Author: lemkey

BEST OF MIDNIGHTS ’17


MAGIC CRYSTAL (aka Mo fei cui)
dir. Jing Wong, 1986
95 min, Hong Kong
In Chinese with English subtitles
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

A breakout hit at a recent FIST CHURCH screening, we’re pleased as punch to bring this uhhhh “loving homage” to films like E.T. and Indiana Jones but with 5000% more Cynthia Rothrock beatdowns.

Andy (Andy Lau), Pancho, and Pin Pin (an actual child named Bin Bin in real life) jet off to Greece to find Andys friend Shen after receiving an urgent message that his life is in danger. After a lengthy montage of them having A LOT of fun in Greece the come to find that sure enough the KGB and Interpol are chasing down Shen after learning of his discovery of an ancient artifact in the ruins. Pin Pin accidentally ends up with it and finds out that this is no ordinary hunk of jade but that it houses an alien who communicates via brain-waves. Pin Pin promises not to tell and the crystal grows a finger so they can pinky swear. Andy pairs up with Cindy (the inimitable Cynthia Rothrock) to track down the evil Karaov (Richard Norton star of GYMKATA which we have definitely never shown) who has vowed to do anything to get his hands on the treasure. Everyone ends up back in Greece for a showdown beneath the ruins as they navigate traps and tricks to return the crystal back to its rightful place – and…owner?

No exaggeration when we say that this film owes much to the work of Spielberg et al but these fight scenes are downright jaw-dropping. Fast, ferocious, and wonderfully filmed. If you missed this at FIST CHUCH now’s your chance to redeem yourself. Not to be missed!



THE SEVENTH CURSE (aka: Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li)
dir. Ngai Choi Lam, 1986
78 min, Hong Kong
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

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.



SCARLET STREET
dir. Fritz Lang, 1945.
USA, 102 min.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

“How can a man be so dumb?”
The noir and the femme fatale will forever be bound together, merrily going to Hell, dragging all suckers, chumps, marks, rubes and shills into an endless abyss of suffering and death. As well they should! Noir, at its black heart, is about tearing a (seemingly) ordinary Joe to *nothing* while the audience howls for more. We’ll find that here, on SCARLET STREET, but with a director like Fritz Lang there’s more than one twist on the way to the noose. Based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel and play La Chienne (also the basis for the equally great Jean Renoir film by the same name), SCARLET STREET is, quite simply, one of the essential film noirs.

The great Edward G. Robinson plays Christopher Cross, the sap in question, at the end of a sad quarter-century of working as a cashier, enduring his wife and putting what little light still shines in him towards his painting hobby. Like most saps, Chris wants little more than to be some damsel’s white knight, and that chance actually arrives when he gets between va-va-va-voom Kitty (Joan Bennett, who was in everything from BULLDOG DRUMMOND to SUSPIRIA) and cheap hood Johnny (Dan Duryea of WINCHESTER ’73). Through a series of scams, lies, forgeries and tragedies, Chris and Kitty begin one of the darkest descents the screen has brought us, with Lang constantly, methodically twisting the knife, masterfully ratcheting up the tension all the way to the end. Fans of Lang’s earlier, more directly Expressionistic work like SPIES and the MABUSE films will find lots to love here, Robinson truly plays one of cinema’s great sad sacks, Joan Bennett is the embodiment of weaponized seduction, all combining to make a film absolutely perfect for a hot summer night when you can’t sleep and your soul cries for something, *anything* but the dreary monotony of our pointless lives. Great date film, too!



HEADLESS EYES
Kent Bateman, 1971
78 min, USA
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

You know how it is for starving artists, right? I mean, look at your clothes. Anyway, it used to be even harder! So hard that some of them turned to a life of crime. This is especially true in the case of Arthur Malcolm. Down on his luck, Arthur is caught robbing an apartment and loses his eye in the process. Once he’s healed he’s out on the streets and, brother, he is HEATED. Arthur sets about on a mad killing spree, gouging out the eyes of his victims with a spoon. He collects the eyes for his artwork, you see. This continues for some time with mixed results.

This film was directed by Kent Bateman, father of Jason and Justine, in the streets of a now long gone version of NYC. According to this film, it was a time when a hooker would approach a man covered in blood in the middle of the day in order to turn a trick. The good old days. In addition to this movie being totally batshit insane with a FIERCE mutant soundtrack, it’s a veritable snapshot of a city as nasty as they come. The performances are hammy and intense, like Easter dinner in a mental institution.



GALAXY DESTROYER
dir. Bret Piper, 1986
95 min, USA
In German w/ English subtitles
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

“I am the king, I am the king
One dead marine through the hatch
Scratch and scrape this heavenly body
Every inch of winning skin
There’s garbage in honeys sack again”

The Birthday Party, “Junkyard”

In GALAXY DESTROYER, veteran character actor Matt Mitler (THE MUTILATOR, BASKET CASE 2) plays Harry Trent – a role he would reprise two years later in Piper’s MUTANT WAR – a spy who steals a spaceship. While attempting to return to Earth, Harry finds the controls are malfunctioning and is unable to land… After a grueling five years in orbit, Harry comes back around and manages to descend to the planet’s fertile surface. But upon his return, Harry finds his beloved homeworld has been taken over… And while hailed as a hero and savior, he’s tasked with saving the way of life he once held so dear – if only he can figure out how.

A jack of all trades, director Brett Piper (A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL) cut his teeth in the early Eighties, and continues doing so to this day. Piper’s work truly shines when he’s able to showcase his love of practical effects; in GALAXY DESTROYER alone crab monsters, spaceships, and melting faces abound.



FATAL DEVIATION
Dir. Simon Linscheid, Shay Casserley, 1998.
Ireland. 76 min.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

This was originally screened the weekend of Saint Patrick’s 2017, when we happily dragged Irish pride into the gutter. FATAL DEVIATION is back and it is still Ireland’s first (and only) feature-length martial arts film. Written, produced, cinematographed, cast by, stunt-coordinated, and starring James Bennett, the film tells the story of Jimmy Bennett (unrelated), a young man returning home after a long absence, his future uncertain, his father gone. After witnessing Jimmy’s takedown of local drug gang The Drug Lords Gang (featuring Mikey Graham, member of Ireland’s lone boy band BOYZONE), a monk belonging to the local church’s secret underground kung fu sect approaches with an offer to train Jimmy for the upcoming no-holds barred Bealtaine tournament.

As Jimmy learns the monk’s secret techniques of cutoff shorts tai-chi and kicking near small fires, The Drug Lords Gang increasingly pressures Jimmy to join them. When he refuses, the Drug Lords call ace fighter Seagull back from Hong Kong to take Jimmy out in the tournament. Jimmy’s only hope is mastering the FATAL DEVIATION, as taught by a man strongly resembling a drunk Led Zeppelin Hermit.

Filmed in the verdant backwater of Trim and featuring exactly one (completely unintentional) stunt, this is a film best witnessed in the safety of a group. Perhaps lacking in Irish wit and charm, FATAL DEVIATION can be enjoyed for what it is any night of the year.


BEST OF SPECTACLE 2017

Every year we go through an elaborate electoral process, rife with corruption and tampering, which produces the BEST OF SPECTACLE for the month of January. 2017 was best experienced in a small, dimly-lit room, as can be deduced from the 22 films below. These will be their last screenings at Spectacle for quite some time, so come relive these pleasures or freshly experience the best of the best.

(Photo of the Best of 2016 crowd)


DANCE GODDESS
dir. Hamid Khan, 1987
82 min, USA
In Urdu w/ English subtitles.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Over the years, the Grand Ballroom at 124 S. 3rd St. has played host to many a lost musical – the nearly-mythical ROCK N’ ROLL HOTEL, the dearly melancholic DOOMED LOVE – and now, it is with great pleasure that we announce the world premiere of a film orphaned for 30 years…Hamid Kahn’s DANCE GODDESS.

After moving to America and having a successful career as a real estate attorney, Hamid found he missed the culture of India, particularly the movies and music. He dreamed of making the first American Bollywood movie, and so he wrote, produced, and directed DANCE GODDESS. Sparing no expense, he hired the best cinematographer, best dancers, and obtained permits to shoot scenes all over the city. To market the film internationally, all of the original actors dubbed their lines in both English and Urdu, and Kahn filmed alternate versions of every song in both languages. We will be presenting both versions of the film throughout the month.

The film follows Julie, who arrives at New York City’s Kahn Dance Studios from London with but a simple dream – to be the greatest dancer in the world. She has a fire in her heart and believes with the right connections, she won’t need luck. Julie immediately strikes a rapport with lead dancer Mike…much to the chagrin of Mike’s dance partner and secret/not-so-secret girlfriend and weed addict Maggie. Julie and Mike mesh so well from the jump they begin singing the film’s first song, “Dream On”, to the applause of their classmates. Has Doc (the director himself, Hamid Kahn) found his proverbial DANCE GODDESS?, he wonders aloud. Soon, Julie finds herself embroiled in a struggle between her heart’s desires (Mike) and her dreams (dance). Why can’t she have both, she wonders aloud a number of times? With the help of Doc, Julie meets up with Jack – a famous producer – who promises to get her all the way to Broadway.

DANCE GODDESS hits the ground twirling (ever twirling) around 80’s Manhattan with a huge dance sequence taking place in the middle of Times Square (“It’s the heart of New York!” Mike tells Julie), complete with gawking tourists and rubbernecking locals. Marvel at the marquees of long lost theaters advertising hits like THE LOST BOYS, DISORDERLIES, WARRIOR OF SHAOLIN, THE TORMENTORS, and more! Delight in typefaces gone by and cheer for banks that no longer exist. The fashions, the passions, and the beat of the city abound in DANCE GODDESS’ all-singing, all-dancing kaleidoscope.

We’re pleased to announce director Hamid Kahn will be on hand for several screenings for an intro and Q&A about the film.

Special thanks to the director and to David Ginn without whom this would not have been possible.

 




DARK STAR
dir. John Carpenter, 1974
83 min, USA
MONDAY, JANUARY 1 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Much like Dennis Muren’s almighty EQUINOX, DARK STAR was first made as a 68 minute 16mm student film by John Carpenter – with writing assistance from Dan O’Bannon, who also stars as Sergeant Pinback. Theatrical rights for DARK STAR were scooped up by Harris who provided funding for an additional 15 minutes of filming and a 35mm transfer. Upon completion he unleashed it on an unsuspecting public. The film cost a mere $60,000; in addition to gaining cult status and a seat at the throne of midnight movies, it would also launch the careers of Carpenter (VAMPIRES, GHOSTS OF MARS, THE WARD) and O’Bannon (DEAD & BURIED), alongside heavyweights like Ron Cobb (Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY) and Greg Jein (who won an Academy Award for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND) lending their visual and effects talents.

Only five years after DARK STAR, O’Bannon would reuse many of the ideas in what would become the sci-fi juggernaut ALIEN – including a restless game of mumbly peg, a face hugging extraterrestrial, and a claustrophobic chase scene through the air shafts.

While often tossed off as a stoner-grade spoof of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Carpenter’s film is at its core about loneliness. After spending two decades blowing up unstable planets together, this shaggy crew have grown to loathe each other, even forgetting each others’ first names. Beyond one another and the ship’s computer, their lone conversationalists are the smart bombs aboard the ship prior to their release.

Despite the cramped space and lack of real sleeping quarters after a collision with an astroid, they each manage to find isolation in their own ways. Talby retreats to the observation dome atop the ship after the death of Commander Powell, preferring the vast emptiness of space to his human companions. Lt. Doolittle slinks off to a secret nook to hone his craft on a makeshift organ of sort comprised of bottles pitched with water. Boiler takes great pleasure in bullying and antagonizing Sgt. Pinback – whose constant attempts at revelry and (albeit forced) camaraderie only serve to make him the resident scapegoat. Even the late Commander Powell, encased in ice below the hull, remarks to Doolittle (via telepathy) that it’s been so long since someone came to visit him. The film certainly has moments of humor, but even these are often solely for the amusement of the viewer, with the events happening to isolated individuals only to be relayed to the group after the fact. Everyone has stopped listening to one another, with phrases lazily repeated back and forth over tubes of liquid ham. In a rare moment at breakfast between Talby and Doolittle the men bond over their two opposite desires. Talby longs to see the fabled “Phoenix Astroids” deep within the Veil Nebula, while Doolittle pines for the California surf back on Earth. Not long after, Talby is pulled into space from out of the malfunctioning airlock and Doolittle fails to dissuade a bomb from detonating aboard the ship: in a perfect cacophony of celebration and sorrow, both men get what they want as the credits roll. For us DARK STAR comes as the bittersweet end of our humble tribute to a cinematic giant.




DAY OF THE WOLVES
dir. Ferde Grofé Jr, 1971
90 Minutes, USA
TUESDAY, JANUARY 2 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 28 – 5:00 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Trailer from July ’17:

In this post-Western, neo-noir heist film, a cadre of bearded thieves, each identified only by number, with no name, conspire to rob an entire town. Clad in black jumpsuits and wielding submachine guns, they have little trouble taking the whole village’s populace hostage, but Sheriff Pete Anderson isn’t going to take that kind of antisocial behavior lying down. Outmanned, outgunned, and with the lives of his family, friends and constituency at risk, Anderson fights back! Starring noir veteran Richard Egan (Slaughter on 10th Avenue) and venerable Borchst Belt comedian Jan Murray (aka Uncle Raymond on “My Two Dads”).

 




THE PINK EGG
Dir. Jim Trainor. 2016
USA, 71 min.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 2 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Luis Buñuel’s observation – “You can find all of Shakespeare and de Sade in the lives of insects” – was the bulb that drew chronicled Chicago-based anthropomorphic animator, Jim Trainor, to illuminate this troublingly experimental entomology, in which human actors wordlessly enact the emotional life-cycles, ever-complicated sex lives, and savage dinner plans of wasps and bees. Once quoted as saying, “If my films were live-action, I’d probably be jailed,” Trainor unearths this puzzlingly stylized depiction of nature in all her deceitful HD glory.

 




A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT (Scenes from the Third World War 1967-1977)
aka LE FOND DE L’AIR EST ROUGE (The Base of the Air Is Red)

Dir. Chris Marker, 1977/1992
France, 180 min. (in two parts with a break in the middle)
In French, English, German, Japanese, Russian, Czech, Spanish, and more with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 14 – 5:00 PM

TICKETS HERE

A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is Chris Marker’s epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60’s and 70’s: Vietnam, Bolivia, May ’68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.

The original French title is roughly translatable as “The Base of the Air is Red,” referring to the high hopes of the radicals at the time built on a foundation of air. Released in France in 1978, restored and “re-actualized” by Marker fifteen years later (after the fall of the Soviet Union), A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is a masterpiece. Described by Marker as “scenes of the Third World War,” the film is divided into two parts, each weaving together two strands:

Part 1: Fragile Hands
1. From Vietnam to Che’s death
2. May 1968 and all that

Part 2: Severed Hands
1. From Spring in Prague to the Common Program of Government in France
2. From Chile to – to what?

From 1967 (the year Marker argues was the real turning point) on, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is a sweeping, global contemplation of a defining ten years’ political history.

“A film without a dogma, celebrating the promise of socialist ideas (the grin) while realizing that the brave new world they envision (the cat) remains elusive and intangible as its twentieth-century trial runs slip farther into the past… On a deeper level, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is an essay on historical memory itself.” —David Sterritt, Cineaste

“No scan of Marker’s redoubtable career achievement is complete without strapping oneself to this restless behemoth of a historical documentary… Along the way, Marker is a master weaver of colliding perspectives, forgotten stories and unanswered questions… the poetic questions he raises are never less than stunning.” —Michael Atkinson, Sight & Sound

“Much more than a weapon, more than a history lesson intended to provoke our revolutionary consciousness, this feature film is the result of lucid reflection and profound honesty.” — Michel Perez, Le Matin, November 25, 1977

“A beautiful poem in red, luminous with sensitivity and intelligence.” — Serge Richard, L’Unité, December 9, 1977

“This film is a mirror held up to each of us, a mirror that wanders through all the paths that we have taken or crossed (Vietnam war protests, pro-Latin America movement, May of ’68, the rise and fall of the Left) and encourages us to reflect along with it about the journey and its goal.” — Regis Debray, Rouge, December 28, 1977

“Image, imaginary, imagination, imagery… and revolution. Chris Marker delves into his enormous reservoir of images from the past ten years, both official and candid, sorts, selects, puts them into perspective, in context, into opposition, and by allowing us to re-see, to re-read our recent past, attempts to imagine the future.” — Alain Remond, Telerama, December 3/9, 1977

“A trial for the viewer: One cannot absorb four hours of so much history, kneaded, tormented, perpetually reexamined, without wondering if the end of the world is not near. To interpret the film in that way would be to betray its meaning, and that is where Chris Marker’s work becomes somewhat like a mirror held up to our awareness: not a traditional humanist awareness, but an active awareness. That is where progressivism regains meaning. And especially, that is where film now asserts itself as the possible and practically indispensable tool of awareness, to put back into perspective so many dashed hopes, so many betrayals.” — Louis Marcorelles, Le Monde, November 5, 1977

“Fifteen years later, his work as a filmmaker has the density of a Pierre Bourdieu sociological survey or a Fernand Braudel historical opus… In this thoughtful exercise in style, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT teems with lost illusions, but no errors. Finally, Chris Marker’s film is being used rather than abused. The reason undoubtedly resides in this little phrase slipped into the second episode: ‘You never know what you’re filming. Until years later.’ In 1993, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT accomplishes the tour de force of avoiding three potential pitfalls. It is not a likable witness to times past; it is not a summation, and still less the act of contrition of a lost generation. It is all about memory and social anthropology.” — Michel Chemin, Libération, April 1993




YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY
Dir. Sergio Martino, 1972.
Italy. 97 min.
In English
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 15 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 30 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Trailer from October ’17:

Made between ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK and TORSO, YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY is a misanthropic, brooding, manipulative and beautiful treatment of Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Black Cat.” It also has a drunk (racist, incestuous, loathsome) author getting J&B shipped by the crate to his house, which might be the gialloest thing ever. Fans of Sergio Martino’s earlier film THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH (from which this film gets it name) might be thrown a bit by the subdued, sullen quality, but it’s part of a greater plan, a plan that includes commune freak-outs, slaughtered mistresses, gratuitous POV (on line with Martino’s next film, TORSO) and perhaps greatest of all, Edwige Fenech, of whom we can say nothing without getting the vapors. With a storyline that’ll satisfy no-loose-ends mystery fans, enough jaw-dropping cinematography and costuming to please the art crowd, and Martino’s thoughtful and visceral style (there’s also a great Bruno Nicolai score to sweeten the pot), YOUR VICE…might be Martino’s finest.

“A film with that wears its dubious morality on its sleeve, “Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key” is a tasty bit of giallo goodness. Kinky and cruel, it lives up to its purple prose title and will surely satisfy the appetites of Eurotrash fans.” -Tenebrous Kate, Love Train For The Tenebrous Empire.




SISTERS, OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS
dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1979.
West Germany. 95 mins.
In German with English subtitles
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 30 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Margarethe von Trotta’s second solo outing is intensely disquieting in the way it drifts from the moody murk of childhood fairy tales to a forebodingly stark present, tracing the pathological relationship between sisters Jutta Lampe and Gudrun Gabriel. One is domineering, the other submissive, and while its safe to say that they never reach the eponymous balance, their familiar machinations end up having melodramatic consequences, both for themselves and others pulled into their orbit.

 




SCRUBBERS
dir. Mai Zetterling
UK, 1982
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 29 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Trailer from Feb ’17:

Anyone who has spent any time in an all-girls education, mental or punitive institution will find that Zetterling has captured many essential elements in SCRUBBERS from 1982. SCRUBBERS was the female answer to SCUM, Alan Clarke’s 1979 graphic drama about a boy’s borstal. Zetterling’s film is more colorful and emotional, involving lesbian relationships, separation from children, pigeon-care, and self-harm. There is also plenty of fighting, swaggering, glue-sniffing and bawdy singing. The most iconic scene evokes TITICUT FOLLIES, when the borstal performs a variety show under the banner “Hellhole Bitches: Therapeutic Entertainment from the Psycho Freaks”. Featuring 80’s anarcho-pop star Honey Bane.




THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE
Dir. Walon Green, 1971. USA, 90 min.
In English.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18 – 10 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 29 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Trailer from April ’17:

“If any living species is to inherit the earth, it will not be man. We will face competition from a lifeform we arrogantly ignore. We will be overrun, deposed, and succeeded by battalions of mindless soldiers entering the contest with capabilities beyond our imagination. Yes… I’m talking about insects!”

The genres of documentary and science fiction rarely intersect: Documentary captures what is, while science fiction imagines what is not… at least not yet. But it’s here where we find THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE, one of the strangest films to ever win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and the perfect dark trip to take on this year’s 420.

A sort of ecological horror film, the plot documents the work of an imagined entomologist named Dr. Nils Helstrom. According to the good doctor, unless we open our eyes to the threat of insects, who are mindlessly bent on taking over the world, we will be destroyed. What follows, in stunning 1970s macrophotography, is a parade of sequences that make an argument for the cold brutality of the insect world. As African driver ants consume iguanas whole and locusts destroy fertile farmland, the audience begins to wonder if we shouldn’t declare flat-out war on these damn bugs once and for all. A perfect evening for anyone who’s ever rolled their eyes at the rose-colored classes of Planet Earth, THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE is easily the most bizarre nature documentary ever produced.



BAXTER, VERA BAXTER
dir. Marguerite Duras, 1977.
France. 91 min.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 22 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from Feb ’17:

The masterful Marguerite Duras takes a concept ripe for portentous melodrama — slimy Gerard Depardieu sells his wife (Claudine Gabay) to erase a debt —and minimizes it, radicalizes it, and chills it into droll  satire with an enrapturing cadence. Seyrig plays an unknown woman who is inexplicably drawn to Gabay’s Vera when she hears her name. She gradually interrogates Vera, and their conversation becomes entangled with Carlos d’Alessio’s omnipresent, repetitive score. Duras’ film is an exhausting, rewarding experience, and truly one of a kind.

 




THE BEAVER TRILOGY
Dir. Trent Harris, 1979, 1981, and 1985.
USA, 83 min.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from July ’17:

“A rivetingly strange, multilayered inquiry into celebrity, obsession, and serendipity.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

The Beaver Trilogy is a series of three pieces about the same subject: a young man from the small town of Beaver, Utah who is obsessed with Olivia Newton-John. The first piece,”The Beaver Kid” is a documentary. The second piece, “Beaver Kid 2″ is a dramatic work based on the documentary. The third piece,”The Orkly Kid” is yet another dramatic work based on the documentary.

Real life and fiction intersect.

“Yes, this gets the full ten stars. It’s plain as day that this fill is genius. The universe sent Trent Harris a young, wonderfully strange man one day and Harris caught him on tape, in all that true misfit glory that you just can’t fake. Too bad it ended in tragedy for the young man, if only an alternate ending could be written for that fellow’s story. The other two steps in the trilogy do retell the story, with Sean Penn and Crispin Glover in the roles of the young men, respectively. The world is expanded upon and the strangeness is contextualized by the retelling, giving us a broader glimpse into growing up weird in vanilla America. Recommended for anyone and everyone!” — IMDB user ‘afkeegan’

Check out this episode of This American Life about ‘re-runs’ that includes the Beaver Trilogy.


RUBIN AND ED
Dir. Trent Harris, 1991.
USA, 82 min.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Trailer from July ’17:

“More psy­che­del­ic fun than a bar­rel of mon­keys on mush­rooms!” – Details Magazine

“Quotable, hi­lar­i­ous, and, yes, even moving, writer-director Trent Harris’ bud­dy picture like no other yearns for an audi­ence and cult-classic status. Like, im­me­di­ate­ly.” – Film Comment, Film Society at Lincoln Center

“No reasonable person could deny the genius of any movie involving two republicans, bell­bottoms, a water-skiing cat, a pyramid scheme, Mahler and a squeak-mouse.” – Bamboozled

A real-estate salesman (Howard Hesseman) and a hippie (Crispin Glover) hit the road on a mission to bury a frozen cat in the desert.

What could go wrong?

“I definitely enjoyed the weirdness and quirkiness of the movie… but… jeez, even for a person who enjoys weirdness and quirkiness like me, even for me this movie was pushing my limits. I thought that the non-desert scenes were MUCH better than the desert scenes. Unfortunately, the desert scenes make up the majority of the movie. For people who enjoy odd movies, I’d recommend that they watch this movie, but I’d tell them to hit the pause button and take a few breaks in the middle. It’s a very fun and interesting movie, but it gets to be a bit too much for one sitting. Seriously, this is the weirdest movie ever.” — IMDB user ‘garbuhj’




THE SCARLET SCORPION (a/k/a: O ESCORPIAO ESCARLATE)
dir. Ivan Cardoso, 1990
90 min, Brazil
In Portuguese w/English subs.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11 – 10 PM

FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from July ’17:

Opening with a faux national news reel, THE SCARLET SCORPION, is Cardoso’s vision crystalized and funneled through one of the countries most beloved pop-culture icons – The Angel.

A billionaire playboy who fights crime, The Angel was all over comics and radio dramas. In fact, in THE SCARLET SCORPION, the news reel ends with the country at a standstill as the announcement of a new Angel show comes over the airwaves. As the story continues the events of the radio show inspire the work of a copycat – none other than Angel’s archival – The Scarlet Scorpion himself! Angel must match wits with Scarlet Scorpion in order to save the love of his life – a fashion designer by the name of Gloria.

Though not horror by any stretch – THE SCARLET SCORPION is nothing if not thrilling (and hilarious). Cardoso would continue to make films into 2013 with one still listed at “in post-production” on IMDb but THE SCARLET SCORPION caps off our Summer series with a bang.




THE EXCLUDED
Dir. Franz Novotny, 1982.
Austria, 93 min.
In German with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

A forgotten gem of Austrian miserablist cinema, THE EXCLUDED is a prime example of agit-prop farce, the same strange brew stewed by Godard in LA CHINOIS and Fassbinder in THE THIRD GENERATION. This is the story of four bourgois would-be revolutionaries, attempting to smash the 1950s Austrian state—if they can overcome their own egos long enough to pull it off. The lead, Peter, is played with smarmy, wet-mouthed pretension by the great Paulus Manker, a regular collaborator with Michael Haneke. We’ve all met someone like Peter before: that poetry-writing, Camus-spouting punk, peeking above a black turtleneck long enough to spew half-baked Maoist homilies about the kind of violent political action he’s a teensy bit too scared to carry out himself. Surprisingly, Peter manages to form his own private fraktion of bored teenagers, and the cell happily engages in beatings, bombings, and shock tactics against “slaves of social convention.”

That is how post-war Austria looked to then-33-year-old director Franz Novotny—an urban underclass, politically at odds with the values of Austria’s hypocritical “Second Republic,” unable to share its wealth, and eager to enforce violent punishment for its fascist past. His film, based on the 1980 novel by Nobel winner Elfriede Jelinek, is a cynical portrait of Austria’s doomed, post-war youth, whose undirected political energy ultimately finds a conclusion with an explosion of meaningless violence.

 




LA GRANDE BOUFFE
dir. Marco Ferreri, 1973
Italy/France, 135 min.
MONDAY, JANUARY 8 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

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.”

 



HISTORY LESSONS
dir. Barbara Hammer, 2000.
70 min, USA
In English
MONDAY, JANUARY 1 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

The final installment in Barbara Hammer’s groundbreaking “lost queer trilogy,” HISTORY LESSONS imagines a world in which lesbians are as omnipresent as white heterosexual cis men. Manipulating everything from Eleanor Roosevelt studded newsreels to analog skin flicks, Hammer rewrites history with this reclamation of an almost always marginalized demographic.

“Radical sexual politics in a jester’s surprise package of impudent humor and Situationist-style found-footage monkeyshines” – Variety




4D MAN (aka MASTER OF TERROR)
Dir. Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. (1960)
USA, 85 min.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3 – 10 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 8 – 10 PM

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21 – 5 PM

TICKETS HERE

Harris’ sensational followup to THE BLOB saw him working again with director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., this time on a Faustian tale of prismatic fraternal jealousy. In 4D MAN, mutton-faced 20something scientist Tony (James Congdon) develops a technique that allows one object to pass through another (cf: the fourth dimension), while his older brother Scott (Robert Lansing) has coincidentally just invented a metal called Cargonite – so dense it can’t be penetrated. Tony’s recklessness and Scott’s pathological resentment double-helix vis-a-vis the latter’s girlfriend Linda (Lee Meriwether), instantly drawn to the younger brother’s devil-may-care attitude while furthering Scott’s descent into bitterness.

It doesn’t take an orthogononical physicist to figure out what happens next: incapable of stopping himself, Scott co-opts Tony’s experiment and turns himself 4D, tripling (or is it quadrupling?) down on the radiation exposure that was already giving him hellacious headaches – and, as it happens, accelerating his own aging in the process. Oscillating between unstoppability and death’s door in his solid state, Scott reaches out to suck up the lifeforce of a litany of victims including his old boss, as well as a little girl (played by Patty Duke!) – bringing Yeaworth’s narrative to a bitter interdimensional boil better seen than blurbed. From beginning to end, 4D MAN muxes a fine 1950s line between trenchant sci-fi boilerplate (ala print) and big-screen drive-in schlock-a-rama: the impossible object of earthly satisfaction drives both men to different dooms in a poetic crosshatch. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the film’s matte-intensive SFX (breathtaking in their lo-fi conviction), nor your ears from the first trill of Ralph Carmichael’s swingin’ jazz soundtrack!

Upon 4D MAN’s original release, Famous Monsters of Filmland published a full-page spread with the following edict/ultimatum: “In this exciting story you will watch a man cross the threshold into the Fourth Dimension; you will watch him perform feats that may seem totally unbelievable – but: what the 4D MAN does can be done! Jack H. Harris, the dynamic producer of THE BLOB, now amazes the world with his announcement of ONE MILLION DOLLAR CASH AWARD to the person who successfully performs the feats attributed to the 4D MAN… Find out from your local theater manager when he will be playing 4D MAN, and Remember: your admission ticket could be worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS!” As part of 98 YEARS: JACK HARRIS, Spectacle offers same.




BUMMING IN BEIJING
( 流浪北京)
dir. Wu Wenguang, 1990
70 minutes.
In Mandarin with English subtitles.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

“In 1990, Chinese documentaries were almost exclusively stodgy, didactic talking head affairs broadcast on state-run media. Then Wu Wenguang’s BUMMING IN BEIJING came out, kicking off an entire independent documentary scene in the country. Shot directly before and after the Tiananmen Square Massacre on cameras taken from a government TV station, BUMMING IN BEIJING follows five broke bohemians (including future art stars like Zhang Dali, long before they found fame) in grimy late 80s Beijing. Shot in a vérité style that would soon be adopted by a new generation of filmmakers, the movie includes an onscreen mental breakdown, a time-capsule view of the emergence of the country’s avant-garde, and proof that the hippest place in China used to be KFC.” – Aaron-Fox Lerner, Time Out Beijing Film Editor

“The prolonged moments of near silence in BUMMING IN BEIJING produce the aesthetic effect of outlasting the remembered roar of government tanks.” – Ernest Larsen, Art In America

Aaron Fox-Lerner is the Film editor for Time Out Beijing and Shanghai. His writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The PuritanBound Off, Indie Wire, and other publications.




THE SECRET OF THE MUMMY (a/k/a: O Segredo da Múmia)
dir. Ivan Cardoso, 1982
85 min, Brazil
In Portuguese w/English subs.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original trailer from July ’17:

A tale as old as time: Dr. Vitus, a disgraced scientist (Wilson Grey who would go on to be one of Cardoso’s go to character actors for the majority of his career) devotes his dying days to the reconstruction of a map that had been divided into 8 parts and scattered to the winds with their owners meeting most mysterious deaths.

On a trip to Egypt he finds a mummy, Runamb, and brings it with him back to Brazil. You aren’t going to believe this – but it comes to life and wreaks havoc on all in his path obsessing over Nadia, a dancer who had scorned him when he was alive – well, more alive anyway.

Fleshing out his vision after NOSFERATO IN BRAZIL, Cardoso again takes advantage of the countryside and finds juicy roles for the legendary José Mojica Marins – better known as Coffin Joe – and Regina Casé (THE SECOND MOTHER).



THE RIDER OF THE SKULLS
(aka EL CHARRO DE LAS CALAVERAS)
dir. Alfredo Salazar, 1965
80 minutes. Mexico.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 – 10 PM

MONDAY, JANUARY 15 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from April ’17:

A masked rider (not Zorro) arrives in a sleepy Mexican villa in the midst of a slew of vicious werewolf attacks during what seems like a solid month of full moons. The Rider is given lodging by a señorita and her young son – Perico – who appear to be the next targets of the flannel-clad lycanthrope. The Rider, with the help of a local witch dispatches of the monster who turns out to be the boys father. As he rides off into the sunset with Perico by his side one may expect the credits to roll but don’t rise from the opulent comfort of your seat just yet, viewer, this adventure is far from over. The Rider (now taller and with a different mask) along with the help of a new boy and their manservant Cléofas (the films “comic relief”) fight a vampire in some highly unconvincing day for night photography. It’s worth mentioning that the vampire not only has the giant head of a bat but also has the power to change into an equally unconvincing rubber bat and flies off. Finally, The Rider faces his deadliest foe yet when he teams up with a woman in possession of the cabeza of none other than the Headless Horseman and his two robed skeleton henchmen leading to a machete fight at sunset.

Director Alfredo Salazar is best known for his contributions to Mexican horror in the form of many, many Santo/Blue Demon movies as well as penning such psychotronic fare as THE NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES and the should-be classic THE MAN & THE MONSTER (produced by and starring his brother Abel). Star Dagoberto Rodríguez had a 30-or-so year career in Mexican film and television, which is more than likely the reason he removes his mask and reveals his identity in the middle of the film. Due to its “monster of the week” feeling and suspicious change of companions/mask/location/etc the working assumption is that THE RIDER OF THE SKULLS is actually three episodes of a serial stitched together to make it feature length. Nevertheless, Salazar wears his love of classic Universal monsters on his sleeve and creates a film unlike any other.



JOHANNA D’ARC OF MONGOLIA
Dir. Ulrike Ottinger, 1989.
Germany. 165 min.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 21 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JANUARY 28 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from Feb ’17:

Seyrig’s last screen role found her fittingly re-teaming with Ulrike Ottinger for a tri-lingual adventure epic with an all woman cast. Ottinger plays with the genre trappings of train triptychs and biblical epics in her most ambitious work, in which seven female voyagers are captured by a band of Mongolian woman. Ottinger’s goal isn’t to pit cultures against each other or exploit them, but to tell an extensively details ethnographic tale of multicultural harmony.

“A fabulous three-course blend of myth, spectacular visions of an ancient land and frisky song-and-dance. A quixotic and ebullient leap of the imagination. Breathtaking.” – Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle




DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS
Dir. Harry Kümel, 1971.
Belgium. 100 min.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6 – 10 PM
MONDAY, JANUARY 22 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

Original Series Trailer from Feb ’17:

Belgian director Harry Kümel’s high gothic vampirization of the story of famed murderess Elizabeth Báthory has retained its cult legacy due to its effervescent style and Seyrig’s carnal lead performance. The camera glides through lush colors and haute hotel rooms like in a Fassbinder or Sirk melodrama as Seyrig’s bloodthirsty queer countess preys on a pair of newlyweds. By contemporizing the vampire into a decadently erotic queer demagogue, Kümel paved the way for Tony Scott’s THE HUNGER more than a decade later.

 

 


MATCH CUTS: REMEMBERING INNINIMOWIN AND SEX SPIRIT STRENGTH

REMEMBERING INNINIMOWIN
dir. Jules Koostachin, 2010.
USA, 76 min.
English/Cree with English Subtitles.

Remembering Inninimowin is a two-year long documentary film project on the personal journey of a Cree woman, the documentarist, as she starts to remember her first language, Inninimowin (Cree).

SEX SPIRIT STRENGTH
dir. Courtney Montour, 2015.
USA, 40 min.

TICKETS HERE

SEX SPIRIT STRENGTH follows Michael and Jack, two young Indigenous men, as they shed the stigma and shame associated with their sexual health and gender identity. Michael, a former addict who lived a high-risk lifestyle that left him with permanent scars, hopes his activism work will discourage other young people from going down the same path. Jack, a transgender gay man, is committed to bringing pride back to two-spirit identity through education and activism.

Text courtesy of the filmmakers

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.

IMAGE SPEAK


IMAGE SPEAK

“The essay’s innermost formal law is heresy. Through violations of the orthodoxy of thought, something in the object becomes visible which is orthodoxy’s secret and objective aim to keep invisible.” – Theodor Adorno

Does the moving image become an illustration of text, or is text created in response to footage? What does a process look like in which the text and image are being developed simultaneously? IMAGE SPEAK celebrates the world of essay films in which little hierarchical delineation between text and the moving image exists. As Timothy Corrigan writes in The History Of The Essay Film (2017) these are works that “do not create new forms of experimentation, realism, or narrative; they rethink existing ones as a dialogue of ideas.”

ONE NIGHT ONLY
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14 AT 7:30 AND 10:00PM.

TICKETS HERE

Organized by Georgia Wall and Rachel James.

With works by:

At 7:30PM:

Su Friedrich – “Gently Down The Stream”

A film constructed from fourteen dreams taken from eight years’ worth of Friedrich’s journals. The text is scratched directly onto the film so that you hear your own voice as you read. The accompanying images of women, water, animals and saints were chosen for their indirect but potent correspondence to the text.

Alia Ayman – “Zuzu/Samia/1893”

A found footage piece that repurposes Egyptian belly dance films to ressurect Little Egypt, a stage name first used by dancers who travelled from Alexandria to perform at the 1893 Chicago World Fair.

Kevin Ritter – “Hell.”

Filmed entirely underground in the MTA system, ‘Hell’ is about evangelism and existential dread.

lili white – “A PHILADELPHIA STORY”

Based a true story about a rape that happened in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, sometime in the 1980’s

Morgan King – “in between”

An (inevitably flawed) exploration of dimensions and time through String Theory.

Rachel Lazar – “Stereo Moment”

It’s about leaving the doctor’s office feeling sicker than when you arrived.

At 10:00PM

Tony Cokes – Manifesto A

This is the first in Cokes non-consecutively produced series of promotional tapes for his conceptual band SWIPE. 3#, subtitled Manifesto A Track #1, introduces Cokes concern with the ideological apparatus that undergirds the music industry. The video takes up a song by Seth Price, which is itself the systematic recreation of an early electronic pop song by Kraftwerk.

Alex Schmidt – “The Spectrum”

A film about queerness, autism, and groups.

Jennifer Atalla – “CBT for OCD”

A spiritual walkabout through footage found from the net about life, death, technology, you, me?

Mia Ardito – The Burden of Evidence: (Notes For Tomorrow, Today) VOL. 1

(Random Access Memory) (Internal Harddrive) (External Device) (2013-2017)

Sam White – “Movements 1000”

about making something from what you have and are able to borrow

Sara O’Brien – “faster the current”

A short film about being there but not there and here but not fully.

Sonia de Jager – “Memory: A Hypothesis / Human Representation Machine, Human Representation-Machine, Human-Representation Machine, Human-Representation-Machine”

Whether abstractly or quite concretely: the human represents. And by representing the human becomes, in turn, represented. Identifying borders, hierarchies or degrees of freedom within the various systems implicated in (self-)representation may seem straightforward when the human body is understood as the locus of creativity. If we consider the human body’s technoculturally mediated experience the task becomes slightly more challenging: who or what enables and drives representation? This brief essay-film analyzes the human-representation-machinecontinuum as a platform for the evolution of cognitive feedback, considering this semiotechnological triad as a unified trinity.

Each program lasts about 1 hour.

TALKS BACK PART 2

TALKS BACK (PT. 2)
Curated by Angela Washko
95 min
MONDAY, DECEMBER 18th
ONE NIGHT ONLY – 7:30PM (WITH Q & A!) and at 10:00
ARTISTS IN ATTENDANCE

TICKETS HERE

Talks Back is a screening program featuring video and performance-for-video works by women artists who have opted to move away from the limitations of gallery contexts and art world audiences and put themselves in conversation with television and cinema (and their audiences). Inspired by the possibilities offered by public access television, reality television and virtual environments, these artists bring new meaning to films, television programming, and multi-user digital spaces by inserting themselves into existing media narratives which don’t often include their perspectives. Through remixing their bodies into found footage or literally getting onto reality television programs, these artists assert the need for the narratives of intersectional feminists in the mainstream media we consume every day.

Artists in the program include Morehshin Allahyari, Ann Hirsch, Narcissister, Rachel Rampleman, Suzie Silver, Skawennati and Angela Washko.

Special thanks to the artists and curator.

FREEBIRD
Suzie Silver, 1993
11 min

“Suzie Silver directs and performs all the roles in this raucous and hilarious music video rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird”, the infamous Southern rock anthem for an entire generation of 1970s male youth. In this spoof of straight mass culture, Silver flips ironically between roles; from a lesbian proudly proclaiming her sexuality at the Academy Awards, to an in-concert Coors-drinking Ronnie Van Zant, and, finally, to a black-lace lesbian lounge swinger celebrating the wild, colorful world of “out” visibility. Silver draws upon an amazing array of found footage and special effects to bend genders and genres with spectacular visual delight.” – SS

MILLIONAIRE WORTHY: HOME EDITION (A PRIMER)
Angela Washko, 2013
8 min

“Angela Washko explores metrics and seduction in this video work that presents audiences with a strategy for romantic success through data analysis of the Bravo television show Millionaire Matchmaker. The project was the primer video which ultimately led to a public access television show called ‘Millionaire Worthy TV’.

‘Millionaire Worthy’ began as a research project through which the artist watched all 72 of the existing episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker and analyzed exactly what values were being communicated to its viewership by making spreadsheets and graphs detailing what traits men on the show state that they are looking for in women, and what the host declares unacceptable about the women she denies opportunities to date these men. Performing as analyst and (un)qualified authority, Angela Washko attempts to embody Patti Stanger’s teachings…the impossibility of which is made clear by highly contradictory data.” – AW

TIMETRAVELLER™ EPISODE 1 & 2,
Skawennati 2008-2013
6 min & 9 min

“It is critical that Aboriginal people show up in The Future. Sepia-toned, historical images of silent, unnamed Indians are everywhere but rarely do we appear in future imaginaries, even our own. As a Mohawk woman, I believe that we need to visualize ourselves as full participants in the future in order to assume our appropriate role as active agents in the shaping of new mediums and new societies. At the moment, nothing can represent The Future better than a real-time, interactive, 3D space where fantastical people populate improbable architecture and fly, teleport, and telepathically communicate their thoughts and dreams. Second Life, the popular virtual world, is such a space. How do Indigenous people fit into such spaces? And, more importantly, what is our role in defining those spaces? TimeTraveller™ is a creative and critical intervention into such discussions. TimeTraveller™ is a 9-part machinima that tells the story of Hunter, an angry young Mohawk man living in the 22nd century. Despite his impressive range of traditional skills, Hunter is unable to find his way in an overcrowded, hyperconsumerist, technologized world. He decides to use his edutainment system, his TimeTraveller™, to learn about his heritage. Through a bizarre glitch in the system, he meets Karahkwenhawi, a young Mohawk woman from our present. Together they criss-cross time, and end up discovering the complexity of history, truth, and love.” – S

IN THE REALM OF RARE AND ANALOGOUS ACCIDENTS
Morehshin Allahyari, 2013
10 min

Side by Side; Searching for a relationship that defines the states of belonging; The space in the middle. Questioning the power of the image… the image that guides us. The image that lies. “Something is of course always lost when we get to see only one side. It is for the exact same reason that one must have the courage to confess the pain of the coma-like contrast of life and cinema. In this scenario, somehow we must put it all together to see the big picture; While in the state of unconsciousness, we are stuck at the thin edge of a screen where two worlds, two countries, and two cities separate for the sake of it. I feel helpless standing in the middle. In this chain of accidents, in this battle of guns and bombs, in the pile of my notes, thoughts, and nostalgic memories of Texas and Tehran, the world lacks trust in common sense.” -M

{intermission}

HERE FOR YOU
Ann Hirsch, 2010
14 min

“In 2010 I was cast on the Vh1 reality dating series Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair. I was one of fifteen female contestants vying for the heart of Frank “The Entertainer” Maresca, a thirty-year-old unemployed reality show mainstay, as we all lived in a house with Frank and his parents. I consider my time on the show a performance but I have also made work from the experience as well to recontextualize my experience for an art audience. Here For You combines footage from my reality TV experience, original video, and secret audio I captured during my in person audition. Edited to appear almost as a dream, this video explores the supposed sincerity that was assigned to my character during the show, questions the romantic nature of my relationship with Frank, and explores my mental state during the filming of the show and afterwards.” – AH

HOT LUNCH
Narcissister, 2009
4 min

“Narcissister employs a spectacle-rich approach to explorations of gender, racial identity, and sexuality. Humor, pop songs, elaborate costumes, contemporary dance, and her trademark mask are her tools in deconstructing stereotypical representations. Narcissister questions fetishism, particularly sexual fetishism, which is notorious in its fixing of racist and gendering stereotypes. Rather than abandon this contaminated site, Narcissister dives headlong into the muck, into the depths of the fantasy and fetish itself, to expose and deconstruct their power.” – N

UPSIDE DOWN ON AMERICA’S GOT TALENT
Narcissister, 2011
3 min

“People might ask, ‘Why is she interested in these low brow possibilities? Why is she diluting her work? What about the politics’ Is it possible to be strongly political and appear on these talent competitions? I think it’s radical that I would want my work to be seen on such a huge platform. If one aspires to show only in the art world, who is going to see their work? Elitist culture, people already in the know, who are already liberal. To be able to reach all kind of people- different classes, ages groups – feels righteous. And I’m protected by the mask. Narcissister can always only be a mirror of what’s around her.” – N

POISON (MY SISTER FUCKED BRET)
Rachel Rampleman, 2006
31 min

“Rachel Rampleman’s Poison (My Sister Fucked Bret) is a 30-minute video account of the artist’s younger sister Sarah’s early childhood introduction to, and later teenage interactions with, Bret Michaels – lead singer of ’80s hair-metal / glam-rock band Poison. With Poison music video clips interspersed throughout, a now (circa 2006) adult Sarah, living as the single mother of a toddler, shares her vivid and hilarious recollections of her multiple encounters with Bret, which eventually culminated in her spending a deeply unsatisfying weekend with the object of her decade-long obsession at his “cheesy” mansion in Tennessee. Shot solely and claustrophobically within Sarah’s 2006 Kentucky home, the stories relayed in this video convey in excruciating detail the experience of being a naïve and self-conscious adolescent in the suburban Midwest in the throes of total rock-idol worship, followed by the thrill and excitement, then ultimately the bittersweet disappointment, that actually getting to meet one’s idol can entail.” – RR

AIN’T NOTHING LIKE BEING FREE

AIN’T NOTHING LIKE BEING FREE
dir. John Meyer, 2016
USA, 49 min
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Ever find yourself wondering why Coney Island couldn’t have instead been a huge Jesus-themed theme park? Or why you even bother attending your “friend’s” “DJ set,” when you could just be spittin’ verses about life and freedom on the stoop with your real homies?

For just a moment, if you can, in that megalopolis-twisted mind of yours, try to imagine an America less convoluted, less distracted, and a maybe bit more free. For instance, instead of “soiled subway rat,” think “small disabled dog with wheels for legs.” Or perhaps instead of a city slickin’, cold brew wieldin’ hoser taking up sidewalk space, consider trading him in for an unlicensed Don Quixote faithfully hacking his way through dubious foliage with a dull machete. Try substituting your therapist and adderall prescription for some wisdom from a philosophical BBQ maverick and a rack of sweet baby back ribs. And while you’re stuck there again in L-train hell, deep down wouldn’t you rather be busting donuts in velvety mud on an ATV?

Well now that all our hot garbage is starting to freeze over, we invite you to clock out of your metropolitan nightmares for a meandering vacation in sunny, sultry Central Florida. Soak up the rays as a candid cast of soul-bearing tour guides show you a thing or two you won’t pick up in any hot yoga class. All shot in holy SVHS with a shaky hand and a heart of gold, ANLBF is a freewheeling, ingenuous portrait of contemporary America, living out its sometimes dreary, sometimes delighted dream in a seldom documented corner of this crazed country.

UNSINKABLE

UNSINKABLE: MY HEART WILL GO ON
dir. [Name of Director]
live score / video collage
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19 – 7:30 AND 10:00 PM

TICKETS HERE

Even after two decades, [year of blockbuster] blockbuster [name of blockbuster] remains indelibly etched into the collective consciousness. Originally released to breathless acclaim, 14 Oscar nominations, and 11 wins including Best Picture, and endlessly repeat theater visits by teenage viewers, the movie lingers in the memories of many, accompanied a deep-seated shame at knowing every note in “[title of canadian soundtrack pop hit]”.

Join us on the twentieth anniversary of [name of blockbuster]’s debut for a live reconstruction of [blockbusting director]’s unsinkable creation. With visual processing by Sleepy Peopl and an improvised score by Cyrus, [EVENT NAME] is a 30-minute voyage into the unknown, a wreckage that will go on and on.

Cyrus is Maggie Drew Brennan and members of Tar Of. Maggie is a city-based visual, audial dilettante. Tar Of play experimental pop and electronic textures, and recently discovered a shared past obsession with a certain cinematic experience.

Sleepy Peopl piece together live video projections from found and created materials and one of them has still never seen TITA–[film in question].

COME GET YA MANS: MANSFIELD 66/67 AND THE WILD WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD


MANSFIELD 66/67
Dir. P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, 2017.
USA. 85 min.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 7:30 PM **Q&A**
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10 – 5:00 PM
NYC Premiere!

TICKETS HERE

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield’s fatal and legendary car crash, yet we are still left to wonder: was her life spinning out of control in the last two years of her life, or…did the devil make her do it?

Known as the “Working Man’s Monroe” and the “smartest dumb blonde,” Jayne Mansfield was a taboo-taunting, bodacious babe with brains and maybe, just maybe…a sexy Satanist as well? P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes (producers of Room 237) dive into Mansfield’s life and career, but especially her tumultuous final two years and her mysterious friendship with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. But this isn’t your regular bio-doc: expect some campy (yet educational) song and dance numbers amid the tornado of rumors and speculations as to whether or not Jayne’s death was actually caused by a malicious curse.

The film features interviews with the likes of John Waters, Tippi Hedren, Mamie Van Doren, and Kenneth Anger, who discuss the mark that Mansfield left, the ways in which she was ahead-of-her-time, and above all the mythology surrounding her life and untimely demise that made her such a fascinating figure in Hollywood Babylon.



THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD
Dir. Charles W. Broun, Jr., Joel Holt, and Arthur Knight, 1968.
USA. 99 min.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

An example of true exploitation (in more than just name/genre), THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD was filmed sporadically over four years before it was hastily released to capitalize off of the actress’ untimely and tragic death. It’s part travelogue and part nudie flick, an unstructured and uncomfortable compilation of Mansfield’s nude scenes from various films along with footage of her visiting the seedy and/or liberated underbellies of Europe and the U.S.: from Italian red light districts and massage parlors to topless bars in Los Angeles.

What may have begun as a tribute to Jayne’s libertine spirit doesn’t stick the landing. In fact, it trips and falls down when photos of the Mansfield’s horrendous car wreck appear on screen, juxtaposed with the cheeky travel footage throughout. An eerie voice-over of Mansfield (but actually spoken by a breathy yet clearly inauthentic imitator) puts a creepy cherry on top of this problematic pie.

DROID

DROID
dir. Philip O’Toole
USA, 1988

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 5 PM

For anyone who found BLADE RUNNER 2049’s perfume-ad gloss just a little too savory, DROID offers up a smokey, neon underworld of trashy dive bars, virginal sex robots, and trombone masturbation. Though it masqueraded as a sci-fi feature directed by “Peter Williams” upon its VHS release, the film is actually entirely comprised of footage form two hardcore porn films by Philip O’Toole, CABARET SIN (1987) and EMPIRE OF THE SINS (1988), but with anything explicit excised. Influenced by the likes of CAFE FLESH and LIQUID SKY, and with a plot lifted wholesale from BLADE RUNNER, DROID is some admirably audacious future sleaze even as it trips all over itself to cut to disguise the fact that it originated purely as a vehicle for sex, repeatedly cutting to some totally inexplicable images along the way.

The (discernible) story takes place in a future LA overrun by leather-clad, depraved police robots called Reformers. A human cop named Taylor, brought in for one last job and somehow sounding even more hungover and world-weary than Harrison Ford in his expository voicover, is pitted against them in the search for a stolen “decoder” (“where is the dee-coder?” Taylor frequently barks). Between the film’s countless lounge act interludes, there’s a perfectly enjoyable Vangelis-knockoff synth score credited to the grammatically suspect “Cinema Symphony’s.”

 

ALL FOR THE FANS

BACKSTAGE
Dir. Emmanuelle Bercot, 2005.
France, 112 mins.
In French with English subtitles.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

An oddball forgotten gem of the oughts – but still relevant as ever in the age of tween internet fandom – European festival mainstay Emmanuelle Bercot’s most striking film is a knotty teen pop opera with emotional intensity set to a speaker-blowing high. The great Isild Le Besco, French cinema’s go-to for young queer hysteria, gives a fiercely committed performance as a high school girl hopelessly stanning for pop star Emmanuelle Seigner (The Ninth Gate, Venus in Fur). Their paths cross as the result of a bizarre MTV-style contest, and soon both women find their lives hopelessly entwined in a relationship of shifting power dynamics. Agnès Godard, cinematographer for Claire Denis, gives the film an edge that’s woozy, love-drunk, stark, and surreal.

DER FAN
aka Trance.
Dir. Eckhart Schmidt, 1982.
Germany, 89 min.
In German with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

In the wake of films like CHRISTIANE F., studies of displaced, dysfunctional German youth were a dime a dozen. However, the forerunner in the sweepstakes for the most memorable and disturbing entry would have to be DER FAN.
Like every other teenager in school, Simone has a crush on a rock star. When her idol, the lead singer ‘R’, comes to town to make a television appearance Simone is gripped by a trance-like state, leaving school, friends and parents behind her. However, when Simone comes to realize the shallow nature of the ‘glamorous’ music industry and of ‘R’ himself, she plans a calculated, ritualistic and bloody revenge on her obsession.

An unsettling blend of new wave pop culture, adolescent angst, and full-blooded horror, this nasty little art house shocker caught more than a few unsuspecting viewers off guard and earned a bit of a cult following in the process. Imagine a John Hughes film with Michael Haneke in the driver’s seat and you’re getting close…