Let my people go to the movies! | Bleader

Let my people go to the movies!


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Though shalt not take the Portage Theater in vain!
  • "Though shalt not take the Portage Theater in vain!"
As you may have read on this very blog, local film buffs are up in arms over the idea that the Portage Theater may change hands in 2015 and be converted into a church. Among the many fine organizations that would be evicted is the Northwest Chicago Film Society, which, on Saturday night, will present a special 35-millimeter screening of . . . The Ten Commandments. Nice try, guys, but I'm pretty sure you can't petition the Lord with popcorn.

This morning the New York Times published an interesting story about the 1944 killing that became a cornerstone of the beat generation legend, and coincidentally, today Facets Cinematheque opens a week-long run of Alan Govenar's documentary The Beat Hotel, about the Paris rooming house that became a nerve center for the beats in the late '50s and early '60s. It's the subject of this week's long review.

We also have a box for the first week of the Asian American Showcase at Gene Siskel Film Center, and new reviews of American Reunion, the latest installment in the American Pie franchise; Four Lovers, a French drama about spouse-swapping; and Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a foodie doc about the revered chef Jiro Ono.

Best bets for repertory: Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters (1984), tonight at the Portage; Mervyn LeRoy's Gold Diggers of 1933, with dance numbers by Busby Berkeley, Sunday at Doc Films; Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994), Friday at Doc; Robert Wise's The Sound of Music (1965), captioned for audience sing-alongs, Saturday afternoon at Music Box; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), Friday and Tuesday at Doc, the second screening with a lecture by Daniel Eisenberg. But the real event this week is Music Box's four-film series on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, with screenings of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1946), and The Red Shoes (1948).

This week also brings a chance to see two noted underground filmmakers in person: at Chicago Filmmakers, Jon Jost will introduce his 2007 video Over Here on Friday and his 2008 video Parable on Saturday, and at Film Center, Yvonne Rainer will introduce her 1972 feature Lives of Performers on Thursday.


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