storyline follows the audacious adventures of a Hassidic hobo (Lou Gilbert) who emerges from Lake Michigan, but the many digressions include visits with folksy poets, wacky abortionists, novelist Nelson Algren, and Second City veterans Severn Darden, Anthony Holland, and Tom Erhard. A rousing success at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival, where it won La prix de la nouvelle critique, Goldstein reminds us, too, of the perilous fate of many independent productions. With no studio to look after it and the original camera negative long missing, Goldstein has been newly restored from Kaufman’s personal print. Preservation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. (KW)
Co-presented with Chicago Film Archives
84 min • Montrose Film Productions • 35mm from George Eastman House

CAM 2013 horizontalGoldstein is part of Chicago Artists Month 2013, the 18th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  For more information, visit www.chicagoartistsmonth.org.

——–

Come back next Wednesday and you’ll never look at bugs the same way again

07A MR BUGWednesday, October 9 @ 7:30pm
MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN
Directed by Dave Fleischer • 1941
Deep in the heart of New York City, a tiny town of adorable bugs is threatened by the impending construction of a skyscraper—and it’s up to a friendly grasshopper to relocate Bug Town to greener pastures. Things work out for Hoppity and friends, but 1941 wasn’t a very good year for Fleischer Studios: production on Mr. Bug Goes to Town began before their first weird and wonderful animated feature Gulliver’s Travels was released, and the Fleischers ran out of money about halfway in. Paramount bought the studio and funded the rest of the feature, but Max and Dave were forced to quit when the film tanked at the box office. (It didn’t help that the movie was released two days before Pearl Harbor). As his girlfriend Honey would say: “Oh Hoppity, you make everything so complicated!” (This after Mr. Bug accidentally blows up part of Bug Town by trying to extinguish a cigar with gasoline.) Financial disasters aside, Mr. Bug Goes to Town is as worthy of the animation canon as any of Disney’s best films, and the Fleischer’s strange signature rotoscoped humans and backgrounds are eerily compelling. (JA)
78 min • Fleischer Studios • 35mm from Paramount

Before the show, join us for an hour of hands-on fun with live bugs presented by scientist Jim Louderman and interactive exhibits about the secret lives of insects from the Harris Learning Collection at the Field Museum!

Posted in News | Comments Off on Celebrate the Vanished Chicago of Goldstein
Restored 35mm Print of Philip Kaufman’s Debut Feature

Burned Out: The Nitrate Legacy

Sabotage_NitrateAlfred Hitchcock frequently cited Sabotage as the film that forced him to refine his technique: suspense above all—or at least, up to a point. It was a mistake, he later reckoned, to mix suspense too closely with sentiment, to tighten the noose while remaining indifferent to the neck. In the film’s most (in)famous sequence, a bomb explodes on a London bus, the work of a terrorist who plants the device on an innocent boy. “I broke the rule,” Hitchcock said, “that the hero is always rescued from danger at the last minute … There were yowls of protest from everyone, especially the mothers.”

This fatal indifference is actually crucial to the effectiveness of Sabotage, which possesses a straight-ahead ruthlessness that Hitchcock’s other British films generally lack. There’s no time for music hall routines or local color here. Not that Sabotage lacks for black humor. All this bus hubbub unfortunately overshadows a wicked irony embroidered into the script; when the boy climbs up to the bus, the operator stops him and informs him that he cannot bring two reels of nitrate film onboard. It’s flammable, after all. Continue reading

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