Author: Spectacle

IMAGINARY NEW YORK

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 – 7:30 PM – ONE NIGHT ONLY

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New York City exists as much in our collective imagination as it does in reality, and this imaginary conception of the city is due in no small part to its history of filmed representation. In this combination lecture and screening, New School for Social Research professor Zed Adams will discuss the role that the John Lindsay administration (1966-1973) played in bringing on-location filming back to NYC in the sixties and seventies. The effect of Lindsay’s administration was immediate and drastic: in the year before he took office, only 11 films were shot in NYC; in the year after, 223 were shot. Moreover, it was during this period that the “grittiness” of NYC came to be embraced on screen–think of MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) and THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971).

Apart from the lecture, clips will be played from two documentaries from this period: John Peer Nugent’s WHAT IS THE CITY BUT THE PEOPLE? (1969) and GEORGE PLIMPTON’S NEW YORK (1979), originally made for CBC.

Zed Adams is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of On the Genealogy of Color (Routledge, 2016) and the editor of Giving a Damn: Essays in Conversation with John Haugeland (MIT, 2016).

 

EROS + MASSACRE: 50 YEARS OF PINK FILMS

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Pink Film remains one of the most fascinating, idiosyncratic, and puzzling of genres in Japanese film. It is also one of the most varied– and most misunderstood– genres in film history. On one hand, it was linked with the underground madhouse of the Japanese political avant-garde, especially through the auteur Wakamatsu Koji. The genre originally launched with a flurry of new director talent in 1962, and became immediately linked with a subversive counter-culture. Those college students with eyes glued to a Wakamatsu retrospective at a dingy Shinjuku theatre also participated full-force in the political protest movements of the 1960s. On the other hand, Pink Film is a sexploitation genre, and many of its films were churned out wholesale for profit– especially after the decline of political protest in the 1970s. After all, until the late 1980s, Pink Films easily comprised 75% of all Japanese film production in a given year. As a result, while some Pink Films are as stunning and understated as an Antonioni film, others are a mishmash of styles and techniques (for better or for worse). Some are full of grotesque and violent sex-acts, and others appear to have barely any sex at all. Some even have fewer sex than a standard Hollywood production.

To be labeled a Pink, each film must follow certain rules for production and distribution; after that, it is up to the director to choose whatever style or sensibility he or she desires. It must be shot within three to five days, and with a budget of about 3 million Yen; it must be around 60 minutes in length, shot on 35mm film on location and without synched sound, and is usually shown in specialized Pink Film theaters. Otherwise, as long as about six sex scenes are included at regular intervals, directors are granted a great degree of autonomy. The films are then free to experiment with form and narrative structure, resulting in parodies of a huge number of genres, from Ozu-like family melodramas to political thrillers, from surrealist dreamscapes to absurdist rom-com musicals.

Spectacle now presents the largest and most comprehensive retrospective of Pink Film in North America, spanning from its very early history in the 1960s to the wild and weird Pinks that continue to be made today. November’s screenings include a survey of Pinks made from the 1980s to the present day, riffing on genres from Ozu-like family dramas to murder mystery, action, and even slapstick. The result is a collection of rare films which continue to thrill, inspire, and occasionally completely freak out their audience, over 50 years since their inception.

abfambannerABNORMAL FAMILY
Dir. Masayuki Suo, 1984
Japan. 63 minutes.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – 8:30 PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – 8:45 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – 10:00 PM 

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This spoof of Ozu Yasujiro would make the Master of Japanese Cinema turn in his grave. The film– so deeply uncomfortable it borders on hilarious– is chock full of references to Ozu’s family dramas, from the “pillow shot” to the low camera angle, stilted dialogue, stylized movement, and still camera. ABNORMAL FAMILY, however, dials Ozu’s intensity and weirdness to 11. The result is a deeply strange film full of family intrigue, sex, and more than one (or two, or three) incestuous overtones. For any Japanese film aficionado, however, it’s not to be missed: it was the debut for its director, Suo Masayuki, who would go on to make SHALL WE DANCE? (1996), one of the most well-known Japanese contemporary films.


raigyobannerRAIGYO
(aka THE WOMAN IN THE BLACK UNDERWEAR)
Dir. Takahisa Zeze, 1997
Japan. 75 mins.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 10:00 PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18 – 10:00 PM

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A mysterious woman in black… a payphone… a murder seemingly without cause. Director Zeze Takahisa is known as one of the “Four Heavenly Kings of Pink,” and it certainly shows in this surreal and enigmatic film. An incredibly opaque but nonetheless beautifully filmed Pink, RAIGYO perplexes and intrigues. Allegedly based on a true story, and set in 1988, Raigyo depicts three characters: a woman with an unnamed, terrible illness, a fisherman, and a lecherous man who sleeps around while his wife is heavily pregnant. The symbolic title refers to a fish that restaurants generally don’t sell because it is known to carry worms — thus signifying the corruption of the main characters.

Although it is also known by its title THE WOMAN IN THE BLACK UNDERWEAR, Takahisa’s film is more art film than sexploitation. The pace is as oneiric as the plot, and the audience is drawn deeper into the web crafted by Zeze’s quiet, understated, and eerie masterpiece.


lonelycowbannerA LONELY COW WEEPS AT DAWN
Dir. Daisuke Gotô, 2001
Japan. 61 mins.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 – 5:00 PM

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An elderly dairy farmer goes to milk his cows in the morning, only to find his daughter-in-law, naked and on all fours, mooing with the rest of the herd. This bizarre occurrence begins the rest of the film, whose tone is strangely subdued and melancholic for the bewildering events on screen. Director Goto Daisuke claimed Ozu Yasujiro’s LATE SPRING (1949) to be an influence, along with Bernardo Bertolucci’s NOVOCENTO (1976).

The result is a strange, incestuous parable with overtones of social critique: class difference certainly makes itself known, as well as the rift between urban and rural. Beautiful, poignant, but nonetheless immensely weird, the film is a paradigmatic example of the newer generation of Pinks in the 21st century.


glamorousbannerTHE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI
Dir. Mitsuru Meike, 2003
Japan. 90 mins.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
Special thanks to Palm Pictures.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 10:00 PM

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No Pink Film retrospective would be complete without the absolutely charismatic weirdness of THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI, a cult hit by the director Meike Mitsuru. Although an amazing film in its own right, SACHIKO is also an eerie time capsule of George W. Bush’s first few years of office, and is full of entirely un-subtle political overtones. And how could it not? One of the film’s main characters is Dubya’s middle finger! In the film, a call-girl– the eponymous Sachiko Hanai– accidentally witnesses an altercation between North Korean and Middle Eastern spies. When Sachiko is shot in the forehead, the bullet does not kill her, but instead gives her extraordinary genius and mental prowess.

When she ends up finding a metal capsule containing George W. Bush’s finger, whose fingerprint is singularly capable of launching a nuclear holocaust, she must make sure that the wrong side doesn’t find it… or else. The result is a wacky spoof on a political thriller, with memorable and hilarious scenes that will doubtlessly lodge into the viewer’s brain like Sachiko’s magic bullet. First released in 2003, the film has subsequently played at over 20 film festivals around the world.

SPECTOBER V

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For the fifth year, Spectacle is proud to present a month-long, lovingly-selected series of unknown, mysterious, and shocking films from around the world. This time around includes surreal French slasher reductions, American gore classics, Yugoslavian political repression murder sprees, and a rare full cut of insanity from Mexico’s Panic movement.


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DARK WATERS (TEMNYE VODY)
Dir. Mariano Baino, 1993.
UK/Russia, 94 minutes.
English.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 7:30PM *Special Introduction by Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni*
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 10:00PM

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DARK WATERS is the recipient of the Prix Du Public at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival and the Vincent Price Award at Rome’s Fantafestival and has been hailed as a “masterpiece of arthouse horror” by Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macauley and an “unholy hybrid of Bergman and Argento” by Film Review magazine.

Young Englishwoman Elizabeth travels to an ascetic convent on an isolated Eastern European island to settle the affairs of her late father, against his last wishes.  Confined by the sea and chambers of the convent, and under the ireful scrutiny of the sisters, Elizabeth experiences disorienting visions of a horror she can not recall.  Director Mariano Baino shot the footage for DARK WATERS in Ukraine just after the Soviet Union’s dissolution.  The rich cinematography and gorgeous location add to the eeriness of this Lovecraft-adjacent horror story.

Join us Thursday October 13 at 7:30pm for a special screening of DARK WATERS, introduced by actress and multi-talented artist Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, star of director Mariano Baino’s latest short LADY M 5.1 as well as his upcoming feature, ASTRID’S SAINTS, which Baino and Cataldi-Tassoni co-wrote.  Cataldi-Tassoni is known for her work in seminal European films such as Dario Argento’s Opera, Phantom of The Opera, Mother Of Tears and for her starring debut as Sally Day in Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2. Cataldi-Tassoni is also an accomplished painter, singer and musician, and her work can be viewed here.


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MADELEINE, STUDY OF A NIGHTMARE
Dir. Roberto Mauri, 1974.
Italy, 110 min.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 – 5:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 – 5:00PM

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Given that writer/director Roberto Mauri’s best known for schlock like THE PORNO KILLERS and CURSE OF THE BLOOD GHOULS, the sustained unease of MADELEINE’s sun-soaked scenes seems happy coincidence rather than intentional. Similar to LE ORME, MADELEINE creates a palpable sense of dread and mystery by delaying an inevitable confrontation with reality (before throwing it away with a boiler plate twist ending). Camille Keaton’s laisse faire acting style works to the advantage of a story about a woman unable to directly acknowledge deep personal trauma, but trying to; her efforts mostly take the form of swanning around a gorgeous Italian villa seducing one man after another (if this is a nightmare, sign me up). And yet, the increasing sense her will is not her own, that her mysterious husband/lover/benefactor isn’t acting benevolently, that her very self is slipping away, turns what could have been mere softcore into a haunting look at a woman struggling with her own id and losing.


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SCREAM BLOODY MURDER
Dir. Marc B. Ray, 1973
USA, 90 Minutes

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 – MIDNIGHT

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A troubled young man with a hook for a hand (he lost it as a boy while killing his father with a tractor) and a serious aversion to sex murders anyone who gets in the way of his love for a prostitute in this grimy slasher flick from 1973.  Much in the vein of films like “The Witch Who Came From the Sea” and “Criminally Insane,” “Scream Bloody Murder” seems to have crawled directly from the gutter, (though actually it was made by the writers of Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch TV specials) with a warped internal logic that effectively drags you into it’s bleak, blood-drenched world.  From the creators of “The Severed Arm.”


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LA MANSION DE LA LOCURA (THE MANSION OF MADNESS)
Dir. Juan López Moctezuma
Mexico, 99 min.
In English (originally shot in English, dubbed into Spanish)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 – 5:00PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 – 10:00PM

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“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Beginning with Poe’s story The System Of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, in which a reporter visits an asylum to discover the system by which the insane and the caregivers has become a bit muddled, we enter into a place where political satire and surrealist horror blend into a truly astonishing film, where a man becomes a chicken, the body becomes a musical instrument, and nothing is ever as it seems. Director Juan Lopez Moctezuma (ALUCARDA, MARY MARY BLOODY MARY), a member of Mexico’s Panic movement alongside Alejandro Jodorowski and Fernando Arrabal: the three having worked together on FANDO Y LIS, which should give you some idea of what you’re in for. Led by the great Claudio Brook (CRONOS, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL) as the mad Dr. Maillard (as well as Raoul Fragonard), the film is as a dream, a ritual, a series of living tableaux. Describing the plot would be to cheapen the film, but it’s worth noting no less than Leonora Carrington served as art director. We are honored to present this film in its longest known cut, with the original English dialogue, miles from public domain cuts. Those expecting cheap horror will be disappointed; those expecting clarity will be confused, those with eyes to see will behold a revelation.


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FOLIES MEURTRIERES
Dir. Antoine Pellissier, 1984
France, 47 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 10:00PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 10:00PM

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The slasher film, like any genre, has various approaches. From the baroque excess of its giallo roots to the meta-awareness of the Scream series, from scuzzy video nasties like The Toolbox Murders and Don’t Answer The Phone! to the satirical aspects of The Slumber Party Massacre, there’s a variation for any taste, so long as your tastes lead to seeing people get killed. It can also be stripped down to its most minimal elements: 80s synth dirge, long POV shots and gruesome set piece murders. That’s what FOLIES MEURTRIERES provides: the slasher boiled down to a kind of dead-eyed late-night trance, all VHS tape hiss and HG Lewis-style gore effects and zero relateable character development or or wisecracking comic relief. Anyone looking for a well-written mimetically plausible story won’t find it here: this is homemade murderdrone haze. Information on this film is sparse, which may be for the best; it’s a film that you might pick up from a box of unmarked VHS tapes on a streetcorner only to discover diseased dreams of torment and bloodshed stained onto magnetic tape. We will say director Antione Pellissier’s day job is medical examiner, which is fitting for a film far closer to Grand Guignol than the action-film-jump-scare world of contemporary horror.

“The woozy, warped tape of Folies Meurtrieres has no subtitles. That’s okay, as there are maybe five lines in the film that aren’t a narrator reading off the date of the murder you are about to see. The 47 minute film is just that: a series of murders without context or plot, and within each murder sequence lies a different variation on the classic slasher scenario.” -Peter Galvin, MURDERDRONE


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THE APE WOMAN
(aka LA DONNA SCIMMIA)
Dir. Marco Ferreri, 1964
Italy/France, 100 min.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 10:00PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 – 5:00PM

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By means of disclosure: THE APE WOMAN is not a scary movie per se, but rather a withering satire of masculinist culture, the apparatus of “freak show” exploitation, and the tacit racisms of the so-called Western World. (Who would expect anything less from Italian auteur Marco “DILLINGER IS DEAD” Ferreri?) Annie Giradot stars as the nominal donna scimmia Marie, a beautiful young woman suffering a rare condition that covers her body with long, thick hair – based on the real-life case of Julia Pastrana, whose hypertrichosis terminalis left her resembling a cross between simian and human. She comes under the thumb of an opportunistic lout played by Ugo Tognazzi, who begins to make big plans for the two of them – showing Marie off, concocting bogus tales about her discovery “in Africa”, training her to whoop and holler for the audience.

Via Marie’s prolonged expectations and unfulfilled hopes, a tender and devastating parable ensues, a study in gender relations (to say nothing of the Italian Catholic church) and the politics of what is/isn’t “scary” according to 20th century showmanship. THE APE WOMAN still has plenty to say, and fits alongside THE SEED OF MAN and BYE BYE MONKEY as one of Ferreri’s blistering works that’s long overdue for reevaluation.

“The only redeeming feature of this oddly distasteful film is the fact that a certain haunting pathos does emerge from it.….It is evident that the censors have used their shears on this film. The producer should have beat them to it. He should have used shaving cream.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

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DÉJÀ VU (VEC VIDJENO)
Dir. Goran Markovic, 1987
Yugoslavia, 102 min.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 – 5:00PM

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Déjà vu concerns a troubled piano teacher, Mihailo (Mustafa Nadarevic), and his efforts to come to terms with reality through a love affair with a poor but industrious girl, Olgica (Anica Dobra). When she dumps him for a younger boyfriend (hoping to make a political career in the Communist Youth organization), Mihailo is overrun by the ghosts of his past and begins a killing spree. Flashbacks which explain the killer’s motivation are intrinsic to the film’s central idea. The apparent contrast between the past and the present becomes a parallel, thanks to the clever transitions between shots. Mihailo becomes unable to distinguish the ‘reflections’ of the past upon his own present, and is thus driven over the edge.

Written by Ghoul via IMDB

OPTIC NERVES

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The Imagine Science Film Festival, now on its 9th year, exists to go beyond the expectations of either the traditional science documentary or the conventions of genre sci-fi, by merging art and science in films that astound, dazzle, and provoke thought across many genres and styles. In ISFF programs, innovative new research and stunning data visualizations exist alongside surreal scientific stories and sci-inspired experimental film.

Even within these ideas, some of the most exciting and unique works received each year are those which most resolutely defy categorization or definition as a “science film”. For these films, difficult to find a spot for, yet essential to show, we’ve created Optic Nerves: sometimes disorienting, often visually arresting, always surprising. Join us for a one-night program of mysterious optical experiments, traumatic medical experiences, and sci-fi avant-garde reflections on identity in a post-digital age.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19 – 10PM

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Full Program:
We Know We Are Just Pixels, Laure Prouvost, UK, 2015, 5 min
Attributing human characteristics to inanimate objects, this video work finds Laure Prouvost’s images forming a conversation amongst themselves.

The Mess, Peter Burr, USA, 2016, 14 min
A journey to the threshold of a utopian labyrinth. We follow the perspective of Aria End, a custodian with cyborg guts, tasked with cleaning up this feral structure.

The Betrayal, Susan Young, UK, 2015, 6 min
A patient, trapped in a terrifying relationship with her megalomaniac doctor, resorts to desperate measures to escape.

Sigismond Imageless, Albéric Aurteneche, Canada, 2016, 14 min
Sigismond Langlois is submitted to a psychiatric evaluation on account of his violent behavior. He just turned 18, and pretends he was born with no image.

Feedback, Heidi Stokes, UK, 2016, 3 min
A series of short, sharp reactions to how the digital age is affecting the way we judge each other.

Recycled, Lei Lei, China, 2013, 6 min
The following images come from negatives salvaged from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing, depicting the capital and the life of her inhabitants over the last thirty years, presenting an almost epic portrait of anonymous humanity.

Notes from the Interior, Ben Balcom, USA, 2015, 11 min
Wandering through the body puzzling out a system of symbols. The trouble is, affect resists signification outright. The inside and outside become muddled when you start to feel your body in relation to the image.

Towards the Colonies, Miryam Charles, Haiti / Canada, 2016, 5 min
When a young girl is found off the Venezuelan coast, a medical examiner will try to determine the cause of death before the body is repatriated.

Cloud Shadow, Anja Dornieden & Juan David González Monroy,
Germany, 2015, 17 min

In 1984, for three weeks in May, what appeared to be a giant cloud shrouded the small town of Hüllen-Hüllen in darkness. Later, the town was hastily abandoned, its residents vanished. This film, documenting the images of an inscrutable optic device found in cave nearby, offers the only evidence of their fate.

Deer Flower, Kangmin Kim, Korea, 2015, 7 min
In the summer of 1992, Dujung, an elementary student, goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe the expensive and rare specialty from the farm will strengthen their son’s body, Dujung suffers side effects.

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: WEIRD WORLDS

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Tidepoint Pictures, specializing in bringing contemporary and cutting-edge Asian films to North American audiences, turns 20 this year. As part of the celebration and in the spirit of Halloween, Spectacle presents a selection of Tidepoint films that go beyond (or directly mock) typical JHorror while showcasing Tidepoint’s diverse catalogue.


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IDOL IS DEAD
Dir. Yukihiro Katô, 2012
Japan, 63 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Real-life J-pop anti-idol group BiS (Born idol Society) star in a perfect showcase for their aggressive parodying of all things idol. Starting off meta, BiS play failed idols despondently working as hostesses at a sleazy café. After not-so-accidentally dispatching their more successful rivals in a rumble gone wrong, BiS realize they can turn murder-lemons into success-lemonade by posing as the now-dead group. They’re going to sing, dance, and claw their way to stardom one supermarket opening at a time, and the only thing that can stop them is the mad-scientist-resurrected, extremely pissed lead singer of the original group! What price idoldom? Featuring gore, depravity, and the bubbliest J-pop this side of a knife fight.

SCREENING WITH:

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SANGUIVOROUS
Dir. Naoki Yoshimoto, 2011
Japan, 53 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Wearing a debt to Dreyer’s silent classic VAMPYR on its blood-soaked sleeve, SANGUIVOROUS is a highly stylized tale told through text and textures, an impressionist fever dream of a young woman’s realization she’s related to an ancient vampire clan. Kidnapped by older vampires, all consume and are consumed by blood and darkness.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 7:30PM

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WOMAN OF MUD (ANG BABAENG PUTIK)
Dir. Rico Maria Ilarde, 2000
Philippines, 105 min.
In Filipino/Tagalog with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 – MIDNIGHT

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Recently graduated and with a sexy San Francisco trip just around the corner, medical student/Olympic-level archer Mark just wants to get away from it all to focus on his true passion, writing horror about limb-severing serial killers. But when he finally hikes to his uncle’s dissident safe-house in the boondocks, he’s struck with a severe bout of writer’s block. As thanks for rescuing him from the local junta, scrub magician Ben gives Mark a magic seed he promises will be the answer to his needs, but cautions him to not be deceived by appearances or plant the seed during a full moon. In a fit of blue-balled inebriation, Mark plants the seed during a full moon. It grows and hatches into a beautiful, mute muse he dubs Sally who immediately cures both of Mark’s problems. But soon, local villagers begin disappearing, and Mark notices Sally prefers raw meat to his delicious dishes…Featuring excellent gore effects, gorgeous countryside, and lots of home cooking, WOMAN OF MUD is an underseen creature-feature gem.


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THE GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND (aka SECURITY GUARD FROM HELL)
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1992
Japan, 96 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 5:00PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 10:00PM

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Unfairly derided as a generic slasher flick ground out before Kiyoshi Kurosawa moved on to better-known and -received works, including CURE and PULSE, THE GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND features all Kurosawa’s signatures in nascent form – loneliness and isolation amid the everyday, dingy, banal locations made haunting, terror stemming from the gloom and nihility of human existence rather than shock or gore. Art historian Akiko begins her new job at a corporation the same day as an immense security guard, who happens to match the description of a murderous sumo wrestler released due to an insanity plea. The outsized antagonist is a true void – stating no one truly believes people like him can exist and repeatedly telling people not forget him, he’s a walking warning monsters are real and around us.

Kurosawa’s penchant for layering on social commentary is also present –  Akiko’s corporation is so large it outsources and doesn’t control its own security, and her department, hastily thrown together to buy and sell art as commodity, technically doesn’t exist. All this housed in a sallow, sickly building constantly trapping its occupants even without the help of a vicious killer. Kurosawa once named Hitchcock and Ozu as his influences, and GUARD FROM UNDERGROUND’s direct blend of moody atmosphere and meat-and-potatoes suspense lands squarely between them.



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TETSUDON: THE ABCS OF FOOL JAPAN
Dir. Various, 2016
South Korea/Japan/Hong Kong, 105 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 – 7:30PM

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Comedy film fest TETSUDON put together an anthology of 26 ‘foolish’ films by 26 different directors. Japan and ‘Japan’ are covered in full, with kaiju, anime, salarymen, panty shots, calligraphy, samurai, gothic loli, bushido, and everything else from A-to-Z thrown into the mix. Audience participation’s encouraged:

After all of the 26 short films are over, the ending credits come up soon.  During the credits rolling, you can see all of the films’ images from A to Z again.  At that time, if your favorite comes up, please clap your hands.  If a damn film comes up, please say “Boo”!  That’s the way the producer wants you to enjoy until the end mark.

So, let us know which ones you liked!

SPECTOBER MIDNIGHTS



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Scream Bloody Murder
Dir. Marc B. Ray, 1973
USA, 90 Minutes

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

A troubled young man with a hook for a hand (he lost it as a boy while killing his father with a tractor) and a serious aversion to sex murders anyone who gets in the way of his love for a prostitute in this grimy slasher flick from 1973. Much in the vein of films like “The Witch Who Came From the Sea” and “Criminally Insane,” “Scream Bloody Murder” seems to have crawled directly from the gutter, (though actually it was made by the writers of Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch TV specials) with a warped internal logic that effectively drags you into it’s bleak, blood-drenched world. From the creators of “The Severed Arm.”

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MORE TBA!!!
MORE TBA!!!

NOTHING CAN TURN INTO A VOID & CHANGE ITSELF: NYC PREMIERE



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NOTHING CAN TURN INTO A VOID – AN ART APART: PEOPLE LIKE US
Dir. Carl Abrahamsson, 2015
Sweden, 58 min.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 – 7:30 PM  

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A documentary focusing on the British artist Vicki Bennett and her project People Like Us. Her work takes you on a journey into a world where literally anything can happen. Using her skills as an editor and a great sense of humor, she lets you roam through a world of imagination filled with contrasts and chance encounters between the past and the present. In performances, video work, music and collages, Bennett conveys that nothing is really what it seems.



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CHANGE ITSELF: AN ART APART – GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE
Dir. Carl Abrahamsson, 2016
Sweden, 58 min.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 13 – 7:30 PM
(Originally Screened in October 2016)

To sum up the life and work of British artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is close to impossible. Not only because of the wide range of artistic disciplines, but also because of the timespan, since the mid 1960s to the present day, that has been saturated by hundreds of records, thousands of concerts, exhibitions, interviews, videos, spoken word performances, collages, sculptures, philosophy, cultural engineering, occultism and radical transgender concepts. A couple of descriptions are still valid after these 50 years of active creativity and provocation. P-Orridge is a romantic existentialist and a cultural engineer. Everything is both work as such and seed for cultural and behavioral change.

FOLIES MEURTRIERES

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FOLIES MEURTRIERES
Dir. Antoine Pellissier, 1984
France, 47 min.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 10PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – 10PM

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The slasher film, like any genre, has various approaches. From the baroque excess of its giallo roots to the meta-awareness of the Scream series, from scuzzy video nasties like The Toolbox Murders and Don’t Answer The Phone! to the satirical aspects of The Slumber Party Massacre, there’s a variation for any taste, so long as your tastes lead to seeing people get killed. It can also be stripped down to its most minimal elements: 80s synth dirge, long POV shots and gruesome set piece murders. That’s what FOLIES MEURTRIERES provides: the slasher boiled down to a kind of dead-eyed late-night trance, all VHS tape hiss and HG Lewis-style gore effects and zero relateable character development or or wisecracking comic relief. Anyone looking for a well-written mimetically plausible story won’t find it here: this is homemade murderdrone haze. Information on this film is sparse, which may be for the best; it’s a film that you might pick up from a box of unmarked VHS tapes on a streetcorner only to discover diseased dreams of torment and bloodshed stained onto magnetic tape. We will say director Antione Pellissier’s day job is medical examiner, which is fitting for a film far closer to Grand Guignol than the action-film-jump-scare world of contemporary horror.

“The woozy, warped tape of Folies Meurtrieres has no subtitles. That’s okay, as there are maybe five lines in the film that aren’t a narrator reading off the date of the murder you are about to see. The 47 minute film is just that: a series of murders without context or plot, and within each murder sequence lies a different variation on the classic slasher scenario.” -Peter Galvin, MURDERDRONE

BORO IN THE BOX

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BORO IN THE BOX
Dir. Bertrand Mandico, 2011.
France. 40 min.
In French with English subs.

LIVING STILL LIFE
Dir. Bertrand Mandico, 2012.
France/Belgium/Germany. 15 min.
In French with English subs.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 – 7:30PM

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Bertrand Mandico might be one of the last great surrealist filmmakers in operation. His films occupy a unique area of the fantastic uncanny, where babies may be born encased in wooden crates, and artificial natural environments erupt into the colors and signs of deepest dreams. But the look and feel of his world is all his own. His “Incoherence Manifesto” sheds some light on a methodology which favors all manner of the unnatural and anti-real, along with all in-camera effects shot on expired film stock and a refusal of the cinematographic rationality of narrative and genre. And yet his films are far from abstract or storyless. Instead, they tell entrancing stories of twilight lives spent in pursuit of macabre marvels.

BORO IN THE BOX is Mandico’s ostensible biopic of Polish animator-turned-eroticist Walerian Borowczyk. But where we might expect a biopic to dramatize the rough facts of a life, Mandico’s, instead, seems to express only the seething subconscious of Borowczyk’s speculative formative experiences and artistic impulses. The results may be the only biography that’s truly up to a filmmaker as singular as Borowczyk: an alphabetical series of phantasmagoric tableaux on the voyeurism of film, psychosexually-fraught familial relationships, and the struggle to create. O, of course, is for Obscene, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The film will be accompanied by one of Mandico’s finest shorts to date, LIVING STILL LIFE, also taking on the story of an idiosyncratic artist. Frequent collaborator Elina Lowensohn (who also plays Borowczyk’s mother) appears as an outsider animator who uses her art to briefly resurrect dead animals recovered from a virulently-colorful wilderness of autumnal decay. Like BORO, the film follows a determined structure, a progressive increase in stakes as she pursues larger and more serious subjects. Meanwhile, a stranger looks on, awaiting the moment to precipitate a haunting final act.

EXOTIC

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EXOTIC
Dir. Amy Oden, 2015
USA, 61 min.

DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 – 7:30PM

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The Pacific Rim island and U.S. protectorate of Guam is best known as a military base and tourist playground, leading to a thriving industry of strip clubs and brothels catering to soldiers and Japanese tourists. In the documentary EXOTIC, director Amy Oden (FROM THE BACK OF THE ROOM), explores the complexities of the industry from the point of view of the island’s sex workers, many of whom travel from the United States for seasonal work. They describe the preferences of their customers, the joys and abuses of the job, and the precarious relationship with their “big sister” Korean bosses. More unexpected hierarchies and cross-cultural fetishism develop at each turn. Along with contributions by advocates Annie Sprinkles and Rachel Aimee, the film contextualizes a global struggle to legalize sex work within the daily struggles of women in a this, tiny often overlooked island.