Category: Special Event

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.’”

A SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD: THE FILMS OF VICTOR FACCINTO

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A SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD: THE FILMS OF VICTOR FACCINTO
Dir. Victor Faccinto, 1972-2010
USA, 52 min.
Presented on HDV and 16mm

SUNDAY APRIL 19 – 7:00 PM
Victor Faccinto will be present for a discussion / Q & A!

Co-presented by MONO NO AWARE
Special thanks to Victor Faccinto!

BE ADVISED : FILMS HAVE ADULT CONTENT

This special program will present a selection of Victor Faccinto’s film works made between 1972-2010. The influence of underground comics in the 60’s and the television in the 50’s, help to shape his innocent yet horrifying stories. His delicate animation skills make his unforgettable characters adorable, comic and vicious. Faccinto is not afraid of connecting his reality, imagination, and our reality together to remind us of the rawness in the countless desires of humans. He remains playful, using his own character ‘Video Vic’ to say, “You see? It’s all just simple.”

Screening program includes:

MR. SANDMAN – 1973 (16mm to DV, 1min 30sec, B/W)
FILET OF SOUL – 1972 (16mm to DV, 16min, color)
VISUAL REMAINS – 2001 (16mm to DV, 6min, color)
SHAMELESS, – 1974 (16mm film print, 14min)
NIGHTMARE – 2009 (DV 7:35min)
FLOWER STUDIES – 2010 (DV 6:43pm)

Faccinto’s never-ending passion for his innocent moving image techniques has evolved through cut-out animation, to 16mm film, and now to digital video. He uses simple objects and patterns to create raw and lively settings where the characters can playfully travel through time and space. The various methods utilized are visually simple yet masterful. As the audience is enticed into the vibrant world of Victor Faccinto, they are shocked as well by the darkness. In Filet of Soul, Shameless and Nightmare, he created the character named Video Vic. This iconic personality is psychologically tangled in the complexity of countless human desires. Video Vic maneuvers through worlds of love, lust, violence and sex. There is a palpable gap between Faccinto’s cheerful visual style and the brutal imagery. His films have the innate power to capture the characters’ vast inner conflicts, which then reflect our own humanity. The films may be painful to watch, but that is the celebration of human life that Faccinto offers us. Faccinto’s current work-in-progress is a digital video visually interpreting selected Japanese Tanka poems.“My creative decisions are made in real time during execution and directed by an instinctive visual perception that decides right from wrong and guides my next move forward. What it may mean or reference once completed, is always a surprise to me.” – V.F.

PAPER CIRCUS

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PAPER CIRCUS
Animated by Luca Dipierro, 2010–2015
Live score by Father Murphy
USA/Italy/Brazil, 60 min.

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
MONDAY, APRIL 20 – 8 & 10 PM

((TICKETS ON SALE HERE))

Described as “a perfect mix between creepy and charming” by the Huffington Post, the films of Luca Dipierro are carnivalesque tales of acrobacy and death, both sorrowful and comical. This startlingly dedicated artist uses a wide variety of mediums for his adventures in cut-out animation: paper, fabric, dirt, wood, thread, hair, paint — and moves his cut-outs on the surfaces of discarded book covers to tell stories of trees growing out of furniture, stranded Columbus-like explorers, puppet funerals, monkeys, prestidigitators, ghosts, and a woman birthing a fish.

Join us for Luca’s latest shorts collection PAPER CIRCUS, with live soundtracks performed by the filmmaker himself with experimental Italian band Father Murphy — one of the leading bands of what Simon Reynolds (author, Rip It Up And Start Again, Retromania) has termed the “new Italian occult psychedelia.” With their orchestrated flow of sounds, music and foley, the result is a hybrid tapestry that braids elements of songwriting, sound collage and theater.

“Sad and beautiful […] The Triplettes of Bellville meets South Park” –L Magazine

“Weirdly charming and unerringly unsettling” –The Quietus

“Luca Dipierro’s cut-out animation straddles a fine line between wide-eyed innocence and unsettling creepiness. Characters move with jerky beauty along discarded book cover backdrops, dancing and playing music when they’re not confronting strange beasts or exploring their more base emotions. A surreal darkness dwells just beneath Dipierro’s colorful whimsy, and his characters of felt, cloth, wood and paper suggest Picasso illustrating medieval storybooks.” –Seattle City Arts

TVTV’s ADLAND

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ADLAND
Dir. TVTV, 1974
USA, 58 min.

Preceded by Antonio Muntadas’s SLOGANS (1987, 8 min.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 – 8 PM (Introduced by EAI’s Distribution Director Rebecca Cleman!)
FRIDAY, APRIL 17 – 10 PM
MONDAY, APRIL 27 – 7:30 PM

Goodbye Don, Peggy, and your 1960s milieu! To send off Mad Men in its final season, ​​Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Spectacle Theater offer a glimpse of advertising destiny, through the Portapak lens of subversive video collective TVTV’s ADLAND (1974). Focusing on the creative labor of Madison Avenue, TVTV (Top Value Television) captured memorable behind-the-scenes footage of commercial shoots for McDonald’s and Dressel’s Frozen Birthday Cakes, and interviews with some wily 1970s admen, including George Lois and Jerry Della Femina. The screening will be accompanied by a jump even further into the late 1980s, with artist Muntadas’ SLOGANS (1987), a literal and metaphorical deconstruction of advertising slogans. That irritating pusher Harry Crane was right: computers and televisions changed everything.

With special thanks to Antonio Muntadas and Allen Rucker, TVTV.

DOUBLE DARE: AN EVENING WITH SMASH TV

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DOUBLE DARE: AN EVENING WITH SMASH TV
GUNSLINGER (63 min) and SKINEMAX (50 min)
edited by Ben Craw and Brendan Shields, 2014
USA, total program approx. 130 min.

THURSDAY, APRIL 23 – 7:30 PM (GUNSLINGER) & 10 PM (SKINEMAX)

Smash TV is back for a double feature at Spectacle! Join us for two full length VJ mixes as well as well as two new mixes of bonus material.

First up at 7:30 PM, GUNSLINGER is the ultimate tribute to the Old West. The Back to the Future III of our trilogy, if you will, Smash TV has bid a fond farewell to the neon excess of the 80s and set the controls of the DeLorean back to 1885. A simpler – and infinitely more dangerous – time. Painstakingly assembled from more than 50 Western movies, ranging from Sergio Leone’s early Spaghetti Westerns all the way up to 90s reimaginings such as DESPERADO and WILD WILD WEST, GUNSLINGER serves as a humble attempt to pay homage to one of the longest running and most influential genres of the silver screen.

Next at bat at 10 PM is the video that started it all. SKINEMAX is KOYAANISQATSI for a generation raised on late night television and B-movie VHS tapes. It’s long form entertainment for short attention spans. A nostalgic look back at a half remembered childhood growing up in the 80s and early 90s, SKINEMAX takes a close look at the culture of that era. The images that motivated, delighted, and terrified us on the silver screen, set to propulsive modern music that pines for a simpler time.

If that wasn’t enough, we’re presenting two NEW mixes of surprise material we love. Get ready for a night of VJ insanity!

FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION: CONTEMPORARY FOUND FOOTAGE FILMMAKING

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FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION: CONTEMPORARY FOUND FOOTAGE FILMMAKING
Dir. Various, 2010-2014
USA, Hungary, UK, Tajikistan, Sweden, Australia, 90 min.

THURSDAY, APRIL 16 – 8 PM & 10 PM

Spectacle is pleased to bring back the FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION for its seventh edition – ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of previously shot materials into new artworks is a practice that has generated novel juxtapositions of elements which have produced new meanings and ideas that may not have been intended by the original makers, that are, in other words “inappropriate.” Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary short audiovisual works that appropriate film or video footage and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. This year’s show is curated by Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen, and Lauren Berliner. Sponsored by Los Angeles Filmforum.

ASTRO BLACK: RACE FOR SPACE by Soda_Jerk (Australia, video, 2010, 6:06)
DEMOLISHED EVERY SECOND by John Davis (US/Tajikistan, 16mm-to-video, 2014, 4:25)
SARA NOKOMIS WEIR by Brian L. Frye (US, video, 2014, 20:00)
LEXICON by Celeste Fichter (US, video, 2014, 2:36)
THE BAGS, PROBABLY 1971 by Joshua Yates (US, hand-processed 16mm-to-video, 5:11)
NO SIGNAL DETECTED by Péter Lichter (Hungary, video, 2013, 2:33)
TOHO by Sellotape Cinema (UK, video, 2013, 9:30)
NOTHING by LJ Frezza (US, video, 2014, 6:27)
ARRAY by Ben Balcom (US, video, 2013, 7:18)
MY CLOTHES WERE DRAGGING ME BACK by Maria Magnusson (Sweden, video, 2012, 4:53)
FALLING IN LOVE…WITH CHRIS AND GREG: WORK OF ART! REALITY TV SPECIAL by Chris E. Vargas and Greg Youmans (US, video, 2012, 14:00)
ITERATIONS by Gregg Biermann (US, video, 2014, 5:37)

Full program notes can be found on the Festival of (In)appropriation website.

150th CIVIL WAR ANNIVERSARY SPECTACLE-ULAR: HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS’S TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! ON 16MM

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TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!
Dir. Hershell Gordon Lewis, 1964
The Southern United States, 87 min.
16mm Print Courtesy of Brian Darwas

SATURDAY, APRIL 11 – MIDNIGHT

“This centennial is a centennial of blood vengeance!”

“YEEEEEEEEE-hooooo! / Oh the South’s gonna rise again!”

“There’s a story you should know from 100 years ago,” begins the infectious, self-penned title song to Herschell Gordon Lewis’s TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!—which turned 50 last year. In fact, this April 12 marks the exact 150th anniversary of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, which ignited one of the bloodiest chapters in American history: The Civil War.

So to that end, as the clock strikes midnight on Saturday, April 11, we’ll screen one of the bloodiest chapters in cinematic history: TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!, HGL’s outrageously bonkers and indescribably gory 1964 trashterpiece about bloodthirsty southern rednecks unleashing Hell on unsuspecting passersby during the centennial commemoration of their town’s destruction by Union forces. The Yankee tourists, while initially charmed by the kind hospitality of their hosts, soon find themselves maimed and dismembered one-by-one through a series of cartoonish grand guignol games including live barbecuing, drawn-and-quartering by horses, and nail-filled barrel rolls. Will any of them survive the nightmare?

Though unabashedly lurid, grotesque, irreverent, and exploitational, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! is one of the most compelling historical revisionist fantasies about the Civil War ever filmed, acknowledging the deep wounds, cultural rift and racial tensions that still existed one hundred years after the fact—and persist to this day. Unlike recent films like DJANGO UNCHAINED or TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, racial violence is not depicted, and yet the evil racial underpinning of the white-on-white violence is clearly understood. There is also the difference that this film’s resolution leaves little catharsis or reassurance that this evil has been in any way defeated.

In the spirit of conservative values, we’ll forgo high definition projection in favor of sterling 16mm, the people’s film format, based on photochemical technology that dates to approximately the same time as the Civil War, the first major conflict to be extensively photographed. Rise again!

NEVER RECORDS: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING

NEVER RECORDS: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING
Dir. Jason Wyche & artist, Ted Riederer, 2013
USA/UK, 76 min.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 – 8 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

A discussion about Ted Riederer’s project, NEVER RECORDS will follow the screening. Join us with director, Jason Wyche, and artist, Ted Riederer. Also joining us from Derry, Ireland will be the Context Gallery’s curator, Theo Sims, who made the project in Derry possible.

NEVER RECORDS: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING is a documentary film by Jason Wyche on the artwork of Ted Riederer, featuring artists and musicians: Ted Riederer, Arturo Vega, Jason Farrell, Damon Locks, Mark Garry, John O’Neil, Conor O’kane, SJ Downes, Fighting With Wire, The Q and many more.

NEVER RECORDS: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING is a feature length documentary about artist/musician Ted Riederer and his Never Records project. Shot on location in Derry, Northern Ireland and London, the film features performances from some of the United Kingdom’s brightest artists and musicians. NEVER RECORDS: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING explores power of art and music to unite, educate, and uplift a community. In an era overwhelmed by virtual communities, Riederer is attempting to create actual communities.

Previous screenings include: CBGB Film Festival (2013), RxSM Underground Film Expo (2013), Never Records Festival in Derry, Ireland (2013) and Official Selection at the Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival where the film won the Best of Fest award (2013)

The Never Records project began in 2010 and continues to circle the globe, creating ‘storefronts’ that are a catalyst for creative collaboration. The mock shops consist of a vinyl lathe, which Riederer uses to record the musicians and artists who visit the ‘storefront’. The Never Records archives, totaling over 350 recordings, are taken to every ‘storefront’ site.

In this film, Riederer sets up his record store in an art gallery overlooking the old city walls of Derry, a city which is a symbol of the Northern Ireland civil rights struggle. Over the course of month, he fills the mock shop with vinyl records recorded and cut, via vinyl lathe, on site. The shop becomes a locus of performance and community as musicians and performance artists alike perform around the clock, while visitors are encouraged to watch the performances and play records from the archive. Each artist and musician who records receives a record, and a record also stays with the archives. Nothing is for sale, as Riederer reminds artists and musicians what happens when money is taken out of art and music.

