Author: lemkey

MUBI PRESENTS: THE NIGHT I SWAM AND PLANTS



PLANTS
dir. Roberto Doveris, 2015
94 minutes, Chile
THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 7 – 7:30 PM
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Amid the responsibility of taking care of her brother who is in a vegetative state, financial problems and the awakening of her sexuality, Florencia becomes obsessed with the comic “The Plants”, which is about the invasion of plant souls into human bodies during a full moon. Winner of two Berlinale prizes, Roberto Doveris’s debut reinvents the coming of age story with flourishes of comic book stylization and subtle embracement of thriller tropes. The result: a hallucinatory portrait of loneliness and a fearless depiction of female sexual desire.

Official Selection: Berlin, São Paulo


THE NIGHT I SWAM
dir. Damien Manivel, Kohei Igarashi, 2017
79 minutes, France/Japan
MONDAY, APRIL 16 – 10 PM
MONDAY, APRIL 23 – 7:30 PM
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Snow covered mountains in Japan. Every night, a fisherman makes his way to the market in town. His 6 year old son is awoken by his departure and finds it impossible to fall back to sleep. In the sleeping household, the young boy draws a picture he then slips into his satchel. On his way to school, still drowsy, he strays off the path and wanders into the snow…

Official Selection: Venice, San Sebastián, São Paulo

MUBI is a curated online cinema, streaming hand-picked award-winning, classic, and cult films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI’s film experts present a new film and you have 30 days to watch it. Whether it’s an acclaimed masterpiece, a gem fresh from the world’s greatest film festivals, or a beloved classic, there are always 30 beautiful hand-picked films to discover.

TSUI HARK’S FIRST THREE FILMS


In the history of Hong Kong New Wave Cinema, Tsui Hark remains a sovereign figure, the forerunner of the first wave of political filmmakers who’d trained abroad during the 1970s. But following the box-office flop of his early, more experimental work, he shifted his style towards more commercial Kung Fu fare, a la John Woo. Some (this theater included) might have felt a teensy bit betrayed. This month, Spectacle Theater is proud to present a survey of Tsui Hark’s early new wave films, which culminates in a special presentation of his nihilistic 1980 avant-punk masterpiece, DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND.

Tsui Hark has directed, written, produced, and/or acted in more than 60 features, but his first three films showcased a young man raging against the mores of life in Hong Kong and the formal constraints put on its film establishment during the 1970s. The films are tightly controlled demolitions that hinge on chaotic set pieces that leave viewers breathless from their freedom from stylistic convention. He also bucked tradition in Hong Kong cinema by casting women in lead roles, and his subjects—urban decay, the 1967 Hong Kong riots,directionless anger of the youth,Hong Kong’s inability to defend itself from America’s cultural and economic domination—are just as pertinent to the world today as they were 40 years ago.

The series’ ace in the hole is DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND, a completely unique entry in the history of punk cinema. Kinetic and hyper violent, the film is a deeply cynical portrait of life in Hong Kong, with much of Hark’s signature anger and energy reserved for the audience itself. The film, which follows bomb-throwing disaffected youth as they attempt to smash Hong Kong’s sick culture, proved controversial enough to warrant censorship by the British colonial authorities, and Hark got burned out.

His first three films remain a fascinating document of a new talent emerging with a set of aesthetic and moral criteria intact, an angry voice fighting against the apathy of a sick society.




DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND
Dir. Tsui Hark, 1980.
Hong Kong. 95 min.
TUESDAY, APRIL 3 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, APIRL 11 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 15 – 5 PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 24 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 – 7:30 PM
ONLINE TICKETS HERE
Content Warning: Animal Cruelty, Mice and Cats

“In article three of the 1956 law dealing with dangerous objects, explosives are classified as ‘dangerous objects of the first kind.’ People possessing such objects are called… DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND!’”

Perhaps the grimmest and most nihilistic portrait of Hong Kong society to emerge from the first HK New Wave movement, Tsui Hark’s socio-economic avant-punk action masterpiece is like no film you will ever see again. Banned by the British colonial government immediately upon its release and forced into a state-mandated re-edit, the film has become a cult classic, and an important entry in the history of “delinquent youth” cinema. Spectacle is proud to present this rebellious, corrosive film in its original form.

Close-up on a cage of mice on a desk in a gritty tenement: A radio blares the obscenities that pass for news in late-70s Hong Kong: violence, natural disasters, dead children. A hand reaches from the darkness to snatch a white mouse, and proceeds to bore a nail into its brain before returning it to the cage, where it is devoured by it’s brothers and sisters.

This is the opening sequence of Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind, Tsui Hark’s most stunning contribution to the lineage of nihilist cinema. The setting is bleak: Hong Kong is portrayed as a living apocalypse of corruption and violence. Disaffected teenagers throw bombs for sport, violence is everywhere, colonialist American interests poison the population, and every citizen is trapped in a money-driven society hurtling itself towards auto-annihilation. The story follows a tight-knit cell of teenagers as they attempt to wreak havoc on a sick society—if they can avoid offing each other for long enough to do it.

Hark’s inventive camerawork ranges from shaky and handheld in some of the more fiery action sequences to fluid, elegant, and kinetic tracking shots through Hong Kong’s urban wasteland. Set to unauthorized usage of Goblin’s DAWN OF THE DEAD soundtrack, and capped by a gripping performance from Lin Chung-chi as a icily sociopathic teenage girl, this ultra-violent new wave masterpiece is anger and ugliness made manifest on the screen, and, according to film critic Law Kar, “probably the most nihilistic film ever made… one of those very rare films in the history of Hong Kong cinema that brims with accusations and subversion, and whose use of violence has a special significance.”




WE’RE GOING TO EAT YOU
Dir. Tsui Hark, 1980.
Hong Kong. 90 min.
MONDAY, APRIL 2 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 19 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 13 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 – 10 PM
ONLINE TICKETS HERE
“It didn’t turn out good.” – Tsui Hark on WE’RE GOING TO EAT YOU


A grim fantasy about Mainland China, Hark’s second directorial effort took the form of a sort of Hong Kong New Wave version of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. While on the surface, the film is much simpler than Hark’s densely plotted debut, it dips into multiple genres while working as a steely anti-communist allegory that probes the relationship between Hong Kong and China.

The films follows Secret Agent 999 of the “Central Surveillance Agency,” as he pursues a mysterious thief named “Rolex.” The hunt leads him into a cannibalistic village, where residents subsist on visitors they capture and cook. The film is part horror, part Kung Fu, and part slapstick comedy, and Tsui’s most overtly anti-communist film (although it treats religion, intellectuals, and bourgeois romanticism with equal satirical acridity).



THE BUTTERFLY MURDERS
Dir. Tsui Hark, 1979.
Hong Kong. 88 min.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 14 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 – MIDNIGHT
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Hark’s directorial debut came in the form of this Wuxia, or martial arts epic, deeply inspired by Euro-American horror films and Spaghetti Westerns from the 1970s, a traditional swordplay adventure restructured as a murder mystery and inflected with bio-horror elements pulled from THE BIRDS.

On the strength of Hark’s success in the HK television industry, he was hired to direct his first feature in 1979, and immediately imprinted his signature style onto the screen. The story tells the legend of the noble Shum family, who was beset by clouds of murderous butterflies. Quick cuts, shock edits, and layered sound buoy the atmospherics of his gorgeously shot sequences, and while it is clearly a debut production, Hark provides a preview of the high-flying, wire-enhanced acrobatics that would dominate his later period fantasies.



DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS OF THE FIRST KIND: DIRECTOR’S CUT
Dir. Tsui Hark, 1980.
Hong Kong. 95 min.
TUESDAY, APRIL 3 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 – 10 PM
MONDAY, APRIL 30 – 10 PM
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

When Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind was originally submitted to British colonial censors, concerns were immediately raised in regards to the film’s anti-American sentiment, a certain sympathy with the sociopathic teenager leads, and a handful of smash cuts to photographs of Hong Kong’s 1967 anti-colonial riot. The film was banned, re-edited, and released in an incomplete form. For these specials screenings, Spectacle is proud to present the film as close to it’s original form as is possible. (Please note censored sequences are pulled from a heavily damaged archival source, and do not match the quality of the theatrical release.)

SYMPHONY OF REDUCTION


SYMPHONY OF REDUCTION
An evening of 8mm and Super 8 films

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – 8 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

After the breakout success of our past 8MMMINUTE event we’ve decided to bring it back! For a paltry $5 you get a full night of condensed movies crammed into your cerebral cortex. If that’s not enough, we don’t know what to tell you. Just to sweeten the pot though here’s Dave Mustaine with his take:


You take a feature film
And cut it down to size
Watch it flicker on the screen
Before your very eyes
Your eyes…Your eyeeeeeeees…

Just like the Pied Piper
Led you to your seats
Dance like you’re marionettes
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction

8 minute DINOSAURUS?
THE FRENCH CONNECTION 2?
GODZILLA VS. THE THING?
The choice is up to you
To you…To youuuuuuuuuuuuu

The Spec starts to rumble
Bodega bags will fall
A-warring for the heavens
Projector beam stands tall
Stands tall…Stands taaaaaaaaall

Just like the Pied Piper
Led you to your seats
Dance like you’re marionettes
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction

Just like the Pied Piper
Led you to your seats
Dance like you’re marionettes
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction
Swaying to the Symphony of Reduction

Will Include Some or All of the Following:
GODZILLA VS. THE THING
DINOSAURUS
CURSE OF THE FLY
YONGARY
THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
REPTILICUS
EQUINOX
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN
DR. X
THE GIANT BEHEMOTH
THE DAYS THE EARTH WENT MAD

MAIKU HAMA, #1 PRIVATE EYE

Movies-wise, Mike Hammer – the hard-boiled private dick antihero created by master pulpist Mickey Spillane – was most memorably rendered by Ralph Meeker in Robert Aldrich’s atomic-anxiety noir classic KISS ME DEADLY. There was also I, THE JURY two years prior (starring Biff Elliot) and the ill-advised Armand Assante remake three decades later. But less famous is Japanese auteur Kaizô Hayashi’s surrogate “Maiku Hama”, hardheaded as ever but occasionally lacking one in the chamber – running his office out of an ancient movie palace, where clients have to buy a ticket (no exceptions!) to get in. This March, Spectacle is pleased to present three unsung classics of Japanese neo-noir: this is MAIKU HAMA, #1 PRIVATE EYE, embodied immortally by the rubber-faced Masatoshi Nagase (most famous for his starring turn in Jim Jarmusch’s MYSTERY TRAIN), who would reprise the character in a made-for-TV followup decades later.

(Special thanks to Film Detective Pictures.)



THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE
(我が人生最悪の時)
dir. Kaizô Hayashi, 1994
92 mins. Japan/Taiwan.
In Japanese with english subtitles.
THURSDAY, MARCH 1 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 8 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 23 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 26 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Hayashi’s breakout THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE is still the most famous of the three MAIKU HAMA pictures. After losing a finger trying to protect a Chinese restaurant employee from a local hoodlum, Hama is contracted to find the waiter’s long-lost twin brother, plunging him into an intense rivalry between Taiwanese and Japanese gangsters (including a small role by TETSUO: THE IRON MAN auteur Shinya Tsukamoto!) Hayashi embosses the story in sleek CinemaScope black-and-white, anchoring its allegiances to filmmakers like Seijun Suzuki and Kihachi Okamoto – a whirling pop-art whodunit that moves so fast you barely have time to notice its ice cold satiric streak.



STAIRWAY TO THE DISTANT PAST
(遥かな時代の階段を)
dir. Kaizô Hayashi, 1995
101 mins. Japan.
FRIDAY, MARCH 2 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 6 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY MARCH 14 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 23 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

In Japanese with English subtitles.STAIRWAY TO THE DISTANT PAST is a mile-a-minute tragi-comedy in the cinema du look vein of Luc Besson and Jean-Jacques Beneix, wherein Hama and his kid sister (Haruko Wanibuchi) go on the hunt for their long-missing parents among the flotsam of Yokohama’s underworld. While Hama continues spending more time getting his ass kicked than solving mysteries, long-denied traumas and disappointments have a way of reasserting themselves, while street toughs on sea-doos remind Hama his every move is being watched. After switching from comedy to mystery in THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME OF MY LIFE (to rib-bruisingly funny effect), STAIRWAY ups the ante to include to a surprisingly heartfelt story of family reconciliation (against the usual mob-warfare backdrop.)



THE TRAP
(罠)
dir. Kaizô Hayashi, 1996
106 mins. Japan.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, MARCH 6 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 23 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, MARCH 26 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 29 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Hayashi would give his fans a pulse-pounding, breathtaking surprise in 1996’s THE TRAP – a film whose macabre bleakness flies in the face of the go-for-broke goofiness of the trilogy’s first 2/3rds. Making a decent living and finding himself in love for the first time, Maiku Hama would appear to have turned a corner – until a murderer goes on a streak poisoning innocent women, and leaving Hama’s fingerprints behind. The same duo of annoying police detectives are following him, but they’ve been privy to his shenanigans before; Hama is a doofus, not a serial killer. Hayashi uses a straightforward descent-into-hell scenario to indulge in narrative detours both surreal and faux verite; THE TRAP appears to embody a few different movies at once, a perfect analog for Hama’s queasy, uncertain headspace as he gets further down the trail of the killer.

SPECTACLE’S SECOND EVER SPACE JAM

Face it, Earth is over. It’s time to begin anew. We had a good run but like a dead goldfish we need to flush ourselves down the commode and hit the pet store. That’s why with eyes towards the heavens we here on Spaceship Spectacle are proud to launch our second ever (since 2012 anyway) SPECTACLE SPACE JAM 12ish hour Science Fiction marathon. Strap in and bare witness to all manner of creatures, craft, and colonization with visions of the future from here to kingdom come. The bleak and the beautiful explode like a supernova and your brain dissolves like freeze-dried ice cream on the tongue of God. We can’t promise any actual interstellar travel but it’s a nice vacation nonetheless.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24th – 12p-12a 

Noon – WARNING FROM SPACE
1:30 – CHRONOPOLIS
3:00 – DEAD KIDS
4:30 – MUTILATIONS
6:00 – THE QUIET EARTH
7:30 – TERRORVISION
10:00 – LATE AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE
Midnight – FEEDERS

ONLINE TICKETS HERE


WARNING FROM SPACE
dir. Kôji Shima, 1956
87 min, Japan

A rash of UFO sightings across Tokyo has scientists baffled. Sending a rocket up to gather more information and photographs is less than successful and everyone is left scratching their heads. In the meantime, though unsuccessful at attempting to contact humans, the aliens being to appear in lakes and rivers. The Pairan, as they are known, obtain a picture of a famous entertainer Hikari Aozora and transform one of their own from their starfish-like form into hers in order to infiltrate the area.

They bring with them a warning. Their planet is on the other side of the Sun and a rouge planet – dubbed “Planet R” by the media is on a crash course with Earth. Meanwhile the one person who could possibly deter this fate, famed scientist Dr. Kumara is abducted by spies who want to steal his nuclear formula. Can everyone work together before world is smashed to bits?

Jumpstarting the marathon with some 50’s flare WARNING FROM SPACE boasts hosts of tropes and rubber costumes to boot. Crack open your popcorn and drink your coffee while it’s still hot, we’re just getting STAR-ted.


CHRONOPOLIS
dir. Piotr Kamler, 1983
65 min, Poland

A massive city lurks high above the clouds inhabited by gods and immortals who have grown weary with eternal life. To pass the time they create ornate structures and creates to bow to their whims while waiting for the “ultimate gift.”

Director Kamler (his first and only film) began work on this stop-motion gargantuan in 1972 and created it over five years on a grant from the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel of Paris and Centre National du Cinema. Almost entirely silent with a score by composer Luc Ferrari, CHRONOPOLIS is nothing short of hypnotic.


DEAD KIDS (aka: STRANGE BEHAVIOR)
dir. Michael Laughlin, 1981
94 min, New Zealand

Special thanks to AGFA.

The sleepy little town of Galesburg, Illinois (by way of New Zealand) is being plagued by power outages. On top of that the mayor’s son has disappeared. Local cop John Brady (Michael Murphy – CLOAK & DAGGER, SHOCKER) has his hands full already trying to solve these mysteries and also deal with his college bound son, Pete on his own. John also clips his toenails at the breakfast table which is gross.

Against his wishes, honor student Pete has been trying to squirrel away money by taking part in weird scientific experiments at the local college with a dead professor who’s lectures are saved on tape. Soon Pete’s poppin’ pills under the guise of research but can that account for his…(wait for it) strange behavior? Are these murders somehow connected to the college? Why does John insist on his son going to school out of state?

The first part of a never realized trilogy, the film pays homage to the pulp of the 50’s and 60’s with a midwestern flair – complete with age appropriate actors and a dry sense of humor that really lands. Director Michael Laughlin was a producer on TWO LANE BLACKTOP and screenwriter Bill Condon, only 26 at the time, plays the first teen to be murdered. DEAD KIDS also boasts hot looks and a killer score by legends Tangerine Dream with a soundtrack peppered by the likes of Lou Christie and The Boys Next Door!



MUTILATIONS
dir. Larry Thomas, 1986
70 min, USA

Special thanks to Massacre Video.

“In all the infinite vastness of space, in all the universe, there surely exists life – intelligent life – other than our own.”

Astronomy professor Jim McFarland (Al Baker) has dedicated his life to the pursuit of proving the existence of life on other worlds. Unfortunately for him he’s been right all along. Together with his “secretary, assistant, and loyal compadre” Ann Bennet (Katherine Hutson) and a group of true believers they take a field trip to a nearby town in order to investigate strange lights in the sky and brutal cattle mutilations (like in the title, get it?) Upon arrival they come face to face with a race of bloodthirsty aliens and the fight for survival is on.

Thomas flexes by making the most of what he has – limited locations, stop-motion antics, and a cast who isn’t afraid to give it their all. A passion project if there ever was one, Thomas’ tongue doesn’t leave his cheek but the film does an amazing job of not hitting you over the head with it. “It” being his tongue. The students all settle into their Breakfast Club-esque roles and everyone seems to be having a wonderful time. When the group stumbles onto a cache of weapons in a farmhouse McFarland remarks “Well this is unexpected.” without so much as a wink to the camera.

At it’s core MUTILATIONS is like 1950’s shoestring sci-fi armed with a minivan and a lot of heart. Fans of the almighty EQUINOX, the films of Burt I. Gordon, and fog machines take note – this is the cult film you’ll wish had been tucking you into bed since childhood. Also, it’s about friendship.

Another gem from our friends at Massacre Video, rescued from the void and crammed into your cerebral cortex where it will never leave.



THE QUIET EARTH
dir. Geoff Murphy, 1986
91 min, New Zealand

Special thanks to Film Movement.

Despondent scientist Zac Hobson awakens on the sunny dawn of July 5th like it was any other morning. Going about his daily routine, he discovers he is the only one around for miles. Soon the realization hits that he may, in fact, be the last man alive on Earth. He sends out radio transmissions begging for any living soul to contact him as he relocates to a mansion.

He dawns a nightgown, destroys a church, and contemplates suicide before he finally meets the lovely and lonely Joanne. He explains to her that something went wrong with “Project Flashlight” that led to the disappearance of all life on the planet. Together the two play house until one day they run into the wrong end of a machine gun. On the trigger they meet the volatile Api and the three butt heads about what to do. Hobson fears a second burst from the glitch in “Project Flashlight” could wipe them out as well.

Director Geoff Murphy (UNDER SEIGE 2) showcases these desolate landscapes and a cast you can count on one hand. The emptiness is all consuming and despite a world so large one can’t help but feel claustrophobic. Relying less on the inevitable love triangle and more on the helplessness the film boils over with tension and hurtles towards an ending that must be seen to be believed.



TERRORVISION
dir. Ted Nicolaou, 1986
73 min, USA

Special thanks to Ted Nicolaou!

Swinging super-parents Mr. and Mrs. Putterman (Gerrit Graham and Mary Waronov) head out for the evening and leave their son home with Grandpa (Bert Ramsen) to watch TV and bask in the glory of their new satellite dish. Unfortunately for them, the satellite has picked up some way out transmissions all the way from deeeeeeeeeeep space. These freaky frequencies are from a planet who decided to solve it’s trash problem by beaming their garbage to Earth. A monster gets loose in the house and it’s up to the Puttermans to put it back where it belongs.

It’s hard not to gush when it comes to the almighty TERRORVISION. With a perfect cast, Richard Band score, big rubber monsters, slime, and jokes on top of jokes it’s concentrated fun. If you’ve never seen this absolute masterpiece, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to right that wrong immediately. But don’t just take our word for it…

“TerrorVision is a caffeinated jackhammer molded into a movie. It’s goopy, hilarious, action-packed…all the things that make life good. Also it’s one of the few intentionally campy features that actually entertains, and boy, does it ever…TO THE ULTIMATE MAX!” – Zack Carlson, DESTROY ALL MOVIES.



LATE AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE
dir. Jan Schmidt, 1967
85 min, Czechoslovakia
In Czech w/ English subtitles

Special thanks to Facets.

Some time after the nuclear holocaust a group of young women roam the desolate countryside. Ambling about without a real sense of purpose and led by an “old woman” in military garb they wander around merely surviving. Soon they come upon an old man running a small hotel (like in the title, right?) and for only a moment it seems peace is within their grasp.

Far and away the bleakest entry in this year’s marathon LATE AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE was largely unseen for almost 40 years after it’s release. Now heralded as a masterpiece of the genre and a favorite here at Spectacle.



FEEDERS
dir. Jon McBride, 1996
69 (nice) min, USA

A park ranger is worried a crashed meteor is going to start a forest fire but instead it starts something much worse. Meanwhile, two dorks (director Jon McBride and John Polonia) are driving though the Pennsylvania countryside in search of a good time. The wind up in a suburb where, for some never explained reason, the town has been ravaged by a broken dam. They take some pictures presumably to eat up time in the film. Luckily for them there’s a babe at nearby gas station and they plan a picnic/party in the same woods where the meteor crashed. Unluckily they run down a fisherman with their car and have to take him to a doctors office where he dies. While this is happening the babes – Donna and Michelle – are being terrorized by the titular Feeders. You can see where this is going. Eventually they have to stop these bloodthirsty papier-mâché beasts from taking over PA and maybe the rest of the world.

Let us be 100% clear – we love this movie. On par with other jaw-dropping feats of SOV like BLOOD LAKE, FEEDERS is by and large the crown jewel of this marathon. The Polonia’s are the kings of 1990’s and if we have to die on this hill we will. It’s been a long day and if your brain isn’t silly putty by now it certainly will be after this. Think of it as dessert.

MARCH MIDNIGHTS


DIVINE EMANUELLE: LOVE CULT (Die Todesgöttin des Liebescamps)
Dir. Christian Anders, 1981
West Germany/Cyprus, 98 min.
In dubbed English
FRIDAY, MARCH 2 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MARCH 9 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 – MIDNIGHT

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

WE ARE ALL LOST.

