Babe: Pig in the City
A FILM BY: George Miller
WRITTEN BY: George Miller, Judy Morris
STARRING: Magda Szubanski, Elizabeth Daily, Mickey Rooney
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Plot takes a backseat in George Miller’s disorderly and psychedelic sequel, which has more in common with films like WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and THE WIZARD OF OZthan it does with its heartwarming predecessor. When circumstances force our little pink hero to leave his idyllic home for the city, he finds himself in a twisted Frankenstein of a place, a mix of Baz Luhrmann’s Paris and all the cities you’ve ever known. Babe is quickly severed from his companion Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) and left to discover the city’s untold wonders (and horrors) alone. Bizarre characters abound in this bestial MAD MAX: a pregnant chimp in a dress, a paraplegic Jack Russell Terrier (Adam Goldberg), a poodle the color of cotton candy, and a ghastly clown (played by Mickey Rooney, of course). It’s a film that delighted critics (it was Gene Siskel’s best film pick of 1998), horrified parents, and developed a deserved cult following since its release. One website that rates media for kids produced such choice parental reviews as “It’s dark, depressing, scary, sad…How ANYONE (let alone Roger Ebert) could say this is BETTER than the first, I will never know.” I think Bob the chimpanzee (voiced by the great Steven Wright) would respond, “It’s all illusory – it’s ill, and it’s for losers.” (RL)
35MM from Universal
Includes Short Film: THE DANCING PIG (“Le cochon danseur”) (Pathé Frères, 1907) – 35mm – 4 min
Production Year: 1998
Country of Origin: Australia
Run Time: 97 mins
The Lost City of Z
A FILM BY: James Gray
WRITTEN BY: James Gray (written for the screen by), David Grann (based on the book by)
STARRING: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller
Please join us for a free advance screening of James Gray's latest film, The Lost City of Z, presented in beautiful 35mm! Director James Gray will be appearing in person and participating in a Q&A after the screening.
We have reached our capacity for advance RSVPs. However, there will be seats available to the general public on the day of the screening on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive early. Seating is not guaranteed.
Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, "The Lost City of Z" tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett — supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) — returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. An epically scaled tale of courage and passion, told in writer/director James Gray’s classic filmmaking style, "The Lost City of Z" is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and a conflicted adventurer driven to the verge of obsession. Rated PG-13. (Description provided by Bleeker Street Films)
Co-presented by Chicago Film Society, the Music Box Theatre, Bleecker Street Films, and Amazon Studios
THE LOST CITY OF Z opens in theatres nationwide on April 21st!
Production Year: 2017
Country of Origin: United States
Run Time: 140 mins
A FILM BY: Masahiro Shinoda
WRITTEN BY: Shintarô Ishihara (based on the novel by), Masaru Baba (screenplay)
STARRING: Ryô Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki
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In Japanese with English subtitles
Masahiro Shinoda was only a few years into a remarkable five-decade directing career when he made PALE FLOWER, his most popular and enduring work and the yakuza film by which all others in the genre would be measured. Muraki (played by Ryo Ikebe, some years past his gentler turn in Ozu's EARLY SPRING) has recently been released from a three-year prison stint (for murder, naturally) and cannot help but throw himself, with studied indifference, into the scrum of Yokohama night-life. Meanwhile, the reckless and inscrutable Saeko (Mariko Kaga, giving PALE FLOWER'S scariest and most internalized performance amidst her co-stars' macho smoldering) has taken to haunting yakuza-overseen gambling dens, a notable and disruptive feminine presence in a stiflingly masculine underworld. Immediately drawn to one another, Muraki mentors Saeko in tehonbiki, their game of choice, as she attempts to stave off corrosive and self-destructive boredom and he attempts to keep his homicidal impulses at bay. A master class in widescreen composition from cinematographer Masao Kosugi with a score by legendary avant-garde composer Toru Takemitsu, PALE FLOWER matches its pitch black amour founarrative with hard-as-nails stylistic pyrotechnics and lurid Baudelairean cinematic poetry.
35mm print provided by Janus Films
Cartoon: "Dance Squared" (Danse carrée) (René Jodoin, 1961) – 16mm – 4 min
Production Year: 1964
Country of Origin: Japan
Run Time: 96 mins
A FILM BY: Robert Altman
WRITTEN BY: Jules Feiffer (screenplay), E.C. Segar (based on characters by)
STARRING: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston
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Co-sponsored by CHIRP - Chicago Independent Radio Project
Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall are Popeye and Olive Oyl in this unlikely and sublime live action adaptation of the timeless Fleischer Brothers cartoons. Paramount went all out on their 1980 mega-production, which involved building an entire village in Malta ("Popeye Village" still exists as a tourist attraction), though domestic grosses fell significantly short of expectations. Producer Robert Evans hoped to tame the barbarous Robert Altman as he had with Roman Polanski (CHINATOWN) or Francis Ford Coppola (THE GODFATHER), but this was not the right film. Long overlooked in favor of more "serious" Altman pictures, Scott Tobias writes Popeye "is like a family-friendly re-imagining of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, moving the same mud-caked, dilapidated town from the Pacific Northwest to the Mediterranean seas without losing the anti-capitalist sentiment in the process." The result is both heartfelt and manic, and exceedingly faithful to the original work. Why can't all comic book movies be this great? With music by Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks.
