A Masterpiece, Definitely: Robert Bresson’s The Devil, Probably Screens Sept 25 in 35mm at NEIU

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

Wednesday, September 25 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by Robert Bresson • 1977
In French with English subtitles
“The void around you makes the void within you.” Robert Bresson uttered this characteristically koan-like pronouncement in an interview while in pre-production for The Devil, Probably. This would prove an apt distillation of a film French minors would be barred from seeing upon its release for fear of inspiring mass suicides. Trudging through a Paris fogged with political disillusionment, a group of youths for whom May ’68 only existed as a forsaken generational myth try on various political and intellectual identities, finding all to be spiritually bereft. The chaotic center around which the rest of this clique moves, Charles takes his peers’ disaffection to another level, shrugging off all the belief structures he’s faced with, treating every woman who crosses his path as a potential sexual conquest, and only expressing engagement in the moments he spends planning his own death. A terrifyingly lucid portrait of a world undone by avarice, wanton environmental destruction, and the death of intellectual curiosity, Bresson’s penultimate masterpiece diagnoses the fervor of discontent that pilots his young subjects as the only sane response to a world plagued evermore by a deep, cosmic sickness. Some things never change. (CW)
95 min • Sunchild / G.M.F. Productions •  35mm from The Film Desk
Short: Short: “Whatever Happened to Honesty?” (Alfred Higgins, 1977) – 13 min – 16mm from Chicago Film Archives

Coming Soon

Music Box Theatre / 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $10

Monday, September 30 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Steve De Jarnatt • 1988
Hip-to-be-square trombone player Harry (Anthony Edwards) and genuinely hip diner waitress Julie (Mare Winningham) meet cute at the La Brea Tar Pits, liberate a tank of lobsters, and plan a date after she gets off work at a quarter past midnight. The self-declared King of the Glenn Miller Impersonators naps too long and misses their date, but arrives at Johnie’s Coffee Shop just in time to pick up a ringing pay phone. Wrong number—a panicked man in a North Dakota missile silo trying to warn his father of an imminent nuclear exchange. If it’s not a prank, Harry has 70 minutes to find Julie, hire a freelance helicopter pilot, and escape to Antarctica with the night owls from Johnie’s. This propulsive, real-time journey through nocturnal Los Angeles glows like an atomic Lite-Brite and gambols to the ambient drone of Tangerine Dream. Though it begins as a rom-com with a stealth agenda, this masterful and sharply funny thriller ultimately earns a place alongside such landmark social disintegration freakouts as Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, and its East Coast contemporary, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. A legendary script that floated around Hollywood for a decade, Miracle Mile finally detonated in theaters in spring 1989, the last fallout of Cold War cinema. Tragically and inexplicably, writer-director Steve De Jarnatt’s career would remain stuck in the TV tar pits, with this and Cherry 2000 his only features to date. (KW)
87 min • Hemdale Picture Corporation • 35mm from Park Circus
Short: “Journey to Tomorrow: Communication” (Fern Field, 1983) – 18 min – 16mm

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