JUNGLE TRAP & THE SWORD & THE CLAW double feature & book launch

The Chicago Cinema Society in association with the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) and Bleeding Skull! brings a wild double feature of cult insanity to Chicago Filmmakers for one night only! CCS co-director Jason Coffman recently published a book of his collected film reviews, THE UNREPENTANT CINEPHILE, and we’re celebrating with two of the most insanely entertaining films recently released by AGFA and Bleeding Skull!

JUNGLE TRAP is a shot-on-video horror movie about a group of researchers who run into supernatural unpleasantness at a mysterious hotel deep in the jungles of South America. Shot in 1990, JUNGLE TRAP was never completed until Bleeding Skull worked with director James Bryan to finish and release the film over 25 years later! THE SWORD AND THE CLAW (aka LIONMAN) is an out-of-control action epic starring Turkish action superstar Cüneyt Arkin as a man raised by lions who must lead a resistance to overthrow his kingdom’s brutal overlord. Released in the United States in 1982 by William Mishkin–the same distributor who produced nearly all of cult legend Andy Milligan’s deranged oeuvre–LIONMAN was retitled and given a bizarre English dub track that only enhances the feeling of sanity-breaking unreality already inherent in the movie.

JUNGLE TRAP description from Bleeding Skull!:
Shot in 1990 and unreleased until THIS VERY MOMENT. The final collaboration between exploitation demigods James Bryan (DON’T GO IN THE WOODS) and the late Renee Harmon (FROZEN SCREAM), JUNGLE TRAP is a decapitation-fueled, shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths. The movie remained unedited, unscored, and unseen by human eyes for over two decades . . . UNTIL NOW. Under Bryan’s guidance, the Bleeding Skull! team meticulously edited the movie and recorded a soundtrack utilizing vintage 1980s synthesizers. For the first time ever, Bryan and Harmon’s raging slab of anti-sanity can be deeply enjoyed by the world’s most adventurous viewers. That’s you.

THE SWORD AND THE CLAW description from AGFA:
Before the infamous TURKISH STAR WARS — there was 1975’s THE SWORD AND THE CLAW! AGFA’s latest preservation is a wild ride through that same hallucinogenic netherworld, and features genre legend Cüneyt Arkin in his most iconic role. This is CONAN THE BARBARIAN meets The Three Stooges meets DOLEMITE — with more lo-fi bloodshed, pop-art visuals and lunatic dubbing than the boundaries of reality can handle.

Jason Coffman will give a brief introduction to both films and copies of THE UNREPENTANT CINEPHILE–which covers over 800 cult, exploitation, horror, and independent films–will be available for purchase for the ludicrously low price of $10! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime double feature of finely curated paracinema! More information on his book here:

THE UNREPENTANT CINEPHILE on Amazon:
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520832931
Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KYHLVUQ

When and where you might ask? Here is all the information:

Date: February 17 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location (our first screening at the new CF location!):
Chicago Filmmakers
5720 N. Ridge Avenue
773-293-1447
www.chicagofilmmakers.org
Price: $10

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Posted in Uncategorized

THE LOST FILMS OF WENG WENG book release and screening with Andrew Leavold @ The Nightingale

Tuesday, October 17th

The Nightingale

1084 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642

7:30 PM, $7-10

The Chicago Cinema Society in association with The Nightingale is proud to bring author and filmmaker Andrew Leavold back to Chicago for a very special evening of action! Mr. Leavold is on tour promoting his first book THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, the thrilling tale of a former cult video store manager turned guerrilla film-maker and B-film detective who goes looking for the two-foot-nine “James Bond of the Philippines!”

An exclusive 90 minute compilation called THE LOST FILMS OF WENG WENG – three of Weng Weng’s Tagalog language films edited down to their essentials and subtitled into English – all seen for the very first time outside the Philippines! You get the gold from – Stariray (Dolphy’s 1981 gay disco actioner, in which a gruff-voiced Weng Weng as Chief of Operations teaches him kung fu); Da Best In Da West (another Weng Weng western also from 1981, this time as Dolphy’s deputy Bronson!); and Legs…Katawan…Babae! (stars Hagibis, the Filipino Village People, in a delirious disco kung fu spy musical WESTERN [!!!] in which Weng Weng makes a cameo in the final blazing line-dancing number).

About the Author:
Andrew Leavold owned and managed Trash Video, the largest cult video rental store in Australia, from 1995 to 2010. He is also a film-maker, published author, researcher, film festival curator, musician, and above all, unrepentant and voracious fan of the pulpier aspects of genre cinema. His writing has been published globally in mainstream magazines, academic journals and underground cinema fanzines, for the last two decades. This is his first book.


Leavold toured the world with his feature length documentary The Search For Weng Weng (2013). His ten years of research on genre filmmaking in the Philippines formed the basis of Mark Hartley’s documentary Machete Maidens Unleashed! (released internationally in 2010), on which Leavold is also Associate Producer, and he has since been recognized both in the Philippines and abroad as the foremost authority in his area of expertise, teaching Philippine film history at university level in Australia, the United States, and throughout the Philippines. Leavold teamed with Daniel Palisa to co-direct The Last Pinoy Action King (2015), both a feature-length documentary on the late Filipino action idol Rudy Fernandez, and a dissection of film royalty, politics, privilege, idolatry, and the Philippines’ pyramid of power.
He is currently shooting two new feature-length documentaries – The Most Beautiful Creatures On The Skin Of The Earth (also with Palisa), the third in his Filipino “Guns, Goons And Gold” trilogy, about erotic cinema under Marcos; and Pub, a history of Melbourne’s mythic St Kilda music scene as told through its most outrageous progeny, musician and artist Fred Negro. Both films are due for release in 2018.

Andrew will be in attendance for a Q&A and will be signing any purchased books.

Trailer for Andrew Leavold’s documentary THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG:

Posted in News, Screenings

KUSO (Chicago premiere!) @ The Davis Theater hosted by Chicago Cinema Society!

KUSO (Chicago premiere) hosted by Chicago Cinema Society

The Chicago Cinema Society in association with Shudder is proud to present the Chicago premiere of Kuso, the debut feature film from Flying Lotus, at the historic Davis Theater!

This wild hybrid of live action, puppetry and animation premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival as part of their Midnight selections. It immediately gained a reputation as one of the most bizarre and confrontational films to ever screen there, and now this comedic horror fantasia will be on big screens across the country for two nights only!

Tickets for these midnight screenings are $12 and are now available in advance through the Davis Theater ticketing site. The Davis has assigned seating, so if you have a favorite spot make sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Don’t miss this chance to see one of the ultimate cult films of 2017 on the big screen!

Both screenings are presented from digital projection and take place at the Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625.

1st screening:
Date: Friday, July 21st
Time: 11:55 p.m.
Ticket price: $12.00

2nd screening:
Date: Saturday, July 22nd
Time: 11:55 p.m.
Ticket price: $12.00

Posted in Screenings

Uncut Italian 35mm print of SUSPIRIA discovered by The Chicago Cinema Society.

 

The Chicago Cinema Society is excited to announce that we have discovered an uncut Italian 35mm print of Suspiria. The print was rescued from an Italian cinema that had closed down and the print had gone untouched in their storage area since 1977/78. After a brief inspection to assess the overall condition of the print, it appears as if it had only been screened a handful of times at most. The print is in excellent physical condition with no substantial wear, uncut heads and tails, minimal fading and no vinegar syndrome. Once we had the print in our film archive, we then made a very careful inspection to determine which version of Suspiria we had obtained. We were stunned to find that the print is a completely uncut 6 reel print with a run time of 98 minutes in Italian language. We then privately screened the print and recorded excerpts, which can be found on our YouTube channel, to give people a better sense of what the print actually looks like. Here a clip which includes one of the more notorious cut scenes (pun intended) that does not exist in 1977 US release prints:

We reached out to Don May at Synapse Films to see if they would be in need of our print for restoration purposes. He noted to us that they have all of the film elements that they need for their upcoming digital restoration. We then shared information on our discovery with a number of film programmers across the country, many of whom had become very interested in screening the print. Since preservation elements for Suspiria exist, we arranged a tour for our print to start late this summer. More venues have reached out to us with interest in screening our print so follow Chicago Cinema Society on Facebook and check in at our website for updates and the additions of any other screening dates. Do not miss out on this opportunity to see Suspiria in the way that it was intended to be seen! As of the moment, our print of Suspiria is scheduled to screen, with projected subtitles (soft-subbing), at the following venues:

