Category: Uncategorized

CENTURIES AFTER THE FACT: PARTISAN DOCUMENTARIES BY NICK MACDONALD

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND
ONE NIGHT ONLY – 7:30PM & 10PM
PRESENTED ON 16MM WITH FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE

“Of course, there’s no objective truth, no real-life documentaries, no accurate histories; only one person’s distortion, one person’s view. This is my own view, the way I see it.”

Perspective is a recurring theme in Macdonald’s idiosyncratic essay films, which remain deeply personal even when dealing with expansive issues like colonialism, imperialism, and prison abolition. Shot largely in his home, Macdonald deploys paper collage and letterboard text to create films that convey a palpable sense of their own handcrafting. He is never the voice of authority, but rather just one voice with a singular point of view. Disarmingly humorous at times, Macdonald’s films are empathetic and non-dogmatic. But make no mistake, Macdonald’s position is both clear and radical.

For one night only, Spectacle will present a three-film program dealing with the “documentary” form. These films address concepts of truth and authority and contribute to alternative histories of Palestine, the Vietnam War, and the Attica Prison Revolt. As Nick told us himself, some of these prints haven’t been screened in New York since the 1970s, and it’s our sincere pleasure to present this vital work for a new audience.

Special thanks to Nick Macdonald.


Program:

STILL ATTICA REMAINS
dir. Nick Macdonald, 1976
USA, 15 min.
English

Shot on September 13th, 1975 in New York City, STILL ATTICA REMAINS revisits the Attica Prison Uprising exactly four years after its violent end at the hands of state actors. Handheld footage of the city acts as a backdrop as Macdonald recounts the events of the rebellion, focusing in particular on then-governor Nelson Rockefeller’s refusal to negotiate and his role in escalating the conflict that resulted in 43 deaths.

Both a screed against political power and a memorial to those who have lost their lives because of their exclusion from our society, STILL ATTICA REMAINS is a heartfelt contribution to the prison abolition movement; as powerful today as it was in 1975.

THE LIBERAL WAR
dir. Nick Macdonald, 1972
United Communities of Anarchism, 33 min.
English

“Demonstrations are ok as long as you don’t take them too seriously…”

This quote gives a good idea of the motivations for Macdonald’s THE LIBERAL WAR, which plucks big problems out of the hegemonic ether and puts them to work in front of his camera. They take the form of newspaper cutouts, paint and paper, children’s blocks, and plastic toy soldiers. THE LIBERAL WAR re-tells the Vietnam War from a living room table covered in domestic tools, and an analysis born of careful observation. The story moves through screen in stop-motion words and objects; the approach feels free of the weight of authority.

This film avoids the self-righteous and ultra-serious tones that come out when the subject matter is war, injustice, and destruction. Perhaps because the narrator is speaking from a future society operating by anarchist principles. It is also achieved in the simple but meticulous feel of this film. The old figures of corrupt and war-driven society feel flatter and dumber, coming into the storyline through manipulated newspaper clippings and re-appropriated slogans. In this film, we are in another place, removed from the chaos and destruction distributed through mass media and audio fragments.

PALESTINE
dir. Nick Macdonald, 1971
USA. 38 min.
English

The earliest film of this series, PALESTINE presents a short history of Israel’s colonial relationship to Palestine. Developing some of the formal devices that return in THE LIBERAL WAR and STILL ATTICA REMAINS, Macdonald intercuts staged footage shot in his home, handmade collages, and intertitles to relay under-remembered historical events.

Throughout the film, he juxtaposes sound and image to create associations. When he recounts a 1967 general strike in East Jerusalem, he presents imagery of the Newark Riots that occurred the same year, creating a visual solidarity between the struggles of Palestinians and the struggles of Black Americans. Textual wordplay, and even the occasional visual gag (a literal “sweeping under the rug,” for instance) add a sense of levity without distracting from the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people.

Macdonald asserts that Israel’s moral superiority is predicated on an ahistorical viewpoint, and so he believes that the first step in taking action is to educate oneself. As he narrates in the film, “it’s up to you to assimilate these facts.”

THE BIZARRE NIGHTMARES OF COSMOTROPIA DE XAM VOL 1: ASHES OF BETHLEHEM

THE BIZARRE NIGHTMARES OF COSMOTROPIA DE XAM VOL 1: ASHES OF BETHLEHEM
dir. Cosmotropia de Xam, 2017
53 minutes, Germany/Italy

shown with:

LUSSURIA
dir. Cosmotropia de Xam, 2011
15 minutes, Italy

THE CONTAMINATED PHOTOS OF VALENTINA CREPAX

dir. Cosmotropia de Xam,
7 minutes, 2017

Cosmotropia de Xam, prolific filmmaker of visually arresting and darkly comic Euro-horror films and founder of witchhouse originators Mater Suspiria Vision and record label Phantasma Disques, returns to Spectacle (after the debut of his wry feature Phantasmagoria earlier this year) with Ashes of Bethlehem, the first in a series of experimental “mindfuck horror” films, featuring Maya Schneider and Ilynn Morrigan (both stars of the director’s Inferno Veneziano). While Phantasmagoria saw de Xam moving into a more abstract narrative vision, influenced by the films of David Lynch and Lucio Fulci, Ashes of Bethlehem returns to the nightmarish, psychedelic horror of the director’s earlier works, with mind-bending visuals both beautiful and horrifying set to a grinding neo-industrial score by Mater Suspiria Vision. Screening with the short Lussuria, from 2011, and the music video The Contaminated Photos of Valentina Crepax (from the soundtrack to Phantasmagoria by Mater Suspiria Vision).

MUBI Special Discoveries: HELLO DESTROYER

HELLO DESTROYER
dir. Kevan Funk, 2017
112 minutes, Canada
 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 – 7:30 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

A young junior hockey player’s life is shattered by an in-game act of violence. In an instant his life is abruptly turned upside down; torn from the fraternity of the team and the coinciding position of prominence, he is cast as a pariah and ostracized from the community.
Official Selection: Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle

Canada is amidst a renaissance of refreshing movies by a new wave of directors. Told with a bold disaffected style recalling Michael Haneke, this debut is at the forefront. Hello Destroyer is an intimate portrait of a young hockey player and an incisive reflection on institutionalized violence.

HELLO DESTROYER is currently available to stream exclusively on MUBI. Watch here.

Read more about the film and check out an interview with director Kevan Funk on MUBI’s Notebook here.
 
MUBI is a curated online cinema, streaming hand-picked award-winning, classic, and cult films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI’s film experts present a new film and you have 30 days to watch it. Whether it’s an acclaimed masterpiece, a gem fresh from the world’s greatest film festivals, or a beloved classic, there are always 30 beautiful hand-picked films to discover.

FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH


NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR
Dir. Jay Schlossberg-Cohen (1985)
USA,
In English

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 7:30 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“No way! I think this train is coooool!”

Sometimes it’s best not to know everything going in. You can find out how NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR became a melange of three different aborted projects fused together through the power of 80s nuevo-wavo apocalyptic dance numbers on various weblogs (we suggest: http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/n-s/nighttraintoterrorblu84.htm), but there’s a *lot* to be gained by going into this thing pretty much cold. We’ll tell you it’s an omnibus film, we’ll tell you it’s set on a train to Vegas (making an unexpected stop in fiery damnation) while God and The Devil stand in judgment over lost souls — it’s a *weird* one, and a lot of fun, with cameos aplenty and more confusion than anyone can stand! Presented in a wonderful transfer via our friends at AGFA and Vinegar Syndrome, we present NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR!



