SILENT CLASSICS, AUSSIE HORROR & MORE AT THE MUSIC BOX CHICAGO
Chicago's gorgeous Music Box Theatre is serving up some rare silent era goodness, complete with live score, and an infamous Australian outback horror classic in 35mm. Here's what's in store this week for fans of the classics....
Saturday March 11th 11:30am
BEGGARS OF LIFE (1928)
35mm print courtesy of the George Eastman Museum, permission Paramount Pictures. Preservation Funded by the Film Foundation.
After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl (Louise Brooks) tries to escape the country with a young vagabond (Richard Arlen). She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police, and reach Canada. Released more than a year before The Great Depression, the film was loosely based on Jim Tully’s novel Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography,published in 1924, which describes his hardscrabble existence on the rails during the recession years of the 1890s and 1900s.
Friday March 10th & Saturday March 11th Midnight
RAZORBACK (1984 / 35mm Print)
The Australian Outback is already a region not exactly known for its hospitatly, but life there is looking all the more perilous for hunter Jake Cullen as he races to take out a wild boar - the size of a car and with a taste for human flesh - before it kills again. A down under entry in the post-JAWS cycle of killer animal flicks, RAZORBACK hits all the mid-'80s genre sweet spots, including a killer synth soundtrack and beefy, attractive effects work. As outsized and nasty as its title monster, RAZORBACK is an unthrottled Ozploitation classic, meaner than any other pig in the bush. Co presented by The Chicago Film Society
Monday March 13th 7pm
BABE: PIG IN THE CITY (1998 / 35mm Print)
Plot takes a backseat in George Miller’s (Mad Max) disorderly and psychedelic sequel, which has more in common with films like WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and THE WIZARD OF OZ than 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)
Includes Short Film: THE DANCING PIG (“Le cochon danseur”) (Pathé Frères, 1907) – 35mm – 4 min
Tuesday March 14th 7:00PM
SHARKNADO (2013 / DCP)
Features a discussion with SHARKNADO writer Thunder Levin & Field Museum expert Kevin Feldheim. CH Vodka will present tastings, including a delicious hurricane cocktail in The Music Box Theatre Lounge.
When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature's deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace.
Thunder Levin is a feature film and television director and writer. He was born and raised in New York City and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Film from NYU before moving to Los Angeles to take over Hollywood at age 23. He has written and directed three films: “Mutant Vampire Zombies From The ‘Hood!”, an independent horror/comedy starring C. Thomas Howell; “American Warships” a military action film starring Mario Van Peebles & Carl Weathers which premiered on the Syfy Channel in May 2012; and “AE Apocalypse Earth”, a science fiction film starring Adrian Paul & Richard Grieco released in May 2013. Additionally, he wrote the screenplays for the street racing action film “200 MPH”, and the pop culture phenomenon “Sharknado” series of TV movies for the Syfy Channel. He lives in Santa Monica, CA and is developing several TV series, feature film projects, and a comic book series. He is a lifelong sailor and car enthusiast who’s recently taken up motorcycle riding and is at work on his first novel. Thunder is his real name. Please don’t ask why.
Kevin Feldheim is the A. Watson III Manager of the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution. His research focuses on inferring the mating system and population biology of sharks using genetic markers called microsatellites, although he is broadly interested in many organisms. Microsatellites are short, tandem repeats in DNA that are extremely useful in identifying individuals. In fact, these are the same types of genetic markers that are used in court cases and paternity tests. The Field Museum use these markers in their DNA lab to answer similar questions in other animals, plants, and fungi.
Program Notes by The Music Box Theatre.