Archive: Session 2
July 11 - September 19, 2009
An off-shoot of Facets' long-running, popular film school program, Facets Night School
digs into cinema's wild side with special Saturday night midnight lectures
on cult favorites led by Facets' expert staff, followed by screenings of the films and post-screening discussions
. It's a schooling in Midnight Movies
that you won't find anywhere else!
Horror greats, sci-fi wonders, action and kung-fu whirlwinds, exploitation favorites, classic and contemporary oddities, black comedies, rock 'n' roll docs, crazy animation and much more all go under the microscope at the hands of Facets' movie obsessives!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Brian Elza presents
Ivan the Terrible: Ruling After Midnight
Ivan the Terrible: Part One
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, 1944
In J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum's Midnight Movies book, the critics offered up suggestions for dusty gems that would shine anew at the witching hour. "Other sublime mixtures of the lurid and profound which have a distinctive poetic midnight flavor: Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II, which intermittently comes across as the greatest Flash Gordon serial ever made." Well, lets put that throwaway line on page 317 to the test.
Facets' staff writer Brian Elza will bring Part I's jam-packed mise-en-scène down to earth, and explain how to make room for yourself amidst all the excess in Sergei Eisenstein's dense, enchanting, and surprisingly campy historical epic.
Brian Elza is Facets' Catalog Writer/Researcher. He received his Masters in Film Studies from Emory University in 2006. He has lectured on Bergman and German Expressionism, and presented at the 2007 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference on the relationship between Twin Peaks fandom and Ivan the Terrible scholarship. He also plays hot licks in a metal band. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include Mining The Holy Mountain: The Influence of Jodorowsky on Conservative Action Movies and Progressive Rock Music.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Jason Makman presents
Turning Back The Clock Around Flavor Flav's Neck:
Hip-Hop in a Time Capsule
Directed by Charlie Ahearn, 1982
The Eighties are making a fierce comeback, but one aspect of the era never left.. Hip-hop culture survived and thrived. In fact, it grows in size and scope each year. Rappers win Oscars, back up dancers create empires, DJ's start ground-breaking music labels, and graffiti artists exhibit works at the world's greatest museums - all of this partially attributable to Hollywood's early depictions of the young art form,, including Breakin', House Party, Rappin' and Wild Style.
is not just a document of an explosive cultural movement, it's a love story; a tale of an anti-hero struggling for a place in the world, and it was the spark between downtown and uptown art scenes in early 80's New York. Jason Makman takes a look at where this whole subculture started and how far it has come. The B-Boy, the DJ, the MC, and the Graffiti artist will all be represented during this exciting evening.
Pitchfork ticket stub holders receive $1 off admission price!
is a graduate of Denison University with a degree in film production and history. He has participated in many of Split Pillow's 72 hour film contests (earning recognition for direction on the short, Mixed Emotions
), and has also worked with Chicago staples such as The Chicago International Children's Film Festival, Facets, Blue Man Group, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and with Andrew Morman on the feature film, Sympathy
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Lew Ojeda presents
Ha, Ha, Ha, Thud!: What's So Funny About
the Violence in Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky
Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky
Directed by Ngai Kai Lam, 1991
One of the most outrageously violent and gory martial arts films ever made, Riki Oh is so excessive that its many fans consider it a grotesque physical comedy more than an action film. The plot follows mild-mannered Riki, who takes vicious revenge on the drug dealers who killed his sister. He then lands in jail, where he becomes a hero to the oppressed inmates, eventually leading them in an uprising. Lew Ojeda dives into the insanity to dissect a film that "gives new meaning to the term over-the-top" (Asian Cult Cinema).
Lew Ojeda is a Facets Personal Video Consultant and Catalog Writer. His film reviews have been published in Shock Cinema and The Empty Closet. Lew has also produced and directed local TV programs in Rochester, New York.
