Monthly Archives: June 2018

Shinoda’s Startling Avant-Garde Theatrical Adaptation Double Suicide Screens June 26 – New 35mm Print

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Tuesday, June 26 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
DOUBLE SUICIDE
Directed by Masahiro Shinoda • 1969
In Japanese with English subtitles
Forbidden love between a married paper merchant (Kichiemon Nakamura) and a courtesan (Shima Iwashita) moves inevitably towards tragedy and annihilation in this startling adaptation of a famous 1721 bunraku (puppet drama) from Japan’s foremost playwright Monzaemon Chikamatsu. (When Double Suicide opened in New York concurrently with Kenji Mizoguchi’s more classically mounted Chikamatsu adaptation, The Crucified Lovers, The New York Times celebrated the unlikely development, observing that this 18th century legend had become “like Shakespeare, like Neil Simon, one of the better represented dramatists in the city … Unlike Neil Simon, his mode is tragedy.”) An early production of the Art Theatre Guild, the ribald studio that would incubate projects by such Japanese New Wave stalwarts as Shōhei Imamura, Nagisa Oshima, and Toshio Matsumoto, Double Suicide is anything but a staid and reverent treatment of a classic. In translating the story to cinema, Masahiro Shinoda (Pale Flower, Silence) achieves radical ends by affirming its theatrical roots, mixing the story proper with footage of puppets and sets and stagehands, effectively kicking and stomping across the fourth wall. With music by Toru Takemitsu, who also takes his first and only screenwriting credit. (KW)
104 min • Art Theatre Guild • 35mm from Janus
Short: “Budulinek and the Little Foxes” (Anna Vesela and Vaclav Zykmund, c. 1950) – 10 min – 35mm

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June 20: Richard Fleischer’s Ottawan Ode to Sexual Awakening The Happy Time – 35mm Vault Print!

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, June 20 @ 7:30 PM
THE HAPPY TIME
Directed by Richard Fleischer • 1952
While waiting over a year for mercurial RKO head Howard Hughes to sign off on his B-picture breakthrough, The Narrow Margin, journeyman filmmaker Richard Fleischer anxiously dreamt of moving up a rung or two in the Hollywood racket. The opportunity finally came when Stanley Kramer offered Fleischer the chance to direct The Happy Time for his eponymous production company at Columbia — a project that Fleischer giddily described as “no melodrama, no murders, no evil wooden puppets, but people, warm, human, alive, and funny.” Based on a Robert Fontaine novel that had already been imported to Broadway by Rodgers and Hammerstein (oddly, not as a musical — that would have to wait for the Kander & Ebb version of 1968), The Happy Time is a curious effort to bring together the sentimental coming-of-age story and the ever-so-slightly-blue sex comedy. (The original tagline: “Finally a Film on That Touchy Titillating Topic!”) Disney mainstay Bobby Driscoll stars as Robert ‘Bibi’ Bonard, a French-Canadian kid growing up in Ottawa in the mid-1920s. Surrounded by a family of aspiring roués (uncle Louis Jourdan, “the Casanova of Canada”), aging carousers (grandpère Marcel Dalio), and unaccountably level-headed folks (father Charles Boyer), Bibi develops a crush on magician’s-assistant-turned-housemaid Mignonette (Linda Christian) and learns to stick up for himself. (KW)
94 min • Stanley Kramer Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Short: “Your Thrift Habits” (Coronet Films, 1948) – 11 min – 16mm

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June 18: Howard Hawks’s Western Masterpiece Rio Bravo: Purple Light in the Canyon in 35mm IB Technicolor

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $10

Monday, June 18 @ 7:00 PM
RIO BRAVO
Directed by Howard Hawks • 1959
What is a Western? If you come to the genre expecting expansive natural landscapes, daring feats of horsemanship, and a deep engagement with the trailways of American history, then Rio Bravo falls flat on its face like a hooch-guzzling saloon dweller. If you want your Westerns to be about relationships, honor, purple light in the canyon, and the inexhaustibly fine line between “good” and “good enough,” then Rio Bravo is just about perfect. Conceived for the narrowly parochial purpose of rebutting the whiny indecisiveness of High Noon, Howard Hawks and his screenwriters Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett crafted a response so rich in human detail as to make the casus belli irrelevant. John Wayne stars as John T. Chance, a small town sheriff who must keep the peace with a task force that embarrasses his conservative sense of professionalism: a drunken deputy (Dean Martin), a guitar-slinging kid (dreamy Ricky Nelson), a game-legged oldster (dreamy Walter Brennan), a fiercely independent woman (stunning Angie Dickinson), and a loquacious hotel-keeper (Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez). Make no mistake: Rio Bravo is an ambling, seemingly shapeless movie that thinks nothing of stopping the action for a song or two, but the screenplay is a genuine model of economy and an endless fount of arid wisdom. (Sample dialogue from Wayne: “I’d say he’s so good, he doesn’t feel he has to prove it.”) Photographed in fade-prone Eastmancolor but originally released in Technicolor prints, Rio Bravo has been cursed in later years with substandard copies that look about as appealing as Dean Martin’s stubbled chin. We are proud to present one of our favorite films in a sparkling IB Technicolor print. (KW)
141 min • Warner Bros. • 35mm IB Tech from private collections, permission Warner Bros.
Preceded by: ’50s Westerns Trailer Reel

