MADISON STREET THEATRE
“FILMS FOR $5IVE”
WEEK 1 – January 13 through 14 - Performance
A GOOD MAN - 2011 Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn, 88 min - Fri, 1/13 7PM & Sat, 1/14 2PM
This soaring, no-holds-barred documentary follows the two-year artistic journey of acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones (Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin, FELA!) as he struggles to incorporate his own evolving and conflicting impressions of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy into the creation of “Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray,” a piece commissioned by the Ravinia Festival to commemorate the Lincoln bicentennial.
WELCOME TO ANATEVKA - 2001, Ruth Leitman and James Jernigan, 75 min - Sat 1/14 7PM & Sun, 1/15 2PM
22 adult actors with developmental disabilities, 8 theater professionals, 13 high school drama students, 10 weeks until curtain of their performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Breakdowns, crushes, catfights, seizures… ‘Break a leg.’---
WEEK 2 – January 20 through 22 - Happiness
INQUIRING NUNS- 1968, Gordon Quinn, 80 min - Fri 1/20 7PM & Sat 1/21 2PM
Two young nuns explore Chicago--from a supermart to the Art Institute and in front of churches on Sunday--confronting people with the crucial question, "Are you happy?" They meet many people--a lonely girl, a happy mother, a nun, some lovers, two hippie musicians, a lady sociologist, a college professor, even Stepin Fetchit; and receive many answers--"Happiness is the absence of fear," "Avoiding people," "Rasberries," "Joy in knowing Christ." The humor and sadness of these honest encounters lift the film beyond its interview format to a serious and moving inquiry into the concerns of contemporary man, and also into the circumstances in which men will actually express their concerns.
GRAVEYARD (shorts) and SOMETHING BETTER SOMEWHERE ELSE - 2010 / 11, Ron Lazeretti - 10 min & 76 min, Sat 1/21 7PM & Sun 1/22 2PM
Opening shorts: first three parts of GRAVEYARD: While the rest of the world sleeps, Pete the Custodian and Damon the Security Guard share late-night revelations, epiphanies, confessions, lies and whatever else they can think of to keep from dying of boredom before the sun comes up. SOMETHING BETTER SOMEWHERE ELSE: A collective tale of yearning and restlessness told through four distinct but thematically linked stories. Inspired by the best short story collections and the almost lost art of the concept album, the film explores the question: Why is it that who and where we are so often pales in comparison to who and where we imagine we could be?
WEEK 3 – January 27 through 29 - The Arts
GOLUB - 2004, Gordon Quinn, Jerry Blumenthal, 80 min - Fri 1/27 7PM & Sat 1/28 2PM
Golub is a 1988 documentary film, produced by Kartemquin Films, that examines the life and work of controversial painter, Leon Golub. Inspired by war, political oppression and the fight for Free Speech, Golub and his paintings are famous for their depictions of extreme violence. Also featured prominently in the film is his wife, anti-war feminist and artist, Nancy Spero. The documentary tracks Golub from starting with a blank canvas to a touring North American exhibition and eventually to an exhibition in Northern Ireland
TYPEFACE - 2009, Justine Nagan, 59 min - Sat 1/28 7PM & 1/29 2PM
Charting the intersection between rural America and contemporary graphic design
WEEK 4 – February 3 through 5 - Politics
TONY & JANINA’S AMERICAN WEDDING - 2010, Ruth Leitmam, 80 min - Fri 2/3 7PM & Sat 2/4 2PM
This film follows a Polish American family through the red tape of the current U.S. immigration system, telling the untold human rights story of post-9/11, that every undocumented immigrant in America faces today.
BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA - 2009, Alicia Sams, Amy Rice, 116 min - Sat, 2/4 7PM & Sun 2/5 2PM
2009 documentary film produced by Edward Norton broadcast in November 2009 on HBO, which follows Barack Obama and various members of his campaign team, including David Axelrod, through the two years leading up to the United States presidential election on November 4, 2008.
WEEK 5 – February 10 through 12 - The ‘Come On’
TOOTS - 2006, Kristi Jacobson, 85 min - Fri 2/10 7PM & Sat 2/11 2PM
Outlines the life of Toots Shor (1903-1977), Manhattan's premier saloonkeeper from the year 1940 to the year 1959. At 18, he relocated from South Philadelphia to New York and became a speakeasy bouncer. In 1940, he opened his restaurant, Toots Shor's at 51 West 51st St., which was frequented by sports heroes, actors, mobsters, cops, politicians, visiting dignitaries, and writers. The film is commentated by Shor's daughter, Frank Gifford, Peter Duchin, former sports writers, and others as the filmmaker mixes still photographs, archive footage, including an appearance on "This Is Your Life," and an audio-tape interview from 1975 to present a portrait of New York during and after Prohibition and of a lovable, larger-than-life, uniquely New York public figure.
