Monthly Archives: September 2017

“He had only one thing on his mind . . . but so did she!” Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke in 35mm – Sept. 20

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

Wednesday, September 20 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Jane Campion • 1999
“‘Why do people believe in God? Why do people believe in love? Why do I tell myself every day, ‘You’re fat, mate?’” These age-old questions are the backbone of director Jane Campion’s disorienting fifth feature film. When Ruth Barron (a luminous Kate Winslet) joins up with a guru in India, her concerned family lures her back home to Sydney, Australia, hoping to reclaim her body and soul with some outside help. Enter P. J. Waters, “exit counselor,” a.k.a. religious cult devotee exorcist. Played with balls and heart by Harvey Keitel, his onscreen entrance feels like Winston Wolfe got lost on the way home from Pulp Fiction and wandered into a Jane Campion film. Rest assured he will not exit as he entered. P. J. attempts his three-day de-brainwashing technique on Ruth in an isolated cabin in the outback where their debates on faith quickly devolve (or evolve) into sexual power games. While not without its flaws (may the last two minutes of the film be forgiven and forgotten), Holy Smoke is a disorienting, funny, and rarely-told type of love story. As Fincina Hopgood wrote for Senses of Cinema, ‘‘Romance’ never looked so ridiculous, nor have its power relations been so cruelly exposed.” Cinematographer Dion Beebe (Collateral, Miami Vice) brings a radiant, saturated style to the film while long-time David Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti fills in between Neil Diamond cuts. (RL)
115 min • Miramax • 35mm from Chicago Film Society collections, permission Park Circus
Co-presented with Cine-File Chicago. Introduced by C-F Associate Editor Kat Sachs

Preceded by: Popeye the Sailor in “Never Kick a Woman” (Fleischer Studios, 1936) – 16mm – 7 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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