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
But that’s not all!
Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 • Advance Tickets Here
Saturday, August 11 @ 11:30 AM / Live Organ Accompaniment by Dennis Scott
THE BLUE BIRD
Directed by Maurice Tourneur • 1918
Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1908 play The Blue Bird had already charmed audiences in Moscow, London, and New York by the time this magical adaptation reached the screen. The simple fairy tale of Mytyl and Tytyl, children who journey through enchanted lands in search of the Bluebird of Happiness, provided the ideal material for Maurice Tourneur, the French émigré who brought a wispy Pictorialist sensibility to the wilds of New Jersey. Aided immensely by the craftwork of Tourneur’s regular collaborators — the elaborate set design of Ben Carré, the expert trick photography of John van den Broek and Charles Van Enger — this delicate dream of a film excels in realizing the stranger aspects of Maeterlinck’s play with wide-eyed, guileless gusto: the spirits and fairies, the living souls of everyday objects like bread and milk, the Cathedral of Happiness, and more. The reviews were sensational, but The Blue Bird was roundly rejected by exhibitors as too arty for its own good. Seen now in a tinted preservation print, The Blue Bird fully earns the hyperbole of Photoplay a century ago: “It is so beautiful from beginning to end that it fairly stings the senses, awakening in the spectator esthetic emotions so long dormant, so seldom exercised, that the flashing light of the awakening is almost a surfeit of joy.” (KW)
80 min • Artcraft Pictures Corporation • 35mm from George Eastman Museum
Short: “Voice of the Nightingale” (Wladyslaw Starewicz, 1925) – 13 min – 16mm