GRAVEROBBERS

GRAVE ROBBERS
(aka: DEAD MATE)

dir. Straw Weisman, 1988
USA, 90 min.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 7 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 10 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, MAY 20 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 24 – MIDNIGHT

ONLINE TICKETS    FACEBOOK EVENT

“Don’t kiss me, I’m not dead…yet.”

We’ve all been there, you’re jolted awake from the reoccurring nightmare of having your still beating heart torn from your chest just before you head to your job working third shift at a diner where a man you’ve never met proposes marriage to you on the spot. Pretty standard fare. As it turns out this seemingly normal encounter would set off a chain of events for Nora Mae Edwards (Elizabeth Mannino in her only role) that she might never recover from. After accepting the proposal from John Henry Cox (David Gregory, a staple of 60’s television in his last role) and despite the ring drawing blood, she takes her meager possessions and heads off with her new fiancé to the subtly named town of Newbury.

Upon arrival the blushing bride-to-be is met by a gaggle of townsfolk who help usher her into her new abode – the local funeral parlor. Henry (as Nora prefers to call him) is a third generation mortician and the parlor serves not only as a business but a home as well. After a quick ceremony and honeymoon Nora settles in and finds a closet filled with clothes that just happen to be her exact size. Consequently she also finds a peep hole that looks directly into an operating room which she has been told is “off limits.” A series of bizarre encounters around town and new knowledge about her husband lead Nora to believe there may be more to these nightmares than once thought. What dark secrets are the town and its inhabitants hiding?

A titillating tagline and lurid box art during the video boom were essential and GRAVE ROBBERS (released as DEAD MATE in most markets) delivered on all fronts. Fans of similar genre fare like the recently screened NEKROMANTIK or Dan O’Bannon’s classic DEAD & BURIED take note – beneath the tawdry exterior is a creamy nougat center – a love story for the recently lobotomized. With countless notches on his belt from a four decade career as writer, director, producer, editor, and more – Weisman has seen and done it all and on the landmark 31st anniversary of the film’s release Spectacle is thrilled to host screenings of the beautiful restoration throughout the month of May with an appearance by the Brooklyn born director on the 10th.

Special thanks to the director, David Ginn/Films Around The World, and the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome for making these shows possible.

AN EVENING WITH KEN BROWN

Ken Brown, a New York filmmaker and illustrator, has been exuberantly documenting American pop culture, road side attractions, outsider art and all intersections thereof for over five decades. His documents of each decade fully embrace and embody the zeitgeist of their times, down to the medium on which his films were captured. Giving back to the wellspring from which he drew, his illustration and animation work permeated pop culture in the 1990s with work he and his partner Lisa Crafts created for MTV and Sesame Street. An evening with Ken Brown will goes on a breathless tour of Ken Brown’s work spanning the late 1960s to the present day.
With Ken Brown attending for a Q&A!

THURSDAY MAY 23 – 7:30 PM: SELECTED SHORTS

The shorts program forms a fabric of documentaries of road trip oddities, Ken Brown’s “Chika Chika” films with their frame by frame by frame captures of New York institutions such as Wigstock in 1990s Tompkins Square, shorts created for Sesame Street and MTV Idents, and recent work such as GIFs and films the artist shot on his phone. These films take us outside of time to view New York City and the artist’s work as a thematically linked continuum.

THURSDAY MAY 23 – 10:00 PM: PSYCHEDELIC CINEMA

Ken Brown’s psychedelic films played regularly with the light show at the Boston Tea Party, and other music venues in New England, where they served as an accompaniment to some of the most notable musicians of the 1960s. In their original context these films were joined with slides, strobes and liquid projections. The version shown was filmed with a live score by Ken Winokur and the Psychedelic Orchestra.

NO MORE WHITE PRESIDENTS

RT: 90 min.

“No More White Presidents” is a multi layered abstract film that Rayna Russom, a white, recently out trans woman completed in January of 2017. For the film she developed what I am calling the “flash film” technique. Initially it was a structural device similar to the chance operations used by composers such as John Cage to get out of the practice of creating “slick” edits or “moves” predetermined by overarching institutionalized aesthetic norms. However, as she worked with it I began to discover that the technique, although certainly “experimental”, has more kinship with craft techniques I have practiced such as beading, knitting, weaving and braiding. Although on the surface it could simply be a long form music video for her Black Meteoric Star project, it is in fact a complex of evocative and energetic themes gathered around the necessity for abolition and reparations. The themes that are “braided” or “beaded” together include a repetitive meditation on death, an assessment of global capitalism as so overburdened by the karma of the triple legacies of slavery, land theft/genocide and imperialism that it can no longer function, an invocation of several of the Orishas prominent in the Afro-Cuban “Reglas Lukumi” and an exploration of her emerging Trans-Feminine identity. The intention of the film is to open up a territory for exploration and interpretation around our current predicament, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the specific details and possible solutions, both individually and through discussions with others. Screening followed by a Q&A/collective conversation.

NOT A DAY GOES BY

NOT A DAY GOES BY
dir. Joe G.M. Chan, 2001
71 mins. United States.

SUNDAY, MAY 19 – 7:30 PM

ONE NIGHT ONLY with director Joe G.M. Chan in person for Q&A
(This event is $10.)

While Spectacle’s founding edict – to show “lost and forgotten” films – sometimes ruffles the feathers of world-traveled directors, we’re very happy to host this one-night-only screening of Joe G.M. Chan’s deep-cut NYC indie drama NOT A DAY GOES BY, rarely exhibited since it played the 2002 Asian-American Film Festival. Shot over three weekends at a cost of $20,000, Chan’s feature debut follows Wolfgang (Larry Chin), a self-hating 20something in Giuliani-era Chinatown recoiling from the death of his more traditional immigrant mother, as well as the recent departure of his girlfriend who (according to Wolfgang) left him for a white dude. Foul-mouthed and confrontational, film is essentially a series of conversations – at his mother’s magazine shop, out in the streets, at the pre-reupholstered version of Winnie’s Karaoke Bar – between Wolfgang and his friends about the hypocrisy he finds at ladder of Chinese-American upward mobility, matched by his own refusal to speak Cantonese or accept the gift of a chicken in his mother’s honor. Chan will join us for a Q&A after the film, including the lurid details of his featured turn as Alfred Molina’s long-suffering right hand man in 1997’s BOOGIE NIGHTS – a story Chan has refused multiple historians of the legendary porn drama.

“Some scenes work better than others, and Chan wisely makes no attempt to sew things up too tightly. Project was six years in the making, but any stop-and-start unevenness on view has been successfully integrated into the film’s overall desultory loose-ends feel. Lensing is superior, as are all tech credits and music. Hopefully the imaginative, skillfully synched rock-song samples can be cleared for final release: They counterpoint pic’s original scoring quite nicely.”Variety

“I enjoyed it and found it very interesting and quite well made”. – Martin Scorsese

Luna and Ms. Y


Dir. Richard Dailey, 2004.
France. 72 min.
French with English subtitles.

FRIDAY, MAY 3 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, MAY 11 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, MAY 19 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 25 – MIDNIGHT

ONLINE TICKETS    FACEBOOK EVENT

A twisted story of the art-world gone bad.

The film follows Luna, an artist living in Paris fraught with creative block and lost in a repetitive rut of restless sleeping and uninspired artwork. Unbeknownst to her, an ex-lover and art-school classmate turned internationally renowned artist Ms.Y has come to Paris, along with her video camera wielding assistant, to mount a major gallery showing of new work. Ms. Y arrives back in Luna’s life with a Faustian bargain and the two begin a dangerous collaboration that goes horribly wrong and ends only in tears, blood, and carnage.

A deeply odd no-budget slasher film set in the art world of Paris; the film brings a searing critique of the selfish motivations of artists. Its DIY charms produce a disturbing fever dream from the gutters of Paris of the cruelness of the denizens of the dog eat dog world of international art.

Directed by: Richard Dailey, an American ex-patriot writer and media artist living in Paris, France.

Staring: Eugénie Alquezar, Juliette Failevic, and Agnès Roland.

With the extra special treat of an original soundtrack by the kings of 70’s French Punk Rock: MÉTAL URBAIN.

THE PSYCHEDELIC & TRANSPERSONAL FILM FESTIVAL


FRIDAY, MAY 17th – 7:30PM

FILMMAKERS IN ATTENDANCE!

