The Chicago Rep-port: 3/10 to 3/16, by Aaron Pinkston

9 Mar

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.

Though it isn’t exactly in the rep screening bucket, the theatergoing highlight this week (and throughout the month of March) is the Gene Siskel Film Center’s European Union Film Festival, which I’ve covered on this site for many years. This week’s offerings include films from Finland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Malta, Slovakia, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Poland, Croatia, Germany, and Belgium—the best offerings are the Dardenne Brothers’ The Unknown Girl (March 12 and March 15) and Bruno Dumont’s Slack Bay (March 11 and March 16). You can find the full EUFF schedule here.

As for the rep screenings this week, we start at the Music Box Theatre, which kicks off its Peace on Earth Film Festival with John D. Hancock’s Weeds (1987, DCP) on Friday, March 10. The underseen film stars Nick Nolte as a San Quentin inmate who spends his life sentence writing and directing a play—an act that gets noticed by newspaper critic (Rita Taggart), whose advocacy helps lead to his release. The screening will be accompanied by a Q&A with star Taggart, director Hancock, and writer Dorothy Tristan.

The next day, the Music Box continues its Saturday matinee silent screenings with William A. Wellman’s Beggars for Life (1928, 35mm), starring Wallace Beery and Louise Brooks. The filmmaker most known for first Oscar winner Wings and the original version of A Star Is Born tells this crime drama in the shadow of the Great Depression. The 35mm print comes courtesy of the George Eastman Museum, which was recently preserved by the Film Foundation.

Finally at the Music Box this week, on Monday, March 13, the Chicago Film Society presents a screening of George Miller’s Babe: Pig in the City (1998, 35mm) alongside the properly-titled [and nightmarishly amazing – ed] short film The Dancing Pig (Pathé Frères, 1907).

On Sunday, March 12, Facets Cinematheque is offering a free screening and lecture (donation requested) of 1984 (1984, digital). I can’t imagine that film holds up in our current political climate (/sarcasm).

The Logan Theatre has nightly screenings for two films in their monthly series “Leading Lady Late Nights” featuring fantastic comedies 9 to 5 (1980, format unspecified) and Thelma & Louise (1991, format unspecified). 9 to 5 is running March 10-13 at 11:00 pm and Thelma & Louise follows with screenings March 14-16 at 10:30 pm.

If you’ve never seen Fritz Lang’s sci-fi epic Metropolis (1927, DCP) on the big screen, you won’t want to miss your chance to see it in its near-complete restoration at the ArcLight Chicago on Sunday, March 12 at 2 pm.

And rounding out the films this week, the Classic Series at the four Chicago area Cinemark Theatres is showing the sensitive side of John Wayne in the Irish-set John Ford classic The Quiet Man (1952), running Sunday, March 12 and two additional screenings on Wednesday, March 15.

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