MATCH CUTS PRESENTS: RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER’S WORLD ON A WIRE

WORLD ON A WIRE
(WELT AM DRAHT)
dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973.
205 mins. Germany.
In German with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th – 7:30 PM & 10 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY w/introduction by Dennis Roberts

PART I – 7:30 PM (100 min.)
PART II – 10 PM (105 min.)

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

WORLD ON A WIRE is a 1973 science fiction television serial, starring Klaus Löwitsch and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Shot in 16mm, it was made for German television and originally aired in 1973, as a two-part miniseries. It was based on the novel SIMULACRON-3 by Daniel F. Galouye. An adaptation of the Fassbinder version was presented as the play WORLD OF WIRES, directed by Jay Scheib, in 2012. Its focus is not on action, but on sophistic and philosophic aspects of the human mind, simulation, and the role of scientific research. A theatrical remake entitled THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR featuring Vincent D’Onofrio was released in 1999.

DENNIS ROBERTS is the Director of Creative Technology at The Bosco, a company he helped found. He’s also a futurist, hobbyist game designer, and founder of the New York Experiential Meetup. He’s working on his first book, TRIALS OF TOMORROW, a collection of speculative fiction. In a past life, he directed music videos, some of which you can find on this site, www.dennisroberts.com.

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.

THE 1ST ANNUAL TREDICI BACCI FILM FESTIVAL


Tredici Bacci, New York’s premier 15-piece soundtrack-pop orchestra, draws a great deal of inspiration from the grand tradition of Italian film, specifically the luxe, mondo B-movies made circa 1960-80. The Tredici Bacci Film Fest—curated by the group’s bandleader and composer, Simon Hanes—will celebrate this incredible era by showing some of the epoch’s greatest (if lesser known) films. Supplementing these screenings, the group will supply intermittent musical performance plus delicious Italian food and beverage.

$10 gets you a “day pass”, i.e. a three-course meal of delicious Italo schlock. Tickets for individual screenings will be sold as capacity permits for $5.

DAY 1 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH

ONLINE TICKETS $10 for all day!!

5:00PM:

CHECK TO THE QUEEN
Dir. Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1969
99 min, Italy
With sausage/salami plate and beverage

Exactly how does one describe the indescribable? From the outside, “Check To The Queen” looks like a simple, classic, Italian psychosexual drama. It is only when we peek beneath the mantle that we find an extravagant, glorious, completely over the top film – A deranged composite of garish colors, speed zooms, jump cuts, and criminally thick mascara levels. Replete with sets and costumes that make Breakfast At Tiffany’s look like THX 1138, fevered pseudo-arabian dream sequences, and – for some reason – a terrifying mechanical horse that teeters on the edge of the uncanny valley, “Check To The Queen” is a rare example of style creating substance, of glitz and glamour generating genius. Keep an ear out for piccioni’s lurid score – at times psychedelic, at others almost horrifyingly bland – always just what the scene needs.

7:30 PM:

THE SEDUCERS/TOP SENSATION
Dir. Ottavia Alessi, 1969
99 min, Italy
With pasta with pesto, salad

A sex worker, a virgin pyromaniac, an opium-addicted, pan-sexual helicopter mom and a couple of good old fashioned swingers, all hanging out on a fancy boat, which happens to be well stocked with dynamite and sporting a state of the art closed-circuit camera system. What on earth could go wrong!? And more importantly, who ends up sleeping with who? The answers may, or may not, surprise you. Did I mention they stop on an island full of goats for awhile? This is one of those films that – by todays standards – should never have never been made, and yet it stands as an interesting and enlivening document, evidence of what filmmakers must have thought the general public wanted to see. To this day, it needs to be seen to be believed, if only for the scene of Edwidge Fenech in sailor’s garb, hand feeding a small goat.

10:00 PM:

KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!
Dir. Romain Grey, 1971
113 min, Italy/France/West Germany/Spain
With chocolate cake or something


DAY 2 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 

ONLINE TICKETS $10 for all day!!

5:00 PM:

MONDO CANDIDO
Dir. Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi, 1975
107 min, Italy
With bruschetta and beverage

The word “Mondo” doesn’t get thrown around a lot these days, probably for good reason. Like “Gonzo”, “Mondo” is a descriptor best tied to a specific moment – in filmmaking, particularly the late 60s and early 70s, when Italian directors were pioneering exciting new ways to disgust, shock, and occasionally titillate audiences by showing them very fake gore and violence while promising them it was real. This trend led to a great many cinematic travesties – but none which stick out of the Mondo lineage as conspicuously as Mondo Candido – a frenetic, blatantly anachronistic and gloriously stupid retelling of Voltaire’s Candide. Galloping where ever it likes, this disfigured romp, a lovechild between Federico Fellini and Ken Russel, shakes the viewer out of normal complacency by reminding us that just because anything can happen in the world of film, doesn’t mean it always should.

