35mm screenings at the Portage Theater

posted by Michael Zoldessy on May 2, 2013 at 7:59 am


CHICAGO, IL — “You’ll put your eye out!”

This familiar warning gets a fresh demonstration this summer in THE VIKINGS, the awesome widescreen adventure featuring a one-eyed Kirk Douglas. It’s one of several lessons to be gleaned from the Northwest Chicago Film Society’s latest calendar. Film Society habitués will also learn what it takes to survive as a gay black hustler in pre-Stonewall New York, what constitutes proper etiquette at a Beacon Hill dinner party, and how to make the crippled walk again! Who says learning can’t be fun?

The Northwest Chicago Film Society is proud to announce its eighth, extra-educational season, which will run from May 1 to August 28 at the historic, newly renovated Portage Theater. Building upon its specialty of screening strange films in beautiful 35mm prints (and, occasionally, beautiful films in strange prints), the Northwest Chicago Film Society’s summer season will span more than six decades of cinema history—from 1929’s sci-fi pacifist paean HIGH TREASON to Jim Jarmusch’s laconic post-acid, post-Western DEAD MAN (1995). You’ll get something different every week—and, with our newly expanded calendar, you can even get something different twice a week!

All films are screened from authentic, industrial-strength 35mm film prints and preceded by a parade of film ephemera: trailers, cartoons, short subjects, and public service announcements. The Film Society aims to mix established classics with movies as you’ve never seen them before—new restorations, forgotten films unavailable on DVD or Hulu, and dreamy original Technicolor prints. We’ll see you at the movies.

Season highlights include:

THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (5/1) – John Ford’s classic western, back on the big screen.

PORTRAIT OF JASON (5/29) – Chicago premiere of newly-restored, avant-garde LGBT landmark. Co-presented by Black Cinema House and Reeling.

HEAT LIGHTNING (6/26) – Scorching pre-Code entertainment. Introduced by New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot, daughter of Warner Bros. mainstay Lyle Talbot and author of the new book The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century.

GAMES (7/3) – Macabre horror from director Curtis Harrington. Co-presented with Drag City, publishers of Harrington’s posthumous memoir, Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood

THE INTRUDER (8/14) – Captain Kirk as a white supremacist in a 35mm print from the Academy Film Archive. See it!

Where: The Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.) When: 7:30pm, Mondays and Wednesdays, May 1 thru August 28 Admission: $5 Website: http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org Press Contact: Becca Hall,

Hi-res stills available upon request for all titles. Inquire about preview screenings and screener copies.

The full schedule, with luscious stills and tantalizing synopses, is on the NW Chicago Film Society website at http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org/calendar/classic

Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 PM THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE • John Ford • 1962 • 123 min + 6 min short 35mm from Paramount Pictures “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” And when the legend is John Ford’s classic dissection of democracy and justice with James Stewart, John Wayne, and Lee Marvin, it’s well worth printing! (And seeing.) Screening with the notorious production featurette for Will Penny (1968), in which Charlton Heston (in costume for his latest Western) conducts the camera on a firearms-fetishizing IB Technicolor tour of the Paramount Studios armory.

Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 PM DELICIOUS • David Butler • 1929 • 106 min + 21 min short 35mm from the 20th Century Fox vaults Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell show off their light opera chops in the first movie musical graced with a score by George and Ira Gershwin. Not available on DVD. Screening with the Laurel & Hardy short “Putting Pants on Phillip” (Clyde Bruckman, 1927) in 16mm, featuring a kilted Stan Laurel fresh off the ship from Scotland, exasperating his uncle Oliver Hardy. Screening co-presented by portoluz (www.portoluz.org)

Monday, May 13 at 7:30 PM THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT • Jaccques Demy • 1967 • 124 min + 20 min short 35mm from Park Circus films Summer comes early with this exuberant widescreen musical from the creators of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. With Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Doreleac, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli, George Chakiris, and Gene Kelly. In French with English subtitles. Screening with the fanciful Georgian short film “Qolga” (Umbrella) (Mikheil Kobakhidze, 1967) in 16mm.

Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 PM DARK WATERS • Andre de Toth • 1944 • 90 min + 16 min short 35mm from private collections Is she crazy — or is she the victim of a criminal conspiracy? Merle Oberon faces this popular question in de Toth’s Southern Gothic noir thriller. Screening with short comedy “You Dear Boy” (Jules White, 1943).

Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 PM ZARDOZ • John Boorman • 1974 • 105 min 35mm from the 20th Century Fox vaults A sci fi anticlassic about immortality, genocide, and the importance of adult literacy programs. Features a giant talking stone head and Sean Connery in a scarlet loincloth. From the director of Point Blank and Deliverance.

