Portrait of Jason Chicago Restoration Premiere Screens Wednesday, 7pm at the Music Box

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will not be screening films at the Portage Theater this week. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Parking information for the Music Box HERE

Wednesday, May 29 @ 7:00pm
The Music Box Theatre
– 3733 N. Southport Ave. – $5.00 per ticket

Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1967
Armed with an Éclair 16mm camera and the most basic sound and lighting equipment, Shirley Clarke and her small crew holed up in her Chelsea Hotel apartment for twelve hours with hustler, cabaret mainstay, and seasoned raconteur Jason Holliday. They emerged with some kind of masterpiece. Before the camera, Holliday (né Aaron Payne of Trenton, New Jersey) spins the most rambunctious autobiography imaginable. Mixing treasured routines, dirty jokes, guilt-free confessions, and bullshit revelations, Holliday lies through his teeth to create the performance of a lifetime. Newly restored by Milestone Films and the Academy Film Archive after an exhaustive search for the best surviving materials and a highly publicized Kickstarter campaign, Portrait of Jason remains an essential document of one queer, black man’s adventures in crazy, pre-Stonewall America. (KW)
Chicago Restoration Premiere co-presented with Reeling and Black Cinema House.
105 min • Filmmakers’ Distribution Center • 35mm from Milestone Films

Read the rave reviews in: Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, New City, Windy City Times


And don’t forget to come back next week for another new restoration that’s queer in whole ‘nother way! LOCATION TBA

07B_High Treason
Wednesday, June 5 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Maurice Elvey • 1929
Official film history records Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail as the first British talkie—a classic right out of the gate. Had the release of Blackmail been delayed, the trailblazing would’ve been left to High Treason, an eccentric Metropolis rip-off that alternates hectoring pacifism with lingerie peekaboo. Set in a futuristic 1940, High Treason envisions an imminent war between the world’s reigning superpowers, the United States of Europe and the Empire States of the Atlantic. Only the extralegal (and none too peaceful) maneuvering of the Peace League can save a world brought to the brink by scheming munitions manufacturers. Described by the New York Times as “a farrago of nonsense” that nevertheless offered American technicians much to learn, High Treason has been difficult to reevaluate in the intervening eight decades. Originally released in silent and sound versions, only the former was thought to survive until the Library of Congress restored the talkie version in partnership with the Film Foundation, Chace Audio, and the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association. (KW)
95 min • Gaumont British Pictures Corp. • 35mm from the Library of Congress
Preceded by: King of the Kongo, Ch. 5: “Danger in the Dark” (Richard Thorpe, 1929) –  16mm – 16 min

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