Category: Monthly Series

PRE-WRINKLED FANTASIES

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SIN
Dir. Nico B, 2009.
USA. 60 minutes.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

From the Director of PIG and BETTIE PAGE DARKEL comes the erotic, surreal, film SIN. Three episodes, staged in the 1920-1940s, where each story tells the duality of a female protagonist; the belly/frolic dancer (with Angelita Franco of Tinto Brass’ Kick the Cock), the sculpture model versus the nun (with Caroline Pierce), the legless aristocrat and the nurse (with Dahlia Dark).

Inspired by early 19th century vintage erotica and surrealistic filmmaking, Nico B’s exploration and discovery of the subliminal curse of destiny we call SIN. Super 8 silent film with a soundtrack by Claude Debussy.

 



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VINTAGE EROTICA: ANNO 20
Dir. Diverse, 1920-1929.
France. 90 minutes.
Subtitles French/English.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

To accompany SIN, we bring you some erotic relief directly from the era of surrealism, madness, and style. Expect costumed role-play with nuns, ballet dancers, satyrs, apes, telegraph operators, monks and bellboys. This is the first in a four decade series put out by Cult Epics, intended to open up the long history of erotic expression.

 

LARRY BUCHANAN’S MIDNIGHT HOURS

There’s a general notion that Larry Buchanan was a generic schlockmeister who made cheap sci-fi/exploitation filler for bored drive-in teens. Allow us to float a counter-notion: that Larry Buchanan, drunk on his own weird muse, pursued a singular path through fringe cinema, a particularly Texan low-rent alternative dimension Oliver Stone or perhaps a dreamier variant on Larry Cohen.

From his early work adapting Noita palaa elämään as THE NAKED WITCH to his time at American International, directing films like ATTACK OF THE THE EYE CREATURES and IN THE YEAR 2989 and into his increasingly conspiratorial works THE TRIAL OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD and GOODBYE NORMA JEAN, we can see a history of films that always lived up to the Roger Corman principle of earning more than they cost to make, in this case spending as little on production as possible. There’s a contrarian streak in even the goofiest of his movies, a notion things are never as they seem, a Quixote-esque quest to consider other options beyond the traditional narrative. That’s certainly the case with DOWN ON US (which presupposes Nixon had leftist rock stars murdered), while the romantic folklorist side comes through in STRAWBERRIES NEED RAIN, a lovely meditation on death.

Are you going to let the internet tell you what to think your whole life, or are you ready to make your own decisions? Decide for yourself this September with LARRY BUCHANAN’S MIDNIGHT HOURS!


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STRAWBERRIES NEED RAIN
Dir. Larry Buchanan, 1970.
USA. 85 minutes.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – MIDNIGHT

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STRAWBERRIES NEED RAIN was Larry Buchanan’s self-proclaimed stab at Bergmansploitation, if by way of Mary Travers and LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. Racing against the Scythe of Death, a pre-Patch Monica Gayle tries out every prude, sleaze, and lecher she can find, wistfully strolling through a few fields along the way. If this extra day of life previews her chances for love and human companionship, then she probably shouldn’t fear the reaper. Which she doesn’t, because she is a brave and beguiling woman with hair that wouldn’t look out of place in a 90’s Calvin Klein ad. You will root for her all the way to the last breath or die trying.


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BEYOND THE DOORS/DOWN ON US
Dir. Larry Buchanan, 1989.
USA. 117 minutes.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – MIDNIGHT

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A government assassin is out to kill Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison because they are turning youth culture against the Vietnam war, or simply because they are performing ludicrous imitations of their own work. The Buchanan budget did not cover the licensing fees to use originals, so get ready for some lesser-inspired covers that almost sixty years out sound so right. The charm of BEYOND THE DOORS is that you feel like you could be watching a high school local access TV program. After the generations of attention heaped of this part of rock and roll history, that is all we even need.

AMERICA LATINA REBELDE

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The conquest of the Americas did not end with the defeat of the Aztecs and Incas, it was only the initiation of a procession of protests, strikes, and uprisings between the indigenous peoples and colonizers, immigrant workers and landowners, slaves and masters, mass movements and dictatorships. The films that retell these struggles portray a dramatic history fixed in flux.

The ability for South American artists to capture such struggles changes with the regimes–if one favorable to the people manages to obtain power, the heroism and atrocities of previous generations may finally be told. Argentinian director Hector Olivera is a case in point, his sometimes satirical but always deadly serious work focuses on the individuals who struggle through dark times of political violence. In 1973 he made a REBELLION IN PATAGONIA, a film telling the story of a Patagonian wool farmer’s strike in the 1920’s, based on a previously banned book by the anarchist writer Osvaldo Bayer. When the dictatorship returned the book and its adaptation were once again banned. With a renewal of democracy in the 1980’s Olivera was free to make political work again, telling the story of the dictatorship’s torture and execution of student activists in NIGHT OF THE PENCILS.

With a majority indigenous population, many of whom continue to live a largely traditional lifestyle, landlocked Bolivia historically lagged behind the economic advances of its neighbors. In the 20th century, the State’s solution to lagging modernization occasionally relied on neo-eugenics, and Jorge Sanjines’s BLOOD OF THE CONDOR tells of an uprising of an indigenous village against North American “Progress Corp” volunteers who they believe sterilized women without their consent.

Together with the indigenous at the lowest rung of the caste system was the African slave, who, likewise, had a long history of struggle against their masters. The Maroon culture developed independently in Brazil with the Quilombos, the Black Seminoles in Floria, and Palenques in Colombia and Cuba. In the Cuban film MALUALA, a village of runaway slaves is depicted in colorful detail, both in terms of their music, traditions, and fashion, and their lifestyle of constant resistance to renewed subjugation.


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REBELLION IN PATAGONIA
(aka LA PATAGONIA REBELDE)
Dir. Hector Olivera, 1974.
Argentina. 110 minutes.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 7:30PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – 10PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – 10PM

**GET YOUR TICKETS HERE**

Oswaldo Bayer’s historical novel Patagonia Rebelde, about an anarcho-syndicalist labor union’s insurrectionary uprising against the Argentinian elite in the 1920s, was banned and publicly burned in the 70’s before becoming a bestseller and feature film. The story begins with a hotel workers’ strike so successful one forgets why the working class would ever lose given its objective strength. But as the victorious anarchists sing their anthem, a group of Chilean laborers, immigrants among immigrants, sit quietly in the back of the labor hall. Although they have been elevated to equals by the principal of international solidarity, their silence foreshadows the bloodshed to come.

For decades, Argentinian politics swung between the Nationalist populism of Juan Peron and a series of military coups, eventually centrally coordinated under Operation Condor, aimed at suppressing the socialist elements that made him so widely popular.

In 1970 Bayer’s book was banned and publicly burned, but with Peron’s return in 1973, the leftist Jorge Cepernic was elected governor of the Patagonian state of Santa Cruz. He worked with Bayer and director Hector Olivera to create an epic film version of Patagonia Rebelde, featuring large scale protest and battle sequences. In 1976 the military seized power once again, ushering in a brutal 7 year dictatorship in which the film was banned, Bayer, Olivera, and several of the film’s actors were blacklisted, and Cepernic was imprisoned. In jail, he asked his warden if he deserved such cruel treatment simply for being a member of a Left-of-center party. “ No, you’re not a prisoner because of your affiliation,” the warden reportedly said. “You’re a prisoner because you allowed Rebellion in Patagonia to be filmed.”

 


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THE NIGHT OF THE PENCILS
(aka EL NOCHE DE LOS LAPICES)
Dir. Hector Olivera, 1986.
Argentina. 105 minutes.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 10PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – 5PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29- 7:30PM

**GET YOUR TICKETS HERE**

The repression of Operation Condor was centrally organized by military commanders of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Broliva, and Brazil, aiming to finally wipe out any traces of marxist or revolutionary thought. Argentina saw the highest numbers of disappeared and executed leftists, between 15-30,000. When democracy returned to Argentina in 1983, Olivera was free to make films about the State terror he witnessed. El Noche de los Lapices depicts the organization of a student strike against increased bus fares in La Plata. Only a few months into the dictatorship, some of these students were kidnapped, raped, tortured, starved, and killed.

Beginning with an seemingly innocent protest against the increase of bus fares in La Plata, a student march is attacked by police. In the night, several of the organizers are rounded up by men posing as police and taken to a dungeon. Used as test subjects for torture, the fate of the students would mirror tens of thousands of others in the coming years. A cultural element in the process for “justice and reconciliation,” which included the imprisonment of some of the students’ torturers in 1985, Olivera used the testimony of one of the few survivors for his adaptation.

 


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BLOOD OF THE CONDOR
(aka YAWAR MALLKU)
Dir. Jorge Sanjines, 1969.
Bolivia. 70 minutes.
In Quechua, English, and Spanish with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 – 10PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – 10PM

**GET YOUR TICKETS HERE**

Ignacio, the tragic hero of Jorge Sajines’s first film, was a perfect stand-in for the utterly impotent situation Bolivia’s indigenous population faced in the 1960’s. When his wife’s third consercutive pregnancy terminates, he is driven into a rage, and she is the target. A series of flashbacks and flashforwards shows more violence in every direction. We soon find out the reason for all of it is the sketchy, but outwardly well-meaning American aid workers who recently appeared in the village.

Inspired by anti-Imperialist Marxism and new wave European cinema, this was the first feature of Sanjines, who would become one of Bolivia’s most awarded directors and a central figure in Latin America’s “Third Cinema” movement. The heavy-handed villainy of the Progress Corps gringos and the obedient facilitation of their schemes against the indigenous population by Bolivian authorities represents a political cosmology that radiates through the history of post-Colonial South America.

Sanjines worked with native actors and audiences alike, designing the film to be watched in indigenous communities that were not yet familiar with cinema. The results were mixed, as many did not understand narrative motifs such as the flashback sequences. Overall, the film was influential enough that repelling Peace Corps volunteers became a cause of cultural autonomism, and they were expelled altogether in 1971. Although it’s unlikely the Peace Corps was running a sterilization program, the history of condescension, instrumentalisation, and exploitation of indigenous people made the allegations ring true. Their very presence, along with the self-congratulatory Western doctor character, were symptomatic of an all-pervasive imperialist influence, alluded to by use of rock music and the culturally assimilated but still helplessly subservient Sixto, ensuring repressive hierarchies, and the violence inherent within them, remain firmly in place at every level.

 


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MALUALA
Dir. Sergio Giral, 1979.
Cuba. 95 minutes.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – 10PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – 10PM

**GET YOUR TIKETS HERE**

With several historical films reflecting on the experience of slavery in Cuba, Sergio Giral is perhaps Cuba’s best known Afro-Cuban director. In Maluala, he takes up the subject of Cuba’s Palenques, a network of about 30 communities hidden in Cuba’s Eastern coast mountains comprised of runaway slaves with different ethnic origins, but a common cultural rejection of the bondage that brought them across the Atlantic.

Among these was Maluala, whose chief, Gallo, present a petition to be left alone by the Colonial government. The counteroffer is for the habitants of the Palenques to turn themselves in before being formally freed, a proposition three other chiefs accept, but Gallo refuses in a conflict reminiscent of Gillo Pontecorvo’s divide-and-conquer epic BURN!, only from the colonized’s perspective.

 

SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER

SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER
Dir. Various.
70 min.

FRIDAY, JULY 8 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 – 7:30 PM
** 47th anniversary of the faking of the moon landing! **

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SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER!!!!
Get HIGH with this show!

Weren’t we supposed to have astronauts on Mars by now?
Where is the space wheel?
How come the U.S. and Russia don’t have domed cities all across the moon?

Well, it looks that, in regards to the so-called “Conquest of Space,” we sure fucked up.
Mankind’s attempts to touch infinity have all failed, like legendary Icarus, and the mud of the earth will forever be our home, the stars perpetually out of reach. Even the shuttle program is dead, and all R&D is now conducted by plutocrats seeking to save themselves when our sad and pathetic Earth is finally, completely poisoned.

From genuine NASA footage to slick computer graphics to crude claymation, this series of shorts, created to celebrate the 47th Anniversary of the Faking of the Moon Landing, examines the stellar beauty just out of our reach, as well as casting a cosmic eye on the awful behavior humans are sure to take with them into the galactic void. For roughly 70 minutes, 25 short films take the viewer out of this world, sometimes calming the soul—and other times disturbing it.

See the planets dance!
See spaceships fight black holes—and lose!
See humans and aliens interact—poorly!
See how far the IRS will actually go!
See Patti Smith’s secrets about flying saucer!
See more eyeball kicks than stars in the galaxy!
See more things in Heaven and Earth and Mars than are dreamt of in your philosophies!

A show that will blast you off–
It is SPACE: THE F∞KED-UP FRONTIER!!!

GODS AND KINGS

GODS AND KINGS
Dir. Robin Blotnick, 2012.
87 min.
In Spanish and English with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, JULY 17 – 7:30 PM ** Filmmaker in attendance! **
FRIDAY, JULY 22 – 7:30 PM 
** Filmmaker in attendance! **
SUNDAY, JULY 31 – 5:00 PM

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Momostenango, a little town in the Guatemalan highlands, is experiencing a curious cultural revival through its unique Disfraz dance, in which volunteer dancers parade through religious festivals dressed in masks and costumes inspired by villains from contemporary pop culture of mostly Western origins. GODS AND KINGS explores this bizarre new custom by dissecting the history of faith, tradition, and colonialism in Guatemala. Rich in anthropological insights, the film interweaves colorful documents of the dances with archival footage and conversations with experts and the participants themselves to provide a vivid look at the power of images on culture in today’s globalized world.

This ethnographic gem has not been seen by many outside its festival runs. Spectacle is proud to present two screenings this month with filmmaker Robin Blotnick in attendance. Robin Blotnick is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker whose latest award-winning feature-length documentary The Hand That Feeds, co-directed with Rachel Lears, follows the inspiring story of a group of undocumented workers in an Upper East Side bakery fighting for fair wages and an end to abusive working conditions.

TWO CZECH FAIRY TALES: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST + THE LITTLE MERMAID

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Running alongside (and eventually outlasting) the Czech New Wave movement, Czechoslovakia also created some of the most dazzling interpretations of classic fairy tales in the 1970s, with many of them eventually becoming a time-honored viewing tradition of the Czech Christmas experience.

Working with the Czech National Film Archive, Spectacle is delighted to present two fairy tales that featured work from numerous Czech New Wave players.

Special thanks to The Czech National Film Archive.


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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
aka Panna a netvor
Dir. Juraj Herz, 1978
Czechoslovakia, 87 min.
In Czech with English subtitles

SUNDAY, JULY 10 – 5:00 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 14 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 15 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, JULY 23 – 7:30 PM

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A merchant gets lost and takes refuge in a half-ruined chateau in the middle of a forest. When he plucks a rose, the lord of the chateau appears- a monster resembling a giant bird of prey. The monster spares the merchant’s life, but on the condition that the man himself returns or sends one of his daughters. Only Julie is willing to save her father. Love changes the monster’s claws into human hands. Julie catches a glimpse of his body and, in horror, rejects his declaration of love. However, when the girl realizes that the monster, whom she actually loves, is dying without her, she returns to the castle…

Best known for Czech New Wave classics like THE CREMATOR and MORGIANA, director Juraj Herz brings a haunted, gothic atmosphere to the source material, creating perhaps the darkest-ever interpretation of the classic fairy tale.


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THE LITTLE MERMAID
aka Malá morská víla
Dir. Karel Kachyňa, 1976
Czechoslovakia, 86 min.
In Czech with English subtitles

BRAND NEW HD RESTORATION!

SUNDAY, JULY 10 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 14 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, JULY 17 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 22 – 5:00 PM
FRIDAY, JULY 29 – 10:00 PM

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Two daughters of the Sea King are playing in the depths of the sea – the little mermaid and her elder sister. The Sea King has just sunk a ship as a birthday gift for his elder daughter. The little mermaid rescues a prince from drowning and falls for him. She makes a trade with an evil sorceress: her voice for a chance to live on land…

Featuring a captivating orchestral / electronic score, psychedelic swirls, and tech assists from Czech New Wave regulars like cinematographer Jaroslav Kucera (DAISIES, MORGIANA, FRUITS OF PARADISE), editor Miroslav Hájek (LOVES OF A BLONDE, THE FIREMAN’S BALL) and set decorator Ester Krumbachová (VALERIE & HER WEEK OF WONDERS), Karel Kachyna’s adaptation of Hans C. Anderson’s classic is a vision that could’ve only come from 70s Czechoslovakia.

“Y LA MALDICION TAMBIEN TE ALCANZARA A TI!” MEXICAN GOTHIC HORROR

Cinematic gothic horror was a fever dream of the 60s. Gothic horror also known as filone gotico is a sub genre of horror that exploits the atmosphere and many times the story lines of the gothic novels of the 1800s. Gothic horror produced ghosts in every corner of nearly every continent between 1954 and 1969. Gothic horror appeared in the United States in the form of the tv show Dark Shadows and AIP’s Edgar Allan Poe epics. In England Hammer Studios was churning out fog laden castles and vampire lovers of every persuasion. Paul Naschy was transforming into the wolf man in some dank crypt in Spain. Canada brought us the exotica infused show Strange Paradise. Mario Bava was burning beautiful witches in Italy. The love of luscious technicolor, spiderwebs, and velvet were the after effects of this strange malady.

This fever dream made its appearance in Mexico with the help of directors like Chano Urueta and screenwriters like Carlos Enrique Taboada. Films like THE WITCH’S MIRROR, THE VAMPIRE, and THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN are among some of the most beautiful and unique entries made to the gothic horror genre. What makes these films stand out amongst the flood of vampires and glistening velvet lined torture chambers is that they truly embody both the fantastic aspect and the ideas behind the gothic novels that inspired them. Gothic novels had very strong sentiments against church, state, and other oppressive forces. Mexican gothic horror films are replete with atheist and anti-patriarchal sentiments. The series “Y La Maldicion Tambien Te Alcanzara A Ti!” is a small sample of Mexico’s greatest entries to the gothic horror genre.


LA MALDICION DE LA LLORNA
Aka The Curse of the Crying Woman
Dir. Rafael Baledón, 1963.
Mexico, 80 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 9 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 25 – 10:00 PM

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“Soon, the blood will disappear from her veins…she won’t need it…”

The easiest way to explain LA MALDICION DE LA LLORNA is a Mexican take on Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY, and while that’s a bit *too* easy (and does Mexican horror a bit of a disservice), both films are packed with Gothic horror from the first scene. A ghostly woman with black eyes and three flesh-eating hounds sets upon a stagecoach with her knife-throwing thug, murdering everyone on board before we even get to the opening credits! Director Rafael Baledón (MUSEUM OF HORROR, THE SHE-WOLF, SWAMP OF LOST SOULS) gives us everything we could want from a film like this: secret passageways, deformed mutants, a cellar crypt where a dead body waits to rise, voodoo, solarized film, whippings and more, all set on a pitch-perfect decaying hacienda. Our witch, Rita Macedo (A BULLET FOR BILLY THE KID), commands this film, constantly plotting against her niece Rosita Arenas (who we’ll also see in EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA/THE WITCH’S MIRROR, playing this month!). Add a score filled with musical saws, organ stabs and pounding drums and every piece is in place for a film that deserves a better-known spot at the table of Gothic Horror. Late-night Creature Feature fans might know this film from the K. Gordon Murray dub, but as with every film in this series, we’re providing the original full-length cut in Spanish with English subs. Those of a delicate constitution: don’t come alone!


The Witch’s Mirror
Dir. Chano Urueta, 1962.
USA. 72 min.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5 – 5:00 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 16 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – 5:00 PM

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“A melody straight from hell!”

THE WITCH’S MIRROR is one of those films whose imagery will crawl deep into a crevice of your mind and live there forever. Every tempestuous night, billowing night gown and thick swell of fog will remind you of Sara and her goddaughter Elena. The film begins with the plight of Sara who through a pact with the devil has found out that her goddaughter will be murdered by her husband Eduardo. After pleading with the devil to intervene, she is told that destiny must run its course, but that doesn’t mean that Sara cannot avenge the death of her goddaughter.

THE WITCH’S MIRROR benefits from the talents of Carlos Enrique Taboada (THE BOOK OF STONE) and Alfredo Ruanova (THE CURSE OF NOSTRADAMUS) who both are prolific horror screenwriters, and the direction of Chano Urueta who is responsible for many other Gothic Horror films such as THE BRAINIAC (1961) and THE WITCH (1954). Their collaboration endues the film with a very soft nightmarish quality that resembles early surrealist film.

What makes THE WITCH’S MIRROR a unique entry into the Mexican Horror genre or for that matter the Horror genre in general is that unlike many other films concerning the occult there is no “rectifying” moral ending. An example is the 1962 film ESPIRITISM which tells the story of a woman who turns to the occult to help her family. By the end of the tale her alliance with the occult has caused the destruction of her family. Right before the end credits begin to roll the camera pans over to a closeup shot of Christ on the cross and a voiceover begins
to say that if this film can turn just one soul away from the occult the makers of the film have done their duty. Taking this into account it is absolutely fantastic that a
film like THE WITCH’S MIRROR exists. Throughout the entire film it is made very
clear that Sara and Elena are dealing with the devil. Whether favorable or unfavorable certain events take place and in the end both Sara and Elena are vindicated. There is absolutely no punishment element except for that individual who should be punished i.e. Elena’s husband. Long live the infernal powers!


EL VAMPIRO
Aka The Vampire
Dir. Fernando Méndez, 1957.
Mexico, 83 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JUNE 14 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, JUNE 28 – 7:30 PM

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It is the silent, hypnotic stare that begins EL VAMPIRO, a film that comes a year before Hammer’s first take on the vampire tale with HORROR OF DRACULA, two films definitely worth comparison: German Robles is every bit up to par with Christopher Lee in icy cold command. We’re no more than a minute and change into this film before our vampire Duval sinks his fangs into a victim through a cloud of trilling strings: we’re definitely in high gothic style, and director Fernando Mendez (THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M, THE LIVING COFFIN) brings elements of noir, heavy melodrama and a beautifully decrepit mansion…to tell any more would be to tell too much. Some of you may have seen the K. Gordon Murray versions of this film, but we’re showing it uncut, in Spanish with English subs, and for those of you who have never seen it and long to spend these thick summer months walking moonlit corridors and desecrating graves, you’re in for a treat.

