i hate myself 🙂
Friday April 7 through Thursday April 13 at Anthology Film Archives: $11

Joanna Arnow’s Bad at Dancing  highly personal, and highly awkward documentary–appropriately titled i hate myself :)– makes Welcome to the Dollhouse look like a film about a well-adjusted family. Arnow sums up her motivation in the form of a question at the film’s outset: “Is James a good person to be dating?” Prepare to laugh your sphincter right out of your butt when the BF climaxes following a reluctant hump and tells Arnow sweetly: “Feels good, babe. Thanks for just lying there.” What a hero.

Anthology has dubbed the film “one of the most unflinchingly, sometimes shockingly candid personal documentaries to emerge in recent years”– now you know why they’ve devoted an entire week of screenings to it. Arnow will be on hand too, so don’t miss it.

The Term (Срок) 
Thursday April 6, Tuesday April 18, Monday April 24, and Sunday April 30 at Spectacle: $5

Throughout the month of April, Spectacle is hosting Rule #1: Believe the Autocrat, a series spotlighting films from Marxfilm. As an ex-Russianist (admittedly not a very accomplished one– let’s just say I’m a lot like that dude in Don DeLillo’s White Noise, the professor and Nazi historian who can’t speak German), this series comes highly recommended for my fellow Russophile dorks out there.

And hey, given that our current president seems to model himself after Vladimir Putin, it’s probably a pretty good idea for us all to take a good, hard look at what’s happened in Russia since the collapse of the CCCP, when a fledgling democracy was quietly/not-so-quietly overthrown by a former KGB officer with an autocratic streak. There’s been stagnation, brain drain, cultural flattening, censorship, a volatile resource-based economy heavily dependent on oil, and a violent war on the press (just to name a few).

In fact, the series’ title was inspired by Masha Gessen’s post-election op-ed for the Times, which advises Americans to pay careful attention to the authoritarian tendencies of our own new regime, and take lessons from the Russians, who are in so deep that it will likely take another revolution to get them out. And hey, given that we’re just a few short months from the Russian Revolution’s Centennial– there’s no time like October.

The Term is a good place to start, since its focus is the short-lived protest movement following Vladimir Putin’s 2012 reelection, which was led by people who Russians like to say live “inside the garden ring”– aka the tiny less-than-1-percent class of uber-rich people and their educated liberal children, who the vast majority of Russians have next to nothing in common with. Therein lies the problem– well, one of them.


South of Heaven: Supernatural Westerns
Now through Saturday April 29 at Spectacle: $5 per screening

If any of you are familiar with so-called Acid Westerns (think: Holy Mountain and Jarmusch’s Dead Man), then you’re sure to love this Spectacle series focused on Supernatural Westerns. The four films cover “everything from witches to werewolves, from the devil to Dracula,” but all are “throwbacks on horseback from down Mexico way.” Which, if you’re anything like me, is great because some of us ’round these parts have seen nearly every American-made Western worth watching, and it’s high noon-time we soak up some desert tales from south of the border. And, hey, you’ll learn cool stuff like this– a film called Ghost Town up here translates to El Pueblo Fantasma (which is just a much better sounding title, to be perfectly honest).