CFS at Big Marsh and a sun-baked return to Silent Cinema with GREED on 9/9!

Big Marsh Park
11559 S. Stony Island Ave
*This is an outdoor screening*

Friday, September 3rd @8:00 PM
Chicago Film Society at Big Marsh
The Chicago Film Society presents an evening of nature documentaries, industrial films, home movies, and animation which reflect the history and environment of Big Marsh, Chicago’s Park 564 which has transitioned from an active industrial area to a sanctuary for wildlife, foliage, and Chicagoans looking for something entirely magical.  Program highlights include Kudzu (Marjie Short, 1977), a documentary about the infamously invasive vine once promoted by the Department of Agriculture as a solution to erosion; the heartbreaking juvenile delinquent educational film The Boy Who Liked Deer (Barbara Loden, 1975); Still Life and Castro St. (both 1966) from Bruce Baillie, the avant-garde’s premiere chronicler of the natural world; recently unearthed amateur film footage of birds in Chicago from 1939, and more! All films will be presented on 16mm film. Presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District as part of the Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase.

Big Marsh is one of the most beautiful public spaces in the city. If you haven’t been before, we strongly encourage coming a couple hours early for a walk! Bring your own chair or blanket for the show.

Coming Soon

Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave
Admission: $12

Thursday, September 9 @ 7:00 PM / Music Box Theatre
Directed by Erich von Stroheim • 1924
Live musical accompaniment by Dennis Scott
Erich von Stroheim was perhaps the least likely star of the silent era, an Austrian émigré who profitably channeled America’s voracious wartime hostility towards the Germans into a peculiar anti-matinee idol status, turning rank villainy and unbridled sexual license into calling cards. When he turned to directing, he intertwined melodrama and perversity, profligacy and purple prose. Greed, Stroheim’s ill-fated adaptation of Frank Norris’s Naturalist novel McTeague, began production under the Goldwyn Pictures banner, but wound up released by the newly amalgamated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. A freethinker whose contract had been acquired by Hollywood’s most rigidly top-down studio, Stroheim described the resulting film as “the skeleton of my dead child.” Yet even this front-office-mandated version of Greed remains a forthrightly ghoulish film, a vision of marital hell so vivid that it could keep even the most besotted couple from approaching the altar. Stroheim’s depiction of the unholy union of amateur dentist Mac (Gibson Gowland) and spendthrift Trina (Zasu Pitts) becomes such a harrowing and emotionally direct experience that one of the film’s most famous intertitles—“Let’s go over and sit on the sewer”—reads as almost romantic in context! Topped by spectacular sun-dried cinematography and propelled by a sense of preordained tragedy, Greed is like nothing else in the movies. Once reflexively cited as one of the medium’s masterpieces, Greed has been ill-served by the canon of late capitalism. It still circulates for home viewing in transfers prepared during the VHS era, but luckily remains available in 35mm for discerning sewer cinephiles. (KW)
140 min • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer • 35mm from Warner Bros

Preceded by: “A Corner in Wheat” (D.W. Griffith, 1909) – 14 min – 16mm from John M. Flaxman Library Special Collections, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

COVID policy: Facemasks are required for all patrons in the Music Box Theatre, regardless of vaccination status. Masks may only be momentarily lowered when eating or drinking while seated in the auditorium. Capacity for this screening will be held at 50% (350 out of 700 seats).

Other Projects

Looking for a copies of the CFS Zine INFURIATING TIMES, Tote bags, or film frame stamps? Now available here! While supplies last!

Check out some scans from our print collection on the CFS Vimeo page!

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