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.

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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.


A WEEKEND WITH MAGGIE HADLEIGH-WEST

For one weekend only, Spectacle is thrilled to host firebrand documentarian Maggie Hadleigh-West whose film WAR ZONE burned down the house as part of our MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: CINEMA AGAINST STREET HARASSMENT program in 2015!  Our brief retrospective of her three features will include WAR ZONE, PLAYER HATING: A LOVE STORY (her deep-dive into Crown Heights hip-hop) and the NYC premiere of Hadleigh-West’s latest, SICK TO DEATH! – a startling and compassionate dissection of the modern healthcare crisis in America. Maggie will be here at all screenings for Q&A – not to be missed!

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WAR ZONE
1998. 72 mins.

THURSDAY, JULY 26 – 7:30 PM
(WITH FILMMAKER Q&A! – This screening is $10)
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Maggie Hadleigh-West’s incendiary direct cinema documentary, WAR ZONE, is a battle cry for anyone who’s been harassed, catcalled, and assaulted while rightfully claiming their slice of public space. Twenty years ago, West videotaped herself and other women in cities across America as they idly walked down the street. The zip codes may change, but not the trash on the sidewalks: an unending array of men openly propositioning these women, commenting on their appearances and trying to cut them down to size. Camera in hand, West returned fire, confronting them about their wonton disrespect and forcing them to explain their disgusting behavior. The results are cathartic, at times terrifying, and enraging above all.

WAR ZONE is about sex, power and what happens when men—either knowingly or unknowingly—threaten a woman’s right to walk undisturbed on the streets. What exactly do catcalls, leers or a whole litany of other behaviors mean to a woman? And why do men engage in these behaviors? Shot all over the US, Hadleigh-West turns her camera on men in the same way that they turn their aggression on her. WAR ZONE is 76 minutes of explosive footage as the filmmaker places herself in very real danger by daring to ask the men on the streets why they are treating a complete stranger in a sexual way…

“Shrewdly building a canny tale of humor, hostility, and, ultimately, physical violence.  War Zone is a charged 76 minutes that asks the questions on the mind of every woman who knows the anger and frustration of not being able to walk down the street undisturbed.” – Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, LA Weekly

“Everything she shows is fascinating, revealing and provocative.”Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

PLAYER HATING: A LOVE STORY
2011. 95 mins.

FRIDAY, JULY 27 – 7:30 PM
(WITH FILMMAKER Q&A! – This screening is $10)
ONLINE TICKETS HERE

PLAYER HATING: A LOVE STORY follows Brooklyn rapper Half-a-Mill and his crew The Godfia Criminals, as they struggle to launch Milion, in an effort to attain money, success and recognition through music. PLAYER HATING delves intimately into the lives of young “thugs”, and takes the viewer into an underground world of poverty, alienation, gangs, violence and music that most audience members have an inkling of, but few rarely see—unless they’ve lived it.

“Player Hating– Someone else is about to shine, and you’ll do anything to keep that motherfucker from getting his cheese — it can be as subtle as negative flow (lyrics) or as extreme as trying to clap (shoot) him.”– Trent Bond, Half’s Manager and former NYPD Detective

“With intimate handheld cinematography and a rough naturalism that matches her story’s tough urban environs, the director charts the ups and downs of Half-a-Mill and a few of his many crew members, all of whom boast loyalty to their violent neighborhood…”Nick Schager, Village Voice

“Hadleigh-West’s documentary about Crown Heights rapper Half-a-Mill, his crew, and their desperately poor milieu is less about the music biz and celebrity culture than it is about the economic and emotional war zone of the projects.” – New York Magazine

“PLAYER HATING: A LOVE STORY sidesteps any handwringing or moral pronouncements about the gun- and drug-saturated “thug life,” instead presenting an intimate portrait of this tight-knit group that speaks for itself…”Sara Stewart, New York Post


SICK TO DEATH!
2017. 85 mins.

(BOTH SCREENINGS WITH FILMMAKER Q&A! – This event is $10)
SATURDAY, JULY 28 – 5 PM – ONLINE TICKETS HERE
SATURDAY JULY 28 – 7:30 PM – ONLINE TICKETS HERE

After drinking radioactive iodine to kill her overactive thyroid, Hadleigh-West catapults into illness only to run smack into the medical corruption that is shredding the fabric of American life.

