Parental Discretion Strongly Irrelevant: Curt McDowell’s Peed Into the Wind & Shorts in Restored 16mm – Aug 4

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

Saturday, August 4 @ 8 PM / Chicago Filmmakers
Directed by Curt McDowell • 1972
Unafraid to broach any taboo or flaunt any personal sexual proclivity, Curt McDowell’s cinema was dedicated to freeing the minds and bodies of the underground through stupid jokes and frank depictions of people fucking. Beginning his filmmaking career at the San Francisco Art Institute as a student (with benefits) of avant-garde legend George Kuchar, McDowell imported a great deal of his mentor’s camp sensibility into his own work but grounded the bad puns and flagrant melodramatics with a grungy sexual honesty that found liberation in exhibition. The first film of his to resemble something of a traditional narrative feature (he made the droning, abrasive Lunch for the hardcore market the same year), Peed Into the Wind stars McDowell himself as rock ’n’ roll hero Mick Terrific, an openly gay singer who nurses a shameful secret attraction to women. Absurdity abounds as McDowell proves there is no depth he won’t sink to for a laugh in his quest to put Mick through the sexual wringer. We’re proud to present the film George Kuchar likened to a “clogged toilet” and declared to have “the releasing power of an enema” in a beautiful new 16mm print, lovingly restored by the Academy Film Archive. (CW)
60 min. • 16mm from Canyon Cinema
Plus short films by Curt McDowell: “Kathleen Trailer (for Underground Cinema 12)” (1972, 1.5 min), “A Visit To Indiana” (1970, 10 min), “Truth For Ruth” (1972, 4 min), “Ronnie” (1972, 7 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

Tuesday, August 7 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by John Binder • 1985
What to do with an imminently sweet, critic-pleasing romantic comedy about the love between a supermarket checkout lady and a Waylon Jennings lookalike that tackles belief in God and flying saucers with great care and sensitivity? Bury it, apparently. Despite strong notices from pretty much every critic who saw it in 1985 (including a four star rave from Roger Ebert), UFOria failed to make any waves upon release and its subsequent scarcity on home video has kept the film from the adoring public it so clearly deserves. A never-sexier Fred Ward stars as layabout small-time crook Sheldon, who falls head over heels for the deeply religious and UFObsessed Arlene (Cindy Williams) after she catches him shoplifting beer. The two end up in bed together pretty quickly and soon enough they’re playing house. When Arlene begins developing premonitions of a coming extraterrestrial visit, Sheldon is forced to contend with his own skepticism and the craven advances of a revival tent preacher (Harry Dean Stanton, well within his comfort zone) looking to exploit his paramour. Reminiscent of no less than Dreyer’s Ordet (or would that be UFOrdet?) in its unadorned view of the miracle of love, UFOria may not have set the world on fire upon initial release, but that won’t stop it from finding apostles one repertory screening at a time. (CW)
93 min. • Melvin Simons Productions • 35mm from Universal
Short: “The Divine Miracle” (Daina Krumins, 1973) – 6 min – 16mm from Canyon Cinema

 Check out the rest of the season here!