KING OF PUNK


KING OF PUNK
dir. Perry Hohlstein, 2018
New Orleans, 27 min.

MONDAY, JANUARY 3 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! FILMMAKER Q&A!

New Orleans punks bring to life the story of Dee Dee Ramone in an unauthorized, warts-and-all telling of Dee Dee’s descent from genius songwriting mope to abusive, addict dope. So authentic that Scorsese cancelled his authorized Ramones biopic.

plus free bonus screening of:
CAVE GIRLS + TRASHY FASHIONS: Unseen Post-Punk Videos by Women
Curated by Herb Shellenberger , 2017
USA, 69 min.

A screening of short films, performance footage and experiments by women artists, filmmakers and bands made in the context of late 1970s + 1980s post-punk, no wave and related music scenes in the United States. Largely unseen for decades, the videos shown were digitized from obsolete video formats in 2013 as part of the XFR STN project at the New Museum and uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Digging for gold, curator Herb Shellenberger has compiled a video mixtape featuring: the hilarious pop promo/commercial hybrids for imaginary products by TWINART; performance artist/fashion designer Colette Justine (of Justine and the Victorian Punks) showing her dreamy, surrealist apartment studio and installation at Danceteria; the speculative history of “CAVE GIRLS” and their bizarre relation to punks like Bush Tetras and Y-Pants; and much more.

SIERANEVADA

SIERANEVADA
dir. Cristi Puiu, 2016
173 mins. Romania.
In Romanian with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 – 6:30 PM with introduction from Dorian Branea of the Romanian Cultural Institute
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16 – 5 PM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 17 – 7:30 PM

Cristi Puiu (THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU) sets his immersive 2016 dark comedy SIERANEVADA in the week following the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris; in the film’s world, it’s also 40 days since the death of Emil, the patriarch of a Romanian family now led, if begrudgingly, by a gruff, hangdog dentist named Lary (Mimi Brănescu). Puiu’s film follows Lary while he attempts to navigate the build-up to his father’s memorial ceremony, wherein siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and neighbors will congregate in the family’s old Bucharest walk-up to say goodbye. On top of the 40-day wait, Emil’s farewell meal requires the blessing of an Orthodox priest, a spindly old man who, like Lary’s mother and grandmother, has survived the Communist regime of the infamous dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.

While the priest fails to appear, stomachs begin to grumble, and the act of going through with an ancient honorary rite of passage causes each member of this semi-functional family to cast their own aspersions – on the ritual, the deceased, and (maybe most crucially) on the murky path forward in Emil’s absence. Long-buried fault lines between relatives reveal themselves with each anxious sip of wine, but Lary endures it all with good-enough humor: interminable philosophical debates with an obsessed 9/11 truther, his womanizing uncle, a self-destructive teen cousin and her zonked-out friend, and his wife Laura’s (Cătălina Moga) palpable disenchantment, the reasons for which remain a mystery for much of Puiu’s duration.

Claustrophobic, caustic, and surprisingly moving, SIERANEVADA does not unfold in real time, but it feels close enough: 150 of its 173 minutes take place in Emil’s apartment, whose rooms we see only when one character needs to pull another aside to confide in nervous whispers. Puiu and his cinematographer Barbu Bălăsoiu masterfully toggle between naturalistic set pieces of breathless interpersonal drama, and moments of melancholy that border on fleeting reveries; good luck finding another movie from the last few years that so skillfully enmeshes the sacred and the profane without betraying the accuracy of its workaday details.

Praised as one very greatest films of the past few years, SIERANEVADA is still without U.S. distribution. Spectacle is pleased to host these limited edition holiday-time screenings of Puiu’s masterpiece, in the tradition of movies that make family and self inseparable, like HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, THE FAMILY STONE or WHEN DO WE EAT? – wherein the tendency towards self-loathing must jut uncomfortably against the fact that on these hallmark occasions, family is everything.

Presented thanks to the generous collaboration of the Romanian Cultural Institute.

