Michael Schultz’s ’70s Classic Car Wash – Where Anything Can Happen and Usually Does! 35mm Screening 6/27

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Tuesday, June 27 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Michael Schultz • 1976
Anybody who has languished in a low-paying service industry job will recognize the spectrum of frustrations—from vomiting children and condescending customers to unreliable coworkers and the parade of shady personalities moving to and from the restroom—suffered with good humor and great spirit by the employees of the Dee Luxe Car Wash. Director Michael Schultz’s follow-up to CFS favorite Cooley High contains the unique mixture of comic hijinks and astute social observation that had been something of a signature for the filmmaker up to that point. Tracking a single day in and around the car wash, Schultz mostly dispenses with the notion of dramatic escalation here in favor of observing workaday life and luxuriating in the charisma of his sprawling, diverse cast. Richard Pryor and George Carlin’s cameos may have been the marquee attractions, but it’s the countless lesser-known workhorse performers who make lasting impressions, particularly Ivan Dixon as ex-con family man Lonnie, Bill Duke as militant revolutionary Abdullah, and Antonio Fargas as gender-fluid cosmetology student Lindy. Featuring one of the most enduring soundtracks of any era, an ever-present and insistent counterpoint to all of the film’s action, Car Wash bursts with immeasurable musical energy. Earning minimum wage has never been done with such style. (CW)
97 min • Universal • 35mm from Universal
Preceded by: Production Featurette for Greased Lightning (Michael Schultz, 1977) – 16mm – 6 min