Category: Special Event

MONICA: THE WEBSERIES

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SATURDAY, JUNE 27 – 8PM
ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE!
ONE NIGHT ONLY

For one night only, Spectacle is proud to present the new webseries Monica in full – bookended with stand-up comedy (featuring Jacqueline Novak, John Early, Cole Escola, Erin Markey and Chris Laker) before, and a Q&A with the creators of Monica – writer/director Doron Max Hagay, and star/cowriter Lily Marotta after.

How many puff pieces have pointed to the exhausted trope of the beloved national celebrity poor, downtrodden and wanting nothing more than to be a “normal human being”? Doron Max Hagay’s brilliantly high-concept Monica explores not just this question but also what said journey might actually have felt like for one Monica Lewinsky (Lily Marotta), relocating from DC to New York at the age of 27. Inspired by Vanessa Grigoriadis’ article “Monica Takes Manhattan”, the show centers on Lewinsky’s clinching of a deal with HBO to make what would become the 2002 documentary Monica in Black and White.

Alongside pointed jabs about showbiz, fame, and nascent Brooklyn yupsterism, Hagay’s approach is both generous and hilarious. It delineates the world of difference between insta-celebrity’s place at the end of the 20th century and its position today. In the aftermath of the Clinton Administration, all Monica can do is be herself, one day at a time. Hagay’s series brings her image back into the public arena not for a cheap laugh but instead in the service of long-overdue re-normalization, whereby her quotidian triumphs and travails begin to look more and more like anybody’s from their mid-to-late twenties.

“Before hitting the show, Monica’s design buddy (Steven Phillips-Horst) suggests she swap a black baseball cap in place of the black beret; Monica: “Too Monica?” At the end of the doc pitch, the execs bid her “Welcome to HBO”; in response, her publicist floats: ‘Welcome to Monica.’ A cautious tale, Monica’s, foreboding the modern era of social media, shaming, trolling, deprivacy — like the moon, she belongs to everyone, though just out of reach.” – Craig Keller, Cinemasparagus

CINAP CINATAS

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CINAP CINATAS
Dir. Darren Bauler, 2015 (compiled from source material 1982-1990)
USA, abt. 40 min.

THURSDAY, JUNE 4 – 7:30PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

“When the black stars align, you will be given a sign.”

In a time of the evils of role-playing games, the “audio pornography” of blood-spitting pentagram-wearing heavy metal, the rise of VHS Video Nasties and the political atmosphere of the Reagan reinvention of the Republican party as the home of the Moral Majority, the time was right for a decade-long consideration of what was known as Satanic Ritual Abuse. I (Darren) honestly believe there is an amazing documentary possible weaving all these threads into a cohesive whole, free of both right-leaning hysteria and leftist dismissal. This is not that documentary. Instead, it is a gratuitous blur of backmasking, Christian scare films, prime-time documentary footage, law enforcement training videos and more, edited for maximum nod freakout. We tag all the familiar bases here, from the Judas Priest trial to Ricky Kasso’s brutal murder of Gary Lauwers and subsequent suicide, along with many cases lesser-known these days. We look at brainwashing, hidden messages, desecrated cemeteries and endless throngs of kids with Venom patches and upside down crosses carved into their arms. Intended NOT to be a tongue-in-cheek goof nor a serious warning about the evils of the occult, it is our hope this experience stands outside simple opinion or smug dismissal. With an entirely new score written and performed by the director, CINAP CINATAS is necessary viewing for teenage delinquents, 80s fetishists and anyone curious about the “Occult renaissance” claimed over the past few years.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: animal sacrifice, child molestation, occult rituals, multiple unedited crime scenes, potentially seizure-inducing strobe effects, Geraldo Rivera

BASEMENT MEDIA FEST

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THE 5TH BASEMENT MEDIA FEST
Dir. Various
Various countries, approx. 75 mins.

THURSDAY, JUNE 25 – 7:30PM AND 10PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

THE BASEMENT MEDIA FEST IS A SURVEY OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS WORKING WITH LO-DEF, LO-TECH, AND LO-FI MOTION PIX TECHNIQUES.

