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Music Box Theatre
God’s Pocket! For No Good Reason! Rear Window!
Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Happy Thursday Music Boxers,

The great Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives one of his final performances in God’s Pocket, directed by John Slattery (Mad Men). When Mickey Scarpato’s stepson is killed in a construction “accident,” he tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when a columnist comes sniffing around for the truth, things go from bad to worse. Richard Roeper exclaims, “Great actors at the top of their game working with rich material”.

In the documentary For No Good Reason, Johnny Depp pays a call on his friend and hero Ralph Steadman and we take off on a discovery of the life and works of one of the most distinctive radical artists of the last 50 years. The LA Times calls it, “An absorbing look at the unique, surreal work of British cartoonist Ralph Steadman”.

At midnight on Friday & Saturday, check out a 25th anniversary presentation of Tim Burton’s Batman, one of The Dark Knight’s greatest onscreen adventures. Our Hitchcock weekend matinee series continues with the gripping Rear Window, starring Jimmy Stewart in one of his finest roles.

We also have another week of screenings for Godzilla: The Japanese Original (60th Anniversary Restoration!), weekend screenings of the erotic French film Young & Beautiful, a Sunday matinee of National Theatre Live’s production of King Lear, and midnight screenings of the dark comedy musical Stage Fright.

Finally, running May 22nd-June 8th, check out the Truth to Power Festival at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The 1930s were a time of tremendous tumult; worldwide economic depression and the rise of oppressive regimes led to World War II. Yet in this dark era, Benjamin Britten, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich produced works that stirred nations toward hope. They believed that the artist should serve society by creating music that would inspire justice and fairness. Join the CSO and conductor Jaap van Zweden for a three-week journey through their works, which celebrate music’s ability to connect people and harness the power of shared experience.
Most Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts will feature an hour-long enhanced preconcert exploration that are FREE and open to all ticketholders. These special events will include film screenings or guest readings by the Poetry Foundation along with a discussion of the following concert’s program.
For tickets or more information, explore cso.org/truthtopower.

See you at the movies

Thursday, May 15th – Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

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This Week’s Sponsor:

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God’s Pocket

A film by John Slattery starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro


The only thing they can’t forgive is not being from… God’s Pocket.

“4 Stars. A brash, black comedy.”
The Guardian

In the gritty, blue-collar neighborhood of God’s Pocket, Mickey Scarpato’s crazy stepson, Leon, is killed in a construction “accident,” and Mickey quickly tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when a local columnist comes sniffing around for the truth, things go from bad to worse. Mickey finds himself stuck in a life-and-death struggle compounded by a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay.

Acclaimed actor John Slattery makes an impressive jump behind the camera with an assured directorial debut that shows he has a razor-sharp eye for conveying the absurdity, cruelty, desperation, and tragic optimism of the people he portrays. Like life, his scenes seamlessly fuse humor and heartbreak, but it’s Slattery’s wit and confident style that make the portrait so authentic. Featuring a top-shelf cast and impeccable cinematography, God’s Pocket oozes with talent and marks the emergence of an inspired directorial presence.


For No Good Reason

A film by Charlie Paul starring Johnny Depp, Terry Gilliam, Patrick Godfrey


Johnny Depp pays a call on his friend and hero Ralph Steadman and we take off on a high-spirited, raging and kaleidoscopic journey discovering the life and works of one of the most distinctive radical artists of the last 50 years.

“An absorbing look at the unique, surreal work of British cartoonist Ralph Steadman”
–Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

Johnny Depp pays a call on his friend and hero Ralph Steadman and we take off on a high-spirited, lyrical, raging and soulful journey discovering the life and works of one of the most important radical British artists of modern times. Steadman rose to prominence in the early 70’s when his impassioned and stirring images gained recognition through popular cultural publications and press both in the UK and US for their bold comment on world politics and human rights infringements.

For No Good Reason is a richly creative, visual feast of a film about the power and importance of art to achieve Steadman’s aim “I learnt to draw…to try to change the world”.


