The weather has finally hit 80°, the rain has subsided and it seems that the summer has officially arrived in Chicago. Lake Shore Drive, North Avenue Beach and sidewalks of every restaurant in town are packed with eager Chicagoans ready to soak in the few warm moments of summer. One of my favorite things about summer in Chicago is the outdoor film screenings that take place throughout the season. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not always so accommodating. For a visually engaging experience without the risk of humidity or rain, check out Facets Night School, running every Saturday night this summer at midnight.
Located at 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Facets Multimedia is a bastion of foreign, independent and eclectic film. The visual arts venue is a mainstay in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood and features special lectures, premiere screenings, classes, lectures and events as well as an approachable storefront where commercial and obscure movies are available to rent. The Night School should not be confused with the summer school of your youth. It is the rebellious offshoot of Facets' established film school program. The Facets' crew has taken lengths to provide a fresh and fun approach to learning and entertainment. Lectures are conceptualized and presented by Facets' staff and film enthusiasts. These late night gatherings are more than school, they are happenings of visual art complaints with giveaways, grand house trailers and post-screening discussions. This series however, delves into the dark and peculiar genres of cinema examining the celebrated cult classics of the 20th century. The features are provocative, insane, absurd and frightening.
Session One of the Night School closed on June 27th, with George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978). Session Two will begin July 11th with Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible and an accompanying lecture from Brian Elza. Although the complete second series is not yet finalized, films set to screen may include: Viva Las Vegas (George Sidney, 1964) and Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971). At five dollars per class, it is a summer school that should not be skipped.
"Romero's sequel to Night of the Living Dead ups the zombie action, violence, blood and nihilism to follow a quartet who find refuge from the flesh-eating undead in an abandoned shopping mall. Or do they? Phil Morehart dishes on this landmark horror masterpiece, from its bleak satire of American consumerism, comic book action and groundbreaking gore FX to its impact upon the horror genre and regional independent filmmaking."
--description from Facets' website
For more information please visit www.facets.org.
-Robyn Farrell Roulo
(above image courtesy of Facets)