Author: spectacletheater

98 YEARS – JACK HARRIS TRIBUTE

JACK H. HARRIS: November 28, 1918 – March 14, 2017

Jack Harris passed away earlier this year at the grand age of 98, and Spectacle has been doing an ongoing tribute with the help of Jack’s family. After April’s EQUINOX and UNKISSED BRIDE, May’s 4D MAN and DINOSAURUS, our finale playing in June is DARK STAR. Harris, “the guy who could fix pictures and get them out”, took this early John Carpenter student project and brought it to feature length and quality. In case you don’t remember, read the description below!


DARK STAR
dir. John Carpenter, 1974
83 min, USA

SUNDAY, JUNE 4 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 8 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 16 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 23 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – 10 PM

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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.


This series would not have been possible without the help of Judy Harris and Danielle Sinay. Special thanks to Jon Abrams, Daily Grindhouse and, of course, our audience.


EQUINOX
(a/k/a: The Beast, The Equinox… A Journey Into the Supernatural)
Dir. Dennis Muren / Jack Woods, 1970
80 mins, USA

THURSDAY, APRIL 13 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, APRIL 17 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 – *7:00 PM* (SPECIAL Q&A!)
TUESDAY, APRIL 25 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 5 – MIDNIGHT

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In 1965 a young Dennis Muren had a choice to make. He was 17 and could use the money his grandfather had set aside for him to either go to college or do something sensible and make a feature length genre defining, effects pioneering film. Having made the right choice, Muren and friends David Allen and Mark McGee set about making their vision come to life – and over the course of the next two and a half years THE EQUINOX…A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL was born. Among their support group was none other than Forrest J. Ackerman (famed/revered/beloved editor of FAMOUS MONSTERS – who would also lend his voice to the film in an uncredited cameo!) who helped the gang to snag Fritz Leiber in the role of Dr. Waterman. Muren and Allen headed up the technical side and dove headfirst into the special effects. Monsters abounded, winged demons poured out the ether, and giants stomped around the screen with terrifying voracity. And all reportedly to the tune of less than $7,000!

With the film completed, Muren set out to show it to the world but that proved to be difficult. Initially trying for a TV release, Muren ended up shopping it around Hollywood. The premise and eye popping special effects grabbed the attention of Jack H. Harris – the man who picked up THE BLOB (and later DARK STAR, SCHLOCK, FEAR OF A BLOB PLANET, etc). Harris shortened the title to EQUINOX and hired Jack Woods to beef up the run-time. Rehiring the original actors and casting himself as in the role of Asmodeus, Woods (with Ed Begley Jr on ass’t camera duties) retooled the creature feature, and soon 35mm prints were stuck! The film was unleashed on the world and in the coming years would help mold the very essence of the “cabin in the woods” subgenre; arguably, without EQUINOX, there would be no EVIL DEAD series.

In the wake of EQUINOX many of its creators would flourish: Dennis Muren continued down the path of effects work and would soon have a wheelbarrow full of Academy Awards for his efforts on films like the STAR WARS trilogy, ET, JURASSIC PARK, DRAGONSLAYER, CAPTAIN EO, and more recently SUPER 8. David Allen also pretty much changed the game in terms of effects while working on films like WILLOW, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS and became responsible for all things good in the world of Full Moon features with work on DOLLS, OBLIVION, and the PUPPET MASTER films to name a few. While this is Jack Woods’ only directing credit, he would end up with a lengthy sound department resume with titles like PHANTASM II and the STAR TREK franchise.


DINOSAURUS!
Dir. Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. (1960)
USA, 85 min.

THURSDAY, MAY 4 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 12 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MAY 20 – 10 PM

TUESDAY, MAY 30 – 10 PM

In his 1960 review of DINOSAURUS!, Howard Thompson of the New York Times wrote “If ever there was a tired, synthetic, plodding sample of movie junk, it’s this ‘epic’ about two prehistoric animals hauled from an underwater deep-freeze by some island engineers”.

Howard Thompson was always a hack and the Times has always been, and continues to be, garbage.

On a mysterious island in the Caribbean, a team of scientists discovers two dinosaurs and a caveman held in suspended animation for 70 million years. While the caveman and the Brontosaurus befriend the locals, the T-Rex, or TYRANT LIZARD KING!, does not. Crammed with underwater photography, stop-motion animation, puppets and lovely St. Croix exteriors, it’s a film made for dinosaur kids ready to blow their allowances on a rock-em sock-em matinee. Written with THE BLOB’s Steve McQueen in mind as the star, the role of Ward Ramsey instead went to newcomer Bart Thompson, who’s ready to show these overgrown lizards what for! Our tribute to the great Jack Harris (who both produced and wrote the original story) is well served by DINOSAURUS! Goofs, stunts, derring-do and dinosaur fights: THAT is what cinema is truly about.



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

TUESDAY, MAY 2 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 12 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 20 – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY, MAY 23 – 10 PM

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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.



THE UNKISSED BRIDE
(aka MOTHER GOOSE A-GO-GO)
Dir. Jack Harris, 1966
USA, 82 min.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 15 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 – 10 PM

The almighty Jack H. Harris’s only turn as director, UNKISSED BRIDE is the age-old story of a young couple named Ted and Margi (Tommy Kirk and Anne Helm) who have been saving it for their honeymoon, only to discover Ted has erectile dysfunction at the suggestion of nursery rhymes. It may seem like that’s an easy thing to avoid, but no matter how our randy paramours try, Mother Goose is always there to block the proverbial shot. Instead of turning that into a kink, Ted visits a psychiatrist (the great Danica D’Hondt in one of her last roles) who prescribes a hallucinogenic spray (I’m not kidding) and we’re off to the races.

It’s important to note Tommy Kirk (here tellingly billed as Tom Kirk) was trying to break free from his history as a child star (SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, OLD YELLER, the Mickey Mouse Club Hardy Boys series), mostly via a bunch of beach movies (MST3K fans know him from CATALINA CAPER and VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS). As a star who was fairly unceremoniously released from Disney (presumably but not officially due to Kirk’s homosexuality), he might seem an odd choice for a film about a man having difficulties having sex with a woman.

This is compounded when Ted squares off against ultra-lothario Jacques Bergerac (LES GIRLS, GIGI, but *especially* THE HYPNOTIC EYE!) who, as a guy married to both Dorothy Malone and Ginger Rogers, has little trouble flinging some woo. Madcap hijinx ensue (some of which are pretty much guaranteed to offend), and it’d be a mistake to give away the plot, but you just know this is a film with featured songs (including Kirk singing one himself), lots of great LA locations (our couple go to the Troubador at one point), speeding-up-the-film Benny Hill style, Henny Youngman AND Joe Pyne: to put it simply, it’s a gas.

 

STEWART HOME: FILMS (1986-2016)

STEWART HOME: FILMS (1986-2016)

Spectacle is pleased to present a survey of artist Stewart Home’s moving image works on the occasion of his cult classic, Defiant Pose, being put back into print by Penny-Ante Editions. Named the “Best Book of the Year” in 1991 by The Gay Times, today Chris Kraus describes Home’s “proto-porn pageantry” as “timely (and) timeless… a satirical masterpiece, as funny twenty-five years later as when it first appeared.” With STEWART HOME: FILMS (1986-2016) it is our hope that those familiar and unfamiliar with “cult writer” Stewart Home will gain new insight into his artistic practice.

AN EVENING WITH STEWART HOME – FRIDAY APRIL 7 – 7:30 PM
SCREAMS IN FAVOUR OF DE SADE – FRIDAY APRIL 21 – 7:30 PM
SHORT WORKS – SATURDAY, APRIL 8 – 7:30 PM & FRIDAY, APRIL 28 – 7:30 PM

Copies of Defiant Pose will be available at the screening on the 7th.

STEWART HOME is an English artist, filmmaker, writer, pamphleteer, art historian, activist, and internationally-acclaimed author. Home’s writings include Pure Mania (Polygon, 1989), Defiant Pose (Peter Owen, 1991), Slow Death (Serpent’s Tail, 1996), 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess (Canongate, 2002), Tainted Love (Virgin Books, 2005), and Memphis Underground (Snowbooks, 2007). Between 2007 and 2010, Home was the commissioning editor of Semina, a series of acclaimed experimental novels from London art publisher Book Works, to which he contributed, Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie (2010). In 2013, Stewart Home released Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane (Penny-Ante Editions), named one of the “Best Paperbacks of the Year” by the Guardian, followed by The 9 Lives of Ray The Cat Jones published by Test Centre in 2014. He was born and continues to reside in London. (www.stewarthomesociety.org)

Thanks to Rebekah Weikel & Penny-Ante Editions, Sukhdev Sandhu & The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture, and Triple Canopy.


AN EVENING WITH STEWART HOME

FRIDAY APRIL 7 – 7:30 PM
*ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE – ONE NIGHT ONLY*

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Stewart Home will be hosting and speaking on a selection of past short works such as TV FREAK and BAKED BEAN JUNKIE GROSS OUT, as well as his latest, 2016’s RE-ENTER THE DRAGON.

Copies of Defiant Pose will be available at the screening.

RE-ENTER THE DRAGON
dir. Stewart Home, 2016.
UK. 41 min.

In RE-ENTER THE DRAGON, Stewart Home uses found cinematic imagery and a dissociated soundtrack influenced by 1950s Lettrist cinema as a means of exploring cultural hybridity. The genre of martial arts films known as ‘Brucesploitation’ is theoretically dissected while onscreen an actor hyped as ‘the Bruce Lee of the Philippines’ explodes into action. ‘Brucesploitation’ deployed underhand marketing devices such as using actors with stage names including Bruce Le and Dragon Lee, to trick the unsuspecting into thinking they might be watching a film by Bruce Lee, a man who died before most of these super-cheap exploitation flicks were made. RE-ENTER THE DRAGON is where action cinema has a nervous breakdown and discovers that hypermasculinity inevitably finds itself tipping over into the feminine.