The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival invites you to an evening of mind altering shorts featuring the best of sci-fi horror, and psychedelia.

TRATAK-ANTARS THE ICE AROUND TIME – Ep. 1
dir. Davide Carlini, 2019
Italy, 8 min.

The first chapter of this experimental mid-footage introduces Edam’s experience; a man like everyone who is between the sky and the abyss, between doubt and faith and among the endless “Influences of the Dark.”

CHESS AND THE STRANGER
dir. Charles Ortiz, 2016
USA, 24 min.

A desperate man encounters a stranger eager to play a chess match but the game becomes a path to something more.

CROWNED AND CONQUERING
dir. Zareh Tjeknavorian, 2019
USA, 12 min.

Shot on 16mm film, “Crowned & Conquering” is inspired by the philosophy of the occultist, ceremonial magician, and writer, Aleister Crowley. The work visualizes the alchemical process of chrysopoeia, the transmutation of the spirit from lead into gold: a cinematic allegory of the gnostic path in sight and sound.

MUSICA DE ESFERAS
dir. by Logan Fry, 2019
USA, 7 min.

A brain scan sequence set to music.

PROPOLIS
dir. Pat Wells, 2018
USA, 3 min.

Monsters reside in all of us for a reason.

Liz and Beaux are a sister and brother, trapped in a closet as punishment by an alcoholic mother, but escape means they must face a far more nefarious world outside the doors of the closet.

IN A FOREIGN TOWN
dir. Michael Shlain, 2019
France, 11 min.

Based on the stories of acclaimed horror author, Thomas Ligotti.
A troubled man recounts a strange childhood journey to a town with no name.

EVE
dir. Marcelo Mottola, 2017
USA, 13 min.

Eve, a young teen, is abducted and hidden away in a new city. She becomes captivated with a foreboding house and a young girl that astonishingly is her spitting image. Seduced by the cryptic house and mysterious girl, Eve is infused with their supernatural powers and readied for battle against the very evil that enslaves her.

ARTIST BURLESQUE
dir. John Bickerton, 2018
USA, 7 min.

This film uses found footage, public domain footage and stock footage to create a surrealist tone poem extending the collage techniques pioneered by Cornell in works like “Rose Hobart.”

ALEPH
dir. Jonathan Sirtes-Sharon, 2018
Israel, 5 min.

A writer prolongs his life to write a perfect suicide letter. This is not about death. This is about perfectionism.

STORMS
dir. Joao Pedro Oliveira, 2018
Brazil, 8 min.

A moving meditation on storms. Storms are unpredictable. They move fast and change suddenly. There is rain, static energy, light, noise
and movement. Colors are grey, dark blue white.

Now I am One, 2017
Dir by Gregory Hines
US, 5 minutes

EMOTIONAL TIME: The Films of Henry Jaglom

A true outlier of the American cinema, Henry Jaglom came up as an alum of the famed Actors’ Studio, studying under Lee Strasberg. Jaglom soon settled in Hollywood as a bit part actor, getting work on GIDGET and THE FLYING NUN before landing a memorable role as a hippie on a bad trip in Richard Rush’s PSYCH-OUT. Falling in with the BBS Productions crowd, Jaglom’s directorial debut A SAFE PLACE became a part of their initial slate of game-changing independents alongside Peter Bogdanovich’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and Jack Nicholson’s DRIVE, HE SAID.

Armed with the influence of Method acting and the mentorship of late Orson Welles (whose conversations he taped and transcribed), Jaglom’s subsequent directorial trajectory polished an elliptical, improvisational, and emotional style that has earned gushing comparisons to John Cassavetes or quick write-offs as self-indulgence. Jaglom’s troupe of actors often feature former or current girlfriends/wives, family members such as brother Michael Emil, and friends such as Zach Norman, whose real-life relationships are stoked or pushed to emotional extremes. His career has been largely self-funded (and self-promoted on Los Angeles billboards à la Angelyne), and it shows—this is fiercely independent filmmaking whose pace and subject matter are unlike any of the usual California exports. His films have a whole other logic, pace, and timbre: it’s not just cinematic time, it’s emotional time.



