Category: Uncategorized

COME GET YA MANS: MANSFIELD 66/67 AND THE WILD WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD


MANSFIELD 66/67
Dir. P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, 2017.
USA. 85 min.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 7:30 PM **Q&A**
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10 – 5:00 PM
NYC Premiere!

TICKETS HERE

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield’s fatal and legendary car crash, yet we are still left to wonder: was her life spinning out of control in the last two years of her life, or…did the devil make her do it?

Known as the “Working Man’s Monroe” and the “smartest dumb blonde,” Jayne Mansfield was a taboo-taunting, bodacious babe with brains and maybe, just maybe…a sexy Satanist as well? P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes (producers of Room 237) dive into Mansfield’s life and career, but especially her tumultuous final two years and her mysterious friendship with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. But this isn’t your regular bio-doc: expect some campy (yet educational) song and dance numbers amid the tornado of rumors and speculations as to whether or not Jayne’s death was actually caused by a malicious curse.

The film features interviews with the likes of John Waters, Tippi Hedren, Mamie Van Doren, and Kenneth Anger, who discuss the mark that Mansfield left, the ways in which she was ahead-of-her-time, and above all the mythology surrounding her life and untimely demise that made her such a fascinating figure in Hollywood Babylon.



THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD
Dir. Charles W. Broun, Jr., Joel Holt, and Arthur Knight, 1968.
USA. 99 min.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

An example of true exploitation (in more than just name/genre), THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD was filmed sporadically over four years before it was hastily released to capitalize off of the actress’ untimely and tragic death. It’s part travelogue and part nudie flick, an unstructured and uncomfortable compilation of Mansfield’s nude scenes from various films along with footage of her visiting the seedy and/or liberated underbellies of Europe and the U.S.: from Italian red light districts and massage parlors to topless bars in Los Angeles.

What may have begun as a tribute to Jayne’s libertine spirit doesn’t stick the landing. In fact, it trips and falls down when photos of the Mansfield’s horrendous car wreck appear on screen, juxtaposed with the cheeky travel footage throughout. An eerie voice-over of Mansfield (but actually spoken by a breathy yet clearly inauthentic imitator) puts a creepy cherry on top of this problematic pie.

DROID

DROID
dir. Philip O’Toole
USA, 1988

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 5 PM

For anyone who found BLADE RUNNER 2049’s perfume-ad gloss just a little too savory, DROID offers up a smokey, neon underworld of trashy dive bars, virginal sex robots, and trombone masturbation. Though it masqueraded as a sci-fi feature directed by “Peter Williams” upon its VHS release, the film is actually entirely comprised of footage form two hardcore porn films by Philip O’Toole, CABARET SIN (1987) and EMPIRE OF THE SINS (1988), but with anything explicit excised. Influenced by the likes of CAFE FLESH and LIQUID SKY, and with a plot lifted wholesale from BLADE RUNNER, DROID is some admirably audacious future sleaze even as it trips all over itself to cut to disguise the fact that it originated purely as a vehicle for sex, repeatedly cutting to some totally inexplicable images along the way.

The (discernible) story takes place in a future LA overrun by leather-clad, depraved police robots called Reformers. A human cop named Taylor, brought in for one last job and somehow sounding even more hungover and world-weary than Harrison Ford in his expository voicover, is pitted against them in the search for a stolen “decoder” (“where is the dee-coder?” Taylor frequently barks). Between the film’s countless lounge act interludes, there’s a perfectly enjoyable Vangelis-knockoff synth score credited to the grammatically suspect “Cinema Symphony’s.”

