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The Chicago Rep-port: 6/23 to 6/29, by Aaron Pinkston

22 Jun


Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

Jean-Pierre Melville: Criminal Codes reaches its penultimate week with three more from the French auteur of cool, including some of his more enigmatic. 

Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967, archival 35mm) might be the director’s masterpiece. At the very least, it has come to define his overall style with the simple look of Alain Delon at the center – the expressionless face, the trench coat and large brimmed hat, and his professional criminal code. It might not have created the lonesome hitman film genre but it has undoubtedly influenced a number of modern crime masterpieces from some of world cinema’s most prolific filmmakers. The ice-cold thriller screens on Friday and Saturday.

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The L.A. Rep-port: 5/26 to 6/1, by Scott Nye

25 May

The American Cinematheque, through their Egyptian and Aero Theatres, are showing a couple of knock-down bonafide classics on film this weekend – Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954, 35mm) shows Friday at the Egyptian in Hollywood, while David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 70mm) shows in its famous gigantic print on Sunday at the Aero.

Cinefamily kicks off their “Fairy Tales for Adults” series with Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987, 35mm) late Saturday night. I’ve actually never seen The Lost Boys, but it sure seems to be a thing for a great many people.
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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/26 to 6/1, by Aaron Pinkston

25 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

The Essential Lina Wertmüller series enters its final week with two remaining films: Love and Anarchy (Lina Wertmüller, 1973, DCP) and Ferdinando and Carolina (Lina Wertmüller, 1999, DCP). Love and Anarchy, playing on Saturday and Thursday this week, is an alluring period comedy with a plan to assassinate Mussolini plot. Ferdinando and Carolina (Saturday and Tuesday) is set in 18th Century Naples, featuring the comedic sexual lives of the upper and royal classes. As has been the case throughout the series, you can catch them both on Saturday, May 27 for a reduced cost.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/19 to 5/25, by Aaron Pinkston

18 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

The Siskel’s offerings are a bit light on the rep screening front this week, save for their continued profile series on Italian director Lina Wertmüller. This week showcases two more wild dark comedies: The Seduction of Mimi (Lina Wertmüller, 1972, DCP) and Summer Night (Lina Wertmüller, 1986, DCP). Both films star Wertmüller muse Mariangela Melato amidst gloriously shot and steamy crime and violence. If you’re interested in a double bill, you can see both on Saturday, May 20 for a discounted price. Otherwise, Summer Night is also showing on Monday, May 22 while The Seduction of Mimi replays on Wednesday, May 24.

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The L.A. Rep-port: 5/12 to 5/19, by Scott Nye

12 May

The Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the city.

On Saturday, The Silent Treatment at Cinefamily is showing my favorite silent Ozu film (and one I actually wrote about for this very site), Tokyo Chorus (1931, 35mm). I’ve been waiting so very long for a chance to see Yasujiro Ozu on film (and yeah, I know I had my chance a few weeks ago with the even-rarer Days of Youth, but sorry, I was busy), and short of one of his color masterpieces, this is as lovely an opportunity as could await. The film is about an insurance salesman forced to juggle his dignity at the office with his responsibility to bring home a paycheck. It’s a lovely mix of comedy and drama, beautifully performed, and really brings into stark relief how direct the influence of Western culture was in Japan – they not only wear Western-style clothes and play Western sports, but the Great Depression was hitting there too at the same time.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/12 to 5/18, by Aaron Pinkston

11 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

Leading the Siskel’s week of limited engagements is a rep showcase of a new 4k restoration of Taipei Story (Edward Yang, 1985, DCP). The leading filmmaker of the New Taiwanese Cinema, Yang’s second feature was his international breakthrough, a vibrant drama where traditional Chinese society and modernized Western cultures collide in the emerging Taiwan. The film runs on Friday, May 12 and Sunday, May 14.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 5/5 to 5/11, by Aaron Pinkston

5 May

Repertory screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St

All month long, the Siskel Film Center will be running a new series called “The Essential Lina Wertmüller,” looking at the best work from the underrated director. They are kicking off the series with her masterpiece, Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975, DCP). Oscar trivia buffs know that this was the film that made Wertmüller the first woman to be nominated for Best Director. Screenings for the film are being held on Friday, May 5 (with a reception sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute) and Sunday, May 7.

Continuing the New Sensory Cinema School of the Art Institute of Chicago series is Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004, 35mm). The film is a strange take on the coming-of-age story wherein a young girl awakens on the grounds of a boarding school and must adapt to their mysterious rules. Innocence screens on Sunday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 9 with a post-screening discussion led by professor Melika Bass.

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The L.A. Rep-port: 4/28 to 5/5, by Scott Nye

27 Apr

UCLA concludes their spectacular series pairing silent and early sound Japanese and American films. On Friday they have Yasujiro Shimazu’s First Steps Ashore (1932, 35mm) alongside Josef von Sternberg’s life-changing The Docks of New York (1928, 35mm). Then on Sunday, they shine a spotlight on cinematographer/director Henry Kotani with fragments of two films he shot – Told in the Hills (1919, 35mm) and Johnny Get Your Gun (1919, 35mm), as well as the short feature Light of Sympathy (1926, 35mm). The films are preceded by a lecture by film historian Daisuke Miyao, who curated the series.

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The Chicago Rep-port: 3/14 to 3/20, by Aaron Pinkston

13 Apr

Repertoire screenings may not be as abundant in Chicago as they are in LA/NY, but when you look around, there are many theatergoing delights. The Chicago Rep-port is a weekly(ish) series highlighting the best and most compelling repertory screenings in the Second City.

Per usual, the Music Box Theatre is a good place to kick off the Rep-port, as they have a widely diverse sampling of repertory screenings this week. Most prominent is their Easter weekend celebration of nostalgia classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971, 35mm). One of the best things about Easter is all the chocolate, so this is a perfect pairing. You can catch in on Saturday, April 14 at 2:00 pm.
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The L.A. Rep-port: 3/14 to 3/20, by Scott Nye

13 Apr

As David mentioned on the podcast, I’ve been unusually preoccupied these past few weeks, so apologies for the lack of columns, but there was no question, none at all, that I would carve out time to spotlight UCLA’s Friday night double feature of Orochi (1925, 35mm) and The Mark of Zorro (1920, 35mm). Now the chance to see the Wayne-family-killing Zorro on film with live accompaniment by Cliff Retallick is special enough, but samurai film Orochi is the real draw. In the silent era in Japan, instead of the piano accompaniment we’re used to, films were narrated by benshi, who would explain the major actions in the film and even talk back to the screen when they saw fit. Major stars even grew out of this tradition. For all the obvious reasons, such performances don’t really happen anymore, but UCLA’s bringing it back, along with a composed score performed live with traditional Japanese instruments. This is an insanely rare, and very cool opportunity.

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