Monthly Archives: August 2014

Andy Warhol’s Magic Trick: The Disappearing 16mm Projector

EikiIt’s not fair, the journalist reminds us, to pick apart and censure his headlines; the reporting is his work, but the boldface entrée is not. Case in point: Randy Kennedy’s informative dispatch on the state of the Andy Warhol film collection in last Thursday’s New York Times was saddled with a most unfortunate headline: “Digitizing Warhol’s Film Trove to Save It”—a premise that’s both wrong and not quite argued in the piece itself.

The gist of the article is simple enough: the archive of Andy Warhol’s prolific, prodigious film work—owned by the Warhol Museum, but stored and conserved at the Museum of Modern Art—has finally been slated for digitization. The scope of the collection is daunting; per the Times, only a tenth of Warhol’s surviving film work is available through MoMA in circulating 16mm prints. And even those can scarcely be said to be available because “[f]ewer and fewer people have the ability to show 16 millimeter,” according to Warhol Museum deputy director Patrick Moore. “I think the art world in particular, and hopefully the culture as a whole, will come to feel the way we do,” Moore adds, “which is that the films are every bit as significant and revolutionary as Warhol’s paintings.” Continue reading

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Chicago’s Own Shakespeare: Original Indie David Bradley’s Julius Caesar in 35mm at Block Cinema

Thursday, October 2  @ 7pm, Block Cinema, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
Evanston Casear JULIUS CAESAR

Directed by David Bradley • 1950
Not to be confused with M-G-M ‘s 1953 megaproduction, famed film collector and Chicago native David Bradley’s Julius Caesar was the first feature adaptation of Shakespeare’s play and Bradley’s second collaboration with then relatively unknown Charlton Heston (Mark Antony). Shot on 16mm with post-synchronized sound recorded primarily in an Evanston swimming pool, Caesar is a rich marriage of low-budget student theater productions (much of the cast was recruited from Northwestern’s theater department) and independent small gauge filmmaking, elevated by beautiful location photography at Chicago’s Museum Campus and the Indiana Sand Dunes. (JA)
106 min • Avon Productions • 35mm from Private Collections

Co-presented with Block Cinema and the Northwest Chicago Film Society

Tickets: $6 for the general public, $4 for Block members; University faculty, staff and students with valid WildCARD; students from other schools with valid college/university ID; seniors 60 and older


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Keep Watching the Skies — And Read Our Interview with Richard Linklater

BOYHOOD - 2014 FILM STILL - Ellar Coltrane
We’re working on securing a new venue and programming more films. News unreeling soon.

Until then, you should catch up with our interview with filmmaker (and film society programmer) Richard Linklater in the Chicago Reader: [Part 1] [Part 2]

Also: why not check out other Chicagoland 16mm and 35mm screenings at Celluloid Chicago or catch up on our blog? Or lounge around in our Program Archives to revel in the stuff you missed?

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Who Will Save the Cinema?

Kodak_Vision 3A
The celluloid community received its first positive news in recent months when the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that a consortium of studios was negotiating a long-term arrangement with Eastman Kodak Co. to maintain the company’s film manufacturing capacity. The Hollywood Reporter followed up Wednesday with word that the deal was “all but finalized.”

The situation is, of course, rich in irony. The negotiating studios—Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, Disney, and the Weinstein Company—have been trying for more than a decade to wean their industry away from these very film products, which built and sustained Hollywood over the last century. Kodak, meanwhile, had been striving to transform itself into a desktop printing company under the tenure of recently-departed CEO Antonio Perez, despite the fact that motion picture film remained the declining company’s only profit center. (Speaking of profits, it’s hard to decide which Journal take-away is more astonishing: that Kodak’s film orders had declined by 96% since 2006 or that the film unit was still in the black throughout much of this death spiral. Only in March 2014 did newly-installed Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke discover that demand was dropping sufficiently to threaten film’s profitability. If film manufacture truly remained profitable operating at 15% capacity, perhaps it was a better business proposition than anyone guessed.) Continue reading

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