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CFA at the Wisconsin Film Festival

April 16, 2023 ,  6:30 PM

UW Cinematheque

Admissions: $12

Chicago Film Archives is excited to present an all-film program at this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival. Titled “Tap Dancing Teens & Screaming Sandwichmen: Gems from Chicago Film Archives,” the program presents an eclectic mix of humorous, surreal, and enlightening films, all united by their uniquely Midwestern sensibilities. Drawn from our preservation projects, the screening is a real cream of the CFA crop.

WHEN: April 16, 2023 at 6:30
WHERE: UW Cinematheque
Vilas Communication Hall
821 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706










Variety Show at Peoria’s Palace Theatre
35mm • 1934 • 11 min • dir. Irvine Pepper Siegel

Scenes of a lively Depression-era talent show in which Peoria, Illinois’ youth show off their skills in tap dancing, gymnastics, and Mae West impersonation. The film was photochemically preserved thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2021.









The Saga of the First and Last
35mm • 1954 • 3 min • dir. Margaret Conneely

Midcentury amateur filmmaker Margaret Conneely enlists her son John for this colorful cautionary tale about the dangers of smoking. A wholesome morality play with an avant-garde touch. The film was photochemically preserved to 35mm by CFA in 2004.











Super Up
16mm • 1966 • 13 min • dir. Kenji Kanesaka

A teenaged boy is overwhelmed by the neon signs and flashy billboards of a hypersaturated Chicago in this dreamlike short by Japanese filmmaker Kenji Kanesaka. The film was photochemically preserved thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2018.










16mm • 1976 • 9 min • dir. Tom Palazzolo

Chicago’s (unofficial) filmmaker laureate Tom Palazzolo explores the masochism that keeps customers coming back to Jerry Meyers’ delicatessen in this screwball profile of a business owner known for berating his clientele. The film was photochemically preserved by Chicago Filmmakers with help from the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2007.











Chocolate Cake
16mm • 1973 • 3 min • dir. JoAnn Elam

A caustic vignette on labor and sexism, Chocolate Cake was made in response to an evening during which male members of Chicago’s experimental film scene gathered at JoAnn Elam’s house and proceeded to ignore both her and the chocolate cake she made for the occasion. A spiritual predecessor to Jeanne Dielman, in 8mm. The film was photochemically preserved in 16mm thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2020.










Mister E
16mm • 1960 • 12 min • dir. Margaret Conneely

A Midwestern housewife gets revenge on her neglectful husband with the help of a dashing mannequin in this darkly comedic amateur film by Margaret Conneely and her ciné-club cohort. The film was photochemically preserved thanks to the Women’s Film Preservation Fund in 2006.











Eight Flags for 99 Cents
16mm • 1970 • 26 min • dir. Chuck Olin

Residents of Chicago’s blue-collar southwest side express conflicted feelings on the Vietnam War in this quietly subversive look at what the so-called “silent majority” really thought. The film was photochemically preserved thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2013.


Learn more about the program and buy tickets here.

About the Festival

First launched in 1999, the Wisconsin Film Festival curates, promotes, and exhibits programs that showcase the art and history of world cinema. A non-profit annual event supported by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Festival advances the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University by exposing the campus and the greater community to films and filmmakers from Wisconsin and beyond.

The Wisconsin Film Festival is firmly grounded in the belief that cinema is an essential art form that enriches human experience and enhances our knowledge of diverse cultures. As such, we seek to create a strong sense of community by creating a diverse program of films for viewers  of all ages presented with state-of-the-art  projection. The Wisconsin Film Festival is  the Wisconsin Idea in action.


UW Cinematheque
Hours:6:30 PM