Author: lemkey

LABOR LOST AND FOUND


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 — 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 — 7:30 PM

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Looking at what we all do for some half of our waking adult life is always revealing. Once this particular level of inquiry begins it can address a myriad of issues, including class disparity, existential questions and whether dreams are deferred or denied. Through interviews, observational vignettes and historical tracings, these films investigate the world of work in unexpected and invigorating ways.

“Meet me at the bottom, don’t lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the frontline
Sing a little bit of these workingman’s blues”

-Bob Dylan

OILTOWNS
Dir. Mark Street, 2017.
41 min, USA.

OILTOWNS traces boom and bust cycles in and around the town of Williston, North Dakota. Interviews with oil workers, longtime residents, ranchers and the homeless focus on changes that have animated the small town. Pump jacks dig rhythmically on desolate highways, trucks lumber on small roads, gas flares in the distance, new homes are built at breakneck speed, abandoned RVs seem to rust before our eyes. A Turtle Mountain Native American talks about the rampant prostitution and drug use that has burgeoned as a result of itinerant workers arriving with lots of money to spend. Three drunk men banter in front of a trailer they share as the sun goes down. A former Chicago policeman sells hot dogs from a stand from 10AM to 10 PM every day alongside a highway teeming with oil trucks. OILTOWNS offers a microscopic view of unbridled capitalism in which expectations are exceeded and dashed. In the Bakken formation, oil is THE game in town, and its discovery and extraction brings unexpected consequences and environmental blight.

OILTOWNS reveals an ensemble of people who have chased the American Dream all across the country, as well as those who have seen it appear on their doorstep. The Bakken formation in North Dakota has yielded almost 1 million barrels of oil a day. Oil exploration and recovery has brought unprecedented wealth to the region, which was primarily an agrarian economy before oil was discovered. Money, and the transient workers who make and spend it, has enlivened the community economically, but at great social cost. Drugs and prostitution proliferate, and the infrastructure is ill equipped to handle the influx of people. Housing prices have skyrocketed; some workers live in ‘man camps’ provided by oil companies. It’s a place where residents check the price of oil daily and impermanence is the only constant.

As we in the United States ponder whether energy independence is possible or desirable, and how much to invest in renewable energy sources, OILTOWNS examines the ramifications of the footprint of the oil industry on a small community. Audience members can see for themselves some of the environmental and social problems created by increased development, but also some of the infectious spirit of the workers who moved to North Dakota determined to work hard to send money back home.

Check out Mark Street’s site here.

THE WASHING SOCIETY [excerpts]
Dir. Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker, 2018.
10 min, USA.

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? Our film brings you into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, THE WASHING SOCIETY investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.

Check out Lynne Sachs’ site here.


BLOOD OF THE BEASTS

Dir. Georges Franju, 1949.
20 min, France.
In French with English subtitles.

A shocking observational portrait of Paris abbatoirs.

“George Franju’s 1949 film Le Sang Des Bêtes (blood of the beasts) is one of the most beautiful and horrifying movies ever made. Filmed in the backstreets of Paris, Franju contrasts bucolic scenes of fog-shrouded streets, canals, deserted junkyards and children playing, with the nightmarish events taking place within two slaughterhouses. Marcel Fradetal’s stunning black and white cinematography turns the horrific into a brutal kind of poetry that if it had been shot in color would be unbearable.” -Dangerous Minds

10TH ANNUAL DRUID UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

THE TENTH ANNUAL DRUID UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
various directors, various years
80 min, USA

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! $10!

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Showcasing the best of a decade of unique programming, the 10th annual Druid Underground is a high-powered blast of rebellious cinema hosted by Billy Burgess!

A spectacle unlike any other, Druid Underground champions subversive techniques that advance the language of cinema, challenge pre-conceived notions of underground art and simultaniously blow your mind out of your skull!

JOIN US for a break-kneck barrage of creative cinema both on and off the underground film radar that Flavorpill says doesn’t so much “defy convention as mow it down, douse it in kerosene, and flick a Zippo at it!”

This years line up:

Brent Weinbach “My Buddy Commercial”
Ancient Reality “You Wouldn’t Steal a Meme”
Thanks Computer “Shithead”
Tavet Gillson “Placenta”
Adriel Garcia “Turbo Tom” and “Turbo Tom 2: Electric Boogaloo”
Aimee Goguen “Bug Show”
Anthony Cerniello “Danielle”
Brennan Hill “Hero/Psycho”
Brent Weinbach “Gangster Party Line”
Cecelia Condit “Possibly in Michigan”
Damon Packard “SKATEBANG”
Danny Plotnick “Skate Witches”
Dave Kidd “Tell-a-Vision”
Garret Davis and Kirsten Lepore “Story From North America”
Dylan Hausthor “You Don’t Go Fucking Killing People”
Ignacio Genzon “Handy Man”
Jason Eisener “Treevenge”
John Geary “Devil’s Arrest”
Kid Mankowitz “TV Sabotage”
Kids & Explosions “Swear Words”
Matthew Silver “Heartpocalypse”
Max Winston “I Live in the Woods”
Ancient Reality “Major League Can Can”
Richard Roth “Stump: A Yahi Story”
Rodney Ascher “Visions of Terror”
Teemong “Psychle”
Winona Regan “Haunted Heart”
Vitamin Wig C “Tear Light”

TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  FREE Prize Raffle at EVERY SHOW!

 

TORMENTING THE HEN

TORMENTING THE HEN
Dir. Theodore Collatos
77 mins. USA
2017
NY Theatrical Premiere Run!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 5 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 7:30 PM

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From the bucolic hinterlands of rural Massachusetts comes a disquieting new dramedy from “Dipso” director Teddy Collatos. Shot for a pittance in only six days, “Tormenting the Hen” is a caustic satire of city mice in the world of country mice, where well-meaning cosmopolites clash with strange townsfolk in country homes, black-box theaters, backyards, and local pubs.

Invited by a dippy, well-meaning curator type (Josephine Decker), playwright Claire (Dameka Hayes) is spirited away to an artists’ retreat to present her latest work, a political one-act about race, resentment, and masculinity. Accompanied by her fiance, Monica (Carolina Monnerat), the weekend begins in earnest as a welcome getaway for the harried pair, until an unexpected visit from town weirdo Mutty (Matt Shaw) casts a threatening pall on their romantic idyll.

While Claire plays babysitter to a duo of difficult performers – Joel (Brian H. Brooks) and Adam (David Malinsky) – Monica attempts to maintain her sanity despite her lover’s decreasing attentions and her neighbor’s increasing proximity. Each woman struggles to preserve her autonomy in an increasingly hostile milieu, building to a soul-shaking climax that offers no easy answers for character and viewer alike.



LA GRANDE BOUFFE



LA GRANDE BOUFFE

dir. Marco Ferreri, 1973
Italy/France, 135 min.
Italian & French w/ English Subtitles

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 10:00 PM

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Spectacle is proud to present LA GRANDE BOUFFE, Marco Ferreri’s “biting” satire about four bourgeois men eating themselves to death.

After an innocuous opening in which four longtime friends (Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, & Spectacle-favorite Michel Piccoli) meet at a country villa for a “gastronomic seminar,” it is revealed that their ulterior motive is to commit collective suicide through overeating. Joined by a schoolteacher (Andréa Ferréol) who turns out to be surprisingly open-minded to their plans , they feast on pizza Provençal, goose pâté, crêpe Suzette, and more early-70s Franco-Italian delicacies. As the film progresses, it becomes increasingly decadent, crude, and macabre as these upper-middle class libertines literally stuff themselves to death.

LA GRANDE BOUFFE is like 120 DAYS OF SODOM, but with food instead of sex (though there’s also sex). The protagonists’ inexplicable dedication to their absurd task is reminiscent of Luis Buñel’s classic dinner party satire, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL. A film that is somehow intellectual in its approach to fart jokes, LA GRANDE BOUFFE scandalized audiences when it premiered at Cannes, but nonetheless took home the FIPRESCI critics’ prize.

So, while Williamsburg’s foodies are enjoying their gourmet groceries and bottomless brunches, grab some epicurean eats and join us for the feast to end all feasts. Because, as Michel Piccoli muses midway through the film, “besides food, all is epiphenomenal.”

