Author: spectacle_theater

GET REEL: CULTURE OF THE COSMOS


AUGUST 31st  –  7:30 PM
((**ONE NIGHT ONLY!**))

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

GET REEL is a comedy show for movie lovers (and movie haters, alike). It features clips from well-known films, appropriated into comedic routines by New York’s HOTTEST (physically and career-wise) comedians.
This August GET REEL returns to Spectacle for round 4. This month’s theme is Culture of the Comos. Galactic adventure, frolicking among the stars, alien emotions, and deep space discovery. Make sure put Get Reel in your orbit this month.

A FORTNIGHT WITH FRANK MOSLEY

Actor Frank Mosley has been a frequent presence in American independent cinema for over a decade. As both a leading man and ubiquitous character actor, he’s appeared in films helmed by established indie darlings (Shane Carruth, David Lowry) and rising stars (Dylan Pasture, Cameron Bruce Nelson). His dance card may be full to bursting, but Mosley is more than just a pretty face.
As a director and writer, he has exhibited work at many of the world’s foremost festivals: Slamdance, Maryland Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, and Champs-Elysée, to name a few. His fascination with matters of identity, memory, and temporality bleed through every frame of his films – few directors working today can touch Mosley’s narrative and media savvy. Spectacle is honored to bring his most recent efforts – three shorts, and a laudatory feature – to a discerning New York audience.

FRANK MOSLEY SHORTS PROGRAM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – 7:00 PM
PARTHENON
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2017.
USA, 14 mins.

A naked body moves a stranger to empathy. PARTHENON is a slippery, dizzying diptych that questions the limits of our perception.

CASA DE MI MADRE
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2016.
USA, 12 mins.

A fire rages in the woods near a village. This fire triggers a memory in a lonely, middle-aged woman. And this memory pushes her to utter aloud the words she’s always wanted to say.

Produced in Cuba with the support of Black Factory Cinema and Escuela Internacionales de Cine y Tv in San Antonio de los Banos (EICTV), and made under the guidance of master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. The result of Mosley’s selection as a participant in the 2016 Workshop for Auteurs, the film examines grief, transference, and the consequences of role-playing.

SPIDER VEINS
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2016.
USA, 15 mins.

Two women, seemingly strangers, confront one another in an old house with conflicting memories of the same dress. By turns mysterious and shocking, the film’s fragile narrative begins to unravel, but the women’s relationship teeters closer to truth.

Loosely inspired by Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, SPIDER VEINS is a mercurial investigation into varying levels of everyday artifice.



HER WILDERNESS
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2014.
USA, 64 mins.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – 9 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
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HER WILDERNESS weaves an elliptical, minimalist narrative of a lost, wandering child in the wake of an affair that may or may not have even happened. The film has been called “a unique work with a distinctive voice” (Indiewire), “a mesmerizing film by a superb actor and filmmaker” (RogerEbert.com), “a delicately fate-fixated mid-length enigma” (Keyframe), “the sort of fulfillment of good poetry” (Hammer To Nail), “one of the best undistributed films of 2015” (Film Pulse), and “the best experimental narrative of the year…at once alien and achingly resonant” (Indie Outlook).

LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE!

LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE!
Dir. Julia Query and Vicky Funari, 2000
USA, 70 min
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!
DIRECTOR JULIA QUERY IN PERSON

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT HERE

No contract, no pussy.

“My knees are killing me” a dancer purrs to the camera in a sultry voice, capturing the irony of the strip club. Part of a dancer’s job is to look like she’s having fun, but stripping is hard work even in the best conditions, and at the Lusty Lady peep show, the conditions are anything but: no job security, rampant discrimination against women of color, and an unsafe working environment.

After a particularly harrowing incident involving a violent patron and an indifferent response from management, the dancers at the Lusty Lady voted to form a labor union. LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE follows the dancers’ organizing efforts: hiring a lawyer, negotiating a contract, and debating whether or not to strike.