Before you get too worked up about the professed Emmanuelleness of this film, note the one E — that title is just a bit of bait and switch because Laura Gemser of the Black Emmanuelle films is our co-star, along director/writer/actor/composer/martial artist Christian Anders, who here presents a breezy sex romp/retelling of the Jonestown massacre.

Still with us? There are great bombastic disco-pop songs, karate expos, hypnosis headtrips, and best of all Gemser in her most Femme Domme Babylon role: if Anders is the pie-eyed naif, Gesmer is the enforcer, playing her role to the hilt.



BIGFOOT: THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTER
Dir. Robert Guenette, 1975
USA, 90 min.
English
SATURDAY, MARCH 10 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – MIDNIGHT

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

“The facts that will be presented are true. This may be the most startling film you’ll ever see.”
Schick began a series of paranormal expose’ style films with THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS, in which Peter Graves (not to be confused with James Arness) visits isolated tribes, watches hypnosis, considers digital voice frequency analysis (in 1975!), and asks people around the world: is Bigfoot real?

IVAN MAXIMOV: LIVE SCORE BY TELAH

SATURDAY, MARCH 31 – 7:30 and 10 PM
Tickets $10
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

The last day of March will bring two opportunities to see selected work from animator and former astrophysicist Ivan Maximov, scored by Brooklyn’s TELAH. You may remember TELAH from last June’s transportive live score for Mamoru Oshii’s ANGELS EGG. The lineup of the band has changed slightly, but still features the room-reverberating drums of Jeff Widner and bassist Evan Gill Smith. They were nice enough to include Spectacle programmer Erin Lemkey on keyboards for this show.
The band will provide new sounds for the anatomically unusual animations of Moscow-based Maximov. In his animated shorts, creatures both globular and mammalian partake in peregrinations of form and mood. Many of these shorts operate without a logical storyline, but are as captivating as a tank of bizarrely-behaved tropical fish. Between animations we will feature some quotes from the artist on the creative process, distaste for puppets, and the superiority of children.
Ivan Maximov’s work has earned him many animation awards in Russia, Germany, Italy, and Hungary.

 

Program time: 60 minutes

DEVIL AT YOUR HEELS / STUNTS

THE DEVIL AT YOUR HEELS
Dir. Robert Fortier, 1981
Canada, 102 min.
In English
THURSDAY, MARCH 1 – 7:30
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7 – 7:30
MONDAY, MARCH 12 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 18 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 27 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

“I still believe that Evel Knievel is the second best daredevil in the world. And I say that because I feel that I’m number one.”

The late 70s/early 80s was arguably the golden age of jumping vehicles over stuff, and it should come as no shock the Canadians had their own golden boy, Ken “The Mad Canadian” Carter. This National Film Board of Canada documentary examines Carter and his crew as he prepared for his greatest feat ever: jumping the mile-wide St. Lawrence River in a rocket-powered Lincoln Continental. This jump became an endless series of problems: ABC pulled out of sponsoring the jump for Wide World Of Sports, wind speed called off multiple jumps, his protege’ Kenny Powers secretly tried and failed the jump after believing Carter lost his nerve, Evel “World’s Biggest Asshole” Knievel badmouthed him at every turn, but dreams never die. Stuntpeople, sadly, die: two years after the filming of this documentary, Ken Cater was killed instantly attempting to jump a pond.



STUNTS
Dir. Mark Lester (1977)
USA, 89 min.
In English
SATURDAY, MARCH 10 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 12 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 27 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Director Mark Lester (CLASS OF 1999, COMMANDO, FIRESTARTER) blends murder mystery and stunt reel in a film that sits comfortably next to HOOPER and STUNT ROCK. Featuring Robert Forster (MEDIUM COOL, TWIN PEAKS) and Ray Sharkey (a great back-to-back run on CRIME STORY and WISEGUY) as a stuntman and a reporter trying to figure out who is murdering film’s greatest stuntpeople, it’s got everything from slow-motion footage of cars flying end-over-end, a breezy drive-in vibe, multiple helicopter gags, dirtbikes for days and did I mention STUNTS?

