SHOT AT SPAHN RANCH: 1969

LINDA & ABILENE
Dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1969
92 min. USA.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH – 10:00PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18TH – MIDNITE

While Linda & Abeliene was filmed with most of the same crew as The Ecstasies of Women- with Shanon Matt returning in a lead role- it was a much more focused and concentrated effort.

Clocking in at an almost unfathomable 92 epic minutes, and filmed on location at the infamous Spahn Movie Ranch (home to the notorious Manson Family in their heyday) this western follows Tod and Abilene after the tragic death of their parents. Unable to deal with the loss and growing increasingly uncomfortable with his feelings of attraction to his sister, Tod high tails it to a nearby town where he meets the lovely Linda pulling suds (among other things) in a local saloon.

A rough and tumble cowpoke by the name of Rawhide overhears that Abilene has been left alone at the ranch and sets off to pay her a visit. Tod will not let this stand and sets out to kill the man who wronged his sister. Meanwhile, Linda and Abilene find they have more in common than they thought.

A savage and sexy western adventure!

WANDA THE SADISTIC HYPNOTIST
Dir. Greg Corarito, 1969
69 min. USA.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11TH – 10:00PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24TH – MIDNITE

HUBLEY FAMILY PORTRAIT


“We just wanted to make small, good films and raise a family. A terrific life.”
Faith Hubley

This August, animator and filmmaker Emily Hubley will be at Spectacle for three discrete presentations of moving image work. The first is a selection of short films by her parents, the legendary animators John and Faith Hubley; the second is a survey of Faith’s solo works, spanning from 1975 to 2001. Finally, Emily will present a selection of her own animations, many of them made in collaboration with her mother and siblings. All three screenings will be followed by Q&A.

John Hubley was an art director at Disney who would do innovative work in Hollywood before being blacklisted and moving East; like Theodore Geisel, he worked on some 1940s cartoons which are, in hindsight, jawdroppingly progressive: he produced and storyboarded Chuck Jones’ United Automotive Workers’ short HELL-BENT FOR ELECTION (1944), which features a burly laborer not dissimilar from the ones in Russian Constructivist murals, and production-designed United Productions of America (UPA)’s THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN (1946), an anti-racism PSA that would later serve as evidence that the company was steeped in “un-American” politics. But it was Hubley’s partnership with his wife Faith (herself a lifelong feminist and antifascist who had worked a number of jobs in Hollywood) that would result in some of the most beguiling alternative cartoons to emerge from the postwar period. Their careers straddled old-guard animation under the protectorates of Disney and Warner-size studios, and the emergence of avant-garde, experimental forms; their style was suffused with the kind of flat, jazzy modernism those same companies would ape in later years in order to save money on animation.

Working as a team, the Hubleys’ collaborators included Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Herb Alpert, and Garry Trudeau and Ella Fitzgerald; they designed segments for Sesame Street and The Electric Workshop, and fielded a number of Academy Awards (as well as nominations.) Frequently casting their children as voice actors (notably in 1959’s MOONBIRD, 1967’s A WINDY DAY, and 1972’s COCKABOODY – animated around audio recordings of the kids), the Hubleys strove to push animation ahead of what John called “pigs and bunnies”. They continued to do that even after his untimely death at the age of 62 – in the middle of working with him on A Doonesbury Special, which would be finished by Faith and broadcast on NBC the following year. Faith Hubley would continue the family business, but with a style that broke off from the collaborations with her late husband. Her solo credits – starting with 1975’s W.O.W. (WOMEN OF THE WORLD) – bundle together international forms and ancient mythologies. She would make 25 films between John’s death and her own in 2001, including the metaphysical feature THE COSMIC EYE in 1986.

Much of it hand-drawn, Emily’s animations pick up her parents’ thread of drawing inspiration from everyday life: while her most famous work is probably the “Origin of Love” sequence in John Cameron Mitchell’s HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, her 2009 feature THE TOE TACTIC toured nationwide and she has done music videos for her sister Georgia’s band Yo La Tengo (“Before We Run”) as well as Kate Vargas (“Call Back The Dogs”). Her shorts from the 80s and 90s betray a punk sensibility, but with a wry tenderness that’s consistent with the movies she collaborated on as a child. We’ll be showing a selection curated by Emily herself, plus her latest, BRAINWORM BILLY (made in collaboration with Max Rosenthal.)