The film is co-directed and narrated by Julia Query, who was part of the workers’ bargaining committee. Query injects a warm humor into the narrative, also weaving in her complex relationship with her mother, a public health advocate known for her extensive outreach with street-based sex workers. Julia is hesitant to tell her mother that she works as a stripper—until Julia’s organizing leads mother and daughter to present at the same conference on prostitution.

Part of the series: SEX WORK IS WORK, which also brought you WORKING GIRLS in July. SEX WORK IS WORK is an ongoing benefit series exploring sex work in film, programmed in protest of the SESTA/FOSTA law. All proceeds from this event will go to Lysistrata Mutual Care Collective and Fund.

ST. FRANCIS HEARS A NOISE

ST. FRANCIS HEARS A NOISE
Dir. Jimmy Schaus, 2018
USA
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15 – 7:00 PM
**ONE NIGHT ONLY** Q&A WITH DIRECTOR

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
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A psychotronic, picaresque science fiction romp about a sound recordist whose special microphone picks up messages from beyond. Some of these sounds are stolen by a sinister underground production network to unlock latent psychic energy from the young actors they routinely exploit. Francis, the titular protagonist, sets off on a journey to investigate and retrieve his precious sounds, only to uncover a vast network of control in which he may already be enmeshed.

PSYCHOMANIA

PSYCHOMANIA aka THE DEATH WHEELERS
Dir. by Don Sharp, 1973
USA, 95 min.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – MIDNIGHT
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 27 – 10 PM

What do witchcraft, a knock-off Stonehenge, toads, biker gangs, and Satan all have in common? PSYCHOMANIA!

Meet Tom, the leader of biker gang THE LIVING DEAD. Tom has just discovered a loophole around death – if he dies while fully believing he’ll come back, he will become immortal.

After sharing his gift with the rest of the gang, they start to reap anarchic chaos on the unsuspecting stooges of the Establishment – mostly by harassing old women (questionable) and destroying shopping centers (rad).

Featuring George Sanders’ final performance as Shadwell the sinister butler, not to mention a rip-roaring psychedelic score by John Cameron, insanely groovy sets and outfits, and pure anarchy.

Presented in a crisp new blu-ray remaster from the original print, c/o AGFA.



THE METAPHYSICAL MYSTERIES OF SOGO ISHII

Known to many as the godfather of Japanese cyberpunk cinema for his rock-heavy, high-octane, biker films Burst City and Crazy Thunder Road, Sogo (now known as Gakuryu) Ishii is an important precursor to many of the cult icons that dominate Japanese cinemas reputation such as Takashi Miike and Shinya Tsukamoto. Yet much more protean than much of his modest reputation admits, by the time the 90s came around, Ishii all but abandoned the leather stuffed aesthetic of his early films in favor of a slower, dream-like style concerned with metaphysical questions of identity and romantic desire. Suffuse with unsolvable mysteries that spiral endlessly out of control; a hypnotic editing style that relies on lethargic tracking shots and a sublime sense of empty architectural spaces mixed with rapid impressionistic montages and jarring auditory shifts; and a quietly transgressive gender subtext that echoes his earlier punk ambitions – ANGEL DUST, AUGUST IN THE WATER, and LABYRINTH OF DREAMS form a loose trilogy of semi-forgotten, but entirely umissibe and unique masterworks of Japanese cinema. These three are presented here with Ishii’s 1984 film, THE CRAZY FAMILY, a key bridge between his earlier anarchic punk films and his more methodical 90’s output.


( poster by Stephanie Monohan )



ANGEL DUST
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1994
Japan, 116 min.
In Japanese, English subs
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 20 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28 – 7:30 PM

6 PM every Monday a woman drops dead on the Tokyo Metro leaving no clues as to who killed her. Stupefied, the police enlist psychologist Setsuko to profile the killer and predict his next moves. When the trail leads her to her former lover, Dr. Rei Aku, a mind-control obsessed psychiatrist who performs bizarre psychological experiments in from his mountain dome hideaway, Setsuko starts to experience bizarre hallucinations and premonitions related to the killings.

