Monthly Archives: October 2015

Class Reunion! Cooley High 40th Anniversary Screening
Introduced by Sergio Mims – 35mm Print!

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

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Wednesday, November 4 – 7:00 PM
COOLEY HIGH
Directed by Michael Schultz • 1975
Shot entirely on location on the Near North Side of Chicago for $675,000, Cooley High was marketed by American International Pictures as the black American Graffiti, though the Los Angeles Times’ s comparison to Mean Streets is a little closer to the film’s graceful balance of violence and comedy. Chicago native and Good Times creator Eric Monte based the script on his own experiences at the now-demolished Cooley Vocational High School during the mid-’60s, following the last days of high school for Preach (Glynn Turman) and Cochise (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs). The majority of the nonprofessional supporting cast were culled from the Cabrini Green area. Many still remember a white stretch limo pulling up to their street corner and conspicuously offering them jobs in a movie. Wearing Chicago on its sleeve, Cooley High made waves across the country, and was recognized by the City Council of Los Angeles for depicting “the awkwardness, the exuberance, aspirations, despair, and culture of urban youth trying to escape the stifling confines of the inner-city.” (JA)
107 min • American International Pictures • 35mm from Park Circus
Introduced by Sergio Mims, film journalist, co-founder and co-programmer of the annual Black Harvest Film Festival co-founder and contributing writer for Shadow and Act on Indiewire.com

 Chicago Artist Month 2015Cooley High is part of Chicago Artists Month 2015, the 20th 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.

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Introduced by Sergio Mims – 35mm Print!

Their Satanic Majesties Request: Groove with William S. Burroughs in Witchcraft Through the Ages in 35mm

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

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Wednesday, October 28 @ 7:00 PM
WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES

Directed by Benjamin Christensen • 1922
Adapted by Antony Balch • 1968
Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 film Häxan is one of the more unclassifiable artifacts of the silent era—an illustrated art history slide show on the development of Satanism, mixed liberally with kinky reenactments of mystic rites. (If you thought Christensen brought anything less than total commitment to the material, you should know that the director reserved the plum role of the Devil for himself.) More than forty years after its initial release, Häxan was picked up by British distributor and beatnik gadfly Antony Balch, who recut the film and brought its droll grotesqueries up to date with the swinging sixties. Outfitted with narration from William S. Burroughs and a new jazz score from Daniel Humair (featuring Jean-Luc Ponty on violin!), Balch’s Witchcraft Through the Ages scandalized the small but vocal contingent of Scandinavian silent cinema purists. In the Village Voice Jonas Mekas offered a guarded recommendation for the “bastardized ‘English version’ prepared by a well meaning but obviously stupid young man, Antony Balch … Why did Burroughs participate in this barbarous act? Suppose we begin to mess with his novels. I wonder how he’d feel about it …” (KW)
76 min • Svensk Filmindustri • 35mm from Janus Films

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You Think Your Marriage Is In Trouble? Meet Walter Matthau and Elaine May in A New Leaf – 35mm

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

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Wednesday, October 21 @ 7:00 PM
A NEW LEAF
Directed by Elaine May • 1971
Meet Henry Graham and Henrietta Lowell, the love couple for the seventies. Walter Matthau is Henry, the smug playboy who can neither fathom nor accept the idea that he has overdrawn his trust fund. Elaine May plays Henrietta, the fabulously wealthy heiress and klutzy botany professor whose love might yet redeem Henry—if he doesn’t murder her for her money first.  The first woman to write, direct, and star in her own Hollywood feature, May apparently decided to appear before the camera in A New Leaf to forestall the possibility of an unpalatable actress being cast instead. May’s extraordinarily precise performance is a full-tilt behavioral study of learned haplessness and a gawky love letter to Jewish American womanhood.  She edited A New Leaf for a year and eventually turned in a three-hour rough cut, only to have Paramount take away the film and release it in its present form. May unsuccessfully sued the studio to have her name removed from the credits, but even this compromised version is a magnificent, unruly treasure. (KW)
102 min • Paramount Pictures  • 35mm from Paramount

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Our Favorite Day of the Year: Home Movie Day 2015 at Chicago History Museum – Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM

HOME MOVIE DAY 2015
Presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Chicago Film Archives.
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street • Free Admission

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Saturday, October 17: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
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.

Boo! This year’s HMD features a curated sidebar of frightening, sugary Halloween home movies.

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