GRRRL GERMS: A VISUAL HISTORY OF RIOT GRRRL

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“What is Riot Grrrl?” filmmaker Lucy Thane continually asks the fans, zinesters, and musicians profiled in her 1993 film IT CHANGED MY LIFE. By that point the term had taken on a ubiquitous, undefinable life of its own: derided by the media, twisted by its detractors, and worshiped by an increasingly large cultural movement of young women in the US and UK. While originally coined by Olympia, WA-based zinesters and musicians Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill) and Molly Neuman (Bratmobile) to describe the core network of politically-minded punk women in Olympia and DC, Riot Grrrl in its truest sense describes any do-it-yourself creative outlet of feminist fury: from cut-and-paste zines to punk shows to the grainy, politically-charged Pixelvision and 16mm visual subversions of the underground female and queer filmmakers of the era.

GRRRL GERMS (named after Molly Neuman and Allison Wolfe’s zine; itself titled after a Bratmobile song) is meant as a tiny offering of these works, from incandescent early films such as Sarah Jacobson’s I WAS A TEENAGE SERIAL KILLER (featuring music by Heavens to Betsy) to shorts from members of Miranda July’s chainletter tape collective Big Miss Moviola to raw and energetic archival footage. These films encompass the noisy irreverence of one of the most prolifically angry and influential artistic movements in recent decades.

More in The Village Voice.


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IT CHANGED MY LIFE
Dir. Lucy Thane, 1993.
UK. 25 mins. + 90 min of additional footage
5/13 7:30 PM

SUNDAY, MAY 1 – 5:00PM
FRIDAY, MAY 13 – 7:30PM
** SKYPE INTRO W/ FILMMAKER **
TUESDAY, MAY 17 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, MAY 23 – 10:00PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

With unlimited access and uncanny instincts, filmmaker Lucy Thane chronicled Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear’s 1993 UK tour/media circus with a stockpile of borrowed film equipment. Capturing around twenty-four hours worth of candid interviews, concert footage, and heated discussions with fans in venue bathrooms, Thane artfully distilled the footage into a twenty-five minute film that encapsulates the international breadth and fiery division of the Riot Grrrl movement. The raw tapes from which the final product was culled are equally rich historical documents featuring appearances by Courtney Love, Catcall Records’ Liz Naylor, and The Raincoats, among others. Spectacle is pleased to premiere a selection of footage from these rushes – recently digitized by the Fales Collection at NYU – along with the film.


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SHE’S REAL (WORSE THAN QUEER)
DIr. Lucy Thane, 1997.
UK. 50 mins.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, MAY 13 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, MAY 17 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, MAY 26 – 10:00PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Lucy Thane’s 1997 follow-up to IT CHANGED MY LIFE probed the idea of subcultures-within-subcultures: specifically the artists and bands that made up the Queercore scene, such as Toronto’s Fifth Column. SHE’S REAL is a testament to the necessity of inclusiveness within a political movement, and how the queer musicians within Riot Grrrl gave voice to thousands of young women.


GRRRL LOVE AND REVOLUTION and WOMEN’S PUNK ART MAKING PARTY

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, MAY 15 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, MAY 28 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

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WOMEN MAKE MOVIES PRESENTS: GRRRL LOVE AND REVOLUTION
Dir. Abby Moser, 2011.
US. 42 mins.

Shot between 1993 and 1996, filmmaker Abby Moser documented the New York City chapter of the Riot Grrrl movement. The resulting film is a portrait of the intense frustrations of the time: Riot Grrrl chapters nationwide had attempted to distance themselves from their misrepresentation in the mainstream media by cutting them off completely. GRRRL LOVE AND REVOLUTION is an important archival document of the meetings, punk shows, and events that occurred during this time of cultural flux — when an underground network founded in the name of grrrl solidarity suddenly became a sensationalized international movement.

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WOMEN’S PUNK ART MAKING PARTY
Dir. Mary Billyou, 1996.
US. 33 mins.

A documentary in which a group of young women meet for an art-making party. Located at The Beehive Collective in Washington, DC, six individual episodes are loosely interspersed, allowing each participant a chance to represent themselves. Included: a feminist stripper preparing for work, a puppet show, and a music video.


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THIS IS NOT A TEST: SHORTS 1990-1998
TRT – 88 minutes

SATURDAY, MAY 7 – 10:00PM
THURSDAY, MAY 19 – 7:30PM FILMMAKERS IN PERSON!
MONDAY, MAY 23 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Feeling dejected and misunderstood in her overwhelmingly male college film program, Portland artist Miranda July began distributing open calls for female film work within Riot Grrrl zines nationwide. She would then compile all of the submissions, record them to VHS, and send them back to the filmmakers as a chainletter tape entitled “Big Miss Moviola.” The work is fresh and surprising – most often from young burgeoning filmmakers struggling to find solidarity and companionship within their artistic communities. The tapes included work by artists such as Mary Billyou and K8 Hardy, who drew inspiration from the early ’90s work of underground filmmakers Jennifer Reeves, Sarah Jacobson, Sadie Benning, G.B. Jones, and others. This program documents the evolution of that filmic movement: from the disruptive, violent, and often hilarious early films to the irreverent experiments of the videotape age.