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And coming later this week …

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, June 20 @ 7:30 PM
THE HAPPY TIME
Directed by Richard Fleischer • 1952
While waiting over a year for mercurial RKO head Howard Hughes to sign off on his B-picture breakthrough, The Narrow Margin, journeyman filmmaker Richard Fleischer anxiously dreamt of moving up a rung or two in the Hollywood racket. The opportunity finally came when Stanley Kramer offered Fleischer the chance to direct The Happy Time for his eponymous production company at Columbia — a project that Fleischer giddily described as “no melodrama, no murders, no evil wooden puppets, but people, warm, human, alive, and funny.” Based on a Robert Fontaine novel that had already been imported to Broadway by Rodgers and Hammerstein (oddly, not as a musical — that would have to wait for the Kander & Ebb version of 1968), The Happy Time is a curious effort to bring together the sentimental coming-of-age story and the ever-so-slightly-blue sex comedy. (The original tagline: “Finally a Film on That Touchy Titillating Topic!”) Disney mainstay Bobby Driscoll stars as Robert ‘Bibi’ Bonard, a French-Canadian kid growing up in Ottawa in the mid-1920s. Surrounded by a family of aspiring roués (uncle Louis Jourdan, “the Casanova of Canada”), aging carousers (grandpère Marcel Dalio), and unaccountably level-headed folks (father Charles Boyer), Bibi develops a crush on magician’s-assistant-turned-housemaid Mignonette (Linda Christian) and learns to stick up for himself. (KW)
94 min • Stanley Kramer Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Short: “Your Thrift Habits” (Coronet Films, 1948) – 11 min – 16mm

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Gregory LaCava’s Silent Rib-Tickler Feel My Pulse – Archival 35mm Print with Live Score from Dennis Scott

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 • Seniors: $9 • MBT Members: $7

Saturday, June 16 @ 11:30 AM 
FEEL MY PULSE
Directed by Gregory La Cava • 1928
Live Organ Accompaniment from Dennis Scott
Bebe Daniels began her acting career at the age of seven; by fourteen, she was a frequent co-star of Harold Lloyd, with whom she made dozens of comedies under the “Lonesome Luke” banner. Towards the end of the silent era, Daniels had become a star and accomplished comedienne in her own right, though many of her most intriguing and subversive films from this period (e.g., She’s a Sheik) are now presumed lost. Among the handful that survive, Feel My Pulse is a rollicking comedy that offers Daniels a wonderful showcase for her knockabout antics and subtler character work. Directed by former cartoonist Gregory La Cava, who also fashioned a surprisingly effective silent comedian out of W.C. Fields in So’s Your Old Man and Running Wild, Feel My Pulse follows hypochondriac heiress Daniels to an island sanitarium where everything is not as it seems. The doctor (William Powell) is really a bootlegger in disguise and all the attendants, save for undercover reporter Richard Arlen, are lieutenants in his rum-running army. The kind of witty and unpretentious comedy at which Paramount excelled, Feel My Pulse never aspired to be anything more than an evening’s entertainment — but after seeing it, you’ll never look at surgical equipment the same way again. (KW)
63 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress
Short: “The Hasher’s Delirium” (Émile Cohl, 1910) – 5 min – 16mm

And if that isn’t enough …

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $10

Monday, June 18 @ 7:00 PM
RIO BRAVO
Directed by Howard Hawks • 1959
What is a Western? If you come to the genre expecting expansive natural landscapes, daring feats of horsemanship, and a deep engagement with the trailways of American history, then Rio Bravo falls flat on its face like a hooch-guzzling saloon dweller. If you want your Westerns to be about relationships, honor, purple light in the canyon, and the inexhaustibly fine line between “good” and “good enough,” then Rio Bravo is just about perfect. Conceived for the narrowly parochial purpose of rebutting the whiny indecisiveness of High Noon, Howard Hawks and his screenwriters Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett crafted a response so rich in human detail as to make the casus belli irrelevant. John Wayne stars as John T. Chance, a small town sheriff who must keep the peace with a task force that embarrasses his conservative sense of professionalism: a drunken deputy (Dean Martin), a guitar-slinging kid (dreamy Ricky Nelson), a game-legged oldster (dreamy Walter Brennan), a fiercely independent woman (stunning Angie Dickinson), and a loquacious hotel-keeper (Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez). Make no mistake: Rio Bravo is an ambling, seemingly shapeless movie that thinks nothing of stopping the action for a song or two, but the screenplay is a genuine model of economy and an endless fount of arid wisdom. (Sample dialogue from Wayne: “I’d say he’s so good, he doesn’t feel he has to prove it.”) Photographed in fade-prone Eastmancolor but originally released in Technicolor prints, Rio Bravo has been cursed in later years with substandard copies that look about as appealing as Dean Martin’s stubbled chin. We are proud to present one of our favorite films in a sparkling IB Technicolor print. (KW)
141 min • Warner Bros. • 35mm IB Tech from private collections, permission Warner Bros.
Preceded by: ’50s Westerns Trailer Reel

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