Monthly Archives: October 2011

This Wednesday: Of Human Bondage at the Portage!

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

November 2nd
Directed by John Cromwell • 1934
Those who think that Oscar-mongering is a recent phenomenon should take a look at Of Human Bondage, wherein Bette Davis invents all the tropes—she climbs down the economic ladder, makes herself ugly with whore’s makeup, and delivers her lines in an aggressively fanciful Cockney accent. Officially adapted from W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, but ultimately more about its own insistent (and conflicting) performance styles than any mere story, Of Human Bondage pits Davis the slut-waitress against Leslie Howard’s sensitive and expressive artist, who repeatedly returns to her through bouts of romantic masochism. Long available only in substandard copies after forgettable remakes forced it from screens, Of Human Bondage emerges now as another directorially understated but uncommonly affecting effort from John Cromwell (The Enchanted Cottage, So Ends Our Night). (KW)
83 min • RKO-Radio Pictures • 35mm preserved by the Library of Congress
Cartoon: “She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter” (1937, Friz Freleng) 16mm

Read about the short on our blog!
Just Announced! Mark Your Calendars!
Sunday, November 13th – 6pm
Cinema Borealis
In its heyday, TV meant more than just microwaves and antennae. Video was in its infancy and local stations built broadcast schedules from mountains of 16mm film–Saturday morning cartoons, syndicated sit-coms, local newsreels, commercials, dramatic anthologies in re-run, C&C Movie Time feature presentations, and much more. Harried studio technicians threaded up each print in real time on an industrial-strength projector with its lens aimed squarely at a TV camera. (Imagine the pressure: if the film breaks, every rugrat in metro Detroit sees your mistake!) These prints have survived the ravages of time and surly station managers to form a foundation for the film collectors’ underground. In an attempt to bridge the gap between couch potatoes and cinephiles, we present a marathon of TV on Film, recreating an imagined broadcast evening wholly through 16mm (and rare 35mm!) prints at Cinema Borealis, Chicago’s favorite and coziest living room. Program includes Superman, Rod Serling, the mind-frying Cattanooga Cats, and plenty of surprises. (KW)

Continuous performance from 6pm through 11pm. Come and go as you please. Stay if you dare!

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