FROZEN SCREAM
Dir. Frank Roach, 1975
USA, 85 min.
In English

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 – 10 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

For some horror fans, the best feeling a film can inspire isn’t shock, or fear, or terror: it’s confusion. Films like BOARDINGHOUSE and HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 have developed a fanbase not so much for pulse-pounding terror but for making decisions that throw our notions of pacing and tension entirely out the window. This is the way to approach FROZEN SCREAM, a film that begins like any zero-budget slasher before roaming through dream sequences, flashbacks, completely out-of-nowhere Bogartesque narration and constantly mutating mad science schemes for cryogenic immortality like a cough syrup suckled hallucination. It’s a Video Nasty, but miles from the mean-spirited rage of THE TOOLBOX MURDERS or DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!; the homebrew gore effects end up just as confusing as anything else, and the performance by Renee Harmon (THE EXECUTIONER! PT. II, CINDERELLA 2000, and for those of you around for Endless Bummer VAN NUYS BLVD!) just keeps slipping into an infectious trance. Directed by Frank Roach (whose only other credit is biker scuzzery NOMAD RIDERS), there are few films out there that can throw even the most knowledgeable viewers helpless in its grip like FROZEN SCREAM! LOVE AND IMMORTALITY!



MICROWAVE MASSACRE
dir. Wayne Berwick, 1983
76 mins, USA

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Donald & May are a working class couple in Los Angeles. When May decides she want to try up their social status by getting gourmet in the kitchen, she purchases a humongous new microwave. Donald, content with bologna and not impressed by his wife’s poor attempts as haute cuisine, spends a lot of time complaining to his co-workers.

One night in a drunken rage, he kills May. He stashes parts of her in the fridge and some in the microwave. A few days later, while looking for a midnight snack, Donald accidentally eats some of May’s hand.

From there it’s a downward spiral of hooker murder and serving human flesh to his friends and co-workers. How long can Donald keep this up? Can his heart, and more importantly his stomach, take it?

Jackie Vernon (FROSTY THE SNOWMAN) in his final role and one that almost went to Rodney Dangerfield (but he wanted too much money) chews the scenery among other things in a cacophany of T&A, cannibalism, and tacky furniture. The late night snack you need to cap off the unluckiest day of this entire garbage year.


TOMBSTONE RASHOMON (NY Debut) & 2 MORE

Whether it’s the collision of punk rock and science-fiction in Repo Man, the war film with political agitprop in Walker or the Spaghetti Western with screwball comedy in Straight to Hell, Alex Cox has always been an inventive, engaging filmmaker about ten steps ahead of the mainstream. Since the relative commercial failure of Walker in the 80s (happy ending- it’s since been rediscovered for the masterpiece it is), Cox moved comfortably from Hollywood to making his films almost exclusively independently (and on occasion for the BBC), making projects as diverse as a sci-fi Borges adaptation, Revenger’s Tragedy, a documentary about Emmanuelle films, and a wacky, ultra-low-budget-and-proud-of-it spiritual sequel to Repo Man, called Repo Chick. His most recent, a return to his favorite genre, the western, is the crowdfunded Tombstone Rashomon, and Spectacle is proud to present it along with two of his other overlooked gems- The Searchers 2.0 and Three Businessmen. At Alex Cox’s request, 1/3 of the proceeds of all of these screenings will be donated to a homeless charity.




TOMBSTONE RASHOMON
Dir. Alex Cox, 2017
83 Minutes, USA, English

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 5 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26 – 10 PM

BUY TICKETS!

NY Debut!
“Our subject is the Gunfight at the OK Corral, as it has come to be known (though it took place closer to Third and Frémont Streets, in Tombstone). This has been made into several films, including some great ones. Most tell the story from the perspective of Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and his friend the tubercular gambler/dentist, Doc Holliday. Usually Wyatt was depicted as the sheriff, or town marshal, defending Tombstone from a deadly outlaw ring. Occasionally films and written histories went the other way, depicting Wyatt as a ruthless, ambitious killer…

…The gunfight which concludes all these films was a significant event, depicted differently in every movie. Despite the myth of the face-to-face gunfight, most shootings out west were simple ambushes: the gunman hid out and bushwhacked his opponent. But on 26 October 1881, in Tombstone, eight men faced each other after several slights and face-offs; three of them died. Two long accounts of the gunfight appeared in the Tombstone papers the next day. It was reported in the San Francisco press, and treated in entirely partisan terms: Republican journals supported the Earps, Democrat papers supported the cowboy faction.

TOMBSTONE RASHOMON is a unique attempt to relate these events – and what led up to them – from the different perspectives of the individuals involved. Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp each had his story, and Doc Holliday his; Sheriff Johnny Behan was present at the shootout, having tried to prevent it; Ike Clanton and Billy “the Kid” Claiborne survived the gun battle and told their tale; Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers did not; Kate Fisher, Holliday’s partner, was lodging in the adjacent building and may have been a witness, also.

They are part of our cast of characters – the town of Tombstone is a character as well. Silver-mining towns enjoyed an average “boom” of three years, and Tombstone turned three in 1881. In the three years they lived there, the Earps saw a collection of tents and shacks grow into a mini-metropolis. Now the mines were beginning to flood, and by April it was intolerably hot and dusty. In June, a barrel of bad whiskey exploded, setting four city blocks ablaze. Then the rains came.

When the gunfight between gambler lawmen and cowboys erupted, there was snow on the ground…” -Alex Cox




THE SEARCHERS 2.0
Dir. Alex Cox, 2007
90 Minutes, USA, English

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24 – 7:30 PM

BUY TICKETS!

Cox returns to his favorite genre, the western, by way of the existential road picture, and reunites with longtime collaborators Sy Richardson (Repo Man, Straight to Hell, Sid & Nancy, Walker), Del Zamora (also Repo Man, Straight to Hell, Sid & Nancy, Walker) and Ed Pansullo (yup, Repo Man, Straight to Hell, Sid & Nancy, Walker) in an equally comedic and tragic story about two washed-up Western character actors, Fred and Mel, who seek revenge against a sadistic stuntman, Fritz Forbusher, who tormented them as children on the set of a film. Features cameos by Cox, Roger Corman and Leonard Maltin.

“Every screenplay I’ve written (how many is that? 40? 50?) has had the same initial response: ‘the characters are unsympathetic.’ Perhaps this is why so few of them were made. Financiers are simple, twisted souls who like a simple story with false breasts, perfect white teeth, and a muscular, anti-intellectual action hero. Fred lifts weights while watching TV but he is otherwise unheroic: bogarting the joints and the beer, telling ridiculous and untrue stories, bitching about Al Gore and Michael Moore. Mel is, if anything, worse: a penniless deadbeat dad who gets itinerant workers fired and lies to his daughter. And Fritz Frobisher, beater of little children, is the worst of all…

…the story was about actors, and the politics were in the sub-plot (we follow a trail of sad memorials to those killed in WWII, Afghanistan and Iraq)…

At one point in SEARCHERS 2.0, Mel and Fred are mistaken for homeless people by a Mexican guy who gives them a dollar. This follows the revelation that neither of them has health insurance. Not a big deal – 40% of the people living in the US [didn’t] have any [at the time the film was made], either. But imagine Bill Murray or Cheech Marin, or any other pair of upper-middle-class, Hollywood actors, trying to say those lines. It would be impossible. Worse, it would be despicable – like Jack Nicholson and Madonna playing homeless people, in a film for Universal.” -Alex Cox



THREE BUSINESSMEN
Dir. Alex Cox, 1998
80 minutes, UK, English

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11 – 10 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23 – 7:30 PM

BUY TICKETS!

One of Alex Cox’s lesser seen films, and perhaps his funniest, in which he himself stars alongside frequent collaborator Miguel Sandoval (Repo Man, Straight to Hell) as two businessmen who cross five countries over the course of one while night looking for a good place to eat.

“It is always good to cast the director because you have to pay one salary less, one less airplane ticket, one less per diem. It’s even better if you can persuade them to edit the film as well, and to go and get coffee for the security guys.” -Tod Davies, producer

“It’s extremely exciting. Thrilling is not too strong a word. But it creeps up on you. It isn’t a rock’n’roll themed piece like REPO MAN…Yet it’s 100% subversive, and threatening to the MTV value system. It’s also very funny, but again, not like TV. And it all happens in the course of one night.” -Alex Cox

MACC presents: SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd – 7:30 & 10PM

Spectacle is pleased to host the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council for a ONE NIGHT ONLY screening of Robert Kramer and Philip J. Spinelli’s classic documentary SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN PORTUGAL.


SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN PORTUGAL
dirs. Robert Kramer and Philip J. Spinelli, 1977
85 mins.
In English, and Portuguese with English subtitles.

“The main thing that I learned in Portugal is what it means for the left to be marginalized. It makes me wonder why we’ve done as well as we have. People are fed by a mass struggle. A mass struggle is like life blood. You can actually see the difference between a group of people who’ve been sitting in an office all day in Lisbon—doing necessary but bureaucratic political work for the Party, let’s say—and people who’ve just come back from a successful struggle of a tenant’s commission. It’s really like one person looks healthy and is standing up straight and has a positive perspective on what’s happening, and the other person is sort of dragging around and has a lot of negative criticism. My films, more than probably any others, reflect that marginalization.” –Robert Kramer in conversation with Thomas Brom on December 9th, 1975

UBU FOREVER: Albie Thoms And The Australian Avant-Garde (Part One)

This fall, Spectacle is pleased to unveil a series celebrating Australian auteur Albie Thoms and what would become the Australian New Wave – featuring three seminal features by Thoms practically never exhibited in North America.

A multivalent filmmaker and theatre artist, Albie Thoms (1941-2012) was a hardcore avant-gardist, responsible for bringing the works of Arrabal to Australia and founding the Sydney Filmmakers Cooperative and the UBU collective, alongside Aggy Read, John Clark and David Perry. The restorations of his work made available by ArtFilms provide invaluable insight to a disjunction in Australian cinema that dominated the 1960s and 70s – between state-subsidized works (some of whose makers would indeed eventually migrate to Los Angeles) and a relentless, drugged-out underground community, which drew as much from Artaud and Beckett as it did from Thoms’ more lauded contemporaries in Europe and New York City. As ever, crossover between these spheres happened early and often; to cite just one example, Thoms codirected his short film …IT DROPPETH AS THE GENTLE RAIN with Bruce Beresford, who would go on to direct Hollywood productions like TENDER MERCIES and DOUBLE JEOPARDY.

This trio – each title made with grants on low budgets, heavily improvised and deeply influential within the Sydney experimental scene – are Thoms’ only three features. Each betrays his signature interest in using juxtaposition and particularly sound montage to push the narrative envelope, collapsing conventional narrative cinematic tropes into a new language that’s as trangressive now as it was in the 1970s.

Special thanks to Jesse Pires (International House Philadelphia), Kriszta Doczy (ArtFilms), soda_jerk and Sukhdev Sandhu (New York University Colloquium for Unpopular Culture).



MARINETTI
dir. Albie Thoms, 1969
85 mins. Australia.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 9 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 – 5 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“MARINETTI is not a Hollywood film of predigested responses. Unless an audience is prepared to give itself for the duration of the film, to accept the delirium, then communication is stifled… the audience at the film’s Sydney premiere were not willing to do this, and by their own hostiligy created an unpleasant experience. Images relayed at the rate of twenty four per second might be ‘murder on the eyes’ for some people, but for others they can create the ‘delirium that is communicative.’ Those that booed and walked out of MARINETTI might think of the opening of Jarry’s Ubu Roi in 1896, where a similar demonstration took place. Film enthusiasts might recall audiences who booed and hissed when the first screen closeup was used – that the audience, resentful that they couldn’t se the actors’ hands and feet, felt that something was being denied to them. MARINETTI is feature length because I hoped it would be an experience that would affect people’s lives…. Joan Kerr of Nation (Sydney) saw the theme of MARINETTI as ‘the inevitable myth of 20th century man as he progresses from an idyllyc view of life through personal madness to the final realization that the whole world is insane… and the only solution to it all is to endure it. But the final words of the film are not endure but enjoy… Audiences can avoid or endure it, or enjoy it. The responsibility is with them. My responsibility ended when I completed the film.” – Albie Thoms, Polemics For A New Cinema



SUNSHINE CITY
dir. Albie Thoms, 1973
118 minutes. Australia.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 10 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

SUNSHINE CITY is Albie Thom’s sprawling, protoplasmic experimental portrait of his hometown of Sydney. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia call it “a structured diary film which investigates the process of living in Sydney, which uses a repeating light modulation to intensify experiences of light, heat, colour”.

It also probes the city’s Yellow House art community and includes interviews with significant members thereof, including Mick Glasheen, Martin Sharp, Aggy Read, Brett Whiteley and Germaine Greer. Like the entirety of Thoms’ second film, the interviews are shot in an innovative and unconventional manner, shooting single continous takes and ending when the film in the camera runs out. With near-every other frame flash exposed, the film harkens to contemporaneous works by Jonas Mekas and Peter Kubelka

Before production began, Thoms wrote that “SUNSHINE CITY will be a record of my responses to the people and places of the city of Sydney. It will show the visual environment and synthesize the sound environment. It will allow the people to speak, and will try and relate their lives to the environment, to try and express the way the environment, the light, the sunshine, the visual stimulation, the cultural history of the city, conditions the lives of people and creates their character. It will be an analytic film, determining its own aesthetic, forcing attention to the filming process, to the materials of the film experience.”





PALM BEACH

dir. Albie Thoms, 1980
88 minutes. Australia.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25 – 7:30 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“Paul was looking for work… Joe was looking for drugs… Leilani was looking for good times… Larry was looking for Leilani… They all ended up in…”

Four characters, all misfits of a sort, cross paths over one weekend on the northern beaches of Sydney. Leilani (Amanda Berry) is a runaway 16-year-old; Larry (John Flaus) is a private eye who’s looking for her; Joe (Ken Brown) needs to score some LSD to get him out of trouble. Paul (Bryan Brown) is unemployed and broke, until he steals a gun.

Described as “the ultimate surf movie”, PALM BEACH is an entirely different kind of magnum opus from MARINETTI: a restless multi-character drama (anticipating the “hyperlink cinema” of the 90s and 2000s) centered on these disparate plotlines, each shot in long tracking-shot takes. It is a peerless feat of improvisation drawn in just over a hundred shots; what really sticks is Thoms’ use of overlapping dialogue and diagetic audio to stitch scenes together, a daring juxtaposition that grates in the fleeting moment but creates an overwhelming depiction of society as blissed out as it is logjammed.

“PALM BEACH is a film of casual but cunning construction […] a terrible reminder that there are people of great ability who have never been able to pursue their craft in the Australian film industry, while dozens of mediocrities have had the chance to squander countless dollars and a multitude of opportunities.” – Geoff Gardiner, Australian Film 1978-1992

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: AWAKE, A DREAM FROM STANDING ROCK

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9TH – 7:30 PM

ONE NIGHT ONLY !

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS commemorates its first full year in partnering with Spectacle Theater with a screening of AWAKE, A DREAM FROM STANDING ROCK on Monday, October 9th, aka “Columbus Day.” Proceeds and donations collected this evening will go towards the Water Protector Legal Collective.

AWAKE, A DREAM FROM STANDING ROCK
dir. Josh Fox, James Spione, and Myron Dewey, 2017.
USA, 89 min.

GET YOUR TICKETS!

The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film is a collab­oration between Indigenous filmmakers, Director Myron Dewey, Executive Producer Doug Good Feather, and environmental Oscar-Nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione. It is a labor of love to support the peaceful movement of the water protectors.

MATCH CUTS is a weekly podcast centered on video, film and the moving image. Match Cuts Presents is dedicated to presenting de-colonialized cinema, LGBTQI films, Marxist diatribes, video art, dance films, sex films, and activist documentaries with a rotating cast of presenters from all spectrums of the performing and plastic arts and surrounding humanities. Match Cuts is hosted by Nick Faust and Kachine Moore.

SPECTOBER VII


HACK-O-LANTERN
dir. Jag Mundhra
USA, 1988

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 – 10 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“A bloody moon…A scream of fear…A night of Living Hell…”

In the heyday of Satanic Panic, director Jag Mundhra (OPEN HOUSE) found a way to blend elements of giallo, supernatural horror, and slashers to create a waking nightmare fueled by heavy metal, blood, and the dark lord himself.
As a young boy Tommy (all-star character actor Gregory Scott Cummings AKA: Mac’s dad in It’s Always Sunny…) bore witness to the brutal murder of his father on Halloween night by the hand of his cult-leader grandfather (Hy Pyke – who you can see nude in DOLEMITE if you want) and kept the secret for years.

Now 18 Tommy’s seemingly kindly, pumpkin delivering, Foghorn Leghorn sounding grandpa is ready to show him “the power of the blood” and bring him into the fold.

As Halloween draws ever closer people close to Tommy start getting bumped off by a killer in a demonic mask wearing the garb of grandpa’s cult. Who is this masked killer? Gramps? Tommy himself? …or could it be someone much, much worse.

Long available only on bootleg HACK-O-LANTERN has been lovingly restored from it’s original 35mm negative by our friends at Massacre Video and presented this Spectober as a sacrifice to our lord Satan.



YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY
Dir. Sergio Martino, 1972.
Italy. 97 min.
In English

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 – 7:30 PM

“I don’t feel like being involved in one of your spectacles.”

Made between ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK and TORSO, YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY is a misanthropic, brooding, manipulative and beautiful treatment of Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Black Cat.” It also has a drunk (racist, incestuous, loathsome) author getting J&B shipped by the crate to his house, which might be the gialloest thing ever. Fans of Sergio Martino’s earlier film THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH (from which this film gets it name) might be thrown a bit by the subdued, sullen quality, but it’s part of a greater plan, a plan that includes commune freak-outs, slaughtered mistresses, gratuitous POV (on line with Martino’s next film, TORSO) and perhaps greatest of all, Edwige Fenech, of whom we can say nothing without getting the vapors. With a storyline that’ll satisfy no-loose-ends mystery fans, enough jaw-dropping cinematography and costuming to please the art crowd, and Martino’s thoughtful and visceral style (there’s also a great Bruno Nicolai score to sweeten the pot), YOUR VICE…might be Martino’s finest.

“A film with that wears its dubious morality on its sleeve, “Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key” is a tasty bit of giallo goodness. Kinky and cruel, it lives up to its purple prose title and will surely satisfy the appetites of Eurotrash fans.” -Tenebrous Kate, Love Train For The Tenebrous Empire.



THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA
Dir. Alan Gibson, 1973
UK, 87 min.
English

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 – 10 PM

GET YOUR TICKETS!

“Evil rules, you know. It really does.”

The last in Hammer’s run of Lee vs. Cushing Dracula films, the last Hammer film to use actual occultists as consultants, and a lurid stew of spy tropes, supernatural horror, black masses, THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA is considered a lesser Hammer by Anglophiles and dilettantes, but we know better, don’t we? Just consider one of the absolute best-ever monologues of cosmic dread and horror from Freddie Jones, playing Julian Keeley, a professor commanded to create a virulent variant on the black plague in order to serve the whims of The Dark Lord Lucifer! Sidestepping earlier period-piece Gothic trappings for a thoroughly contemporary London, it’s both sleek and pulpy, with as many gunfights, dirtbike chases, double crosses, regular crosses, basement nightgown covens of undead brides and occult goings-on as anyone could possibly want. A secret sect of British VIPs perform unholy rites of sacrifice in order to appease their abominable lord! It’s always fun to watch Lee and Cushing face off, the secret agent/cop drama aspect keeps everything at a brisk clip, and if that’s not enough to sell you it literally starts with a black mass in which a woman is sacrificed and returns from the dead!