In SICK TO DEATH!, Hadleigh-West exposes her own disturbing, yet determined, thirty-year struggle to regain her spiraling health. After seeing hundreds of doctors who either disregarded her symptoms, misdiagnosed or under treated her, Maggie discovers that her life-long thyroid problem was a fully understood medical issue as early as 1914, yet it’s been obscured by systemic medical corruption, pharmaceutical greed and physician negligence, leaving more than 750 million people sick and suffering world-wide.

Follow her as she brazenly uncovers the medical corruption and negligence that obscures medical practice – only to find yet another disturbing personal revelation. SICK TO DEATH! is both a call-to-action and a quirky film, which seeks to understand and change this disturbing medical reality.

SATANIC SVMMER 2

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that Summer 2018 will be hot, muggy, and fully Satanic. These offerings dig deeper into the devil’s work than you might have thought possible. We have a direct line to the source, what can we say.
Happy Solstice to you, and welcome to the second installment of SATANIC SVMMER.

EVILSPEAK!
Dir. Eric Weston, 1981
USA, 97 min.
In English, no subs
TUESDAY, JULY 3 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 6 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JULY 14 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JULY 21 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25 – 10 PM

Remember the little kid you used to pick on? Well, he’s a big boy now.
Clint Howard plays Stanley Coopersmith aka “Cooperdick”, a bullied orphan “welfare case” who’s sent off to Military School, where he’s bullied relentlessly by students and teachers alike. After finding a diary detailing satanic rituals, he uses his computer-skills to initiate a digital Black Mass to take vengeance on his tormentors.
If you want to see a bunch of men’s-rights-activists in training get offed, this is the movie for you. A satanic riff on a gender-bent Carrie you didn’t know you needed, screening in its uncut non-domestic form.



ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK (Tutti i colori del buio)
Dir. Sergio Martino, 1972
USA, 94 min.
In Italian w english subs
MONDAY, JULY 2 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 12 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 20 – MIDNIGHT

MONDAY, JULY 24 – 10 PM

They exist. They bear the Mark of the Devil inside them. They may be your neighbors. They may be your wife, husband, sweetheart. They may even be your children. Their time has come.
Fans of Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, take note! Sergio Martino directs this Giallo-riff on satanic panic starring Edwige Fenech.
Jane (Fenech) lives in London with her boyfriend Richard. Her mother was murdered when she was young, she recently lost a baby in a car crash, and she’s plagued by nightmares of a knife-wielding man. Richard thinks that the cure is vitamins, while Jane’s sister recommends psychiatric help.
A new neighbor promises that if she participates in a Black Mass, all her fears will disappear, but instead it just seems to bring her nightmares to life. Is there any way out for her short of death or a living hell??


MESSIAH OF EVIL
Dir. Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, 1973
USA, 90 min.
In English
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11 – 10 PM

FRIDAY, JULY 20 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 28 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, JULY 30 – 10 PM

They’re peering around buildings at night, and they’re waiting. They’re waiting for you. And they’ll take you one by one, and no one will hear you scream. No on will hear you SCREAM!
Co-directed by the husband and wife team behind the scripts for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Howard the Duck, this bad acid-trip of a zombie movie takes you into a Lovecraftian beach town where things are very, very off.
When Arletty stops hearing from her estranged father, an artist and painter living in the beach town of Point Dune, she makes a trip to see him despite his prior warnings to stay away.
Come and join the cult of the blood moon as we burn bonfires on the beach and wait for the arrival of the dark stranger. Featuring elaborate and eye popping production design by Jack Fisk (Badlands, Phantom of the Paradise) and a killer electronic score by Phillan Bishop (Kiss of the Tarantula).

LOST IN LIVING

LOST IN LIVING
Dir. Mary Trunk, 2013
USA, 113 min.

FRIDAY, JULY 6 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11 – 7:30 PM

THURSDAY, JULY 19 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 24 – 7:30 PM
Behind the domestic curtain of motherhood, where the creative impulse can flourish or languish, are four women determined to make a go of it. LOST IN LIVING confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes.
Filmed over 7 years, LOST IN LIVING follows four remarkable women, all artists as well as mothers. Best friends Kristina, a filmmaker, and Caren, a painter, embark on a journey that takes them through difficult career choices, challenges in their friendship, turning 40, parenting struggles, rejection and acclaim for their work and a redefinition of their feminist ideals. Merrill and Margie, both with adult children and many years of child-rearing experience, recall their triumphs and mistakes. Merrill is a writer with three adult daughters. She published more than 25 books before deciding to quit altogether. Margie’s late-life success as a painter saves her from the deadening dullness of being a housewife and mother and the strains of an unhappy marriage. These four women’s stories illustrate the internally driven desire to explore their deeply held conflicts and passions. For them art competes with other passions in their lives and the richness of their lives enriches their art. Through intimate scenes, and in-depth interviews, the complex realities of family life unfold in this funny and poignant documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.

