GET REEL: ONCE UPON A REEL

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – 7:30 PM

FB EVENT

GET REEL, the movie-based comedy show, returns in September with GET REEL: Once Upon a Reel. Hosted by Joe Castle Baker and Max Wittert, comics will be live-dubbing over movies with a fantasy edge–we’re talking scheming elves, wicked sorceresses, talking animals, and drunk dwarfs. Grab some beer, bring a date, and join us for night of magic.

AN EVENING WITH CHRISTOPHER JASON BELL


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 5 PM
ONE NIGHT ONLY! FILMMAKER Q&A!
(This event is $10.)

THE SHORT FILMS OF CHRISTOPHER JASON BELL
Various. Approx 80 mins.
In English.

FB EVENT

Critic, programmer and longtime Spectacle comrade Christopher Jason Bell has been a fixture of the NYC independent filmmaking scene for the better part of this last decade. This selection of short films (hand-picked by Bell, promising a few surprise inclusions) features a Manhattan-set meet-cute with a remarkable slice of real talk at its core, a magic-realist meditation on loneliness inspired by a racist remark made by Ridley Scott to The Hollywood Reporter, a single-take metamovie called THE MOVIE, a hilarious paean to American society’s brain-pureeing embrace of the STAR WARS franchise starring Carl Kranz, a docudrama (?) about one man’s mission to turn his 60th birthday into a live reenactment of the courtroom scenes from MY COUSIN VINNIE, and a lot more.

For whatever reason (probably related to his fidelity to the “slow cinema” techniques of Tsai Ming-Liang, Abbas Kiarostami and many more), Bell is underrated; among critics and programmers, the lion’s share of the hype has transferred instead to directors whose quirk-tastic output is littered with obvious cinephile signposts, and who may also be the children of millionaires. That’s a damn shame: Bell counterbalances a rib-bruising sense of humor with a startling humanism, and his prolific output suggests a filmmaker restlessly experimenting with finding new ways to reconcile cinema with that crazy problem known as “real life” and the people who live within it.





SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 7:30 PM

ONE NIGHT ONLY! FILMMAKER Q&A!
(This event is $10.)

THE WINDS THAT SCATTER
2015. 79 mins.
In English, and in Arabic with English subtitles.

In just a few years, Bell’s feature debut THE WINDS THAT SCATTER (named from an obscure Qu’ranic verse) would prove eerily prescient: it’s the story of a Syrian immigrant named Ahmad (Ahmad Chahrour) who resettles in New Jersey, but struggles to find a steady job. While the film chronicles his boredom and alienation, Ahmad’s diffidence in search of employment belies a greater despair, the creeping awareness that everything available to him is entry-level at best, the kind of work that was once made available to teenagers. Ahmad’s paralysis gives way to a sad and low-key majestic meditation on the disjunction between highfalutin American ideals and the reality facing people without the privilege of being born here. Set against the landscape of the anonymized corners of the tri-state area, THE WINDS THAT SCATTER is transformed by the cajoling, caustic humor of Ahmad’s friend Mohammad (played by Mohammad Dagman), and Bell’s sensitivity to working with these unconventional leading men, both of whom contributed to the film’s screenplay.

“In casting Ahmad Chahrour, Bell hit a proverbial goldmine of actorly riches; but not only does Bell deserve credit for this casting decision, he also deserves kudos for providing us with such an honest prospective of an abundantly plain, Muslim man. All the while, Bell forges intelligent comments about the impoverished economic state of rural America. Sure, Ahmad’s ethnicity and citizenship limit his employment opportunities, but The Winds That Scatter reflects more than just the Muslim immigrant experience. Sadly, this is a story of modern day working class existence in the United States.” – Hammer To Nail


CHRISTOPHER JASON BELL is a former critic for the blog The Playlist and an active filmmaker. His first feature THE WINDS THAT SCATTER premiered at Northside Festival and went on to play in Madrid, South Korea (winning Best International No Budget Feature Film at the KIXFF), Cambodia, Chile, Argentina, and numerous places in the USA. His latest short film, MOHAMMAD SO-AND-SO, premiered at Sarasota Film Festival in 2017 and can now be viewed on Amazon Prime. He has completed his second feature INCORRECTIONAL and hopes to premiere the film in 2018.

TANGENT REALMS: THE WORLDS OF C.M. KÖSEMEN

TANGENT REALMS: THE WORLDS OF C.M. KÖSEMEN
Dir. Kevin Schreck
100 mins.
2018
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 7:00 PM (WITH DIRECTOR KEVIN SCHRECK AND COMPOSERS GRANT CUTLER AND MATT EVANS) 
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – 10 PM (WITH KEVIN SCHRECK)

ONLINE TICKETS HERE
FB EVENT

Spectacle theater is happy to welcome back award-winning filmmaker – and friend of the theater – Kevin Schreck (PERSISTENCE OF VISION, 2015) for the exclusive New York premiere of his newest work, TANGENT REALMS: THE WORLDS OF C.M. KÖSEMEN.

Tangent Realms trains a keen on eye its subject, the titular C.M. Kösemen, examining the young Turkish artist’s ongoing exploration of imagined worlds both vastly cosmic and deeply personal. By merging science with art, evidence with surrealism, the natural world with mythology, C.M. “Memo” Kösemen plumbs the depths of his past, present, and future by continuously asking a dominant theme in his various creations: “What If…?”

QUEERCORE

QUEERCORE: HOW TO PUNK A REVOLUTION
dir. Yony Leyser, 2018
Germany/US, 83 mins
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – 5 PM 
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

In the mid-1980s, Bruce LaBruce and G. B. Jones, a pair of young Canadians, introduced the world to the burgeoning Toronto queer punk scene through homemade zines and scrappy films. In this pre-Internet era, there was no way of knowing that queercore consisted of just two people. Soon enough, their subversive creation spread beyond their bedrooms to attract actual adherents, spawning a radical underground subculture that challenged both the mainstream gay and homophobic punk scenes.

DESIRE WILL SET YOU FREE director Yony Leyser returns to Spectacle with this rich, completist archive of rare footage and narration from a sprawling guest list that includes Justin Vivian Bond, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Team Dresh, Pansy Division, Silas Howard, John Waters and many, many more.

Special thanks to Altered Innocence.

BLOCKBUSTED

This September, Spectacle is proud to bring you a series of knock-off blockbusters in honor of the mainstream ‘flicks currently devouring America’s paltry remaining movie-dollars.

Skip the cineplex, grab a cold one (or six), and learn the true meaning of ‘blockbuster’.



SKYSCRAPER
1996, 96 min.
dir. Raymond Martino
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – MIDNIGHT

 




THE LAST SHARK (L’ULTIMO SQUALO)
1981, 88 min.
dir. Enzo G. Castellari
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 – MIDNIGHT
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – MIDNIGHT



MEET THE FEEBLES
1989, 97 min.
dir. Peter Jackson
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – MIDNIGHT

PRIMITIVE REALITY – THE FILMS OF CURTIS HARRINGTON

“You Americans have such a simple view of the world. You think that everything can be seen and touched and weighed and measured… You think you discovered reality, but you don’t even know what it is.” – Mora, Night Tide

Curtis Harrington wore many hats across his decades long career – critic, film historian and preservationist, script doctor, producer, director – but his fascinations with the occult and penchant for pushing the envelope were ever present.

A forerunner of New Queer Cinema, Curtis’ career began as a film critic – reappraising the now highly regarded works of Josef von Sternberg, as well as acting as the original champion of the artistry of James Whales’ work.

After writing, directing and starring in a few of his own independent shorts through the 40’s and 50’s (including a notably surreal version of Poe’s THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER), he moved to LA where he linked up with mentors and peers like Maya Deren, Anais Niin, and Kenneth Anger (even serving as cinematographer on PUCE MOMENT).

He bulldozed his way into Hollywood through a mix of luck and sheer willpower, bouncing between independent features and a series of television gigs, managing to direct episodes of shows like Dynasty and The Twilight Zone and surprisingly weird made-for-TV-movies like WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO? and DEAD DON’T DIE. He frequently butted heads with producers, with several of his films being recut and altered without his permission.