Previous Facets Night School classes taught include Regurgitating a Cult
Classic: The Hidden Feasts of Eat the Rich.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Bruce Neal presents
Mystery Play Freakout!!, or What Would Manson Do?:
The Religion of Paranoia vs. The Paranoia of Religion in a
Psycho '70s Apocalyptic Smack-Down
God Told Me To
Directed by Larry Cohen, 1976
In this epic suspense thriller by Larry Cohen, a series of bizarre, motiveless murders send a religious New York cop on a manhunt for a mysterious cult leader. Bruce Neal digs into this oddity from the famed director behind cult classics such as It's Alive and Q the Winged Serpent, examining the film's history, its projections of religion and paranoia in the 1970s, and more.
Bruce Neal is a Facets Personal Video Consultant and has worked in underground theater, performance art and stand-up comedy. Bruce was a co-founder of the performance art group The Dol Furies and his work has been featured on NPR, PBS, HBO, Stage Left, Prop Theatre, Chopin Theatre, Cabaret Metro, Theatre IgLoo, Lounge Ax and many others. Bruce recently completed work on the film, Dream Havana, which went on to win best documentary at the Chicago and Orlando Latino Film Festivals. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include The Invisibles are Exploding: Toxic Trickle-Down in the Reagan Era, a look at the horror-comedy Street Trash.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Susan Doll presents
Elvis 101: How to Appreciate an Elvis Movie
Viva Las Vegas
Directed by George Sidney, 1964
"The sizzling combination of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret is enough to carry Viva Las Vegas over the top"
The King's movies are unfairly roasted by culture critics, biographers, and others who just don't know their history. The story about why they are so loathed is an interesting example of the cultural biases of the mainstream media. Learn about Elvis, his movies, and the media hellhounds who dogged him his entire career.
Susan Doll is the writer/researcher for the Facets Video label. She holds a PhD in film studies from Northwestern University and is the author of Elvis for Dummies, Florida on Film, The Films of Elvis Presley, Best of Elvis, Elvis Album, Elvis: Forever in the Groove, and more. Susan also writes for Turner Classic Movie's blog, MovieMorlocks.com. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include Night of the Hunter: A Fractured Fairy Tale.
Note: Susan Doll is the author of the recently-released book, Elvis for Dummies, and she'll be signing copies before the lecture.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Jenny Grist presents
Keep on Truckin':
Dysfunctional Family Survival in Terry Zwigoff's Crumb
Directed by Terry Zwigoff, 1994
"It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire"
-New York Times
Robert Crumb, the multi-talented underground comic book artist, is profiled in this unique, in-depth documentary portrait by director Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World, Art School Confidential). Emerging from a dysfunctional family, it's a wonder that Crumb managed to channel his peculiar take on the world into a relatively socially acceptable form. Jenny Grist looks at the life and career of the reluctant counter-culture figure, Zwigoff's portrayal of the artist and the culture of familial dysfunction within which he lived.
New York Times
Jenny Grist is Facets Customer Service Manager.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Eric Holst presents
Fletching Out the Details:
Does This Class Entail My Dressing Up as Little Bo Peep?
Directed by Michael Ritchie, 1985
Chevy Chase shines in this comic neo-noir - an adaptation of Gregory McDonald's novel about a down-on-his-luck newspaperman with a knack for stumbling upon mysteries. Andrew Bergman's inspired screenplay has Chase running around L.A. in a variety of wacky undercover costumes, dropping deadpan, wise-ass one-liners, and pissing off the crooks, the cops, and his editor as he tries to bring down a drug ring.
Eric Holst, 6'1'' with an afro 6'5'', explores the detailed nuances of director Michael Richie's noir style, as well as the film's relationship with post-Watergate investigative journalism.
Eric Holst is Facets' Operation Manager.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Patrick Ogle presents
Cemetery Man: The Last of the Great Italian Knock-Offs
Directed by Michele Soavi, 1994
Rupert Everett (The Madness of King George) stars in this horror-comedy (based on the best-selling novel by Tiziano Sclavias) as a hapless Italian groundskeeper who has a cemetery full of vengeful dead who won't stay dead, including the woman he loves (Anna Falchi, The City of Lost Children).