( from MOONBIRD, 1959 )

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – 7:30 PM
Q&A with Emily Hubley
(This event is $10)

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

ADVENTURES OF AN *
10 mins. 1956.

MOONBIRD
10 mins. 1959.

COCKABOODY
9 mins. 1973.

UBRANISSIMO
6 mins. 1966.

ZUCKERKANDL
15 mins. 1969.

EGGS
10 mins. 1970.

THE HOLE
15 mins. 1962.

THE TENDER GAME
6 mins. 1958.
Total runtime: 82 mins

( from MY UNIVERSE INSIDE OUT, 1996)

SHORT FILMS BY FAITH HUBLEY
SUNDAY AUGUST 19 – 5pm
Q&A with Emily Hubley
(This event is $10)

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

W.O.W. (WOMEN OF THE WORLD)
9 mins. 1975.

HELLO
9 mins. 1984.

TIME OF THE ANGELS
9.5 mins. 1987.

TALL TIME TALES
8 mins. 1992.

MY UNIVERSE INSIDE OUT
25 mins. 1996.

WITCH MADNESS
8.5 mins. 1999.

NORTHERN ICE GOLDEN SUN
6 mins. 2001

Total runtime: 75 mins

( from BRAINWORM BILLY, 2018 )

SHORT FILMS BY EMILY HUBLEY

SUNDAY AUGUST 19 – 7:30 pm
Q&A with Emily Hubley (This event is $10)

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

DELIVERY MAN
7.5 mins. 1982.

THE TOWER
10.5 mins. 1984. made with Georgia Hubley.

ENOUGH
5 mins. 1993.

HER GRANDMOTHER’S GIFT
4.5 mins. 1995.

ONE SELF: FISH/GIRL
10 mins. 1997.

PIGEON WITHIN
4.5 mins. 2000.

SET SET SPIKE
6 mins. 2002.

OCTAVE
7 mins. 2006.

HAIL
3 mins. 2011.

WRITE BACK
5 mins. 2013.

CALL BACK THE DOGS
4 mins. 2016.

PARAFFIN
5 mins. 2017.

AND/OR
5.5 mins. 2012.

BRAINWORM BILLY
2.5 mins. 2018. made with Max Rosenthal.

GET REEL: CULTURE OF THE COSMOS


AUGUST 31st  –  7:30 PM
((**ONE NIGHT ONLY!**))

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

GET REEL is a comedy show for movie lovers (and movie haters, alike). It features clips from well-known films, appropriated into comedic routines by New York’s HOTTEST (physically and career-wise) comedians.
This August GET REEL returns to Spectacle for round 4. This month’s theme is Culture of the Comos. Galactic adventure, frolicking among the stars, alien emotions, and deep space discovery. Make sure put Get Reel in your orbit this month.

A FORTNIGHT WITH FRANK MOSLEY

Actor Frank Mosley has been a frequent presence in American independent cinema for over a decade. As both a leading man and ubiquitous character actor, he’s appeared in films helmed by established indie darlings (Shane Carruth, David Lowry) and rising stars (Dylan Pasture, Cameron Bruce Nelson). His dance card may be full to bursting, but Mosley is more than just a pretty face.
As a director and writer, he has exhibited work at many of the world’s foremost festivals: Slamdance, Maryland Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, and Champs-Elysée, to name a few. His fascination with matters of identity, memory, and temporality bleed through every frame of his films – few directors working today can touch Mosley’s narrative and media savvy. Spectacle is honored to bring his most recent efforts – three shorts, and a laudatory feature – to a discerning New York audience.

FRANK MOSLEY SHORTS PROGRAM

 

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – 7:00 PM
PARTHENON
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2017.
USA, 14 mins.

A naked body moves a stranger to empathy. PARTHENON is a slippery, dizzying diptych that questions the limits of our perception.

CASA DE MI MADRE
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2016.
USA, 12 mins.

A fire rages in the woods near a village. This fire triggers a memory in a lonely, middle-aged woman. And this memory pushes her to utter aloud the words she’s always wanted to say.

Produced in Cuba with the support of Black Factory Cinema and Escuela Internacionales de Cine y Tv in San Antonio de los Banos (EICTV), and made under the guidance of master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. The result of Mosley’s selection as a participant in the 2016 Workshop for Auteurs, the film examines grief, transference, and the consequences of role-playing.

SPIDER VEINS
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2016.
USA, 15 mins.

Two women, seemingly strangers, confront one another in an old house with conflicting memories of the same dress. By turns mysterious and shocking, the film’s fragile narrative begins to unravel, but the women’s relationship teeters closer to truth.

Loosely inspired by Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, SPIDER VEINS is a mercurial investigation into varying levels of everyday artifice.



HER WILDERNESS
Dir. Frank Mosley, 2014.
USA, 64 mins.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – 9 PM
AND
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT

HER WILDERNESS weaves an elliptical, minimalist narrative of a lost, wandering child in the wake of an affair that may or may not have even happened. The film has been called “a unique work with a distinctive voice” (Indiewire), “a mesmerizing film by a superb actor and filmmaker” (RogerEbert.com), “a delicately fate-fixated mid-length enigma” (Keyframe), “the sort of fulfillment of good poetry” (Hammer To Nail), “one of the best undistributed films of 2015” (Film Pulse), and “the best experimental narrative of the year…at once alien and achingly resonant” (Indie Outlook).

HER WILDERNESS (2014) – Official trailer from Frank Mosley on Vimeo.

 

LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE!

LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE!
Dir. Julia Query and Vicky Funari, 2000
USA, 70 min
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!
DIRECTOR JULIA QUERY IN PERSON

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT HERE

No contract, no pussy.

“My knees are killing me” a dancer purrs to the camera in a sultry voice, capturing the irony of the strip club. Part of a dancer’s job is to look like she’s having fun, but stripping is hard work even in the best conditions, and at the Lusty Lady peep show, the conditions are anything but: no job security, rampant discrimination against women of color, and an unsafe working environment.

After a particularly harrowing incident involving a violent patron and an indifferent response from management, the dancers at the Lusty Lady voted to form a labor union. LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE follows the dancers’ organizing efforts: hiring a lawyer, negotiating a contract, and debating whether or not to strike.

The film is co-directed and narrated by Julia Query, who was part of the workers’ bargaining committee. Query injects a warm humor into the narrative, also weaving in her complex relationship with her mother, a public health advocate known for her extensive outreach with street-based sex workers. Julia is hesitant to tell her mother that she works as a stripper—until Julia’s organizing leads mother and daughter to present at the same conference on prostitution.

Part of the series: SEX WORK IS WORK, which also brought you WORKING GIRLS in July. SEX WORK IS WORK is an ongoing benefit series exploring sex work in film, programmed in protest of the SESTA/FOSTA law. All proceeds from this event will go to Lysistrata Mutual Care Collective and Fund.

ST. FRANCIS HEARS A NOISE

ST. FRANCIS HEARS A NOISE
Dir. Jimmy Schaus, 2018
USA
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15 – 7:00 PM
**ONE NIGHT ONLY** Q&A WITH DIRECTOR

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT

A psychotronic, picaresque science fiction romp about a sound recordist whose special microphone picks up messages from beyond. Some of these sounds are stolen by a sinister underground production network to unlock latent psychic energy from the young actors they routinely exploit. Francis, the titular protagonist, sets off on a journey to investigate and retrieve his precious sounds, only to uncover a vast network of control in which he may already be enmeshed.

PSYCHOMANIA

PSYCHOMANIA aka THE DEATH WHEELERS
Dir. by Don Sharp, 1973
USA, 95 min.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – MIDNIGHT
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 27 – 10 PM

What do witchcraft, a knock-off Stonehenge, toads, biker gangs, and Satan all have in common? PSYCHOMANIA!

Meet Tom, the leader of biker gang THE LIVING DEAD. Tom has just discovered a loophole around death – if he dies while fully believing he’ll come back, he will become immortal.

After sharing his gift with the rest of the gang, they start to reap anarchic chaos on the unsuspecting stooges of the Establishment – mostly by harassing old women (questionable) and destroying shopping centers (rad).

