We all know that so-called cinephiles jet off to places like SXSW just to booze it up on the company dime, but just try getting them to admit that they can’t read the notes they took after that third jalapeno margarita at Alamo Drafthouse. A film fest coming to Greenpoint in May, however, is pretty upfront about all that. An announcement for In Vino Veritas: Secrets of the Intoxicated Life says the program of shorts will explore “how getting wasted can elevate the spirit, enhance our creativity, make us wiser, deliver us onto freedom or otherwise improve the human condition.” Unless, of course, you’re Mel Gibson.
The fest, currently accepting submissions, will happen May 20 at the Sunview Luncheonette, a former breakfast diner that’s now being quietly used as a sort of social club and donations-based arts space. Its host is Jeffrey Wengrofsky, a Lower East Side-based filmmaker who has programmed similar evenings at Sunview and at Howl Happening. (He’s also an actor who appeared in the immersive murder-mystery “Speakeasy Dollhouse”.) Here, he’ll show his own film about the World/Inferno Friendship Society, a Gogol Bordello-esque punk/jazz orchestra known for its theatrical stage shows and Halloween pyromania. Also featured will be a music video by experimental Dutch musician Truus De Groot, who collaborated with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo back in the day, and an excerpt from photographer Sarah Small’s Tableau Vivant, which, if this clips is any indicator, is kind of like a Spencer Tunick photo come to life, set to operatic music.
There are sure to be more intriguing picks to come. At a previous installation of In Vino Veritas, in 2015, submissions included a short in which author Rex Pickett recalled the inspiration behind his wine bromance, Sideways. It’s uncertain whether pinot noir (or peenot noir?) will be on offer at the bar this year– we know only that the $10 price of admission gets you unlimited whiskey or vodka drinks while the getting is good. Keep in mind, Wengrofsky says he’s hoping to explore “the positive things associated with altered consciousness – spiritual exploration, creativity, liberation of the ego, and the fun of relinquishing self-control.” Presumably the next installment of his series will explore the wonderful world of hangovers and soul-crushing walks of shame.
In Vino Veritas: Secrets of the Intoxicated Life, May 20, 8pm to 11pm at The Sunview Luncheonette, 221 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint.