Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Seventh Victim – The Movie That Puts the “Cult” in “Occult” – Archival 35mm Print – Oct. 31 @ 7:30pm

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

Tuesday, October 31 @ 7:30 PM
THE SEVENTH VICTIM
Directed by Mark Robson • 1943
\Tasked with heading up RKO’s horror unit from 1942 to 1946, producer and screenwriter Val Lewton was responsible for one of the most extraordinary runs of films to ever come out of classic Hollywood. Given modest budgets, lurid titles, and a running-time cap of 75 minutes by his superiors, Lewton, along with up-and-coming directors Mark Robson, Jacques Tourneur, and Robert Wise, produced a string of bewitching, ethereal masterpieces and developed a house style defined by expressive shadows, pervasive melancholy, somnambulism, and ambient dread. One of Lewton’s crowning achievements, The Seventh Victim broke from horror conventions of its time and found darkness lurking not in the vampires and monsters of the old world but in good ol’ American sham psychoanalytics and success-centered occultism. Having lost contact with her sister Jacqueline (Jean Brooks, emanating fragility), Mary (Kim Hunter in her first screen role) comes to New York City to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding Jacqueline’s disappearance and encounters more foreboding darkened passageways and patrician figures of quiet menace than she could’ve possibly bargained for. Deeper, sadder, and more poetic than your typical satanic cult scare picture, The Seventh Victim does what precious few horror films do: preserves its abundant mysteries past its staggering finale. (CW)
71 min • RKO Radio Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Swank
Cartoon: “Bimbo’s Initiation” (Fleischer Studios, 1931) – 16mm – 7 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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Tonight’s screening of Monte Carlo regretfully CANCELLED

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

Tuesday, October 17 @ 7:30 PM
MONTE CARLO: THE SILENT VERSION
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1930
Live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren
Crack open any film history textbook and you’ll likely find an extended description of a sequence in Monte Carlo: runaway bride Jeanette MacDonald reclines in a train car and belts out “Beyond the Blue Horizon” with the clang of the engine and the whir of the wheels providing the syncopation. When placed beside the mumbly milestones of the very earliest talkies like The Jazz Singer and The Lights of New York, this simple production number in Monte Carlo looked like a quantum leap and pointed the way towards the creative application of sound technology. And yet this musical chestnut was also distributed mute in the waning days of the silent era, offered to theaters that had not yet been wired for sound. The plot—penniless countess MacDonald flees her wedding for Monte Carlo, where she hopes to gamble her way to financial stability but winds up instead with a count (Jack Buchanan) whom she mistakes for a hairdresser—follows the sound version, but clocks in twenty minutes shorter without all the songs. Discovered among reels of nitrate at the Paramount Pictures lot, the silent version of Monte Carlo was one of dozens of films donated to the American Film Institute in 1968 through the efforts of the late archivist David Shepard. (KW)
71 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Universal

Preceded by: Fractured Flickers: “Pilot Episode” (Jay Ward Productions, 1961) – 16mm – 24 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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A Festering Problem of Our Flawed Society: Larry Peerce’s Groundbreaking One Potato, Two Potato – Oct. 11

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

Wednesday, October 11 @ 7:30 PM
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO
Directed by Larry Peerce • 1964
Frank Richards (Bernie Hamilton) and Julie Cullen (Barbara Barrie) would have “an ordinary, everyday, uncomplicated relationship” — if only Frank weren’t black and Julie white. The backlash to their marriage comes to a head when Joe Cullen, Julie’s ex-husband, sues for custody of their daughter Ellen Mary. Frank and Julie chose to create a loving home together, but no matter how good they are to each other and to Ellen Mary, a deadbeat who walked out on his wife and child can still assert the prerogative of white male control and decide if that home is ‘acceptable.’ Shot completely on location in Painesville, Ohio, One Potato, Two Potato was the feature debut of Larry Peerce, a Stella Adler protégé who cut his teeth as a TV director in Cincinnati and would later go on to helm the superlative sociological thriller The Incident. One Potato, Two Potato’s unsparing depiction of what a contemporaneous New York Times review called a “festering problem of our flawed society” won the film accolades at home and abroad, including an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and a Best Actress citation for Barrie at Cannes. As an independent production, One Potato, Two Potato assailed American society’s spitefulness towards racially-mixed families with more honesty and directness than Hollywood’s later and less successful attempt to be interracially woke, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. (JR)
83 min • Bawalco Picture Company • 35mm from Rialto Pictures
Short: “Cicero March” (The Film Group, 1966) – 16mm – 8 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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This is the New Wave cult film your horrible teenage self should have shoplifted from the video store.