BLACK MASS EXTINCTION EVENT

BLACK MASS EXTINCTION EVENT (1983, 2018, what’s the difference)
various directors, edited by Darren Bauler
USA, 60 min.
FRIDAY, MARCH 30 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

“You know what Einstein said about World War III? He said he didn’t know how they were gonna fight World War III, but he knew how they would fight World War IV: With sticks and stones.”
By 1983, the cinema of nuclear obliteration was already well-established; Japan’s HIROSHIMA (which we hope you saw at Japan Society earlier this year!) set the bar decades earlier, while more recent films such as THREADS and THE WAR GAME provided dark views into the reality of surviving even the most limited nuclear attack.
A certain American made for TV movie became the nexus for water-cooler panic, playground death meditations and a million articles in a million hometown papers. That movie was two hours long, cut down from a four-hour workprint. We have taken that workprint, with missing music, SCENE MISSING interstitials and footage never seen on television, plus the film edited into this film (1979’s FIRST STRIKE), and edited it to remove the least important part of this film: the human actors. Scored by ambient composer April Larson, we hope this take on Cold War panic warms your heart. And you flesh, and your hair, and your eyes.

FURTHER APPLIED FICTIONS: NEW FILMS OF JEAN-PIERRE BEKOLO

Jean-Pierre Bekolo occupies a unique space in post-colonial African cinema. Twenty-five years since his exuberant debut QUARTIER MOZART, the Cameroonian director remains playfully genre-defying, conceptually inventive, and utterly unpredictable. Following the dystopian subversion of 2005’s LES SAIGNANTES and up-to-the-minute political-media discourse of 2013’s LE PRESIDENT (all of which were included in a full retrospective at Spectacle in 2013), he’s now traveled 150 years for the fascinating post-modern future of NAKED REALITY. Paired against LE PRESIDENT, which we’re bringing back, the two form a complex portrait of Africa today and into the future.


NAKED REALITY
Dir. Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2016.
South Africa / Cameroon. 62 min.
THURSDAY, MARCH 8 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 19 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY MARCH 25 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 29 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

In an entirely urban Africa 150 years from now, energy is scarce and power lies in the past, channelled via prayer in defense against the genetic disorders of “Bad Luck”. Weather forecaster Wanita’s DNA may contain ancestral solutions, pulling her out of her life and into a post-modern odyssey. But no synopsis can suffice to contain the open-ended and constantly shifting world of the film: genetics, technology, time-travel, doppelgangers, the body as text, and meteorology appear as ambiguous signs along the hero’s journey. Each scene offers its own insights and reconfigures what came before, as the layers of artifice peel back towards the elusive reality of the title. The future, here, is evoked with icy minimal space that suggests its own meanings: if non-urban space has ceased to exist, perhaps this world of digital overlays and empty sound stages is an indication that all non-virtual existence will also be a thing of the past.



LE PRESIDENT
(The President)
dir. Jean Pierre Bekolo, 2013
Cameroon. 64 mins.
In French with English subtitles
FRIDAY, MARCH 2 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 4 – 5 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

“Our president was betrothed to Cameroon with great love and passion, yet over the years the fire has died. He spends more time in Switzerland than in Cameroon. What is he – too good for us now?” – JEAN-PIERRE BEKOLO

The night before an important summit in the near-future, the head of state vanishes into ostensibly thin air. Potential heirs and overthrow-ers converge around the capitol, while bloggers, hangers-on and talking heads tussle with the president’s problematic legacy. Never snarling, Bekolo gestures both unmistakably towards Cameroon’s own 31-year president Paul Biya as well as the varied bigshots across the continent who have consolidated post-colonial power in the vacuum of leadership.

Bekolo’s piercing film is a fake documentary that asks barbed, tough-love questions of his homeland’s catastrophic experiments with democracy. “It was through the small screen that he punctuated every moment of my life!”