This September, Spectacle is proud to present a small selection of mostly-untouched films from his deep catalogue, each of which fuses his love of high camp, Grand Guignol, the occult, and capital-m-Movies. Join us, won’t you?


NIGHT TIDE
1961, 86 min.
dir. Curtis Harrington
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – 5 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – 10 PM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – 7:30 PM

Part thriller, part gothic romance, NIGHT TIDE follows the budding relationship between a sailor on shore leave (Dennis Hopper in a very early starring role) and a sideshow “mermaid” named Mora who may or may not be a mythical siren.

An incredibly accomplished debut featuring lush black and white photography, we are proud to present a fancy blu-ray remaster of this classic creeper.


THE KILLING KIND
1973, 95 min.
dir. Curtis Harrington
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – 10 PM

Somewhere between WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER lies THE KILLING KIND. One of Harrington’s nastier offerings (though not without his trademark gallows humor), the film follows the exploits of Terry Lambert and his uncomfortably affectionate mother as he “re-acclimates” to society after a 2 year stint in prison for a gang rape he was ‘forced’ to participate in.

Starring John Savage, Ann Sothern and Cindy Williams, THE KILLING KIND has aged all too well as a portrait of privilege and denial, not letting anyone off the hook as each character attempts to deflect responsibility for their own terrible deeds. Pour yourself a glass of chocolate milk and buckle up.

NOTE: we will be screening a DVD re-master, several steps up in quality from the garbage scan currently featured for free on Am***n Pr**e



RUBY
1977, 85 min.
dir. Curtis Harrington
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 10 PM

To call Ruby an EXORCIST/CARRIE knockoff misses the point entirely. Easily his biggest ‘hit’ (he happily touted it as the most profitable horror movie pre-Halloween), Harrington’s love of southern Gothic and period pieces is in full display here, as always more interested in creeping dread than shock.

Ruby follows the titular Ruby Claire (played with panache by Laurie Piper) and her mute daughter, Leslie, sixteen years after Ruby’s mobster beau was murdered while she was pregnant with their daughter.

Ruby now runs a drive-in theater staffed by the former mobsters who murdered Leslie’s father. In the days leading up to Leslie’s 16th birthday, sinister events become more and more frequent….and bodies start dropping like flies.

Best known via a TV edit often played on midnight creature features (re-edited and with additional material shot without Harrington’s knowledge, leading him to remove his name from the TV version), Spectacle is proud to present a crisp blu-ray remaster of the uncut theatrical version, closest to Harrington’s original vision.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I HEAR: TWO NIGHTS WITH “PEOPLE LIKE US”

A retrospective of the audio-visual collage artist People Like Us (Vicki Bennett), featuring the theatrical versions of THE MIRROR (U.S. Premiere) and CITATION CITY (NYC Premiere).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – 7:30 PM (VICKI BENNETT IN ATTENDANCE!) FB EVENT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 10 PM
(SEE BELOW FOR FULL SCREENING INFORMATION)

At the forefront of audio-visual collage since 1991, British artist People Like Us (Vicki Bennett) is a pioneer in the editing of archival material sourced from popular film and music. Her dense, recontextualized odysseys forge new multilayered associations, resulting in a psychedelic trip that recalls the wild tangents of the brain’s own pathways. The first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive, Bennett has also collaborated with such artists as Matmos, Christian Marclay, and members of Negativland. She also hosts the ongoing radio show, ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU.

Spectacle is excited to present the U.S. premiere of the theatrical version of People Like Us’s latest project, THE MIRROR. Using the mirror in film as a device for both inward and outward reflection, Bennett unleashes a flurry of reworked sounds and images that flow in and out of one another to kaleidoscopic effect. Spectacle will also be presenting the NYC premiere of the theatrical version of CITATION CITY, a collage-edit of over 300 feature films either shot or set in London. Bennett draws inspiration from The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin’s study of Paris, by bringing collective cinematic associations of London together, resulting in a dizzying journey through multiple narratives.

