September – December 2011

These films screen at Cinema Borealis, located at 1550 North Milwaukee Ave, 4th floor (NOTE: There is no elevator!)
Presented in collaboration with the Nightingale.
Suggested donation is $10 and showtimes are listed with the capsules below.
Seating is limited so please arrive early.

Tuesday, September 13th – 8 pm
Directed by Larry Peerce • 1967
Two young thugs (Tony Musante and Badlands’ Martin Sheen in his first on screen role) terrorize passengers on a late night subway ride in New York City. What begins as a standard piece of inner city pulp quickly spirals into a delicate microcosm of New York City under pressure. Not available on DVD and reportedly never screened in England due to issues with the censors (surprising, as it shares a lot of political similarities with Lindsay Anderson’s If…. released just a year later), The Incident has maintained a small cult following from late night screenings on TV, but theatrical screenings are few and far between. This particular print last played at the New York Transit Museum and we can only assume that the attendees all took cabs home. With Beau Bridges, Ruby Dee, Jack Gilford, Thelma Ritter, and Jan Sterling. (JA)
107 min • 20th Century Fox • 16mm, permission Criterion
Cartoon: “Jerry’s Cousin” (Joseph Barbera, William Hanna, 1951) 35mm Technicolor


Tuesday, September 27th – 8 pm
Directed by Gerd Oswald • 1957
A severely underrated mini-masterpiece of a Western made by a director who would work in relative obscurity making some of the best episodes of The Fugitive, The Outer Limits, and Perry Mason a decade later, Fury at Showdown stars John Derek as a gunslinger looking to give up his life of crime and settle down on a cattle ranch. The best laid plans fall apart when Derek’s brother is murdered on the orders of the town’s land hungry lawyer Gage Clarke. Equally sincere, William S. Hart’s 1915 two reeler The Ruse will precede the film, with live accompaniment by Seth Vanek on piano. Hart is a reformed gunfighter turned prospector, who travels to Chicago to collect on a business deal with a mine promoter who turns out to be crooked. (JA)
75 min • Robert Goldstein Productions • 16mm from the Radio Cinema Film Archive
Short: “The Ruse” (William S. Hart, 1915) 16mm with live accompaniment by Seth Vanek



Sunday, October 9th – 8pm
Directed by Robert Woodburn • 1956
A regional independent film? A country western musical?  An early Robert Altman script? A roman à clef about real-life popcorn baron Charles Manley? A masterpiece? Corn’s-A-Poppin’ is all these things and more. Produced on the cheap in a Kansas City TV station (economically, it’s also set largely in a TV station) by a band of young talent schooled in the production techniques of The Calvin Corporation, the Midwest’s most innovative industrial film studio, Corn’s-A-Poppin’ is just about the most free-wheeling and sing-able hour of cinema we’ve ever seen. Down-home crooner Jerry Wallace plays Johnny Wilson, the star of the Pinwhistle Popcorn Hour, a half-pint (and half-hour) variety show with acts ranging from pro-hog caller Lillian Gravelguard to Hobie Shepp and His Cow Town Wranglers. Might the cornpone bookings be an act of sabotage by rogue PR man Waldo Crummit in a bid to gut the Pinwhistle Empire? It’s up to Little Cora Rice to save the day. Songs include: “On Our Way to Mars,” “Running After Love,” and “Mama, Wanna Balloon.” Financed largely by regional showmen and probably not seen anywhere outside of Kansas City until 2007, Chicago’s new cult classic will receive one triumphant last public screening before going on the restoration docket. Panel discussion to follow. (KW)
58 min • Commonwealth Amusements Co. • 35mm



Sunday, October 23rd – 8 pm
CHARLIE IS MY DARLING (Peter Whitehead, 1966, 60 min) 16mm
ROCK-A-BYE (Jacques Bensimon, 1973, 50 min) 16mm
Two rare Rock ‘n’ Roll documentaries presented by Ryan Daly of the Louisville Film Society. Never officially in circulation, the first documentary ever made about the Rolling Stones, Charlie is My Darling follows the band on their two day tour of Ireland during September 1965. The film includes interviews, a bizarre Elvis impersonation, and live performances (some in whole and some in part) of “Get Off of My Cloud”, “Heart of Stone”, “Play with Fire”, “I’m Alright”, “The Last Time”, and “Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner”. Rock-A-Bye documents the rock music scene of the early 1970s–the Rolling Stones, the Stampeders, Whiskey Howl, Alice Cooper–they’re all here! Along with classic footage from concerts and recording sessions, ROCK-A-BYE looks behind the scenes at record companies and radio studios. Ronnie Hawkins chats from the back seat of a Rolls-Royce, and Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin’ Spoonful tells hilarious anecdotes of his rise to fame, which lasted only 18 months. The camera also goes into a small New York club where Muddy Waters sings and plays guitar. The film ends with Alice Cooper singing “Dead Babies” with a doll and a hatchet. (RD)


TV-on-Film-2Sunday, November 13th – 6pm
In its heyday, TV meant more than just microwaves and antennae. Video was in its infancy and local stations built broadcast schedules from mountains of 16mm film–Saturday morning cartoons, syndicated sit-coms, local newsreels, commercials, dramatic anthologies in re-run, C&C Movie Time feature presentations, and much more. Harried studio technicians threaded up each print in real time on an industrial-strength projector with its lens aimed squarely at a TV camera. (Imagine the pressure: if the film breaks, every rugrat in metro Detroit sees your mistake!) These prints have survived the ravages of time and surly station managers to form a foundation for the film collectors’ underground. In an attempt to bridge the gap between couch potatoes and cinephiles, we present a marathon of TV on Film, recreating an imagined broadcast evening wholly through 16mm (and rare 35mm!) prints at Cinema Borealis, Chicago’s favorite and coziest living room. Program includes Superman, Rod Serling, the mind-frying Cattanooga Cats, and plenty of surprises. (KW)

Continuous performance from 6pm through 11pm. Come and go as you please. Stay if you dare!


Sunday, December 18th – 6 pm & 8:15 pm
Directed by Erik Blomberg • 1952
When her deadbeat Lapland Shepard husband takes off and leaves her hungry and heartbroken, Mirjami Kuosmanen (director Erik Blomberg’s real world wife) seeks the help of a local shaman who turns her into a white reindeer vampire. Adapted from a Finnish folk tale, the film is beautifully shot against staggering Finnish snowscapes and herds of reindeer who don’t have marital problems. The Finnish entry at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, Valkoinen peura won the award for Best Fairy Tale Film with Jean Cocteau as the president of the mostly French jury, and made its way to the US as The White Reindeer in 1957 as a limited release. Also on the bill tonight is a 16mm kinescope of the Space Patrol episode “A Christmas Party for Happy,” originally aired on Christmas Day 1954, and featuring (briefly) a reindeer-driven spaceship. (JA)
67 min • Junior-Filmi • 35mm Print courtesy of Douris Corp., special thanks to Tim Lanza