Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Gene Siskel Film Center introduces TALKING PICTURES lecture series with inaugural programs led by John Sayles, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Sergio Mims; starts Feb. 23!





World cinema of the 1940s; the films of John Sayles; and images of the Black male in American cinema among topics to be discussed in the Film Center’s new multi-week virtual cinema seminars

Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, indie filmmaker 

John Sayles, and film critic Sergio Mims to lead inaugural programs

CHICAGO—The Gene Siskel Film Center is pleased to introduce Talking Pictures, a new virtual film lecture series, led by filmmakers, scholars, critics, and community partners. This new seminar series offers patrons the opportunity for deeper engagement with the moving image through the exploration of film genres, auteurs, eras, and themes. The virtual programs will take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm via the Film Center’s Eventive platform.

The first series, “World Cinema of the 1940s with Jonathan Rosenbaum,” which explores films from the volatile and transformational World War II era, will take place every Tuesday at 6:00pm from February 23 though April 13. The second series, “Sayles on Sayles,” which takes a deep dive into the indie auteur’s catalog--led by the filmmaker himself-- will take place every Monday in March at 6:00pm; and the third series, “Images of the Black Male in American Cinema,” which examines the depiction of the Black male in film and its impact on society, will take place on Mondays at 6pm from April 5 through May 31. Additional series will be added soon.

Participants will watch films on their own, using a source list with streaming links provided by the Film Center; all films are available on various streaming platforms for free or a small rental fee. Patrons can purchase a ticket for a single Talking Pictures lecture for $6 (Film Center members) or $12 (General Admission) or purchase a series pass for an entire series at a discounted rate.  All conversations will have the option for closed captioning. 

“The Film Center has long boasted a robust lecture series, in conjunction with the School of the Art Institute, with esteemed lecturers offering commentary on and insights into our programming. Talking Pictures is a way to bring these discussions into people’s homes and expand our offerings to include speakers from all over the country or even world. Part of our mission is to provide cultural context to films, and Talking Pictures is the perfect way to do so at a time when people are hungry for engagement,” said Jean de St. Aubin, Executive Director of the Film Center.

Here is the complete schedule of Talking Pictures programs as of 2/16/21: 

World Cinema of the 1940s - February 23 through April 13 / Tuesdays at 6:00 pm CT

Jonathan Rosenbaum presents eight films that provide a suggestive and varied representation of the 1940s, a decade of transformation that saw the end of World War II and ushered in an era of American optimism and global change. Cinema provides audiences with an entertaining and instructive view of history, and with this series, Rosenbaum will explore a cross section of perspectives from the United States to France, Russia, Italy, mainland China, and Japan. Each session will explore themes, genres, and filmmakers alongside examinations of production details and historical context.

Member Ticket per session - $6

General admission ticket per session - $12

Member series pass - $45

General admission series pass - $85 https://gsfc.eventive.org/passes/buy/talking_pictures_world_cinema_of_the_1940s_series_pass


February 23: CHRISTMAS IN JULY (Preston Sturges, 1940, 67 min.) 

March 2: LA NUIT FANTASTIQUE (Marcel L’Herbier, 1942, 103 min.) 

March 9: I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943, 69 min.) & THE LEOPARD MAN (Jacques Tourneur, 1943, 66 min.) 

March 16: IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART II (Sergei Eisenstein, 1945, 86 min.) 

March 23: PAISAN (Roberto Rossellini, 1946, 126 min.)

March 30: THE BICYCLE THIEF (Vittorio de Sica, 1948, 89 min.)

April 6: SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN (Fei Mu, 1948, 90 min.)

April 13: LATE SPRING (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949, 107 min.)