 

ALL FOR THE FANS

BACKSTAGE
Dir. Emmanuelle Bercot, 2005.
France, 112 mins.
In French with English subtitles.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

An oddball forgotten gem of the oughts – but still relevant as ever in the age of tween internet fandom – European festival mainstay Emmanuelle Bercot’s most striking film is a knotty teen pop opera with emotional intensity set to a speaker-blowing high. The great Isild Le Besco, French cinema’s go-to for young queer hysteria, gives a fiercely committed performance as a high school girl hopelessly stanning for pop star Emmanuelle Seigner (The Ninth Gate, Venus in Fur). Their paths cross as the result of a bizarre MTV-style contest, and soon both women find their lives hopelessly entwined in a relationship of shifting power dynamics. Agnès Godard, cinematographer for Claire Denis, gives the film an edge that’s woozy, love-drunk, stark, and surreal.

DER FAN
aka Trance.
Dir. Eckhart Schmidt, 1982.
Germany, 89 min.
In German with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20 – 7:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

In the wake of films like CHRISTIANE F., studies of displaced, dysfunctional German youth were a dime a dozen. However, the forerunner in the sweepstakes for the most memorable and disturbing entry would have to be DER FAN.
Like every other teenager in school, Simone has a crush on a rock star. When her idol, the lead singer ‘R’, comes to town to make a television appearance Simone is gripped by a trance-like state, leaving school, friends and parents behind her. However, when Simone comes to realize the shallow nature of the ‘glamorous’ music industry and of ‘R’ himself, she plans a calculated, ritualistic and bloody revenge on her obsession.

An unsettling blend of new wave pop culture, adolescent angst, and full-blooded horror, this nasty little art house shocker caught more than a few unsuspecting viewers off guard and earned a bit of a cult following in the process. Imagine a John Hughes film with Michael Haneke in the driver’s seat and you’re getting close…

HITS FROM THE BONGOS

THE FLOWER THIEF
dir. Ron Rice, 1960
59 min, USA
In English
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3 – 5 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 – 07:30 PM

TICKETS HERE

Special thanks to the Filmmakers Coop!

Spectacle favorite Taylor Mead (NO SUCH THING AS GRAVITY, CANDY AND DADDY) stars in Ron Rice’s ode to meandering afternoons – THE FLOWER THIEF.

Mead wanders around the city getting in scrapes with kids, literally stopping to smell the flowers, and eventually kidnapped by cowboys all set atop the grain of surplus 16mm film – rumored to be leftover from the army’s ariel-machine-gun-camera stock.

Rice and Mead met in sunny/smokey San Francisco and together, sometimes along with Jack Smith, made a number of dharma-bum/beat pics before Rice’s untimely death at only 29. Parker Tyler compared Rice’s romps to that of the Marx Brothers. In a perfect summation Light Industry’s Ed Halter quips – “Today, Mead’s Flower Thief uniform—tight hoodie, button-down shirt, three-stripe tennis shoes, and beat-up jeans—can be seen on many an L-train habitué, en route to neo-Bowery facsimilies of post-war cafés, and so the parody has been reversed; such are our own meticulous restorations of the fantasies of other people’s youth.”



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A BUCKET OF BLOOD
Roger Corman, 1959.
USA, 66 min.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

“Life is an obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of art.”

Chump janitor Walter Paisley spends all day surrounded by beatniks, jazz musicians, artists and their groupies at hip coffee shop The Yellow Door. He desperately aspires to the life of an artist, but hasn’t got an ounce of talent. What he does have is an accidentally dead cat, a lump of clay, and a vague idea…. When Walter’s new ‘sculpture’ makes him an overnight sensation, all the rats come out of the woodwork to get a piece of the action, and Walter’s forced to find more ‘subjects’ for his art. It’s a fast-paced Corman classic that manages sympathy for its hapless murderer while skewering the art world around him.



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BEAT GIRL
AKA Wild For Kicks
Dir. Edmund T. Gréville, 1960
UK, 85 min.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7 – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12 – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 – MIDNIGHT

TICKETS HERE

Beat goes to England in this over-the-top tale of a poor little rich girl rebelling against her wealthy dad’s remarriage. Why does the local stripper seem to recognize her new stepmom? Will the strip-club owner (played with oily perfection by Christopher Lee) get his hands on the young wildcat? Are drinking and fighting really for squares? With plenty of music, kicks, and nihilism for the disillusioned kids who survived the Blitz.

