Experience America in Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard – 35mm Screening on August 2 @ 7:30pm

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

Wednesday, August 2 @ 7:30 PM
MELVIN AND HOWARD
Directed by Jonathan Demme • 1980
Milkman, aspiring country-western singer, and perennial loser Melvin Dummar is the unlikeliest personage ever to see his life turned into a movie but Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard isn’t a particularly likely film to begin with: a dusty and sun-blasted, meandering and downbeat comedy defined as much by its low stakes as by its irrepressibly sweet and egalitarian worldview, arriving as ambivalence and anti-heroics were going out of fashion with the crumbling New Hollywood. In a life chock-full of colorful anecdotes, the time Dummar (played by a perpetually flummoxed Paul Le Mat) gave a ride to a hitchhiking Howard Hughes (an appealingly sour Jason Robards)—an event that would bring him into the public eye when a will naming him the recipient of 156 million dollars from the Hughes estate would surface a decade later—is perhaps the most extraordinary and least believable. While Dummar came to be widely defined by the incident and ensuing legal battle, Melvin and Howard spends relatively little time on Hughes, relegating him mostly to the film’s first reel. Instead, Melvin and Howard chooses to focus on Melvin’s repeated marriages to and divorces from his wife Lynda (Mary Steenburgen, who won an Academy Award for her performance), his struggles to win and maintain the title of “Milkman of the Month,” and the persistent money troubles that hound him and his family. Demme does the best work of his career here, vividly rendering Melvin and Howard‘s world of polyester, formica, and bologna sandwiches with inestimable love and respect. (CW)
95 min • Universal • 35mm from Universal
Film Stock: Eastman SP (1980)
Preceded byThe Three Stooges in “Busy Buddies” (Del Lord, 1944) – 35mm – 17 min

For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

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