7:30 PM: 

THE TREASURE OF SAN GENNARO
Dir. Dino Risi, 1966
104 min, Italy
With Pizza!

All you really need to know is that its 1966 in Naples and a bunch of handsome, stylish crooks (including an American!) want to steal some religious treasure. A classic Italian heist! You’re gonna get fast, tiny cars! hyperanimated conversation! Catholic guilt! Shouting! Mafia Stuff! Maybe some adultery? I can’t remember. In any case, it’s a non stop cinematic romp of people smoking cigarettes and looking incredible. All perfectly supported by Armando Trovajoli’s bright, mandolin heavy score. If ever I were in a situation where I had to convince someone to watch this movie, I would sit them down, look them dead in the eye and say “trust me, you’re gonna like this move” one hundred times.

10:00 PM: 

THE 10TH VICTIM
Dir. Elio Petri
93 min, Italy
With … zeppole and… limoncello?!

Every once in awhile, a movie comes along that just makes you say “Yes.” A movie that has everything your heart and mind has ever desired in a movie, wether or not you even knew it yet. For some people, that movie is “Lassie” – for some, its “Free Willy” – and for others, its “Babe: Pig In The City.” But for me, that movie is Elio Petri’s Sextopyian (a word i just made up) masterpiece “The 10th Victim”. Why? There’s no point in trying to explain with the brevity needed for this blurb, but I promise once you watch it, you’ll understand. Set in a future only Italians in 1965 could ever imagine, THE 10th VICTIM” confronts everyone’s favorite topics – humans hunting humans, jazz, and post-modern interior design. Piccioni hits it out of the park again on this one with his utterly manic, glistening score.

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE: A Film Noir Double Bill


YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE
dir. Fritz Lang, 1937
86 mins. United States.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – 5 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Fritz Lang’s 1937 YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (his third film after fleeing Nazi Germany, and just his second American movie) is a complex social melodrama, tightly disguised as a bleak noir about star-crossed lovers on the run. Henry Fonda stars as Eddie Taylor, a jailbird who’s just been released from prison (for the third time) with desperate hopes to finally turn his life around. Unfortunately for Taylor, Lang’s fatalistic noir unravels as a thorough critique of an American judicial system that consistently sets its subjects up for failure. In a country that imprisons more people per capita than any other in the world, Lang’s social protest film is as poignant today as it was when James Baldwin praised it in 1976. With expressive black & white cinematography and a harrowing performance from Sylvia Sidney, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE is a remarkable career achievement and as James Baldwin reminds us, Lang “never succeeded quite so brilliantly.”


NIGHTFALL
dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1957
79 mins. United States.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Working with classic film noir genre tropes (a suitcase filled with money, an innocent man being accused, a snowy day in Wyoming?), Tourneur’s late-period noir is a poetic thriller that becomes increasingly difficult to pin down with its suspenseful flashback structure and vividly set sun-filled exteriors. Released nine years after his noir masterpiece OUT OF THE PAST and photographed by film noir legend Burnett Guffey (IN A LONELY PLACE, THE RECKLESS MOMENT), NIGHTFALL tells the story of an artist (Aldo Ray) who desperately tries to prove his innocence for a murder and robbery he didn’t commit. The slow-burning thriller culminates in an epic final scene, worth noting due to its striking resemblance to a Coen Brothers movie whose location is just north of Tourneur’s Teton County exterior (oh geez).

Carlos Gonzalez’s ANTENNA TO GOD w/filmmaker Q&A

ANTENNA TO GOD
dir. Carlos Gonzalez, 2019.
United States. 105 min.
In English.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY w/filmmaker Carlos Gonzalez in person for Q&A!
(This event is $10.)

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

ANTENNA TO GOD is a shot-on-video psycho-drama/mystery/comedy concerning a young hotshot journalist who gets involved with a strange local chiropractor, while researching her next piece. As her personality begins to shift more and more in resemblance to a deceased night club singer, her editor tries to unravel the real story behind the cracks. As he probes various characters associated within the fragmented story he finds himself pulled ever deeper into a thickening narrative stew that may overtake him completely.

CARLOS GONZELZ lives and works in Providence, RI. He is a comic book artist with several publications (Test Tube, Scab County, Gates of Plasma) released through Floating World Comics. He makes underground music as Russian Tsarlag, as well as crude, story-driven analog home videos. His last feature length video (FORGOTTEN WORLD) was released by Pleasure Editions in 2017 on VHS and digital.

PERSISTENCE OF VISION: The Films of Suzan Pitt

Join us in celebrating the life of legendary animator and artist Suzan Pitt (1943 – 2019) in this small survey of some of her greatest animated films, spanning across the length of her 30+ year career as one of America’s most innovative voices in experimental animation. These works, beginning with her first major hand-painted animation and cult-classic ASPARAGUS and ending with her final 20+ minute work, EL DOCTOR, track the extraordinary artist across time as she uses her unique voice to interrogate different stages in life. From the youthful mysteries of the creative process to the philosophical conundrums of death and dying, these films reflect Pitt’s evolution not only as an animator and artist but as a person grappling with the passage of time and the mysteries each phase of life brings. This shorts program will be followed by a documentary on Pitt’s life and work, PERSISTENCE OF VISION, directed by Blue and Laura Kraning, which grants unparalleled access and insight into the process and personality of this singular artist. Stick around at the later screening to catch a bonus show of Pitt’s last short film, PINBALL.

Special thanks to Blue and Laura Kraning.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

ASPARAGUS
dir. Suzan Pitt. 1979
20 mins. New York City.
In English.

JOY STREET
dir. Suzan Pitt. 1995
24 mins. Mexico, Guatemala, and the USA.
In English.

EL DOCTOR
dir. Suzan Pitt. 2006
23 mins. Mexico and Los Angeles.
In English.

PERSISTENCE OF VISION
dir. Blue and Laura Kraning. 2006
33 mins. Los Angeles.
In English.

*BONUS SCREENING — AFTER FINAL SHOW*

PINBALL
dir. Suzan Pitt. 2013
7 mins. New Mexico.
In English.

LA BODEGA SOLD DREAMS

Puerto Rico is the oldest colony in the world, a territorial possession ceded to the United States after it invaded the islands in 1898 during the Spanish American War, or in the words of Rita Indiana: ‘a social experiment full of contradictions’. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were imposed US citizenship; by 1970, New York City’s Puerto Rican population reached its zenith, making Puerto Ricans the city’s largest ‘minority’ population during that decade. Puerto Rican contributions to the city of New York are far and varied, from bodegas to salsa, from the Young Lords to Spanish being taught in elementary schools, from Pedro Pietri’s poetry and the Nuyorican movement to Hip-Hop, from Puerto Ricans involvement in Communist and Socialist parties to their contributions to the city via co-op buildings and social clubs forming close social webs. La Bodega Sold Dreams seeks to uncover the cultural legacy of Puerto Ricans in the city by presenting a body of films that captured the sentiment, makeup and preoccupations of displaced Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. metropolis. This series dabbles with the constructions edified by both outsiders and insiders of the Puerto Rican diaspora, during two decades where Puerto Ricans were demonized for anything including being unclassifiable, minding your business, and bombing the Defense Department in Madison Avenue in support for Puerto Rican Independence.

Programmed in collaboration with Caroline Gil. Special thanks to Larry Revene, Carlos de Jesus, Robert B. Young, Diego Echeverria, XFR Collective and David E. Wilt.



LA TIGRESA

dir. Glauco del Mar, 1969
85 mins. United States.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Glauco del Mar’s penultimate film LA TIGRESA is perhapsx his most accomplished, yet far less popular than his apogee, 1975’s TONO BICICLETA. It is in this bewilderingly feminist redemption narrative that we meet Patricia, a young woman living with her father, who is mercilessly ullied by her schoolmates, assaulted and raped in her home and is left with no resolve. Her alcoholic good-for-nothing father is killed during her attack. After inheriting some money and recovering her personal power, she sets off to avenge every single last person that did her wrong – making her list, and checking it twice. This classic redemption tale combines the amazing Perla Faith a legendary vedette with espiritismo, folklore, Miguel Poventud’s jangly guitar boleros, corrupt cops, and entrancing Harlem landscapes.


