Screens at Cinema Borealis (1550 N. Milwaukee, 4th Floor) Presented by NORTHWEST CHICAGO FILM SOCIETY
December 18th, 2011
When her deadbeat Lapland Shepard husband takes off and leaves her hungry and heartbroken, Mirjami Kuosmanen (director Erik Blomberg’s real world wife) seeks the help of a local shaman who turns her into a white reindeer vampire. Adapted from a Finnish folk tale, the film is beautifully shot against staggering Finnish snowscapes and herds of reindeer who don’t have marital problems. The Finnish entry at the 1953 Cannes film festival won the award for Best Fairy Tale film with Jean Cocteau as the president of the mostly french Jury, and made its way to the US as THE WHITE REINDEER in 1957 as a limited release.
Also on the bill tonight is a 16mm kinescope of the SPACE PATROL episode, A CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR HAPPY originally aired on Christmas Day 1954, and featuring (briefly) a reindeer driven spaceship. (JA)
VALKOINEN PEURA (THE WHITE REINDEER)
Directed by Erik Blomberg
(1953, 67 mins., Junior-Filmi, 35mm)
Print courtesy of Douris Corp.
Special thanks to Tim Lanzas
The Northwest Chicago Film Society is an Illinois Not-For-Profit Organization. It exists to promote the preservation of film in context. Films capture the past uniquely. They hold the stories told by feature films, but also the stories of the industries that produced them, the places where they were exhibited, and the people who watched them. We believe that all of this history-not just of film, but of 20th century industry and culture-is more intelligible when it’s grounded in unsimulated experience: seeing a film in a theater, with an audience, and projected from film stock. Films are programmed and projected by Julian Antos, Becca Hall, and Kyle Westphal.
Filed under: film
Directed by Bruce La Bruce Presented by WHITE LIGHT CINEMA
December 10th, 2011
Nothing says holiday-time like gritty, punky, black and white, queer Canadian quasi-porn! We are pleased to present a rare screening of Bruce La Bruce’s (Super 8 1/2, Hustler White, LA Zombie) first feature film, NO SKIN OFF MY ASS (1991).
Not available on DVD in the U.S., NO SKIN was made during the burgeoning of the New Queer Cinema “movement” of the late 1980s/early 90s (Gus Van Sant, Gregg Araki, Christopher Munch, Todd Haynes, etc.). But La Bruce was on the fringe of even that fringe: his film drew from Canadian underground Queercore, punk, skinhead, music, and zine scenes and struck a decidedly more strident and in-your-face tone than his American travelling companions.
But NO SKIN was not just radical posturing and provocation; it was also a personal, and at times sweet (see Amy Taubin quote), film, and this is what helps it still feel fresh twenty years later.
“Sweeter than Warhol, subtler than Kuchar, sexually more explicit than Van Sant.” (Amy Taubin, Village Voice)
“Triple X-rated, NO SKIN OFF MY ASS is a gay remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK. Director Bruce LaBruce plays the Karen Carpenter-loving hairstylist who is helplessly attracted to the lonely and stoic skinhead he finds and invites to his home. This very sexually explicit comedy is really for anyone – male or female, straight or not – who is a bit curious and wants to see a movie that offers something…a little different.”(Film Threat)
“In the early 1990s, while the New Queer Cinema was busy trying to sell fags ‘n dykes to mainstream audiences, Canadian Bruce La Bruce was happily preaching to the queer choir. NO SKIN OFF MY ASS wasn’t his first film – it followed a handful of Super 8 shorts – but it was the one that got him attention and fixed his image as a talented trashmeister willing to mix it up with social satire, homo camp, and hardcore sex. NO SKIN OF MY ASS, a low-rent remake of Robert Altman’s THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK, is a typical Brucian effort, with the usual pleasures and pitfalls. Bruce, who wrote, directed, and photographed, also stars here as a hairdresser who obsesses over skinheads. Luckily, right near his apartment he finds a handsome specimen, sitting silently on a park bench. Before you can say “wash and set,” Bruce has lured “Skinhead Guy,” as he’s known, into his apartment. There Bruce gives the bald beauty a bath (using Mr. Bubble), after which he locks his new pal in a bedroom. Of course, this being a Bruce La Bruce movie, Skinhead Guy quickly and easily escapes for a visit to his sister, a lesbian activist filmmaker and graffiti artist. But soon Bruce and Skinhead are reunited for more edgy fun. Shot in extra-grainy Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, and mostly