FOUNDED IN RESPONSE TO HI-RES COMMERCIAL MEDIA AND CORPORATE-SPONSORED FILM FESTS, BASEMENT IS A CELEBRATION OF THE MEDIATED EXPERIENCE AS AN AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE. WE’LL BE PRESENTING A MIXD PROGRAM OF CELLULOID AND .MOVS. COME ENJOY SOME 100 YR OLD TECH IN A STATE OF THE ART CONVERTED BODEGA THEATER.

Yates – The Bags, Probably 1971 – 5 mins

Jarrett Hayman – Me, Dancing – 2 mins

John Wilson – How To Remain Single – 17 mins

Amelia Johannes – Family Crockery (Whiteness) – 2 mins

Eric Stewart – Wake – 8 mins

Paul Turano – Toward the Flame – 5 mins

Jared Hutchinson – The Infinity Scroll, pt. II – 3 mins

Hannah Piper Burns – Outer Darkness – 11 mins

Henning Frederik Malz – Rest in Me – 6 mins

Felipe Steinberg – Tudo Referente a Frio: Rua César Bierrenbach, 181, Campinas – 15 mins

AN EXERCISE IN REMEMBERING: Péter Lichter and the Contemporary Hungarian Experimental Cinema

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AN EXERCISE IN REMEMBERING: Péter Lichter and the Contemporary Hungarian Experimental Cinema
Dir. Various, 2002-2015
Hungary, 77 min.
Hungarian w/ English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 18 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 26 – 7:30 PM & 10 PM

BUY ADVANCE TICKETS HERE

“The future of Hungarian experimental film is open” – claimed Lóránd Hegyi in his 1983 review of the topic. Thirty years later the same is true, and Hungarian experimental film still exists – even if it is currently hiding. Following the elimination of creative workshops and restructuring of film theaters, museums and galleries became primary forums for experimental films, and they have been forced to share the space with video art pieces designed for this specific environment. Raymond Bellour connected the gallery installation experience with the loss of sustained concentration and defined the cinema with its specific features (isolation, darkness, strict positioning of the viewer) as the optimal environment for focused attention – somnambulism versus hypnosis.

As a result of the scarce attention new media curators and art historians have paid to the history of experimental film, Hungarian avant-garde film had to give up on the hypnotic potential of cinema, which had a great impact on the form of the films produced. Following the millennium pieces made by filmmakers (not by artists who work with film) include several surrealistic works, trance films, lyrical abstractions (Lichter’s No Signal Detected), animations, and found footage experiments (Lichter’s Rimbaud, Look Inside The Ghost Machine).

Péter Lichter is one of the few active contemporary experimental filmmakers in Hungary. Enacting visually the magic workings of remembering has long been a pet theme in filmmaking. Iconic filmmakers like Alain Resnais or Károly Makk have been preoccupied with recalling long-past events, and revealing minute and subtle linkages among them. Lichter’s films belongs to the trend defined by Marie Menken and Stan Brakhage: the lyrical film. Brakhage – whose visionary world is one of the main inspirations of Lichter’s films – is an unconcealed follower of the Freudian thinking. The most controversial parts of Freud’s scientific work – the exploration of the unconscious and the development of the body analysed from a psycho-sexual aspect – constitute the backbone of Lichter’s early films such as Light Sleep.

It is important to mention that although Lichter refers to predecessors he does not repeat them. His films gain the above-mentioned cultural and film genre reflections as well as taking the concept or corporeity to the next level by showing the results of chemical reactions (Lichter used nail polish, eye shadow, ink and milk to damage the film). Later on he screened the fractured material and recorded it with a camera. By making the material visible he revealed its body.
Hungarian experimental film has never been an isolated phenomenon and the problems it has to face are problems other countries share. To overcome the loss of its original forum but still secure the cinematic experience it needs to find a new space and remove itself from the artificially lit gallery walls. -Dorottya Szalay

