Monthly Archives: April 2017

“The Devil Got Him First!” – New Season Begins May 3 with Rare 35mm Screening of Mitchum’s Thunder Road

Our 17th season begins on May 3 with Thunder Road. Check out the rest of the schedule.

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

Wednesday, May 3 @ 7:30 PM
THUNDER ROAD
Directed by Arthur Ripley • 1958
Following the release of his first LP, Calypso Is Like So ..., Robert Mitchum delivered an even more personal testament, Thunder Road, a no-frills hillbilly thriller rooted in the eternal struggle between the moonshiners and the revenue men. Though nominally directed by silent film survivor Arthur Ripley, Thunder Road is definitely Mitchum’s show: he concocted the story, produced the movie, wrote the Billboard-charting theme song “Ballad of Thunder Road,” starred as veteran distiller Lucas Doolin, and cast his son James Mitchum as Doolin’s kid brother. Shot on location in Asheville, North Carolina, it played near-continuously in that state for three decades. The filmmaking is basic as a bag of dirt, but that’s an essential part of Thunder Road’s effortlessly elemental power: it’s a backwoods Beowulf that lumbers as storytelling and stumbles when it gropes for poetry but remains unassailable, irreducible. Richard Thompson’s evocative appreciation in Kings of the Bs remains definitive: “As a work, it shrinks from art straight toward its own truth. It transcends the limits of art because it is uncompromised by any elevated artistic intent: it exists at the white-hot juncture of fact and legend …. The film exists for a postwar subculture built on adolescence, cars, roads, night, windows rolled down, sleeves rolled up, and Chuck Berry on the radio.” (KW)
92 min • DRM Productions • 35mm from private collection, permission Park Circus
Preceded by: Meta-Four” (Wade Novy, 1964) – 16mm – 14 min
“Meta-Four” appears courtesy of Berkeley Film Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Posted in News | Comments Off on “The Devil Got Him First!” – New Season Begins May 3 with Rare 35mm Screening of Mitchum’s Thunder Road

An Interview with Filmmaker Danny Lyon: Part II

I made this recording with my parents Danny and Nancy Lyon in March of 2017, sitting in their apartment on Avenue A in New York City where I was visiting for the occasion of my dad’s 75th birthday. This is Part II of a two-part interview. Part I can be found here.
– Rebecca Lyon

Willie (1985) – Murderers (2005)

DL: By the middle of the ’80s, photography is starting to take off, and I’m going, “Well, here I am, I’m probably the greatest photographer of my generation, I haven’t taken a picture in fifteen years, everybody’s making money, this is crazy.” I might as well announce that I’m still alive and still a photographer. And I start doing photography again. And I did the Haiti book [Merci Gonaïves]. We go into self-publishing. But the big period of making films that were mostly ignored and in that sense failures, is from around ’70 to ’86, and that includes Los Niños, ending in Willie, and all the films in between.

RL: I wanted to ask you about Michael Guzman. Because that’s such an amazing story about filming him later in life and then realizing he was in an earlier film.

DL: Right, so the great film I had made at this time was Willie, and ironically I made it while I was living in Long Island, not when I’m living in New Mexico. But you and I and the family had gone back to Bernalillo because we would go back on different summers and I was there, I think, with the camera. This might have been around ’82 or ’83, whenever I was shooting Born to Film and I took the camera with me.

I went downtown and I came back and said to Nancy, “I just saw Willie.” In fact, he had recently been released from  prison  but I didn’t know that at the time.

I had filmed Willie as a child in Llanito,and I had filmed him as a teenager in Little Boy and then he had kind of vanished. In fact he had vanished into the penitentiary for five years. But that day I was so stunned and I said to Nancy, “You know I’ve got to film him.”  I did film him, and by the time we returned home, I said, “I’m going to make a film about Willie because I have the earlier footage.”

Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on An Interview with Filmmaker Danny Lyon: Part II

Danny Lyon Presents Willie and Born to Film:
Filmmaker in Person at the Logan Center for the Arts

Thursday, April 20 @ 7:00 PM – Free Admission
Logan Center for the Arts – 915 E. 60th St

TWO FILMS BY DANNY LYON
Danny Lyon in Person!
Danny Lyon’s iconic photographs have been  acclaimed since the early 1960s, but his intimate non-fiction films have long remained criminally underseen. Renewed interest in this beautiful body of work has arisen following a 2016 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Lyon’s films haven’t screened in Chicago in over two decades. Tonight we’re thrilled to present two of them with the artist in person. Born to Film (1982, 33 min) is a funny and ethereal autobiographical meditation on filmmaking and fatherhood, in which the two are more intertwined than a bull snake in a bin full of celluloid. Made over the course of several years, Willie (1985, 82 min, Newly Restored Print) follows Willie Jaramillo, whom Lyon met as a child near his home in Bernalillo, New Mexico (he appears in two of his previous films Llanito (1971) and Little Boy (1977)) as he repeatedly cycles in and out of prison for minor offenses. A dignified and heartbreaking portrait where scenes of the everyday are just as memorable as those of the bizarre. There is an emotional depth and compassion to Willie often not felt in works about “outsiders” (a frequent subject in Lyon’s photographs and films). It’s clear that Willie wasn’t just a subject, but a friend, and as he speaks to Danny through the camera he reminds us, “This is my life we’re talking about.” Don’t miss this chance to see two films you should have seen years ago.
Total Program: 115 min • 16mm from Anthology Film Archives
Co-presented with the Film Studies Center

Posted in News | Comments Off on Danny Lyon Presents Willie and Born to Film:
Filmmaker in Person at the Logan Center for the Arts

An Interview with Filmmaker Danny Lyon: Part I

I made this recording with my parents Danny and Nancy Lyon in March of 2017, sitting in their apartment on Avenue A in New York City where I was visiting for the occasion of my dad’s 75th birthday. Many toasts were made on the eve of his birthday party the night before, most of them to Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of them to Eleanor. My dad finished his first film in 1969, and continues making them to this day.

After becoming a member of the Chicago Film Society last year I finally had some co-conspirators to help me lure my dad out to Chicago for a screening of his films. We will be screening two of them on Thursday, April 20 at the Logan Center for the Arts: Willie (1983) and Born to Film (1982), both in 16mm prints from Anthology Film Archives. This is Part I of a two-part interview. Part II can be found here. – Rebecca Lyon

Danny and Nancy Lyon in the New Mexico State Prison filming “Willie”. Photo credit: Jack Foley

The Traveling Filmmakers

DL: So you were saying we never talk about film. I was saying we never talk about anything.

RL: That’s not true. We worked together! I helped you make two films. We did Two Fathers together…

DL: I think the perfect helpers for me don’t say anything. They just do what they are told [laughing].

RL: That’s why you like me, because I don’t ask any questions.

DL: Nancy [Lyon] was the perfect sound recordist. And I thought, well, this is great, I’ve met the perfect companion, let’s put her to work. And our tax form has said ‘traveling filmmakers’ ever since.

We made many films, five, six seven films together. Nancy did the audio, but she also helped with the editing. Nothing happened without mom seeing it. She was an assistant editor on some films. She’s been involved in everything. So… you want to talk about the films?

RL: Do you want to start a little farther back?

DL: My formal education ended at the University of Chicago. I was a history major, ancient history mostly, and a philosophy minor. Self-taught in photography. I think the first movie camera I actually picked up was in Chicago, so I would have been doing The Bikeriders by then. So I was already past the Civil Rights [book, The Movement], and had done Uptown and The Bikeriders. So I think at that point I already was interested in film. Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Comments Off on An Interview with Filmmaker Danny Lyon: Part I

Get to Know the Sadomasochists, the Voyeur Masochists, the Exhibitionists, and the Necrophiliacs in Joseph Cates’s Rare Thiller Who Killed Teddy Bear? – 35mm Screening

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

Wednesday, April 19 @ 7:30 PM • Please note new screening date!
WHO KILLED TEDDY BEAR?
Directed by Joseph Cates • 1965
When a nightclub DJ (Juliet Prowse) receives threatening phone calls in the middle of the night, she enlists the help of detective Dave Madden (stand-up comedian and game show host Jan Murray, whose small time television personality is perfect for the role), specialist in “the sadomasochists, the voyeur masochists, the exhibitionists, the necrophiliacs,” to find the culprit. Sal Mineo, unable to avoid typecasting, is the brooding, sex-obsessed busboy who makes the calls and lives alone with his sister. A snaggly, nightmarish answer to Rebel Without a Cause, Who Killed Teddy Bear? was ahead of its time in dealing with sexual frankness, more empathetic than exploitative. Beautifully shot on location in New York by the underrated Joseph Brun (Cinerama Holiday, Wind Across the Everglades), Teddy Bear keeps its characters at arm’s length, obscured in flickery shadows and crying out for help. With Elaine Stritch in a heartbreaking turn as the nightclub manager. (JA)
94 min • Magna Pictures Distribution Corp. • 35mm from the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Preceded by: “Odyssey of a Dropout” (Coronet Films, 1966) – 16mm – 18 min

Due to circumstances beyond our control, our screening of Who Killed Teddy Bear? has been re-scheduled from Tuesday, April 18 to Wednesday, April 19. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you can still make it!

