Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Godfather of All Teenpics: Richard Lester’s
It’s Trad, Dad! – Beautiful 35mm Archival Print

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

RNGADNGRYTHM-SPTI-04Wednesday, August 5 @ 7:00pm
IT’S TRAD, DAD!
Directed by Richard Lester • 1962
Real life chart-toppers Helen Shapiro and Craig Douglas star as two earnest teenagers who need to convince their adorably pudgy (but frightfully stern) mayor that the burgeoning jazz craze will not destroy their fair town. Also known as Ring-A-Ding Rhythm, A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester’s first feature was shot from a script only eighteen pages long: “I mean, there were no ideas in the script … just literally none. Anything that is there was mine. It had to be.” Infectious, inventive, and unpretentious, It’s Trad, Dad! set the bar for decades of performance films and music videos. Lester’s focus on musicianship brings a level of raw energy lacking in more straightforward music revue films, and the story of our teenage heroes, serialized between numbers, is surprisingly compelling and wacky. With performances by Gene Vincent, the Temperance Seven, Chubby Checker, Del Shannon, the Paris Sisters, and many, many more. (JA)
78 min • Amicus Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

Co-presented with CHIRP Radio
CHIRP is a volunteer-driven community radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture, now celebrating its fifth anniversary in Chicago. Currently streaming live at CHIRPradio.org, the station will begin broadcasting at 107.1 FM later this year.

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It’s Trad, Dad! – Beautiful 35mm Archival Print

Slinky Cinderella Saunters Through City o’ Lights:
Mitchell Leisen’s Masterpiece Midnight in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Midnight_600
Wednesday, July 29 @ 7:00pm
MIDNIGHT
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1939
Bronx showgirl Eve Peabody (Claudette Colbert) arrives in Paris penniless, with only the gown on her back. She instantly enthralls earnest Hungarian cab driver Tibor Czerny (Don Ameche), but soon sets her sights higher. Using a Monte Carlo municipal pawn ticket as her calling card, Peabody gains entrée into Parisian high society, where she attracts the attention of soused aristocrat John Barrymore, who enlists her as an unwitting co-conspirator in his scheme to break up his wife (Mary Astor) and her lover (Francis Lederer). Things get even more complicated when Tibor turns up as the unstable “Baron Czerny”. This screwball romantic comedy is filled with quick-witted dialogue and terrific timing, typical of screenwriters Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Granted carte blanche by the studio, Leisen wound up crafting a fitting climax to Paramount’s decade of elegant, continental entertainment. A recent National Film Registry inductee, this is one Cinderella story where the magic lingers long past midnight. (HG)
94 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

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Mitchell Leisen’s Masterpiece Midnight in 35mm

Swing, You Sinners: Summer with Monika,
or How Ingmar Spent His Summer Vacation

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

monika_600

Wednesday, July 22 @ 7:00pm
SUMMER WITH MONIKA
Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1953
“I have never made a less complicated film than Summer with Monika,” boasted Ingmar Bergman. “We simply went off and shot it, taking great delight in our freedom.” Like the people who made Summer with Monika, the film’s teenage lovers (Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg) long only for a carefree summer, an escape from the stultifying world of adult falsehoods and stupid jobs back in Stockholm. They revel in the innate carnality of their embarrassingly perfect Nordic bodies, but can their luxuriant lifestyle outlast the summer—and Monika’s pregnancy? Celebrated by Jean-Luc Godard as “the first Baudelairean film” in the pages of Cahiers du cinéma in 1958, the lowlife appeal of Summer with Monika had already been thoroughly demonstrated by American exploitation maestro Kroger Babb, who recut the film to 62 minutes, dubbed it into English, appended a Les Baxter score, and released it as Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl. Alas, we’re showing the original version. In Swedish with English subtitles.  (KW)
97 min • Svensk Filmindustri (SF) • 35mm from Janus Films

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or How Ingmar Spent His Summer Vacation

It’s a Hap-Hap-Happy Day: Fleischer Studios’ First Cartoon Feature Gulliver’s Travels in 35mm IB Technicolor

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Gullivers_600Wednesday, July 15 @ 7:00pm
GULLIVER’S TRAVELS
Directed by Dave Fleischer • 1939
Poor Gulliver’s Travels. Trailing behind the success of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by two years, the Fleischer Brothers’ first animated feature, funded and released by Paramount, did well at the box office but eventually fell into the public domain, realm of dupey 16mm TV prints and Walmart’s bargain DVD bin. (At least some of us remember VHS copies of the film so bad that even the finest VCR couldn’t track them properly.) No matter, we’ll be showing a beautiful 35mm IB Technicolor print in an effort to restore the film’s dignity after years of floundering. A good deal weirder and a little creakier than its Disney counterparts, Gulliver’s Travels used rotoscoping to animate the titular Gulliver and differentiate him from the adorable Lilliputians, who steal the show. Said the Los Angeles Times: “It is Gabby, the town crier, who carries the burden of fun on his tireless shoulders. He is, I should say, all Seven Dwarfs rolled into one …” (JA)
76 min • Fleischer Studios • 35mm Technicolor

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Biggest Show in the TriCounty Area:
Michael Ritchie’s Smile in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Smile_600Wednesday, July 8 @ 7:00pm
SMILE
Directed by Michael Ritchie • 1975
Raised on hamburgers and soda pop, she’s got a winning smile that’s hard to top. A credit to her family, the ideal teen, she’s America’s daughter, she’s a beauty queen. Shot on location in beautiful Santa Rosa, CA, using mostly local talent, Michael Ritchie’s funny-as-hell satire Smile follows thirty-three hopefuls through the tri-county area’s biggest and greatest cultural event: the Young American Miss Pageant. Wonderful and unbelievable pageant performances are balanced with behind the scenes subplots involving Big Bob Freelander (Bruce Dern), head judge of the pageant and Santa Rosa’s preeminent used car dealer. In 1986, the film was turned into a Broadway mega-production and stripped of its anti-commercial cynicism, which the stage play’s producers noted seemed “very out of touch with the 80s.” Smile remains a glistening time capsule of a USA still dripping with Watergate residue, and much like Sidney Lumet’s Network, cuts deep into the heart of dysfunctional American hypocrisy while simultaneously embracing it. (JA)
113 min • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus

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Michael Ritchie’s Smile in 35mm