Screening 35mm & 16mm film prints from studio vaults, film archives, and private collections.

All of the screening venues we work with currently require attendees to wear a face mask while indoors and to provide an ID and proof of full vaccination. For full details of each venue’s requirements, please refer to their individual websites.

  • The Freshman

    Saturday, January 29 at 11:30 AM — Music Box Theatre — 3733 N Southport Ave

    Jan 29 - The Freshman

    Directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor • 1925
    One of the most financially successful pictures of the silent era, The Freshman was, in some ways, an unlikely smash. Although Harold Lloyd was silent comedy’s undisputed box office champion, he had recently cultivated a reputation for death-defying stunts and meticulous chases in films such as Safety Last and Girl Shy. Bereft of daredevil thrills, The Freshman hinges entirely on Lloyd’s hometown charm, an island of wholesome earnestness in a sea of Prohibition-era cynicism. He plays Harold Lamb, a mild-mannered freshman at Tate College who aspires to be Big Man on Campus, but whose only knowledge of college customs comes from the movies. (Though The Freshman was scarcely the first of its genre, more people bought tickets to it than had likely ever stepped foot on a college campus, setting off a wave of student comedy imitators and rip-offs from Buster Keaton to Adam Sandler.) Lamb’s quest to win the girl (Jobyna Ralston) and achieve pigskin glory provides a loose structure upon which Lloyd hangs a series of riotous set pieces, culminating in The Big Game where nothing goes right. Don’t worry—no prior knowledge of football or any other sports is required to enjoy Lloyd’s exquisitely choreographed hijinks. (KW)
    76 min • Pathé • 35mm from Harold Lloyd Entertainment
    Preceded by: Putnam Family Home Movies (c. 1930s) – 10 min – 16mm
    Live musical accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 PM — Music Box Theatre — 3733 N Southport Ave

    Feb 1 - Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

    Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1999
    Four years after he twisted the Western inside out with Dead Man, Jarmusch directed Ghost Dog, a mournful take on the crime film with a specific nod to the films of Seijun Suzuki and Jean-Pierre Melville. Ghost Dog is an unknowable mafia contract killer who finds himself the target of his own employers after a hit gone wrong. Played with fierce elegance by Forest Whitaker, he spends his days tending to his carrier pigeons (his only mode of communication with the mob), hanging out with his best friend (a French-speaking ice-cream vendor he can’t understand), and reading the 18th-century warrior philosophical text, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, to which he fiercely adheres. Featuring a stuttering, hypnotic score by a 28-year-old Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA (his short cameo likely prompted ’90s teens everywhere to lean over to their neighbor in the darkened theater and whisper… “that’s RZA!”), cinematography by master Robby Müller, and a supporting cast that includes Isaach de Bankolé, Henry Silva, and Cliff Gorman as a Flavor Flav-loving mafioso. Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote upon the film’s release, “It’s such an exciting, prescient, moving, and noble failure that I wouldn’t care to swap it for even three or four modest successes.” After over 20 years the film feels weightier and yes, eerily prescient. “Ancient Japan was a pretty strange place” is a sentiment echoed twice in the film; 2021 is a pretty strange place too. (RL)
    116 min  •  Lionsgate • 35mm from Lionsgate, permission Janus Films
    Preceded by: Woody Woodpecker in “Pantry Panic” (Walter Lantz, 1941) – 7 min – 16mm

Upcoming screenings:

View all upcoming screenings

Sat 1/29 at 11:30 AM @ Music Box
The Freshman

Tue 2/1 at 7:00 PM @ Music Box
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Wed 2/9 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
Rich Kids

Wed 2/16 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
The King of Comedy

Sat 2/19 at 11:30 AM @ Music Box

Wed 2/23 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU

Wed 3/2 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
I Saw What You Did

Wed 3/9 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
Air Mail

Mon 3/14 at 7:00 PM @ Music Box
In The Cut

Sat 3/19 at 11:30 AM @ Music Box
The Crowd

Sat 4/2 at 7:00 PM @ Chicago Filmmakers
Sharon Couzin shorts program

Mon 4/4 at 7:00 PM @ Music Box
Bigger Than Life

Sat 4/16 at 11:30 AM @ Music Box
The Fire Brigade

Wed 4/20 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
The Ballad of Cable Hogue

Wed 4/27 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
The Marrying Kind

Wed 5/4 at 7:30 PM @ NEIU
City Lights

The Chicago Film Society works to promote the exhibition of analog film prints, to preserve the equipment and skills used to create and exhibit them, and to encourage an approach to film history that positions cinema as part of the broader history of technology and society.

▶︎ Films we have preserved
▶︎ Film collection

▶︎ Equipment & parts
▶︎ Consulting

▶︎ Celluloid Chicago
▶︎ Film frame stamps
▶︎ Leader Ladies Project
▶︎ Recommended Reading

▶︎ Blog
▶︎ Infuriating Times zine