Dorottya Szalay is a film theorist and historian focusing on Central and Eastern European film, and the editor of Hungarian avant-garde film forum kontracinema.com. She is currently based in Prague investigating the Czech experimental scene. The writing below was excerpted from several of her essays published in artinCINEMA – please visit artinCINEMA.com to enjoy the full articles.
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NO SIGNAL DETECTED
Péter Lichter, 2013. 3 min.
“A rhythmical combat of digital and chemical decay.” Lichter recycles an excerpt from Enter the Dragon to contrast the decay of cellulose with the “malfunction” of the digital moving image. The rhythm of the film and shifts between analog and digital are dictated by the sound of Bruce Lee’s punches, kicks and screams. -DS

RIMBAUD
Péter Lichter, 2014. 20 min.
Edited from thirty reels of Super8 home videos, Rimbaud shares stories about the adventures of the rebellious rhymer in three different languages: Swedish, Arabic and Indonesian. To overcome the disturbing eclecticism of the dissonant found footage materials, Lichter used the method of plastic cutting, so the movement within the frame is carried across the cut. As a result, footage from different sources melt together and form an organic whole. -DS

PURE VIRTUAL FUNCTION
Péter Lichter, 2015. 2 min.

POLAROIDS
Péter Lichter, 2015. 13 min.

LOOK INSIDE THE GHOST MACHINE
Péter Lichter, 2012. 4 min.

LOST WORLD
Gyula Nemes, 2004. 20 min.
Gyula Nemes’s grandiose work Lost World covers ten years of the life of Kopaszi dam. By using the sound of a previous, unfinished documentary, recorded by the Dunkeszi MÁV Orchestra, as its own music, the film strengthens the historical character of the images depicting the decay. Nemes follows the slower, more subtle trend of lyrical film, carries on with the formal inventions of Marie Menken’s Notebook and exploits the method of plastic cutting to create a quiet flow of images. -DS

HOTEL TUBU
Igor and Ivan Buharov, 2002. 5 min.
Taking elements from different religious, social and artistic ideologies such as surrealism, folklorism, Buddhism to create their own universe, the Buharovs also borrow from several avant-garde trends and incorporate their elements into a grotesque and metaphysical mish-mash. The damaged images unveil the materiality of film and emphasize the self-reflexivity of avant-garde cinema while the pure, bucolic surroundings override the elitism connected to experimentalism. -DS

LITTLE APOCRYPHA NO.1
Kornél Mundruczó, 2004. 6 min.
Kornél Mundruczó is one of the leading film directors in Hungary. His latest film, White Dog, screened at Sundance. This is one of his earlier experimentals. – PL

HANNA
Péter Klausz, 2012. 7 min.
Péter Klausz is a young experimental filmmaker making camera-less films. He is a beginner in the international scene, but Hanna was screened this year at Experiments in Cinema. -PL

FELONY COMICS CRIME SPREE

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FRIDAY, MAY 8 – ONE NIGHT ONLY!

7:30 PM – WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX?
10:00 PM – CRAZED COP
MIDNIGHT – REVOLT

Negative Pleasure returns to Spectacle Theater on Friday, May 8th to celebrate the release of their latest publication, Felony Comics #2, the follow-up to last year’s critically lauded debut issue. Felony 2 features new crime comics by issue 1 contributors Pete Toms and Benjamin Urkowitz, a new installment of Kid Space Heater by Josh Burggraf and the beginning of an ongoing collaboration by Harris Smith and Thomas Slattery.

In true Felony tradition, we’ll be invading Spectacle for a night of crime in action films, including the Brooklyn debut of internet sensation WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX?, Uganda’s first action movie.



WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX?
Dir. Nabwana I.G.G., 2010
Uganda, 64 min.
English and Swahili

FRIDAY, MAY 8 – 7:30 PM

Uganda’s first action film, produced by Wakaliwood. The murder of troop leader Captain Alex leads to all-out war between the army and the mafia. Produced on a budget of under $200 and filmed DIY-style on the streets of Nateete, Who Killed Captain Alex? is ambitious as it is energetic, and deservedly caused a stir when the trailer was first released on the internet. A recent Kickstarter campaign by the filmmakers brought even more attention, including major international media coverage, to the exciting emerging vision of Wakaliwood, who have provided trailers and other surprises to accompany this screening.



CRAZED COP
aka ONE WAY OUT
Dir. Paul Kyriazi, 1986
United States, 83 min.
English

FRIDAY, MAY 8 – 10:00 PM

Ivan Rogers (BALLBUSTER, KARATE COMMANDO: JUNGLE WOLF 3) wrote and stars in this Indianaoplis-lensed crime flick as Detective Joe Weeks, a suicidal cops reeling from the murder of his wife while trying to take down the drug dealers who killed her. CRAZED COP splits the balance between ultra-intense and moody psychological noir and off-the-wall insane 80’s embellishments, including a gang of breakdancing assassins.



REVOLT
Dir. J. Shaybany, 1986
USA/Iran, 72 min.

FRIDAY, MAY 8 – MIDNIGHT

Written by the enigmatically named Shield, this US-Persian co-production features yet another cop-on-the-edge squaring off against yet another band of ruthless drug dealers, this time set against the racial tensions set off by the Iran hostage crisis.  Shot without sound and weirdly overdubbed, Revolt is a schizophrenic mess of a movie (i.e. perfect for a Spectacle midnight) that can’t decide whether it’s a hard-hitting, socially conscious crime drama or a goofy, lighthearted action comedy.  Fortunately, the filmmakers lacked the ability to appropriately orchestrate either, and the result is a near-hallucinatory mess of inscrutable plot developments and character flourishes.  Whatever the intent, Revolt is one of the most consistently entertaining hidden gems of 1980s action cinema!

DAVID OREILLY: ONE NIGHT IN BROOKLYN

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DAVID OREILLY: ONE NIGHT IN BROOKLYN
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13th – 7:30PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY – SOLD OUT!

????? from David OReilly on Vimeo.

This Summer™, Spectacle is thrilled to invite filmmaker and artist David OReilly to our humble theater for a rare public presentation of work he has described as including “narrative & experimental short films, commercial projects and other miscellaneous works ordered chronologically from between 2005 and 2014” and including parts of “unfinished, boring and objective failures on my part.” Doubtful. Long before he designed the interactive video games that kept Joaquin Phoenix company in Her, OReilly’s work has pushed and satirized modern 3D animation’s intrinsic sense of aesthetic self-comfort, with an unmistakable signature that’s as utilitarian-sleek as it is cajoling and dystopian. OReilly is a rupture theorist extraordinaire, whose other projects have include the metapostmodern home movie Octocat, the award-winning shorts Please Say Something and The External World, and last summer’s smash hit iPhone game-simulator Mountain. These titles may or may not be sampled in his event on the 13th, which promises to be at least 95% more awesome on the big screen and will be followed immediately by a Q&A with OReilly.

David OReilly is an Irish-born filmmaker and artist based in Los Angeles. His animation work has garnered over 80 awards including Berlin’s Golden Bear, the Cartoon D’Or and awards at Sundance and the Venice Film Festival. David’s short films have been the subject of several retrospectives internationally. He has lectured at Pixar, Harvard, Yale, USC, CalArts and at many other conferences, institutions and film festivals around the world. In 2012 he wrote, directed and produced a special episode of the Emmy Award-winning show Adventure Time; in 2014 he released his first video game Mountain and wrote on the acclaimed animated sitcom South Park. His website can be found here.

I WONDER IF YOU CAN TELL I AM ABOUT TO LAND

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I WONDER IF YOU CAN TELL I AM ABOUT TO LAND
Dirs. Guillermo R. Gudiño and Georgia Wall, 2011-2015
USA, Mexico, Germany

SATURDAY, MAY 16 – 7:30 PM & 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Guillermo explains to Georgia:

“I am starting to imagine it as if it were a room somewhere
and then we are never together inside that room
and we take turns to go in
and continue building something.”