“A bewildering, bitter, and amusing affair, as is family life; in fact, the film’s scale, in which long arguments extinguish themselves only to flame up again at the opening of a door, resembles lived experience much more closely than a moral tale, or one signifying nothing. A study of the walking wounded, it does not distinguish between the politics of parenting and patria, suggesting that change—and stagnation—is possible in both.”Elina Alter, BOMB

“Few films have made food look so unappetizing.”David Bordwell, Observations on Film Art

“From time to time we catch sight of a baby being cared for behind a succession of quickly opening and closing doors. Lary’s younger sister, Sandra (Judith State), slaves away in the kitchen while their mother, Nusa (Dana Dogaru), rules over the proceedings with practiced testiness. To single out more of the characters individually would seem almost inappropriate, not because they aren’t vivid screen presences (they are), but because they so seamlessly achieve the hectic, sprawling intimacy and spontaneity of a family unit in motion. This is ensemble acting of a remarkably high order.”Justin Chang, Variety

“Whether or not one finds this basic set-up hilarious or hard-going (or “taxing,” to quote Variety) may be a matter of cinematic taste or else familiarity with the pain and drag of family rituals… The incompatible worldviews of these people as they make small talk are one thing; it’s the clashing priorities and agendas that underlie the kibitzing—everything from the best way to memorialize Emil to the infinitely more delicate question of whether it’s okay to graze on hors d’oeuvres in the meantime—that catalyze scattered and accumulating outbursts of verbal-bordering-on-physical violence.”Adam Nayman, Reverse Shot

“It’s like Seinfeld, but on DMT.” – Steve Macfarlane, LiveJournal

GET REEL: CRIMINAL INTENT

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – 7:30 PM

GET REEL is a movie-clip based comedy show, where comedians voice over movie clips live. This month’s theme is CRIMINAL INTENT. Tinted windows, silencers, drugs, strippers, and New Jersey. Hosted by two mob wives, Chicky Visconti and Trattoria “Tori” Gabinetto, this month’s edition will have you ducking police sirens while you slip cyanide into the baked ziti.

FEATURING: 
Josh “Sharkie” Sharp
Rachel “The Bonebruiser” Kaly
MItra “Turkey” Jouhari
NIck “Toontown”Naney
Sarah “Sarah” Squirm

HOSTED BY: 
Max Wittert
Joe Castle Baker

HELP WANTED BY MAC ESTELLE

HELP WANTED
Dir. Mac Estelle, 2017
USA, 30 min.

screening with
THE DENTIST
Dir. Leslie Pierece, 1932
USA, 22 min.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 7:30 PM
FILMMAKER Q AND A!

Sometimes you meet a filmmaker at the Gardner Museum and estate, standing in the same room where two Rembrandts were famously stolen and the frames still hang empty. This filmmaker is Mac Estelle, a hand crank camera collector and repairman, silent filmmaker, and talented physical actor.

From the filmmaker: “‘HELP WANTED’ is an award-winning silent short comedy, made in the style of the early 1920s. Silent film production, direction, and acting techniques were used throughout the entire process. Silent films and music are the international language, which can cross ALL language and cultural barriers, and if I can show this film all over the world, then maybe we can all laugh together. As in the early days of silent film, a wonderful organ score was written specifically for ‘HELP WANTED’.”

This will be screening one night only and accompanied by Leslie Pierce/Mack Sennet’s THE DENTIST, starring (the otherwise cancelled) W.C. Fields. This is a selection by Estelle, who is not the only one to call it one of the best films ever made. This night will be a chance to contrast the 1932 work with Estelle’s current filmmaking, and provide an opportunity to talk about film legacy and craft. HELP WANTED has been screening at festivals worldwide, and it will be making its NYC debut!

ORDERS


ORDERS
dirs. Eric Marsh and Andrew Stasiulis, 2017
106 mins. United States.

*FILMMAKERS IN PERSON*
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30th – 7:30 PM (Q&A with film critic Vikram Murthi) + 10 PM w/Q&A
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – 7:30 PM w/Q&A
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – 7: 30 PM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TIX
FB EVENT

 

“Don’t never volunteer for nothing.” – A soldier’s mother

Even if the Trump Administration abandoned their plans for a North Korea-style military parade this November, Spectacle is pleased to close the year out with a NYC PREMIERE PRESENTATION of Andrew Stasiulis and Eric Marsh’s ORDERS. After a jawdropping opening salvo that “brings the war home” to the quintessential American cul-de-sac while sowing schizoid confusion, ORDERS follows the travails of one PFC Fagen (Keith D. Gallagher) in the suburbs of Chicago, a domestic theater of combat where the enemy is perhaps even more elusive than Over There. Without a facile retelling of the United States’ forever-wars, or the wholesale repackaging of the same vehicles and weapons to local police forces, Stasiulis and Marsh’s film becomes a reflection on the military-industrial complex that’s absurdist yet genre-bound, the filmmakers at once acknowledging and interrogating their clear debts to the heyday of American macho cinema – Ford, Fuller, Kubrick, Mann, et al. The same goes for the eternal tropes of soldierdom: dead-eyed and hollowed-out, Fagen’s botched flirtations with martyrdom begin to look inevitable. Described by its makers as “a ghost story in digital camouflage”, ORDERS finds itself no less topical today than when Marsh and Stasiulis  set to work during the first Obama Administration. They forgo a readymade plot setup to tie it all together (or the anticipated “it was all a dream” framing device), instead letting the film become a Black Lodge-style liminal interlude, a deep dive into the unholy commingling of war and cinema. Ambitious in scope, startling in accomplishment, ORDERS is a rarity among independent features: a dizzying logistical accomplishment that also doubles down on a unique, idiosyncratic approach.

“Marsh and Stasiulis fill up their film with abandoned, haunted suburban textures: mildew-spatter on a garage door, an empty flower bed surrounded by dry-rotted railroad ties, the spaces that empty out as American home life knots ever-tighter around the glowing screen at its center. It’s the perfect place from which to speak on drifting monotony and forgottenness, the status quo of the film’s addled men.” – Jonathan Kieran, NoBudge

“One of the best, boldest debuts I’ve seen in a long time.” – Filmmaker Stephen D. Cone (HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, PRINCESS CYD)

ANDREW STASIULIS was raised in Bensenville, Illinois (Forbes Magazine’s “Fastest Dying Town in America”, 2008). He tried and failed to join the Communist Party when he was 13 years old. Following this setback he retreated into James Bond movies and eventually pursued his education in film, receiving a BA in Cinema Production from DePaul University and a Masters in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Joining DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts as faculty in 2011, Andrew’s current academic research explores the phenomena of the combat image and the ontology of the cinematic experience. In addition to his teaching, Andrew is a filmmaker interested in post-structural approaches and guerrilla tactics.

ERIC MARSH is a filmmaker and lifelong Chicagoan. He received a BA and MFA in cinema production from DePaul University, where he is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Cinematic Arts. Since 2004 Eric has worked as a director, writer, editor, and producer of short films and music videos. In 2009 he completed his first feature film, FRONTWARDS, a micro-budget road trip comedy that no one saw. When Eric isn’t making, going to, or teaching movies he moonlights as a video essayist, sportswriter, and DJ.

VIKRAM MURTHI
is a film critic based in Brooklyn who has contributed to such publications as The A.V. Club, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, The Film Stage, and Rolling Stone.

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: TIM BLAKE NELSON’S O


O
dir. Tim Blake Nelson, 2001.
USA, 95 min.
English.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19th
ONE NIGHT ONLY – 7:30 PM
INTRODUCED BY LINDSAY ZOLADZ (THE RINGER)

ONLINE TIX
FB EVENT

Moving the classic tale of “Othello” onto the basketball courts of a high school, the story focuses on a young black man named Odin (Mekhi Phifer) who is convinced by a conniving best friend, Hugo (Josh Hartnett) that his girlfriend (Julia Stiles) is cheating on him. Of course, what Odin doesn’t know is that Hugo is in fact motivated by his own jealousy of Odin’s good fortune. It’s a sticky situation in classic Shakespearean tradition.

*Text courtesy of Wikipedia*

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.

DAS IST KUNST: 16MM EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS


DAS IST KUNST: 16MM EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS
dir. Various, 2018
Approx. 50 min

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – 7:30 PM & 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE! Q&A!
(Tickets for this event are $10)

DAS IST KUNST – on 16mm!
dir. Julie Orlick, 2018
Berlin / NYC

TRAUER NATUR – on 16mm!
dir. Julie Orlick, 2018
Berlin / NYC

DISCHARGE WORKING II
dir. Johnny Welch, 2018
Berlin

ONLINE TIX
FB EVENT

Dim and dusty short works by deranging visual artists hailing from Brookyln, Berlin, Mexico City, Oakland, and Los Angeles; all in the game of deviously manipulating precious 16mm film. With brand new releases featuring slick & savvy in-camera 16mm Bolex tricks, nail-polish splotched emulsion, decaying film chemical experiments from six-feet under, and more, all returning to the spinning spool to haunt your digitally drained eyelids.

COFFIN JOE AND OTHER COFFINS


AWAKENING OF THE BEAST
Dir. José Mojica Marins, 92 mins.
Brazil, 1969

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 – 10 PM

Perhaps Awakening of the Beast is considered Marin’s greatest film by many of his admirer’s because it is the first film made after the establishment of Zé do Caixão’s iconography in the Brazilian cultural lexicon. This familiarity allowed Marins to modulate Ze’s role in the horror films featuring the character starting with and following this film, accentuating the paranormal, dreamlike quality that was achieved once Zé became the demonic puppetmaster lurking in the subconscious, rather than the focus of the narrative, constantly seeking to assert his dominance.

Indeed, we do see constant reference to and manipulation of Marins’ image throughout Awakening of the Beast, as his visage appears both on TV as himself, and as Zé do Caixão across various media including comic books and a hallucinogenic-trip-inducing poster. This newfound recognition of the potential held for the proliferation of Zé’s image through contemporary mass media lead Marins to probe the countercultural issues of his day in Brazil, resulting in Awakening’s focus on recreational drug use, (Sadistic) sexual liberation, and the political repression carried out by the second, more severe military “coup within the coup” in the Brazilian government that occurred 1968.

Truly, Awakening of the Beast remains Marins’ most potent political film, as it juxtaposes its scenes of violent repression enacted by the dictatorship upon “subversives” against a panel of condescending psychiatric figures, rejecting both physical and institutional forms of coercive despotism. Featuring both a hellacious color sequence that rivals that of This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, and other figures from the “udigrudi” Brazilian cinematic movement (such as Ozualdo Candeias, Carlos Reichenbach, and Jairo Ferreira), the third film in the Coffin Joe saga remains a Brazilian countercultural milestone that deserves to be regarded as such.



THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE
Dir. José Mojica Marins, 1967
Brazil, 109 mins.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 10 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21 – 7:30 PM

An unsuspecting viewer need only watch the opening credits of THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE to understand the tenor of what they are stepping into, if not the scope. The second installment in José Mojica Marins’ instantly iconic saga chronicling of the tribulations of Zé do Caixâo (known as Coffin Joe to his international audience) begins with a concise introductory sequence that covers both the catch-up from the first film and the exposition for the current one, thrust forward by the narrative’s need to reach the point where Zé resumes his quest to secure the object of his obsession: a heir to his bloodline.

Working in no less an allegorical mode than its Cinema Novo contemporaries (though Marins certainly aligned more closely with the udigrudi movement), Zé’s frenzied reign of terror resemble the repressive tactics of Brazil’s military regime—already three years underway by the time of THIS NIGHT’s release—in no small significance. Ze’s actions are nothing less than evil, both in its ideal form and its politically violent manifestations, and actions such as diving in front of an out-of-control motorcycle to save a child’s life are always underpinned by the sour deliverance of conservative diatribe extolling the superiority of those who secure their lineage. Murder and torture abound, driven solely by Zé’s mania. These neofascist ideals represented by the figure of Zé do Caixâo invite a critical view to the work that historically place and render its subversive values active in the radical Brazilian discourse of the 1960s and 70s.

No less a constructing factor in the analysis implied here is the underdeveloped modes of production and technical quality that is characteristic of the Brazilian underground, signaled here by many elements—not the least of which is the fact that in the negative of the film remain copious evidence of tape splicing accompanying the edits, an almost subliminal reminder of the conditions under which Marins was working. And yet, it is clear that in the small span of time between AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL and THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE, Marins progressed an incalculable amount in technical skill, as well as popularity, one of the elements which allowed the freer sense of experimentation in the latter film, epitomized by its mesmerizing representation of Hell, rendered in phantasmagoric color.

Content advisory – This film contains scenes of traumatic violence committed against women. While we believe these acts are dramatized with a critical perspective, we realize the adverse affect seeing such imagery potentially has on viewers.


