This week, we continue our series of deep dives into the histories of storied addresses.
Courtesy of AnthologyFilmArchives.org.
The building at the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Second Street that now houses the Anthology Film Archives has always been a crossroads, both symbolically and literally. This “international center for the preservation, study and exhibition of film and video” came into being in 1969 as a counter-thrust to Hollywood, making its focus American independent and avant-garde cinema.
Alleging that a six-story, Second Avenue property he owns has been “commandeered” by a real estate investor/developer, landlord Raphael Toledano is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [Commercial Observer]
I don’t know about you, but galas are not an everyday thing around these parts– the closest this reporter’s been to a real black-tie-and-gown affair was high school prom, which didn’t even really happen because my date got arrested. So needless to say, when I was somehow allowed to crash the Anthology Film Archives gala –a fancy fundraising party and art auction held last week to raise cash for the theater’s expansion– I was just slightly out of my realm. It was made all the more surreal by a performance from Patti Smith, and seeing people like John Waters, Zosia Mamet, and Zac Posen’s eyebrows all in one room.
Jonas Mekas, co-founder of Anthology Film Archives with Andy Warhol (Courtesy Stephen Shore / Anthology Film Archives)
Yesterday, Anthology Film Archives announced that, for the first time in their 46-year history, big changes are coming to the institution in the form of an expansion to their East Village operations that will include a library and café.
If you can’t catch a wave over this Fourth of July weekend, check out Anthology Film Archives’ screening of this 1991 surf classic starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Check anthologyfilmarchives.org/ for times.
Alex Ross Perry (middle) and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (right).
“There’s no one here that we accidentally filmed in one of the crowd scenes, is there?” Alex Ross Perry quipped after a screening of his latest movie– his third to play at BAMcinemaFest over the years. “Because this is the screening where we would have to deal with that.”
Golden Exits is a “very local movie,” the 32-year-old director had noted while introducing the film Saturday night. Unlike Listen Up Philip and Queen of Earth, which were shot partly outside of the city, this one occurs almost entirely in brownstone Brooklyn, not far from BAM— with the notable exception of a scene at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village.
Biking is having a moment. Citi Bike is expanding, Andy Samberg just released his Tour de Pharmacy trailer, and Bicycle Fetish Day is quickly approaching. Which makes it a great time for the Bicycle Film Festival to roll into town. The fest will bring a week of screenings, live performances, exhibitions, and even a new animation program to Anthology Film Archives.
Just as OJ: Made in America took on a sensationalized murder case that became a defining feature of the American cultural landscape thanks to relentless media coverage, Casting Jonbenet looks to the as-yet-unsolved murder of Jonbenet Ramsey. The six-year-old beauty queen who became an international icon and potent symbol of the Great (White) Child Abduction Panic– which you definitely remember if you were a kid growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. If you immediately associate lollipops with stranger danger and trench coats with flashers, then yes, you are a product of the Jonbenet years.
Ghost in the Shell (1996) Thursday April 13, Saturday April 15, and Sunday April 16 at The Metrograph: $15
No better time to see the original Ghost in the Shell, now that the anime classichas been remade and lost a good chunk of its futuristic/cyborg ambiguity in the process via the casting of a decidedly blonde, white bombshell in the lead. In the remake, Scarlett Johansson plays Major, i.e. an Anglicized version of the already Anglized Cyborg Major Kusanagi from the anime version.
The year is 2029, and this “perfect specimen of human-brained computer engineering” has been tasked with tracking down the elusive and amorphous villain known as The Puppet Master, whose precise plan for overthrowing the world– a Blade Runner-like super-city megalopolis where the human race has become so consumed by technology, that they are now inseparable and, at times, difficult to distinguish. The film deftly navigates the ethical and existential quandaries that are dramatically more real than they were in 1996 when the animated film was made.
Ghost in the Shell(2017) Thursday April 13 through Thursday April 20 at Nitehawk: $12
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.
You know what’s cool about ancient Greek mythology? It looks good on almost anyone. Even 21st-century French people, as you’ll see in Christophe Honoré’s new film Metamorphoses. It’s actually based on a really old poem–but you already knew that by the film’s title right? Metamorphoses (the original) dates to about 8 AD when this Roman dude named Ovid fused bits from more than 250 existing Greek mythos together to create a pretty wacky piece of non-linear literature that defies the standard didactic, A-to-B tellings that were popular back then. Thankfully, Ovid’s story is every bit as riveting as the OG mythos, which are always chock-full gore, guts, adultery, betrayal and, of course, horny gods mingling with orgy-prone mortals.