SCREAMS IN FAVOUR OF DE SADE (2002)
dir. Stewart Home, 2002.
UK. 72 min.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21 – 7:30 PM

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English language color remake of Guy Debord’s avant-garde classic from 1952. Like the original this film has no images, but whereas Debord’s consisted of black with silence and white with dialogue in French, Home employ black with silence and TV color bars with dialogue in English. The original dialogue is translated and in a number of places also rewritten. However, while Debord had five voices reading his script, Home uses one voice with an additional spoken indication of which voice is speaking.

The periods of blackness and silence in Debord’s film are strictly adhered to, with the final twenty four minutes being entirely black and silent. Although Debord never explained his original film in this way, Home’s intention is to transform cinema in theatre, turning the audience into actors rather than treating them as passive spectators. If this is the case, then it should matter little to viewers whether they watch Debord’s original or Home’s remake, what’s important is what happens amongst the audience, not what is on screen, which in a classical gesture of avant-garde iconoclasm is essentially nothing.


STEWART HOME: SHORT WORKS (1986-2004)
dir. Stewart Home, 1986 – 2004.
UK. 85 min.

SATURDAY, APRIL 8 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, APRIL 28 – 7:30 PM

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A survey of past short works by Stewart Home, including 2004’s THE ECLIPSE & RE-EMERGENCE OF THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX. Full screening list is as follows:

THE EIGHTIES
1986, 4 min.

“This is an edit of a durational piece made in May 1986, which originally lasted one hour and only had incidental ambient noise on the soundtrack. It is more hardcore ‘art’ as it was originally made but this is the YouTube generation recut 21 years down the line. Other hour long durational pieces made in the eighties include a fabulous video of Pete Horobin and I taking afternoon tea that begins with a five minute static shot of the table before we sit down at it. We really knew how to make fun films back then… I love them, but YouTube doesn’t carry hour long works, so you got this instead. My song on the soundtrack was also composed in the eighties, although this particular version was recorded in the nineties. But this static record of my head being shaved from a curly mop sums up the eighties for me. Immediately prior to this a friend in Hackney used to do my hair for me, and she also worked on Mel & Kim’s barnets (so I met them a couple of times before they were famous when I headed down to Shakespeare Walk to get my hair cut)… and since I first put this up I have been getting a lot of comments about how much Britney Spears looks like me… don’t forget I did this 20 years before her…” (Stewart Home)

I WANNA DIE IN THE TV

1986, 1 min.

The screen is pure surface, it has no depth, and where there is no life there is no death….. The voices on the soundtrack belong to Stewart Home and Pete Horobin

TV FREAK
1986, 2 min.

“An oldie but goldie video piece from May 1986, but this is the length I always intended it to be. Looks just about perfect to me now I’ve added the titles, which I didn’t manage at the time I made it 21 years ago.” (Stewart Home)

BAKED BEAN JUNKIE GROSS OUT
1986, 7 min.

“The avant-garde art of boredom taken to new extremes back in 1986! A Neoist anti-classic! I performed for the camera and immediately after shooting I recorded the voice over in one take, sounding about as sincere as a snake oil salesman. Pete Horobin shot this and nearly all the edits are in camera because we didn’t have free access to proper edit suites at the time and tried to minimize whatever time we paid for. Any visual edits we made to what we did were crashed between a domestic machine and the camera, cruder than editing Super 8, hence our preference for in camera editing – and not even a master of multi-tasking like me was able to perform and simultaneously do in camera editing. That said VHS film was cheaper to the superior looking 8mm celluloid and enabled us impoverished dole queue ‘aesthetes’ to shoot a lot more ‘film’. As a result we didn’t title this piece or much other material at the time, the titles and credits were added just before I put this up here, but the rest of the visuals are exactly as we left them 21 years ago. I didn’t bother showing this anywhere at the time, but on reviewing it recently I realized I was making YouTube type shorts a couple of decades before most of you; it just looks different because we had clunky VHS cameras then, not digital… but the ‘spirit’ is the same. And please note the sacrifices I make for aesthetic effect; I even drink a can of Coke in this (well it looks like I did, but actually I poured the crud inside the can away and replaced it with water – couldn’t have got away with that using a bottle). And dig the Wm Low baked bean tin, a supermarket that could be found around Scottish north east back in the eighties but that disappeared a decade or probably more ago…” (Stewart Home)

REFUSE
1988, 5 min.

By Stewart Home, Andy Hopton, Art In Ruins, Denise Hawrysio, Ed Baxter and Simon Dickason at Galleriet Läderfabriken Malmö, October-November 1988.

“Note the sound on this was played at volume on a tape loop throughout the show; the lighting was ambient and while this couldn’t be captured on camera, video effects were used in an attempt to replicate this. Please note that the quality reflects both the video technology of when this was done (1988) and tape decay (the colors have faded considerably and there are other faults). It is presented here as a historical artifact to give something of the flavor of the site specific installation work I was doing in the eighties.” (Stewart Home)

TURN ON, TUNE IN, FREAK OUT

1989, 13 min.

Made with Neil Aberdeen, featuring Stefan Szczelkun, Gabrielle Quinn, Dick Arlen.

NO PITY
1993, 4 min.

Promo video for short story collection “No Pity” by Stewart Home (AK Press, 1993), made with Nick Abrahams and Mikey Tomkins and featuring music by Bloodsausage

RED LONDON
1994, 7 min.

Promo for Stewart Home novel Red London made with Nick Abrahams and Mickey Tompkins in 1994. Digitized from a VHS copy.

UT PICTURA POESIS
1997, 1 min.
“This was made as part of the Arts Council funded Blipvert Project in 1997, so it was one of six commissioned pieces cut into the ads at independent cinemas and was seen in that context by an audience of something like three quarters of a million people. It was shot at 50 Beck Road in Hackney (since I appear in it, Nick Abrahams was operating the camera) and edited at Artec at Highbury Corner. It was intended for cinema screening and the ‘alienation effect’ that is integral to it doesn’t work outside that context, so it is placed here as a curiosity. This was an attempt to distill the lettrist cinematic experiments of the early 1950s (and in particular the feature length pieces “Has The Film Already Started”, “Anti-Concept” and “Screams In Favour Of De Sade”) into 45 seconds. Proletarian post-modernism lives on…” (Stewart Home)

THE ECLIPSE & RE-EMERGENCE OF THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX
UK. 41 min.

Made by Stewart Home while in Melbourne as visiting artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in May 04. In the movie avant-garde techniques and the avant-garde obsession with death interweave with reflections on the life and death of his mother Julia Callan-Thompson. Images of his mum working as a fashion model and club hostess during the sixties are cut against and at times deliberately dissociated soundtrack that uses stories about her to explore the limits of documentary cinema. This is simultaneously an expression of love and loss and an attempt to draw out the ways in which the avant-garde Lettrist cinema of the early fifties in France was commercialized in the later work of Godard, Marker and Resnais.


RULE #1: BELIEVE THE AUTOCRAT

RULE #1, BELIEVE THE AUTOCRAT: DOCS FROM MARXFILM

Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.

So go the first of six rules of survival according to Masha Gessen from her article in the New York Review of Books two days after the election results in the US. Her experiences as a loud critic of Vladimir Putin grant her authority: she was a dissenting journalist through the rapid monopolization of the media and the subsequent erosion of the judiciary system. A decade out and still under Putin’s rule, the resistance leaders featured in these three documentaries have a far narrower range of motion. These are on-the-ground accounts of the 2012 protests after the re-election of Putin and the Euromaidan Revolution in Kiev. As documents of chaotic and dangerous moments, these films do not attempt to craft a primer for action but broadcast an ongoing experience that requires in-depth coverage.


MY FRIEND BORIS NEMTSOV
Dir. Zosya Rodkevich
2016, 71 min.
In Russian with English subs.

TUESDAY, APR 11 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, APR 18 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, APR 23 – 7:30 PM *WITH INTRO BY MAX TUULA OF MARXFILM*
THURSAY, APR 27 – 7:30 PM

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“An intimate portrait of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov—once Deputy Prime Minister and ‘an heir of President Yeltsin’, later an uncompromising adversary of Putin—that was assassinated near the Kremlin in February 2015. Election campaigns and hotel beds, protest rallies and office routine, train compartments and courtrooms, night walks and police vans –you have never seen any politician so close. This is a story how a journalist assignment turns into a genuine friendship.”

Very big thanks to Antipode Distribution.


KIEV/MOSCOW (PART 1 and 2)
dir. Elena Khoreva
2015, 60 min + 75 min (205 min total).
In Russian/Ukrainian with English subtitles.

THURSDAY APR 6 – 9:00 PM
MONDAY APR 24 – 9:00 PM **Q&A WITH MAX TUULA OF MARXFILM**
SUNDAY APRIL 30 – 7:00 PM

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This doc drops you directly into the 2014 Euromaidan uprising in Kyiv. It is cold January and the initial anti-corruption crowds have crystallized into an overall siege. Between new restrictions on assembly and the Berkut police force, protest faces deadly risks. Soon Russia annexes Crimea: Khoreva embeds with armed Russian units in Donetsk and then appears in the middle of nationalist protests in Moscow. The action jumps around a lot: this is a crash-course in history as it occurs.

The setting is very much KIEV/MOSCOW, but this film brings out the universal quality of attending a protest in any county with a highly militarized police force. Kiev looks like a war zone, heightened by building takeovers, constant explosions, and many tragic deaths. Poroshenko is helped onto a plow truck, where he pleads with protestors to stop thrashing around, unsuccessfully. Oleg Tsaryov (Yanukovych’s former top deputy) slides through the halls of power, shifting to his next phase of leading the separatist movement in Western Ukraine.

It is not only revolutionary young professionals who hold the banner of anti-corruption: nationalist groups in both Kiev and Moscow tap into popular support. Part 2 of KIEV/MOSCOW follows workers in various sectors in both cities, providing the context that creates democratic reformers, hardline nationalists and many shades in between.


THE TERM
Dirs. Alexey Pivovarov, Alexander Rastorguev, Pavel Kostomarov
2014, 83 min.
In Russian with English subtitles.

THURS APR 6 – 7:30 PM
TUES APR 18 – 10 PM
MON APR 24 – 7:00 PM **Q&A WITH MAX TUULA OF MARXFILM**

SUN APR 30 – 5 PM

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This documentary follows the 2012 protests in Moscow following the re-election of Vladimir Putin. It opens on doomed romance: that of Solidarnost activist Ilya Yashin and Putin’s goddaughter Ksenia Sobchak. THE TERM gets close to many of the major opposition leaders in the streets, spending the most time with 2018 presidential hopeful Alexey Navalny. We share a car cabin with anti-Putin politician Ilya Ponomarev debating with Sobchak on the urgency of Putin’s overthrow. Sergey Udaltsov rides the subway, confidently joking that he will be the new president by the next stop. At a rally, far-right nationalist Alexander Potkin explains that Navalny can be trusted to a skeptical member of Russkiye. These are snapshots of the landscape leads up to the Bolotnaya Square protest: an event that resulted in jail sentences and exiles for some of the activists featured here — and harsher penalties for many who are not.

THE TERM also features moments with Pussy Riot, Yoko Ono, and Madonna. For MarxFilm’s trailer, click here.

NOTE: If you have not watched Alexey Navalny’s Youtube Channelor if you enjoy expert use of 3D title graphics, check it out. For deeper Navalny context see Masha Gessen’s thorough article for the New Yorker last year.

 

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2016)

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2016)
dir. Taralyn Thomas & Jean-Luc Unger
2016, 93 min.

SUNDAY APRIL 2 – 7:30 PM
CO-DIRECTOR TARALYN THOMAS IN ATTENDANCE

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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. It will screen at the Echo Park Film Center sometime in April.

Copies of the film will be available at the screening in a limited-run VHS edition published by Vingo Vongo Videos.

 

 

 

 

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: PAUL CHAN’S TIN DRUM TRILOGY (PRESALES SOLD OUT)

TIN DRUM TRILOGY
dir. Paul Chan, 2002-2005.
USA, 111 min.
English, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

TUESDAY, APRIL 4 – 7:00 PM–PRESALE TICKETS SOLD OUT
ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Spectacle Theater is excited to collaborate with critical platform Match Cuts on a new series of screenings. Scroll down for more information on Match Cuts.

“Each video in the series was made utilizing different experimental traditions, but with one consistent theme: that to love your enemy is to know you enemy… The Bush administration (in RE:_THE OPERATION), Iraqis (in BAGHDAD…), and the religious right living in red-state America (in Now promise now threat) are all perceived, rightly or wrongly, as enemies. The task of all three videos has been to make the friend/enemy distinction more difficult while at the same time giving a time-based critique of the political tragedy/farce that is our first five years of the twenty-first Century.” – Paul Chan

The TIN DRUM TRILOGY is comprised of:

RE:_THE OPERATION

2002, 27 min.

“Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush’s administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the “enemy”. Letters, notes, and digital snapshots “produced” by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war. Part M*A*S*H*, part Three’s Company, part philosophical meditation, with a dash of character assassination thrown in.”

BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
2003, 51 min.

“BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER is an ambient video essay of life in Baghdad before the invasion and occupation. Men dance, women draw and sufis sing as they await the coming of another war. In seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish).”

NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT
2005, 33 min.

“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.” – Toni Morrison, “Beloved”

“Part documentary, part visual manifesto, NOW PROMISE NOW THREAT uses Omaha, Nebraska (population 390,000, literally located in the middle of the U.S.) as a site and subject to follow the often unexpected lines connecting people, religion and politics in ‘red state’ America. An evangelical pastor opposes the mixing of church and state on religious grounds. An anti-abortion mother deplores the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement for being pro-war. A young man wants to die for his country so he can–at last–have a life worthy of living. Now promise now threat mixes interviews with locally produced footage and kidnapping videos from Iraq transformed into fields of undulating color to create a moving ‘apologia’ for the united red states of America.”

 

PAUL CHAN is an American artist, writer and publisher. His single channel videos, projections, animations and multimedia projects are influenced by outsider artists, playwrights, and philosophers such as Henry Darger, Samuel Beckett, Theodor W. Adorno, and Marquis de Sade. Paul Chan’s work concerns topics including geopolitics, globalization, and their responding political climates, war documentation, violence, deviance, and pornography, language, and new media.

Chan has exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, documenta, the Serpentine Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and other institutions. Chan has also engaged in a variety of publishing projects, and, in 2010, founded the art and ebook publishing company Badlands Unlimited, based in New York. Chan’s essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, October, Tate, Parkett, Texte Zur Kunst, Bomb, and other magazines and journals.

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, and produced by Meg Murnane.

MARCH MIDNIGHTS


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FATAL DEVIATION
Dir. Simon Linscheid, Shay Casserley, 1998.
Ireland. 76 min.

FRIDAY, MARCH 17 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MARCH 18 – MIDNIGHT

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In keeping with St. Patrick’s Day tradition, we’re dragging Irish pride into the gutter with a holiday screening of FATAL DEVIATION, 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. Lacking Irish wit or charm and leaving you bewildered, FATAL DEVIATION has the same effect as a day spent chugging Car Bombs, but without the next day’s hangover. So put down that green beer – if someone’s going to slander the Irish good name, who better to do so than the Irish?


PART OF THE SPRING MIDNIGHT SERIES:
NASCHY AS II WANNA BE: RETURN OF NASCHY

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HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
Dir. Carlos Aured, 1975
Spain, 95 min. (original cut)
In Spanish with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, MARCH 4 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MARCH 10 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 25 – MIDNIGHT

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“Bastards! I curse you all!”
It’s been exactly four years since the great Jacinto Molina Álvarez, aka Paul Naschy, last graced a midnight here at Spectacle. The time has never been better for the Spanish Lon Chaney to haunt the twee streets of Williamsburg, his bare-chested bravado and wry wit a perfect balance to gallons of Tempra-red blood and unspeakable black magic. The lord of the night returns for midnights through 2017! It’s time to get…
AS NASCHY AS II WANNA BE!

The year is 1454, and the diabolical warlock Alaric de Marnac (Naschy, natch) and his mistress Mabille De Lancré (Emma Cohen, from CUT-THROATS NINE and Jess Franco’s AL OTRO LADO DEL ESPEJO) are accused of witchcraft, vampirism and lycanthropy before being tortured and killed (and Marnac gets his head cut off!), but not before cursing the offspring of their killers. Now it’s the 1970s, and a group of friends led by Hugo de Marnac (Naschy in a second role!) and Maurice Roland (Naschy regular Victor “Vic Morror” Alcazar) attend a seance, asking tongue-in-cheek about the location of Marnac’s head. Spoiler hint: they find it, and a whole lot more…Directed by Carlos Aured (BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL, THE MUMMY’S REVENGE, contrasting beautiful French landscapes with gruesome murders (don’t worry, our cut’s the original Spanish version with all gore/nudity intact), it’s an excellent introduction to Naschy’s non-werewolf roles, with everything you’d want from a midnight: gallows revenge speeches, nightgowns aplenty, and Naschy’s talking head in a box! Be sure to join us this March as HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB!


 


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RETOURNEMENT A RIVERDELL
Dir. Various, 1989/1991
America, 100 min.
In English.

SATURDAY, MARCH 11 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, MARCH 31 – MIDNIGHT

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Somewhere deep within everybody, there’s a town as American as apple pie – a place where a ginger-headed princox and his next door neighbor’s daughter might share a malt fizz at the corner medicine shop, where a weathered jalopy still bolts down the street quicker than those new automobiles from Korea or Japan. A lifetime away from the time a certain weekly program helpfully venn-diagrammed America’s favorite happy fool with the garish intrigue of David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS, there was RETOURNEMENT A RIVERDELL: a foreign film in English, assembled by elite power structures to emboss postwar nostalgia in magnetic tape, kicking around the loneliest late-night airwaves of television before a slow death (and shameful rebirth) on VHS under a different name.

The film offers a glimpse into the disappointments of growing up that can be called Lacanian: Archiie comes home to find Riverdell has changed, but not nearly enough. While Regggie has assumed the position of a cutthroat AMERICAN PSYCHO-style businessman, Archiie must wrestle with his own suburban privilege a priori the evaporating mirage of his childhood home… And in the same mirror he witnesses not just the crestfallen zeitgeist of a generation, but a deeper contraction within his own morals – having spent his entire adult life avoiding that old predicament with Bettty and Veronika.

RETOURNEMENT is not entirely unlike Laurence Kasdan’s THE BIG CHILL: in essence, a documentary of curdled Boomer expectations smuggled like candy contraband into a TV dinner narrative template. When Jughead and his idiot son bob their way through a New Jack Swing cover of “Honey Honey” in front of pretty much everybody in town, the real lesson of RETOURNAMENT A RIVERDELL reveals itself thus: time’s passage makes fools of us all.

PRIDE OF PLACE

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PRIDE OF PLACE
Dir. Dorothea Gazidis and Kim Longinotto, 1976
UK, 60 mins.

MONDAY, MARCH 1 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 6 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 19 – 5:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 31 – 10 PM

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If you caught last month’s SCRUBBERS (Zetterling, 1982), don’t miss PRIDE OF PLACE, the documentary by and for revolutionary teen boarding school prisoners.

Director Kim Longinotto was banished to a Buckinghamshire boarding school at the tender age of 10. Seven years later, she flew the coop and – after a few down-and-out years – landed at England’s National Film and Television School.

The time came for Longinotto to pick up a camera, and she wielded it like a hammer against her punitive alma mater. The resulting film, made with co-director Dorothea Gazidis, blew the lid off England’s august propensity for stiff upper lips and institutional child abuse.

PRIDE OF PLACE is an observational documentary that refuses to hear both sides. Shot from the students’ point of view, Longinotto and Gazidis regard their setting as a junior police state. They leave no room for finger-wagging. You won’t hear morning talk show bromides about “sparing the rod.”

One year after PRIDE OF PLACE was released, the aforementioned boarding school was closed by the state. After seven years in this brutal borstal, a spell on the streets, and a return to the scene of the crime, Longinotto got the last word.

Special thanks to Women Make Movies.

IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI

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(aka WE TURN IN THE NIGHT, CONSUMED BY FIRE)
dir. Guy Debord, 1978
France, 96 mins.
In French with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, MARCH 4 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 13 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 19 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 – 7:30 PM

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“I will make no concessions to the public in this film… Since the cinema public needs more than anything to face these bitter truths, which concern it so intimately but which are so widely repressed, it cannot be denied that a film that for once renders it the harsh service of revealing that its problems are not so mysterious as it imagines, nor even perhaps so incurable if we ever manage to abolish classes and the state — it cannot be denied that such a film has at least that one virtue. It will have no other.” – Guy Debord

Everyone’s favorite Situationist returns to Spectacle for the first time with IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI, the notorious magnum opus of “anti-cinema” that closed out the filmmaking career of French philosopher and writer Guy Debord.

If THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE has been proven beyond-relevant in the interceding years (as is so often the case, relevant beyond the confines of its actual self as a piece of text), IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI is a “repudiation of legends”, a densely layered film essay that slavishly interrogates (and rationalizes) its author’s defiance. Here Debord is reflexively caustic, littering the film with subtweets of his then-contemporaries and the myths surrounding his own legend – taking particular umbrage at the notion that he was a theorist (as opposed to practitioner), and, albeit in veiled terms, the New Left’s inability to subvert the grand lines of mass exploitation outside major city struggles.

In an eerily measured voiceover narration, Debord takes shots at unions (‘“always ready to prolong the grievances of the proletariat for another thousand years in order to preserve their own role as its defender”), culture critics (“amazingly enough, despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary, there are still some cretins, among the specialized spectators hired to edify their fellow viewers, who claim that it is ‘dogmatic’ to state some truth in a film unless it is also proved by images”), establishment intellectuals (“they have wasted their time at college, bargain shopping for worn-out fragments of secondhand knowledge”), and the spectating audience itself – or rather, what Debord calls “the complete vacuity of mediatized society”.

IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI is thus a political coming-of-age tale in its own way. Many of its images were culled from the ostensibly benign bourgeois French and American movies Debord so hated; more than an enigmatic few would appear to have been shot by Debord himself, or collected over the years. The montagery is genteel by 2017 standards, but there is real power to Debord’s insistence – albeit despairing – that “avant-gardes only have one time”. The fleeting, clean-limned nature of this assemblage speaks for itself: while THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE diagnosed a half-awake system of power, Debord here holds both image and consumer equally culpable for the broader distraction – a still-terrifying idea today.

Special thanks to Ken Knabb, Konrad Steiner and NOT BORED!.

“Has the time come to challenge this unscathed interlocutor? I could do so, inasmuch as his nostalgia blinds Debord, in spite of himself, to the current context of what all his perseverance derives from. You can’t just have thirty years of history end on a shot of the high waters of the Venice lagoon and expect to get away with it….

But we also need to understand poetry’s protective function. Why was it in the resource of art that twice – first with the Surrealists after October 1917 and then with the Situationists in the early 1960s – new historical circumstances produced, in France, a true break, unprecedented intensity, tremendous repercussions with regard to an ossified political Marxism? Marxism should learn from such amazing cunning! We won’t miss the opportunity this time.

This Marxism – of which Debord, in terms of the ethics of the subject, would be the interlocutor and, in his own way, the equal – I could call a living Marxism.” – Alain Badiou, Le Perroquet, 1981

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: TRUE/FALSE PORTRAITS OF SEX WORK

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“The representation of female prostitution in the movies takes place in a complex, dynamic field in which the forces of male fantasy and patriarchal ideology…merge or collide….”
– Russell Campbell, Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema

The films in this series attempt to eschew the usual trappings of sex work as portrayed in cinema (especially narrative cinema) by a adopting a neutral documentary-style approach, even as they all contain staged elements. Each film is, to varying extents, a hybrid of the two forms. The filmmakers adopt a non-judgmental (or sympathetic) view of sex workers even as they may define sex work itself as a symptom of larger forces of inequality within patriarchy, capitalism or communism. Each film is the result of active collaboration with their subjects (and, in some cases, their clients), and are predicated on an extraordinary level of access. While some of the films contain scenes of graphic sexuality, they are either neutral or aggressively anti-erotic, although the extent to which they may or may not be considered exploitative is a complex question which must ultimately be left to the viewer.


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K (A FILM ABOUT PROSTITUTION)
Dir. György Dobray, 1989
Hungary, 85 min.
In Hungarian with English subtitles

THURSDAY, MARCH 2 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 14 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29 – 7:30 PM

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“This is the the most dangerous place in the country. I grew up here, and I can’t break out. I get up and my first thought is Rákóczi Square.” The Square is Budapest’s red light district, a place where “anything can happen in the criminal code.” Director Dobray spent months documenting the denizens of the square, including a group of cross-dressing sex workers, a woman whose face was slashed by a client, and the off-and-on (and, to some extent, staged) relationship between young sex worker Andrea and her “boyfriend” Tarzan, a pimp and lifelong resident of the Square. Made in 1989, the year Communism fell in Hungary, K (A FILM ABOUT PROSTITUTION) was banned for decades, and is rarely, if ever, screened in the US.


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KARAOKE GIRL
Dir. Visra Vichit-Vadakan, 2013
Thailand/USA, 77 min.
In Thai with English subtitles

THURSDAY, MARCH 2 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 11 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 21 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 26 – 5 PM

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KARAOKE GIRL follows a young sex worker in Bangkok through portraits of her daily life, introducing us to the nuances of a vocation borne out of a simple necessity: supporting a family in rural Thailand. The film threads memoirs of her countryside childhood with the complicated reality of her urban life. Cast as herself, 23-year-old Sa is revealed to us through both documentary and fiction as she navigates both the city and the country, family and romance. Through the lens of one woman’s real-life experience, KARAOKE GIRL humanizes and complicates the depiction of a social class which is usually painted as flat caricature. Rather than presenting a traditional narrative, KARAOKE GIRL offers a personal landscape of a woman who is thoughtful and optimistic despite her difficult past. “This film is Sa’s anthem—her way of sharing with me (and you) her fears, hopes, and dreams.” — Director Visra Vichit Vadakan


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PROSTITUTE
Dir. Tony Garnett, 1981
UK, 94 min.
English

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 10 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 16 – 10 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 20 – 10 PM

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Sandra, a “street girl” of Birmingham, moves to London’s West End hoping that a job at a high-class escort service will improve her financial situation. Her flatmate Louise, a social worker, tirelessly campaigns to reform the country’s severe prostitution laws which keep their sex worker friends in and out of jail. Both women will be stymied by the prejudices and hypocrisies of mostly male authorities. Though it is a fictional narrative, director Garnett (a celebrated producer of social-realist dramas, including Ken Loach’s KES) spent years researching PROSTITUTE, his directorial debut, befriending both “street girls” and “more expensive call girls” (some of whom appear in the film), listening to their stories, and shaping their experiences into this naturalistic docudrama. Garnett intended to make “a film from the girls’ point of view, not the clients…Just an insight into their daily lives. No judgements. A film about work.”


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WHORES’ GLORY
Dir. Michael Glawogger, 2011
Germany/Austria, 115 min.
In German/French/English/Thai/Japanese/Spanish/Bengali with English subtitles

TUESDAY, MARCH 7 – 10 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 13 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 17 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 23 – 10 PM

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WHORES’ GLORY is a cinematic triptych on prostitution: three countries, three languages, three religions. In Thailand, women wait for clients behind glass panes, staring at reflections of themselves. In Bangladesh, men go to a ghetto of love to satisfy their unfulfilled desires on indentured girls. And in Mexico, women pray to a female death to avoid facing their own reality. WHORES’ GLORY was the last film in Glawogger’s “Globalization Trilogy” following MEGACITIES and WORKINGMAN’S DEATH, and his final completed feature before his death at 54. In writing about the film, Glawogger said “Prostitution is not to be condemned or defended. Prostitution simply is. It is like war. War is.” This is indicative of his general approach to the film, in which he uneasily balances an assumed vérité neutrality (though several scenes are completely staged) while operating on the foundation that sex work is fundamentally destructive. Despite this, Glawogger’s scope and ambition make WHORES’ GLORY an essential document of sex work around the globe.

 

 

SWASTIKA

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SWASTIKA
Dir. Philippe Mora, 1974.
UK. 95 min.
In German with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, MARCH 3 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 9 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MARCH 21 – 10 PM
MONDAY, MARCH 27 – 10 PM

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“If Hitler is dehumanized and shown only as a devil, any future Hitler may not be recognized, simply because he is a human being.”

So reads the opening titles of Philippe Mora’s SWASTIKA, a statement that perhaps has never been more pertinent than in the world of 2017.  Released in 1974, the documentary has only recently been freed from a ban in Germany that lasted until 2010. Artfully pieced together from COLOR home movies (shot by Eva Braun & her sister), propaganda reels, footage of massive rallies, and german newsreels, SWASTIKA provides a never-before-seen glimpse into the private and public life of Hitler, his cohorts, and the willing country they led into the deepest fires of hell.

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One can only watch with a fascination that is laced with dread, a feeling that finally gives way to the crushing weight of history. What emerges from underneath the rubble of disbelief, is perhaps the greatest lesson we can hope to learn from history: That evil is not so easily recognized, that it can rise to unimaginable heights with the polite and orderly cooperation of ordinary people, that it lurks behind the banality of the everyday.

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