PREVIOUSLY SCREENED, AS PART OF SPECTOBER

AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL
(A MEIA-NOITE LEVAREI SUA ALMA)

Dir. José Mojica Marins, 1964
Brazil. 84 minutes.
In Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15 – 10:00 PM
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 – 10:00 PM

“What is Life? It is the Beginning of Death. What is Death? It is the end of life. What is existence? It is the continuity of blood. What is blood? It is the reason to exist!” So ushers in both the twin obsessions of death and progeny in the cinema of Zé do Caixão, and the first incarnation of Brazilian horror cinema. José Mojica Marins entered into the iconographic canon a figure who is both constructed of pieces from other famous monsters and a wholly original, idiosyncratic, definitively Brazilian figure who has yet to be duplicated (possessing the most disgusting nails you’re likely to come across).

With Marins’ third film, AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL, we are immediately familiarized with a fully-formed icon: the dreaded Zé do Caixão, whose reign of terror over the small mountain town in which he resides carries with it the certainty that the man is aided by the unnameable forces of evil.Operating on Nietzchean levels of religious irreverence and self-preservation, Zé’s main concern is the securement of an heir, an end in which the fury of his conviction knows no bounds. Cruel sadism defines his interactions with nearly person he comes across, acts aided by his diverse repertoire of violent methods, including his sheer strength, fueled by disdain (more often than not in misogynistic iterations), tarantulas and other creepy crawlies, and the manipulation of fear on display in all of Zé do Caixão’s appearances.While nothing in the diegesis explicitly reveals Zé’s powers to be sourced in the devil, the dark surrealism of Marins’ mise-en-scene never allows the film to leave the precarious position it holds on the edge of the supernatural.

Read over the years as an allegory for Brazilian military repression, a queer text, an epitome of paracinema, and countless other fields of discourse, AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL undoubtedly kicks off one of cinema’s most singular visions of an extended universe, held together by the essentially DIY ethic and “dirty screen” aesthetic that defines much of the Brazilian underground, a movement for which Spectacle holds nothing but whole-hearted admiration.

Content advisory – This film contains scenes of traumatic violence committed against women. While we believe these acts are dramatized with a critical perspective, we realize the adverse affect seeing such imagery potentially has on viewers.

BURNING AN ILLUSION with Menelik Shabazz

BURNING AN ILLUSION
dir. Menelik Shabazz, 1982
United Kingdom. 100 mins.
In English.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! Menelik Shabazz IN PERSON for Q&A!
(This event is $10.)

ONLINE TIX
FB EVENT

“I was 22. Not doing too bad. I had my own flat, a steady job. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to settle down. Somehow, though, I never seemed to meet anybody I could really feel – you know what I mean?”

Ahead of a broader survey of Caribbean cinema in 2019, Spectacle is thrilled to invite trailblazing filmmaker Menelik Shabazz to our humble microcinema for a one night only presentation of his landmark 1982 drama BURNING AN ILLUSION. The second British film by a director of color (the first being Horace Ové’s equally seminal PRESSURE), ILLUSION centers on the life of a twentysomething Brit named Pat (Cassie McFarlane), born to parents from the famous Windrush generation – wherein thousands of Caribbean and West Indian migrants came to the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971. Pat finds herself torn between imperfect options when she falls in love with Del (Vic Romero), a hotheaded toolmaker who has difficulty keeping steady work.

As the film’s scope moves beyond their meet-cute to include Pat’s struggles with sexism and police racism, McFarlane’s moving lead turn anchors the film (and audience) in a quietly riveting drama of the day-to-day. BURNING AN ILLUSION deserves a slot alongside Britain’s social-realist “kitchen sink” dramas like THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER and A TASTE OF HONEY. Shabazz’ film is a vibrant depiction of working class life in the Thatcher Era slowly coming into a rightful second renown – not just as a landmark but as a classic too.

Barbados-born, MENELIK SHABAZZ is an internationally acclaimed and multi-award director and producer. He has worked in the British film industry for over 35 years in both documentary and fiction. He has produced work for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and is also a key pioneer in the development of contemporary black British cinema. He is best known for BURNING AN ILLUSION, which continues to be shown and taught in universities. His BBC2 drama/doc CATCH A FIRE won the Prized Pieces/National Black Programming Consortium Award (1996/USA.) More recently, Shabazz’ feature-length documentary THE STORY OF LOVER’S ROCK won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Trinidad International Film Festival in 2012, after becoming one of the highest-grossing documentaries in British cinemas the year before. Shabazz’ most recent work is the feature documentary LOOKING FOR LOVE, about black love, relationships and sex in the UK.