The Chicago Film Society Presents

Tue, Oct 22nd, 2019
Mon, Nov 4th, 2019
Mon, Dec 2nd, 2019

The Chicago Film Society comes to the Music Box for special presentations, all on glorious celluloid. The programs classic features, underseen rarities, cult films, short subjects, trailer reels and more.

The Chicago Film Society makes rare and classic films available to local audiences in their original forms—on 35mm and 16mm motion picture film. Our screenings spotlight the restoration efforts of archives, studios, and private collectors, as well as the experience of seeing films projected in a theater with an audience. Through an array of program notes, extended blog entries, and introductory remarks before each screening, the Chicago Film Society endeavors to bring new notions of the cultural and material history of cinema to the public. The Chicago Film Society is a 501©(3) non-profit organization. It was established by Julian Antos, Becca Hall, and Kyle Westphal in 2011.

For more information on The Chicago Film Society, visit


Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the Music Box on the night of the presentation. Advance Tickets may be available for certain programs, check individual film links for details.

CLICK HERE to purchase Advance Tickets for JAZZ '34

Movies & Showtimes for
The Chicago Film Society Presents


A FILM BY: Charles Stone III
WRITTEN BY: Shawn Schepps (story), Tina Gordon (screenplay)
STARRING: Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones

Presented by the Chicago Film Society

Nick Cannon stars as an incoming freshman and talented snare drum player at the fictional Atlanta A&T University, a place where the halftime shows far outshine the football. In a beautiful trifecta of egos, he’s also an incorrigible show-off who clashes with his controlling percussion leader (Leonard Roberts) and his band director (Orlando Jones), a man so dead set against modern music he counters their rival band’s au courant hip-hop compositions with “Flight of the Bumblebee.” DRUMLINE’s depiction of black college life is a rare and much-needed addition to Hollywood cinema, yet its most tremendous achievement may lie in its production: the competition scenes showcase some of the greatest real-life marching bands of the South, and they are beautifully shot, heart-pounding affairs, with the final showdown being well worth the price of admission.

Technical Information

Production Year: 2002
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 118 mins
Format: 35mm

Jazz '34: Remembrances of Kansas City Swing

A FILM BY: Robert Altman
STARRING: Harry Belafonte

Presented by the Chicago Film Society | CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets

Believe it or not, Robert Altman once wound up directing an episode of the PBS culture-vulture staple Great Performances. JAZZ ’34 was conceived as an exploratory footnote to Altman’s 1996 narrative feature KANSAS CITY, reusing its sets and some of its cast to fashion a memory piece based on the director’s boyhood recollections of his hometown’s hottest clubs. Harry Belafonte narrates, but mostly stays out of the way of the performances, which need no elaboration. Employing some of the finest jazz interpreters of the ’90s (including Joshua Redman, James Carter, Geri Allen, and David “Fathead” Newman) as stand-ins, surrogates, and reanimators of the ’30s sound, JAZZ ’34 is a concert film of ghostly exuberance. This expanded ‘theatrical’ version never actually saw theatrical release in the US.

Print courtesy of Robert Altman Collection, UCLA Film & Television Archive

Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of their 50th Anniversary.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1977
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 72 mins
Format: 35mm

Over the Edge

A FILM BY: Jonathan Kaplan
WRITTEN BY: Tim Hunter, Charles S. Haas
STARRING: Matt Dillon, Michael Eric Kramer, Pamela Ludwig

Presented by the Chicago Film Society | Screenwriter Tim Hunter in Person! | CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets

Amidst the soul-sucking prefabs and potential real estate developments of New Granada, Colorado, is a seething, angry mass of kids: ignored by their parents, sick with boredom, deeply loyal to each other, distrustful of authority, and not a whole lot to do except cause a whole lot of trouble. Inspired by a local newspaper article about a rash of juvenile crimes in the suburbs, writers Charles Haas and Tim Hunter created a script about the implosion of a middle-class planned community and rounded up a crew of very young and eerily talented nonactors, including the burning ember that was a 14-year-old Matt Dillon. The result was one of the most beautiful and respectful films about teenage rebellion ever made. Woefully mismanaged by a studio that made weak attempts to market it as a horror film before dropping it from theaters altogether, OVER THE EDGE became a cult classic, influencing celebrity slackers from Kurt Cobain to Richard Linklater.

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive

Technical Information

Production Year: 1979
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 95 mins
Format: 35mm

Music Box Theatre

3733 N Southport Ave Chicago, IL 60613 773 871 6604