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THE FALLS: TRIBUTE TO CHRIS KNUDSEN

THE FALLS
dir. Peter Greenaway, 1980
UK, 195 min
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 – 8:00 PM *SCREENING AND TRIBUTE*
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 – 5 PM

TICKETS HERE

Earlier this year, the Spectacle family lost one of our volunteers, Chris Knudsen. When he started volunteering with us, one of the first things Chris shared was his love of Peter Greenaway’s films; he even had the tattoo based on A Zed and Two Noughts to prove it.
This December, we’ll be re-presenting the first film that Chris helped us program: Greenaway’s The Falls. We hope you’ll join us to pay tribute to our dear friend.

“A sprawling science fiction microbudget epic, Peter Greenaway’s THE FALLS is one of the more successful experimental features in accessibility and one that lasts 3 plus hours to boot. Known as Peter Greenaway’s favorite film of his own work, THE FALLS goes through a catalog of 92 individuals whose last name starts with the word “Fall” that were victimized by an event known as the VUE or the Violent Unknown Event. It’s told in a deadpan mock documentary style with numerous narrators, has a strange narrative current that somehow ties these characters together, can be seen as a mutated sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS, and boasts a playful score from Michael Nyman to wrap it all together.

Manic and mechanical, THE FALLS keeps you in focus with its absurdities and allows you to to solve the encyclopedic mystery with comic redundancies and run-ons. Indulgent in the best way possible, it’s truly mad in execution and in thought.” – CK

Special thanks to Zeitgeist Films.

And here is the poster for the original screening, it is a beauty:
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DON’T KILL THE ARTIST: THE FILMS OF ANDREAS TROEGER

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – 10 PM **WITH DIRECTOR Q AND A!!**
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 – 7:30 PM

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LIFEPAK
12 Min. 16mm
B&W, 1990

A night with an ambulance crew. A race between life and death.
“Lifepak” was chosen as one of ten works for the German Short Film Award.



PATH

13 Min. 16mm
B&W, 1991

A fixed brain is cut into slices like a ripe pineapple. Heads are opened and guts are prepared for the post-mortem examination. The preparator opens a body and a young female doctor dissects a fetus. The comments in the film are like guards, which lead you through the images. Early in their careers, the pathology workers reported having extreme fascination and at the same time emotional difficulty with their vocation. In many cases they lost their friend and were labeled “butchers” as a result of their chosen profession. The film gives a precise and clinical look behind the iron doors of a pathology lab. The pictures are shocking. They touch deep-set fears.


KILL THE ARTIST
40 Min. DV
Color, 2007

KILL THE ARTIST is a documentary about artists who got into trouble with the law because of their art-works.

Mike Diana was indicted in his home state of Florida for indecency. He was charged with three counts of obscenity in 1994, spent time in prison and was not allowed to draw for three years. In 2003, after fleeing to New York, Mike showed his artwork in a secret exhibition in Brooklyn. Diana says of the experience: “In a way it was almost flattering that they would feel so strongly. I felt that my artwork must have been effective.

In the film Richard Kern says, “We wanted it to be as hard as possible. The only restriction we had was, who would do what we wanted to be done.”

While in the western world violent life like re-enactments of rape and death on film thrive, investigative Journalist and author Yaron Svoray, explains in the film that the reality of sex crimes show how cheap life really can be. His investigation of snuff-movies leads him into the war in Bosnia. As Svoray explains: “Eventually two or three girls are pulled into a classroom and there is a communal rape. When it’s finished, one of the guys just says, ‘kill the bitches.’”

Kill The Artist reveals the extreme measures lawmakers and critics go through to censure avant-garde artists who walk the fine line between art, perversion, religion and devious sexual behavior.

