Jul 2nd 2019

Comfort film and Church Basement Cinema Presents:

Quadrus Films

THE GREAT BANANA PIE CAPER (1978, 28 minutes, dir. Bruce Lood)
CHOICES (1988, 55 minutes, dir. John L. Pudaite)

Media: 16mm projection.

Quadrus Films was a production company based out of Rockford, Illinois, active in creating film and video from the 1970s through the 1990s. Bruce Lood, who had also worked for Ken Anderson Films (the largest Christian film distributor of the era), directed and produced for Quadrus with Joe Messer. Under different versions of the company name–Quadrus Media Ministries, Quadrus Communications, etc.–the company released about twenty films that screened in churches and on television throughout the country.

THE GREAT BANANA PIE CAPER (1978, 28 minutes, dir. Bruce Lood)
Ted’s dad runs the local bakery, and his friend Mason’s mom works for him while they live in the apartment above the shop. When Ted’s dad goes to the hospital for his ulcer, it’s up to Ted and Mason to fill an important order for 75 banana cream pies to keep the shop afloat. Unfortunately for them, neighborhood bully Charlie Snodgrass makes a plan to destroy the pies. Mason witnesses to Ted about Jesus, but immediately thereafter the two lead Charlie and his gang on a madcap chase. A short geared toward younger audiences, THE GREAT BANANA PIE CAPER was distributed on 16mm and VHS in the 80s and 90s and played on a number of television stations during the same time. Composer Tim Simonec provides a goofy score that bites a number of very recognizable themes; he would go on to a career as conductor for major Hollywood productions including ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING among dozens of others.

CHOICES (1988, dir. John L. Pudaite, 55 minutes)
Teenage brother and sister Jim and Sonia Peterson navigate tough times in high school when Jim befriends a young man who turns out to be a bad influence. This teen drama was shot in the 1980s in Aurora, Wheaton, Arlington Heights, Glen Ellyn, West Dundee, St. Charles, and Carol Stream, and features a lot of great location shooting that showcases the area. The film itself is much more accomplished than other Christian “message” movies of the time (and today), with a pretty solid amateur cast, some actual visual storytelling, and a genuinely great 80s synth score. This 16mm screening may be the first time the film has been screened anywhere in any format since the 1990s, as it does not appear to have made the jump to VHS like many of Quadrus’s other productions.

Presented by Jason Coffman.

About: Church Basement Cinema is an occasional series of 16mm screenings of Christian films that were distributed by independent companies to churches throughout the United States before the advent of VHS and DVD. These films, usually produced by regional filmmakers, provide a unique look at the time and place where they were shot as well as a window to the filmmakers’ beliefs and attitudes working within (and/or pushing against) the defining characteristics of “Christian movies.”

For the month of July Comfort Film Presents and projects 8, Super 8 and 16mm films.

Programmed by Raul Benitez and Nando Espinosa Herrera.

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