Patrick Ogle looks at this acclaimed, though oft-overlooked, zombie fave, digging into zombie symbiotics, symbols and signs of the living dead, and how the film falls into the great Italian horror tradition.
Patrick Ogle is Facets' Media Relations Coordinator, and a PR person, promoter, recording artist and writer. A humor, business and travel writer for the Miami Herald for 6 years, Ogle is a native of Florida which is positively awash in zombies.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Dan Mucha presents
If You Want to Sing Out: Hal Ashby's Cosmic Dance
Harold and Maude
Directed by Hal Ashby, 1971
"Harold And Maude represents the birth of modern indie quirk"
-Onion AV Club
Famously panned by Variety upon its release as having "all the fun and gaiety of a burning orphanage," Harold and Maude soon disappeared from view only to resurface and become one of the most beloved cult films of all time.
Coinciding with the recent resurgence of interest in the life and work of director Hal Ashby, Dan Mucha traces the evolution of this freewheeling
classic from script to screen and beyond.
Dan Mucha is the Distribution Coordinator for the Facets Video label. In addition to Mods, Rockers, and the Cult of Quadrophenia from the first session of Facets Night School, his past Facets Film School classes include True to Life: The Films of Louis Malle and The British New Wave: From Angry Young Men to Swinging London.
Onion AV Club
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Phil Morehart presents
Cheap Tricks & Suburban Kicks: Re-Discovering a Lost Teen Classic
Over the Edge
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan, 1979
It's bell-bottoms, Farrah hair, bongs and rock 'n' roll galore in this disturbing teen drama about alienated suburban youth who go on a rampage after being pushed too far by insensitive police and out-of-touch educators and parents. Reportedly Kurt Cobain's favorite film, Over the Edge features the debut of Matt Dillon, solid performances by Vincent Spano, Pamela Ludwig and Michael Kramer, a script co-written by Tim Hunter (River's Edge) and an energetic soundtrack by Cheap Trick, KISS, Van Halen, The Ramones, The Cars and more.
Phil Morehart explores a teen classic lost in the haze of the Seventies, revealing its real-life backstory, troubled distribution, and eventual inspirations, its relationship to teen dramas such as Rebel Without a Cause, and its reflection of U.S. teen culture in the '70s.
New York Times
Phil Morehart is Facets' Editor. Prior to joining Facets, Phil was a programmer for the Cincinnati Film Society. He also writes on film, theater, music and visual arts for Chicago Journal Newspaper and Cincinnati CityBeat Newspaper, and is a contributor to the upcoming book, The Armchair Reader Guide Goes Hollywood. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include There's No More Room in Hell, So Let's Go Shopping: A Look at George A.
Romero's Dawn of the Dead.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Cary Jones Elza presents
Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, and... Fashion?:
Style vs. Substance in Besson's The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element
Directed by Luc Besson, 1997
In this haute couture-designed, futuristic tour-de-force from Luc Besson, Bruce Willis stars as a cab driver who becomes an unsuspecting hero when he picks up the kind of fare that only comes along every 5000 years: a perfect being, a perfect beauty, a perfect weapon (Milla Jovovich). Together they must save the world.
Cary Jones Elza dives into the most expensive French film in history, looking at the costumes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, the intersection of "high" and "low" culture within the narrative and re: the film as a whole, and the depictions of "futuristic" gender, sexuality, and race politics (especially in the film's aesthetics), religion (particularly old vs. new, and morality in the digital age), and rapid-fire information culture and "MTV editing."
Los Angeles Times
Cary Jones Elza is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, and is currently writing her dissertation on female figures and boundary crossing between real and imagined worlds, from Alice in Wonderland to Coraline. She earned her MA in Film Studies at Emory, where she wrote a thesis on Superman, and has also taught film at Oakton Community College. She has published articles on Pokemon, Smallville, and The X-Files. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include David Bowie's Codpiece, or: How Girls of the 1980s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Backlash: A Look at Jim Henson's Labyrinth.
For all inquiries about Facets Night School, email email@example.com.