7/28 – 8/2/2017: The Metrograph, New York City, NY
8/11 – 8/13/2017: Roxie Theatre, San Francisco, CA
8/23 – 8/25/2017: Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
9/1/2017: The Denver Film Society, Denver, CO
9/7/2017: The Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI
9/15+ 9/16/2017: The Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN
10/2/2017: The Egypitan Theatre (as part of Beyond Fest), Los Angeles, CA
10/14 + 10/17/2017: Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
10/26 – 10/27/2017: Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA
11/6/2017: Music Box Theatre (as part of Cinepocalypse), Chicago, IL
11/18/2017: Alamo Drafthouse, Littleton, CO
11/24/2017: Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY
12/1 – 12/3/2017: Northwest Film Center, Portland, OR
12/13/2017: Suy-Ray Cinema, Jacksonville, FL
1/12/2018: Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington, NY
1/18/2018: The Charles Theater, Baltimore, MD
1/27/2018: Hollywood Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
2/3/2018: Coral Gables Art Cinema, Miami, FL
2/17/2018: The Little Theatre, Rochester, NY

Stay tuned for more updates! Thanks!

Posted in News

LIQUID SKY now handled by Chicago Cinema Society in collaboration with Director Slava Tsukerman.

The Chicago Cinema Society is incredibly excited to announce that we are working with Director Slava Tsukerman to arrange 35mm screenings of LIQUID SKY nationwide. A few years back, The Chicago Cinema Society managed to obtain a 35mm print of LIQUID SKY with perfect color and in good condition which is now a part of The Chicago Cinema Society Film Archive. If you are already not familiar with Liquid Sky, you need to be, because it is a masterpiece, and this link will help acquaint you:

Just recently, Slava Tsukerman hosted what were termed as the final screenings of Liquid Sky at Quad Cinema in New York City from his personal 35mm print, which has endured much wear over the years, and has now since been retired. Shortly after these screenings, Tsukerman had learned of our film archive and that we had a 35mm print of Liquid Sky. Slava then reached out to us to learn more about the print and to collaborate with us on arranging screenings of LIQUID SKY using our 35mm print for theatrical screenings. We are thrilled about this collaboration as we have immense love for this film and are excited in helping more people be able to see it in 35mm as it was meant to be seen. If you are a film programmer that has reel to reel 35mm ability, would like to screen our print of Liquid Sky and potentially have Slava Tsukerman attend your screening, please reach out to us at:

contact@chicagocinemasociety.org

Check back at our website or facebook page for more updates on LIQUID SKY screenings.

Posted in News

Nigerien PURPLE RAIN remake “Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai” hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society.

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Starring real life guitarist, Mdou Moctar, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai is the first-ever Tuareg language feature, and a remake of Prince’s Purple Rain. Akounak tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it against all odds, set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar. Mdou must battle fierce competition from jealous musicians, overcome family conflicts, and endure the trials of love – all while coming to terms with one of the biggest barriers: himself. Musicologist/director Christopher Kirkley first heard the music of Moctar on cellphones in the Sahara and Sahel, where he has been living, traveling and recording music since 2009, then visited him in Niger and recorded a full length album.

SCREENING INFORMATION:

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
Digital Projection
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Dates:
March 25th at 8:00pm
March 27th at 7:00pm
Ticket price: $9.00

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Posted in Screenings

DER NACHTMAHR (Chicago Premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society.

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Jarring, disturbing, and thoroughly disorienting, Der Nachtmahr is a psy­cho­phan­tas­magoric coming-of-age story about a teenage girl thrust into an unnaturally symbiotic relationship.

Secret raves, drugs, and late nights are par for the course for sixteen-year-old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) and her friends on the decadent Berlin party scene. When Tina passes out at a party one night, she assumes it was just a side effect of her wild lifestyle — that is, until a mysterious creature begins haunting both her dreams and her waking hours. Tina struggles to make those around her see the thing, but to no avail, and as she becomes ever more unsettled and manic, her parents are forced to get her psychiatric help. But as the little beastie seems to lurk around every corner, she is forced to overcome her fears and forge a bond with the monster.

Carolyn Genzkow delivers a spirited performance, and the moody electronic score keeps us on constant edge, but it’s the creepy parasitic manifestation that steals the show: looking like a cross between E.T. and Belial (the twisted brother from Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case), this nightmare creature is at once repellent and oddly endearing. In his feature directorial debut, multi-disciplinary artist AKIZ gives us a depiction of teen life that balances drug-enhanced highs with the sobering struggle for approval from BFFs, parents, teachers, and doctors. Ratcheting up the unease and tension in the plain light of day as well as in the shadows of night, he has crafted a visually striking tale of teenage paranoia. – by Colin Geddes

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SCREENING INFORMATION:

1st screening:
Digital Projection, 88mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, April 16th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $9.00

2nd screening:
Digital Projection, 88mins
Location: Columbia College (Hokin Hall)
600 S Michigan Ave. 60605
Date: Tuesday, April 19th
Time: 6:30pm
Ticket price: $9.00

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Posted in Screenings

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE and THE INTERIOR double feature hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society

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We are incredibly proud to be hosting a double feature for two of our most favorite independent genre films of 2015:

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE
THE INTERIOR

Perry Blackshear and Trevor Juras, respectively, have tremendous directorial talent and are sure to go on to have magnificent careers in cinema! Be sure not to miss each of their debut features on February 19th and 21st at Chicago Filmmakers!

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE

They look normal. But Wyatt knows that they’re hiding their true form behind their human shells. These diabolical creatures have been secretly living among us since the beginning of time. The day of their uprising is fast approaching. Late one night, Wyatt receives a phone call warning him that these cunning spirits are planning to take over the Earth’s population. Summoned to join this imminent war between good and evil, hardware stores now provide him with the weapons he’ll need. If the need to kill should arise, he’ll do so without hesitation. No one will be able to stop him, not even Christian, an old friend who’s letting him stay in his apartment. Burdened with problems of his own, this anxious, career-driven straight shooter is completely oblivious to Wyatt’s mission. He is aware, however, of his friend’s increasingly strange behavior, which causes him to ultimately expect the worst. In order to save him, Chris will have to confront the Apocalypse that is threatening their friendship.

Perry Blackshear’s THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE will freeze your blood from its very first scene. With the help of a simple yet terribly efficient concept, he plunges the viewer into an intensely brutal atmosphere of paranoia. Shying away from sensationalism, this first feature creates fear through silence as it recreates a daily reality identical to ours in which every town, every street and every house can potentially be hiding one of these evildoers. The ambiguity between sanity and lunacy, a recurrent theme of fantastic cinema, is approached unusually as the director sympathetically explores the ties that bind his characters. THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE combines horror film and human drama, exploring compassion and loyalty as it achieves the ultimate goal of being both spinetingling and heart-wrenching. — by Simon Laperrière

THE INTERIOR

James is fed up. Fed up with his lifestyle, his boss, his girlfriend. But mostly fed up with himself. To avoid a mental breakdown, this young man spontaneously decides to leave everything behind. First, he quits a high-paying career with promising prospects for a dead-end job. But that’s not enough for James, who yearns for an urgent change of scenery. On the spur of the moment, he flees the chaotic city of Toronto and flies off to beautiful British Columbia. Once there, he discovers a subalpine forest and begins life as a hermit. He wanders aimlessly through the woods, sporadically breaking into cabins in hopes of finding a bit of food and booze. Cut off from civilization, he’s still unable to escape from himself. He’s also feeling observed by some disquieting predator. A man in a red jacket is spying on him, silently logging his every move. And when night falls, insanity kicks in.