Jonathan Rosenbaum was film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. His 15 books include CINEMATIC ENCOUNTERS (two volumes), GOODBYE CINEMA, HELLO CINEPHILIA, DISCOVERING ORSON WELLES, ESSENTIAL CINEMA, ABBAS KIAROSTAMI (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa), MOVIE WARS, DEAD MAN, MOVIES AS POLITICS, PLACING MOVIES, GREED, MIDNIGHT MOVIES (with J. Hoberman), and MOVING PLACES. He has taught at New York University, the University of California campuses at Berkeley, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Sarajevo’s FilmFactory. He maintains a web site archiving most of his work at jonathanrosenbaum.net

More information

Sayles on Sayles - March 1 through March 29 / Mondays at 6:00 pm CT 

Who better than John Sayles to lead an exploration of the filmography of John Sayles? In this exclusive series of five film conversations moderated by the Film Center’s Director of Programming Rebecca Fons, the Oscar-nominated indie filmmaker John Sayles himself will choose and discuss one of his own films each Monday night in March, offering unique insights and opening up dialogue.  A pioneer in films with a conscience, Sayles' storytelling springs from a backdrop of truth and history. 

Member ticket per session - $6

General Admission per session - $12

Members series pass - $25

General Admission series pass - $50 https://gsfc.eventive.org/passes/buy/talking_pictures_sayles_on_sayles_series_pass


March 1: CITY OF HOPE (1991, 129 min.) 

March 8: LONE STAR (1996, 135 min.) 

March 15: LIMBO (1999, 103 min.)

March 22: CASA DE LOS BABYS (2003, 95 min.)

March 29: HONEYDRIPPER (2007, 123 min.) 

Oscar-nominated director, screenwriter, novelist, and actor John Sayles is among the most prominent independent filmmakers in the United States. Sayles created an oeuvre in which the personal and the political intersect at the heart of the American experience. Beginning as an author, Sayles has published numerous award-winning novels and short stories. His writing talent made him a sought-after screenwriter in Hollywood, and Sayles eventually made his directorial debut with RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS 7 in 1980. Other highlights from Sayles career include LIANNA, MATEWAN, THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, CITY OF HOPE, PASSION FISH, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, LIMBO, SUNSHINE STATE, and  HONEYDRIPPER, to name a few. Three decades, countless films, and two Academy Award nominations (Best Original Screenplay, PASSION FISH and LONE STAR) have earned Sayles the title of a leading independent director of our time. 

More information


Images of The Black Male in American Cinema - April 5 through May 31, / Mondays at 6:00 pm CT

Sergio Mims examines images of the Black male in American Cinema from BIRTH OF A NATION to ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI. How have Black men been portrayed in American films from the silent era to today? We’ll examine stereotypical depictions of Black men in film and how these have contributed to negative perceptions of Black men in society.  However, the series will also examine efforts by filmmakers to counteract and even satirize those images.

Member ticket - $6

General Admission ticket - $12

Member series Pass - $45

General Admission series pass - $90



April 5: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (D.W.Griffith, 1915, 193 min.) 

April 12: THE GIRL FROM CHICAGO (Oscar Micheaux, 1932, 70 min.) (You Tube)

April 19: CABIN IN THE SKY  (Vincente Minnelli, 1943, 98 min.) 

April 26: NO WAY OUT (Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, 1950, 106 min.) 

May 3: UPTIGHT (Jules Dassin, 1968,104 min.)  

May 10: IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (Norman Frederick Jewison, 1967, 110 min.) 

May 17: SUPER FLY (Gordon Roger Parks Jr., 1972, 93 min.) 

May 24: MO BETTER BLUES (Spike Lee, 1990, 122 min.) 

May 31: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (Regina King, 2021, 104 min.) 

Sergio Mims is a film critic, journalist, the host and producer of the weekly Bad Mutha’ Film Show on WHPK-FM (88.5 FM Chicago), and a screenwriter who appears every week on the Movie Madness podcast on the Now Playing Network. He is also the co-founder and co-programmer of the Gene Siskel Film Center's Black Harvest Film Festival, which is one of the largest Black film festivals in the world and will be celebrating it's 27th year in 2021. Sergio is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and is also a commentator for Blu-ray DVDs for Vinegar Syndrome, Kino Lorber, Arrow Films, and Imprint Video.

More information


Gene Siskel Film Center

Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center, a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has presented critically acclaimed cinema to an annual audience of 85,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at saic.edu.


Programming at the GSFC is currently suspended due to COVID-19. 
Stay engaged with us through Film Center From Your Sofa series!
Also be sure to check out our virtual chats with filmmakers and other special guests in our Screen to Screen program!
Looking for ways to support us during this time? Click here!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that include hidden links or URLs to other sites will not be posted and reported as spam.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.