THE GOODIEPAL EQUATION

THE GOODIEPAL EQUATION
Dir. Sami Sänpäkkilä, 2017.
71 min, Finland.
In Finnish and English, with subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – 5 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – 10 PM

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Goodiepal (real name Kristian Parl Bjørn Vester, b. 1974–76) is a Danish musician, performance artist, lecturer and activist operating on the fringes of society. Goodiepal rides thousands of kilometres on a self-built bicycle that he uses to power his shows. He has released a record with a genuine 500-krone banknote embedded in the vinyl – priced at 250 kroner. Goodiepal has put together an exhibition for the National Museum of Denmark comprising all his material possessions, and he creates his art outside of customary institutions and norms.

Goodiepal’s best friend, the former 1960s rock star Poul Erik, is another true eccentric, a hoarder living among things he has collected from skips. His dream is to own a piece of each item ever produced by human beings. Goodiepal considers Poul Erik his partner in crime, although his audience would prefer to see him without him.

Goodiepal’s life is shadowed by Huntington’s disease, an inherited degenerative disease of the brain that has driven men in his family to suicide. Doctors find odd tumours in his head and he begins to misplace and forget things. Many of his closest friends are likewise affected by illness.

Goodiepal’s activism turns increasingly radical and he drifts further and further away from social safety nets. Goodiepal challenges us to reflect on our view of the world. What remains of us if we only exist to serve the system? What is THE GOODIEPAL EQUATION?


Words from the director:

The Goodiepal Equation documentary film reveals a small part of Goodiepal’s personality and mystery. It shows its protagonist as both an uncompromising artist and a loyal friend. Goodiepal explores the boundaries of society’s rules. He shatters the definitions of art in his works and actions. Goodiepal is by nature impenetrable, yet consistent. That is why people often either love him or hate him.

Goodiepal himself forms an essential part of his theories. Indeed, the Goodiepal Equation is as follows: “The longer and further a message travels over space and time, the more value it adds to its content.” One might think that this documentary has been made on the off-chance of Goodiepal later becoming an extremely famous artist and theorist. This, however, is a ready example of the paradox that is Goodiepal – it will never happen. If nothing else, it will be hindered by Goodiepal’s personality. For all his overbearingness, he is not merely a master manipulator; his actions reveal true altruism and empathy. He pays for rooms for the needy to work and live in, he helps refugees and donates large sums of money to charity.

Even though he is the self-proclaimed man for the new millennium, for most of us he is also beyond comprehension and imagination. You will feel like Alice in Wonderland having a conversation with the Cheshire Cat. That is why following Goodiepal must be done with a mind as open as Alice’s as she stepped through the looking glass.

The documentary portrays a man who is more than an artist or a theorist. It shows us someone who is battling – in his very personal way – his problems and illnesses. Goodiepal’s attitude in the face of adversity is the main reason why I chose to make this documentary. His loyalty towards his friends is demanding but also very rewarding. In the words of his best friend Poul Erik: “He is ready to die for his friends.”

-Sami Sänpäkkilä

 

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: SYDNEY FREELAND’S DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST

DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST
dir. Sydney Freeland, 2014.
USA, 93 min.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST
ONE NIGHT ONLY – 7:30 PM

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS and Spectacle Theater are celebrating the fall by presenting filmmaker Sydney Freeland’s autobiographically-inspired DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST.

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Three young Native Americans – an adopted Native girl, a young father-to-be, and a trans woman who dreams of being a model – strive to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation. As the three find their lives becoming more complicated and their troubles growing, their paths begin to intersect.

MATCH CUTS is a weekly podcast centered on video, film and the moving image. Match Cuts Presents is dedicated to presenting de-colonialized cinema, LGBTQI films, Marxist diatribes, video art, dance films, sex films, and activist documentaries with a rotating cast of presenters from all spectrums of the performing and plastic arts and surrounding humanities. Match Cuts is hosted by Nick Faust and Kachine Moore.

SPECULATIVE EVOLUTION: THE FUTURE IS EVOL

This two film series is inspired by the possibilities of future life – from both myth and science. UNDERWATER LOVE is a story of a kappa dancing free among the cucumber fields of rural Japan, looking for love. ETH FURTUE SI LIWD is an in-house edit that condenses an 8-hour series on speculative evolution into the best 80 minutes of giant future-squid, freaky fish-birds, and spiny desert scavengers.