Featuring George Sanders’ final performance as Shadwell the sinister butler, not to mention a rip-roaring psychedelic score by John Cameron, insanely groovy sets and outfits, and pure anarchy.

Presented in a crisp new blu-ray remaster from the original print, c/o AGFA.



THE METAPHYSICAL MYSTERIES OF SOGO ISHII

Known to many as the godfather of Japanese cyberpunk cinema for his rock-heavy, high-octane, biker films Burst City and Crazy Thunder Road, Sogo (now known as Gakuryu) Ishii is an important precursor to many of the cult icons that dominate Japanese cinemas reputation such as Takashi Miike and Shinya Tsukamoto. Yet much more protean than much of his modest reputation admits, by the time the 90s came around, Ishii all but abandoned the leather stuffed aesthetic of his early films in favor of a slower, dream-like style concerned with metaphysical questions of identity and romantic desire. Suffuse with unsolvable mysteries that spiral endlessly out of control; a hypnotic editing style that relies on lethargic tracking shots and a sublime sense of empty architectural spaces mixed with rapid impressionistic montages and jarring auditory shifts; and a quietly transgressive gender subtext that echoes his earlier punk ambitions – ANGEL DUST, AUGUST IN THE WATER, and LABYRINTH OF DREAMS form a loose trilogy of semi-forgotten, but entirely umissibe and unique masterworks of Japanese cinema. These three are presented here with Ishii’s 1984 film, THE CRAZY FAMILY, a key bridge between his earlier anarchic punk films and his more methodical 90’s output.


( poster by Stephanie Monohan )



ANGEL DUST
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1994
Japan, 116 min.
In Japanese, English subs
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 20 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28 – 7:30 PM

6 PM every Monday a woman drops dead on the Tokyo Metro leaving no clues as to who killed her. Stupefied, the police enlist psychologist Setsuko to profile the killer and predict his next moves. When the trail leads her to her former lover, Dr. Rei Aku, a mind-control obsessed psychiatrist who performs bizarre psychological experiments in from his mountain dome hideaway, Setsuko starts to experience bizarre hallucinations and premonitions related to the killings.

Drenched in vomit colored neon greens and filled with a nauseating sense of modernist alienation, ANGEL DUST echoes many of the themes and styles explored by Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s while retaining the psychedelic techniques and hypnotic narrative structure that forms a distinct part of Ishii’s 90’s style.



AUGUST IN THE WATER
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1995
Japan, 117 min.
In Japanese, English subs
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7:30 PM

When mysterious new girl at school and world class diving protege, Izumi, comes to town, strange things start happening – a giant heat wave consumes the town, bizzare rocks appear in the forest, and all the water in the pool turns to stone during Izumi’s most important dive. Izumi’s hopelessly romantic classmate, Ukiya, follows her as they try to figure out what’s happening. Yet far from the supernatural thriller which it may resemble on the surface, AUGUST IN THE WATER, is filled with its own completely hypnotic energy and teenage sense of wonder. Ishii utilizes meditative tracking shots across glimmering swimming pools, dreamy dissolves between cloudy skies, and a web of unsolved mysteries tethered to new age spiritualism to create a work that might be as far he could possibly get from the rebellious aggression of his early punk films.



LABYRINTH OF DREAMS
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1997
Japan, 90 min.
In Japanese, English subs
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 5 PM

“A Freudian fable of the night, filled with moons, rain, dark tunnels and imminent collisions.”
-Tony Rayns, Senses of Cinema

Ishii’s Hitchcockian tale of romantic obsession and aggression begins in a surrealist mixture of dream, memory, and rumor. When bus conductor, Tomiko (Rena Komine), gets assigned to work with bus driver Niitaka (Tadanobu Asano, Ichii the Killer and Bright Future), not only does she think that he looks like the man from her dreams, but that he also might be the man who married and killed her friend and co-worker. Determined to get revenge, Tomiko seduces him. But when she finds herself irresistibly attracted to him she gets obsessed with testing the sincerity of his murderous desires. Shot in dreamy black and white, Ishii melds many of the guttural DIY techniques of his early punk years with moody expressionist compositions reminiscent of Maya Deren to create a film both aggressive and disorienting as well as melancholic and contemplative.



