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Chicago Film Archives, Dorchester Project Screen Rare Films

July 13, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Emily Morris

This summer, Chicago Film Archives partners with Theaster Gates and the Dorchester Project to present some of the more rare films in its collection.

The eclectic fare includes silent films with musical accompaniment by David Boykin, shorts from the 1960s and movies shot on 16 mm reservation print, among other unusual finds. The screenings will feature a selection of movies from some lesser-known local filmmakers.

On four dates throughout in July and August, the CFA will show the films at 6918 South Dorchester, in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Films begin at 9 p.m. on every date.

July 14

“Chicago After Dark” is the theme that links the night’s nine short films together. They tackle the city’s tough history of jazz, racism and gang culture in the middle of the 20th century.

“Cry of Jazz” by dir. Ed Bland, 1959 is a documentary that chronicles jazz and how it has been affected and shaped by racism in American culture. (34 mins).

“Nightsong” by dir. Don Klugman, 1964 won the “Coupe Kodak-Pathe” prize at Cannes in 1965 and was named one of the “Ten Best Winners” in the Amateur Cinema League’s 1964 International Film and Video Festival. The film depicts Chicago’s folk club and nightlife scene in the mid-1960s. The film was known for its experimental use of film and color, as well as its themes of sexual and racial tension. (22 mins).

“The Corner” by dir. Robert Ford, 1963 is a documentary shot on 16mm film about the world of gangs on Chicago’s west side. (26 mins).

July 21

Centered on the theme, “Music and Movements,” this night’s diverse films include an episode of a historic wrestling match, a home movie, an experiment in images, and an underwater performance.

“The Blues” by dir. Samuel Charters, 1973 features blues music at its most basic, organic form. The film depicts the music as it is created in alleyways, porches, on stoops and in homes. “The Blues” features performances by J.D. Short, Pink Anderson, Furry Lewis, Baby Tate, Memphis Willie B., Gus Cannon and Sleepy John Estes. (20 mins).

“Maxwell Street” from the Glick-Berolzheimer collection, circa 1978 is a home movie with live musical accompaniment. The film features Maxwell Street Market when its original location was on Maxwell and Halsted. (4.5 mins).

“Yulie Brynner vs Rose Roman” circa 1958 is a wrestling match at Chicago’s International Amphitheatre. The match features “The world’s ugliest woman” versus Rose Roman. (8.5 mins).

“Lie Back and Enjoy it” by dir. JoAnn Elam, 1982 is an experimental short about the politics of way women are presented in film. The movie features technologically manipulated images of women and a sparse soundtrack consisting of dialogue between a male filmmaker and a female subject. (8 mins).

“Underwater Ballet” by producers Joe Bonica and Movie Newsreels Inc (from the Charles Krosse Collection), 1944 features an underwater dance by Nini Shipley with live musical accompaniment. (3 mins).

“High Lonesome Sound” by dir. John Cohen, 1963 is a documentary about the origins of country bluegrass music. (30 mins).

August 4

Muhammad Ali battles it out with Leon Spinks. Photograph: Dirck Halstead/Getty Images

The night’s theme, “A CFA Mix,” will feature a hodge podge of the Archive’s rare films.

“ZEA” by dir. Andre and Jacques Ludic, 1981 is a technically complex animated film with stunning visuals and no dialogue. (6 mins)

“Cicero March,” produced by the Film Group in 1966, is a short educational documentary. The film depicts the 1966 civil rights march through Cicero, one that Martin Luther King specifically agreed to avoid. (8.5 mins).

“Ratamata” by dir. Jeff Kreines, 1971 showed at the Ann Arbor Film Festival that year and was selected as a “Young Chicago Filmmakers Festival” award-winner. The film, shot when Kreines was only 16, depicts the opinions of various Chicagoans about The U.S.’s political and social climate during the Vietnam War. (9 mins)

“Boogie Woogie Blues,” 1948 is a collection of subjects, features and a set of newsreels spanning over twenty years. They were made by African Americans for an African American audience from 1935 to 1956. It includes an introduction that provides context for the collection, as well as a 10-minute musical performance. (16 mins).

“Ali vs. Spinks in Las Vegas,” (excerpts) 1978 showcases the fight between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks in Las Vegas as they compete for the title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. (4 mins).

“My Friend Vince” by dir. David Rotherberg, 1979 is a documentary about a drug hustler in Toronto, Canada whose complicated life caught one filmmaker’s particular attention.

August 11, 2011 – Home Movie Screenings.

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