Author: Spectacle




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!

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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


“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.



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

THURSDAY, MAY 18 – 7:30 PM

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 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). 

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


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.

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.

dir. Abbas Fahdel, 2016
334 minutes (in two parts), Iraq
In Arabic with English subtitles.



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.





FRIDAY, MAY 19 – 7:30 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS! 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.

Since Kinet’s inception in July 2016, five unique film programs have been published for free viewing. Pursuant this selection films from past programs, Spectacle will host the premiere screenings of future Kinet programs prior to their online release.

For the inaugural screening the following works have been selected:

dir. Alexandre Galmard, France
2016. 12 mins.

This movie was mostly made in Paris in the span of a year, from the attacks of November 2015, the refugee crisis to the protests of early 2016 against several reform projects.

This movie was set in motion by a collaborative neighborhood art project (with Angelina Battais and Victoria Linhares) which was followed by the occupation of Place de la République referred to as “Nuit Debout” that started the night of March 31st, after hours of protest under the rain.

République does not cover all the converging struggles associated with living in Saint-Ouen and in the proximity of such procedures but works through the fragmented forms that were drawn from it. His aim is not to recollect and sum up all of the activities undertaken this year but stands as a remainder for future formalizations.

Douglas Dixon Barker, United Kingdom
2017. 2 mins.

Archiving iPhone images to 35mm film. digital and analogue distortions. In this case the colour blue.

dir. Ryan Ermacora & Jessica Johnson, Canada
2015. 13 mins.

A lyrical study of the nearly abandoned company town west of Bella Coola that all but withered and died once its existence no longer made financial sense. Ryan Ermacora and Jessica Johnson invite us to marvel at the stark contrast between the vibrant coastal forests and the manmade structures that have fallen into ruin. An almost spectral presence is on hand to impart tales of a rebellious past and we’re left to consider the grim fates that sometimes befall grand schemes.

dir. Karissa Hahn, US
2016. 4 mins.

a piece of my cinematic tension series, one leaning toward release

making a pot of tea, listening to the radio,
a sculpture of pose, a gesture incomplete
– no relief
a tea kettle boiling to silence is a petrified thought
air mattresses are the worst to fold up

dir. Saskia Gruyaert, Raya Martin & Antoine Thirion, France
2010. 20 mins.

After the death of her boyfriend, a young woman leaves for the countryside in the south of France, seeking nature, spirits and the forest.

dir. Isaac Goes, US
2017. 3 mins.

A shot-for-shot in-camera recreation of an iPhone movie. Filmed over the course of 1 day from sunup to sundown.

Each individual shot in the iPhone cut (filmed and edited one month prior) was timed and each location mapped. Because the film was edited sequentially in-camera, physical movement through space was required in mimicking the cuts of the digital version – an unfolding of montage in real environments. The iPhone movie was constructed so as to form a map, the 16mm film is the traversing of the points plotted. Periodic shots of empty skies mark the passage of time through color.

The film’s digital counterpart has been deleted.

dir. Miguel Mantecon, US/Philippines
2016. 25 mins.

If to obtain a legacy one must diminish their self, then life, the embodiment of living, must evaporate only to be spread about, felt elsewhere by others, often unknowingly. But not known, is a legacy contested? Goodbye Philippines surveys an undead landscape, textured by phantoms. It is as if this feeling of a legacy regards tradition and cultural custom as memories repossessed by the setting. Here a family less acts and instead sets the scene for departure, in preparation for some entrance, whether it is into a room or a different realm. But is entering here where even the most banal tasks are elucidated and no longer customary, rather made a part of mythology.

Jessica Johnson is an experimental filmmaker living in Vancouver, B.C. She works predominantly with 16mm film making short experimental works that intend to shift perspectives on landscape. Her films have played at Canadian festivals such as VIFF, DOXA, Festival du Nouveau Cinema and WNDX.

Ryan Ermacora (1991) is an award-winning artist and filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. His work investigates the visible and invisible ways in which humans have engraved themselves into natural spaces and is informed by an interest in avant-garde depictions of landscape. His style is defined through a self-reflexive and structural approach to cinema. His work has been chosen for screenings at DOXA Documentary Film Festival, WNDX, The Vancouver International Film Festival and international festivals.

Born in Paris with both French and Canadian nationalities, Alexander Galmard is a 24 years old moviemaker (aka Aleph Cinema) and electronic music composer (aka Kanthor, aka Jeune Galois), co-founder of QTY (with Isiah Medina) and co-founder of Hisolat Records (with Angelina Battais, aka Abhr).

Karissa Hahn is a visual artist based in Los Angeles.

Douglas Dixon-Barker is an experimental filmmaker from Stockton-on-Tees and currently based around London. His work covers various formats and explores how cinematic forms understand and represent space(s). He is currently working on a new film (IN YOUR ARMS), a book (Spirit Levels), and has recently released a recording of Michael Pisaro’s Add Red on Don’t Drone Alone.
Isaac Goes is a Bay Area born filmmaker and the co-founder of Kinet. He currently lives in Queens, New York and makes movies under the production company Quantity Cinema (QTY).
Miguel Mantecon is a filmmaker based in the Bay Area.
Antoine Thirion was a film critic at Cahiers du cinéma (2001-2009), then at Independencia, an online publication he has founded in 2009 and directed until 2013. He organized retrospectives in France of the works of James Benning and Lav Diaz at the Jeu de Paume, and of Hong Sang-soo and Roger Corman at FID Marseille. With Raya Martin, he conceived two performances at the Asian Arts Theatre (Gwangju, South Korea), How He Died is Controversial (2015) and UNdocumenta (2016). He’s currently writing a feature film with Alain Della Negra and Kaori Kinoshita.

Born in 1984 in the Philippines, Raya Martin has already directed several features and short films. In 2005, he participated in the berlinale talent campus. His film NOW SHOWING was screened at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2008. One year later, the feature film INDEPENDENCIA, which was supported by the Berlinale World cinema Fund, as well as the feature film MANILA were both shown at the Cannes Film Festival 2009. Martin’s latest film, BUENAS NOCHES, ESPAÑA premiered at the Locarno Film Festival 2011, where he was also part of the jury for the international competition. Raya has also been a recipient of the prestigious 13 Artists Awards in the Philippines in 2009. A retrospective of his works have been featured in Paris, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Las Palmas de Gran Canarias. In 2012, Raya’s films were presented at documenta in Kassel, Germany, and a retrospective of his films was screened at the Korean Film Archive, South Korea, and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, USA.



Dir. Franco Brocani, 1982
Italy, 116 min.
In Italian with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, MAY 27 – 7:30 PM

TUESDAY, MAY 30 – 7:30 PM


In 1896 Marcel Schwob published Imaginary Lives, a work of what we’d now call biographical fiction which became a primary influence on Jorge Luis Borges (he used it as a model for his book A Universal History of Iniquity) and Roberto Bolaño. It’s out of print in English, which is a god damn tragedy. Among tales of Captain Kidd, Burke & Hare and Lucretius we find the story of Clodia, an “impure woman”, whom we know about primarily from the writings of Cicero (who called her the Medea of the Palantine). Clodia was many things: a poet, a philosopher, a potential murderer, and a public drunk, but more than any of this she was known for her many, many, many affairs, which led to a tawdry court case. This could easily turn into an E! True Rome Story, but Schwob (who wrote the absolutely masterful The Book of Monelle, which IS in print) brings his severe erudition and Symbolist tendencies to the fore.

Fast forward to 1982 – when experimental director Franco Brocani (NECROPOLIS) released this meditation of Schwob’s tale of Clodia’s scandal, taking cues from the films of Alain Robbe-Grillet (and maybe a little Jean Rollin?). Often consisting of an empty red screen as the narrator recounts Schwob’s tale, intercut with languid tableaux reminiscent of Peter Greenaway or Raul Ruiz, CLODIA-FRAGMENTA is ultimately a film about desire transgressing the mores of society and the rule of law. Perfectly capturing the Symbolist nature of the source material, it’s a film that requires patience but pays back that investment tenfold. Never released on VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray anywhere, it’s a film that resists plot summary. Spring is in the air at Spectacle!


dir. Taralyn Thomas & Jean-Luc Unger
2016, 93 min.


SUNDAY, MAY 7 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 13 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MAY 15 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 23 – 7:30 PM


73QU13M 4 4 D734M is a ballz2thewall, no-budget, feature-length “remake” of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM; part crowd-pleasing avant-comedy, part vitriolic attack on hollywood & mainstream american “culture,” part mind-bending technical experiment in sound and image! Filmed in 3 days and edited over 2 years, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2016) is a farcical, hard-hitting drug drama and genuine DIY meltdown.

REQUIEM has previously screened at Dynasty Center and Memphis Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.


dirs. Robert Kramer and John Douglas, 1975
United States of America. 195 mins.

MONDAY, MAY 1 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 11 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MAY 29 – 7:30 PM

Warning: This film contains a scene of graphic sexual assault that may be triggering for some viewers.

MILESTONES Excerpt from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

MILESTONES is a lilting, free-associative masterpiece that follows dozens of characters — including hippies, farmers, immigrants, Native Americans, and political activists — as they try to reconcile their ideals with the realities of American life. In intimate discussions of subjects from communal living to parenting, pregnancy to family, Vietnam to Cuba, city life to country life, and the workplace to the bedroom, the film’s diverse protagonists negotiate jealousies, relationships, and the logistical challenges of their rapidly changing world.

Shot in vivid color 16mm, using innovative, layered sound design and editing techniques as well as slides and archival footage, MILESTONES tracks its subjects through scripted and unscripted moments. It follows them as they share their emotions and dreams, their idealism and disillusionment, their triumphs and defeats of the past, as well as the possibilities for the future.

In a 1976 interview with Jump Cut, Kramer put it like this: “If you ask what’s the political significance of the film, we might say we make no claims for its political significance, because the space that it grew out of was the space in which that was the basic question – what is the political significance of our lives? And that’s the guilt that basically everyone in the film experiences at one level or another… And the clear politics that grew out of the 70’s couldn’t be carried forward because of our own limitations. It’s the responsibility of revolutionaries to claim all the good things in the world, in the revolution, not to make lives that rule it out, not to say, you can’t have beautiful films, for example. You can have beautiful films and be a revolutionary.” To which Douglas added: “The openness of the dialogue in the film, the dialogue between two people, constantly could be almost a dialogue between the two filmmakers because of their isolation.”

Official Selection: Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 1975, Berlin Film Festival 1975, New York Film Festival 1975

“MILESTONES traverses the entire nation and marks the passing of an era… Kramer’s most unforgettable expedition.”Melissa Anderson, Artforum

“As sad and compassionate a movie as I have ever seen… An attempt to keep alive one of the noble, impossible promises of its time.”  A.O.Scott, The New York Times 

” A monument of committed American cinema.” – Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound

“Above all else it is brave. The intensity of the commitment evinced by the film’s characters, the unapologetically mixed-up quality of these commitments, and the sheer force of the emotions that come pouring off the screen make it unlike anything else I know of in that too-lauded period of American cinema.” – Jerry White, Cinema Scope

“MILESTONES is an epic snapshot of our nation at a specific point in time in a brilliant and orginal mash-up of documentary and fiction.” The Flip Side

Special thanks to Icarus Films.



In March, online public access station 8Ball TV traveled to São Paulo to attend the fifth annual edition of the international independent publishing fair, Plana Festival.

The goal was simple: Recreating 8Ball’s “DIY TV” studio environment for a completely different set of artists, filmmakers, and anyone who wanted to make a video. This program represents the videos created in São Paulo, and the submissions given by locals: PRETXS is a documentary web series that delves into the lives of Sao Paulo’s LGBTQ+ youth; PIXO is a film about the purveyors of “pichação” a uniquely Brazilian style of graffiti; PROJECTING NANCY FLOWERS archives the work of 95-year-old visual anthropologist Nancy May Flowers and her encounters with the Xavante people of Mato Grosso Brazil; OCUPADO is a short documentary about the work of “professional occupier” Careca, shot and produced in Sao Paulo by 8 Ball TV; and finally, artist Diego Fernandes told us to store his film “in a cool, dry place, or a hairy naked chick.”