GODZILLA: The Japanese Original

A film by Ishirô Honda


60th anniversary restoration! The complete, uncut original! GODZILLA: The Japanese Original (a.k.a. GORJIRA) is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at a time when the country was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific. Its rampaging radioactive beast, the poignant embodiment of an entire population’s fears, became a beloved international icon of destruction, spawning almost thirty sequels.

–Michael Sragow, New Yorker

“THE PRE-EMINENT MOVIE MONSTER OF THE 50’S! Its significance can be glimpsed only in the Japanese version!”
–Terrence Rafferty , New York Times

On a sunny day with calm waters, a Japanese steamer sinks in flames when the sea erupts; a salvage vessel sent to the rescue disappears the same way; exhausted, incoherent survivors babble of a monster. Could it be…? Then the biggest-budgeted film in Japanese history, the original Godzilla spawned 60 years of sequels and remakes, countless rip-offs, and a new genre: the kaiju eiga, or Japanese monster movie.

Released in the U.S. in a butchered version called Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it was re-cut, re-arranged and atrociously dubbed, with cheesy new scenes (shot in Hollywood) of a pre-Perry Mason Raymond Burr observing the action from the sidelines. To make room for Burr and to excise a strong anti-nuclear subtext, King of the Monsters deleted 40 minutes of the Japanese version — its very heart — including the opening credits and ominous main theme by the great Akira Ifukube; Tokyo commuters wisecracking about surviving yet another disaster; a vituperative session in the Japanese parliament; a TV announcer’s hilarious stomp-by-stomp account of the monster’s rampage; the original cautionary ending; and more scenes with the real (human) star of the movie, Takashi Shimura (also the Seven Samurai leader that year).

It’s a tour de force by special effects genius Eiji Tsuburaya, whose use of “suitmation,” the often-belittled “man in a monster suit” method, was due to time and budget restraints. But, in concert with noirish cinematography, this low-tech approach is still as thrilling as ever.

Subtitles by Bruce Goldstein and Michie Yamakawa. DCP restoration.

Godzilla®, Gojira and the character design are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. ©1954 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.



A film by Tim Burton starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger


Jack Nicholson is the Joker, who emerged from a horrible accident as a maniacal criminal. Michael Keaton is the Caped Crusader, who emerged from a childhood trauma to become a masked crime-fighter. Kim Basinger is Vicki Vale, the talented photojournalist desired by both men. 25th Anniversary! Listen to Prince’s Batdance again for old time’s sake


Rear Window

A film by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly


Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.


Young & Beautiful

A film by François Ozon starring Marine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Pierrot, Charlotte Rampling


The portrait of a 17 year-old girl, in 4 seasons and 4 songs.

“Mesmerizing. A fascinating contemplation of adolescent sexuality. Psychologically probing and unerringly elegant. A luminous, star-making performance for Marine Vacth.”
–David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“Francois Ozon’s YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL continues the winning streak of a director with an especially acute understanding of desire.”
–Stephen Holden, New York Times

Acclaimed director François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women) helms this erotic tale of sexual awakening. After losing her virginity, 17-year-old budding beauty Isabelle (Marine Vacth) takes up a secret life as a call girl, meeting her older gentlemen clients for erotic hotel room trysts. Throughout, she remains curiously aloof, showing little interest in the encounters themselves or the money she makes, while Ozon slyly refrains from offering easy answers. As the enigmatic Isabelle, Marine Vacth is magnetic, delivering a star-making breakout performance in this sleek and sexy coming-of-age drama.


Stage Fright

A film by Jerome Sable starring Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith, Brandon Uranowitz, Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf


“Scream” meets “Glee” in this dark comedy musical about a starry-eyed teenager Camilla Swanson who aspires to follow in the footsteps of her Broadway diva mother. Instead she’s stuck working in the kitchen of a snobby performing arts camp. Determined to change her destiny, she sneaks in to audition for the summer showcase and lands a lead role in the play, but just as rehearsals begin, blood starts to spill, and Camilla soon finds herself terrified by the horror of musical theater.


NT Live: King Lear


Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes (the James Bond film Skyfall, American Beauty) returns to the National Theatre to direct Simon Russell Beale (The Deep Blue Sea, Into the Woods) in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy. An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favorite, Cordelia, says nothing. Lear’s world descends into chaos.


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