Why not spend the end of the year perusing our new schedule? It runs from January 4 to April 15 every Wednesday (and a few weekends) at the Portage Theater and we think it’s a winner. (So does the Chicago Reader, which compared it Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma.)
What’s on it? The earliest film is a neglected but lovely W. C. Fields comedy from 1926 (years before America’s movie-goers had come to love Fields’s inebriated delivery-drawl) and the latest is Warren Beatty’s magisterial Reds from 1981, a heartfelt contemplation of the emotional challenges of political revolution.
In between, we’ve got an incredibly scarce film adaptation of a New Deal-era ‘Living Newspaper,’ an alternative and eccentric rendition of Philip Marlowe, two essential (and rare) melodramas of the 1930s, a ghostly western, the first commercial film that John Cassavetes directed, the only good film that Edward Dmytryk ever directed, the Loch Ness Monster, the sinking of the Titanic, and the parting of the Red Sea. And more.
Talk about fatale beauté.
Here’s the first screening:
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.
Directed by Preston Sturges • 1941
Frustrated with the output of his career to date, Hollywood lightweight John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) embarks on a ninety-minute pilgrimage to make a picture of real substance about human suffering and, against his studio’s wishes, leaves Hollywood as a tramp in search of loneliness, sorrow, and despair. Along the way he picks up a very broke, very gorgeous Veronica Lake (here echoing a tall, blonde bombshell version of Louise Brooks in Beggars of Life) and after being slapped in a southern chain gang for messing around in a railroad yard is bested by a church projectionist. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sturges’ most sarcastic film is also one of the greatest love letters to motion pictures themselves. Bosley Crowther called it “the best social comment made upon Hollywood since A Star Is Born,” but it’s also a tribute to nontheatrical screening spaces and the element of film-going that gives cinema its strongest sense of purpose: an audience. (JA)
90 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal