2/16: WRITTEN ON THE WIND at the Portage Theater

We’re kicking off our series to-day with Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind at the Portage Theater in glorious 35mm. Tickets are $5 and the show starts at 7:30 pm

It’s only 48 degrees out, you can’t afford to miss it!

February 16th, 2011

Douglas Sirk • 1956
Perhaps the most anxious and lurid of Sirk’s incredible run of melodramas for Universal-International, Written on the Wind is a soap opera laid in a Texas too extravagant for even Edna Ferber. Everything is out-sized but developmentally crippled—big, big oil derricks, shotgun aeroplane weddings, saloon brawls, and a hoochie-cooch pagan jazz dance that embarrasses Old Testament fury. Even a child’s bucking bronco becomes as a crude-cruel reminder of vanished potency. Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone star as those danged spoiled rich thirtysomething Hadley brats with a Texas-sized deficit of self-awareness and restraint. (The latter won a much-deserved Oscar, in a mind-boggling moment of slumming for Academy voters.) Rock Hudson, at his most heterosexual, plays long-time Hadley hanger-on Mitch Wayne, born with sense and decency rather than a trust fund. Lauren Bacall is a tragic witness to the unraveling. (KW)
Print from Universal, special thanks to Paul Ginsburg and Dennis Chong.
99 min. • Universal International Pictures • 35mm

Also on the Program: Saga of the First and Last (Margaret Conneely, 1954, 4 min)
Restored 35mm Print Courtesy of The Chicago Film Archives!!!
Margaret Conneely was active in amateur filmmaking locally and internationally for nearly half a century, first joining a local Chicago camera club in 1949. She shot and directed 16mm films at a time when most of the women in these clubs were less technically inclined and often delegated to the role of actress or slide show manager. Margaret often used her kids as the principal actors. Her son, John, stars in Saga of the First and Last, a short film about a boy, a gun and his first cigarette. This film was preserved to 35mm by the City of Chicago for the outdoors Grant Park Film Festival in 2006. [Please Note: due to audio inconsistencies in the original 16mm Mag track, the sound is uneven at times.]
For more information about the Margaret Conneely film collection at Chicago Film Archives, please visit their website.

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