Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feliz Navidada

© 2011 Hilary Barta

"Deck us all with boughs of Dali..." Here's my annual Christmas novelty song cd cover. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leo Segedin Show

Reception: Friday, November 19th 6-9 PM

***Art Opening***

Leopold Segedin

A Retrospective

November 1st - December 3rd, 2010

A selection of work spanning 60 years by
renowned painter and NEIU Professor

Emeritus, Leopold Segedin

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reign-y Day

Off to the Film Center tonight to see an archival print of Anthony Mann's Reign of Terror, shot by the great John Alton.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Passage to Adventure

Susan Hayward, Brian Donlevy and Dana Andrews in Canyon Passage.

The Music Box theater is in the middle of a Jacques Tourneur series in their weekend matinée. This weekend is Tourneur's terrific western Canyon Passage, starring Dana Andrews. That will be followed by The Fearmakers and Night (aka Curse) of the Demon.

Hoagy Carmichael sings "Ole Buttermilk Sky" in Canyon Passage.

The Film Center is in the middle of a weekly Film Noir series. This week they're screening Gilda. I'll be there next week for Otto Preminger's Whirlpool, starring Gene Tierney, Jose Ferrer and Richard Conte. Upcoming films include Crossfire, The Black Book/Reign of Terror, Out of the Past and In a Lonely Place.

Gene Tierney in Whirlpool.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Noir City Chicago 2

Eddie Muller's Noir City film festival returns to Chicago's Music Box Theatre, August 13-19, 2010. This year's line-up includes Cry Danger (in a newly restored print by the Film Noir Foundation), the Chicago based City that Never Sleeps, Gun Crazy, Nightmare Alley, Drive a Crooked Road, He Ran All the Way, Don't Bother to Knock, Sudden Fear, Cry of the City and Fly-By-Night. The entire Music Box summer schedule--including Noir Chicago--can be downloaded here.

San Diego show a no-go

I've had to cancel my plans to attend Comicon this week. Not that anyone will miss me in that madhouse. I'll see you all next year.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tutti Beauty

Catching up on a few films I've seen Bank of America Cinema I saw The Enchanted Cottage (John Cromwell, 1945), a fable of romantic fantasy that has not aged terribly well. Budd Boetticher's Decision at Sundown (1957) is another story, one of the oddest of Boetticher and Randolph Scott's chamber Westerns. As is usual with Boetticher, Decision features a very ambiguous take on the driven, revenge-seeking Western hero and villainous bad guy. Though criticized at Only the Cinema for an undercurrent of misogyny, I found that the film's female characters were far more interesting than is typical in Westerns, making many of the important decisions.

Up at Northwestern's Block Cinema in Evanston...Max Ophüls' 1934 film La Signora di Tutti (Everybody's Woman). An impressive early work from the master, La Signora di Tutti has his usual mixture of glamor and tragedy, with a flashback structure similar to that of Lola Montes, recalling the life of an infamous woman. It's amazing how much of the Ophüls style and subject matter was already in place. Also fascinating to see the different moral standards at work in an Italian versus American film from the early thirties, as well as differing acting styles, with much over-the-top emotionalism from La Signora's older male lover.

I'm glad I waited to see Cobra Woman (Robert Siodmak, 1944) on the screen. Due to overbooking, Block was sent an immaculate master 35mm archival print. This has to be what it was like to see technicolor in all its glory in the 1940s. I just sat back at let the tropical camp sear my retinas. Absolutely amazing. Hail King Cobra!

Photo sources: Only the Cinema, Dvd Beaver, and

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summit City Rocks

Had a blast at Summit City. Met Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole is haunting, terrific) and boy genius Jim Rugg (you have to read Street Angel, Afrodisiac and Rambo 3.5). Maybe a little too much beer, but hey, what's a con without a hangover? Friday night is a blur, driving around in the rain with Chris Neseman and Jeffrey Brown, trying to find a bar showing the Hawks game...Saturday night started with a few pints of Guinness while sketching at a pub with Amber Love (pictured above) and many other good folks, on to the Rusty Nail for some slamming, then 2 AM gyros. Thanks to Zack and everyone in Fort Wayne for throwing such a nice, comics-centric con.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summit City

On Saturday, May 22nd I'll be in Fort Wayne Indiana at the Summit City Comic Con. I'll have a table in Artist Alley, doing sketches and hanging out. Drop by and say hello.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cobra Woman

This month and next there are a few film revivals that I'm looking forward to. This Friday, May 14th, Block Cinema in Evanston is showing Cobra Woman (Robert Siodmak, 1944) in a 35mm. archival print. This piece of over-the-top Technicolor camp is something I've been waiting to see on the big screen for many years. Block is also screening Max Ophul's La Signora di Tutti (Everybody's Woman, 1934) on June 11th.

Unfortunately I will be out of town on May 22nd when Bank of America Cinema is screening a 35 mm. print of the Lon Chaney silent Mr. Wu (William Nigh, 1927), along with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren. Back in January Jay did a terrific job with with Pandora's Box. But I will be able to attend Decision at Sundown (Bud Boetticher, 1957), which they'll screen in 35 mm. on June 5th.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pros and Con

Wow. A major Chicago comics convention in Chicago, actually focusing on comics--as opposed to a suburban con with wrestlers and has-been genre actors. A short walk to Chinatown for dinner, a view of the downtown skyline and blue sky streaming in the windows. The perfect location for a show. C2E2 is off to a great start. Everyone I talked with wants the show to succeed and is passing the word for next year. You know I'll be there.

I used the term "major" above because we already have a lovely one-day Chicago show in the fall, Windy City Comicon.

Above: Long time friend and collaborator Doug Rice joined me at my table in Artist Alley. Doug created Dynamo Joe at First Comics, and has written and drawn many other comics including Manhunter for DC, as well as storyboarding cartoons for Warner Brothers. I appear to be toppling over from the excitement. Below: Stopping by for a visit is Chicago illustrator Scott Gustafson, another old friend. Check out Scott's terrific paintings here.
Photos by yet another Chicago pal, Gordon Flagg.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Con Game

There's a new convention coming to town. From April 16-18 I'll be attending the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, aka C2E2. Unlike that other big Chicago comics convention, this one is being held in CHICAGO, at the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place. I'll be sharing a table in Artist Alley with Jason Millet, doing sketches, signing comics, and just hanging out. Stop by and say hello. Here's C2E2's website.

Later this year I'll be at the Summit City Con in Fort Wayne, as well as the mutant monster that is Comicon in San Diego.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Mask of the Green Death

These are two penciled panels from a new short story I've drawn. "Englouorioues Mask-Tards!!!" was written by the always entertaining Evan Dorkin. It's a crazy, bloody riff on a certain movie director and stars The Mask. It's free to read online at Myspace Dark Horse Presents (Go to back issue 33). And there's a very funny interview with Dorkin about the story here. The story was a blast to work on, and I'm looking forward to Evan writing something else for me. I'd prefer it to be a blank check, but I'll settle for a comics script.

The Mask is © and trademark Dark Horse Comics 2010.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Don't Bank on It

The future of the Bank of America Cinema, a venerable--and fun--Chicago institution, is in jeopardy. The BOAC is a revival house located in a bank, and the bank building is up for sale. Formerly owned by Northwest Federal Savings and Loan, Talman and LaSalle banks, films were first screened in the building's basement in 1972, and then in the theatre, built in 1977.

On a recent visit to there I saw a terrific 35 mm. print of the German silent Pandora's Box, with glorious theatre organ accompaniment by Jay Warren. The Cinema has films scheduled through this June. I'm already planning on attending the January 30th showing of My Name is Julia Ross, the film that put director Joseph H. Lewis on the map. You can view the schedule for their upcoming season--perhaps their last--on their unofficial blog, here. Or, go to their Facebook page, here.

Bank of America Cinema
4901 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago
Use the rear entrance and parking lot behind the bank.
Screenings are at 8:00 PM Saturdays
Admission is a measly $5