LIPSTICK & DYNAMITE - 2005, Ruth Leitmam, 80 min - Sat 2/11 7PM & Sun 2/12 2PM
Lipstick and Dynamite is a look into the lives of the women who made their living on the professional wrestling circuit. Full of outstanding archival footage of wrestlers like The Fabulous Moolah and Johnnie Mae Young, Lipstick and Dynamite is primarily concerned with the lives of hardship and hard work these superstars of the ring created for themselves. It could have been the sex, money, injuries, and intrigue that dominated their lives on the road, but the competitive passion of these women have for their sport shines through in director Ruth Leitman’s touching portrait of women who lived hard, and fought even harder.
WEEK 6 – February 17 through 19 - Women
REFRIGERATOR MOTHERS - 2003, David Simpson, 80 min - Fri 2/17 7PM & Sat 2/18 2PM
It is America of the 1950s and 1960s, when a woman's most important contribution to society is generally considered to be her ability to raise happy, well-adjusted children. But for the mother whose child is diagnosed with autism, her life's purpose will soon become a twisted nightmare. Looking for help and support, she encounters instead a medical establishment that pins the blame for her child's bizarre behaviors on her supposedly frigid and detached mothering. Along with a heartbreaking label for her child, she receives a devastating label of her own. She is a "refrigerator mother". Refrigerator Mothers paints an intimate portrait of an entire generation of mothers, already laden with the challenge of raising profoundly disordered children, who lived for years under the dehumanizing shadow of professionally promoted "mother blame." Once isolated and unheard, these mothers have emerged with strong, resilient voices to share the details of their personal journeys. Through their poignant stories, Refrigerator Mothers puts a human face on what can happen when authority goes unquestioned and humanity is removed from the search for scientific answers.
LIFE LESSONS / MY MOTHER’S IDEA – 2011 Maria Finitzo, 19min / 47 min - Sat 2/18 7PM & Sun 2/19 2PM
Director Finitzo (TERRA INCOGNITA) based her humorous fictional short LIFE LESSONS on her own childhood experiences as the awkward daydreamer in a dance class of aspiring ballerinas. The short film became the inspiration for the documentary MY MOTHER’S IDEA, which alternates a making-of chronicle of LIFE LESSONS with a fond history of Chicago’s legendary Stone Camryn School of Ballet and its two charismatic teachers Walter Camryn and Bentley Stone, who ran the school for 45 years.
WEEK 7 – February 24 through 26 - Family
ALMA - 1999, Ruth Leitman, 94 min - Fri 2/24 7PM & Sat 2/25 2PM
Alma Thorpe's bizarre views on sexuality, motherhood and mail-order sweepstakes make her a living, breathing shrine to Southern Gothic. This intimate and darkly humorous film follows Alma's daughter Margie's struggle with a mentally ill mother and an abusive father. Framed by accusations of incest, ALMA is an unflinching examination of family secrets and pain tangled up in love.
LISA BARCY - Various, Lisa Barcy, 80 min - Sat 2/25 7PM & 2/26 2PM
Animator Lisa Barcy uses a wide range of techniques, including Claymation, silhouette animation, and puppetry. Highly recommended for those whose interest in animation goes beyond Disney.
WEEK 8 – March 3 through 4 - Growing Up
FORDSON: FAITH, FASTING, FOOTBALL - 2011, Rashid Ghazl 92 min, Fri 3/2 7PM & Sat 3/3 2PM
Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football follows a predominately Arab-American high school football team from a working-class Detroit suburb as they practice for their big cross-town rivalry game during the last ten days of Ramadan, revealing a community holding onto its Islamic faith while they struggle for acceptance in post 9/11 America.
LOUDER THAN A BOMB - 2010, Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel 99 min, Sat 3/3 7PM & Sun 3/4 2PM
LOUDER THAN A BOMB chronicles the stereotype-confounding stories of four teams as they prepare for and compete in the 2008 LTAB poetry slam event. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the tempestuous lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa.
When & Where
Madison Street Theatre
Madison Street Theatre, NFP, is a theater building, an artists’ space steeped in the rich Chicago-storefront theater tradition. Located at 1010 Madison Street, in artistically centric, culturally diverse, Oak Park IL . Madison Street Theatre is proud of its commitment to providing audiences with the highest quality artistic work and to continuously working with artists whose passions lead them to dream, to discover, to create and to celebrate.