The Chicago Rep-port 9/29-10/5, 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
This month’s series of recently restored films wraps up with the final three, including a classic Lubitsch masterpiece and two international films centered on LGBT narratives.
Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943, 4K DCP) was Lubitsch’s first film in color but its bittersweet comedy was right in line with his signature touch. The film stars Don Ameche as a wealthy socialite who dies and petitions Satan (called “His Excellency” in the film) to be admitted into Hell despite objections. The darkly playful Heaven Can Wait will screen on Friday, September 29 and Sunday, October 1.
Fox and His Friends (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974, DCP) is an early entry into gay cinema with Fassbinder starring as a low-class man who wins the national lottery, thrusting him into the elite gay class. It is paired with Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969, 4K DCP), a brash and stylish films following a transgender female who circles around the “gay boy” scene in Japan while dealing with a troubled past. Both films are playing throughout the week, but you can see both on Saturday, September 30 as a double bill for a discounted price.
Though not officially apart of the Recently Restored series, the week also features an underseen film from master filmmaker Vittorio De Sica. Il Boom (Vittorio De Sica, 1963, DCP) is much different that the neo-realist films De Sica has become known for, as a satirical dark comedy that has been recently rediscovered and released for the first time.
Making ‘Em Move: A History of Animation also continues this week with Friday and Tuesday screenings of Brothers Quay film Institute Benjamenta (Stephen and Timothy Quay, 1995, 35mm). Known for their dark and creepy stop-motion style that has long been a favorite for underground animation fans, the Brothers Quay’s first feature length film is a stunning mix of their typical animation with live action characters. The Tuesday screening includes a post-film discussion led by award winning animator and Northwestern University professor Eric Patrick.
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
Did you miss Re-Animator (Stuart Gordon, 1985, 4K DCP) during its full-week run at the Music Box last week? Well, you have another chance as the creepy, gooey horror comedy is playing midnight on both Friday and Saturday this weekend. And if you did, you should definitely check out the other midnight screening, the Chicago-set, Clive Barker-scripted Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992, 35mm).
For the morning crowd, Jimmy Through the Years continues with another of Jimmy Stewart’s career defining roles in the film in which he won his only Academy Award (how is that possible!?), The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940, 35mm). The classic romantic comedy love triangle, also starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is screening both Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am.
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
With National Horror Movie month upon us, the Logan Theatre’s late night screening series shifts to the tried-and-true genre classics throughout October. And you can’t kick it off more appropriately than the three films featured this week.
First up are the two creepiest films from the “Master of Suspense.” Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960, format unknown), a film that brought horror back to the mainstream and has influenced every horror film made since, plays September 29 thru October 2. It is followed by The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963, format unknown), which doesn’t have the same reputation but features some jaw-dropping set pieces showcasing the director’s mastery of suspense—it runs October 3-5.
Also playing on October 3-5 is another of the landmark horror films that created one of the most popular horror subgenres today, Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968, format unknown). With the untimely passing of horror icon Romero earlier this year, seeing Night of the Living Dead on the big screen is a perfect tribute.
Cinemark Theaters, various Chicagoland locations
Things stay creepy with the Cinemark Classic selection this week, as Vincent Price vehicle The Tingler (William Castle, 1959, format unknown) screens on Sunday and Wednesday. Perhaps known more for director William Castle’s campy and (literally) shocking in-theater experience, the film holds up as one of Price’s best roles—even without buzzers hidden in the seats.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
On Friday, September 29, the Davis Theater is bringing together three of Chicago’s best filmmakers for a wonderful triple feature. The evening kicks off with Death Line (aka Raw Meat, Gary Sherman, 1972, 4K DCP), an ultra-grisly low budget horror film about a cannibalistic community living deep within the London tube system. I saw this one a few years ago at a horror marathon and it is fantastic. The night continues with sleazy thriller Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998, format unknown) and Vincent N Roxxy (Gary Michael Schultz, 2016, format unknown).
All three filmmakers will be attending for post-screening Q&As and the program will also feature short films from local filmmakers, local vendors, free posters, and a charity auction benefiting Vital Bridges.
Pre-sale tickets are only $13 for all three films!