Using never before seen footage along with rare films from Richard Kern, Nick Zedd and German filmmakers Jörg Buttgereit and Olaf Ittenbach, Kill The Artist takes a look at the ultimate power play – Sex and Death.


Indie Beat Presents: DRIFTWOOD

DRIFTWOOD
dir. Paul Taylor, 2016
75 min, USA
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM

In this dialogue-free film, a young woman washes ashore and is taken in by a stranger. As she convalesces in his remote cabin, the boundaries between guardian and captor merge, forming an unlikely household.

WINNER
Grand Jury Prize -Slamdance Film Festival 2016
Programmer Award – Virginia Film Festival 2016
Excellence in the Art of Filmmaking – Tallgrass Film Festival 2016

OFFICIAL SELECTION
American Film Festival (Poland)
Cucalorus Film Festival
Columbus International Film Festival
Microwave Cinema

STARRING
Joslyn Jensen
Paul C Kelly
Michael Fentin

ALL MEN ARE LIARS


ALL MEN ARE LIARS
Dir. Gerard Lee, 1995.
Australia, 91 mins.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 – 10PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4 – 10 PM

TICKETS HERE

The titular thesis of Gerard Lee’s 1995 Australian screwball – that all men are, in fact, liars – could be comfortably applied to most of Lee’s work with his lifelong friend and collaborator Jane Campion. Most recently Lee co-wrote both series of Campion’s TOP OF THE LAKE, which plumbs the depths of repugnant misogyny to its limits. ALL MEN ARE LIARS, produced six years after Campion and Lee’s breakthrough SWEETIE and just two years after Campion’s THE PIANO, has a considerably lighter touch.

Rarely ever screened in the US, this film also concerns a piano and an Australian teen boy’s desperate attempt to earn it back by cross-dressing and joining an all-girl band. It is entirely possible that this film is some sort of weird rebuttal to Campion’s Oscar-winner. A great deal of sexual confusion and musical performances follow as the leader of the group (musician Toni Pearen) begins to fall for their newest member, unaware of his charade and with the caveat that she recently vowed to kill the next man who lies to her.

MARGARETHE VON TROTTA’S SISTER FILMS

Over the span of her forty-odd year career, illustrious German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta has become best known as a socially-conscious, insatiably studious chronicler of history’s rebellious women, from Rosa Luxemburg to Hildegard of Bingen (both played by longtime collaborator and legendary German actress Barbara Sukowa). However, this description runs the risk of making von Trotta’s work sound pedantic and reverent, which is far from the case. “I am not a filmmaker who only makes films about strong women,” she expounded to The Brooklyn Rail in 2013.

Margarethe Von Trotta was, and still is, a sharp observer of the ebb and flow of heated personal relationships. These two films, part of an “accidental” trilogy of sororal dramas, best exemplify her ability to draw meaning from the sharp emotional contrast – and co-dependency between sisters. Shortly after finishing SISTERS, Von Trotta discovered that she had a sister that her mother never spoke of, and who shared the name of a character in the film, a phantasmagorical coincidence that inspired continued returns into making films about siblings.



SISTERS, OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS
dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1979.
West Germany. 95 mins.
In German with English subtitles

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – 10 PM

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Margarethe von Trotta’s second solo outing is intensely disquieting in the way it drifts from the moody murk of childhood fairy tales to a forebodingly stark present, tracing the pathological relationship between sisters Jutta Lampe and Gudrun Gabriel. One is domineering, the other submissive, and while its safe to say that they never reach the eponymous balance, their familiar machinations end up having melodramatic consequences, both for themselves and others pulled into their orbit.



