Monthly Archives: May 2016

Leopards in Connecticut: New Season Kicks Off with 35mm Screening of Howard Hawks’s Bringing Up Baby

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

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Tuesday, May 31 @ 7:30 PM
BRINGING UP BABY
Directed by Howard Hawks • 1938
“My dear sir, it will never be clear as long as she’s explaining it.” With a plot involving a stressed-out paleontologist, a nutty heiress, a missing dinosaur bone, some befuddled cops, a couple instances of grand theft auto, and a slightly paunchy leopard, things may never be clear no matter who’s explaining it, but it quite possibly doesn’t matter. A frenetic and sexy (the censors were out to lunch for this one) ping pong game played with words, wit, and a hefty dose of lunacy, everything in this film seems to be in place for stars Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn to ricochet off of into each other’s arms and back out again. The screwball comedy for even those who grimace at the very term. A disappointment at the box office upon its initial release it’s now widely considered one of the funniest films ever made, going on to define a genre and inspire two film homages, Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? and the Madonna star vehicle Who’s That Girl? Cinematography by longtime Douglas Sirk collaborator Russell Metty. (RL)
102 min • RKO Radio Pictures • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA

Preceded by: Cartoon TBA

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Feel the Burn: A Dispatch from the Nitrate Picture Show

NPS 2016Like most people who grew up in a town without a dedicated repertory cinema, I couldn’t afford to be picky about movies or the way I watched them. I sought out titles that I read about and didn’t much care how I encountered them for the first time. A first-run movie at the multiplex? Great. A dodgy VHS copy of Hiroshima mon amour (1959) borrowed from the library? Not a problem. Cat People (1942) airing in the 6 AM slot on Turner Classic Movies? Wonderful. GoodFellas (1990) on broadcast television, bleeped left and right and bloated to unimaginable length by commercial interruptions? A terrific movie, even so.

It wasn’t until I began college that I met people who approached films a bit differently—people who braved multiple buses to travel across town to see a particular 16mm print or lamented that our city’s sorry iteration of a traveling retrospective had omitted a 35mm print that had definitely been screened on another leg of the North American tour. (You know they’re playing Chicago for dupes, right?) These were people who placed immense value in seeing a film in its original format, and felt closer to the work’s essence on that basis. One friend even used format specificity as a cudgel; whenever he couldn’t settle an argument on a film’s merits, he would ask his interlocutor whether she had seen the title in question projected from 35mm, or only watched it on video.  If she’d only done the latter, he would declare himself the winner—he’d seen the print, so his opinion was automatically, axiomatically more valid.

If you think the people described above sound like insufferable hipsters, like the cinephilic equivalent of lanky kids eager to declare “Ahem, I have that on vinyl,” then I’d advise you to stay far, far away from Rochester and its now-annual Nitrate Picture Show, the George Eastman Museum’s three-day celebration of a defunct, flammable film stock that civilians haven’t encountered in seven decades. (Disclosure: I worked for the Eastman Museum from 2010 to 2012, before planning had begun for the inaugural edition of the Nitrate Picture Show in 2015.) Such a festival necessarily invites an escalation of the dynamic described above: “You’ve seen Bicycle Thieves in 35mm, eh? Well, I’ve seen it in nitrate.” Continue reading

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You Asked For It! — Latest NWCFS Season Announced /
35mm Screenings Resume May 31

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Our latest schedule is now online!

This season’s calendar is all over the map, just the way we like it. It includes prints that have been rescued by private collectors like Ferry Cross the Mersey, as well as films that have benefited from deluxe archival restorations like The Road Back and Killer of Sheep. We have a silent mystery written by a woman in 1924 (The Bedroom Window), as well as a politically savvy exploitation film directed by a woman in 1970 (The Student Nurses). We’re screening films that everybody loves (screwball classic Bringing Up Baby) and films that everybody loves to dismiss sight unseen (screwy Breathless with ballsy studmuffin Richard Gere).

Check out the full schedule.

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35mm Screenings Resume May 31

Edgar G. Ulmer’s “Joyously Energetic and Wholesome” The Naked Dawn – Vintage 35mm IB Technicolor Print

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

ND Half Sheet
Wednesday, May 11th @ 7:30 PM
THE NAKED DAWN
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer • 1955
A rare chance to see B-movie master Edgar G. Ulmer work in fantastically garish Technicolor, The Naked Dawn is a tense and whimsical south-of-the-border Western brimming with lust, greed, and hate, just as nasty and intense as Detour. Shot on location in Mexico, The Naked Dawn stars Arthur Kennedy as Santiago the Bandit, who convinces a poor farmer (Eugene Iglesias) to join him on a train robbery. Lured by a life of crime, Iglesias plans to murder Kennedy, while his wife plots to kill him and run away with the Bandit. A favorite of François Truffaut, The Naked Dawn was one of the primary inspirations for Jules et Jim and a flurry of adjectives; the young director called it “poetic and violent, tender and droll, moving and subtle, joyously energetic and wholesome.” Screening in an original IB Technicolor Print from NWCFS Collections. (JA)
82 min • Universal International Pictures • 35mm, permission Universal

Preceded by: “Around the World Revue” (George Robinson, 1956) – 35mm – 16 min

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