Monthly Archives: October 2019

“That Movie Pretty Much Defined My Whole Personality” – Over the Edge in 35mm with Co-Writer Tim Hunter – Nov. 4

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

Screenwriter Tim Hunter in Person! 

Monday, November 4 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan • 1979
Inspired by a local newspaper article about a rash of juvenile crimes in the suburbs, writers Charles Haas and Tim Hunter created a script about the implosion of a middle-class planned community in Colorado and rounded up a crew of very young and eerily talented nonactors, including the burning ember that was a 14-year-old Matt Dillon. Jonathan Kaplan (of White Line Fever and Truck Turner fame) signed on to direct, and what resulted was one of the most beautiful and respectful films about teenage rebellion ever made. Amidst the soul-sucking prefabs and potential real estate developments of New Granada, CO, is a seething, angry mass of kids: ignored by their parents, sick with boredom, deeply loyal to each other, distrustful of authority, and not a whole lot to do except cause a whole lot of trouble. Roger Ebert aptly called it, “depressing and harrowing and often very real… the other side of the coin of Breaking Away.” Woefully mismanaged by a studio that made weak attempts to market it as a horror film before dropping it from theaters altogether, the true-to-form Over the Edge refused to be ignored, eventually entering heavy rotation on cable, becoming a well-deserved cult classic, and influencing celebrity slackers from Kurt Cobain (who claimed, “That movie pretty much defined my whole personality”) to Richard Linklater, who cited it as an inspiration for his stoner odyssey Dazed and Confused. It’s the sort of film that can still reach you from the small screen, but will wreck you in the theater. And the Cheap Trick-heavy soundtrack will be much, much louder. (RL)
95 min • Orion Pictures • 35mm from the Academy Film Archive, permission Warner Bros.

Preceded by: “Back Alley Oproar” (Friz Freleng, 1948) – 7 min – 16 mm
This short was personally selected by Tim Hunter, co-writer of Over the Edge

Coming Soon!

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

Live accompaniment by Music Box house organist Dennis Scott

Saturday, November 9 @ 11:30 AM
Directed by Clarence Brown • 1924
Orson Welles famously described a film studio as the greatest toy train set a boy could have, but Clarence Brown lived the dream in reverse a generation earlier, turning a working rail line into his studio for The Signal Tower, a mountain melodrama shot entirely on location in California’s redwood country, hundreds of miles from Hollywood. “The whole railroad was ours,” beamed Brown. “They had one train a day. Once we let that through, it was our set.” Switch operator Dave (Rockcliffe Fellowes) works a 12-hour shift at the signal tower, then goes home to his wife Sally (Virginia Valli) and Sonny (Frankie Darro) in their made-to-order cabin. Still in debt to the lumber company, the family takes on a new boarder, Joe (Wallace Beery), the dandified city boy who alternates shifts with Dave at the signal tower and aspires to do so in the homestead too. A stunningly photographed and emotionally direct saga of man and machine, The Signal Tower survives thanks to Universal Show-at-Home 16mm prints, which retained the tints and much of the original photographic quality. Restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in conjunction with Photoplay Productions. (KW)
84 min • Universal • 35mm from SFSFF Collection, Library of Congress

Preceded by: “Jane’s Declaration of Independence” (Charles Giblyn, 1915) – 20 min – 35mm

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