YE YO
dir. Tony Betancourt, 1975
79 mins. United States/Puerto Rico.
In Spanish.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Puerto Ricans were imposed U.S. citizenship in 1917 via the Jones-Shafroth Act. Lore recounts that Puerto Ricans were given citizenship so that they could be discharged as cannon fodder for the First World War and all succeeding wars that the U.S. engaged in thereafter. Produced by Changó International Films and shot by the prolific adult film cinematographer Larry Revene, YE YO tells the story of Rogelio Sotomayor, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war with PTSD who returns to New York after the war. Upon his return he finds his wife Nydia with a lover and murders them. In an epic, days-long run-off from corrupt cops, Ye Yo relies on his community for cover in this Blaxploitation inspired drama.

YE YO is screening with English subtitles for the first time in the United States, translated by Aida Garrido and timed by Garret Linn.

SHORT EYESdir. Robert M. Young, 1977
100 mins. United States.
In English.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

“I don’t know how much of a human being I would be if I met you on the sidewalk.”

Adapted by poet Miguel Piñero from his play of the same name, SHORT EYES is closely based on his experiences incarcerated at Sing Sing after an armed robbery charge. Robert M. Young (ALAMBRISTA!) shot the film on location in the infamous Tombs, on White Street, while the prison was fully operational; the plot follows a gang of Black and Puerto Rican inmates figuring out what to do with a bourgeois white inmate named Clark (Bruce Davidson, making his big screen debut) who has been accused of raping an underage girl. “Short Eyes” is the in-prison nickname for pederasts, and Piñero’s screenplay doesn’t hold back in dissecting the dog-eat-dog culture among the inmates – several of whom have designs on Clark, who they consider the lowest of the low. A flawlessly executed ensemble piece buttressed by a silky-yet-menacing Curtis Mayfield soundtrack, SHORT EYES is a gripping and surprisingly even-handed look at life behind bars, widely considered one of the greatest prison films ever made. Young’s compassionate realism and focus on authenticity is a perfect match for Piñero, who also acts in the film (as do Mayfield and Freddy Fender, in bit parts), and whose run-ins with law enforcement would continue during and after production.

(SHORT EYES will screen with a 17-minute clip of Miguel Piñero reading at Magic Gallery in 1984, preserved and digitized thanks to XFR Collective.)


NATAS ES SATAN
dir. Miguel Ángel Álvarez, 1977
89 mins. United States.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – MIDNIGHT

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Best known for his comic persona “El Men” back in Puerto Rico, Miguel Ángel Álvarez delivers a blood-curdling performance in the lurid 1977 exploitation thriller NATAS ES SATAN, as an NYPD officer who is literally the devil (re)incarnate. (Screenwriter Joe Zayas based his sordid tale of blackmail and murder on true events.) Despite being Satan, Natás is also a surprisingly plausible supervillain, at one point enacting vengeance on his enemy, a businessman named Victor (Frank Moro), by hiring a “double” (played by Moro again) to put him in a compromising position. Like LA TIGRESA, this film was shot entirely en español on location in Manhattan; while the dramatic stakes are small, NATAS ES SATAN succeeds as both a crime procedural and a hysterical psychodrama. Long before Natas has invited three transgender assassins over to his place to murder Victor during a DIY porn screening, you’ll agree the end product also feels not unlike an artifact from an alternate universe. Stay alert…. Natas may return!

NATAS ES SATAN is screening with English subtitles for the first time in the United States, translated by Aida Garrido and timed by Garret Linn.


LA BODEGA SOLD DREAMS: SHORTS 1968-1980
dirs. Various
approx. 90 mins.
In English and Spanish with English subtitles.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 7:30 PM w/THE DEVIL IS A CONDITION filmmaker Carlos de Jesus in person for Q&A!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Bracketed by two short TV documentaries – PUERTO RICO: A COLONY THE AMERICAN WAY, and THE DEVIL IS A CONDITION – this program looks at depictions of both Puerto Rican and Nuyorican culture regarding the island’s de facto status as an outpost of American imperialism. The material screened will include interviews with Ruben Berrios, leader of the Independence party, Rafael Hernández Colón, governor candidate for the Popular Democratic Party, and Carlos Romero Barceló, governor of the islands, known murderer, and darling of the Pro-Statehood party, the PNP. (Today, the PNP is the same political party incriminated in the recent upheavals over the #rickygate, #rickyrenuncia, #wandarenuncia, etcetera.)

BURNING FRAME: A Monthly Anarchist Film Series

CALLING ALL LEFTISTS! The past few years have been a whirlwind: exhausting, invigorating, and ripe with potential. It’s tremendously difficult, when in the thick of it, to pause, reflect, or even find a moment to catch a breath. Especially when “it” refers to the rise of fascism on a global scale, with any number of future cataclysms hovering just over the horizon. But we digress.

Join us, then, for a series that asks: if not now, when? Come for great works of radical political filmmaking, stay for the generative discussions, or even just to gossip and gripe. The hope isthat this forum for authentic representations of successes, defeats, and the messy work of political action, will be thrilling, edifying, and maybe even inspire your next organizing project. To butcher the title of a great film for the sake of a moderately applicable pun: “Throw away your dogma, rally in the cinema.”

LA GRIETA
dirs. Alberto Garcia Ortiz & Irene Yague Herrero, 2017
78 mins. Spain.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 – 7:30 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY!

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

This is a film about working-class tenants refusing eviction. It is a document of Madrid in 2013 but bares all of the hallmarks of the global tenant’s rights crisis. Eviction is violence wrought on bodies and psyches denied their fundamental dignity. It is forced migration. Global finance remains a shadow network of straight-laced, white collar murderers and thieves who view their victims from a distance with cold disdain. Robust networks of solidarity remain our only hope to survive in an era of persistent crises contrived by governments and financial elites. These essential truths and more reveal themselves throughout the course of this subtly effective documentary.

Acuérdate: The Films of Paz Encina

Perhaps one of the most crucial voices in Paraguayan and Latin American Cinema, Paz Encina‘s films are haunting mementos of a nation’s past, often told through the perspective of voices often marginalized or oppressed. Born during the height of Alfredo Stroessner’ brutal dictatorship, the longest in Latin America, Encina combines poetic visuals with complex sounds to create documents that evoke that oppressive time. Her protagonists are often dealing with some kind of trauma, often relating to a certain moment in Paraguayan history and thus excavating the complex way in which a nation remembers. Add to that the inclusion of Guarani, an indigenous language spoken by a majority of the people in Paraguay, in her work and it adds another element in which language can evoke national ties. In recent years, Encina’s work has been informed by the Archives of Terror, which documented the activities of Stroessner’s secret police and the various other dictatorships in Latin America. All this combined calls for the need to remember, both the way in which nations form their histories, and the people who were forgotten, to ensure that the painful moments of the past are not repeated.

Programmed in collaboration with Anthony Chassi. Special thanks to Lita Stantic, MPM Premium and Filmes do Tejo/Maria & Mayer.

HAMACA PARAGUAYA
(PARAGUAYAN HAMMOCK)
2006. 78 mins. Paraguay.
In Guarani with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 – 5 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Paz Encina’s debut feature focuses on elderly couple Ramón (Ramon Del Rio) and Cándida (Georgina Genes) as they spend their days on an isolated hammock in the woods, awaiting on news from their son who’s off at war. Set during the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay, the film shows the two conversing about anything but the actual details of the war, of which they know little about. Instead, conversations about whether it’s going to rain and how to shut their son’s dog up take up their time. Between these conversations we hear flashbacks of the conversations that led up to their son leaving, juxtaposed with moments of labor and inaction. With its static long takes and atmospheric setting, HAMACA PARAGUAYA invites viewers into a space where our understanding of the temporal and spatial are vague, and campesino life become as abstract as any work can dare to be.



EJERCICIOS DE MEMORIA
(MEMORY EXERCISES)
2016. 70 mins. Paraguay.
In Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles.

MONDAY, AUGUST 19 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

Part documentary, part testimonial, and part fiction, Paz Encina’s second feature EJERCICIOS DE MEMORIA focuses on one of former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner’s most prominent opponents, through the memories of his children. Agustín Goiburú, a politician and doctor, planned a failed assassination attempt on Stroessner and later disappeared while in exile in Argentina in 1976. 35 years after his disappearance, his children are asked to return to a specific moment in their childhood but also a brutal period for the country and the majority of Latin America. Encina’s recent work is informed by the Archives of Terror, which collected documents chronicling the human rights violations by the Stroessner dictatorship’s secret police force and was used to prove the existence of Operation Condor. EJERJICOS DE MEMORIA recontextualizes the history of the nation by excavating the memory of those affected by it during its most oppressive time, forming a haunting poem that demands reflection.




THE SHORT FILMS OF PAZ ENCINA
2000-2014. Paraguay/Argentina.
Total runtime: 60 mins.

MONDAY, AUGUST 5 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 – 5 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS        FACEBOOK EVENT

SUPE QUE ESTABAS TRISTE
(I KNEW YOU WERE SAD)
dir. Paz Encina, 2000
5 mins. Argentina.

A family photo, the sound of the oncoming storm, the cat wandering the kitchen, a man alone in this space. Paz Encina’s early melancholic short is a conversation not shown on screen. Has it already occured or does it take place after this brief moment in time? Using only subtitles and visual language, SUPE QUE ESTABAS TRISTE creates an array if emotions without ever having to “show” anything.

HAMACA PARAGUAYO
(PARAGUAYAN HAMMOCK)
2000. 8 mins. Paraguay/Argentina.
In Guarani with English subtitles.

Made while she was attending the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, Encina’s early short, which was expanded into a feature length film years later, contains the same components and mood as the feature. HAMACA PARAGUAYA establishes the traits Encina would be known for later in her career. A couple awaits on any news regarding their son, who is off at war, they spend their time conversing about the rain or how the dog won’t shut up. Shot on video, the film moves in waves, similar to a dream or a faded memory, Becoming a sensory experience.

FAMILIAR
(FAMILY)
2014. 9 mins. Paraguay.
In Guarani and Spanish with English subtitles.

ARRIBO
(ARRIVAL)
2014. 10 mins. Paraguay.
In Spanish with English subtitles.

Constructed by documents, audio, and images uncovered in the Archives of Terror, ARRIBO and FAMILIAR were originally intended to be shown in a gallery space. These two shorts remind us of the need to recognize the actions of the Stroessner dictatorship as human rights violations, while also asking the viewer to remember those interrogated, beyond that context. ARRIBO is a collection of surveillance images accompanied by an interrogation in Guarani while FAMILIAR combines these same components with unrelated home movies. Both films transport us to a troubled time in Paraguayan history, excavating the past in hopes that those affected throughout the dictatorship aren’t forgotten.

TRISTEZAS DE LA LUCHA
(SORROWS OF THE STRUGGLE)
2016. 7 mins. Paraguay.
In Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles.

Continuing her research on the Archives of Terror to create moving pieces, TRISTEZAS DE LA LUCHA once again serves as a time capsule to a particular moment in the nation’s history, where one political party was dominant and those opposed to it feared for their lives. Combining the audio of a rally from the right-wing Colorado party, the only legal political party during the Stroessner dictatorship, and a short story by the anarchist Rafael Barrett, the film reminds us of the struggles both sides face when they’ve been robbed of their autonomy. As a lone figure walks along the rural Paraguayan woods, a political prisoner under house arrest has a phone call detailing the soldier that has been tasked with guarding him. Though this soldier could be seen as his oppressor, the prisoner instead feels compassion for him, wondering if he’s too cold and if he’s lonely outside. TRISTEZAS DE LA LUCHA reminds us of the humanity in the face of terror, which can sometimes come from unlikely sources.

VIENTO SUR
(A WIND FROM THE SOUTH)
2012. 23 mins. Paraguay.
In Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles.

Two brothers, both fisherman, are the subjects of this atmospheric short. Their lives are defined by the Paraguay River, and when their lives depend on crossing the river to escape harm from Stroessner’s troops, they begin to question whether to run or stay. One of the brothers is determined to cross as soon as possible to avoid being caught in the crossfire, while the other is still weary of migrating, fearing that they’ll get caught in the August rainfall during their travel. With seemingly unrelated images and the attention to sound that Encina is known for, VIENTO SUR reflects on forced migration and how survival to some can form through various different solutions.

BAPHTA


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14 – 7:30 PM 

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

ONLINE TICKETS       FACEBOOK EVENT

BAPHTA is a bi-monthly multi-media show that highlights one movie director per installment. Each installment will spoof the director by means of comedy, monologues, characters, and short videos. Other performers will be invited each installment to put their spin and vision on the seventh art.

The first installment will be on Nancy Meyers.

Stop by for all the things that make a Nancy Meters film a Nancy Meyers film: beachy elegance, all-white kitchens, French doors, blue and beige striped carpets, and a classic soundtrack featuring Nat King Cole.

It’s Nancy’s world and we’re on vacation!

BAPHTA has invited a group of comedians to explore the nuance of her films by means of comedy.

