Films Dug Out of the Ground: Animation by Wladyslaw Starewicz in Rare 16mm Prints at Cinema Borealis

Cinema Borealis • 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor
Suggested Donation: $10

Sunday, December 2nd @ 7:00pm
Wladyslaw Starewicz • 1912-1934
The inexplicably creepy stop motion films of Russian born natural historian Wladyslaw Starewicz left a mark on animation as strong as Walt Disney or the Fleischer Brothers, influencing everyone from Jan Svankmajer to Terry Gilliam, but where other animators seemed to cull their material from the land of the living, Starewicz’s feel like they’ve been dug out of the ground (and they are, basically). The result is an extremely unsettling palette of dead bugs, taxidermied animals, skeletons, and rear projected real world backgrounds blended into something that predicts the work of Salvador Dali, George A. Romero, and Mister Ed the talking horse. Several prints in this program have been provided by animation historian and archivist Tom Stathes. Visit him at Cartoons on Film and the Bray Animation Project. (JA)

The Program
The Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman (1912, 12 min, 16mm)
The Frogs Who Wanted A King (1922, 9 min, 16mm)
The Voice of the Nightingale (1925, 13 min, 16mm)
The Town Rat and the Country Rat (1927, 10 min, 16mm)
The Mascot (1934, 26 min, 16mm)

NOTE CHANGE: One show only.


And if you haven’t marked your calendars yet for this one, we don’t know what to do with you!

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

Wednesday, December 5th @ 7:30pm
Directed by John Ford • 1927
With live organ accompaniment from Jay Warren!
Presumed lost for over eighty years, Upstream never garnered much of a reputation. Even avowed Ford partisan Peter Bogdanovich once declared that ‘the least of [Ford’s] Harry Carey westerns would have more interest today than such higher budgeted Fox specials as. . . Upstream.’ But there’s nothing high-flown or high-budget about this lovable mutt of a picture. (Ford’s name isn’t even listed in the credits.) It sketches the daily routine of a scruffy boarding house occupied by knife-throwers, tap-dancing brothers, and aspiring actors. One in particular, Eric Brashingham (Earle Fox), has plenty to aspire to: with his family name, he should be playing Hamlet on the West End, not returning the idle flirtations of housemate Gertie Ryan (Nancy Nash). When a desperate producer gives him a chance, Brashingham drops all thespian façade and reveals his true colors. Salvaged by New Zealand projectionist and collector Jack Murtagh, Upstream has been beautifully restored through the joint efforts of the New Zealand Film Archive, the National Film Preservation Foundation, Park Road Post Production, 20th Century Fox, and the Academy Film Archive. (KW)
60 min • Fox Film Corporation • Restored, tinted 35mm print from 20th Century Fox
Short: “New Zealand Now #3: Cattle Trail” (1955) – New Zealand National Film Unit – 35mm – 18 min

Not on DVD. Not on Netflix. Only available in 35mm. First Chicago Screening Since 1927!

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