SITTING DUCKS
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 1980
USA, 90 mins

THURSDAY, MAY 16 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 30 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS

Sparked by the success of EASY RIDER, the road movie came to be the essential American film genre of the ’70s, a pungent metaphor for “dropping out” and American self-searching. To his credit, Jaglom might have helped mount that throne, helping shape Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda’s cross-country melange in the cutting room as an assistant editor. The motel pools of SITTING DUCKS’ America look a lot different than the backwoods expanse of RIDER, but then again the country had just elected Ronald Reagan. Health-nut Michael Emil and smooth-talking Zach Norman are en route to Central America after stealing a gambling racket’s money, and end up in a relationship merry-go-round. They get in with a cast of characters that include Patrice Townsend, Irene Forrest, and Richard Romanus as a would-be singer-songwriter.



CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE?
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 1983
USA, 90 mins

MONDAY, MAY 13 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 28 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS 

Filmed in a roughly 10-block radius in the Upper West Side, CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE? is Jaglom’s most unmistakably Manhattanite productions, a zany yet gentle comedy-of-manners in the mold of ‘70s Woody Allen and Peter Bodganovich’s They All Laughed. The crux of the film is the neurotic chemistry between Michael Emil, a pontificating nervous-wreck businessman, and Karen Black, an aspiring jazz singer in an unhappy relationship. The film also features Frances Fisher in her first feature role, Michael Ragotta as a pick-up artist birder, and a cameo from a fresh-from-Fridays Larry David.



ALWAYS (BUT NOT FOREVER)
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 1985
USA, 105 mins

MONDAY, MAY 13 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 – 10 PM
MONDAY, MAY 27 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS 

Shot almost entirely in the house that Jaglom and Patrice Townsend once shared and featuring actual home-video footage from their wedding, ALWAYS (BUT NOT FOREVER) tells the story of Judy (Townsend) who drops by her soon-to-be ex-husband David (Jaglom) to celebrate their divorce over a home-cooked meal while they finalize their divorce papers. The film unravels over the course of a July 4th weekend which re-stages their emotionally devastating breakup just a couple years after Jaglom’s and Townsend’s actual real-life split. Co-Starring Melissa Leo (In her very first on-screen role) and featuring incredible cameos by Bob Rafelson, Andre Gregory, and Michael Emil, Always is autobiographical filmmaking of a high order and is as emotionally complex as it is laugh out loud funny.



SOMEONE TO LOVE
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 1987
USA, 111 mins

TUESDAY, MAY 14 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 16 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS 

Filmed in a loosely-scripted, quasi-documentary style, Henry Jaglom’s 1987 film is a meandering study of generational loneliness highlighted by musical numbers and intimate direct-to-camera confessionals that increasingly blur the line between reality and fiction. Set in an abandoned old theatre set to be demolished and transformed into a shopping mall, Jaglom plays Danny, a filmmaker, who throws a Valentines Day party to discover why he and his friends are middle-aged and alone. Starring cabaret singer Andrea Marcovicci (Jaglom’s then-girlfriend), Oja Kodar, Sally Kellerman, Michael Emil, and the legendary Orson Welles, in his very last screen role.



NEW YEAR’S DAY
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 1989
USA, 89 mins

SATURDAY, MAY 11 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 12 – 7:30 PM
SUNDay, MAY 26 – 5 PM

ONLINE TICKETS 

The final of Henry Jaglom’s autobiographical trilogy, NEW YEAR’S DAY features Jaglom as a wayward recent divorcé who, through miscommunication, spends a long January 1st in a soon-to-be-vacated Central Park apartment with three young women each at a crossroads in their personal lives. He takes a special shine to Maggie Wheeler (later known for memorable stints on Friends and Seinfeld), a cartoon voice-over artist and former animal trainer debating her relationship with her brooding (and then-real-life) boyfriend David Duchovny in his silver screen debut. Over the course of a drunken evening gathering, featuring appearances by Milos Forman, Michael Emil, and Rodger Parsons (the voice of the narrator in Pokemon), all three women come to terms with their apprehensions, anxieties, and desires.


TRAIN TO ZAKOPANE
Dir. Henry Jaglom, 2016
USA, 104 mins

SUNDAY, MAY 12 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 25 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS 

A rare period piece for Jaglom, TRAIN TO ZAKOPANÉ is based on the real-life experience of his father, centered around a Jewish man who falls in love with an anti-Semitic Polish nurse on a train in 1928. An adaptation of a long-running play by Jaglom.

MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: MANSFIELD 66/67

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15th
ONE NIGHT ONLY – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS    FACEBOOK EVENT

MANSFIELD 66/67
dir. P. David Ebersole & Todd Hughes, 2017.
USA/UK, 85 min.
English.

MANSFIELD 66/67 is about the last two years of movie goddess Jayne Mansfield’s life, and the rumours swirling around her untimely death.

(Text courtesy of IMDB)

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.

FUNDRAISER FOR BROOKLYN BAIL FUND: Nationalité Immigré

NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ
(Nationality: Immigrant)
Dir. Sidney Sokhona, 1975
France. 70 mins.
In French with English subtitles.

ONLINE TICKETS    FACEBOOK EVENT

OFFICIAL SELECTION – 1976 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Made by a young Parisian immigrant in his early 20s named Sidney Sokhona as he recoiled from a rash of exploitations and abuses in France’s African migrant community, NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ dramatizes the real-life rent strike undertaken by Sokhona and his neighbors in the Rue Riquet settlement housing, a “docu-fiction” of its own community in collaboration that’s unlike anything you’ve before seen in “world cinema”. One could hardly be blamed for interpreting the film as an endless litany of dehumanizing bureaucratic obstacle courses – as Serge Daney pointed out in his review “On Paper”, the film juts uncomfortably against the militant Left’s emphasis on using rupture theory to delegitimize the legal process, a high-minded option unavailable to immigrants like those depicted here. Sokhona took to filming after the Aubervilliers scandal of January 1970 – when five African migrants died in an overcrowded shelter on the periphery of Paris due to asphyxiation – prompting then-Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas to declare an end of these settlements, sometimes nicknamed bidonvilles or caves, by 1973. The filmmaker wasn’t so optimistic – but then, what NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ does offer is a rare glimpse at community organizing coming into praxis on both sides of the camera, with many of Sokhona’s neighbors playing themselves. (Sokhona financed the film in piecemeal fashion once scene at a time while working as a telephone operator.) While the thrust of NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ is unabashedly polemical, the loose narrative structure allows Sokhona to pursue fascinating side-stories and political tangents, at times dipping from what appears to be pure verite into a purely Brechtian exercise wherein immigrants are handed jobs in the form of huge placards, which they must carry around their necks, denoting their net worth to society in material terms.

In Cahiers du Cinema, Sokhona would elaborate to Daney and Jean-Pierre Oudart that “I was not sure that he who had loved NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ would like it – which does not mean that no one can love both. SAFRANA is, for me, the continuation of N:I. At the time it was done, compared to the reality of that time, there were a number of plans in the construction of the film itself on which we had to pass. For the first time, perhaps, people saw things they had never seen – so their membership was much simpler. I think people also ask: should a film about immigration be cinema? N.I. was in black and white, there was a certain desired poverty – it’s unthinkable to film an immigrant’s home in color…. People will go see a movie; of course they will see a subject, but it must be possible to express it in a very simple way. I think a political film – or engagé – can use other weapons, and touch a large number of people taking account of the movies.”

Assuming the position of both French and African filmmaker, Sokhona published a kind of manifesto in Cahiers du Cinema entitled “Notre Cinema” (Our Cinema), wherein he decried the cultural feedback loop enabled by state funding (especially in postcolonial cases), the incessant use of African landscapes as backdrops for tawdry Western melodramas, and the pigeonholing of black movies in festival programming – citing that the 1976 Cannes Film Festival included CAR WASH in its main slate, but consigned Ousmane Sembene’s CEDDO to competition in Directors’ Fortnight. If SAFRANA closes on an impossibly optimistic note for Sokhona (as the audience has, over the too-brief course of two movies, come to understand him), it reveals itself in hindsight as a byproduct of the French example, wherein the the organizing onscreen bears a utopian fruit that’s nevertheless untrustworthy. (Sokhona alleges that audiences were far more skeptical about the immigrants’ warm countryside reception in discussions following screenings in Paris.) What’s universalized in the humiliations of NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ remains – or as Sokhona put it to Cahiers, “Immigration has not only served to alienate us but also to teach us to be ashamed of what we were before. Any immigrant with a conscience realizes he has as much to claim on the workers’ side as the farmers’, today.”