Les Blank’s Always for Pleasure at Chicago Filmmakers August 10 – Co-presented by Jazz Institute of Chicago

Chicago Filmmakers — 5720 N Ridge Ave
Tickets: $8 • BUY TICKETS NOW

Saturday, August 10 at 7:00 PM
Directed by Les Blank • 1965/1978
As the title suggests, Les Blank’s Always for Pleasure, a loving portrait of New Orleans street life during Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, is an exercise in the total joy of being alive, punctuated by the most life-affirming funeral you’ve ever seen on film, and with more color and joy in its opening credits than most films have in their entire runtimes. Collaborating with New Orleans jazz photographer Michael P. Smith to gain access to local musicians and locations, Blank captured live performances from Professor Longhair, The Wild Tchoupitoulas, the Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, and Kid Thomas Valentine — but the real star of the show is the Big Easy itself, sweating and dancing in the streets. A filmmaker who was interested in everything and notoriously reluctant to set his camera down for fear of missing something, Blank also perfected the art of capturing food on film without making it seem gross — among Always for Pleasure’s many wonderful diversions is a lesson on how to eat crawfish at Frankie and Johnny’s. (JA)
58 min • Les Blank Films • 16mm from Les Blank Films

Short: “Dizzy Gillespie” (Les Blank, 1964) – 20 min – 16mm

Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of JIC’s 50th Anniversary


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

Wednesday, August 14 at 7:30 PM
Directed by James Fargo • 1978
It shouldn’t have taken the broader American filmgoing world until The Mule (or The 15:17 to Paris or Jersey Boys or Hereafter) to catch onto Clint Eastwood’s goofball iconoclasm. For evidence that Clint’s been a big weirdo all along, one need look no further than Every Which Way but Loose, a hard-won passion project for the movie star-mogul that would turn out to be the commercial apex of his acting career. Eastwood stars as the truck-driving, bare-knuckle-brawling, beer-swilling Philo Beddoe, big-hearted, bubble-headed, and a far cry from the nihilistic rage of Harry Callahan. In between hastily organized street fights, Philo drinks his nights away at a local honky-tonk, where he catches a glimpse of itinerant country songstress Lynn Halsey-Taylor (Sondra Locke, forever Clint’s greatest foil). When Lynn disappears, Philo goes on the road to find her, accompanied by his brother Orville (Geoffrey Lewis), Orville’s girlfriend Echo (Beverly D’Angelo) and, most famously, Philo’s best friend Clyde, a rowdy, Oreo-loving orangutan, running afoul of a Nazi biker gang and an ornery LAPD officer in the process, leading to the sort of chaotic pile-ups of pummeled torsos and motor vehicles that could be called the embodiment of cinema. Despite being savaged by critics in its day, Every Which Way but Loose has weathered the years better than most contemporaneous box office smashes, a film as sweet, silly, warm, and, yes, Great as it is inexplicable. Note: This exceedingly rare print has slightly faded color. (CW)
114 min • The Malpaso Company • 35mm from Private Collections, permission Warner Bros.

Short: Rolling South (Burlington Northern Santa Fe, 1979) – 16min – 35mm

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