Drenched in vomit colored neon greens and filled with a nauseating sense of modernist alienation, ANGEL DUST echoes many of the themes and styles explored by Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s while retaining the psychedelic techniques and hypnotic narrative structure that forms a distinct part of Ishii’s 90’s style.



AUGUST IN THE WATER
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1995
Japan, 117 min.
In Japanese, English subs
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7:30 PM

When mysterious new girl at school and world class diving protege, Izumi, comes to town, strange things start happening – a giant heat wave consumes the town, bizzare rocks appear in the forest, and all the water in the pool turns to stone during Izumi’s most important dive. Izumi’s hopelessly romantic classmate, Ukiya, follows her as they try to figure out what’s happening. Yet far from the supernatural thriller which it may resemble on the surface, AUGUST IN THE WATER, is filled with its own completely hypnotic energy and teenage sense of wonder. Ishii utilizes meditative tracking shots across glimmering swimming pools, dreamy dissolves between cloudy skies, and a web of unsolved mysteries tethered to new age spiritualism to create a work that might be as far he could possibly get from the rebellious aggression of his early punk films.



LABYRINTH OF DREAMS
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1997
Japan, 90 min.
In Japanese, English subs
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 5 PM

“A Freudian fable of the night, filled with moons, rain, dark tunnels and imminent collisions.”
-Tony Rayns, Senses of Cinema

Ishii’s Hitchcockian tale of romantic obsession and aggression begins in a surrealist mixture of dream, memory, and rumor. When bus conductor, Tomiko (Rena Komine), gets assigned to work with bus driver Niitaka (Tadanobu Asano, Ichii the Killer and Bright Future), not only does she think that he looks like the man from her dreams, but that he also might be the man who married and killed her friend and co-worker. Determined to get revenge, Tomiko seduces him. But when she finds herself irresistibly attracted to him she gets obsessed with testing the sincerity of his murderous desires. Shot in dreamy black and white, Ishii melds many of the guttural DIY techniques of his early punk years with moody expressionist compositions reminiscent of Maya Deren to create a film both aggressive and disorienting as well as melancholic and contemplative.



THE CRAZY FAMILY
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1984
Japan, 106 min.
In Japanese, English subs
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 13 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – MIDNIGHT

“Mixing sledgehammer social satire with rapid-fire cinematic dementia, this is an unforgettable excursion into the darkest recesses of middle-class values.”
Shock Cinema Magazine

After moving into a nice suburban home on the outskirts of Tokyo, the Kobayashi family seems to be living the domestic dream. That is until they all start trying to kill and fuck each other. With a fascist grandpa running shouting WWII era Japanese military slogans in in his army uniform, a son who builds giant neon shrines to his college entrance exams, and a sex-starved mother running around the house with a pot on her head trying to kill everyone with her kitchen knives, Ishii’s take-down of the Japanese family unit is a gleefully delirious satire and a clear precursor to such Takashi Miike family dramas like VISITOR Q and THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS.

THE SLAYER

THE SLAYER
Dir. by J.S. Cardone, 1982
USA, 82 min.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – 10 PM

Do yourself a favor and don’t google this movie – the less you know going in, the better. That said…

Deemed an infamous “video nasty” on its release in the UK, The Slayer has aged shockingly well for a low-budget slasher venture.

The barebones plot follows Kay, a “surreal artist”, and a vacation she takes with her boyfriend, her brother and his wife to a cabin on a deserted island, the aim of this sojourn being to take Kay’s mind off her upcoming art show.

Shortly after arriving, Kay recognizes the place as having appeared in her anxiety-fueled nightmares. It’s not long before the dreams get worse, and Kay starts having detailed visions of her companions being murdered by something or someone.

While it sounds like a by-the-numbers killer-in-a-cabin flick, The Slayer boasts an impressively surreal and nightmarish tone, soaked in an uncanny sense of dread and peppered with striking practical effects. To say more would spoil the fun, so just come see it, won’t you?

