Author: Spectacle

MACC presents: SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd – 7:30 & 10PM

Spectacle is pleased to host the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council for a ONE NIGHT ONLY screening of Robert Kramer and Philip J. Spinelli’s classic documentary SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN PORTUGAL.


SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN PORTUGAL
dirs. Robert Kramer and Philip J. Spinelli, 1977
85 mins.
In English, and Portuguese with English subtitles.

“The main thing that I learned in Portugal is what it means for the left to be marginalized. It makes me wonder why we’ve done as well as we have. People are fed by a mass struggle. A mass struggle is like life blood. You can actually see the difference between a group of people who’ve been sitting in an office all day in Lisbon—doing necessary but bureaucratic political work for the Party, let’s say—and people who’ve just come back from a successful struggle of a tenant’s commission. It’s really like one person looks healthy and is standing up straight and has a positive perspective on what’s happening, and the other person is sort of dragging around and has a lot of negative criticism. My films, more than probably any others, reflect that marginalization.” –Robert Kramer in conversation with Thomas Brom on December 9th, 1975

INVENTION x CONVENTION: Four Nonfictions By Hernán Khourian

This September, Spectacle is thrilled to collaborate with Antennae Collection to present four nonfiction works from Argentine film and video-maker Hernán Khourian.

Hernán Khourian was born in 1972 in La Plata, Argentina. He graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Universidad Nacional de La Plata with a degree in Visual Communication, and continued his studies in Spain, where he received his Master of Arts in Documental de Creación at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). His work has received support from the Fundación Antorchas (Argentina) and the Jan Vrijman Fund (The Netherlands). Over the years he has received various prizes and grants on an international level. among his work, the following films have been exhibited internationally: ÁREAS (2000), LAS SABANAS DE NORBERTO (2003), PUNA (2006), ESPLIN O ERRAR O SIN EMBARGO (2007), MEMORIA (2010) and LOS SILENCIOS Y LAS MANOS (2014). He teaches at the Masters Degree in Documentary Filmmaking (Universidad de Cine Buenos Aires, FUC), in the National University of La Plata (UNLP) and the Masters in Journalism Documentary at the National University Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Buenos Aires.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – 10 PM

ÁREAS dir. Hernán Khourian, 2000
Argentina. 86 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

ÁREAS could be described on the surface as a documentary video about “work” in Argentina. It is an open piece that must be completed by the viewer, constantly recast in his mind, nourished by his own experience and subjectivity. (Enrico Kahn)

+

LAS SABANAS DE NORBERTO dir. Hernán Khourian, 2003
Argentina. 45 mins.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

LAS SABANAS DE NORBERTO is a documentary that centers the philosophical universe of Norberto Butler, marked by a life of physical immobility. Khourián constructs prostration as a state of a superlative dream power: mental flashes that trigger a hypnotic and stylistically vivacious transfer. (Diego Trerotola/FIDBA)


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – 10 PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – 7:30 PM

PUNA dir. Hernán Khourian, 2006
44 mins. Argentina.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

PUNA is a personal essay on the Puna (the plateau that covers part of Bolivia and Peru, and the extreme north of Chile and Argentina). Khourián invokes the hallucinated soul of a culture torn apart by the sun, transfigured by a spiritual experience shifted to the viewer. (Instituto Cervantes, Berlín)

+

LOS SILENCIOS Y LAS MANOS
dir. Hernán Khourian, 2014
58 mins. Argentina.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

LOS SILENCIOS Y LAS MANOS is a singular portrait of Telma Palavecino, an elderly mystic woman. Khourián attempts to meet Telma without ever exhausting her secrets and always respecting her mystery. (Diego Maté/Bafici)

MUBI Special Discoveries: THE EVENT & BROOKS MEADOWS AND LOVELY FACES


THE EVENT
dir. Sergei Loznitsa, 2015
Netherlands. 74 mins.
In Russian with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 7:30 PM

In August 1991 a failed coup d’état led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. In Leningrad thousands of confused, scared, excited and desperate people poured into the streets to become a part of the event, which was supposed to change their destiny.

