“He Was So Young … So Eager … And I Was So Lonely” – Robert Aldrich’s Autumn Leaves in 35mm – September 6

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

Wednesday, September 6 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Robert Aldrich • 1956
Robert Aldrich’s iconic noir Kiss Me Deadly ends with an atomic detonation, so it’s only appropriate that his masterfully stark follow-up, Autumn Leaves, feels chilly as nuclear winter. Los Angeles has never looked so empty on screen, a succession of sad little bungalows and grocery stores inhabited by damaged people like Joan Crawford’s spinster stenographer Milly Weatherby, who counts her landlady (Ruth Donnelly) as her only friend. So Milly is especially vulnerable when Burt (Cliff Robertson), a smooth-talking young man with a defensive cloak of overconfidence, shares a booth with her at their local watering hole one night. Milly urges Burt to pursue women closer to his own age, but within a month the puppy dog is back on bended knee. Is her sensitive boy a cynical con artist, a heaven-sent lover, a deeply traumatized soul, or some combination of the three? Lurid but never without emotional nuance, Autumn Leaves offers Crawford the finest role of her career. After so many grandiloquent movies that treat Crawford’s everyday travails as world-historic catastrophes, Autumn Leaves plays like a bucket of cold water, a weepie thoroughly grounded in the loneliness of working class life. (KW)
107 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Preceded by: Mr. Magoo in “Destination Magoo” (Pete Burness, 1954) – 35mm IB Tech – 7 min

Introduced by Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader and Cine-File Chicago contributor

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