The Chicago Rep-port: 6/2 to 6/8, 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
With the calendar turning to June, the dawn of new film series has come. The Siskel Film Center is celebrating an ultra-cool French New Wave auteur with their retrospective Jean-Pierre Melville: Criminal Codes. The series starts with a bang with two of Melville’s most important films: the nightclub noir Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1955, 35mm) and all-time crime classic Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970, DCP). These two films are a perfect introduction to Melville’s specific style and dark undertones, full of crime and shadow.
Preceding the established start of the French New Wave, Bob le flambeur is the story of a thief-turned-gambler whose itch for stealing money is tough to keep away—its themes, cool characters, and inventive camerawork and editing were definite influences on the cinema movement to come, and its plot a big touchstone for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Hard Eight. It plays on Saturday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 6.
Possibly Melville’s masterpiece (it is really hard to pick just one!), Le Cercle Rouge is the epitome of neo-noir style with Alain Delon’s master thief Corey an iconic figure of the genre. You can see it on Saturday, June 3 and Thursday, June 8.
If you want to catch them both 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
With a new 4k restoration, the Music Box is presenting a week-long run of the rom-com classic Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979, 4k DCP). Woody’s love letter to New York and (of course) a handful of young women, Manhattan is perhaps the legendary filmmaker’s best mix of comedy, drama, and production design. Gorgeously shot in black-and-white by Gordon Willis, seeing it in a crystal clear projection on the Music Box’s wonderful big screen sounds fantastic.
This weekend’s midnight screenings are highlighted by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell, 2005, 35mm), the fourth in the film series and one of the finest entries. On Friday night, the screening will be preceded by a party in the Music Box’s lounge with Harry Potter trivia and delicious butterbeer. If you’re not a night owl, you can catch the film as a Saturday matinee at 11 am.
Also, if you missed last week’s screenings of Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, 4k DCP), you’re in luck! Three more screenings of the film have been added this week with matinees on Saturday, Monday, and Thursday.
Doc Films, 1212 E 59th St
While the summer scheduled hasn’t yet been released, there is one remaining screening of interest at Doc Films on Sunday, June 4. Among the great feminist masterpieces, The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993, DCP) concludes the Women by Women: Portraits by Contemporary Directors series. Starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and Anna Paquin (who became the youngest Oscar recipient with her performance), the film has been in the news lately as the only female directed film to win the Palme d’Or.
The Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Late nights at the Logan in June offers an intriguing mix of cult and classic, kicking off with Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984, format unknown) screening June 2-5 at 11 pm. One of the strangest films ever made, Repo Man is a mix of punk rock and science fiction with a fantastic performance from Harry Dean Stanton. Before the screening on Friday, the fine people at Revolution Brewing will host a summer kick-off party with a selection of their craft drafts.
Classic Series at Cinemark, various Chicago locations
The newest Classic Series schedule is out, kicked off by all-time great The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972, format unknown), sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. You can take the cannoli with screenings on Sunday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 7 with a special introduction by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz.
Chicago Park District Movies in the Park, various Chicago locations
The passing of Memorial Day means the unofficial coming of summer and that means Movies in the Park is back! The first screening of the season takes place on Friday night at Berger Park (6205 N. Sheridan Rd) with Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974, format unknown). The hilarious horror spoof is a perfect way to kick off the season. You can find a full list of the Movies in the Park screenings here and I’ll be sure to highlight the best offerings each week.