The Chicago Rep-port 11/17-11/23, by Aaron Pinkston
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
If you haven’t been paying attention to the Making ‘Em Move: A History of Animation series, this might be the week to start as it will be highlighting one of the great animated films of the 21st century, Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001, 35mm). The masterpiece of famed Studio Ghibli is a wild adventure, equal parts funny, heartwarming, and scary. If you’re interested, you can read my full thoughts on Spirited Away when I saw it at the Siskel back in 2012. As an added bonus, the Tuesday night screening will feature a post-film discussion led by University of Notre Dame professor Dr. Donald Crafton.
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
Over the past few years, the Music Box has been the premiere theater in Chicago to see 70mm film; this weekend gives you two special opportunities to do so. First is the midnight screening on both Friday and Saturday nights of Streets of Fire (Walter Hill, 1984, 70mm). A mix of street gang violence and power ballad pop, the film is unmistakably unique and ready for a re-evaluation. Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am continues the Jimmy Through the Years series with Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, 70mm). I saw Vertigo at the Music Box’s inaugural 70mm Film Festival and it is a stunning experience, with the psychedelic use of color amped up to make the film even bolder.
On Wednesday, November 22, the Is It Still Funny? series tackles the modern flagbearer for the ever-popular comedy-science fiction mashup, Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 1999, 35mm). I can attest that, yes, it is still funny, but that’s no reason not to go see it on the big screen. Following the film there will be a discussion led by film critic and writer Mark Caro.
Doc Films, 1212 E 59th St # 3
With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, Doc Films is closed on Wednesday through the rest of the week. Their Sunday through Tuesday film series are still running, however. Here is the rundown along with this week’s screenings:
Sundays, Love is Colder Than Death: The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: The Marriage of Maria Braun (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979, 35mm), one of Fassbinder’s most successful works, it examines the after effects of World War II throughout Europe through its dynamic title character.
Mondays, Commedia All’Italiana: Italian Comedy in the 60’s and 70’s: La Grande Bouffe (Marco Ferreri, 1973, DCP), centered on a magnificent feast, four friends unite for decadent overindulgence.
Tuesdays, Dreams and Ashes: Essentials of Polish Cinema: Third Part of the Night (Andrzej Zulawski, 1971, DCP), the debut of Poland’s most controversial auteurs, a World War II hellscape brought on by the Nazi invasion of Poland and the apocalyptic experiences of a man and his father.
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Nerdy November takes on two great cult comedies this week, including the only true Thanksgiving holiday film. First, though, is Office Space (Mike Judge, 1999, format unknown) playing November 17-20. The quintessential workplace comedy, Office Space has become a beacon for every bored soul who hates their job. On November 21-23, get in the Thanksgiving spirit with Planes, Trains & Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987, format unknown). The Steve Martin-John Candy buddy road trip has become a staple of the season.
Cinemark Theaters, various Chicagoland locations
This week’s Cinemark Classic is Rudy (David Anspaugh, 1993, format unknown). The ultimate underdog tale of a man who wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame is one of the great sports weepies. With college football ramping up to conference championships (and, hey, with Notre Dame good again), this is the perfect time for the nostalgic classic. It plays on Sunday and Wednesday this week.