A BELL FROM HELL (La campana del infierno)
Dir. Claudio Guerin, 1973
Spain, 93 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

On the final day of shooting A BELL FROM HELL (La campana del infierno), director Claudio Guerin fell from the aforementioned bell tower to his death.He had only one other film (THE HOUSE OF THE DOVES) to his credit. This is all of a part for a film fixated on death, on revenge, on morbidity. A young man returns home from the asylum, where he was committed to usurp his inheritance, to wreak vengeance upon his family: or is it that simple?

 

Warning: there are several scenes of slaughterhouse footage some viewers might find objectionable.



YETI: GIANT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
dir. Gianfranco Parolini, 1977
118 mins. Italy/Ontario.
In American-Canadian English.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Man, where the hell was GIANT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY during last June’s MISSING LINKS series? At any rate: some movies are so bad they can only horrify in a new way, redistricting the parameters of imagination further afield than previously considered or conceded. That’s Gianfranco Parolini’s jawdropping YETI (GIANT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY) an epic Italian-Canadian cash-in whose particulate special effects (stitching the nominal YETI into myriad locales around 1970s Toronto, somehow barely beveling the same frames as his puny human victims/lovers) posed an extraordinary challenge to the idea of monster movie verisimilitude forever. Even if the nominal attraction more clearly resembles a screaming white dude covered in (hopefully fake) animal fur, YETI is one for the history books, proudly chest-thumping a sonorous disco theme from “The Yetians” and an unabashed new perspective on Toronto as tax-shelter competitor to Dino De Laurentiis’ fantasy-land NYC. Both Parolini and his GIANT are after bigger things than your approval (or even your five dollars): this movie represents an evolutionary psycho-industrial-sexual shakeup whose true lessons have never fully come to pass.



BEYOND THE GATES
dir. Jackson Stewart, 2016
84 minutes, USA

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 – MIDNIGHT

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Filmmaker Jackson Stewart brings a tribute to the evil’s of VHS and tabletop gaming to Spectacle for a special Halloween treat. Barbara Crampton (FROM BEYOND) stars alongside Chase Willamson (THE GUEST) and Brea Grant (Robert Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II) in a flick certain to make you reconsider picking up the dice ever again. Jackson’s film weaves grief, loss, family, laffs, and gore together and crams them all in a clamshell case of doom. Barbara Crampton steals the show as the host of the deadly game and easter eggs abound for the keen eyed viewer. In an ear so obsessed with nostalgia BEYOND THE GATES delivers for those who ever rolled the bones against the Gatekeeper in the NIGHTMARE board game series. See it to jump-start your Hallo-weekend!

IMAGINE SCIENCE FILM FESTIVAL – FROZEN MAY AND MEMORY ERROR

Since 2008, the Imagine Science Film Festival has been plumbing the spaces between science and art for the most unique and inventive scientific fictions, surrealist documentaries, lab data aesthetics, and thought-provoking experimental film. For our tenth year, the theme of the festival is HYBRID, so we’re seeking those interstitial film forms more than ever. And we’ve saved some of the best for Spectacle.

 




MEMORY ERROR

various filmmakers, 2015 – 2017
77m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16 – 7:30 PM

BUY TICKETS!

Following last year’s Optic Nerves program, we return to Spectacle with another selection of the most thrillingly bizarre of the year’s scientific fictions and experiments. This year’s program focuses on copying glitches and mis-recollections: forgotten faces, genetic errors, holographic tourism, unstable computer graphics, and hazy VHS memories.

 

 




FROZEN MAY

aka FAGYOTT MÁJUS
dir. Péter Lichter, 2017
Hungary, 72m.

— NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE —
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16 – 10 PM

BUY TICKETS!

1990, after the fall. Alone in the ambiguous tension and beauty of natural landscapes devoid of all but the remnants of civilization, a survivor seeks someone lost. This is genre as unsettled mood and creeping doubt, a horror script shot entirely in psychological landscape and desperate POV, perhaps a Carpenter script as reimagined by James Benning and Chantal Akerman. Whatever it is, Hunagarian experimental filmmaker Péter Lichter’s first feature exerts a strange power, drawing the viewer straight into its bleak but seductive forests of fog and shadow, seeking answers, with only a broken Commodore 64 as witness and narrator.