TIM KOV is a writer and performer whose work has appeared all over New York. He hosts and produces Hail Mary: Our Queer Saints, a Kennedy Center Honors-style ceremony honoring gay icons, Power Broker, a Robert Caro themed standup show, and My Little Tonys, a theater history podcast. Last summer, he completed an artist residency at Mall of Found in New Lebanon, NY, where he developed two plays, Peg and Rubbed the Wrong Way: A Prostate Play.

ANDY WARD is a Brooklyn queer comedian and writer.Andy is a recent New York transplant from Phoenix, Arizona where he hosted a monthly storytelling show “SHOW&TELL.” He hosts a monthly comedy variety show RED FLAGS. He has performed at Union Hall, Littlefield, Bellhouse, Club Cumming and has been featured in Buzzfeed.

MANNING JORDAN is a lesbian comedian/playwright. You can see her do stand up around Brooklyn, or on MNN public access network on her variety show called, HEY NOTHING. She has a monthly show at Brooklyn Comedy Collective called Monologues with Manning. As a playwright, Manning has self produced four plays, three of which were in Fringe’s FRIGID festivals for three consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019). On July 11th her latest play, “Les Museums” premiered at Dixon Place. Her work has been shown at Dixon Place, The Kraine Theater, Manhattan Rep, Theater Under St. Marks, Vital Joint, The Footlight and more. Her short film THOSE WHO CAN’T has been named an Official Selection of the Reel 13 Short Film Contest, and her pilot SUNNY & 70 was accepted as a Fastidious Official Selection.

ADDICTED TO MEDIOCRITY: THE FILMS OF FRANKY SCHAEFFER


The film career of Franky Schaeffer has largely faded from public mind, but nonetheless remains a curious and inscrutable chapter in ‘80s genre B-movies. Francis “Franky” Schaeffer, Jr. grew up as the son of noted Evangelical theologian and pastor Francis Schaeffer, known as the founder of the Swiss alp spiritual center L’Abri in 1955, an influential philosophy seminar and commune hybrid that attracted bohemian spiritual seekers and rigid neo-Calvinists alike. A lover of Christian art and texts, Schaeffer Senior honed a strict presuppositionalist approach to theology and ethics, developing a worldview highly cautious of attitudes and art trends he deemed “post-modern” (especially directing his ire towards John Cage and Andy Warhol, et al), meanwhile preaching a brand of Christian Reconstructionism that sought to reinvigorate evangelical participation in official state politics.

In the years leading up to Ronald Reagan, Schaeffer Senior was a critical figure in the burgeoning Protestant Right—particularly on the issue of abortion, which prior to his influence was primarily the domain of the Catholic Church. With the help of former White House chaplain, and personal spiritual counsel to born-again Gerald Ford, Billy Zeoli, Schaeffer Senior was able secure funds (in part from Amway billionaire Richard DeVos) to adapt his book and lecture series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? into a 10-episode television show directed in part by his then-25-year-old son Franky. (It was post-produced by evangelical pastor Mel White, later an out gay man and LGBTQ advocate, as well as father of SCHOOL OF ROCK scribe Mike White.) The program was a history of Western civilization told from the Christian point-of-view, designed to assert the necessity for a new dominion; and indeed, it did fire up a young generation of right-wing Jesus freaks, among them Tea Party firebrand Michele Bachmann who noted it as a core influence. Later, in 1979, Schaeffer Senior co-penned a notorious anti-abortion screed titled Whatever Happened to the Human Race?—conspicuously, with soon-to-be Reagan Surgeon General D. Everett Koop.

Following his TV show production credit, Schaeffer Jr.’s interest in the entertainment industry would only grow. In 1981, the aspiring filmmaker penned a fascinating diatribe titled Addicted to Mediocrity, drawing in part from his rigorous education at L’Abri. He argues that Christian art once reigned supreme in craft and complexity but was by the 20th century losing out to secular artistic endeavors, and that it was up to a new generation of Christians to re-emphasize cultural production. Schaeffer Jr. imagined a world in which dyed-in-the-wool conservative Christians would make prestige art on par with Fellini and Bergman, a culture war with its eye on capital-C culture.

The films he eventually made were perhaps another story. Shortly after his father passed away three years later, in 1984, Schaeffer Jr. distanced himself from the ministry and cancelled further speaking engagements, instead burrowing himself on the edge of the film industry with hopes of making elevated sci-fi films on par with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BLADE RUNNER, or REPO MAN. Reception was poor. One former devotee, inspired by Schaeffer Jr. to continue to soldier on in the film world despite it conflicting so drastically with his evangelical life, wrote in the LA Times: “Yes, I was indeed “blown away” by WIRED TO KILL. That someone as literate as Schaeffer could write such a dull-witted and thudding rehash of tired old themes and then presume to pass this off as a committed Christian making a philosophical statement is appalling.”

