film still from Des Morts (Spectacle Theater)

film still from The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (Light Industry)

Sup guys? Stuff got a little out of hand last week with all those space films and so this time around we’re bringing you back down to earth. Though as always we’re keeping it weird. This week we’ve got surreal takes on film strips that have been sliced, diced, and “inappropriated.” Also in our lineup (which doesn’t include this week’s standout Tribeca Film Festival screenings; click here for those) is an account of the cray stuff that can happen when IRL begins to reflect art. So welcome back to hell, we’re glad you could join us once again.

Des Morts and The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes

You can’t get realer than death, that’s for sure, and next Tuesday at Light Industry will take you closer to passing onto the next world (or just the cold dead ground, what have you) then you ever really wanted to get. Des Morts is a 1979 Belgian documentary that explores funeral rituals across different cultures. Light Industry calls it “a major work of thanatological cinema” that has somehow (and perhaps unjustifiably) been relegated to the backwaters of ‘shockumentary.'” Why? Well, people are afraid of death, that’s why. And Des Morts is no Faces of Death, it’s actually important, real as hell work. 

The film has been compared with The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes, a 1971 experimental movie filmed in a Pittsburgh morgue that’s been calledone of the most direct confrontations with death ever recorded on film.” See these raw as hell films back to back and maybe you’ll return to life with a renewed appreciation and stop wishing for your own swift death. Tuesday April 21st, 7:30 pm at Light Industry in Greenpoint: $8 at the door

Fest.BANNER

Spectacle Theater

The Festival of Inappropriation

A full night of contemporary found footage filmmaking at Spectacle Theater. If that flyer isn’t hint enough it probably, definitely involves scenes from Seinfeld. If Seinfeld were current day would he be cool with ex-girlfriends using found footage? Only if they show him their closets. Ba-boom. Well if there’s one thing we can 100 percent guarantee is that the Festival of (In)appropriation will be funnier than that inexplicable joke I just made.

Spectacle promises a great variety of stuff to be seen including collage, found footage, and recycled cinema. The only rule is that the end product be incongruous with the footage filmmaker’s original intent. Sounds very, very avant-garde. Check out the full lineup here. Thursday April 16th, 8 pm and 10 pm at Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg: $5 at the door 

Clouds of Sils Maria

Scandalous psychological twists abound in this film starring Kristen Stewart as the personal assistant to a successful but aging actress played by Juliette Binoche. The assistant convinces her reluctant boss to meet with a legendary director about a role. He convinces her to play the part of an older woman who falls in love with a much younger woman who manipulates and controls her older admirer. As work on the film progresses, life starts to imitate art for the actress as she becomes deeply involved in the role. Thursday April 16th through Thursday April 23rd at IFC Center: $14

Understudies

This new mockumentary-style web series follows an aspiring Broadway actress, Astoria Bagg (played by co-creator Elizabeth Gray) after she scores a role in what will undoubtedly be a mega-hit, Twilight at Tiffany’s— a musical that brings together Truman Capote’s classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the beloved chastity fetish romp, Twilight. Sounds brilliant if you ask us. Catch a sneak preview of the anticipated web series at Screen Forward (a project that showcases independent filmmakers at the Media Center in Dumbo. Friday April 24th at 7:30, Made in NYC Media Center, 30 John Street, Dumbo: price not specified, pay at the door