I WONDER IF YOU CAN TELL I AM ABOUT TO LAND is a movie created through a series of long distance video exchanges. The process began in September 2011 when Georgia, an American artist based in Chicago and Guillermo, a Mexican artist based in Mexico City, established an experimental structure for communicating.

The process started with a photo that Guillermo sent to Georgia. With this Georgia had a week to create a translation which was then sent to Guillermo for a subsequent translation. He in turn translated what he had received and this exchange went on weekly with the two having minimal to no communication other than the exchanged material. Now four years later, with Georgia living in New York and Guillermo in Berlin, the process continues.

The project both experiments with the concept of translation and its boundaries as well as the context of ever-shifting contemporary ways of communicating via the internet and social networks. In these modes of communication images, video and sound become as important as traditional text. I WONDER IF YOU CAN TELL I AM ABOUT TO LAND not only documents the exchanged translations but also functions like a wordless conversation revealing the very specific non-linguistic language that has developed between the two artists over the years.

SEARCH FOR THE EMPEROR’S GRAVE with LIVE SCORE

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SEARCH FOR THE EMPEROR’S GRAVE
Dir. Andy Wagstaff
USA, 28 min.
Total runtime approx. 60 min.

With a live score by VOSTOK!

THURSDAY, MAY 21 – 7:30 PM & 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

SEARCH FOR THE EMPEROR’S GRAVE was a psychedelic no-budget sci-fi action show deemed too weird for early 2000s Brooklyn Community Access Television. The crew of the Vostok 6 rocket sent to space by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s is inadvertently sucked through a wormhole and experiences a distant part of space at some unknowable time in the future. Their quest is to return to their own time, and the show follows various adventures the crew experiences. Inspired by video art, this green-screen heavy outsider space opera is having its first public showing at Spectacle.

After the screenings the cosmonauts from VOSTOK will give a rare live performance! Having composed the film’s score, the band continues to write spaced-out tunes based on their intergalactic adventures. One night only!

THE TERROR OF PRODUCTION

We all know about the glamorous side of movie-making: we’re constantly bombarded with images of untouchable movie stars from magazine covers and gossip blogs. But what about the other side of the coin, where dreams are dashed and goals never reached? And why would anyone even choose to pursue the dream of stardom, when the odds of succeeding are astronomically low? This May, Spectacle presents THE TERROR OF PRODUCTION, a series exploring the dark side of the pursuit of artistic expressions. From actresses with messiah complexes to an insane makeup artist, THE TERROR OF PRODUCTION shines a light on the bitter, bilious aftertaste of ambition.



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CONFESSIONS AMONG ACTRESSES
Dir. Yoshishige Yoshida, 1971
Japan, 124 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles

THURSDAY, MAY 14 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 19 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MAY 25 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 29 – 7:30 PM

Kyoko, Aki, and Makiko are famous actresses starring together in the same film. Each woman, however, has her own crisis that makes acting in the film particularly harrowing. Kyoko has persistent, recurring dreams about her husband cheating on her with another woman. Aki is also troubled by the thought of her husband’s infidelity, and cannot forget a vicious attack on a close friend. Makiko divulges the story of a double suicide pact with a man who may have been closer than just a lover. Since these women are famous actresses, they must wear the mask of beauty, confidence, and perfection, and their traumas get swept under the rug.

Yoshishige Yoshida directs the film with his usual brilliant eye for framing and composition, with the added layer of being one of Yoshida’s only color films. The daily lives of these women overlap with the shooting of the film-within-the-film, and metatextual moments on the meaning of being an actress dovetail with moments of hysterical, beautiful melodrama. Yoshida cast his wife (and frequent collaborator) Mariko Okada as one of the actresses, adding another level of revelation to the film. Think of Persona-era Bergman, shot by the foremost director of Japan’s Art Theater Guild, and you’ll have a sense of the intensely personal, avant-garde, visually lush whirlwind that is CONFESSIONS AMONG ACTRESSES.



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THE MANIPULATOR
Dir. Yabo Yablonsky, 1971
USA, 85 min.

SUNDAY, MAY 10 – 5 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 17 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 24 – 7:30 PM

“We all change. But that’s just the way it goes.”