—–
And join us on Thursday for another very special program …


Thursday, April 20 @ 7:00 PM / Logan Center for the Arts / Free Admission
TWO FILMS BY DANNY LYON
Danny Lyon in Person!
Danny Lyon’s iconic photographs have been  acclaimed since the early 1960s, but his intimate non-fiction films have long remained criminally underseen. Renewed interest in this beautiful body of work has arisen following a 2016 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Lyon’s films haven’t screened in Chicago in over two decades. Tonight we’re thrilled to present two of them with the artist in person. Born to Film (1982, 33 min) is a funny and ethereal autobiographical meditation on filmmaking and fatherhood, in which the two are more intertwined than a bull snake in a bin full of celluloid. Made over the course of several years, Willie (1985, 82 min, Newly Restored Print) follows Willie Jaramillo, whom Lyon met as a child near his home in Bernalillo, New Mexico (he appears in two of his previous films Llanito (1971) and Little Boy (1977)) as he repeatedly cycles in and out of prison for minor offenses. A dignified and heartbreaking portrait where scenes of the everyday are just as memorable as those of the bizarre. There is an emotional depth and compassion to Willie often not felt in works about “outsiders” (a frequent subject in Lyon’s photographs and films). It’s clear that Willie wasn’t just a subject, but a friend, and as he speaks to Danny through the camera he reminds us, “This is my life we’re talking about.” Don’t miss this chance to see two films you should have seen years ago.
Total Program: 115 min • 16mm from Anthology Film Archives
Co-presented with the Film Studies Center

Posted in News | Comments Off on Get to Know the Sadomasochists, the Voyeur Masochists, the Exhibitionists, and the Necrophiliacs in Joseph Cates’s Rare Thiller Who Killed Teddy Bear? – 35mm Screening

The Lost City of Z – Special Advance 35mm Screening with James Gray in Person – April 16 at the Music Box Theatre

Please join us for a free advance screening of James Gray’s latest film, The Lost City of Z, presented in a luscious 35mm print! Director James Gray will be appearing in person and participating in a Q&A after the screening.

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
Sunday, April 16 @ 7:00 PM
THE LOST CITY OF Z

Directed by James Gray • 2016
Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett — supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) — returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. An epically scaled tale of courage and passion, told in writer/director James Gray’s classic filmmaking style, The Lost City of Z is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and a conflicted adventurer driven to the verge of obsession. Rated PG-13. (Description courtesy of Bleecker Street)
140 min • Bleecker Street Films/Amazon Studios • 35mm

Co-presented by Chicago Film Society, the Music Box Theatre, Bleecker Street Films, and Amazon Studio

THE LOST CITY OF Z opens in theatres nationwide on April 21st!

UPDATE: We have reached capacity for this event. If you already RSVPed, thank you! The theater has been overbooked, so please arrive early to assure a seat. If you were unable to RSVP, any unclaimed seats will open to the general public at 6:45pm.

—-
And please join us WEDNESDAY for another rare screening:

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

NOTE NEW SCREENING DATE: Wednesday, April 19 @ 7:30 PM
WHO KILLED TEDDY BEAR?
Directed by Joseph Cates • 1965
When a nightclub DJ (Juliet Prowse) receives threatening phone calls in the middle of the night, she enlists the help of detective Dave Madden (stand-up comedian and game show host Jan Murray, whose small time television personality is perfect for the role), specialist in “the sadomasochists, the voyeur masochists, the exhibitionists, the necrophiliacs,” to find the culprit. Sal Mineo, unable to avoid typecasting, is the brooding, sex-obsessed busboy who makes the calls and lives alone with his sister. A snaggly, nightmarish answer to Rebel Without a Cause, Who Killed Teddy Bear? was ahead of its time in dealing with sexual frankness, more empathetic than exploitative. Beautifully shot on location in New York by the underrated Joseph Brun (Cinerama Holiday, Wind Across the Everglades), Teddy Bear keeps its characters at arm’s length, obscured in flickery shadows and crying out for help. With Elaine Stritch in a heartbreaking turn as the nightclub manager. (JA)
94 min • Magna Pictures Distribution Corp. • 35mm from the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Preceded by: “Odyssey of a Dropout” (Coronet Films, 1966) – 16mm – 18 min

Posted in News | Comments Off on The Lost City of Z – Special Advance 35mm Screening with James Gray in Person – April 16 at the Music Box Theatre