UNDERWATER LOVE
dir. Shinji Imaoka
Japan, 2011

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 – 10 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – 10 PM

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Welcome to a dreary packaging plant in an underpopulated Japanese town, where a woman receives a visit from a creature out of ancient myth: a scaly, turtle-backed, freshwater kappa. Even more surprisingly, the magical creature is actually a sweet-natured incarnation of an old friend from her youth, who needs frequent watering and a steady diet of cucumbers. What could be a better conduit for love and myth than zany musical numbers with aquatic-inspired dancing, and answers to the age-old question “what does a kappa have hidden in his trousers?”

UNDERWATER LOVE is a film in the pink tradition, with cinematography by the acclaimed Wong Kar Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle. He certainly succeeded in making this movie steeped in muted green tones and extremely wet. Bring your own cute little kappa down to the Spectacle for a sexy Stereo-Total scored sing-along from Rapid Eye Pictures in Germany.



TEH FURTUE SI LIWD
In-house edit, 2017
USA, 60 min

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 10 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 10 PM

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It’s only the weirdest pockets of biological thinking that can remain hopeful for the future of life on this planet. But why can’t we all share in that joy, and cheer on the snout-nosed flying insects and flappy ocean predators that might truly inherit the earth? Humans are the quickest to change the environment, but probably the slowest to evolve to fit these changes.

The source material for this edit comes from an 8-hour BBC series that is an anagram of the program’s title. Using an approach that was part PLANET EARTH and part SPORE the video game, this series blended expert scientific speculation and the best creatures that Maya animators of the early 00’s could produce. Our in-house edit adds some leafy 70’s moog jams, such as Mort Garson’s Plantasia and Caldera’s A Moog Mass. We assure you that you can’t see this program in this form anywhere else, or possibly ever again.

 

 

 


NOVEMBER MIDNIGHTS



3 DEAD TRICK OR TREATERS
dir. Torin Langen, 2017
73 mins, Canada

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – MIDNGIHT

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After stumbling upon the graves of three murdered children, a small town paperboy discovers a series of handwritten horror stories tacked to the headstones. Penned by a deranged pulp author driven mad by his craft, the stories chronicle grisly tales of Halloween rites, rituals and traditions.

Absent of dialogue, fueled by an enveloping score, and heavy on atmosphere, 3 DEAD TRICK OR TREATERS is a horror anthology unlike any you’ve seen before.

3 DEAD TRICK OR TREATERS is a fusion of mood-driven experimental filmmaking and kitsch Halloween imagery. In whole, the project is an expression of isolation and the anxiety that comes with it; characters struggling with morality under horrifying circumstances. This is merged with Langren’s love for dime store monster masks, silent storytelling and underground music. A labor of love that took over 4 years to complete TDTOT is sure to fill the void that Halloween’s absence has left in your heart.




THE SEVENTH CURSE (aka: Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li)
dir. Ngai Choi Lam, 1986
78 min, Hong Kong


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – MIDNIGHT

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For Dr. Yuan adventure has become a way of life – though not one he asked for. On a routine mission to pick up some of the herb that cures AIDS the good doctor stumbles across a tribe deep in the countryside of Thailand. Unfortunately for them, the evil priest of this “Worm Tribe” is in the middle of resurrecting Old Ancestor with a ghastly human sacrifice! Furious that his ritual as been interrupted the priest puts a blood curse on Dr. Yuan and he narrowly escapes with his life.

Now a year later he must travel back to Thailand with his pipe-smoking professor friend (Chow-Yun Fat in the ‘Wisely’ role – something of Hong Kong’s Indiana Jones) must travel back to reverse the curse before his seventh vein bursts in his heart and kills him. To do this they must use an artifact called Buddha’s Eye. Along the way (with intrepid reporter Maggie at their side) they’ll fight monks, walking skeletons, monsters, rolling boulders, and the film’s true star – a small ghost that flies into people and then makes them explode.

A smash hit from a recent FIST CHURCH screening (every other Sunday at 3PM) that had the audience stumbling around in the dark, using their phones as flashlights, trying to find their jaws on the floor. From the director of THE STORY OF RICKY this film truly has it all. Though very much a CATIII Indian Jones film it owes a debt of gratitude to a bouquet of other influences including 1979’s ALIEN. If you’ve never been to FIST CHURCH this is the type of high quality mystery entertainment you’ve been missing.




NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR
Dir. Jay Schlossberg-Cohen (1985)
USA,
In English

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – MIDNIGHT

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HELD OVER FROM SPECTOBER. GET ON THIS TRAIN!

Sometimes it’s best not to know everything going in. You can find out how NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR became a melange of three different aborted projects fused together through the power of 80s nuevo-wavo apocalyptic dance numbers on various weblogs, but there’s a *lot* to be gained by going into this thing pretty much cold. We’ll tell you it’s an omnibus film, we’ll tell you it’s set on a train to Vegas (making an unexpected stop in fiery damnation) while God and The Devil stand in judgment over lost souls — it’s a *weird* one, and a lot of fun, with cameos aplenty and more confusion than anyone can stand! Presented in a wonderful transfer via our friends at AGFA and Vinegar Syndrome, we present NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR!


THE ENCLAVE (Fei Di)

THE ENCLAVE (Fei Di)
Dir. Li Wei, 2016.
China. 105 min.
In Mandarin with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – 10 PM

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The Chinese word for enclave, fei di, is “flying land.” The sense of enclosure inherent in “enclave” was lost, poetically, in translation, but it is still an apt description for the Yi village where the film takes place. The village is a remote enclave of the Yi minority in the Daliang mountains of Sichuan. Few people speak Mandarin, and fewer ever leave the mountains. Like many other places that are too far and small for state investments in public goods, it bears a regular flow of volunteer teachers who come from universities in urban centers to teach the village children on a short term basis, for a few weeks, maybe a month. It’s not clear if the volunteers give more than they take from the mountains and its people, as it is clear that the village needs so much more than what they could ever bring.

Filmmaker Li Wei follows Yibu Sugan, a villager who left his hometown in his youth, but came back disabled from work injuries. Li finds Yibu Sugan when he desperately needs a local who speaks Mandarin to help him communicate with the villagers (Yibu Sugan was the only such person, due to his experience working outside), but soon he discovers that Yibu Sugan is a fascinating character that walks the fine line of madness and brilliance. While keenly aware of both his disability, physical as well as mental, and the history of the downfall of his family fortune and power that was a direct result of the rise of new China, he is nevertheless an avid consumer and supporter of state propaganda on TV, which only became available with the arrival of electrity in 2012. It is easy to reduce a village like this to stereotypes of poverty and underdevelopment, but people like Yibu Sugan defy these narrow frameworks of understanding.

THE ENCLAVE is a quiet witness to a small village’s response to broader transformations that swept China in the last few decades, and an essential film for those with interests in lives on the margins.

MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA



AN EVENING WITH DASH SHAW
PART 1 (7:30pm): SHORTS
dir. Dash Shaw, Various
70 min, USA

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – 7:30 PM

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It’s been quite a while since the last time we were visited by the multitalented Dash Shaw, in fact it’s been four years! Since his last visit he has eaten many meals, designed a beautiful poster as part of our Kickstarter, and written and directed the acclaimed MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA. For this iteration we’ll be presenting an evening of his earlier shorts, all “limited” (aka “low budget”) animation, like the Sigur Ros video and Sundance selection “Seraph”, the “fast slideshow” of an episode of “Wheel of Fortune”, and other comic-related shorts. As a bonus – a secret cartoon that’s inspired him!




MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA
dir. Dash Shaw, 2016
75 min, USA

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – 10 PM

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Dash is a sophomore (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) recently kicked out of his school’s newspaper due to disputes over content. In a building that is shockingly not up to code, on a day filled with storms both metaphorical as well as a literal, the school is pushed into the Pacific Ocean and begins sinking. Dash must team up with the hot to trot Mary (Lena Dunham) in order to wade through the wreckage, carnage, and social hierarchies of his school to find his friends (Reggie Watts) and their lunch lady (Susan Sarandon) while trying to get to the top floor.

A heartfelt look at friendship and the lives of teens paired with Shaw’s visual style makes for a captivating and earnest adventure. Dash will be on hand to answer any and all questions you might have. Bag lunch not provided.