BUTCH PATROL
Dir. Myra Paci, 1990.
US. 2 min.

TRANSELTOWN
Dir. Myra Paci, 1992
US. 19 min.

FLOW
Dir. Mary Billyou, 1995.
US. 5 mins.

ANTS IN HER PANTS
Dir. K8 Hardy, 1998
US. 5 mins.

MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET
Dir. Jennifer Reeves, 1993.
US. 14 mins.

I WAS A TEENAGE SERIAL KILLER
Dir. Sarah Jacobson, 1993.
US. 27 mins.

Special thanks to Kristen Fitzpatrick and Women Make Movies, Lucy Thane, Lisa Darms and the Fales Collection at NYU, Sam Green, Myra Paci, Mary Billyou, K8 Hardy, Tara Mateik and Jennifer Reeves.

CHILDREN ON FIRE 2: CHILDREN ON FIRER

Children on Fire returns with more of the strangest and most unconventional films to deal with ideas of childhood, or play and growth, imagination and personal responsibility. Though many of them flirt around the edges of the standard “coming out age” movie, not are quite so committed to easy answers about the mysteries of youth and the painful passage into young adulthood. In this second series of troubling youth movies and/or movies about troubling youth, we have selections both heartwarming (Alexandre Rockwell’s Little Feet) and horrifying (Bill Lustig’s Uncle Sam), oblique (The Deagol Brothers’ Make Out With Violence) and downright psychedelic (Russian children’s animation and sci-fi).


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MAKE OUT WITH VIOLENCE
Dir. Deagol Brothers, 2008
USA, 105 minutes

TUESDAY, MAY 3 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, MAY 14 – 10:00PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 – 10:00PM
MONDAY, MAY 30 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Teeangers Patrick and Carol mourn the loss of their friend Wendy until they discover her animated corpse. They search for ways of resurrecting her spirit or, failing that, satisfy their love between the living and the dead.


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LITTLE FEET
Dir. Alexandre Rockwell, 2013
USA, 64 Minutes

SATURDAY, MAY 7 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, MAY 20 – 7:30PM
TUESDAY, MAY 31 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Determined to set their pet goldfish free, Lana and Nico embark on a magical urban odyssey from their Los Angeles home to the ocean. Their adventure, seen through the eyes of the brother/sister team, is filled with an array of wild and sometimes frightening encounters! Little Feet is a the return of director Alexandre Rockwell to his black and white 16mm roots that won him a Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival with In The Soup. Little Feet’s cinematography shows the poetic side of Los Angeles one rarely sees and stands as an homage of sorts to the very first films shot in the city.


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UNCLE SAM
Dir. Bill Lustig, 1996
USA, 90 Minutes

MONDAY, MAY 2 – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, MAY 21 – 10:00PM
TUESDAY, MAY 24 – 10:00PM
SUNDAY, MAY 29 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

It’s Fourth Of July Weekend, and the recently discovered corpse of Sgt. Sam Harper – killed by ‘friendly fire’ during the first Gulf War – is returned to his all-American hometown. But when Sam rises from the dead to punish the unpatriotic, only his young nephew and a bitter Korean War veteran (Soul icon Isaac Hayes of SHAFT and SOUTH PARK fame) can stop his red-blooded rampage. Draft dodgers, tax cheats, crooked politicians and flag-burners beware: UNCLE SAM wants you… DEAD!

Timothy Bottoms (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW), Bo Hopkins (THE WILD BUNCH), William Smith (FAST COMPANY), P.J. Soles (HALLOWEEN, CARRIE) and Oscar nominee Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) co-star in this zombie horror hit directed by William Lustig (MANIAC, RELENTLESS) and written by Larry Cohen (IT’S ALIVE, PHONE BOOTH).


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LITTLE MARINES 2
Dir. A.J. Hixon, 1992
USA, 86 minutes

SATURDAY, MAY 7 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, MAY 20 – MIDNIGHT

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

The boys who played the loveable backyard commandos in LITTLE MARINES are back! Now they’ve banded together as the fearless Hawks, aiming to take on the arrogant Eagles in the Arkansas heartland’s annual dirt bike decathlon. Warning- This film contains Arkansas, fearless Hawks, arrogant Eagles and dirt bike decathlonning.