THE GERMAN SISTERS
a.k.a. Die bleierne Zeit, Marianne and Juliane
dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1981
West Germany, 102 mins.
In German with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27 – 10 PM

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DIE BLEIERNE ZEIT gets its title from a poem by Hölderlin and conjures the oppressive atmosphere of postwar Germany, with the bleak and aimless consumer society being built through the “economic miracle” and the heritage of fascism that the majority of Germans were reluctant to address. Its Italian title, ANNI DI PIOMBO, became the phrase used to describe the wave of revolutionary violence and ensuing repression in Italy in the 70s. The overcast skies and modern prison blocks, along with the black and white newsreels of extermination camps and third-world misery that radicalize the Ensslin sisters, make for an overall cinematic texture that is just as leaden as the title promises.

Special thanks to Margarethe von Trotta and Water Bearer Films.

LABOR LOST AND FOUND


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 — 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 — 7:30 PM

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Looking at what we all do for some half of our waking adult life is always revealing. Once this particular level of inquiry begins it can address a myriad of issues, including class disparity, existential questions and whether dreams are deferred or denied. Through interviews, observational vignettes and historical tracings, these films investigate the world of work in unexpected and invigorating ways.

“Meet me at the bottom, don’t lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the frontline
Sing a little bit of these workingman’s blues”

-Bob Dylan

OILTOWNS
Dir. Mark Street, 2017.
41 min, USA.

OILTOWNS traces boom and bust cycles in and around the town of Williston, North Dakota. Interviews with oil workers, longtime residents, ranchers and the homeless focus on changes that have animated the small town. Pump jacks dig rhythmically on desolate highways, trucks lumber on small roads, gas flares in the distance, new homes are built at breakneck speed, abandoned RVs seem to rust before our eyes. A Turtle Mountain Native American talks about the rampant prostitution and drug use that has burgeoned as a result of itinerant workers arriving with lots of money to spend. Three drunk men banter in front of a trailer they share as the sun goes down. A former Chicago policeman sells hot dogs from a stand from 10AM to 10 PM every day alongside a highway teeming with oil trucks. OILTOWNS offers a microscopic view of unbridled capitalism in which expectations are exceeded and dashed. In the Bakken formation, oil is THE game in town, and its discovery and extraction brings unexpected consequences and environmental blight.

OILTOWNS reveals an ensemble of people who have chased the American Dream all across the country, as well as those who have seen it appear on their doorstep. The Bakken formation in North Dakota has yielded almost 1 million barrels of oil a day. Oil exploration and recovery has brought unprecedented wealth to the region, which was primarily an agrarian economy before oil was discovered. Money, and the transient workers who make and spend it, has enlivened the community economically, but at great social cost. Drugs and prostitution proliferate, and the infrastructure is ill equipped to handle the influx of people. Housing prices have skyrocketed; some workers live in ‘man camps’ provided by oil companies. It’s a place where residents check the price of oil daily and impermanence is the only constant.

As we in the United States ponder whether energy independence is possible or desirable, and how much to invest in renewable energy sources, OILTOWNS examines the ramifications of the footprint of the oil industry on a small community. Audience members can see for themselves some of the environmental and social problems created by increased development, but also some of the infectious spirit of the workers who moved to North Dakota determined to work hard to send money back home.

Check out Mark Street’s site here.

THE WASHING SOCIETY [excerpts]
Dir. Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker, 2018.
10 min, USA.

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? Our film brings you into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, THE WASHING SOCIETY investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.

Check out Lynne Sachs’ site here.


BLOOD OF THE BEASTS

Dir. Georges Franju, 1949.
20 min, France.
In French with English subtitles.

A shocking observational portrait of Paris abbatoirs.

“George Franju’s 1949 film Le Sang Des Bêtes (blood of the beasts) is one of the most beautiful and horrifying movies ever made. Filmed in the backstreets of Paris, Franju contrasts bucolic scenes of fog-shrouded streets, canals, deserted junkyards and children playing, with the nightmarish events taking place within two slaughterhouses. Marcel Fradetal’s stunning black and white cinematography turns the horrific into a brutal kind of poetry that if it had been shot in color would be unbearable.” -Dangerous Minds