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CFS Presents PORTRAIT OF JENNIE in 35mm
Music Box Theatre
Chicago, IL
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CFS Presents PORTRAIT OF JENNIE in 35mm
PORTRAIT OF JENNIE
Directed by William Dieterle * 1948
There are supernatural romances and then theres "Portrait of Jennie"  an unassailable work of visionary delirium and towering claptrap that is easily the strangest film ever recalled fondly by your TCM-loving aunt. Starving artist Eben Adams (Joseph Cotten) doesnt know it yet, but one day hell graduate from turning out middle-aged juvenilia like flower and lighthouse paintings to creating works worthy of being hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His artistic maturation is accelerated by a chance encounter in Central Park with Jennie (Jennifer Jones), a flesh-and-blood Gibson Girl with the diction and dress of an earlier generation. Her apparition reappears to Eben periodically, each time a little older and a little more plausible as a romantic partner. A costly flop upon its belated release, the film embodied the obsessive zeal of producer David O. Selznick, but no amount of demonstrable good taste (music from Debussy, quotes from Euripides and Keats) could ground the materials innately surrealistic freak flag. A ghost story unmoored in time, "Portrait of Jennie" reaches back to silent cinema to find its most expressive and idiosyncratic aesthetic effects, summoning tinting and Magnascope back from a watery grave in the stupendous final reel. Cinematographer Joseph August would die of a heart attack before the production was completed, literalizing the films central conceit of an artwork dictated from the beyond. (KW)
86 min * The Selznick Studio * 35mm from The Walt Disney Company

Preceded by: Closed Mondays (Bob Gardiner, Will Vinton, 1974)  8 min  35mm

Location

Music Box Theatre (View)
3733 N Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
United States

Categories

None

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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