Screening in a one-of-a-kind 35mm print from the Robert Altman Collection at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
CHIRP is an independent, volunteer-driven radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture. The station is live and local every day of the year from 6am-midnight from studios in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, and the city we live in is a key part of everything we do. CHIRP Radio plays a wide mix of local, independent, lesser-heard, and just generally good music from a variety of genres and eras, curated by passionate music fans. Tune in at chirpradio.org.
Production Year: 1980
Country of Origin: United States
Run Time: 114 mins
A FILM BY: Alain Corneau
WRITTEN BY: Jim Thompson (novel), Georges Perec, Alain Corneau
STARRING: Patrick Dewaere, Myriam Boyer, Marie Trintignant
In French with English subtitles
What do you get when French avant-garde novelist Georges Perec adapts a work of red-blooded American crime literature like Jim Thompson’s A Hell of a Woman? From one angle Alain Corneau’s SERIE NOIRE, named for an infamous series of French paperback pulps, is simply an exemplary neo-noir, but that’s almost too timid—with its archetypally spare characters cruising through a brutalist concrete landscape, this movie is proudly post-noir, post-punk, post-everything. Patrick Dewære (HOTEL DES AMERIQUES, PREPAREZ VOS MOUCHOIRS) stars as hapless door-to-door salesman Frank Poupart, just the type of schmuck to be drawn into a murder plot by an old widow’s mute niece (Marie Trintignant). “Without a second thought,” writes Pacific Film Archive curator emeritus Steve Seid, “you buy his worn-out, deranged lowlife toying with oblivion.”
IMPORTED 35MM PRINT FROM INSTITUT FRANÇAIS
Production Year: 1979
Country of Origin: France
Run Time: 111 mins
A FILM BY: Susan Seidelman
WRITTEN BY: Susan Seidelman, Ron Nyswaner, Peter Askin
STARRING: Susan Berman, Brad Rinn
Susan Seidelman’s feature film debut SMITHEREENS is the meaner, younger sister of her cult classic DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN. Released 3 years prior and funded in part by the money her grandmother left her for her “future wedding,” it was shot without permits on the streets of Koch-era New York City (sorry Grandma) and went on to become the first American independent feature selected to compete at Cannes.
Susan Berman stars as Wren, a New Jersey runaway who heads to NYC seeking fame in the punk scene, and whose limited talents include pasting Xeroxed self portraits of herself around town, and pinballing back and forth between sweet (but decidedly NOT punk) Brad Rinn, and sexy (real life punk icon) Richard Hell. With a soundtrack soaked in the Feelies, ESG, and the Voidoids and screening in a newly struck 35mm print, this is the New Wave cult film your horrible teenage self should have shoplifted from the video store.
Production Year: 1982
Country of Origin: United States
Run Time: 89 mins
A FILM BY: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
WRITTEN BY: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pea Fröhlich
STARRING: Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess
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In German with English subtitles
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s most unambiguously beautiful film was also the last one he lived to see released. Months after VERONIKA VOSS premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it would win the Golden Bear, Fassbinder would be dead of a drug overdose and his penultimate film would take on autobiographical echoes. VERONIKA VOSS draws from the life and mysterious death of German actress Sybille Schmitz, best known abroad for her work in Carl Dreyer’s VAMPYR but notorious in her home country for remaining active in the German film industry throughout the Third Reich. Fassbinder tracks the final days of his titular character (played with otherworldly abandon by the phenomenal German TV actress Rosel Zech), a has-been movie star with a paralyzing morphine addiction, as she is besieged by parasitic medical professionals, carries on an affair with a local sports reporter, and attempts to mount a comeback in the German film industry of the 1950s. Recalling the heyday of American film noir, as well as the horror-tinged melodramas SUNSET BOULEVARD and THE SEVENTH VICTIM, with the addition of more than a smidge of pitch-black humor and a quietly droning soundtrack of country music hits, VERONIKA VOSS is an icy, monochrome masterpiece, in love with classic cinema and at odds with the industry behind it.
35MM from Janus Films
Short Film: TBA
Production Year: 1982
Country of Origin: Germany
Run Time: 104 mins