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Music Box Theatre
The Selfish Giant! Frankenstein! Twin Peaks!
Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Happy Thursday Music Boxers,

In the contemporary fable The Selfish Giant two scrappy 13-year-old working-class friends in the UK who seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal, tensions build in this cold, inhospitable landscape ultimately leading to a tragic event, which transforms them all. Newcity calls it, “The first great fiction film to be released in Chicago in 2014”.

We also have daily screenings of the critically-acclaimed indie hits The Great Beauty and Aftermath.

Our special events this weekend include Second Saturday Silent Cinema presents Changing Husbands. This Roaring Twenties-set screwball comedy will be accompanied by live music from the famous Music Box organ, advance tickets on sale now.

On Sunday at noon, we have an encore presentation of National Theatre Live presents Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle and starring two Sherlocks, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Advance tickets on sale now.

On Friday and Saturday, we have midnight screenings of David Lynch’s continuation of the Laura Palmer mystery Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Evangelion 3.0 (Purchase advance tickets). On Saturday morning, you can catch an encore screening of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program.

And, on the horizon, we have lots of special events coming up, including a sneak preview of At Middleton presented by the New York FIlm Critics Society (The same program that brought us sneak previews of award winners Nebraska and American Hustle. Purchase advance tickets) and Sundance USA 2014 presents Happy Christmas (Purchase advance tickets).

See you at the movies

Thursday, January 9th – Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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The Selfish Giant

A film by Clio Barnard starring Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder


“Jaggedly moving. Boldly, broodingly cinematic.”

“An energetic picture that hollers with anger but also with hope and redemption.”
Total Film

The Selfish Giant is a contemporary reworking of the classic Oscar Wilde tale of the same name. Thirteen year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas) are treated as outsiders both at school and in their own rough-and-tumble neighborhood.

Eventually, the two boys befriend Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrapdealer – the Selfish Giant; to make some money, the boys soon begin working for him, collecting scrap metal with a horse and cart. Swifty shows a natural gift with horses while Arbor, keen to impress Kitten, tries to emulate him. Kitten, however, favors Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded and driving a wedge between the boys.

Arbor becomes increasingly resentful, greed, and exploitative. Tensions build in this cold, inhospitable landscape ultimately leading to a tragic event, which transforms them all.


The Great Beauty

A film by Paolo Sorrentino starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli


“An outlandishly entertaining hallucination.”
New York Times

“A masterpiece, a grand swooning epic, lush to the point of insanity.”
–Catherine Shoard, The Guardian

Rome, Italy, lush, timeless, opulent, and home to journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo of Il divo and Gomorrah). Since the early success of his one and only novel decades ago, Jep has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and social circles and has thoroughly enjoyed every pleasure Rome has to offer.

But as his sixty-fifth birthday comes and goes, Jep finds himself beginning to take stock of his life; looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafes to see himself and Rome in a new light. Called “A Technicolor La Dolce Vita for the Berlusconi era,” The Great Beauty is a sensuous epic, a breathtaking feast for the senses and a compelling introspective journey into the life and mind of a man and the eternal city.



A film by Wladyslaw Pasikowski starring Maciej Stuhr, Ireneusz Czop


“AFTERMATH succeeds in bringing the past into the present. Predicated on the unraveling of the social fabric, AFTERMATH is a thriller that’s meant to stun.”
–J. Hoberman, New York Times

A tense and gripping thriller, Aftermath tells the story of two brothers: Jozek (Maciej Stuhr) and Franek (Ireneusz Czop), who discover a terrible secret and are forced to revise their perception of their father, their entire family, their neighbors, and the history of their nation.

Inspired by actual events, Aftermath cause controversy in its native Poland due to its present-day reckoning with a dark period in that country’s history, leading the film to be banned in some Polish cinemas.



NT Live presents Frankenstein

Purchase advance tickets online

Enjoy this special return engagement of Frankenstein. Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire) returned to the theatre to direct this visionary production with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

One of the greatest feats ever created on the National Theatre’s stage, we are proud to bring you this theatrical event on the Music Box Theatre screen. This hybrid experience combining film and theatre is unparalleled. Audience members will see more from their seat in our Chicago cinema than the front row of the National Theatre of London—but they will feel transported to the world famous theatre on the River Thames.

National Theatre Live presents Frankenstein

A film by Danny Boyle starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch


Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire) returned to the theatre to direct this visionary production with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

“A thrill. The most viscerally exciting and stunning show in town.”
The Telegraph

“A monster hit.”
Time Out London

November 30th at 8pm – Cumberbatch as The Creature, Miller as The Doctor
December 1st at 5pm – Cumberbatch as The Creature, Miller as The Doctor
December 1st at 8pm – Cumberbatch as The Doctor, Miller as The Creature

Frankenstein enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Theatre, and went on to win awards including the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

First broadcast to cinemas in 2011, don’t miss this second chance to catch Danny Boyle’s electrifying stage production as encore screenings take place across the UK and around the world from June 2012.

Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature throughout the show’s run at the National Theatre. Many cinemas will offer the chance to see both of these versions.

Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.

Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.