Monday, May 27 at 7:30 PM ALL I DESIRE • Douglas Sirk • 1953 • 79 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from Universal Pictures Before his Techincolor masterworks (All That Heaven Allows, Imitation of Life), Douglas Sirk directed this affecting hometown melodrama with washed-up actress Barbara Stanwyck. Screening with “Betty Boop’s Prize Show” (Fleischer Studios, 1934) in 16mm, in which Betty and friends stage a community-theatre mellerdrammer.

Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 PM PORTRAIT OF JASON • Shirley Clarke • 1967 • 105 min new 35mm restoration from Milestone Film and the Academy Film Archive A pioneering LGBT landmark and a hilarious account of one black hustler’s odyssey in American free enterprise! CHICAGO PREMIERE of the new 35mm restoration from Milestone Film and the Academy Film Archive. Not available on DVD! Co-presented with Reeling (reelingfilmfestival.org) and Black Cinema House (blackcinemahouse.org)

Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 PM HIGH TREASON • Maurice Elvey • 1929 • 95 min + 16 min short new 35mm restoration from the Library of Congress England’s unsolicited answer to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, this long-lost British talkie envisions the future of international relations. Newly restored by the Library of Congress. Not available on DVD! Screening with a newly restored episode of the serial King of the Kongo entitled “Danger in the Dark” (Richard Thorpe, 1929) in 16mm.

Monday, June 10 at 7:30 PM ACE IN THE HOLE • Billy Wilder • 1951 • 111 min + 8 min cartoon 35mm from Paramount Pictures Wilder’s ultra-cynical and still-accurate dissection of what happens when journalism and hucksterism collide. You’ll laugh between tears and never think of a media circus the same way again. With a fiery performance from Kirk Douglas. Screening with a cartoon TBA.

Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM CHICANO LOVE IS FOREVER • Efrain Gutierrez • 1978 • 101 min • In Spanish and English 35mm restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive Pioneering effort at politically-engaged, independent cinema for Chicano audiences in Texas. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive. Not available on DVD! Co-presented with portoluz (www.portoluz.org)

Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 PM THE CRIMSON KIMONO • Samuel Fuller • 1959 • 82 min + 18 min short 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory The posters promised a steamy interracial love story. Fuller delivers that and a crackling detective noir with genuinely progressive political ideas. Screening with “You’re Next” (Del Lord, 1940), a horror-comedy short starring Walter Catlett in 16mm.

Monday, June 24 at 7:30 PM SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION • Paul Newman • 1971 • 114 min + 13 min short original 35mm Technicolor print from the collection of NWCFS programmer Julian Antos Newman adapts Ken Kessey’s countercultural novel for his second directorial effort. Featuring standout performances from Newman, Lee Remick, and Henry Fonda and gorgeous scenes of the Pacific Northwest. Screening with “Salmon Fishing” (Marc Terziev, 1967), a compilation of woodsy Kodachrome home movie footage.

Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30 PM HEAT LIGHTNING • Mervyn LeRoy • 1934 • 63 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from the Library of Congress A scorching pre-Code thriller soaked in sweat. Introduced by New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot, who will sign copies of her new book The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century, a biography of actor Lyle Talbot, her late father. Screening with a cartoon TBA.

Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 PM GAMES • Curtis Harrington • 1967 • 100 min + 10 & 6 min shorts 35mm from Universal Pictures A swinging, macabre thriller from Pop Art hell with James Caan, Katharine Ross, and Simone Signoret. Release party for Drag City’s latest book publishing effort, Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood, a posthumous memoir from director Curtis Harrington. Screening with early Harrington short “The Wormwood Star” (Curtis Harrington, 1955) in 16mm from the Academy Film Archive and “Puce Moment” (Kenneth Anger, 1949) – on which Harrington acted as cameraman – in 16mm from Canyon Cinema.

Monday, July 8 at 7:30 PM BONJOUR TRISTESSE • Otto Preminger • 1958 • 94 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory Spoiled brat Jean Seberg schemes to ruin her playboy father David Niven’s affair with Deborah Kerr. Like Clueless on the French Riviera, and possibly Preminger’s highest achievement. Screening with “Madeline” (Robert Cannon, 1952), an adaptation of the classic children’s book in 16mm.

Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 PM AN AMERICAN ROMANCE • King Vidor • 1944 • 121 min + 18 min short restored 35mm from George Eastman House Learn about the majesty of the American Dream and the sparkling promise of Industry in this Technicolor immigrant’s saga starring Brian Donlevy. Screening with a 16mm Technicolor industrial short produced by the Ford Motor Company, “Steel on the River Rouge” (1970). Co-presented with portoluz (www.portoluz.org)

Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30 PM THE VIKINGS • Richard Fleischer • 1958 • 116 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from Park Circus Films Tony Curtis and one-eyed Kirk Douglas as the bawdiest brawlers of the eighth century in this violent widescreen epic beloved by junior high schoolers everywhere. Co-starring Janet Leigh and Ernest Borgnine. Screening with a cartoon TBA.