SOYUZMULTFILM ANIMATION SERIES: CHILDREN ON FIRE IN THE USSR

As a complementary program to our popular and expanding series “Children on Fire”, we have an animated series of films from Soyuzmultfilm in Russia. Soyuzmultfilm is an abbreviation of Union Children’s Animations, and they employed over 700 skilled laborers in its animation, stop-motion, and puppetry productions. Despite the extreme artistic repression of the day, animations were able to evade some of the adult rules and take on projects regardless of their commercial value. Soyuzmultfilm has won numerous animation awards and its films have topped lots of best-of lists, although these laudations haven’t saved the studio from the ravages of 90s U.S. infiltration and 2000’s Russian capitalism. Spectacle thanks Soyuzmultfilm for permission to show these films. спасибо, Союзмультфильм!

PROGRAM 1: Folktales in the Fog

MONDAY, MAY 2 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, MAY 14 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, MAY 22 – 5:00PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

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HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG
Dir. Yuriy Norshteyn 1975. USSR, 11 min.
In Russian with English subtitles.

HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG is the most well-known animation that Norshteyn made for Soyuzmultfilm. While following the arc of a Russian folktale, it trades action for the expression of subtle emotion. An inquisitive hedgehog has to pass through a forest filled with fog to find his bear-friend, who has prepared a campfire and samovar for them. The fog holds both intrigue and impediment, and also creates a hide-and-seek game with the beautifully tactile animation. Unlike the dramatic finales of other folk tales, the end desire for the hedgehog is to count the stars in the pleasurable company of a chatty and warm-hearted friend.

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TALE OF TALES
Dir. Yuriy Norshteyn, 1979, USSR, 29 min.
In Russian with English subtitles.

For many of Norshteyn’s works, the moral failures of humanity are redeemed in the silly and earnest efforts of anthropomorphized animals. The subtle symbolic content of TALE OF TALES should also be realized in light of the fact that Soyuzmultfilm was a state company, staffed with Stalinist bureaucrats as well as artists. Tale of Tales disobeyed the rules of Soviet Realism – not so much because it contains a subversive message, but because of the lack of coherent message at all. Norshteyn’s wife Francesca Yarbusova and screenwriter Lyudmila Petrushevskaya were key contributors to the film, which had a laborious journey from conception to surviving censorship to capturing the attention of the world outside the USSR.

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BELOVED BEAUTY
Dir. Vladimir Degtyaryov, 1958, USSR, 45 min.
In Russian with English subtitles

Here is a fantasy tale that obeys all of the traditional rules, whether Soviet or Western. A young man is told of a legendary great beauty, he goes in search of such a prize, faces perilous challenges, and is ultimately victorious. The exceptionality of this standard story is in the stop-motion animation and intricate puppetry used in BELOVED BEAUTY. Rather than being caught up in a fantasy, the fable is told by little bobble-head puppets with sensational costumes. This is a beautiful film forged by superior and mystical craftsmanship.


PROGRAM 2: Beloved Soviet Furball

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CHEBARUSKA, GENA THE CROCODILE and SHAPOKLYAK

Dir. Eduard Uspensky, 1969, 1971, and 1974. USSR, 69min (total).

FRIDAY, MAY 6 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, MAY 9 – 7:30PM
SUNDAY, MAY 22 – 7:30PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Just a regular story of a pipe-smoking, besuited Crocodile who posts a “seeking roommate” ad and pairs up with a creature that came out of a crate of oranges. The friendship of Cheburaska and Krokodil Gena flourishes into connections with other lonely souls, to the point where the duo feel obligated to build a clubhouse for them all. Based on children’s stories by Upensky, this puppet-animation from Soyuzmultfilm Studios had a wide appeal with kids growing up throughout the Soviet empire. The crocodile has a lovely singing voice, and at the end of the third episode he croons: “even if giving up on the past is a bit sad, everything the best is still to come – like a carpet, like a carpet, a long road unrolls ahead”.


PROGRAM 3: Cold War Space Adventure
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THE MYSTERY OF THE THIRD PLANET
Dir. Roman Kachanov, 1981. USSR, 50 min.

TUESDAY, MAY 3 – 7:30PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, MAY 21 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, MAY 30 – 10:00PM

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

While the Jetson family was stuck in a well-manicured space metropolis destined to bring about alcoholism and delinquency, two hairy Soviet captains zoomed around the far reaches of space with a crafty and adventurous little girl. Glasnost was five years away, but THE MYSTERY OF THE THIRD PLANET managed to feature loungy synth music, trippy creatures, and incompetent robots. The plot is similar to something you’d find in Scooby-Doo, but the mysteries contained in the third planet elevate the story to very decent sci-fi.