Watch Out, Men: Pola Negri’s Sappho Is Coming to Ruin Your Life – 35mm Print from UCLA – 10/14 at the Music Box

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 •  Advance Tickets Here

Sunday, October 14 @ 5:00 PM
Directed by Dimitri Buchowetzki • 1921
Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott
Fresh from the worldwide success of Ernst Lubitsch’s Madame DuBarry, Polish actress Pola Negri signed a contract with Paramount Pictures to great fanfare. In March 1923, a month before the release of Negri’s first American film, with newspaper headlines speculating on a love affair with Charles Chaplin, Goldwyn Studios dusted off one of her unreleased German films from two years earlier, retitled it Mad Love, and cannily exploited the public’s mounting Negri-mania. (Negri was literally the entire show, as the studio didn’t bother to advertise the rest of the cast and barely acknowledged the director, Dimitri Buchowetzki, who had recently helmed an acclaimed adaptation of Othello with Emil Jannings.) Described by the New York Tribune as “the greatest non-stop vamping record ever filmed,” Sappho follows Negri as the titular temptress who drives one lover to the insane asylum (Alfred Abel), proceeds to seduce his brother (Johannes Riemann), beguiles an automobile magnate (Albert Steinrück), and more. A mad whirl of betrayal and revenge follows. Long neglected, Sappho has been preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive from multi-tinted nitrate copy with English intertitles from the MGM library. (KW)
81 min • Projektions-AG Union • 35mm from UCLA Film & Television Archive
Cartoon: Felix the Cat in “Comicalamities” (Otto Messmer, 1928) – 8 min – 16mm


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

Wednesday, October 17 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Martin Scorsese • 1986
“You gotta be a student of human moves.” Screenwriter Richard Price might well have been describing himself when he penned this pearl for Paul Newman’s iconic “Fast Eddie” Felson – just one of his many fired-off salvos of hard-won wisdom that seem to fly right over the head of meathead protégé Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise). Charged with drafting a sequel to 1961’s The Hustler, Price reportedly threw out the source material (Walter Tevis’s follow-up novel and his own screenplay adaptation), dusted off a familiar sports-movie premise, and managed somehow to whip up a highly amusing, tightly wound film bursting with fresh insights on the human condition. The plot: Fast Eddie, two-and-a-half decades removed from his bitter straight-pool triumph over Minnesota Fats, now sits around grousing about the new generation of “bangers” who achieve cheap successes in televised nine-ball tournament play. After discovering the cocky young Vincent, though, he can’t help but salivate at the prospect of another shot at green-felt immortality, so it’s time to hit the road, stopping in every rundown Rust Belt poolroom they can find. (Chicago plays itself, along with Atlantic City and several other gritty locales.) Along for the ride is Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Vincent’s girlfriend Carmen, frequently getting caught in the middle as the shooters’ partnership quickly curdles into a rivalry. Plus, how about a moody, time-capsule-worthy score by The Band’s Robbie Robertson and a scene-stealing cameo by a young Forest Whitaker? And now there’s barely time to mention the fun and flashy direction by a middle-period Scorsese (flirting amiably with self-parody a decade before showing signs of full congealment), abetted by the restless and resplendent cinematography of occasional collaborator (and Fassbinder fave) Michael Ballhaus. Rack ’em. (GW)
119 min • Touchstone Pictures • 35mm from Disney, permission Swank
Short: W.C. Fields in “Pool Sharks” (Edwin Middleton, 1915) – 10 min – 35mm

 Check out the full schedule here!

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