If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Tuesday — Weld & Perkins in Play It As It Lays in 35mm – Tonight at 7:30 at NEIU

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

Wednesday, February 6 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by Frank Perry • 1972
Told in flashbacks from the labyrinthine gardens of a mental hospital, Play It As It Lays is a melancholy look at the day-to-day life of a Hollywood actress Maria Wyeth Lang (Tuesday Weld) searching for her fading childhood in Nevada in the weeks before her hospitalization. Anthony Perkins, reunited with Pretty Poison co-star Weld, carries a soft grace as her shaggy-haired friend, B.Z, a kind but profoundly depressed producer. This crushing depiction of ennui was Frank Perry’s first film following his divorce from long-time creative partner Eleanor Rosenfeld (with whom he worked on David and Lisa and The Swimmer, among others), but he found distinguished new collaborators in Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. In adapting Didion’s novel, Perry recalled, “We broke the novel down into every one of its fragments and arranged them in order, and then rearranged them into our order.” Play It As It Lays received mixed reviews, though it did rally some unlikely partisans: “You watch the kaleidoscope as if assembling a jigsaw,” observed Liz Smith in Cosmopolitan. Play It As It Lays has long been unavailable on home video, but Jordan Cronenweth’s beautiful, everyday vistas of Nevada and California can and should only be seen on the big screen. (VM)
99 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Short: “Brooklyn Goes to Las Vegas” (Arthur Cohen, 1956) – 9 min – 35mm

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60613
Tickets: $11

Saturday, February 9 @ 11:30 AM
Directed by Lotte Reiniger • 1926
Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott
Teenage scissor prodigy and self-described “primitive caveman artist” Lotte Reiniger began working in the film industry as a designer of animated title cards in 1916 and soon found herself mixing with a coterie of bohemian cartoonists. Reiniger’s big break came in 1923, as hyperinflation sent the value of the Deutschmark plummeting; one of her patrons, Berlin banker Louis Hagen, converted his liquid assets to the relatively “safe” currency of raw motion picture stock and built a small studio for Reiniger over the garage of his Potsdam vegetable garden. After three years, Reiniger emerged with The Adventures of Prince Achmed, a literally handmade tapestry of silhouette animation that may as well have sprung from a magic lamp. A free adaptation of several stories from the Arabian Nights, this mythical journey from Bagdad to Wak-Wak, with plenty of witches, sorcerers, and flying horses along the way, conjures more wonderful sights from card stock and tissue paper than most modern blockbusters can scare up with the budget and computing power of a small nation-state. Prince Achmed is now recognized as the earliest surviving animated feature film, but that’s perhaps the least astounding thing about it. The craftsmanship of Prince Achmed remains singular and undiminished, with its intricately designed puppets, its freely undulating backdrops, its otherworldly special effects, and its unstoppable narrative ascent to the clouds. The original negative of Prince Achmed was destroyed in World War II, but luckily a tinted nitrate print was safely ensconced at the British Film Institute; this copy served as the basis for the film’s 1999 restoration, which yielded an irreplaceable print produced with historically authentic tinting methods. (KW)
66 min • Comenius-Film GmbH • Tinted 35mm from Milestone Films
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2000)
Special introduction from members of Manual Cinema
Short: “Adam Raises Cain” (Tony Sarg, 1922) – 7 min – 16mm

Check of the rest of the season here!


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