The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Chasing the Blues
2017, Scott Smith, USA, 77 min. With Grant Rosenmeyer, Jon Lovitz, Ronald L. Conner.
"Goofy and high-spirited." - Marilyn Ferdinand, Chicago Reader
"An extremely compelling and darkly comic ride." - Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
The 2 PM screening on Friday 10/12 is SOLD OUT!
Made in Chicago, this black-comic caper pays tribute to the city's musical legacy and its blues and bluesmen through a spirited fictional tale of a cursed record, based on a short story by Chicago writer Kevin Guilfoile. On the very day that Alan (Rosenmeyer of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), obsessed record collector and convicted felon, is released from prison, he resumes his search for the object that has been the holy grail of his life. Back in 1938, the wanted murderer Jimmy Kane Baldwin walked into a South Side studio and recorded a haunting (and haunted, it turns out) demo, then disappeared. A smarmy Southern lawyer (former SNL star Lovitz), a dotty widow (Anna Maria Horsford of A MADEA CHRISTMAS), and an arch-rival record-store owner (Conner of "Empire" and "The Chi") are among the conmen, musicians, killers, and goofballs who race through a saga that extends from the 1930s to the present, and plays like an urban legend. DCP digital. (BS)
Thomasine & Bushrod
1974, Gordon Parks Jr., USA, 95 min. With Max Julien, Vonetta McGee.
"Negroes don't do that. Negroes sing and dance and steal chickens. They don't rob banks." So says an astonished white bystander in this nearly forgotten memento of the outlaw spirit that infiltrated American cinema in the post-BONNIE AND CLYDE era. Actor-writer Julien (THE MACK) and director Parks (SUPER FLY) brought a blaxploitation background to this revisionist western that upsets racial and gender stereotypes as well as genre conventions. Automobiles replace horses in 1911 Texas, where bounty hunter Thomasine (McGee) and outlaw Bushrod (Julien) join forces to pull off a series of daring bank robberies while eluding the rabidly vengeful Sheriff Bogardie (George Murdock). Glynn Turman's colorful turn as a jive-talking Jamaican gunslinger adds to the film's freewheeling pastiche of genres and eras. 35mm archival print. (MR)