Monday, July 22 at 7:30 PM THE LINEUP • Don Siegel • 1958 • 86 min + 16 min short 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory Another sadistic thriller from NWCFS favorite Don Siegel, featuring a totally deranged performance from Eli Wallach. Shot entirely on location in San Francisco, including an unforgettable scene at a skating rink. Screening with a 35mm print of “Caught on the Bounce” (Jules White, 1952) starring sometime-Stooge Joe Besser.

Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30 PM THE MIRACLE MAN • Norman Z. McLeod • 1932 • 85 min + 21 min short 35mm from Universal Pictures A film about gangsters, faith healers, shysters, and the transformative power of faith—and money. Features an all-star cast including Boris Karloff and Sylvia Sidney. A remake of Lon Chaney’s now-lost breakthrough film. Not available on DVD! Screening with a 16mm print of “Dangerous Females” (William Watson, 1929), an early sound comedy about hucksters, murder, and traveling evangelists starring the great Marie Dressler and Polly Moran.

Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 PM THE LATE GEORGE APLEY • Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1947 • 97 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from the 20th Century Fox vaults Charming comedy of manners from ultra-sophisticated auteur Mankiewicz about the fading of nineteenth-century Boston aristocracy. Starring Ronald Colman in his last great performance and Peggy Cummins (Gun Crazy) in her American debut. Based on John P. Marquand’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Screening with a cartoon TBA.

Monday, August 5 at 7:30 PM DEAD MAN • Jim Jarmusch • 1995 • 121 min + 7 min cartoon 35mm from Park Circus Films Jarmusch’s hipster acid western with Johnny Depp and Robert Mitchum. “One of the ten best films of the 1990s” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader. Screening with a cartoon TBA

Wednesday, August 7 at 7:30 PM SWING HIGH, SWING LOW • Mitchell Leisen • 1937 • 92 min + 8 min cartoon restored 35mm from the Library of Congress Carole Lombard’s apex in Leisen’s unclassifiable comedy-drama-musical with an alcoholic backbeat. A public domain film usually available only in very poor copies—except for this restored print from the Library of Congress. Screening with Popeye the Sailor in “Kickin' the Conga ‘Round” (Fleischer Studios, 1942).

Wednesday, August 14 at 7:30 PM THE INTRUDER • Roger Corman • 1962 • 84 min + 25 min short 35mm from the Academy Film Archive A pre-Star Trek William Shatner stars as a race-baiting demagogue unleashed upon the Deep South. Exploitation cinema at its most personal and politically-incisive from grindhouse guignol specialist Corman. Screening with a 16mm print of Twilight Zone episode “A Nice Place to Visit” (John Brahm, 1960). Co-presented with portoluz (www.portoluz.org)

Monday, August 19 at 7:30 PM ULZANA’S RAID • Robert Aldrich • 1972 • 103 min + 6 min cartoon 35mm from Universal Pictures Burt Lancaster anti-western exemplifying the adventurism exhaustion of the Vietnam era. Screening with a Technicolor 35mm print of Woody Woodpecker cartoon “Fat in the Saddle” (Paul J. Smith, 1968), for levity.

Wednesday, August 21 at 7:30 PM DIAMOND JIM • A. Edward Sutherland • 1935 • 88 min + 8 min cartoon Larger-than-life portrait of American philanthropist and and professional over-eater “Diamond” Jim Brady. Features an early script from comedy master Preston Sturges and a dual performance from Jean Arthur. Not available on DVD! Screening with a cartoon TBA.

Wednesday, August 28 at 7:30 PM DAY OF WRATH • Carl Th. Dreyer • 1943 • 97 min + 7 min cartoon Medieval masterpiece made during the Nazi Occupation. A crucial influence on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and probably the only witch-burning drama to be unambiguously pro-witch. In Danish with English subtitles. Screening with a cartoon TBA.

ABOUT THE NORTHWEST CHICAGO FILM SOCIETY The Northwest Chicago Film Society makes rare and classic films available to local audiences in their original forms—on 35mm and 16mm motion picture film. Our screenings spotlight the restoration efforts of archives, studios, and private collectors, as well as the experience of seeing films projected in a theater with an audience. Through an array of program notes, blog entries, and introductory remarks before each screening, the Northwest Chicago Film Society endeavors to bring new notions of the cultural and material history of cinema to the public. The Northwest Chicago Film Society is a 501©(3) non-profit organization. It was established by Julian Antos, Becca Hall, and Kyle Westphal in 2011.

(Thanks to KenRoe for providing the photo.)

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