In addition to our other series, summer selections include one of Martin Scorsese’s best and least-seen movies; a restored wuxia classic from King Hu; a 70s oddity featuring Talia Shire and John Belushi; a program of mid-90s gems by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki; a beautifully restored John Carpenter horror classic; the movie that launched Jim Jarmusch’s career; and a double feature of zany, fourth-wall-breaking farces from comedy legends Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson.
- Wed., Jun. 26 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A whirlwind black comedy about urban paranoia, After Hours follows yuppie Paul (Dunne), who, enticed by an alluring blonde (Arquette), dives into the rabbit hole that is post-Midnight Lower Manhattan in the early 1980s. Through a series of misunderstandings, Paul becomes the target of a lynch mob led by a beehived waitress (Teri Garr), a crazy sculptress (Verna Bloom), and a Mister Softee truck driver (O’Hara). Shot on a modest budget, this is one of Scorsese's most underrated works. The supporting cast also includes John Heard, Linda Fiorentino, and Cheech & Chong.
- Thu., Jul. 4 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Developed from one of his early short films, Jarmusch’s deadpan comedy classic of introduces us to Eva, Willie, and Eddie, three characters on the margins of 1980s America, and follows them across a bleak, but humorous, cultural landscape. Garnering prizes at Cannes and from the National Society of Film Critics, this low-budget gem helped establish Jarmusch as one of the premier voices in what was then a fresh and subversive "independent" American cinema.
- Fri., Jul. 5 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The directorial debut of screenwriter Tewkesbury (Nashville) is one of the most idiosyncratic and hardest-to-see features of the late 1970s. Leonard and Paul Schrader’s original screenplay follows young widow Dianne (Shire, in a rare leading role) on a road trip where she attempts to reconnect with the old boyfriends who had the most impact on her life: filmmaker Jeff (Richard Jordan), lounge lizard Eric (Belushi), and recluse Wayne (Carradine). Belushi, performing “Jailhouse Rock” more than a year before The Blues Brothers was released, is a standout in a cast that also includes John Houseman and Buck Henry. A new 35mm print, courtesy of Rialto Pictures, will be shown.
- Fri., Jul. 12 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
“Life is short and miserable, so let’s make the most of it.” One of Kaurismäki’s finest expressions of deadpan humanism follows a working-class Helsinki couple after they both lose their jobs. With poker-faced dignity, they struggle to get back on their feet, between bouts of drinking heavy enough to prompt the quintessential Kaurismäkian quip “I am on a journey to the end of vodka.” Preceded by Rocky VI (1986, 9 min, 35mm), Kaurismäki’s unlikely parody of Stallone’s Rocky IV. (MK)
- Fri., Jul. 19 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
King Hu’s wuxia knockout revisits the template of his masterpiece Dragon Inn, gathering conflicting bands of warriors, officials, and spies at a remote inn for a battle royale. Hu’s filmography frequently foregrounds female action heroes, and never more so than the high-flying girl gang that dominates this notably Tarantino-esque film. “The Fate of Lee Khan is to the Chinese martial arts movie what Once Upon a Time in the West is to the Italian Western: a brilliant anthology of its genre's theme and styles, yielding an exhilaratingly original vision” (Time Out). (MK)
- Fri., Jul. 26 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
In writer-director Carpenter's first theatrical feature after Halloween, a Northern California coastal town is besieged by vengeful ghosts 100 years after a legendary shipwreck. With a great cast that includes Jamie Lee Curtis and her real-life mom Janet Leigh, this underappreciated gem is also chillingly atmospheric and boasts one of Carpenter's finest musical scores. (BR)
- Fri., Aug. 2 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Broadway legends Olsen & Johnson followed-up their stage and film smash Hellzapoppin’ with this equally zany and gag-filled meta-farce. Chic and Ole play themselves, a pair of entertainers who, banned from Universal Studios, accept a promissory note from a penniless crook (Percy Kilbride) in order to bankroll their next movie. The great cast of comic character players also includes Hans Conried, Shemp Howard, and Franklin Pangborn, and there’s even a cameo from Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Plus, marvelous musical performances from Cass Daley, the Delta Rhythm Boys, and Count Basie! Never released on home video in any format, Crazy House is also an avowed favorite of Quentin Tarantino’s.
- Fri., Aug. 2 | 8:30 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Years before Abbott & Costello met Frankenstein, Universal released this wacky horror-comedy mashup, the studio’s third vehicle for famed vaudevillians Olsen & Johnson. The very loose story, an excuse for a string of very funny gags and in-jokes, involves a haunted house that happens to be right next door to Chic & Ole’s nightclub.