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Mon March 26, 2018

THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM

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THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM SERIES SCHEDULE


Friday March 23

TRY AND GET ME (1951, Cy Endfield) 7:00
BLACK LEGION (1937, Archie Mayo) 9:00

Saturday March 24

matinee
THE LAWLESS (1950, Joseph Losey) 2:00
M (1951, Joseph Losey) 3:45

evening
THE NAKED KISS (1964, Samuel Fuller) 7:00
MARKED WOMAN (1937, Lloyd Bacon) 9:00

Sunday March 25

matinee
HEROES FOR SALE (1933, William Wellman) 1:30
THEY WON’T FORGET (1937, Mervyn LeRoy) 3:15

evening
A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957, Elia Kazan) 6:00
MEET JOHN DOE (1941, Frank Capra) 8:30

Monday March 26

BODY AND SOUL (1947, Robert Rossen) 7:00
WE WERE STRANGERS (1949, John Huston) 9:15



THE SINGULAR programming skills of Elliot Lavine return to the revitalized Roxie with a vengeance, with THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM, his latest I WAKE UP DREAMING series, one that provides a breathtaking overview of classic Hollywood films that dared to expose the dark side of the American Dream.

“Even as America is dealing with that very same issue today, it’s amazing to see how great filmmakers brought all of this to our attention in earlier times,” Lavine notes. “This series is really the first time I’ve been able to cover so much of that territory.”

The twelve-film series plays from Friday March 23 through Monday March 26 at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco, scene of so many of Lavine’s groundbreaking festivals over the past quarter-century.

Lavine is co-producing with Don Malcolm’s Midcentury Productions, which has emerged as a unique purveyor of rare classic cinema from around the world.

“I’m thrilled that Elliot is going to bring back an American component to the Roxie with this truly brilliant series,” said Malcolm. “He has a unique grasp of that material, and nobody puts together double bills with the combination of subtlety and bravado that is his trademark. And this series just might be the best example of that yet.”



THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM, which presents films ranging from the 30s to the 60s, hones in on the promise and pitfalls that continue to bedevil America. Mob violence and psychological manipulation of the masses kicks things off on Opening Night with Cy Endfield’s chilling TRY AND GET ME! (1950), a film Lavine sees as capturing the origins of the restless anger of America’s white underclass and its potential for chaos.

“Does that sound familiar in present-day America?” he asks. “And BLACK LEGION (1937), which plays with it on Friday, shows how people can be manipulated into suspicion and hatred.”

A little of Malcolm’s influence can be felt in the Saturday matinee, featuring two of Blacklist victim Joseph Losey’s early Hollywood films that show his idealism and despair about an America he was soon forced to leave.

THE LAWLESS (1950) is a tough but tender little film that won’t give up on America’s chance to be multicultural—and Losey’s 1951 remake of Fritz Lang’s M is nothing short of miraculous. “I don’t think any other filmmaker could have done that without falling flat on their face,” Malcolm quipped.

Women fighting back from peril and exploitation are front and center Saturday night, when Lavine pairs THE NAKED KISS (1964) with MARKED WOMAN (1937). “Just a brilliant juxtaposition,” Malcolm says. ”Constance Towers has the role of a lifetime in NAKED KISS, a film steeped in so many previously unspoken aspects of male-female relations—and, as we know, the 60s is where all that explodes. And Bette Davis grows into her own steely persona in MARKED WOMAN, which does an amazing job of subverting the just-imposed Production Code.”

Sunday afternoon pairs two 30s films near and dear to Lavine’s heart. “It’s fascinating to see how pre-Code social commentary manages to survive after the Production Code,” he says, “and we get a great example of that with HEROES FOR SALE (1933) and THEY WON’T FORGET (1937). The latter made a star out of 18-year old Lana Turner despite the fact that she’s seen only in the opening scenes of the film before becoming a murder victim. What follows is one of the most uncompromisingly cynical looks at the law in all of American film, with Claude Rains reaching the zenith of his 30s roles as an amoral District Attorney.

The cynical spirit that marked HEROES FOR SALE (as well as many other 30s Hollywood “social injustice” pictures) never left Hollywood and filtered its way into the works of directors as diverse as Frank Capra and Elia Kazan. “Sunday night’s double bill captures that brilliantly,” Malcolm says. “HEROES FOR SALE morphs over time quite naturally into MEET JOHN DOE (1941), where a hero is manufactured for political ends, and then continues into A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957), which shows a world beset by media culture, with a manufactured hero who discovers his inner psychopath.”

THE SERIES concludes Monday with a heartfelt tribute to the great John Garfield, one of the most tragic casualties of the Blacklist era. “BODY & SOUL (1947) has one of the highest concentration of blacklisted talent in all the films made in the late 40s,” Lavine notes. “But the message never gets in the way of the action. It might be Garfield’s greatest performance.”

Sharing the program with BODY & SOUL is a rare and overlooked film with a remarkable pedigree. “WE WERE STRANGERS (1949) is John Huston as his most politically committed,” Don says. “It’s been overshadowed by his more popular works, but this one feels personal—he seems to be asking: when do people need to take matters into their own hands when their political leaders become oppressive? It’s a question I don’t think anyone in America expected to be grappling with at this point in our history, but Huston’s look at the slings & arrows of revolution contains much to chew on.”
THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM SERIES SCHEDULE Friday March 23 TRY AND GET ME (1951, Cy Endfield) 7:00 BLACK LEGION (1937, Archie Mayo) 9:00 Saturday March 24 matinee THE LAWLESS (1950, Joseph Losey) 2:00 M (1951, Joseph Losey) 3:45 evening THE NAKED KISS (1964, Samuel Fulle...
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Film / Television
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3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

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