Portoluz and Northwest Chicago Film Society: two for the Road | Bleader

Monday, April 30, 2012

Portoluz and Northwest Chicago Film Society: two for the Road

Posted By on 04.30.12 at 02:15 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

The heroes of Wellmans Wild Boys of the Road, primed for anything
  • The heroes of Wellman's Wild Boys of the Road, primed for anything
William A. Wellman was something like the Takashi Miike of the 1930s, a remarkably prolific genre filmmaker (he directed 20 films in the first four years of that decade) who made no bones about being inconsistent but was never predictable or boring. His best work of the period—like Night Nurse, Other Men’s Women, or Wild Boys of the Road, which screens Wednesday night at 7:30 PM at the Portage Theater—has a unique, barroom-style confidence, executing sudden turns from comedy to tragedy like handstands attempted on a dare.

Though Wellman probably didn’t intend his tonal shifts as such, they succeed in conveying the utter instability of American life during the Depression. So it’s fitting that this week’s revival of Wild Boys of the Road should be copresented by the progressive arts organization Portoluz as part of their Project WPA 2.0, an ongoing series of film screenings, concerts, lectures, and exhibitions that address the culture of the Great Depression or the current economic downturn.

Portoluz will present several more screenings this season with the Northwest Chicago Film Society, an organization that certainly knows its Depression-era cinema. The other films on the lineup are: Hal Ashby’s Woody Guthrie biography Bound for Glory (screening on 5/16); Elia Kazan’s 1960 Wild River (screening with the Depression-era short documentary People of the Cumberland, one of Kazan’s first film credits, on 5/30); Fritz Lang’s leftist 1938 musical You and Me (6/20), one of the director’s very weirdest (and that’s saying a lot), with songs by Kurt Weill; Frank Borzage’s 1932 After Tomorrow (6/27); Preston Sturges’s Christmas in July (7/11, natch); Julien Duvivier's La Belle Equipe (7/25), the one non-American movie on the slate; Hallelujah I’m a Bum, Al Jolson’s greatest film (8/8); and Cecil B. DeMille’s This Day in Age, which NCFS programmers promote as containing “the filthiest moments of pre-Code Hollywood” (8/22).

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ben Sachs

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20
Music
October 21

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories