Beginning June 5th, the Millennium Park Summer Film series will enhance the Tuesday night screenings that have become one of Chicago’s most beloved outdoor traditions.
According to a press release issued by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the movies will be “programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival providing a season-long sampling of themes, ethnicities and genres.”
The series launches on Tuesday, June 5, with John Waters’ Hairspray playing in collaboration with the Chicago Underground Film Festival. For the full schedule, see below.
Also new this year, a “ChicagoMade Short” will precede every evening feature. “ChicagoMade Shorts” are locally made short films completed through the Chicago Film Office’s Independent Filmmaker Initiative program.
There will be a special day-time, family-friendly screening of Iron Giant in collaboration with the Facet’s Chicago International Children’s Film Festival on Monday, July 9, at 11 a.m.
The movies will be presented on a state-of- the-art, 40-foot LED screen. Viewers are invited to sit in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or lounge on the Great Lawn. The City of Chicago will implement a security perimeter and bag check.
Outside food and beverage, including alcohol, will be permitted at the Millennium Park Film Series. This is pretty much the case for all the 70+ concerts and events at Millennium Park except for the seven largest — House Music Festival, Blues Festival, Mariachi Festival, Grant Park Music Festival Independence Day Salute, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert, Jazz Festival — which only allow outside food and non-alcoholic beverages.
But, again, outside booze is allowed at the Tuesday night movie screenings, so feel free to pack a sixer in the basket.
Millennium Park Summer Film Series
All films start at 6:30 p.m., except the family film on July 9 at 11 a.m.
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Underground Film Festival
Directed by John Waters and starring Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono and Jerry Stiller, this cult film classic follows teenager Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) as she pursues stardom on the local television hit the Corny Collins Dance Show and rallies against racial segregation. (1988, rated PG, 92 minutes)
Mad Max: Fury Road
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Critics Film Festival
In a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where people must fight for scarce resources, a woman (Charlize Theron) rebels against the tyrannical ruler in a search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper and a drifter named Max (Tom Hardy). (2015, rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images, 120 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Filmmakers’ Reeling LGBTQ International Film Festival
In order to save his family’s struggling shoe business, straight-laced Charles Price (Joel Edgerton) teams up with Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a flamboyant cabaret singer, with an unorthodox idea to produce custom footwear for drag queens. (2005, rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, 107 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Comedy Film Festival and Second City
Cynical and frustrated news reporter Phil Connors (Bill Murrays) finds himself reliving the same day covering the annual Groundhog Day festivities in small town Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with his cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) and producer Rita (Andie MacDowell). Just as Phil starts to believe the he is doomed to live this day for all eternity, he learns that life isn’t what happens but how you react to it. (1993, rated PG for some thematic elements, 101 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Midwest Independent Film Festival
Thirty-something Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a former club DJ and now owner of record store Championship Vinyl, with a penchant for compiling top five lists, attempts to understand why he has been dumped by his latest girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) by revisiting his life’s top five worst break-ups. Much of the movie, based on the book by Nick Hornby, was filmed in Chicago. (2000, rated R for language and some sexuality 113 minutes)
Monday, July 9, 11 a.m.
Programmed in collaboration with the Facet’s Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
Nine-year-old Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal) makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot and protects him from a paranoid U.S. Government agent (Christopher McDonald) by keeping him at a junkyard owned by Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.). The family film is also being show in conjunction with the Millennium Park Family Fun Festival and the Year of Creative Youth. (1999, rated PG for fantasy action violence, language, some thematic material and smoking, 90 minutes)
Man on Wire
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Media Project DOC10 Film Festival
Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit’s 1974 daring but illegal high-wire performance between the World Trade Center’s twin towers. The film won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Features. (2008, rated PG-13 for some sexuality and nudity, and drug references, 90 minutes)
International Media Mixer
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Film Archive
US premiere of a live sonic and cinematic experience. A cross-cultural exchange of artists and archival footage from Chicago and Italy featuring four new films by Giuseppe Boccassini (Italy) and Alex Inglizian (U.S.); Lori Felker (U.S.) and Patrizia Oliva (Italy); Federico Francioni, Yan Cheng (Italy) and Tomeka Reid (U.S.); Domietta Torlasco (U.S.) and Stefano Urkuma De Santis (Italy). The evening will be hosted by Alison Cuddy of the Chicago Humanities Festival. (2018, rated PG, 65 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival
Young African American Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits the white family of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. The Oscar-winning film for Best Original Screenplay was written and directed by Jordan Peele. (2017, rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references,104 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the One Earth Film Festival
In a distant, but not so unrealistic, future, mankind has abandoned the trash-covered earth, and WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot, has been left to clean up the mess. Mesmerized with trinkets of Earth’s history and show tunes, WALL-E inadvertently embarks on a space journey with his sprightly pet cockroach that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. (2008, rated G, 98 minutes)
WALL Programmed in collaboration with the Peace on Earth Film Festival
Over a thirty-six hour period in Los Angeles, a handful of disparate people’s lives intertwine as they deal with the tense race relations that belie life in the city. Directed by Paul Haggis, the film won three Oscars, including one for Best Picture, and stars Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser among many others in this ensemble cast. (2004, rated R for language, sexual content and some violence, 112 minutes)
School of Rock
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival
Fired from his band, down and out rock star Dewey Finn (Jack Black), takes a gig as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school. His attitude and hijinks teach the students some unconventional lessons, as he secretly leads his talented young musicians to the “battle of the bands” competition. (2003, Rated PG-13 for some rude humor and drug references, 108 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Aspiring musician Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), confronted by his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, takes an accidental trip to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where, along with the charming trickster skeleton Hector (voiced by Gael García Bernal), he unlocks the real story behind his family history. Coco won two Oscars, including Best Animated Feature Film. (2017, rated PG for thematic elements, 105 minutes)
Programmed in collaboration with the Chicago International Film Festival
Finding himself just one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India’s Kaun Banega Crorepati? (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), eighteen year-old Jamal (Dev Patel) is accused of cheating and reflects on how his life in the slums of Mumbai gave him all the answers. (2008, Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language, 120 minutes)
About the Millennium Park Film Series
The Millennium Park Film Series is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special events and sponsored by the Chicago Transit Authority. Additionally, the series is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For the latest news and events, download the Millennium Park app, visit millenniumpark.org, and follow us on Facebook (MillenniumParkChicago), Twitter, Instagram (@Millennium_Park #MillenniumPark) and Snapchat (ChicagoDCASE).
About Millennium Park
Opened in 2004, Millennium Park is a 24.5-acre urban park in the heart of downtown Chicago, home to the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as “The Bean”) by Anish Kapoor, Crown Fountain designed by Jaume Plensa, the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden and more. Millennium Park is Chicago’s town square and the anchor of an urban cultural campus that includes the Chicago Cultural Center, Maggie Daley Park and the Art Institute of Chicago—all connected by the Chicago Cultural Mile. Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open 6am–11pm daily. For the latest news and events, download the Millennium Park app, visit millenniumpark.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @Millennium_Park.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
Millennium Park Foundation
The Millennium Park Foundation, a private, philanthropic not-for-profit partner, was created in 1998 to support the City of Chicago’s efforts in the design, construction and management of Millennium Park. It is the steward of Millennium Park’s internationally-recognized icons and public features. These include the prestigious Jay Pritzker Pavilion and dramatic BP Pedestrian Bridge, world-renowned Cloud Gate and Lurie Garden, iconic Crown Fountain, and exquisite Boeing Galleries for public art exhibitions. Through its ongoing development initiatives, the Millennium Park Foundation is dedicated to keeping Millennium Park a free and accessible venue for all Chicagoans today, and for generations to come.
Send your film event news to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, email@example.com.