DONATE

JULY 2018 MICRO-FUNDRAISER

The reaper of death is a silicone brain, and it has come for our projector. And as it dies a slow and painful L-C-D-eath, we’re humbly asking for your help in replacing it and keeping the burning S aflame.

Please consider making a donation of any amount to help maintain the theater’s infrastructure and continuing ability to bring the weird to Williamsburg and Brooklyn. But the good weird, not the current “is this an outdoor mall now?” weird. 


We strive to screen films that are under-appreciated and difficult to find, and have been doing so for eight years. Whether we are sourcing rare films, screening VHS dubs, or playing high resolution files from the filmmakers themselves, they are not being well served by our current projector. And that’s not good for anybody!

Please help up out with this tiny fundraising push! It won’t take much and the rewards will be all for you.

Thank you!


YEAR PASSES AVAILABLE: 



GET REEL 2


GET REEL is a comedy show for movie lovers (and movie haters, alike). It features clips from well-known films, appropriated into comedic routines by New York’s HOTTEST (physically and career-wise) comedians.
This month’s theme is SLUMBER PARTY. Playing murderous, backstabbing tweens at the worst sleepover ever, hosts Joe Castle Baker and Max Wittert will present an array of clips dubbed over live, by [hot] comedians. In accordance with the theme, Joe and Max will be presenting filmic moments of secrets, seances, spooky stories, and makeovers!!! We can’t wait to find out who will be dead by morning! Come see it on Friday, July 20th at 8 pm!
Hosted by Joe Castle Baker and Max Wittert, this month’s theme is SLUMBER PARTY, featuring famous filmic moments of late-night storytelling, makeovers, and backstabbing! Grab a sleeping bag, some Tang, and a splatter guard for the blood. Just kidding, there won’t be any blood. Or at least we don’t think so…

COSMIC, RAVING, LUMPEN CINEMA: THE FILMS OF FERNANDO BIRRI

The hindered visibility of filmmakers working in Latin America and other countries belonging to what used to consist the “third world” comes as no surprise to those who find themselves compelled to seek it out, but this makes it no less remarkable when one comes across a major figure in the history of a national cinema whose reputation in the US is functionally nil. Such is the case with Fernando Birri (1925-2017), who had been making films for 65+ years prior to his passing away last December, and is frequently cited as “the father of the New Latin American Cinema.” An intractable streak of leftist radicalism and collaborative efforts run through his work, which perhaps comes to us at a most opportune moment, when the need for alternative trajectories of thought and action is sorely felt.

A polymath, Birri worked as a puppeteer, actor, and poet before going to Rome in 1951 to study at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma, skills that would be actively incorporated in his films throughout his career. Watching the early shorts made during this time elucidates Birri’s interest in cities, their people, the history of their pictorial representation and fine arts. In tandem with these qualities is the conviction in providing a realistic, organic and ethical depiction of those oppressed in his native Argentina, spurring Birri’s tendencies as a theorist to develop documentary methods that would be both collective and radical. To this end, Birri founded the first Argentinian film school at the Universidad del Litoral, the students of which would be his collaborators on the documentary shorts to come. With the breakthrough one-two punch of TIRE DIÉ (1960) and LOS INUNDADOS (1962), Birri gave a voice to those communities that had been summarily ignored in their own homeland, demonstrating the need for resistance and radical militancy in the face of bureaucratic corruption and oppression. That Birri was exiled shortly thereafter only further confirms the urgency of his cinema. Birri’s return to Italy signaled the beginning of new forms of aesthetics and influence on his work, with 1968 marking the starting point on production for what would become his magnum opus, the three hour, relentlessly experimental ORG (1979).

Following this exile, Birri would return to Latin America triumphant and more prolific than ever, and like a select number of auteurs before him, he viewed the medium of television as a site of untapped potential for a possible multiplicity of cinemas, and in 1986 co-founded the Escuela de Cine y Televisión de Tres Mundos (EICTV), with none other than Gabriel García Márquez—whose A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS would be adapted into a film by Birri and played at the Sundance Film Festival in 1988. Birri continued to make films until 2011, and with this near-complete retrospective, which features several new digital restorations, Spectacle aims to reinject Birri’s manifold, radical, and utopian cinema into the discourse and conscience of film culture, where his brand of eccentric thought is sorely needed.

