The Chicago Rep-port 9/22-9/28, 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
A full week of rep screenings at the Siskel is highlighted by a week-long engagement of previously difficult to see L’important c’est d’aimer (The Most Important Thing: Love, Andrzej Zulawski, 1975, DCP). Filmmaker Zulawski is most known for the crazy horror flick with a diehard cult following Possession, so the opportunity to see another of the auteur’s underseen films is a treat. L’important c’est d’aimer features Romy Schneider as an actress on the set of a schlocky horror film and her chance encounter with a photographer who tries to get her career back on track. Klaus Kinski also shows up in a supporting role as a German actor, so that seems to be something.
This month’s series of recently restored films carries on with three more ready for a reevaluation, kicking off with Marlon Brando’s one-and-only directorial work. One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 1961, 4K DCP) was a huge flop when released, but the epic Western has gained more praise over the years and its re-release gives you an opportunity to see one of cinema’s great artists doing something different. One-Eyed Jacks plays on Saturday, September 23 and Monday, September 25.
Another 60s Western, though without the star power, Time to Die (Arturo Ripstein, 1965, 2K DCP) plays on Saturday, September 23 and Wednesday, September 27. This Mexican-set film follows an ex-con who returns home only to find that the son of the man he killed wants revenge.
Finally, Russian sci-fi masterpiece Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, 2K DCP) plays Saturday, September 23, Sunday, September 24, and Thursday, September 28. One of the most artistically challenging genre films ever made, Stalker doesn’t have the same reputation as Tarkovsky’s other great sci-fi film Solaris, but it is every bit as alluring.
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
One of the great 80s horror comedies comes to the Music Box for a week long late-night run with a newly restored digital print. If you’ve never seen Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985, 4K DCP) you’ve missed out on one of the funniest, grossest, craziest horror films ever made. A sort of re-imagining of Frankenstein, Re-Animator takes the classic story and adds buckets of blood and a bit of tongue-and-cheek humor for something truly unique. And for you film purists out there, three screenings from September 22-24 will be presented on 35mm.
Jimmy Through the Years continues with perhaps Jimmy Stewart’s career defining role as the titular Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra, 1939, 35mm). The film that continues to give us hope that politicians aren’t all soulless and greedy plays both Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am.
Perhaps the greatest standup comedy film ever made gets the Is It Still Funny? treatment this week as Marc Caro presents Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis, 1979, 35mm) on Tuesday, September 26. As the standup comedy special has become almost exclusively limited to Netflix these days, the rare opportunity to see one of the best to ever do it on the big screen shouldn’t be passed up.
You’ve probably seen Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975, 355m), but have you ever seen Jaws with an expert on shark biology and evolution? Well, on Wednesday, September 27 you can as the Field Museum presents the latest in their Field Trips: Cinema Science series. After the screening, Dr. Kevin Feldheim, whose work involves studying genetic markers in sharks, will lead a discussion that will surely be an intriguing supplement to the original summer blockbuster.
Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W Fullerton Ave
Afraid of the oncoming nuclear apocalypse? Well, you can laugh and cry at the latest Facets Teach-In as Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964, format unknown) will be shown with a post-screening discussion led by energy and global affairs expert Rachel Bronson. The Monday night screening is free to the public and will certainly be an enlightening (and possibly terrifying) experience.
Northwestern University Block Cinema, 40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston
As part of a series on the state-sponsored experimental films out of India in the 1960s and 70s, one of the country’s breakout art films Nishant (Shyam Benegal, 1975, format unknown) will be screening for free on Friday, September 22. Featuring many of India’s biggest film stars at the time, Nishant is a biting social realism commentary on the feudal and patriarchal structure and the oppression it created.
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
This week’s late night slate at the Logan highlights the best and worst of trashy art. September 22-25 is Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972, format unknown), the controversial look at underground Baltimore that helped launch Waters’ muse Divine into cinema stardom. On Friday, the film screening will be preceded by a cocktail and costume party with prizes for the best dressed. Later in the week, from September 26-28, is “Best Worst Movie” Troll 2 (Claudio Fragasso, 1990, format unknown). The tale of a young boy in Nilbog is gloriously bad and best seen on a big screen with a big crowd.
Cinemark Theaters, various Chicagoland locations
The Cinemark Classic this week, like greed, is good as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wall Street (Oliver Stone, 1987, format unknown). Starring Michael Douglas in an iconic, Oscar winning role and Charlie Sheen as his protégé, the sleek 80s thriller plays on Sunday and Wednesday.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Gearing up for spooky movie month, Chicago film collective Terror in the Aisles is presenting silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925, format unknown) on Friday, September 22 at 8:00 pm. As an added bonus, the film will be accompanied by live organ music and the Buster Keaton short film The Haunted House (Edward F. Cline and Buster Keaton, 1921, format unknown). Tickets are $12 in advance (only $15 at the door) and available at Brown Paper Tickets.