CHICAGOLAND SHORTS VOL. 4

CHICAGOLAND SHORTS: VOLUME FOUR
Various Artists, 2014-2017
Dir. Various, 81 mins.

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SATURDAY, JULY 4 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 12 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JULY 16 – 10 PM (WITH Q and A!)
THURSDAY, JULY 26 – 10 PM (WITH Q and A!)
Chicagoland Shorts corrals the best of narrative, experimental, documentary, and observational short filmmaking on the Third Coast into a traveling anthology show that centers the work of gender non-conforming filmmakers and filmmakers of color. Now in its fourth iteration, this year’s program features an exciting array of subjects and styles, from sine waves to skates, songbirds to burgeoning Sapphic love. The filmmakers included here have screened at such august festivals as Rotterdam, Berlin, Sundance, and Tribeca – and we, at Spectacle, are honored to screen their work in collaboration with Full Spectrum Features for the fourth year in a row!
Distributed by Full Spectrum Features, Chicagoland Shorts: Volume Four is programmed by Raul Benitez, with curatorial work by Lori Felker, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, and Sarah Rubin.
Solar Pulse
Dir. Dena Springer, 2014
Experimental, 3 mins.
Solar Pulse is an experimental film that abstracts images from real life with modular synthesizers.
4 Things to Remember
Dir. Hannah Kim, 2016
Narrative, 9 mins.
An unreliable voice(s) travels through association and uncertainty, struggling to remember details of their childhood and events unfolding around them.
The Lingerie Show
Dir. Laura Harrison, 2015
Animation, 8 mins.
Drug-addict Lorraine and her boyfriend Caesar are having a nightmarish 24 hours until Lorraine calls up her sister, CiCi, for help.
The Magic Hedge
Dir. Frederic Moffet, 2016
Documentary, 9 mins.
The Magic Hedge explores a bird sanctuary located on a former Cold War Nike missile site on the north side of Chicago.
Veracity
Dir. Seith Mann, 2015
Narrative, 19 mins.
A popular African American student, Olivia, is outed by her friends after she acts on feelings for a new girl at her high school.
On the Rink
Dir. Benjamin Buxton, 2017
Documentary, 8 mins.
There’s nothing like a good skate.
And You The Bell
Dir. Elisabeth Hogeman, 2017
Observational, 9 mins.
A woman carries out elements of a daily routine, moving back and forth between habit, memory, and hallucination.
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Dir. Shayna Connelly, 2017
Documentary, 7 mins.
Paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito straddles the line between spiritual and material, asking the audience to reflect on our purpose, legacy and what our actions say about who we are.
Something to Move In
Dir. Latham Zearfoss, 2017
Experimental, 4 mins.
This musical manifesto remixes late 1960s political dialogue with modern dance to resuscitate a bygone revolutionary thrust.

EBONY IVORY AND JADE


EBONY, IVORY & JADE
(aka SHE-DEVILS IN CHAINS)
(aka AMERICAN BEAUTY HOSTAGES)
(aka FOXFIRE)
(aka FOXFORCE)
dir. Cirio Santiago, 1976
Philippines. 80 mins.
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 13 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JULY 21 – MIDNIGHT

FRIDAY, JULY 27 – MIDNIGHT
“I can’t believe I made eye contact with someone in the process of renting this movie.” – sllaw_hguorht, IMDB

Bundled from disparate threads of history (specifically the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre and the Patty Hearst kidnapping) EBONY, IVORY & JADE is a thoroughly offensive work by 2018 standards – a brutal and yet, aside from its murky nightclub scenes, mercilessly watchable kung-fu blaxploitation combo from drive-in trash journeyman Cirio H. Santiago (T.N.T. JACKSON, the original EXPENDABLES, BLOODFIST 2050). It follows a team of Olympic gymnasts from the States who are kidnapped and sold into slavery by drug runners, as well as an intrepid and fed-up black detective who, with CIA supervision, flies out to Hong Kong in search of them. Beyond Manila’s resolute failure to stand in for Hong Kong, what’s intriguing is the film’s incipient anti-Americanism: Black Power gets multiple boosts from the porkrub-salty screenplay, and it’s later revealed the kidnapping was arranged by one of the athletes’ evil-ass WASP stepfathers.The action sequences are bone-crunching, while Santiago’s occasional lapse into arthouse formalism (against a backdrop of martial artists in formation, one routine exchange between characters becomes a single-take epiphany) keeps you on your toes – as do the endless backdrplugs for Milo, a popular European malt beverage who either put up some of the cash for EBONY, IVORY & JADE, or ..

(And if those ellipses don’t convince, check out the original quotes from the back of an old FOXFIRE VHS:)

You’re better off dead when they start blasting lead! Ebony, Ivory, and Jade! Killing is their trade! With fist, foot, and blade, they can lick any man ever made! 3 foxy mamas who’ve got what it takes and know how to use it! 3 masters with a thousand ways to kill! Jump back, Jack, fo’ yo’ skull is cracked!

Skin of bronze! Muscles of iron! Fists of steel! The ultimate gladiators in the final arena! Angels of vengeance on a massacre marathon!

Lusting bursting babes ripe with the fruits of desire! In slaughter or seduction they score!

FOXFORCE! They turned them loose! Three sisters got soul they can’t control! Back to back they face death! When their blood gets hot you’re on the spot! Skirting disaster! Flirting with fate! Dancing with death!

FOXFORCE! 3 spittin’ kittens on a roaring rampage of revenge! Whipped into a blazing frenzy of violence! A raging ride through hell! From olympic contenders to bloody defenders! From the first burst to the last blast! .38 caliber kittens spitting death as they claw their way to freedom!

Warm hands! Cold triggers! Blazing death! They’re women! They’re warm! They’re wildcats! FOXFORCE! Rapid fire frenzy erupting in a .45 caliber climax! Flashing fists of fury strike like vipers of vengeance! You haven’t a prayer when they leap through the air! Ebony, Ivory, and Jade can lick any man ever made!

WORKING GIRLS – A FILM BY LIZZIE BORDEN

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.
WORKING GIRLS
Dir. by Lizzie Borden, 1986
USA, 93 min.
THURSDAY, JULY 19 – 7:30 PM
WITH Q and A!
THIS EVENT IS $10

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
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WORKING GIRLS follows Molly (Louise Smith), through one long day working at an upscale brothel in Manhattan. She’s ambivalent about her job; she likes the flexibility it affords her, but the stigma associated with it wears her down, and she lies to her live-in girlfriend about what she does for a living. She’s also often at odds with her madam Lucy (Ellen McElduff), an uptight Southern belle who micromanages the brothel.
In preparation for the film, director Lizzie Borden (BORN IN FLAMES) spent six months interviewing sex workers about their working conditions and how they felt about their occupation. Informed by these experiences, WORKING GIRLS goes beyond the tired stereotypes of sex work in favor of a frank, nuanced, and often funny workplace drama that is relatable to anybody who’s ever had a job—even if navigating other people’s sexual quirks wasn’t part of it.

UNARIUS AT SPECTACLE

The Unarius Brotherhood were on a radical mission from the late-‘70s to the mid-‘80s: to spread their “interdimensional science of life” and the principles of reincarnation to the masses via some of most wildly inventive, waaaaay outside-the-box public access TV programming in America. Their cosmic leader, the exuberant septuagenarian Ruth Norman (aka Archangel Uriel), an advanced clairvoyant with a fondness for glittery dresses, rainbow capes and benevolent aliens, permanently altered the minds of tens of thousands across the country — from late-night stoners to seekers leaving behind their lives in order to move to El Cajon, CA, and join the cause.
As part of their outreach, the Unarians created elaborate psychodramatic “documentaries” for the purpose of spiritual healing: films of Uriel and the students channeling and re-enacting their previous lives together on Earth and other planets, no matter how debauched or outlandish — for spiritual healing. Utilizing otherworldly costumes and makeup, guerilla location-filming techniques, elaborate sets and ingenious no-budget special effects, this ambitious collective produced a legacy of some of the most mind-shattering, oddly uplifting gems of American outsider cinema. Bootlegged and coveted by collectors for decades, these films have rarely before been presented as works on the large screen.

WELCOME, SPACE BROTHERS!
THE FILMS AND PUBLIC ACCESS VIDEOS OF THE UNARIUS ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.


Unarius Workshop 1: Develop Your Creative and Clairvoyant Potential
SATURDAY, JULY 14 – 5PM

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Enhance your creative and psychic abilities through your participation in an inspirational art workshop! This session, led by Unariuns Kevin & Tracey Kennedy, will help you to make the connection with your higher self and will focus on: What is your higher self? Where does inspiration come from? How do I overcome blocks and unleash my creative potential?

Film Program 1
Intro by Jodi Wille (Dir. The Source Family) and Q&A with Unariuns Kevin & Tracey Kennedy, Celeste and Jack Appel
SATURDAY, JULY 14 – 8 PM

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* Documentary short “We Are Not Alone” (dir. Jodi Wille, 2016, 11 min)
* A mixtape of super-rare peak moments from the golden age of Unarius psychodramas. (edited by Tom Fitzgerald/EXP, 30 min)
* A new digital transfer of the Unarius 16mm masterwork THE ARRIVAL (dir. The Unariun Brotherhood and Prince Uriel, 1980, 50 min)
This first-of-its-kind film was made by Unarius in the late 1970s, with a very a low budget but achieving astonishing special effects involving the cosmos, spaceships, and interplanetary beings—long before CGI. THE ARRIVAL is a true story of the first contact with another world, reenacted by individuals reliving their past lives on the continent of Lemuria,162,000 years ago.


Unarius Workshop 2: Healing Through Psychodrama
SUNDAY, JULY 15 – 5PM

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Learn the spiritual techniques of the Unariuns to heal your past-life traumas by creating and filming your own psychodramas. Have you lived before? How can you break through creative blocks? How do you remember your past lives? These and other questions will be answered during this intense and liberating workshop. Led by Unariuns Celeste and Jack Appel, Kevin and Tracey Kennedy.

Film Program 2
Intro by Thalia Mavros from The Front and Q&A with Unariuns Kevin & Tracey Kennedy, Celeste and Jack Appel
SUNDAY, JULY 15 – 8PM

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* Documentary short “We Are Not Alone” (dir. Jodi Wille, 2016, 11 min)
* A collection of rare and unreleased TV appearances and public access performances (30 min)
* A VISIT TO THE UNDERGROUND CITIES OF MARS (dir. The Unarian Brotherhood, 1977, 40 min)
Take a psychic voyage and see for yourself the underground cities of Mars! Our neighbors on Mars have developed a peaceful lifestyle that is technologically and spiritually far in advance of our own. This amazing film, completed before the Viking lander’s photographs revealed what appear to be the remains of an ancient civilization on the surface of Mars, portrays beautiful underground cities. Discover how the Martians learned to live in peace and harmony!

PROOF OF EXISTENCE: THE FILMS OF ELIO PETRI

One of the better Oscar-acceptances was by Elio Petri, who said he was too busy working on another film and sent Leslie Caron to accept it with no prepared statement. Meanwhile, he was in the middle of THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN, with Gian Maria Volonté on set, complaining that the script went against the Communist Party and getting into fist fights with students. The film itself would go on to piss off the radical Italian left and tie for the Grand Prize at Cannes.
Petri studied with the neo-realists, but his films do not dwell on portraits: instead, they show how individual psychologies conflict with their social and political world. The contents of an individual are in high contrast: what contains a person is constantly trying to burst out and inflict some damage on the social and economic strictures. What makes a character is not that they play out a minor drama or undergo a personal change, but that they rip at the contradictions in their physical world, and in doing so, truly exist. Petri called these “dialectical films” – those that showed the tension and contradictions of life rather than mere representations. They are not only intense, but also cunning, desperate, funny, and strange.



L’ASSASSINO (THE LADY KILLER OF ROME, or THE ASSASSIN)
Dir. Elio Petri, 1961
Italy, 95 min.
In Italian with English subtitles
SUNDAY, JULY 1 – 5 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 6 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, JULY 9 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 17 – 10 PM
This is Petri’s feature film debut, starring real-life lady killer Marcello Mastroianni as Alfredo Martelli, the key suspect in the murder of a wealthy older woman. He is subsequently sequestered and endlessly questioned by an inspector, who not only probes Martelli’s relationship to the dead woman but also his general moral turpitude. Censors had many issues with how the film portrayed police authority (including a scene where policemen did not wipe their feet before entering a home), but Petri is equally taking shots at the young men of new wave cinema. The loud jazz soundtrack plays like a joke, and Martelli’s lack of integrity and passion is a critique of a generation. Petri comes from a different perspective, and this film defines how his films will stand apart from the art of his time.


PROPERTY IS NO LONGER A THEFT (LA PROPRIETÀ NON È PIÙ UN FURTO)
Dir. Elio Petri, 1973
Italy, 126 min.
In Italian with English subtitles
THURSDAY, JULY 5 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 13 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 17 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JULY 30 – 7:30 PM
This is a stark and theatrical film that circles around two opposing characters: The Butcher, a rapacious capitalist, and Total, a self-proclaimed “Mandrakin Marxist”. Flavio Bucci is Total, a low-level accountant with the look of a hangdog-Stallone and a physical allergy to paper money. Ugo Tognazzi is The Butcher (recognizable from LA GRAND BOUFFE), a spokesperson for the potency of wealth and the wisdom of fully insuring your property. Total claims to steal only what he needs, but he has a psychological need to infuriate The Butcher with petty theft.
Ennio Morricone’s subtle score is accompanied by groans and conjugations of the verbs “to be” and “to have”, to an effect that is not as existential as it is surreal. Total summarizes the point: “I would like to be and to have, which is impossible. Property is longer a theft… it’s a disease.”


Poster and typeface by Benjamin Tuttle



THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN (LA CLASSE OPERAIA VA IN PARADISO)
Dir. Elio Petri, 1971.
Italy, 125 min.
In Italian with English subtitles
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JULY 8 – 5 PM
MONDAY JULY 16 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 31 – 7:30 PM *Q AND A WITH NICOLA GUARNERI*
In some ways, this is an inverted reprise of Petri’s INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION, the Oscar-winner from 1970. Gian Maria Volonté returns as the main character, this time a wound-up factory worker rather than high strung police detective. Morricone creates another essential score, sometimes drowned out by relentless yelling and clanging of factory machines. The factory was in no way staged: many of the workers in the film are not actors but employees.
Lulu Massa (Volonté) proves to be more of a hot-head than a working-class hero. Petri’s depiction of factory organizing is brutally honest: the factory gates are plagued with megaphone-toting students who bark slogans and annoy the workers. But a transformation occurs when Lulu loses a finger in a cutting machine and channels his new anger into support for a factory-wide strike. The “Italian miracle” was only achievable when workers did 15 hours worth of work in 8, and did so as a point of pride. When this ethos breaks, its power and determination seeks a different outlet.


Poster by Luke Alexander Atkinson



THE 10TH VICTIM (LA DECIMA VITTIMA)
Dir. Elio Petri, 1965
Italy, 93 min.
SATURDAY JULY 28th – 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!

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“The rules of the big hunt are quite easy. Rule #1: Each member is obliged to undertake ten hunts, five as the hunter, five as the victim. Rule #2: The hunter shall know all about his victim – name, address, habits too. Rule #3: The victim shall not be told who his hunter is: he must find out – and kill him.”
Don’t be mislead by the pronouns in those rules: Caroline Meredith (Ursula Andress) is a skilled killer and needs to kill one more person to finish the game. She wants to do it in grand style and needs to get it on camera to fulfill a lucrative sponsorship deal with the Ming Tea Company. All in all it is a truly mod affair: bold colors, mod concept, mod clothes, and furniture that is enviably mid-century mod. This is an unusual entry in the Petri canon – it’s some super-hip sci-fi within a critical social concept, and it’s great.


ELIO PETRI: NOTES ON A FILMMAKER (ELIO PETRI: APPUNTI SU UN AUTORE)
dir. Federico Bach, Nicola Guarneri, et al.
2005, 90 min.
In various languages, English subtitles
SUNDAY, JULY 8 – 7:30 PM 
TUESDAY, JULY 31 – 10 PM *Q & A WITH DIRECTOR NICOLA GUARNERI*

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“–What am I then? I come from a working class family, poor, if not abjectly poor. I instinctively chose to side with the workers. Circumstances led me to become a filmmaker. Which circumstances? The hundreds and thousands of films I saw and loved. The fact that the poor become boxers, or popular musicians, or filmmakers. The fact that film was, in those days, a popular art form.” – Elio Petri
This straightforward documentary winds through Petri’s career, guided by interviews with actors, directors, critics, and collaborators – including his widow Paola. It’s an excellent introduction to Petri’s films as well as their intersections with financial supporters, the public, and the broader political context. Ennio Morricone tells a story of Petri putting the wrong score to a film as a prank, which even in the retelling is deeply emotional.