The Chicago Rep-port 2/2-2/8, 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
The ongoing series Apocalypse Then: The Vietnam War on Film moves into its second week with The 317th Platoon (Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1965, DCP), a film which takes on the Vietnam experience from the French perspective. Made by an Oscar winning documentarian, the film has a newsreel feel that adds to the madness. The 317th Platoon screens on both Friday, February 2 and Tuesday, February 6, with an added bonus of post-screening discussion led by SAIC professor Nora Annesley Taylor on Tuesday.
Also this month, the Siskel is highlighting some of the best work of independent film distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories to commemorate its tenth anniversary. On Friday and Thursday this week screens one of the most beautiful documentaries of the 21st Century so far, Samsara (Ron Fricke, 2011, 35mm). Directed by the photographer of landmark doc Koyaanisqatsi, Samsara has a similar vibe as an interpretative survey of the world using only images and sound.
The rep screenings this week at the Siskel are capped off by a week-long engagement of Underground (Emir Kusturica, 1995, DCP) in a new 2K restoration. A black comedy that builds to something like a national history of Yugoslavia, Underground won the Palme d’Or and remains Kusturica’s masterpiece.
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
Midnight at the Music Box this weekend offers two delightful films perfect for a late-night screening. First is Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997, DCP), the once derided, now championed satire of our militaristic culture from the master of the over-the-top violent satire. It is paired with the rarely screened The Astrologer (Craig Denney, 1975, DCP), which has never officially been released due to the unauthorized use of music by The Moody Blues. In any case, The Astrologer is the kind of passion project that deserves to be seen, a wild and unique tale of carnie mysticism. As both films play on Friday and Saturday nights, you have the chance to see them both this weekend.
Doc Films, 1212 E 59th St # 3
With the new year, a new batch of fantastic film series is on tap at Doc Films. Over the next few months, you can check out great classic and genre films on bad marriages, feminist horror films, African American visions of the future, and retrospectives on Seijun Suzuki and Alain Delon.
Fridays, Marriage on the Verge of Collapse: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958, 35mm), adaptation of the classic Tennessee Williams play starring screen icons Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor
Sundays, Phantom Rides: Trains & Cinema: Dodes’ka-den (Akira Kurosawa, 1970, 35mm), one of cinema grand master Kurosawa’s least known films, it is also one of his formally inventive
Mondays, The Future is Black: Afrofuturism in World Cinema: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Terence Nance, 2012, DCP), a glorious mix of documentary, narrative, and a number of genre film styles as an artist ponders love and modern relationships
Tuesdays, Deep Seijun: Rare Films of Suzuki Seijun: Everything Goes Wrong (Seijun Suzuki, 1960, 35mm) and Fighting Delinquents (Seijun Suzuki, 1960, 35mm)
Wednesdays, Le Samouraï: An Alain Delon Retrospective: Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967, 35mm), the namesake for this series and one of the coolest neo-noirs ever made
Thursdays, A Dish Best Served Hot: Feminist Revenge Fantasies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Niels Arden Oplev, 2009, 35mm), the original Swedish version of the international bestseller
Thursdays, Ginger Snaps Back: A Feminist Take on Horror: The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014, DCP), one of the best horror films made in recent years, also a great exploration of the horrors of single-motherhood
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
To celebrate awards season, the Logan’s February late-night series spotlights Oscar winning or Oscar worthy films from the past six decades. This week features two of the most iconic films of the 1960s which ushered in a changing of the guard in Hollywood: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Mike Nichols, 1966, format unknown) on February 3-5 and Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967, format unknown) on February 6-8.
Also, in partnership with Burnt City Brewing, the Logan is appropriately celebrating the February 2nd holiday Groundhog Day with a special screening of Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993, format unknown).