“Her films are an audiovisual overload, full of startling juxtapositions and wry humour, and rich in details that emerge with repeated viewing.”Emily Bick, The Wire

“I see what I do as folk art in the age of digital reproduction: I’m working with the palette of the time.” – Vicki Bennett

“As the images unwind, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.” – “The Windmills of Your Mind” by Michel Legrand


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – 7:30 PM (WITH VICKI BENNETT)

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

We Are Not Amused (2013)    (3:00)

25 Years of People Like Us (Special Edit)    (31:00)
Including:
The Sound of the End of Music (2010)
Bridge (2012)
Here Come The Occupants (2012)
Zoom (2012)
Mirrors (2012)
Shopping (2014)
Jump (2012)
Eve Of Sunshine (2012)

The Mirror (2018)    (36:00) – U.S. PREMIERE!


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

Gone, Gone Beyond (Trailer) (2018)    (3:19)

Citation City (2015)    (40:00) – NYC PREMIERE!

Magical Misery Tour (Special Edit) (2011)    (30:00)


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – 10 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

The Zone (Trailer) (2012)    (3:45)

The Sound of the End of Music (2010)    (3:38)

The Golem – An Inanimate Matter (2013)    (2:49)

Spinning (with Ergo Phizmiz) (2010)    (3:34)

Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) (Special Edit) (2012)     (18:21)

The Mirror (2018)    (36:00) – U.S. PREMIERE!


THE NARRATIVE FILMS OF MARK RAPPAPORT (PARTS I AND II)


While often recognized for pioneering the video essay in the 1990s, the scope of Mark Rapport’s film and video work is significantly more wide-ranging and amorphous than any critical superlative could ever let on. With a 40+ year long career that includes a feature length period musical, more than a dozen short-form video essays, an autobiographical TV special, and a jumbled up blue movie – Rapport’s oeuvre can often feel as hard to define as the plot of one of his films.

This September and October catch up on a sampling of his eclectic output – his complete narrative features along with a few key narrative shorts. Starting in 1970s New York alongside such luminaries of the American underground cinema like Yvonne Rainer and Jonas Mekas, Rappaport quickly developed his voice through a string of micro-budget features shot primarily within the confines of his Soho loft. Conjuring an exhilarating body of work that can feel equal parts familiar and belonging to a world of its own, these films feature plots that turn Hollywood cliche into alienating mysteries; corny dialogue loaded with unexpected emotional and philosophical weight; staid blocking reminiscent of classical painting; and unreliable voice-over narrators speaking in droll monotones. October is Part 2 of this series, featuring THE SCENIC ROUTE, IMPOSTERS, and CHAIN LETTERS.


PART II: OCTOBER 2018



THE SCENIC ROUTE
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1978
United States, 76 min.
In English

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2ND – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8TH – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18TH – 10:00 PM

“I wouldn’t even tell you a lie, much less the truth.”

Estelle (Rappaport regular Randy Danson) spends most of her time cruising for strangers and chancing upon murder victims in public places (yet somehow none of them are related to the double-barrel shotgun killer we keep hearing about). She gets involved with a man named Paul, but leaves him once her sister, Lena, returns home from the insane asylum (Lena killed a former boyfriend of Estelle). Once Lena starts bringing men to the house it isn’t long before Lena brings Paul over and a love triangle develops.
Like the ever-changing array of wallpaper in Estelle’s apartment (gold stars against American-flag blue, a 16th century painting, a blown up photograph of Lena and Paul kissing), THE SCENIC ROUTE is a meld of styles and forms that never quite settles into any one direction across its 75 minute runtime. Self-consciously staid framing, recurring references to the orpheus myth through painting and opera, and repetitive unreliable voice-over are just a few of the devices Rappaport uses to capture the romantic malaise that haunts the characters.

Mark Rappaport on THE SCENIC ROUTE:

“Two sisters. And the man who is caught between them. Love, jealousy and revenge. All the standards components of melodrama – but a very dry melodrama. Expectations are thwarted and rechanneled. Instead of explanations and motivations, visual counterparts are offered. The film slides back and forth between passion and an irony which redirects it but doesn’t dilute it. A film about myths and mythmaking, about the Madame Bovary in each of us, about delusions and romance in a fragile world where violence erupts randomly and unexpectedly. The film was made very cheaply in and around New York where violence is a way of life and everyone always talks of going away.”

SCREENING WITH:

POSTCARDS
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1990
United States, 25 min.
In English

Set against kitschy green-screened images taken from the backs of postcards, Rappaport’s first experiment with digital video shows the director taking his fascination with artifice and canned emotion into new aesthetic dimensions to tell a story of two lovers separated by the American highway system.



IMPOSTERS
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1979
United States, 105 min.
In English

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7TH – 5:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH – 10:00 PM

“All bourgeois dreams end the same way – marry royalty and escape.”

Winner of best first feature at the Chicago International film festival despite being his fifth, IMPOSTERS was described by Rappaport as “the unholy union of The Maltese Falcon with (parts of) Remembrance of Things Past.” The film concerns a pair of murderous three stooges-esque magicians who always wear the same outfit and are on the search for a mysterious stolen jewel; an upper-class man (who is also secretly a werewolf) bent on possessing a promiscuous magician’s assistant by taking her photograph and buying her Victorian dresses; and more half-truths, miscommunications, doppelgangers, and queer undertones than any summary could ever do justice. With a greater attention paid to dialogue than in his previous films, IMPOSTERS often feels like a distant cousin to the anarchic comedies of Hollywood greats like The Marx Bros. and W.C. Fields with their rat-a-tat dialogue and irreverent stance towards genres.

“Each couple and/or two-way pattern threatens and comments on every other, so that straight and gay sensibilities, male and female characters, and passive and aggressive roles seem perpetually at loggerheads, fighting their way through insults and betrayals into bitter, neurotic stalemates. […] A lot of the time, it’s difficult to know whether to laugh or scream, and like certain other obsessive directors, Rappaport often tries to have it both ways.”

– Jonathan Rosenbaum



CHAIN LETTERS
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1985
United States, 96 min.
In English

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5TH – 10:00 PM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 8TH – 10:00 PM
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH – 7:30 PM

“Everything is plot. It’s just not always clear what it is.”

A chain letter telling the reader to send pictures of their favorite things to ten people they know links nine New Yorkers in Mark Rappaport’s last narrative film. As a tapestry of torpid affairs, passive aggression, and repressed violence builds across the characters, their lives start to intersect in labyrinthian and only slightly meaningful ways. In true Rappaportian fashion various non-sequiturs occur throughout, including but not limited to: a made-up tv series about a government conspiracy to plant micro-chips in people’s brains that tell them to buy frito lays and be polygamous; the completely unexplained murder of a postman by a masked man; a reoccurring pair of blonde prostitutes named babra and abraca-debra; and a life-size connect the dots porn sketch.

SCREENS WITH:

EXTERIOR NIGHT:
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1993
United States, 36 min.
In English

Using brightly colored characters set against black and white backdrops ripped from classical noirs like THE BIG SLEEP and MILDRED PIERCE, EXTERIOR NIGHT tells the story of a teenager solving the mystery of his grandfather’s murder in what might be Rappaport’s most straightforward narrative, despite its period-blurring intertextuality.


PART I : SEPTEMBER 2018



LOCAL COLOR
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1977
United States, 116 min.
In English

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – 5 PM

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – 10 PM

Running through the full gamut of soap opera devices – including psychically connected twins, suicide, incestous desire, and more affairs than you can shake a stick at, LOCAL COLOR’s many protean narratives resemble something like a dream (as hinted at by the film’s opening series of pans across the eight main characters fast asleep). As Rapport himself has described:

LOCAL COLOR is a film about eight people whose lives overlap and touch the lives of several others among the eight, in strange and sometimes unexpected configurations. Familial ties, sexual involvements, an inescapable past, shared dreams – these are some of the links that bind them to one another. They inhabit a universe of coincidence and chance, excessive emotionalism and dry irony. Flamboyant melodrama in dreary, desperate lives – operatic passions ground underfoot by the crushing flatness of daily existence. It is melodrama stripped bare, drained of the heavy breathing we associate with soap opera. Told with elliptical conciseness it combines the heavy, fruity passions of old cinema with the understated, often unstated, chilliness of the new cinema. The plot itself is too complicated to synopsize with any degree of coherence. In a sense, the movie is the plot and the plot is the movie. Except that the plot is irrelevant. Suffice it to say that there is enough of it to choke a horse. And of course there is a gun which figures prominently in the proceedings.”
– Mark Rappaport


MOZART IN LOVE
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1975
United States, 99 min.
In English

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 – 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 5 PM

“This is the story of three loves, perhaps four.”

Like a bizzaro version of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub’s CHRONICLE OF ANNA MAGDALENA BACH as filtered through the voice of a Woody Allen-esque nebbish new yorker, Rappaport’s MOZART IN LOVE is a treat for fans of rom-coms and classical opera alike. Recounted in sparse epistolary voice-over, the story concerns the mainly true tale of Mozart’s affair with a trio of sisters and the various romantic dramas that ensued. Plot, however, takes second place to long unbroken chunks of actors lip-syncing Mozart’s arias in painterly static compositions set against artificial backgrounds that range from rear-screen projections of classical images to bright single-colored mattes. With sporadic jumps into the modern world (one character watches TV in her living room, another goes for a long car ride, and at one moment Mozart is swapped out with a song from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES); costumes that are as frequently surrealist as classical; and alienating shifts between polished recordings and amateur renditions of the music; Rappaport delivers a host of Brechtian devices that dissect our notions of love, representation, and social codes.


CASUAL RELATIONS
Dir. Mark Rappaport, 1974
United States, 80 min.
In English

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 – 10 PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – 7:30 PM

“Shortly after Susan got up, she decided she would watch television all day.”

A vampire movie, a skin flick, a murder mystery, a structuralist film, and a soap opera all rolled into one – Rappaport’s first film, CASUAL RELATIONS, is a formidable exercise in the narrative ambiguities that would dominate many of his films to come. Rappaport casually moves from one sequence to the next, leaving the viewer no tools to understand the relationships between the various stories. Yet the casual relations of the film’s title proves to be significantly more than a simple structural clue — the characters that we encounter through the film’s episodes all seem to exist in a pointless sort of casualness to their environment that is equal parts droll and melancholic. Some notable characters we meet include a woman so intent on staring into space all day that she refuses to acknowledge her ringing phone, a different woman who is resigned to watching TV all day after no one picks up her phone calls, two former lovers who share a long wordless drive to a motel while Mick Jagger sings on the radio, a man trying to pick up another man at a screening of disaster footage, a skin flick actress posing naked while listening to her photographer berate his wife and kids, and a man obsessed with a photograph of the ocean. Shot in pieces over a year and a half, CASUAL RELATIONS is an important testament to the inventiveness of DIY filmmaking and the underground New York film scene of the 1970s.

AS THE WORLD TURNS… HEEL!

Struggling with post-G1 Climax depression? Is All In just not enough wrestling content for you? Need your fix of lariats, power bombs and suplexes? This September Spectacle brings a healthy dose of both puroresu and American heavyweight action in the form of three behind-the-curtain pro-wrestling documentaries.



BEYOND THE MAT: Unrated Director’s Cut
Dir. Barry Blaustein, 2004
USA. 108 min
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – 8:00 PM (DIRECTOR Q and A!) FB EVENT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 – MIDNIGHT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 7:30 PM

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

The film that Vince McMahon didn’t want you to see. Possibly the most notorious documentary about professional wrestling ever made, not only for it’s shocking content, but also the shockwaves it sent through the wrestling industry. Barry Blaustein (COMING TO AMERICA, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR) investigates his childhood love by getting unprecedented backstage access to an array of American wrestling promotions from the smallest independent outfits to the industry leading World Wrestling Federation, at the height of its “Attitude Era”. Filmed over three years on the road, Blaustein follows multiple wrestlers at various points in their careers, from the burgeoning talents in local promotions hoping for try-outs, to those at the ends of their careers wrestling retirement matches as they deal with injuries, chronic pain, family issues, and aging out of a young man’s game. Showing that while in the ring they appear as violent mad men, outside the squared circle they are kind, friendly and at points surprisingly normal. 

