Monthly Archives: July 2019

Our Magic Kingdom: The Florida Project in 35mm, Presented by Sean Baker – July 22 at the Music Box

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N Southport Ave
Tickets: $10 • BUY TICKETS NOW

Monday, July 22 at 7:00 PM
Directed by Sean Baker • 2017
Director Sean Baker in person!
This widescreen, candy-colored-but-never-sugar-coated marvel makes us want to visit the Sunshine State like no movie since Kelly Reichardt’s River of Grass. The Florida Project is a clear-eyed tour of Kissimmee, a land of bed bug-infested residential motels sprung up on the highway in the shadow of Walt Disney World, where outfits like the Magic Castle Motel are held upright by worn-out working men like Bobby (Willem Dafoe), a combination manager, sheriff, and surrogate father figure, too stoic to let his own disappointments reveal themselves to his guests. An unvarnished work about people living on the margins and continually flirting with homelessness, incarceration, and Child Protective Services, The Florida Project could fit snugly within a classic ‘social problem film’ framework of an earlier generation, but writer/director/editor Sean Baker’s celluloid north star is Hal Roach rather than Stanley Kramer. Six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) could hold her own with Our Gang any day of the week, whether she’s spitting on cars over a railing or accidentally setting abandoned buildings ablaze. Her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) ekes out a living hawking wholesale perfume to befuddled tourists, but her increasingly desperate circumstances dictate a new approach that flies mercifully over Moonee’s head. This unassuming film is so rigorous in maintaining its child’s-eye-view that the eventual rupture is heartbreaking beyond words. Gorgeously photographed in 35mm by Alexis Zabe, who learned a thing or two about keeping up with kids as they run through overgrown brush while shooting Carlos Reygadas’s Post Tenebras Lux, The Florida Project was initially distributed as a DCP-only title; we are proud to present the Chicago premiere of this unique print. (KW)
112 min • A24 • 35mm from A24

Short: Our Gang in “The First Round Up” (Gus Meins, 1934) – 20 min – 16mm — In this installment of Our Gang, the titular group of children decide to go down a nearby creek and picnic for the night, inspired by a poster for Rocky Mountain Resort featuring two cowboys camping. However, their attempts at this adult outing are rife with failures and mishaps, culminating in a series of horrific visions of monsters in the night. This short was personally selected by Sean Baker, director of The Florida Project.


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

Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Vincente Minnelli • 1945
Introduced by Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips!
Secretary Alice Mayberry (Judy Garland) meets Corporal Joe Allen (Robert Walker) on his brief leave from the service and the two fall in love while wandering around New York City, visiting Central Park, and delivering milk in the wee hours with James Gleason. Can they forge a future before Joe ships out again? As if no one had noticed that Garland’s musical chops in The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis would have been worthless without her achingly precise emotional sincerity to back up the songs, M-G-M touted The Clock as her first straight “dramatic” role. Likewise a departure for musically-minded producer Arthur Freed and director Vincente Minnelli (who would marry Garland the year after filming this romantic landmark), The Clock shows off Hollywood’s toniest studio in a comparatively modest and amicable mood. A small-scale, precisely calibrated, black-and-white movie with a near-gimmick narrative constraint, The Clock was a B picture by M-G-M standards (if not by anyone else’s—they built a studio replica of Penn Station for the occasion!) and benefits immeasurably from a concomitant lack of studio pressure. (KW)
91 min • M-G-M • 35mm from Warner Bros

Short: Judy Garland clip reel – 15 min – 16mm

“THE CLOCK is the kind of picture that leaves one with a warm feeling toward his fellow-man, especially toward the young folks who today are trying to crowd a lifetime of happiness into a few fleeting hours” — The New York Times

View the full season schedule here!

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