Certain performances are for the ages. They transcend the actor and place the role into an realm of their own. They cut against the actor as we know them, they are a slap in the face to our assumptions, they are the films that make us uncomfortable with who we think we are and who we want to be. Consider Andy Griffith in A VOICE IN THE CROWD. Consider Ernest Borgnine in MARTY. That’s exactly what you’ll get from Mickey Rooney in THE MANIPULATOR, as intense a delivery as David Hess or Roger Watkins in a film that is about as weird as they come. Perhaps best considered a role-reversed Sunset Blvd. or a twist on the screen-queens-gone-bad roles of 70s Elizabeth Taylor or Joan Crawford circa Straight-Jacket, Mickey Rooney tears into the role of makeup artist B.J. Lang like a freight train, screaming his demented paranoid soliloquies over synth bloops and echoplex for days. In honor of his recent passing, Spectacle is proud to present Mickey Rooney’s true magnum opus: THE MANIPULATOR.



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THE SECOND COMING OF SUZANNE
Dir. Michael Barry, 1974
USA, 90 min.

SUNDAY, MAY 17 – 5 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 22 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 26 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 28 – 10 PM

THE SECOND COMING OF SUZANNE stars Jared Martin as a filmmaker becoming more and more obsessive about his idea for a film about Christ as a woman. Suzanne (future Clint Eastwood paramour Sondra Locke) is the “lucky” leading lady who gets the starring role in Martin’s film, but as shooting gets more and more intense, the lines between Suzanne’s reality as an actress, and fiction as a messiah figure, become psychedelically blurred, ending up in tragedy.

Based on the Leonard Cohen song “Suzanne,” THE SECOND COMING OF SUZANNE is the kind of film that could only have been made in the 70s – art school sensibility, plus a lot of psychedelic drugs and an increasingly worried Richard Dreyfuss. It’s a wonderful showcase for Sondra Locke, who is even today incredibly underrated as an actress, and she throws herself into the madness here. Come for the art film, stay for the crucifixion.



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STARRY EYES
Dir. Dennis Widmyer & Kevin Kolsch, 2014
USA, 98 min.

SATURDAY, MAY 9 – 7:30 PM & 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Skype Q&A with Directors Dennis Widmyer & Kevin Kolsch!

Ever get the suspicion that Hollywood is controlled by unseen forces that lurk behind the curtain of every big-budget production? STARRY EYES won’t do much to divest you of that opinion. Sarah (Alex Essoe, in a true star-making performance that brings to mind the hysterical physicality of Isabelle Adjani in POSSESSION) is a down-on-her-luck young actress, living in LA, hoping to achieve the dream of stardom, but also working in a fast food restaurant with a lascivious boss. With no prospects, a crappy job, and friends who are succeeding faster than her, Sarah goes for one last big audition for a horror film. Her acting doesn’t impress the casting agents, but her brutal self-injurious behaviour does. From there, it’s a trip down the rabbit hole through creepy auditions, tests of faith, and a contract Sarah cannot – and will not – refuse.

Part of the American independent horror renaissance of the last few years, STARRY EYES is a tense, intense, gory look at how the sausage is made in Hollywood. Directors Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch paint a portrait of Sarah’s degradation in LA so that we can’t resist, or really even argue with, the choices that she makes on her way to the top. Complete with a spare, creepy synth score, STARRY EYES harkens back to a creepier day in horror, when what’s inside each and every one of us was scarier than anything else.

Widmyer & Kolsch will join us after both screenings for a Q&A via Skype!

EVERYDAY CATASTROPHE: EUGENE LANG at the SPECTACLE

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
8 PM – “IF A TREE FALLS”
10 PM – “CATASTROPHE”

THURSDAY, MAY 7
8 PM – “CATASTROPHE”
10 PM – “IF A TREE FALLS”

The students of Eugene Lang College at The New School present two evenings of public programming at the Spectacle Theater, as part of the experimental seminar “Collage, Collectivity and Curatorial Practice.” The course considers the politics of collectivity, in theory and practice, and seeks to intervene in the society of the spectacle through performance, and visual and auditory collage.

