The Chicago Rep-port: 6/16 to 6/22, 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 third week of the Jean-Pierre Melville: Criminal Codes series shifts to two of the auteur’s less notable works. Second Breath (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1966, archival 35mm) and Two Men in Manhattan (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1959, DCP) may not be as popular or beloved as Le Cercle Rouge or the upcoming Army of Shadows but they both showcase the themes and style that make the director a distinct one.
Second Breath, playing Saturday and Thursday, stars Melville fave Lino Ventura as Gu, an old-school thief who has broken out of prison (that seems to be a trope with Melville, eh?) and is looking for a big score to get out of the country.
Two Men in Manhattan, playing Saturday and Tuesday, is possibly Melville’s only film to take place in the United States, pulling directly from themes of old Hollywood gangster films that the director so obviously admired. Melville also acts as the film’s star as Moreau, a reporter on the lookout for a missing U.N. delegate. As an added bonus, each screening of Two Men in Manhattan will be preceded by the short film 24 Hours in the Life of a Clown (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1946, DCP), Melville’s debut, which is not a crime film but exactly what the title suggests. In any case, it will be a nice counter-balance for the hard boiled.
If you want to catch both films on Saturday (and why wouldn’t you?), you can buy a double-bill ticket at a discounted rate!
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
The Music Box’s rep headliner this week is the fantastic animated feature The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, 1999, 35mm) as part of the Not Quite for Kids weekend matinee series. Somehow approaching its 20th anniversary, The Iron Giant still remains one of the most emotionally (and politically) resonant films of all time with its classic “boy and his dog” set-up and sharp Spielberg-esque critiques of small-town military intervention. It shows both Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am. And if you’re not a morning person, there will be an extra screening on Tuesday evening.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary and recent 4k restoration, there are also two screenings of landmark concert documentary Monterey Pop (D.A. Pennebaker, 1967, 4k DCP) on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. Featuring performances by Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Otis Redding, and more, the musical lineup can’t be beat and Pennebaker’s direction builds an indelible vision of the event and community.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003, 35mm) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975, 35mm) are back at the Music Box. The midnight mainstays are back for a reason, with their rabid fans creating a unique experience. This weekend, The Room goes on Friday night with Rocky Horror serving on Saturday. Playing alongside them is Logan (James Mangold, 2017, DCP) in the black-and-white special presentation of “Logan Noir,” which has showtimes throughout the week.
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
June’s Summer Mix features two all-time classics this week: Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, format unknown) on Friday-Monday and Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954, format unknown) on Tuesday-Thursday. If you’ve never seen either on the big screen, it is definitely a delight, with the romance, suspense, tension, and stars all becoming larger than life.
Classic Series at Cinemark, various Chicago locations
The Classic Series is taking on classic western El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1967, format unknown) for its 50th anniversary this week, with screenings on Sunday and Wednesday. Starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan, this is a classic story of the West shot and told beautifully—a ragtag group of gunfighters are hired by a rancher to help protect his assets from a villainous rival. El Dorado may not be the premiere genre film from Hawks or its two biggest stars, but the talent all coming together is a special treat.
Chicago Park District Movies in the Park, various Chicago locations
With summer literally heating up, in another fantastic slate of the Movies in the Park this week, some of the highlights include: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964 format unknown) at Osterman Beach (5800 N. Lake Shore Dr.) on Wednesday, June 21; The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008, format unknown) at Haas Park (2402 N. Washtenaw Ave.) on Tuesday, June 20; Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino, 1987, format unknown) at Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) on Monday, June 19; and Angels in the Outfield (William Dear, 1994, format unknown) at Archer Park (4901 S. Kilbourn Ave.) on Tuesday, June 20. The full schedule for the week can be found at the link above.