Sergei Loznitsa has made an astounding documentary from restored footage of the dramatic cavalcade of events during the collapse of the Soviet Union 26 years ago this month: government dissolution, Gorbachev gone missing, and a coup d’etat. Like today, we only know what is presented to the public.

Read more about the film at The Notebook here.
Official Selection: Venice, Rotterdam, Belfast
Winner: “Best Documentary” by the Russian Guild of Film Critics, “Best Film (New Waves Non-Fiction Award)” at the Seville European Film Festival



BROOKS, MEADOWS AND LOVELY FACES
dir. Yousry Nasrallah, 2016
Egypt. 115 mins.
In Arabic with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 – 7:30 PM

With his sons, Refaat (a passionate cook) and Galal (a womanizer), chef Yehia manages a wedding caterer. Karima, Yehia’s niece, is promised to Refaat, but he loves Shadia, without knowing that Karima loves also someone else. Over the course of the wedding, Karima finds a way to reveal her feelings.

Egyptian auteur Yousry Nasrallah deftly weaves between drama, comedy and subtle political insight in this warm and colorful social tapestry. Romantic, business and sexual relationships swirl around a wedding, a grand, music and food-filled event touching all types of people, wealthy and working.

Official Selection: Locarno, Toronto, Istanbul, Göteborg, Busan

8BALL TV: COMP USA LIVE

SATURDAY, AUGUST 19TH- 7:30PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

COMP USA Live is an experiment in digital performance. The COMP USA Live team tells stories that take place on the desktop computer itself and explores relationships between actor, audience, environment, and computer user. Utilizing a desktop armed with custom software, talented actors, the Internet, and a well hung green screen, COMP USA Live creates a stage unlike any other that came before.

KINET.MEDIA PROGRAM 06

SATURDAY, JULY 15th – 7:30 PM – ONE NIGHT ONLY!

GET YOUR TICKETS!

kinet.media is an online publishing platform catered to the dissemination of new and boundary pushing avant-garde cinema.  Aiming to expand the potential of the internet as a space for cinematic exchange, the site provides a localized space wherein works exhibiting a wide range of emerging formal tendencies can come together in dialogue.

 The site’s latest program will make its theatrical premiere at Spectacle preceding its online release.  Kinet Program 06 – July is comprised of four never before screened works by Neil Bahadur, Jiayi Chen, and Jesse Filian.

FROM NINE TO NINE
dir. Neil Bahadur, 2016.
67 mins. Canada.

There is a dead body sitting outside of a library which an unnamed young man is arrested for.  He escapes, and wanders an unnamed city – spaces take on different meanings in handcuffs.  Featuring clips from THE AQUARIUM AND THE NATION, THE SHOOTING, MAHJONG, REGENERATION, TOO EARLY TOO LATE and INTOLERANCE.

Neil Bahadur was born on Feburary 24, 1991.

THE WORDS ARE NOT WHAT YOU MEANT
dir. Jiayi Chen, 2017.
12 mins. United States.

A stranger’s quest in Chicago, particularly Chinatown, for a sense of being in an uncertain time. It derives from experiences of translation and transportation, negotiations with foreignness and intimacy, and attempts to physically and emotionally inhabit a place.
CASE STUDY OF AN EQUATION
dir. Jiayi Chen, 2017.

4 mins. United States. Originally shot on Super-8mm.

Based on a mathematical equation, the work CASE STUDY OF AN EQUATION is made to ridicule the process of coping with fear, to quantify emotion in space and in relation to others. It is the full length of a 50 foot reel of super 8 film with in-camera editing, and is the result of an immediate investigation and spontaneous measurement of the haunting ghost from a past incident.

Jiayi Chen is an artist born in Chongqing, China, and is currently based in Chicago, IL. She works in film, video, installation and photography. She is interested in language, instructions and correspondence, exploring them in her works and also living with them.

ONE SECOND PER SECOND
dir. Jesse Filian, 2016.
9 mins. United States.
“A chronicle of some time spent with my uncle talking about his years working in factories and riding horses around Northeast Illinois with my grandfather. An attempt to reconcile the landscape they grew up on with the one I now inhabit.”
Jesse Filian is a filmmaker from Illinois.

INDIE BEAT: SMALL FRIES

THURSDAY, JULY 13th – ONE NIGHT ONLY – FILMMAKERS IN PERSON!

GET YOUR TICKETS!

This July, Indie Beat presents… short films! These small fries run the gamut – non-fiction/fiction, surreal/real, cats/horses. Come for The Cinema™, stay for the Director Q&As!

CLOUDY ALL DAY
dir. Dylan Pasture, 2016
10 mins.

Two struggling performers have a life-changing experience after they accept help from a stranger.

Dylan Pasture once nearly burned his leg off in a swamp. He works as a film projectionist in Brooklyn.

DON’T HANG UP THE FUCKING PHONE CURTIS
dir. John W. Yost, 2017
13 mins.

In the world of altered perception, the cat is king!

John W. Yost has worked in tandem as an educator and commercial producer; creating and directing broadcasts, commercials, music videos, short films, and features. He is the founder of commercial production company, Fifth Column Features and the co-founder of a film collective known as The APB.

TENANTS
dir. Brian Oh, 2014
27 mins.

A pianist pays a lone visit to the empty house where he and his wife had planned to move in together. While playing a song on the piano that stirs up his haunting memories, he encounters a squatter, a teenage girl. Before he takes the girl back home, however, she asks him to teach her how to play the song.

Brian Oh was born in Illinois, USA, raised in South Korea and spent time living in Germany as a teenager. Dropping out of college in South Korea, he moved to Chicago to pursue his film studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Soon after graduating from the school, he moved to New York City and has worked on several short films, documentary, music videos and multi-media projects and shown his works to several screenings and exhibitions.

THE BODY HEALS
dir. Annelise Ogaard, 2017
7 mins.

A dreamy nonfiction dispatch from a plastic surgery vacation in Miami, reflecting on beauty in the moment of metamorphosis after the knife goes in, but before the bandages come off.

Annelise Ogaard is a writer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Her independent short films have screened at venues like the Borscht Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, New York’s Rooftop Film Series, and the Yale Film Club. She currently works as a producer at Vice Media.

100 YEARS OF JAPANESE ANIMATION

SATURDAY, JUNE 17th – 5:00 PM – FREE!
SATURDAY, JUNE 24th – 5:00 PM – FREE!

2017 marks a significant year for Japanese animated films, which were first publicly screened in the Land of the Rising Sun 100 years ago. This two-night only program celebrates the centennial of the anime industry with a hand-picked selection of rare shorts produced between 1917 and 1935 by pioneers such as Jun’ichi Kōuchi, Noburō Ōfuji and Sanae Yamamoto. Not many films survive from this period, as the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and WWII bombings destroyed numerous animation studios and theaters. But the surviving records boast an array of innovative techniques and styles, executed for entertainment, educational, and political purposes, and they laid the foundation for anime as we know it today. Curated and presented by Claire Voon.

BUMMING IN BEIJING

BUMMING IN BEIJING
( 流浪北京)
dir. Wu Wenguang, 1990
70 minutes.
In Mandarin with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 24 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28 – 7:30 PM

“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.

INDIE BEAT: SOME BEASTS

 

SOME BEASTS
dir. Bruce Cameron Nelson, 2016
82 minutes. USA.

THURSDAY, MAY 18 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!

The Playlist‘s Indie Beat podcast returns to Spectacle for a one-time screening of Bruce Cameron Nelson’s SOME BEASTS, with Nelson in person for a Q&A.

Sal (Frank Mosley) has left modern society, his past and his girlfriend to live off the land in remote Appalachia as a caretaker and gardener. But is this remote living freedom, or its own kind of prison? Sal struggles with the isolation of his new job, with the death of a neighbor and a long-distance relationship, and with the discovery of an abandoned child as he wonders where, if anywhere, he truly belongs. Beautifully shot and performed, SOME BEASTS tells its story of loneliness and self-reliance with an uncommon grace.

“This being Nelson’s debut, one hopes that he will continue down this path; regional films with this sort of depth and artistry are always a welcome addition to the canon of American independent cinema, and in a culture where everything is in danger of being co-opted, sorely needed.” – Michael McWay, Hammer To Nail

“A bittersweet tale occupying the margins of the in between, in between the dusk of unrealized, cast off dreams and the threshold of promise and new beginnings.” – Kevin Rakestraw, Film Pulse

THE SEVENTH ART STAND: AGAINST THE MUSLIM BAN

The Seventh Art Stand is a nationwide screening and discussion series, an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia. In May 2017, participating movie theaters and community centers across the U.S. will show films from the countries affected by Islamophobia and the proposed travel ban. The Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS) joins U.S. theaters in this coalitional effort to elevate the cinemas and stories of our friends and fellow filmmakers abroad. We believe it is crucial to build a tradition of sharing more stories, voices, and faces on our screens.

While our friends at Anthology Film Archives are screening one title from each of the countries targeted by the Tr*mp Administration’s unconstitutional proposed travel ban, Spectacle has chosen to highlight three major works from countries continually affected by U.S. foreign policy (or lack thereof) in irrevocable and disparate ways: Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Special thanks to Courtney Sheehan (Northwest Film Forum) and Jonathan Hertzberg (Kino-Lorber). 

STILL LIFE
dir. Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1974
89 min, Iran
In Farsi with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 13 – 5 PM

Winner of numerous prizes (including the Silver Bear for Best Director) at the 1974 Berlin Film Festival, STILL LIFE examines the lot of an elderly rail worker and his carpetmaking wife at the moment he’s asked to retire, and the night of a visit from their son – on leave from military duty. Shaheed Saless’ film concerns laborers (and their expendability) during a time of rapid industrialization in Iran; arguably, STILL LIFE introduced the now-standard minimal dialogue and (at times excruciatingly) slow camera movement that would become the hallmark of almost every other internationally popular Iranian director in subsequent years. Nevertheless, Saless is rarely mentioned in official histories about Iranian (or even German) cinema – despite having gone on to make a number of acclaimed and award-winning films in Germany.

STARS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
dir. Oussama Muhammad, 1988
Syria, 105 mins.
In Arabic with English subtitles.

MONDAY, MAY 8 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 19 – 10 PM

Oussama Muhammad’s STARS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT is a brutal satire of life under the Baathist dictatorship of Hafez al-Assad (father of Bashar, ruler of Syria for the better part of three decades) as well as a sweeping, immaculately detailed study of family disenchantment – with gallows humor to boot. Beatings, dressing-downs and compulsory military service are regular facets of the day-to-day depicted in Muhammad’s feature debut, which was made with state funds – an uneasy collaboration with the country’s then-budding National Film Organization – but has never been screened in its home country as the filmmaker intended. Each member of the onscreen family lorded over by the father figure played by Abdullatif Abdulhamid (cast for his likeness to the elder Assad) struggles to locate their own individual identity; while Muhammad would later explain a need, in making STARS, to “make love with the fear” to New Yorker journalist Lawrence Wright, the film is an uneasy guessing game that takes a bleak view of anybody’s chances of escaping toxic patriarchy – with glimpses of warmth and relief along the way that make it all the more devastating.

HOMELAND: IRAQ YEAR ZERO
dir. Abbas Fahdel, 2016
334 minutes (in two parts), Iraq
In Arabic with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 – 5:30 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 28 – 2 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

In February 2002 – about a year before the U.S. invasion – Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel traveled home from France to capture everyday life as his country prepared for war. He concentrated on family and friends, including his 12-year-old nephew, Haider, as they went about their daily lives, which had come to include planning for shortages of food, water and power. No strangers to war, the Iraqis thought they understood what was coming, and could even manage to be grimly humorous about what they felt would likely be a major and lengthy inconvenience. And then, the war began.

When Fahdel resumed filming in 2003, two weeks after the invasion, daily activities have come to a near standstill, the city is overrun with foreign soldiers, and many areas of Baghdad had been closed off to ordinary citizens. Iraqis endure, seemingly as unwitting as Americans themselves about what further tragedy awaits. Fahdel’s epic yet intimate film paints a compelling portrait of people struggling to survive while their civilization, dating back to ancient times, is destroyed around them.