For Christians, the films weren’t explicit enough; for audiences at the time, they were simply mediocre. But for Spectacle’s audiences, watching now with over three decades of hindsight, these films might reveal something else. They are a snapshot of a religious right refuge in the thick of the Reagan years, capturing Schaeffer in increasing doubt before he left Protestantism entirely and disavowed his politics. (He was a diligent Obama supporter, appearing as a talking head on network news often in the ‘00s; today he describes himself as a “Christian atheist” and is affiliated with the Orthodox church.) They’re crypto-Christian oddities, unsure of whether they want to ooze into the pop-cultural membrane as popcorn action flicks or philosophizing high art. But most of all, they’re pretty good B-movies, filled with good bad synth leads, suspect practical FX, set pieces pulled off to varying degrees of success, and of course the schlock and sheen of the Me-First decade and its discontents.




WIRED TO KILL (a.k.a. BOOBY TRAP)
Dir. Francis Schaeffer, 1986
96 min, USA

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 – 7:30 PM

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Taking place in an alternate 1998 in which famine has transformed society into a wasteland of miscreant gangs and deindustrialized clutter, Schaeffer was perhaps trying to channel ROBOCOP (one particularly Verhoeven-ian throwaway gag has a hospital dispatcher reminding patients that if they wish to sue their doctor, there’s a round-the-clock toll-free number) but instead taps more into the proto-militia movement survivalism of John Milius’s RED DAWN. Steve (Devin Hoelscher) lives a quiet life with his law-abiding suburban family, moonlighting as an electrical engineer in his spare time, toying with primitive robotics and perfecting his own synth pop rig. When a gang murders his family and leaves him legless, he and Rebecca (Emily Longstreth of PRETTY IN PINK) conspire to exact revenge. Per the film’s seething tagline—“If you want to make history, you gotta make your own”—it’s got a creeping soft Nietzschean undertone that might pass for Christian allegory. Co-produced by future Christian right-wing radio personality Paul McGuire. Schaeffer says he “laced” WIRED TO KILL “with what [he] would describe as small Felini tributes”… but if you can guess how or where, you deserve to be refunded the price of admission!




HEADHUNTER
Dir. Francis Schaeffer, 1988
91 min, USA

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 12 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 – 10 PM

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Schaeffer’s first with Gibraltar Entertainment, the ‘80s cheapie studio headed by VALLEY GIRL writer Wayne Crawford, HEADHUNTER follows cop Pete Giuliani (Crawford) as he trails a voodoo ritual serial killer who has beheaded a Nigerian immigrant in Miami. (In actuality, it’s South Africa, which leads to roughly the same feel as RUMBLE IN THE BRONX’s Vancouver-Bronx). As many reviews have noted, the movie attempts to fuse its cop-procedural-slasher with a rather ‘deliberately paced’ domestic drama, as Giuliani is coping with a recent divorce due to his wife taking a female lover—a reminder that Ari Aster didn’t invent melodrama-occult-horror hybrid. Notable is its climax, which juxtaposes the final encounter with the killer with a television broadcast of THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON.




RISING STORM (a.k.a. REBEL STORM, a.k.a. REBEL WAVES, a.k.a. SHIP OF THE DESERT)
Dir. Francis Schaeffer, 1989
95 min, USA

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 – 10 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 – 10 PM

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Made in the thick of several high-profile televangelist scandals (Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in quick succession), RISING STORM imagines a world in which the bunk TV preachers have taken over, a zany Terry Gilliam-esque dystopia of Reagan-Bush proportions. It’s 2099 in Los Angeles and Joe (Gibraltar’s Wayne Crawford) has just gotten out of prison, reuniting with brother Artie (Zach Galligan of GREMLINS). America has become some sort of post-nuclear barren wasteland crossed with the twin influences of supreme spectacle (WWE wrestling and archaeological digs for ‘80s pop culture ephemera) and biblical repression (citizens are allotted one act of intercourse a month). The brothers lead an underground resistance against the tyrant president Reverend Jimmy Joe II, teaming up with a pair of affable blonde women. Schaeffer’s most cynical—and personal?—film, it’s relentlessly down on the merchandise frenzy and mediatized religious fervor of the late ‘80s.