Programmed in collaboration with Eric Barroso; Special thanks to Maria Pincolini, Silvina Cornillon, and Juan Manuel Cassinotti of INCAA, Augustina Lumi of CINE.AR, and Patricia Figueroa of Brown University.


ORG
1968-77. 177 mins.
In Italian with English subtitles.
SUNDAY AUGUST 18 – 8PM
FRIDAY AUGUST 24 – 8PM

Cinematic behemoths aren’t exactly hard to come by, but rarely do they come this abstract and inspired. Described by Birri as “a nightmare with closed eyes”, ORG is the result of a ten-plus year exile in Italy (his second), and contains the highest concentration of Birri’s talent for envisioning utopian images and proposing aesthetics. Based off the same Indian legend that inspired Thomas Mann to write his novella “The Transposed Heads”, ORG combines leftist radical theory, mythopoetic imagery, and any found footage Birri can use to create this kaleidoscopic utopian vision of cinema. Boasting over 26,000 cuts and 700 audio tracks, ORG proves a vital rediscovery not to be missed!

Largely screened in an abridged 104 minute version since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1979, Spectacle presents ORG here in a digital restoration of its full, 177 minute premiere cut.

RAFAEL ALBERTI, A PORTRAIT OF THE POET BY FERNANDO BIRRI
1983. 122 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
MONDAY AUGUST 6 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 22 – 7:30 PM

Birri’s first film after the momentous ORG finds him looking for kindred spirits, as he would continue to do throughout the rest of his career. The propinquity between subject and filmmaker is laid bare in the title of the work itself, and it is clear that Birri finds kinship in Alberti, Spanish poet and member of the famed Generation of ‘27, exiled after the Spanish Civil War for his Marxist views (eventually settling in Buenos Aires for 20 years. Alberti’s personal history intersects often and inextricably from the events of midcentury radicalism, resulting in a fascinating structure of depiction. Never one to settle for one mode or style, Birri blends in theatrical asides, archival footage, and personal documentation to build a beguiling and dynamic portrait of the poet. Presented in 3 parts.

MI HIJO EL CHE
1985. 84 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 – 10PM

Direct address interviews and conversations were equally important for Birri’s form of documentary, a facet that remains evident throughout the many cinematic portraits throughout the second half of his career. MI HIJO EL CHE consist of an hour-long interview with Don Ernesto Guevara Lynch, father of the famed leader of the Cuban revolution.

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RETURN ADDRESS: NICARAGUA (LETTER TO THE WORLD)
(aka RTE: NICARAGUA (CARTA AL MUNDO))
1984. 15 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

RTE.: NICARAGUA is a film that proposes use of found footage as an act of solidarity. In its opening titles, Birri relates what the Nicaraguan people termed the “innovators technique”—the act of melding disused or spare parts to make something new—and draws parallels to filmmaking, constructing a found footage portrait of Nicaragua on the cusp of the 1984 general elections, which promised a new, socialist Nicaragua.

A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS
1988. 88 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 – 5PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28 – 10 PM

Birri’s third fiction feature sees the major involvement of one of the director’s main collaborators: Gabriel García Márquez. Adapted from his classic short story of magical realist literature comes this singular vision of rural community and mythological fervor. When a winged old man (played by Birri himself) washes up on the shore, an impoverished couple sees an opportunity to rake in profits to help their sickly child, only to be shown up when the carnival comes to town. Featuring a stunning video sequence and more representational and mystical diversity than Jodorowsky could hope for, A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS is a New Latin American cinema rediscovery waiting for reappraisal.

(Spectacle will be presenting A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS in a new digital restoration.)


