Two Organizations, Two Friends: Jane Campion’s Debut Feature in Our Debut Show at Chicago Filmmakers – July 8

Chicago Filmmakers – 5720 N Ridge Ave., Chicago, IL 60660
Tickets: $8

Saturday, July 7 @ 8PM
Directed by Jane Campion • 1986
There’s a trepidation and thrill that always comes with watching the first feature of a beloved, accomplished director. What seeds of the artist’s lifelong obsessions can be spotted, what threads connect youthful beginnings to future masterpieces, or, worst-case scenario, will it be lame and embarrassing? Well, you’d be a fool to think Jane Campion ever made anything that would fall into the latter category — but if you are, never fear. Her debut feature made for Australian television in 1986 (three years before her theatrical debut, Sweetie) has a realist bent that she shies from in her later films, and a humanism she most certainly does not. Written by acclaimed Australian novelist Helen Garner, it’s a raw tale of adolescence and friendship told in reverse, charting the relationship between two 15-year-old girls from its painful dissolution to its hopeful beginning. Shot on 16mm and restored by Milestone Films in 1996 (when it finally received an American theatrical release), Two Friends is not just a curiosity from an auteur’s past, but a heartbreaking and gorgeous film through and through. (RL)
76 min • Australian Broadcasting Corp. • 16mm from Chicago Film Society Collections, permission Milestone Films
Short: “My Friend” (Gus van Sant, 1983) – 3 min – 16mm


And coming next week:

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, July 11 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Hal Ashby • 1970
The first directorial credit for Academy Award-winning editor Hal Ashby, the arty, knotty, disquieting, and supremely funny comedy The Landlord proved from the start of the Harold and Maude auteur’s career that he was shooting for iconoclast status. Beau Bridges stars as the world’s handsomest slumlord, the youngest scion of a wealthy New York family grown sick of his penthouse fiefdom and itching to get into the booming business of gentrification. After purchasing an apartment building in Park Slope, Bridges finds his exclusively African American tenants difficult to shake as he gears up for a full scale eviction, ever more so after a hazy rent party and some ill-conceived bed-hopping entwine his and their lives inextricably. Penned by the brilliant and sadly overlooked filmmaker and playwright Bill Gunn, The Landlord proved to be too bitter a pill for most audiences to swallow in 1970, but Gunn’s charged, acerbic bon mots and take-no-prisoners approach to disassembling race and class relations have provided the film with an uneasy prescience. Featuring a murderers’ row of character actors including Pearl Bailey, Lou Gossett Jr., Susan Anspach, Will Mackenzie, and Academy Award-nominated MVP Lee Grant as Bridges’s racist, alcoholic mother. (CW)
112 min. • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus
Short: “Jasper in a Jam” (George Pal, 1946) – 8 min – 16mm


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