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Members Only Screenings

Sometimes a film is so captivating that you find yourself staring at the screen long after the credits have ended. When this happens to us, we immediately want to share our experience. But not with just anyone. Our Members Only screenings present these rare, neglected, or simply amazing films to our inner circle of card-carrying cinephiles.

Come join us and watch a great film, meet great people and enjoy a lively discussion immediately following the screening. This event is exclusive—envied even—so sign up for a Facets Membership today.


November 16, 2015

Payday

Film still: Payday
4 stars
  —Roger Ebert
"Outstanding study of self-destructive country singer"
  —Film Journal International
"[Rip] Torn is at his most torrential... the film is that rare music-biz movie void of stars in its eyes or track marks on its arms, as Torn's singer-songwriter Maury Dann runs his own desperate gantlet of barroom gigs, DJ payola, and barely legal sexpot groupies. He's so good you can practically smell the highway rest stops and cigarette-burned upholstery"
  —Village Voice

Payday is one of those unique films produced in the early seventies by the big studios when they were looking to cash in on the youth audience. Like so many of these films, Payday's narrative is constructed around a road trip—or rather a tour—of the American south as Maury Dann (Rip Torn, Coming Apart, Maidstone, The Man Who Fell to Earth) promotes his new single "Payday." He is a second-rate country singer on a three-day binge, and Torn is incredible as he rolls through various towns balancing shows, pursuing groupies, band member disputes and criminal acts. Torn's magnificently ego-free performance reveals Maury as a charming rogue whose wily intelligence outstrips his talent. As a portrait of the music industry of that era, Maury bribes DJs to play records and makes sure to get paid in cash after yowling tunes in tattered roadhouses, the low-budget Payday both loves its subject and never lets its antihero off the hook.

Payday is the product of collaboration between novelist Don Carpenter and film director Daryl Duke. Carpenter's work as a novelist was dedicated to the exploration of those people who live along the margins of society, often itinerant and closed off emotionally. Every inch of Don Carpenter's script feels real, from the internal band issues—they are friends one day and hate each other the next—to the heavy pressure felt by radio DJs the singer depends on for popularity. When Payday could be moralizing about the dangers of excess and paranoia that Maury Dann so easily exemplifies, the film shifts gears and presents the audience with a new and often contradictory facet of Maury Dann's personality.

Payday, a critical fave though never a hit, is an overlooked masterpiece which evokes an era when American filmmakers made movies which were less influenced by corporate committees and focus groups, and deserves to be appreciated as well as enjoyed by contemporary audiences, now more than ever. "If you can't smoke it, drink it, spend it or love it... forget it."

Directed by Daryl Duke, 1972, U.S.A., 103 mins.

The screening will be preceded by a reception and followed by a discussion led by Facets Cinémathèque Film Program Director Charles Coleman.

Showtime

  • Monday, November 16 at 6:30 pm

Tickets

Facets Patron Circle Members and one guest admitted for free

There are no presale tickets—you must receive an invitation from us.

Not a member?

Join Us

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or charles@facets.org.

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation