Author: Taylor Adams

IMAGE SPEAK: IMPROVISED TRUTH

Improvised Truth
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 7:30 PM
Ismaïl Bahri
Joseph Rosen
Meghan Surges
Michelle Huynh Chu
Nicole Wallace
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 10:00 PM
Alexandra Tatarsky
Andrew Norman Wilson
Guy Pettit
Heather Anderson
Logan Chappe
Rachel Haberstroh
Sara O’Brien
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

ONLINE TICKETS HERE


“The ‘I’ of the essay film always clearly and strongly implicates a ‘you.’ This is a key aspect of the deep structures of the form. ‘You’ is called upon to participate [and] this ‘you’ is not a generic audience, but an embodied spectator.”
– Laura Rascaroli
IMAGE SPEAK, a night of screenings of essay films at Spectacle, returns with IMPROVISED TRUTH, celebrating the form with a publication launch and a screening of works by Ismaïl Bahri, Andrew Norman Wilson, and a selection of shorts by ten emerging filmmakers.
Copies of a new compilation of writings on the essay film will be available, published by Wendy’s Subway and organized by Georgia Wall and Rachel James.
FEATURING WORKS BY:
Alexandra Tatarsky
Andrew Norman Wilson
Guy Pettit
Heather Anderson
Ismaïl Bahri
Joseph Rosen
Logan Chappe
Meghan Surges.
Michelle Huynh Chu
Nicole Wallace
Rachel Haberstroh
Sara O’Brien
Bios:

Ismaïl Bahri lives and works in Paris. His work incorporates many cultural and aesthetic references, developing visual experiments that are both sensitive and precise. The results of these experiments take varying forms – drawings, videos, photographs, installations, and hybrids of these forms. The basic materials used in these works are manipulated and ultimately transformed, often through mechanically inspired gestures and procedures that are related, in one way or another, to cinema or photography.

Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist and curator based in Los Angeles whose videos and installations address a heady rush of images, technology, and bodies caught in the streams of circulation and representation that our era demands.

Alexandra Tatarsky makes performances in the unfortunate in-between zone of comedy, performance art, dance and deluded rant. Often there are songs. Her pieces Americana Psychobabble and Beast of Festive Skin have been described as “Brecht… with a buttplug” and “like someone took acid with too much speed in it.” Her latest experiment in the abyss entitled SIGN FELT! (a show about nothingness) is an improvisational bildungsroman for an idiot and will be at La Mama on April 24th. Please come. Writings on the shanzhai lyric, anti-capitalist miming, kabala and kaka are forthcoming in the magazines ArtReview Asia, Garlands, and Emerald Tablet. This is her first attempt at making a movie. Thank u for watching.

Guy Pettit is the founder and director of Flying Object and, more recently, Sophie Embassy (available.rest). He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Joseph Rosen is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His creative focus is centered on analog methods of capturing and processing video.

Logan Chappe attempts to maintain a writing and video-based art practice while living in Manhattan. He is an MFA Candidate at The City College of New York (CUNY).

Meghan Surges is a multimedia artist. Born in 1995, Meghan grew up in Oconomowoc, WI, Cleveland, OH, and Portland, ME. She studied at Kenyon college and graduated in 2017 with a degree in Art and English. She now lives in Brooklyn and works as an art consultant.

Michelle Huynh Chu is an artist based in New York. Her work has been shown at Anthology Film Archives, LACDA, Songs for Presidents, Kilroy Metal Ceiling, and on cable television in France and Germany.

Rachel Haberstroh is an artist and writer based in NYC. She is one half of Wavy Dash, a co-founder of Millennial Focus Group, a member of Crit Club, and a 2018 resident at Outpost Artist Resources. Her work has been shown at Flux Factory, the Wassaic Project, Babycastles, Knockdowna Center and Small Editions.

Sara O’Brien is a writer and researcher who also works visually from time to time. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.

Nicole Wallace is a poet, student of Anishinaabemowin, and Managing Director of The Poetry Project. She is currently at work on a chapbook manuscript, WAASAMOWIN. Originally from Gakaabikaang, located in what is currently called Minnesota, she is a descendent of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) and is of mixed settler/European ancestry.

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: ISOLATED UNITS

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Sometimes one isn’t the loneliest number. Celebrating Tidepoint’s 20th anniversary, these films find isolation in crowds, in tandem, in public and in intimacy. They focus on the uneasy choice between trusting others you’ll never truly know, or alienation if others are necessary to truly know yourself.



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SHADY
Dir. Ryohei Watanabe, 2012
Japan. 94 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – 7:30PM

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A feature debut from Watanabe, SHADY lives up to its title, setting up a typical Japanese coming-of-age drama before sliding into something much darker. ‘Typical’ does disservice to the film’s first half – the friendship that blossoms between pudgy, shy Misa (nicknamed ‘Pooh’ by classmates) and bubbly, pretty Izumi has real intimacy and depth, but Watanabe, a screenwriter by trade, clearly knows, hits, and (more importantly) manipulates all the genre’s beats. When the tonal shift comes, it seems sudden, yet Watanabe’s carefully set the path all along.

Misa is initially confused as to why seemingly popular Izumi seeks out her friendship, only to learn Izumi’s looks have earned her the endless jealousy of all the other girls. Ostracized on opposite ends, the two find what they need in each other – joy for Misa, stability for Izumi. The nuance captured is all the more amazing as this is an acting first for both leads – Mimp*b, the pop singer playing Misa, also worked on the score. As the two girls become more deeply intertwined, tension mounts as small cracks grow into gaping voids.



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NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE
Dir. Sion Sono, 2005
Japan. 159 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – 10:00PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27 – 7:30PM

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A prequel/parallel to 2001’s SUICIDE CLUB, NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE is as subdued and restrained as its predecessor was frentic and gory. And yet, despite a nearly three hour run time, NORIKO’S is the more compelling film – where SUICIDE CLUB was a disjointed mystery of mass suicide, NORIKO’S follows an entire family’s unraveling after eldest daughter Noriko runs away to Tokyo. In the city, Noriko joins online friend Kumiko and becomes part of her literal surrogate family. Kumiko runs a rent-a-relative business where people can hire family members for any need – a spouse to make dinner, children for walks in the park, an ex-girlfriend to wreak vengeance on. The chat room the girls met on is the same that encouraged the jumpers from SUICIDE CLUB. Uncertain whether Noriko was one of the jumpers (the film’s timeline is nonlinear and disjointed, told from several viewpoints), her younger sister Yuka follows her online footsteps and ends up joining the family rental business as well. Their father, a newspaper detective by trade, is blindsided by his daughters’ behavior and sets off to discover what happened and get his daughters back.

The concept of family, identity, and what either can mean tilts wildly – together in the cult-like rental group Noriko and her sister communicate more playing the role of hired ‘sisters’ than they ever spoke at home, but shed their former identities and lose themselves in each character they play, with no central ‘self’. Scenes of dramatic confrontation are immediately undercut by Kumiko criticizing the others’ ‘performance’, suggesting improvements for what was presented (diagetically and non-) as earnest emotion. Though SUICIDE CLUB put director Sono on the map, NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE expands themes the former only hinted at, while deepening the mystery at the core of both.

TIDEPOINT PICTURES: DECAY VERITÉ

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Behind locked doors, in bathroom stalls, on the city outskirts, this triptych of films from Tidepoint (celebrating their 20th anniversary this year) blurs fiction and reality dredging up Japan’s carefully hidden social and moral disintegration.



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JUNK FOOD (82 min)
Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 1997
Japan. 82 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27 – 5:00PM

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Depicting rarely-seen sides of Japan, including corporate culture’s structural rottenness/complete indifference and the immigrant experience, the meat of JUNK FOOD is scattered, impressionist vignettes of destitute Japanese existence. Split into four parts, the film follows a meth-addicted salarywoman looking to score after running out at her upscale office, a Mexican wrestler trying to leave the country, a Pakistani man turning violently against his Japanese girlfriend, and low-level street gangs, among others. Their lives on the fringe are bookended by the daily routine of an old blind woman (the director’s mother), a grounding element in a violent, alienating world. Early digital cameras used to shoot the film add visual grain and grime to the seedy hedonism of this night in Japan’s underbelly.



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CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT
Dir. Masashi Yamamoto, 1981
Japan. 109 min
In Japanese with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – 7:30PM

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A long, dark journey into nihilism, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Filmed a year before BURST CITY, CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT leans closer to anarchic punk than dystopian futurism, but its urban grime and verité-style shooting (the film is often mislabeled as a documentary) make it feel like a precursor to cyberpunk and cousin to New York’s No Wave scene. Opening with a surreal take on Japan’s then-economic boom, the camera languidly moves through the sunny, colorful Shinjuku shopping district to the shrill sound of densely layered advertisements. It then drops literally underground into black and white at a noisy punk club, where singer Kumi finishes a set. She drops off (more like rids herself) of her young son, free now to spend the endless night wandering city streets with deranged druggie friend Papou. What they want isn’t clear; what they seek is annihilation by any means – meeting up with a bomb-makng friend, cruising male hustlers in the park, borrowing a gun with no intention of returning it. With nothing to fight for or against in an authoritarian society that won’t even deign to oppress them (there’s nary an officer to even try and stop their exploits), death seems like the only option.



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PEEP ‘TV’ SHOW
Dir. Yutaka Tsuchiya, 2003
Japan. 98 min.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – 10:00PM

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Director Tsuchiya’s career has focused on the search for identity among Japanese youth, particularly the dark paths it can take.  PEEP ‘TV’ SHOW follows kids from Shibuya, Tokyo, obsessed with outward appearances and the internet, as they navigate the city. Considering this generation grew up under constant surveillance, their ingrained exhibitionism and voyeurism seems natural.

Cynical young man Hasegawa runs a website hosting his secretly-shot footage of unsuspecting people, Peep TV, in the hopes of capturing a realer ‘reality’. Gothic Lolita Moe (also the script’s co-writer) is a fan of the site, and after the two have a chance encounter on the street, she wants in on the business. As the anniversary of 9/11 draws near, the project grows increasingly darker.

Woven around actual surveillance footage and news clips and shot on DV, the film proudly wears its no-budget rawness on its sleeve. Scenes switch from talking-head documentary confessional to dramatic narrative in the same shot, and nearly everyone onscreen plays themselves. Watching and being watched are nearly interchangeable – internet porn is an obsession for sexless characters whose outfits constantly broadcast a chosen persona. A collection of events more than a thorough narrative, PEEP TV SHOW’s fragmentation works all the better to reflect the disaffection, isolation and search for meaning of this generation.

HEADSPACE 3D: AN ANIMATION SHOWCASE

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HEADSPACE 3D-an animation showcase!
Dir. various, 2007-2016.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 7:30PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 10:00PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 – 7:30PM

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HEAD SPACE, the program of animated shorts returns for a second year in a row, now with an added dimension! The films are created by talented 3D and stop motion artists from here in New York, and around the world. The films have mostly been created in the last 10 years, and show a gradation of approaches to 3D media from Natalia Stuyk’s “Visiter-422” which is wholly enmeshed in the digital world, to Allison Shulnik’s unique manipulations of clay in “Mound”. All the works focus on craft and dimensionality, and will include, but won’t be limited to themes that go bump inside the HEAD SPACE, such as insomnia, DIY cel phone rescue, getting lost in a digital limbo, and ABC gum.

COMPOTE COLLECTIVE: ANIMATION SHORTS FROM SOFIA

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TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5 – 5PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 5PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 7:30PM

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Compote Collective is an animation production company made up of twenty artists in Sofia, Bulgaria. They do both commercial work and creative narrative pieces, the latter receiving support from the Bulgarian National Film Center and going on to feature in festivals. In 2015, Compote Collective put together a series of six contemporary Bulgarian poems with accompanying animation called MARK & VERSE. The shorts in this series have a contemplative tempo combined with moments of wry humor, expressive human forms, and floating surrealistic creatures. MARK & VERSE is accompanied by six additional pieces from Compote Collective animators and composers. FATHER shows an impossible relationship between a child and a father in blue and gray toned landscapes rich with symbolism. ANNA BLUME is a journey of love and lust with a red gluttonous beast that uses material from Kurt Schwitter’s poem, “An Anna Blume”. Many thanks to Compote Collective, especially the kind help of Vessela Dantchev and Petya Zlatev. Total Run Time: 60 minutes.

“MARK & VERSE”:

(All poems are in Bulgarian and English, with English Subtitles)

1. PETTY MORNING CRIME
dir. Asparuh Petrov, 04’00”

2. NATURAL NOVEL IN 8 CHAPTERS
dir. Milen Vitanov, 04’01”

3. ODEON
dir. Boris Despodov, 02’47”

4. MILKMAID
dir. Ivan Bogdanov, 2015, 02’25”

5. POSTINDUSTRIAL
dir. Boris Pramatarov, 2015, 03’20”

6. 100% MOOD
dir. Dmitry Yagodin, 04’05”

ALSO SHOWING:

FATHER
dir. Ivan Bogdanov, Moritz Mayerhofer, Asparuh Petrov, Veljko Popovic, Rositsa Raleva, Dmitry Yagodin, 2012, 16’30”
In English

ANNA BLUME
dir. Vessela Dantcheva, 2009, 9’01”
In German with English subtitles

GAME
dir. Ina Nikolova, 2015, 03’10”

TASTE OF COLOR
dir. Asparuh Petrov, 2011, 01’20”

ADAPTATION
dir. Petya Zlateva, 2011, 03’00”

EASY
dir. Vessela Dantcheva & Ivan Bogdanov, 2004, 03’20”

THE GAME
dir. Dalibor Rajninger, 2012, 03’00

PRIVATE LIVES

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PRIVATE LIVES
dir. Cammisa Buerhaus, 2016.
USA, 30 min.
In English.

PRE-ELECTION DAY SCREENING – ONE NIGHT ONLY!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 9PM

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PRIVATE LIVES – a hallucinatory filmic exploration by Cammisa Buerhaus into the hyper-real world of Bill and Hillary Clinton, their mythic proportions and amorphous, shape shifting tendencies in three parts. The film moves from the private correspondences of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the political legacy of William Jefferson Clinton, supported by an all star cast, including Monica Lewinsky, Jon Benet Ramsey, Debbie Harry, and Justin Trudeau. Presented through the refractory lens of popular entertainment television programs like E True Hollywood Story and Entertainment Tonight, PRIVATE LIVES gives us lives – not lived – but putrefied.

PRIVATE LIVES features Buerhaus in multiple roles, brief cameo appearances by Eve Essex and cult musician Tamio Shiraishi, as well as words and music originally written by Jill Kroesen.

PRIVATE LIVES originally premiered as part of the NY Performance Artists Collective’s Spilling Over event at the Knockdown Center, Queens NY, but we’re giving it a quick timely screening before ELECTION DAY 2016.

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Cammisa Buerhaus is a sound artist and actress based in NYC. She uses image and sound to synthesize critiques of politics and gender. Buerhaus has recently screened her new film Performance By Appointment in Stockholm, premiered compositions at The Whitney Museum of American Art for Felix Bernstein’s opera Bieber Bathos Elegy, and currently tours as a lead actress with the theatre company The NYC Players, presenting The Evening in Lisbon, Brussels, Bologna, Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, and Athens. Other collaborative projects include the improv duo 大凶風呂 and a reprisal of Hillary Clinton for Cecilia Corrigan’s film Motherland. Her work has been reviewed in The Wire, Artforum, and Texte Zur Kunst.

EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS


EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS
Dir. VARIOUS. 1933 – 2009

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20 – 5:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – 7:30PM

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Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrating two things – food and family. Okay, three things – food, family, and culturally whitewashing American history. EPHEMERA: GIVE THANKS showcases all of the above with a convergence of grocery tips, frustrating relatives, meal preparation and awkward historical reenactments. Like your sexist uncle waxing philosophical at the dinner table, GIVE THANKS uncomfortably reminds you though America’s social mores and attitudes have come a long way, there’s still so much further to go. Featuring a 70s decision on what to eat next framed as vitriolic political debate, a very nervous turkey serenaded by Liberace, so many condescending Dads, and the most disgusting 50s ‘salad’ recipe put to film (“Lime Jell-o with diced pineapple on watercress, topped with creamed cottage cheese, garnished with radish roses and carrot flowers!”).

Let us all bow our heads and be truly thankful this season for the visual bounty freely available to us in the modern age, and that these ephemeral treats have been spared the Memory Hole and dished up for our viewing pleasure.

Including selections from:

THOUGHT FOR FOOD
(Handy (Jam) Picture Service, 1933)

PICK OF THE POD
(Palmer (W.A.) & Company, 1939)

EARLY SETTLERS OF NEW ENGLAND (SALEM 1626-1629)
(Encyclopedia Britannica Films, 1940)

FOOD FOR FIGHTERS
(U.S. Office of War Information, 1943)

KITCHEN MAGIC (1948)
A Brighter Day In Your Kitchen
(Ray Waters, 1949)

LET’S TALK TURKEY
(Armour & Company, 1951)

A DAY OF THANKSGIVING
(Centron Corporation, 1951)

DINING TOGETHER
(Children’s Productions, 1951)

SOMEONE’S IN THE KITCHEN
(On Film, Inc., 1960s)

THE FOOD PLATFORM
(Directions Unlimited Film Corporation; Pyramid Films Inc., 1972)

Long Live La Familia – No Hay Nada En El Fridge
(New Mexico State University, 2009)

…and more!

COMIC BOOK CAVALCADE

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COMIC BOOK CAVALCADE
dir. various, 2016.
USA, 90 min.
In English.

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – 7:30PM

Comics Cavalcade is a collection of shorts, cartoons, music videos and other visual ephemera selected by Fantagraphics cartoonists Anya Davidson (Band for Life), Steve Weissman (Barack Hussein Obama, Looking For America’s Dog) and Benjamin Marra (American Blood, Night Business) along with Felony Comics editor and Spectacle programmer Harris Smith and the rest of the Spectacle Get Fresh Crew. Anya and Steve will be on hand to present their selections and answer questions, while Ben will be making a spectral appearance from his heavily guarded compound somewhere in Canada. Expect an evening of general chaos, heartfelt laughter, newly formed resentments and general hysteria. Maybe you’ll even win free stuff just for showing up, who knows?

WHY IMITATE REALITY? THE FILMS OF MARCELL JANKOVICS

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WHY IMITATE REALITY? THE FILMS OF MARCELL JANKOVICS

It’s impossible to mistake Marcell Jankovics’ work for anyone else’s. Fluid, gorgeous, hallucinogenically colorful, his films fully exploit expressive possibilities only available through animation. Despite outsized brushes with the U.S. – part of his short film Sisyphus was used in a 2008 GMC Superbowl ad (notably nixing the rock rolling back), and pre-production on Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove (never seen after the film devolved into its “stupid, kitschy final version,” in Jankovics’ words) – the director remains criminally underknown in this country.

His deep appreciation of mythology (having written numerous books and articles on the subject) is reflected in a body of work rooted in folk- and fairytales, mining the specific, yet fleshing out to the underlying universal. Often adapting material he feels hasn’t been properly expressed in other mediums, Jankovics’ careful consideration of the emotional and psychological impact of each aesthetic element results in the definitive version of the work.

Starting at 19, he rose through Budapest’s Pannonia Film Studios from in-betweener to director in a mere five years, and continued working through governmental shifting to and from Communism. With a prolific career spanning over a half-century, Marcell Jankovics continues to produce incredible, emotional works to this day, and Spectacle is proud to present a small selection of them.

Special thanks to the Hungarian National Film Archive, and please read Cartoon Brew’s excellent (and unfortunately rare) interview with this amazing and thoughtful man.


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FEHÉRLÓFIA (SON OF THE WHITE MARE)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1981
Hungary. 81 min.
In Hungarian with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 5:00PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 10:00PM

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A glorious work of unparalleled brilliance, FEHÉRLÓFIA melds ancient legends of the Steppe people into a kaleidoscopic rumination on the cyclical nature of time and space. Originally combining several existing folktales on time’s recurrence, Jankovics was forced to write an original story after his first script was deemed anti-Marxist (according to Marxism, time is irreversible). Raised hidden by his mare mother in the World Tree, immensely strong Fehérlófia must venture forth to find the Underworld’s entrance and, with his brothers’ help, defeat the dragons who seized power from the ancient Forefather and Progenitrix. The constantly morphing concentric images, looping back on and mirroring each other, perfectly fit a film dedicated to the early nomads. Only the second film to come out of Pannónia Studios, FEHÉRLÓFIA is a masterwork of color and story.


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JÁNOS VITÉZ (JOHNNY CORNCOB)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1973
Hungary. 74 min.
In Hungarian with English subtitles.

Showing with
KUZDOK (THE STRUGGLE)
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1977
Hungary. 3 min.

MÉLYVIZ
Dir. Marcell Jankovics, 1970
Hungary. 2 min.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 – 7:30PM

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Commissioned by the government for the 150th anniversary of national poet Sándor Petöfi’s birthday, and based on his epic poem of the same title, JÁNOS VITÉZ is the first Hungarian feature-length animated film. Completed in a mere 22 months, the visuals blend Peter Max pop and traditional Hungarian folk art into a bright, vibrantly-hued world. The story follows titular János, whose love for country maid Iluska distracts him from shepherding. Banished from the village after losing the entire flock, he vows to return on better terms to marry his beloved. Joining a battalion of Hussars, he travels the world over (including ludicrously fanciful interpretations of Venice, Mongolia and the Sahara) on wild adventures, yet always dreaming of Iluska. His triumphant return home is shattered when he learns Iluska was worked to death by her wicked stepmother. No longer caring what happens to him, János goes on a series of increasingly dangerous adventures, hoping if he can’t live happily to at least die gloriously. Giants, witches, French court life, and drinking songs all merge and blend in this pastel chimera. Unfortunately the Hungarian government’s restoration of the film, currently ongoing, won’t be completed until sometime next year, so for now we must make do with a less-brilliant version of this dynamic tale.

The film screens with two shorts highlighting Jankovic’s gift for conveying emotion through pure visuals and texture.

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: CHANTAL AKERMAN’S ONE DAY PINA ASKED…

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ONE DAY PINA ASKED…
dir. Chantal Akerman, 1983.
USA, 57 min.
In French with English subtitles.

ONE NIGHT ONLY
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – 7:30 PM

PRE-SALES SOLD OUT

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.

An encounter between two of the most remarkable women artists of the 20th century, ONE DAY PINA ASKED… is Chantal Akerman’s look at the work of choreographer Pina Bausch and her Wuppertal, Germany-based dance company. “This film is more than a documentary on Pina Bausch,” a narrator announces at the outset, “it is a journey through her world, through her unwavering quest for love.”

Capturing the company’s rehearsals and performances over a five-week European tour, Akerman takes us inside their process. She interviews members of the company, who Bausch chose not only for their talents, but for certain intangible personal qualities as well. The dancers describe the development of various dances, and the way that Bausch calls upon them to supply autobiographical details around which the performances were frequently built.

Akerman also shows us excerpts from performances of Bausch dances, including Komm Tanz Mit Mir (Come Dance with Me) (1977), Nelken (Carnations) (1982), Walzer (1982), and 1980 (1980), all recorded with Akerman’s singular visual touch.

“When I watched one of Pina’s performances for the first time a couple of years ago, I was overcome by an emotion I can’t quite define,” Akerman says. ONE DAY PINA ASKED… is an attempt to define that emotion by traveling deep into Bausch’s world.

“Akerman’s film is a work of modestly daring wonder, of exploration and inspiration. With her audacious compositions, decisive cuts, and tightrope-tremulous sense of time-and her stark simplicity-it shares, in a way that Wenders’s film doesn’t, the immediate exhilaration of the moment of creation. Akerman’s film is of a piece with Bausch’s dances.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

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.