Monthly Archives: September 2017

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore: Mitchell Leisen’s Colossal Soaper To Each His Own in 35mm – Sept. 27

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

Wednesday, September 27 @ 7:30 PM
TO EACH HIS OWN
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1946
An epic soap opera that resurrected the maternal melodrama from the postwar doldrums, To Each His Own was a self-conscious throwback, closer to the generation-spanning heartbreak of Stella Dallas than the gunfire parenting of Mildred Pierce. Woman’s pic master  Mitchell Leisen and screenwriter Charles Brackett fashioned To Each His Own to suit the needs of Olivia de Havilland, returning to the screen after two years’ absence following a contract dispute with Warner Bros. The gambit paid off: de Havilland won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Jody Norris, a young woman who works in her family’s pharmacy and becomes impregnated by a suave pilot (John Lund) towards the end of World War I. After her lover’s death, Jody arranges for their son to be adopted but remains his protector from afar, securing young Griggsy’s future from her burgeoning cosmetics empire but never managing to buy the boy’s love. Will the grown-up Griggsy (Lund again!) ever appreciate or understand his mysterious benefactor? We can’t say, but we’ll pass along Leisen’s paraphrase of a plea from exhibitors: “Please add a little bit on the end to let people dry their tears. We turn on our lights and the customers are crying so hard they can’t see their way out of the theater.” (KW)
122 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

Preceded by: Popeye the Sailor in “I Likes Babies and Infinks” (Fleischer Studios, 1937) – 16mm – 7 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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“He had only one thing on his mind . . . but so did she!”
Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke in 35mm – Sept. 20

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

Wednesday, September 20 @ 7:30 PM
HOLY SMOKE
Directed by Jane Campion • 1999
“‘Why do people believe in God? Why do people believe in love? Why do I tell myself every day, ‘You’re fat, mate?’” These age-old questions are the backbone of director Jane Campion’s disorienting fifth feature film. When Ruth Barron (a luminous Kate Winslet) joins up with a guru in India, her concerned family lures her back home to Sydney, Australia, hoping to reclaim her body and soul with some outside help. Enter P. J. Waters, “exit counselor,” a.k.a. religious cult devotee exorcist. Played with balls and heart by Harvey Keitel, his onscreen entrance feels like Winston Wolfe got lost on the way home from Pulp Fiction and wandered into a Jane Campion film. Rest assured he will not exit as he entered. P. J. attempts his three-day de-brainwashing technique on Ruth in an isolated cabin in the outback where their debates on faith quickly devolve (or evolve) into sexual power games. While not without its flaws (may the last two minutes of the film be forgiven and forgotten), Holy Smoke is a disorienting, funny, and rarely-told type of love story. As Fincina Hopgood wrote for Senses of Cinema, ‘‘Romance’ never looked so ridiculous, nor have its power relations been so cruelly exposed.” Cinematographer Dion Beebe (Collateral, Miami Vice) brings a radiant, saturated style to the film while long-time David Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti fills in between Neil Diamond cuts. (RL)
115 min • Miramax • 35mm from Chicago Film Society collections, permission Park Circus
Co-presented with Cine-File Chicago. Introduced by C-F Associate Editor Kat Sachs

Preceded by: Popeye the Sailor in “Never Kick a Woman” (Fleischer Studios, 1936) – 16mm – 7 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke in 35mm – Sept. 20

The Buzzzz is Back: Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 35mm – One Nite Only – R. I. P.

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

Wednesday, September 13 @ 7:30 PM
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2
Directed by Tobe Hooper • 1986
A decade-plus-removed diptych predicated on the sublime spectacle of big men engaged in landscaping equipment balletics, Tobe Hooper’s two Chainsaw Massacre entries stand as perhaps the most audacious, subversive American franchise horror films of the late 20th century, blood-and-filth-caked dispatches from a country in which mechanized death has run rampant. Shedding the arty cubism and lizard-brain terror of his landmark 1974 original, Hooper opted to emphasize the bad taste comedy of his scenario for its Reagan-era, Cannon Group-financed follow-up, calling on fellow Texan L. M. Kit Carson (who had just prior worked on screenplays for Paris, Texas and the 1983 Breathless remake) for a script that sharpened the original’s jaundiced take on family life in the era of industrial capitalism and came packed with some of the funniest, most quotable dialog of the ’80s (“Look what you did to my Sonny Bono wig!”). Dennis Hopper (who later in the year would go on to give career-defining comeback performances in River’s Edge, Blue Velvet, and Hoosiers) takes the lead this time around as Lefty, a disgraced Texas Ranger on the trail of the original film’s central chainsaw-massacring cannibal family, who have monetized their hobby of murdering, cooking, and eating young people by opening a lucrative catering business. Dressed up with squicky effects work courtesy of Tom Savini and production design to rival Blade Runner for massive, alien beauty, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 plays like a Marx Brothers comedy in an abattoir, choking out laughs amidst the viscera. (CW)
101 min • The Cannon Group • 35mm from Park Circus

Preceded by: Trailer Reel II: Sequels of the ’80s and Afterwards  

And check out the rest of the season here.

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“He Was So Young … So Eager … And I Was So Lonely” – Robert Aldrich’s Autumn Leaves in 35mm – September 6

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

Wednesday, September 6 @ 7:30 PM
AUTUMN LEAVES
Directed by Robert Aldrich • 1956
Robert Aldrich’s iconic noir Kiss Me Deadly ends with an atomic detonation, so it’s only appropriate that his masterfully stark follow-up, Autumn Leaves, feels chilly as nuclear winter. Los Angeles has never looked so empty on screen, a succession of sad little bungalows and grocery stores inhabited by damaged people like Joan Crawford’s spinster stenographer Milly Weatherby, who counts her landlady (Ruth Donnelly) as her only friend. So Milly is especially vulnerable when Burt (Cliff Robertson), a smooth-talking young man with a defensive cloak of overconfidence, shares a booth with her at their local watering hole one night. Milly urges Burt to pursue women closer to his own age, but within a month the puppy dog is back on bended knee. Is her sensitive boy a cynical con artist, a heaven-sent lover, a deeply traumatized soul, or some combination of the three? Lurid but never without emotional nuance, Autumn Leaves offers Crawford the finest role of her career. After so many grandiloquent movies that treat Crawford’s everyday travails as world-historic catastrophes, Autumn Leaves plays like a bucket of cold water, a weepie thoroughly grounded in the loneliness of working class life. (KW)
107 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Preceded by: Mr. Magoo in “Destination Magoo” (Pete Burness, 1954) – 35mm IB Tech – 7 min

Introduced by Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader and Cine-File Chicago contributor

And check out the rest of the season here.

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