From winter to spring 2015, the students have gorged on a diet of theory and are now ready to put their supper to practice. The course considered such theorists as Jackie Wang, Siegfried Kracauer, Hannah Arendt, Guy Debord, and Umberto Eco, the paintings of Kihende Wiley, the films of Maya Deren and Jean-Luc Godard, the music of John Osborne and Pussy Riot, and the movements of Occupy, Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter — all with an eye for the radical ideals of collectivity in art and action. Having divided into two groups (A and B), and working closely with Spectacle volunteers, each night will be dedicated to two distinct presentations programmed and created by the students, themed around Walter Benjamin’s notions of “Tradition” and “Catastrophe.”

Present at all screenings will be co-teachers Dr. Julie Beth Napolin, Assistant Professor at Eugene Lang, C. Spencer Yeh, artist and volunteer at Spectacle Theater, and student fellows Liam Battat and Thea Sass-Ainsworth.

Admission is $5.  To ensure a space RSVP by May 5th to everydaycatastrophe@gmail.com, or take your chances at the door.

This project is a collaboration with the Civic Arts and Humanities Program at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts.


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IF A TREE FALLS
Dir. Various, 2015
USA, ? min.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6 – 8 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 7 – 10 PM

IF A TREE FALLS is an approach to countering both societal and cinematic hypnotism. An assault of the senses will theoretically wake the audience from the slumber induced by the conditions of spectacle. Abstract approaches to soundtrack i.e. live scoring, counterintuitive editing techniques and other creative uses of audible reality should temporarily make the unrealism of reality both more apparent and less appealing. Some of the materials we use are a Sony handycam and a Panasonic handheld camcorder, both from the 1990s, that take 8mm videocassettes. We invoke older technology in order to remind the audience of the beginning of digital recording and the nostalgia that is now associated with VHS film, reminding the viewer that vision has always been mediated.

This will not be an entertaining experience. But it is that distinction that we’re attempting to capture in an effort to break from the hypnosis of industrial film, which seeks to entertain and condition. This project isn’t an effort to entertain anyone. Running at thirty minutes, the film is meant to magnify the agony of hyper-stimuli/monotony as a way of intervening in the everyday haze of the Spectacle. If a tree fell, and no one was there to witness it, did it really happen? And if it happened, was it only real because someone was there to document it?

The project was created by Liam Battat (project leader), Amanda Bernhardt, Jahmal B Golden, Michele Manor Eric Bayless-Hall, Anna Papadimitriou, Mikaela Crelin, Sacha Kreitman, Andrew Poirier and Naomi Khanukayev


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CATASTROPHE
Dir. Various, 2015
USA, 40 min.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 7 – 8 PM

Catastrophe – An event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering, a disaster.

Acts of catastrophe are totalizing—they destroy, conquer and ruin. It is our duty as humans to collectively and collaboratively deal with the aftermaths of these events. What do we do when disaster happens? How do we react? How can we rebound?

When Brian Williams reported live from Joplin, Missouri after the town was destroyed by a tornado, he brought catastrophe into American homes, exposing the world to the tragic aftermath of natural disaster. As Adam Curtis commented, Williams left the world in a state of “oh dear” by presenting them with the grave circumstances of disaster, and making it clear that there was nothing they could do about it.

Today, catastrophe is constant. Wars are being fought, wildfires are raging and Marco Rubio has announced he’s running for president. The everyday catastrophes of the world have heightened our perceptions into a state of constant fear, anguish and questioning. The media has changed catastrophe into a game of fear as opposed to a game of community. What is catastrophe? What are its effects? What does it do? And what does Brian Williams have to do with it?

Join us for a night of engaging audio-visual spectacle. This four-part event discusses catastrophe and its worldly effects. Encompassing personal catastrophe, natural disaster, mass incarceration and genocide, this event retells the history of catastrophe and the history of its influence. Using a mirage of audio-visual effects, two short films and a sonic exploration, this event will deconstruct “the spectacle of ‘the catastrophe.’”