CHE: MUERTE DE LA UTOPIA?
1997. 89 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
SATURDAY AUGUST 4 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY AUGUST 14 – 10 PM

Adopting a survey approach, Birri embarks upon a transnational inquiry regarding the pertinence of that paramount concept for both his theory and cinema: the utopia. 30 years after Che’s death, Birri questions subjects from all walks of life about the meaning of utopia, and its connection to Guevara’s legacy. The answers are as multitudinous as the people giving them, ranging from a five-minute workday to dancing like Michael Jackson. Birri of course cannot help but to accentuate his man-on-the-street footage with interpolations of paintings, recycled film footage, and expressionistic superimpositions, demonstrating both his propensity for subversion and envisionments of alternative trajectories.

screens with

UN SUENO CON LOS OJOS ABERTOS
1998. 5 mins.

This was Birri’s entry for the 1998 omnibus film ENREDANDO SOMBRAS, made on the occasion of 100 years of Latin American cinema. This video piece is sourced from the raw footage shot while Birri was making TIRE DIÉ, and provides a fascinating look at the changing aesthetics of an old master, as well the viability of multiplicity in his own work.

CENTURY OF WIND
(EL SIGLO DE VIENTO)
1999. 85 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
MONDAY, AUGUST 6 – 10PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 – 10 PM
Based on the third volume of seminal Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano’s Memoria del Fuego trilogy, CENTURY OF WIND ventures to relay the history of the 20th century in Latin America. Narrated by Galeano, the film stylistically follows his singular vision of colonialism, myth and political upheaval, finding its images derived from countless sources, including (but not limited to) Hollywood silents, newsreels, archival interviews, murals, and recurring puppetry sequences made for the film by animator and documentarian Walter Tournier. Never settling for one mode of perspective, CENTURY OF WIND offers as eclectic an historical account as you’re likely to come by.


ZA 05: THE OLD AND THE NEW

2006. 75 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 – 9 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 27 – 7:30 PM

Inspired by Italian neorealist theorist and filmmaker Cesare Zavattini, ZA 05 is introduced as a “didactic and collective film from EICTV”, the school started by Birri and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Cuba. ZA 05 marks Birri’s interest in synthesizing past examples of radical and utopian thought with current ones, and takes as its main repository select scenes form thesis films produced at EICTV over its 20 year history to date. Defined by Birri as a “mega-clip” (the possibilities offered by and jargon of digital media did not pass him by), the film interpolates the aforementioned thesis clips (as diverse a set as one could imagine) with older, “founding texts” in New Latin American Cinema, like Tire Dié, to find if these divergent, historicized materials relate to each other contrapuntally or concordantly. A film essay that is at once clearly personal but never ignorant of its transnational implications, ZA 05 serves as a window into a mode of production and thought rarely, if ever, accessed in the States.

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ELEGIA FRIULANA
2007. 20 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

On the more decidedly personal side of things is ELEGIA FRIULANA, Birri’s tribute to his grandfather Giambatista, an anarchist miller and bricklayer who was exiled in 1880 from the Friula region of Italy to the Argentine pampas, effectively serving as the inaugural point for Birri’s relationship to his homeland. By juxtaposing the current spaces of Argentina inhabited by his ancestor with Italian folk songs and old photographs, Birri’s intention is not to excavate but rather to reify a personal conception of lineage and diaspora.

EL FAUSTO CRIOLLO
2011. 90 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
FRIDAY AUGUST 3 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 22 – 10PM

It perhaps comes as no great surprise that Birri’s last completed film work is a distinctly Argentine paraphrasal of that most metaphysical of classic plays: Faust. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, EL FAUSTO CRIOLLO follows two gauchos who get drunk under the tallest tree in the world, as one regales the other with descriptions of a particular Faust performance seen in Buenos Aires some years earlier—it does not take very long until the separate narrative strands are hopelessly entangled. Anachronisms abound in this bricolage of mediums, as Birri returns to his love of theater, poetry, and found footage to construct a vision that truly earns the description of phantasmagorical. As effervescent and provocative a last film as anyone could ask for, EL FAUSTO CRIOLLO gives a glimpse into Birri’s place in the current Argentinian cinematic landscape, and affirms his indispensability.