Monday, October 9 @ 7:00 PM / Music Box Theatre
SMITHEREENS
Directed by Susan Seidelman • 1982
Susan Seidelman’s feature film debut Smithereens is the meaner, younger sister of her cult classic Desperately Seeking Susan. Released three years prior and funded in part by the money Seidelman’s grandmother left her for her “future wedding,” it was shot without permits on the streets of Koch-era New York City (sorry Grandma) and went on to compete at Cannes. Susan Berman stars as Wren, a New Jersey runaway who heads to NYC seeking fame in the punk scene, and whose limited talents include pasting Xeroxed self-portraits of herself around town and pinballing back and forth between sweet (but decidedly NOT punk) Brad Rinn and sexy (real-life punk icon) Richard Hell. Though its main character may have been a ne’er-do-well who showed up late to the cultural moment party, its creator was anything but. Seidelman, in 1982: “My idea was to capture the crazy energy of the rock clubs, the sleazy bars, the tenement lofts. I wanted to people the film with characters who were products of the mass culture of the 1970’s and 80’s, kids who grew up on rock and roll. The design of the film is strongly influenced by cartoons, pop art and the colorful trashiness of New York’s urban landscape.” With a soundtrack soaked in the Feelies, ESG, and the Voidoids and screening in a newly struck 35mm print, this is the New Wave cult film your horrible teenage self should have shoplifted from the video store. (RL)
89 min • Domestic Productions • 35mm from Westchester Films, Inc.
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2016) Lab: Fotokem
Presale tickets available here!

Preceded by: “Punking Out” (Maggi Carson, Juliusz Kossakowski, and Fredric A. Shore, 1979) – 16mm – 25 min
“Punking Out” courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “Punking Out” has been preserved with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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Celebrate Home Movie Day with CFS and CFA at the Chicago History Museum – Saturday, Oct. 7 from 11 to 3


Saturday, October 7 @ 11:00 AM
HOME MOVIE DAY 2017
Presented by the Chicago Film Society and Chicago Film Archives.
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street • Free Admission
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 7 for this year’s edition of Home Movie Day. Jointly presented for the seventh year in a row by Chicago Film Archives and the 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.

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And don’t forget to join us again on Monday for a brand new print of Smithereens!

Monday, October 9 @ 7:00 PM / Music Box Theatre
SMITHEREENS
Directed by Susan Seidelman • 1982
Susan Seidelman’s feature film debut Smithereens is the meaner, younger sister of her cult classic Desperately Seeking Susan. Released three years prior and funded in part by the money Seidelman’s grandmother left her for her “future wedding,” it was shot without permits on the streets of Koch-era New York City (sorry Grandma) and went on to compete at Cannes. Susan Berman stars as Wren, a New Jersey runaway who heads to NYC seeking fame in the punk scene, and whose limited talents include pasting Xeroxed self-portraits of herself around town and pinballing back and forth between sweet (but decidedly NOT punk) Brad Rinn and sexy (real-life punk icon) Richard Hell. Though its main character may have been a ne’er-do-well who showed up late to the cultural moment party, its creator was anything but. Seidelman, in 1982: “My idea was to capture the crazy energy of the rock clubs, the sleazy bars, the tenement lofts. I wanted to people the film with characters who were products of the mass culture of the 1970’s and 80’s, kids who grew up on rock and roll. The design of the film is strongly influenced by cartoons, pop art and the colorful trashiness of New York’s urban landscape.” With a soundtrack soaked in the Feelies, ESG, and the Voidoids and screening in a newly struck 35mm print, this is the New Wave cult film your horrible teenage self should have shoplifted from the video store. (RL)
89 min • Domestic Productions • 35mm from Westchester Films, Inc.
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2016) Lab: Fotokem
Presale tickets available here!

Preceded by: “Punking Out” (Maggi Carson, Juliusz Kossakowski, and Fredric A. Shore, 1979) – 16mm – 25 min
“Punking Out” courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “Punking Out” has been preserved with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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