lacking synch sound (Bruce’s voiceovers occupy much of the soundtrack), NO SKINN OFF MY ASS has the look and feel of a low-rent porn flick, with Bruce’s love object the ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy – a mindless stud who lets Bruce take every imaginable liberty with him, from boot-licking to urinal caressing to straightforward blow jobs. And like much porn, this one has stretches of dullness that will endear some viewers to their fast-forward. As gorgeous as Skinhead Guy is, the camera’s endless slow crawl over his fetching flesh as he bathes, lounges, and lusts becomes numbing after awhile. Still, Bruce gets points for daring to bare all, and doing it with humor. A zany soundtrack that includes such il–matched talents as Karen Carpenter, the Subhumans, and Tiny Tim adds to the foolish fun.” (Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal)
NO SKIN OFF MY ASS
Directed by Bruce La Bruce
(1991, 73 mins., 16mm, Canada, Black & White)
Filed under: film
Our Annual Seasonal Potluck
November 20th, 2011
Please feel invited to our 4th annual seasonal potluck. Friendsgiving is when we all gather together, eat too much, and film the trailer for The NIGHTINGALE’s next season. On board this year is a trampoline, some slow motion 16mm, and some bright colors. Wear you fancy duds, cheer shorts, dangly earrings, and long hair. Please bring a dish to share. There will be vegan and omnivore main courses.
Just a few notes on our upcoming shoot/party.
1.There will be a specific shoot time. From 4pm-5pm we will be getting your pretty faces on film and there is quick bit of instruction and people ordering to do ahead of time so to make sure you are included please arrive no later than 4 pm!
2. It is going to look the best if you guys wear solid colors or patterns that are monochromatic enough to represent mainly a solid color. And we are hoping for a variety of colors- Bold, Bright, Try to avoid white or neutral tones. Some folks wearing black/gray will be okay but if you have the big colors wear em! And we have decided it is not as important to be fancy as it is to be colorful.
I am so grateful for all of you. This place is just a dark room without you guys. Thanks for supporting Chicago Cinema.
Filed under: film
Featuring Daniel Tucker and Deborah Stratman Presented by HOMEROOM CHICAGO
November 15th, 8:00 pm
Local artist and activist Daniel Tucker has teamed up with filmmaker Deborah Stratman to present a challenging program on the theme of “POWER: On and Off the Grid”. Its got some Foucault, some sound cannons, and some totally funny stuff too! In this day and age what else could you want. . .? This is the final YTA of the season, so don’t miss it!
Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Her films, rather than telling stories, pose a series of problems – and through their at times ambiguous nature, allow for a complicated reading of the questions being asked. Many of her films point to the relationships between physical environments and the very human struggles for power, ownership, mastery and control that are played out on the land. Most recently, they have questioned elemental historical narratives about freedom, expansion, security, and the regulation of space. She has exhibited internationally at venues including the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, the Pompidou, Hammer Museum and many international film festivals including Sundance, the Viennale, Ann Arbor and Rotterdam.
Daniel Tucker has worked as a cultural and political organizer in Chicago for over ten years, initiating a number of large-scale local projects and events. His particular focus has been on documenting social and cultural movements and the places from which they emerge. Most of his work exists in a blurry line between documentary, advocacy, journalism, curating and art-making and deals with themes of political imagination, localism, hidden history, economy and community. All of his projects utilize careful consideration of audience and distribution and involve significant research and relationship building to have effective and lasting impact.
The YTA consists of screening web-based video for a live and participating audience. Each YTA features 2 hosts that use YouTube to elaborate on a point of interest relevant to their artwork or creative practice. After the “talk” the assembly opens for dialog, giving audience members the opportunity to pull up videos in response or that are relevant to the topic. It’s halfway between an artist talk and film screening; yet goes beyond their conventions by channeling the social possibilities of the medium.
Filed under: film
, new media