In this film you will see: Droz puke on command, Jake the Snake Roberts smoke crack in a hotel room, the ultra-violent New Jack audition at a Hollywood casting agent, Paul Heyman run an ECW pay-per-view from his mother’s basement, and a gut wrenching scene showing Mick Foley’s family scream in horror as he his repeatedly beaten over the head with a steel chair by a babyface (in terms of age, you smark) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with his hands cuffed behind his back—Foley then rewatches the footage of his grieving wife and two young children and takes stock in what it means to be both a good entertainer and a good father, and much much more!



FAKE IT SO REAL
dir. Robert Greene, 2012
USA, 94 min.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – 10 PM (Q AND A WITH DIRECTOR!)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 – 10 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 – 7:30 PM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – 7:30 PM

A total immersion in the world of bottom-of-the-barrel independent wrestling, FAKE IT SO REAL looks at the personalities involved with the Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF) in Lincolnton, North Carolina. Greene joins the group over the course of a week as they prepare for a big show, highlighting both their in-ring abilities as well as the life of the working class in the South. With a non-existant budget, it’s clear that like any DIY subculture, they are doing this purely because they love it.

Director Robert Greene will join us for a special event screening and Q&A on September 4th while he is in town for the opening of his latest feature, BISBEE ‘17, showing at Film Forum the 5–8th.



GAEA GIRLS
Dir. Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, 2000
England/Japan.106 min
In Japanese with English subtitles.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – 5 PM
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 – 10 PM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – 10 PM

Get your streamers ready.

Whether or not you’re a fan of professional wrestling, GAEA GIRLS is a compelling look at the world of women’s wrestling in Japan and the grueling training program that prospective performers must go through to break into the industry. The training, while discomforting to watch, makes sense when you see it in the context of what they are trying to do in the ring. Unlike American women’s wrestling from the same time period, the Japanese women wrestle brutal fast paced matches with stiff strikes, kicks to the head, and nauseating headbutts

The film highlights the trainee Takuechi who receives the brunt of the ritual hazing and humiliation. Not for the faint of heart, the level of abuse Takuechi endures is so intense and cruel that just watching it makes other trainees give up, quit, and even run away. Can she do it? Will she make her profession debut and become on of the chosen few? Or will she succumb to the pressure and give up like so many others?

THE RUB: PÉTER LICHTER AND BORI MÁTÉ

THE RUB
Dir. Péter Lichter & Bori Máté, 2018
Hungary, 60 min
In Hungarian with English subtitles
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – 7:30 PM (DIRECTOR APPEARANCE!) FB EVENT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 – 10 PM (DIRECTOR APPEARANCE!) FB EVENT

ONLINE TICKETS HERE

A flash, a glimmer, a familiar face glimpsed for a moment before being consumed by blight. A voice that stumbles through its lines, uncertain, ruminant. An audio-visual incantation, a mesmerism of projected light. A story familiar yet startling with each new-formed image.

THE RUB is Hungarian experimental filmmaker Péter Lichter’s second feature, here in collaboration with Bori Máté, a kinetic reimagining of Hamlet as psychological collage. Following the landscapes of desolation Lichter explored in last year’s post-apocalyptic FROZEN MAY, which played at Spectacle last October, here he returns to the found-footage sources of his earlier short films, while rapturously pushing the format as far as possible in all directions: here celluloid is destroyed, chemical washed, painted, overlaid, juxtaposed, and manipulated to its furthest visual possibilities.

The conceit may most obviously be that we are seeing Hamlet’s inner world as he mulls over his existential soliloquies. But we may also find that we are diving into the unsounded depths of the cinematic collective unconscious, into the fragmented psyche of the recorded image itself. Even in through immaterial conceptions, and Hamlet’s fleeting existence, the sheer materiality of film and video prevail, live on under duress and fragmentation. THE RUB is an elegant, ecstatic choreography of the bare electro-photo-chemical elements of memory, a self-reflection on form, and an almost tactile immersion in a classic story rewritten.

“Inner visions of the evolution and revolution of cinema. Péter Lichter and Bori Máté’s experimental “The Rub” summons Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, rubbing profound words against filmic material. Strips of celluloid distort popular images and dance around dismal digital views of empty cinemas – a somnambulistic film brimming with resistance.”
Berlin Critics’ Week 2018