“So Warm … So Lovely … So Evil!” Robert Mitchum & Jean Simmons in Otto Preminger’s Angel Face – Feb. 19

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

Wednesday, February 19 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Otto Preminger • 1953
It begins, like so many film noirs of its era, with a chance meeting: racing enthusiast-cum-ambulance driver Frank (Robert Mitchum) momentarily encounters a haunted young woman (Jean Simmons) after her stepmother is found in a gas-filled bedroom, none of them capable of envisioning the death trip this rendezvous will send all three careening through over the subsequent 80 minutes. Nearly a decade after Otto Preminger distinguished himself as one of the premier stylists of the American crime cinema with his breakout feature Laura, Angel Face saw the director pushing the genre ever further, employing a camera style as winding and unpredictable as the film’s script, and dredging performances out of his leads that more than hinted at the unimaginable wells of pain and trauma beneath their controlled exteriors. Angel Face would moreover distinguish itself from countless other films about hapless working stiffs drawn into lawless worlds via unhealthy passions by treating its standard-issue noir trappings as mostly iconographic, the quickest route to a particularly elemental, drifting fatalism that could make room for countless piano sonatas and a detour into courtroom drama that would serve as a dry run for Preminger’s later landmark Anatomy of a Murder. Rising above it all is Simmons’s variably terrifying and heartrending femme fatale turn, transforming a role that reads on the page like a portrait of avarice (her casting was purportedly at the behest of RKO owner Howard Hughes, who sought to humiliate the actress for spurning his advances) into an arresting study of appetites tragically, pathologically unbound. (CW)
91 min • RKO • 35mm from Warner Brothers
Preceded by: “Sniffy Escapes Poisoning” (Barry Duncan, 1967) – 6 min – 16mm

“The most enigmatic and haunting of Preminger’s works after Laura” – Jonathan Rosenbaum

“one of the forgotten masterworks of film noir… a disturbingly cool, rational investigation of the terrors of sexuality” – Dave Kehr

“one of the 10 best American sound films” – Jean-Luc Godard

Watch a trailer for ANGEL FACE

Coming Soon

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

Wednesday, March 4 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul • 2010
In Thai with English Subtitles
If anybody recognizes that cinema is an art form uniquely hospitable to both delicate ruminations on time passed and rubber-suited ghouls, it’s Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The winner of the 2010 Palme d’Or, Uncle Boonmee found Apichatpong broadening his appeal beyond avid readers of film festival dispatches, pairing an expectedly sensitive study in reincarnation with enough spirits, monsters, and other supernatural phenomena to make the cover of Psychotronic Video. As he faces down an imminent death from kidney failure, the soft-spoken Boonmee (roof welder Thanapat Saisaymar, magnificent in his only screen performance to date) begins preparations for the metaphysical journey that awaits him. In between placid trips out to Boonmee’s farmlands and visits from his family and friends (including the corporeal, deceased, and those transformed into monkey ghosts), Apichatpong takes stock of what could possibly be episodes from past lives lived by Boonmee in passages ranging from banal (such as a farmer looking for a lost ox) to fantastic (as when a princess takes a talking fish for a lover). Shot in beautifully textured Super 16mm to evoke the look of the television productions of Apichatpong’s youth, Uncle Boonmee ends up being a testament to the wide-ranging and thoroughly unpretentious cinephilia of its director, a philosophically rich, millennia-spanning cosmic inquiry with the heart and soul of a creature feature. (CW)
Screening in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Super 16 format!
113 min • Kick the Machine Films • 35mm from Strand Releasing
Short: “Blanket Statement #2: It’s All or Nothing” (Jodie Mack, 2013) – 4 min – 16mm


See what’s coming up for the rest of the season!

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