THE CRAZY FAMILY
Dir. Sogo Ishii, 1984
Japan, 106 min.
In Japanese, English subs
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 13 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 – MIDNIGHT

“Mixing sledgehammer social satire with rapid-fire cinematic dementia, this is an unforgettable excursion into the darkest recesses of middle-class values.”
Shock Cinema Magazine

After moving into a nice suburban home on the outskirts of Tokyo, the Kobayashi family seems to be living the domestic dream. That is until they all start trying to kill and fuck each other. With a fascist grandpa running shouting WWII era Japanese military slogans in in his army uniform, a son who builds giant neon shrines to his college entrance exams, and a sex-starved mother running around the house with a pot on her head trying to kill everyone with her kitchen knives, Ishii’s take-down of the Japanese family unit is a gleefully delirious satire and a clear precursor to such Takashi Miike family dramas like VISITOR Q and THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS.

THE SLAYER

THE SLAYER
Dir. by J.S. Cardone, 1982
USA, 82 min.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – 10 PM

Do yourself a favor and don’t google this movie – the less you know going in, the better. That said…

Deemed an infamous “video nasty” on its release in the UK, The Slayer has aged shockingly well for a low-budget slasher venture.

The barebones plot follows Kay, a “surreal artist”, and a vacation she takes with her boyfriend, her brother and his wife to a cabin on a deserted island, the aim of this sojourn being to take Kay’s mind off her upcoming art show.

Shortly after arriving, Kay recognizes the place as having appeared in her anxiety-fueled nightmares. It’s not long before the dreams get worse, and Kay starts having detailed visions of her companions being murdered by something or someone.

While it sounds like a by-the-numbers killer-in-a-cabin flick, The Slayer boasts an impressively surreal and nightmarish tone, soaked in an uncanny sense of dread and peppered with striking practical effects. To say more would spoil the fun, so just come see it, won’t you?

SIX-STRING SAMURAI


SIX-STRING SAMURAI

dir. Lance Mungia, 1998
United States. 91 mins.
In English.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 – 7:30PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17 – 7:30PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 20 – 10PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30 – 7:30PM
OFFICIAL SELECTION – 1998 SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be. Remember dystopian Spectacle classics like STEEL DAWN, NEON CITY and DIGITAL MAN (RIP Philip Roth)? They’re all left in the dust by Lance Mungia’s irrepressible SIX STRING SAMURAI, a breakout chopsocky-musical that effectively hip-swayed stage left at the end of its theatrical run two very long decades ago. Featuring music by the notorious Siberian surf rock band The Red Elvises, SIX-STRING SAMURAI takes place in an alternate U.S.S.A. (like, alternate to this one) where the Russians dropped The Big One in 1957, leaving spotty electricity and a radioactive desert hellscape in their wake. Vegas is the last holdout of American civilization, and Elvis its supreme ruler – until Buddy, a lone swordsman patterned off of Buddy Holly and Ogami Ittō, hears on the radio that “Vegas needs a new king”.

A long travelogue ensues, dotted in encounters with Death (a metalhead patterned after Slash) and an extremely irritating Kid (Justin McGuire, iconic) who affixes himself to Buddy in classic adventure-movie fashion. Apart from the shredding tunes (which crescendo into a battle of the bands that’ll flash-fry your eardrums) and the uncannily prescient depiction of a post-wet America abandoned by the side of the road, Mungia’s spectacular action scenes are what make SIX-STRING SAMURAI stick – anchored by the full-body performance of leading man Jeffrey Falcon, a bona fide Kung Fu master who appeared as weibo heavy in many a Hong Kong actioner from the 80s and 90s.

“Married to punkified STAR WARS plot by way of THE ROAD WARRIOR, Messrs. Mungia and Falcon have successfully reworked the same bedrock myths (fathers and sons, journeys, destiny, yadda yadda yadda) with unassuming giddiness and funked up style, served up so effortlessly that you never think about these mythic foundations through this grunge journey.” – Sean Axmaker, Nitrate


( poster by Jake Armstrong )