The Chicago Rep-port 10/27-11/2, 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 Siskel’s week of rep screenings is highlighted by a newly restored, underseen horror classic from one of the genre’s best filmmakers. Just in time for Halloween, The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932, 4K DCP) gets a full week run. When a group of travelers get caught up in a storm, they seek refuge at the title shelter only to find their inhabitants aren’t the most welcoming guests. The film stars horror icon Boris Karloff as the house’s ultra-creepy butler, though he is far from the film’s most haunting of characters.
Continuing the retrospective look at the work of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, this week offers Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004, 35mm). Tell me if you’ve heard this before, but the film is an enigmatic effort from Weerasethakul, steeped in Thai legends and spirituality. Tropical Malady starts as a romance between a soldier and a young boy from the country and morphs into a strange fever dream in the heart of the jungle. The film screens on Friday and Monday this week.
This year’s UCLA Festival of Preservation wraps up with their final two picks, two hardcore noir films ready for a rediscovery. He Walked By Night (Alfred Werker and Anthony Mann, 1948, 35mm) stars Richard Basehart as a psychopath on the run in Los Angeles and plays on Saturday and Wednesday. Los Tallos Amargos (The Bitter Stems, Fernando Ayala, 1957, 35mm) comes from Argentina and follows a journalist uncovering an education scam while slowly losing his sense of reality. It screens on Saturday and Monday. If you want to check out both dark thrillers, you can buy a double-bill ticket for Saturday at a discounted rate.
Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave
The Music Box shows The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975, 35mm) quite often throughout the year but this week offers three very special screenings of the cult hit—midnight screenings on Friday and Saturday and a special Halloween night screening. For those who want to really be a part of the experience, “Midnight Madness Virgin” prop kits are being sold with items like glow sticks and toilet paper which are to be deployed at certain moments during the film (Rocky Horror fanatics know when).
A new 4K restoration of the iconic Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968, DCP) gets a full week run on the big screen. You’ve probably watched your bargain bin DVD of the zombie classic over and over again, but seeing the new pristine presentation is well worth it.
On Monday, October 30, beloved Halloween comedy Hocus Pocus (Kenny Ortega, 1993, 35mm) gets a “Hex-a-long” interactive screening where the audience is encouraged to sing, cheer, or scream along. A goodie bag with candy and other spooky treats will be distributed, as well.
Doc Films, 1212 E 59th St # 3
The fall slate of nightly film series at Doc Films is underway and it is an impressive slate (as usual). Here is the rundown along with this week’s screenings:
Fridays, From Here to Eternity: A Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift Retrospective: From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, 1953, 35mm), the epic war film starring both Lancaster and Clift on the days leading up to the Pearl Harbor attacks. The film also screens on a Sunday matinee.
Sundays, Love is Colder than Death: The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1992, 35mm), a bleak tale of a woman’s life in five interconnected vignettes.
Mondays, Commedia All’Italiana: Italian Comedy in the 60’s and 70’s: Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975, DCP), a mafia meets WWII concentration camp film.
Tuesdays, Dreams and Ashes: Essentials of Polish Cinema: The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973, DCP), an homage to writer Bruno Schulz and surreal blending of biography and fiction.
Wednesdays, Il Padrone: An Al Pacino Retrospective: Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983, 35mm)
Thursdays, Growing Up: Coming of Age Around the World: George Washington (David Gordon Green, 2000, 35mm), a staggering debut film drifting through the lives of young men with an impressionist tone.
Thursdays, Down the Rabbit Hole: Mindfucks and Mysteries at the Movies: Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008, 35mm)
Also featured on Tuesday is a special Halloween screening of twisted fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006, 35mm).
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
The Logan’s Horror Movie Madness! series ends with a bang with four more film screenings. First, a free Saturday matinee screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez, 1966, format unknown) will kick off the Halloween weekend for the whole family (four free tickets are available per family). On October 27-28, you can see silent classic Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922, format unknown) with live musical accompaniment by Chicago organist Jay Warren. October 27-31 with two screenings per night is Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978, format unknown), because of course. Finally, The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980, format unknown) comes back for three more screenings October 29-31.