“It’s taken the city by storm. It’s been a cultural phenomenon here. Ted has been oversubscribed and the atmosphere it has created in the music scene and beyond is stunning. It has plugged people back into why music was important in the first place.”
-Stephen McCauley, Electric Mainline, BBC Radio Foyle

From the ruins of an abandoned Tower Records near Union Square in New York City to art galleries and store fronts around the world, Never Records has traveled from New York to Liverpool, Lisbon, Derry, Northern Ireland, London, and New Orleans. Future destinations include Mexico, Ecuador and Mongolia.

THEY ALL LIE (TODOS MIENTEN)

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THEY ALL LIE
aka Todos Mienten
Dir. Matías Piñeiro, 2009
Argentina, 75 min.
In Spanish with English subtitles

FRIDAY, MARCH 13 – 8 PM (FILMMAKER IN PERSON!)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 29 – 7:30 PM

To borrow the filmmaker’s own term: the delirium of Matías Piñeiro’s films is probably better experienced than read about, each title a whirligig construction equally distancing and mesmerizing. Todos Mienten, the Argentine prodigy’s second feature, was shot over the course of a few days in the former countryside home of Piñeiro’s aunt and uncle, where he spent summers as a child; in the film’s so-called narrative, a group of seven friends are convening to drink, smoke, play music, and exhume the ghost of Argentina’s seventh president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. Riffing off of a book Sarmiento wrote of his travels around the world, Piñeiro’s listless 20-somethings engage in a kind of sociohistorical game of dress-up, interchanging roles (both within the film’s isolated milieu and outside of it) as if engaging in Feats of (Narrative) Strength.

While Todos Mienten makes a point of bewildering its audience (broken into dissonant chapters, arrayed without even an acknowledged chronology) the air swirls with romantic intrigue (and/or sexual tension) that goes beyond mere words – even if they originally belonged to a tongue as silver-tipped as Sarmiento’s. Piñeiro’s mastery of light and camera is unnerving, with cinematographer Fernando Lockett’s camera regularly creeping around the ramshackle house’s corners with the type of breathless, slo-mo anticipation that usually results in finding a dead body. Todos Mienten is brilliantly choreographed arthouse cinema, as rigorously obsessed with creating the present anew as it is, inevitably, laden with reminders of the past.

“Piñeiro is making movies that point to one of the original questions raised by cinema: How does the imposition of writing—of language or of a lens—alter the world? His carefully structured films—balanced like mobiles, as he says—describe with precision that slippage between words and reality.” – Clinton Krute, BOMB

Spectacle is proud to host Matías Piñeiro and screenwriter Paul Felten (FRANCOPHENIA OR: DON’T KILL ME, I KNOW WHERE THE BABY IS and the upcoming ZEROVILLE) for a discussion of TODOS MIENTEN, followed by a Q&A, on Friday March 13th.

DIRTY DIARIES

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DIRTY DIARIES
Various Directors, 2009
Sweden, 98 min.
Silent/In Swedish with English subtitles

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 – 8 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Tired of airbrushed, male gaze porn with no personality, no panache, no pizzazz? Spectacle’s got you covered. For one night only, Spectacle presents DIRTY DIARIES, a collection of Swedish feminist porn shorts sure to put the vim and vigor back into your love life!

Put together by director Mia Engberg, DIRTY DIARIES is a collection of 12 short films, each directed by a woman, and each dealing with a different aspect of sexuality. These shorts are raw, with every day people as performers, and nearly every proclivity and orientation represented. From an exploration of online sexuality, to lovers cutting each other out of body suits, to an animated short, DIRTY DIARIES likely has something you’re looking for — and just as likely, will make you reconsider what porn is, and what porn can be. Joining us for the night is Rachel Kramer Bussel, sex columnist, editor, and expert on sex and pop culture, to discuss the films and the issues they raise. With a manifesto that includes such points as “Fight for your right to be horny” and “Smash capitalism and patriarchy,” DIRTY DIARIES is porn with a message (don’t be scared away, it’s still hot, too).

Rachel Kramer Bussel is the author of Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays and the editor of over 50 anthologies, including Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica 2015, The Big Book of Orgasms, The Big Book of Submission, Fast Girls, Gotta Have It and Cheeky Spanking Stories. She is a sex columnist for Philadelphia City Paper and DAME, teaches erotic writing workshops, writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and Tweets @raquelita.

[Trigger Warning: This is hardcore pornography, including bondage, exhibitionism, fisting, and pretty much everything else you can think of.]

Special thanks to Njutafilms and Rachel Kramer Bussel.