Performance Running Time: Approximately 2 hours (no interval)

Suitable only for 15yrs+


Sun, Jan 12 12:00pm

Sundance Shorts


A roller coaster mix of drama and comedy, the Sundance Film Festival Short Films program is a 93-minute collection of eight short films from the 2013 edition of the Festival. Vibrant storytelling highlights the group, including fiction, documentary, and animation, with five award-winners. With no rules, the short film serves as a proving ground for young filmmakers to make their mark and for established filmmakers to take risks in story and style.


Sundance USA

Purchase advance tickets online

The Sundance Film Festival expands to audiences across the country for one special night of film and dialogue.

For one night, the Sundance Film Festival dispatches nine filmmakers from Park City to nine cities across the country to screen and discuss their direct-from-Festival films with audiences. In past years, the Music Box has welcomed Philip Seymour Hoffman for a screening of Jack Goes Boating and Julie Delpy for 2 Days In New York.

This year we welcome hometown favorite Joe Swanberg with his film Happy Christmas.

2013, 78 minutes, color, U.S.A.,
It’s almost Christmas, and Jenny just broke up with her boyfriend. Without a real plan, she moves into her brother, Jeff, and sister-in-law, Kelly’s, spacious bachelor-pad basement in Chicago. As she reconnects with old friends and attempts to put her life back together, she continues to self-sabotage by repeatedly getting drunk and high. Kelly becomes fed up with Jenny’s immature behavior but soon realizes that she, too, feels stuck. As Christmas draws near, Jenny and Kelly realize that they can offer each other the solace and support they’ve both been craving.

Director Joe Swanberg returns to Sundance Film Festival (his film Uncle Kent played at the 2011 Festival) with his signature voyeuristic approach to filmmaking, offering a refreshing and candid look at complicated family interactions. His wonderfully imperfect characters pull each other out of their respective ruts and bring a strikingly human element to a story we all know well. The female characters in this film form a tight bond—a drunken sisterhood of sorts—enabling them to discover their true potential.

About the Director
Joe Swanberg is the director of many feature films, including Hannah Takes the Stairs, V/H/S, and Drinking Buddies. His work has premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, and SXSW film festivals. As an actor, he has starred in films, including Adam Wingard’s A Horrible Way to Die and You’re Next and Ti West’s The Sacrament, as well as performing in his own work

Cast and Credits
Director: Joe Swanberg
Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg
Producers: Joe Swanberg, Peter Gilbert
Coproducer: Alicia Van Couvering
Cinematographer: Ben Richardson
Music Supervisor: Chris Swanson
Associate Producer: Eddie Linker
Editor: Joe Swanberg
Principal Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg

Happy Christmas

A film by Joe Swanberg starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham


After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son.

Anna Kendrick plays Jenny, an irresponsible 20-something who comes to Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff (Swanberg), a young filmmaker living a happy existence with his novelist wife Kelly (Lynskey) and their two-year-old son. Jenny’s arrival shakes up their quiet domesticity as she and her friend Carson (Dunham) instigate an evolution in Kelly’s life and career. Meanwhile, Jenny strikes up a rocky relationship with the family’s baby sitter-cum-pot dealer (Webber).


Thu, Jan 30 7:30pm

Changing Husbands

A film by Paul Iribe & Frank Urson starring Leatrice Joy, Raymond Griffith


Infidelity never looked so classy! Supervised by Cecil B. DeMille, this film does a superb job of capturing the loosening morals of the Twenties.

The lovely Leatrice Joy plays two lookalike dames: one gal’s an aspiring actress, and the other’s a Broadway star sick of the spotlight. So what do they do? Like a jazz-age Prince & the Pauper, they trade lives, and husbands for that matter — but their scheme doesn’t go quite according to plan! This movie’s a real breath of fresh comedy air, alternating between beats of razor-sharp wit and screwball antics. Its subject matter is also quite racy for the Roaring Twenties, and it revels in the mischief, culminating in an implied double divorce in Reno! Film print courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

A film by David Lynch starring Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick


Local musician and Music Box projectionist Daniel Knox will introduce the film both nights at 11:30pm and present clips, interviews, and rare footage before the film. The first 70 patrons for each show will receive an official Twin Peaks trading card. Whoever gets the Laura card each night wins a special Twin Peaks related prize.

This enigmatic and fascinating movie furthers the mystery of Laura Palmer, serving as both an ending and a beginning to David Lynch’s hit series. Chronicling the last week of Laura Palmer’s life, the film introduces us to Special Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak), a young FBI agent who disappears while investigating a murder near Twin Peaks a year prior to Palmer’s mysterious death. While this film definitely answers some questions from the abruptly-cancelled TV series, it raises far, far more.


Fri, Jun 24 midnight
Sat, Jun 25 midnight

Evangelion 3.0

A film by Hideaki Anno


Shinji Ikari just woke up fourteen years after starting the Third Impact. He hasn’t aged, but everything else has changed. The earth is in ruins. The people he once protected treat him like a prisoner and threaten to kill him if he pilots another Eva. At NERV headquarters, Shinji meets pianist Kaworu. As the boys bond, the organization’s true mission comes into focus. Lost in a labyrinth of deception, Shinji careens toward a mental breakdown that could bring about the end of humanity.


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