Gershwin, Gaynor, and Brendel in An Operetta of Del-ish-i-ous Proportions – This Wednesday in 35mm

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, May 8 @ 7:30pm
Directed by David Butler • 1931
Most studios responded to the talkie revolution by importing high-class talent from Broadway. Fox, on the other hand, had the chutzpah to put forward its immensely popular silent screen team of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell (7th Heaven, Street Angel) as the latest light opera sensation. When their bubbly musical debut Sunny Side Up proved a blockbuster, Fox ordered a follow-up and hired no less than George and Ira Gershwin to provide the score—the brothers’ first work for the movies. From this innocuous little story—Scottish immigrant Gaynor meets boy millionaire Farrell in steerage en route to Ellis Island—spring several popular Gershwin standards, including “Blah Blah Blah” and the “Second Rhapsody.” (The latter’s introduced in an extended sequence as Gaynor flees through an expressionist nightmare of Gotham.) An uncommonly optimistic vision of the American melting pot in the depths of the Great Depression—there’s even room for the antics of El Brendel. (KW)
Co-presented with portoluz – Old/New Dreams
106 min • Fox Film Corp. • 35mm from 20th Century Fox
Preceded by: Laurel & Hardy in “Putting Pants on Phillip” (Clyde Bruckman, 1927) – 16mm – 21 min


You don’t like musicals, eh? Any chance our Monday show can convince you otherwise?

Monday, May 13 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Jacques Demy • 1967
It’s another summer in the French port city of Rochefort: you can’t walk down the sunny boulevards without bumping into hunky, dancing sailors or poetry-loving traveling carnies. Twin sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac canoodle and caterwaul about the humdrum happenings, longing for the urbane depravity of Paris. Although director and lyricist Jacques Demy takes the Technicolor MGM musicals as his model (the prevailing color scheme might be described as birthday cake pastel), Rochefort is more than a French love letter to American optimism and ingenuity: for Demy, the musical is not so much a genre as a viable template for envisioning and engaging with the world. Featuring a stellar jazz score by Michel Legrand and a supporting cast that includes Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, Jacques Perrin, George Chakiris, and a spry, Francophone Gene Kelly. (KW)
In French with English subtitles
125 min • Parc Film / Madeleine Films • 35mm from Park Circus
Preceded by: “Umbrella” (Qolga) (Mikheil Kobakhidze, 1967) – 16mm – 20 min

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