Having followed film classes given by none other than Werner Herzog, talented Trevor Juras delivers an engaging first-feature christening with THE INTERIOR, an ambitious Canadian film divided in two disparately different acts. What first looks like mumblecore comedy suddenly turns into a powerful psychological thriller. The noise of city life is replaced by nature’s heavy silence through which the protagonist’s isolation is reflected. His anxiety becomes the viewer’s as he sinks deeper into the magnificently intimidating woods. Itself a character in the film, the forest is filmed with such remarkable deftness as to give it the impression of reacting to James’ psychological torments. Generating genuine moments of pure terror, THE INTERIOR follows a dreamlike experience in which reality capsizes into pure nightmare. — by Simon Laperrière

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (80mins)
THE INTERIOR (80mins)
Digital Projection
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Dates:
February 19th at 7:30pm
February 21st at 7:00pm
Ticket price: $9.00

Posted in Screenings

LOVE & PEACE (Chicago Premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

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Describing a Sion Sono film is always a challenge, but this time, the creator of the masterpieces LOVE EXPOSURE and SUICIDE CLUB surpasses himself! With LOVE & PEACE, he fuses together tokusatsu films, the musical and fantastic comedy, throwing in talking toys that inhabit a fairlyland in the Tokyo sewers and casting a critical but loving eye on contemporary Japan. Dusting off a 20-year-old script of his, Sono poured his heart into LOVE & PEACE, for which he composed a few catchy numbers, and kept the special effects old-school for Pikadon and his toybox pals. LOVE & PEACE is a funny, touching and deliciously strange feel-good flick (written by Nicolas Archambault)

SYNOPSIS:

Ryoichi, a disgraced musician, is treated with contempt by his co-workers at the third-rate company where he toils. To bring a little light into his miserable life, he adopts a tiny turtle, which he names Pikadon. With this new companion, Ryoichi’s spirits are lifted enough to rekindle his musical dreams, but the day he brings Pikadon to work, his colleagues force him to flush the reptile down the toilet. Ryoichi is devastated, but his obsession with the animal, oddly, brings him back to music. Meanwhile, Pikadon’s journey through the sewage system leads him to a strange fellow who takes abandoned toys and animals under his wing. The old man even gives them the means to talk. However, a ludicrous mistake invests the Pikadon with the potential for incredible growth. Pikadon and Ryoichi are destined to reconnect in a wild frenzy of love, rock ’n’ roll and collateral damage.

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SCREENING INFORMATION:

LOVE & PEACE
Digital Projection, 117mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Dates:
January 8th at 8:00pm
January 10th at 7:00pm
Ticket price: $9.00

Love & Peace is one of three Sion Sono films screening as part of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Credit: Fantasia.

Posted in Uncategorized

SUNRISE (Chicago premiere) hosted by The Chicago Cinema Society at Chicago Filmmakers.

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With SUNRISE, Partho Sen-Gupta reveals himself to be, not unlike Anurag Kashyap (UGLY, GANGS OF WASSEYPUR), one of India’s most promising independent filmmakers. Staying off Bollywood’s beaten path, he instead offers with SUNRISE a poignant and maddening noir-inflected thriller, set in Mumbai’s child-trafficking industry. Deliberately provocative, structurally challenging and exquisitely stylized, in alternating Refn-esque garish colours and expressive chiaroscuro that would make Pedro Costa proud, SUNRISE unfolds like a lucid dream, or rather, the nightmare of one police officer, whose guilt materializes as horror. Powerful, bold and uncompromising, there is nothing even remotely sunny about SUNRISE, yet it shines bright, violently eclipsing the competition. (by Ariel Esteban Cayer)

SYNOPSIS:

The life of Inspector Lakshman Joshi (Adil Hussain, seen in LIFE OF PI) has been a living hell ever since his young daughter Aruna vanished without a trace. Driven nearly insane by her disappearance, he walks his police beat by day and furiously roams the streets at night, pursuing an elusive shadow-man into the darkest, seediest, most haunted corners of Mumbai. Night and night again, this fever-dream pursuit leads him to Paradise, a gentlemen’s club where disgusting men prey on underage dancers. Powerless, he heads home every night, to find a broken wife. Another case soon lands on his desk: that of Naina, a kidnapped six-year-old, brought into a nearby brothel. Are Paradise and Naina connected? Joshi spirals further and further downward…

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SUNRISE
1st screening:
Digital Projection, 85mins
Location: Chicago Filmmakers
5243 N Clark St. 60640
Date: Saturday, January 16th
Time: 8:00pm
Ticket price: $9.00

2nd screening:
Digital Projection, 85mins
Location: Columbia College (Hokin Hall)
600 S Michigan Ave. 60605
Date: Tuesday, January 19th
Time: 6:30pm
Ticket price: $9.00

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Posted in Uncategorized