- The Blues, a 1973 documentary by Samuel Charters, screens this Friday.
On Friday night around 8:15 PM the south side arts organization Black Cinema House
will host the first program in a summer-long series called "Movies Under Stars."
Copresented by Chicago Film Archives
, the outdoor series centers on documentary shorts about jazz and blues musicians, with other rare nonfiction works rounding out the lineup. This week's program consists of: The Blues
, a 1973 doc by music historian Samuel Charters depicting southern bluesmen performing at home; Give My Poor Heart Ease
(produced by the Center for Southern Folklore in 1975), which focuses on blues from the Mississippi Delta; and American Shoeshine
, a 1976 doc in the direct-cinema mode about shoeshiners. The monthly series continues in June with more rarities from the Center for Southern Folklore archive; I'm most excited for the program on August 19, which features docs about Duke Ellington's 1964 tour of Japan and the great drummer Elvin Jones.
Speaking of Chicago Film Archives, a week from tonight the organization will present another free outdoor screening, this one on the lawn next to Logan Square's Comfort Station. The movie will be Burden of Dreams, a documentary about the infamous production of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo by the recently deceased filmmaker Les Blank. (And speaking of Fitzcarraldo, that movie screens a week from tomorrow in Doc Films's ongoing Herzog series.) It'll be projected from a 16-millimeter print from the Chicago Public Library's collection.