Reel Psyched

No Comments

Week in Film: Texas Virgin on a Tear, Student Council Blood Bath

(Flyer via Wiki commons)

(Flyer via Wiki commons)

Strawberries Need Rain
Friday September 2, Friday September 9, Saturday September 17, Saturday September 24, midnight at Spectacle: $5

Throughout September, Spectacle is screening a whole slew of films by midnight master, Texas filmmaker, and self-proclaimed “schlockmeister” Larry Buchanan. Old photos of the dude could easily fool you into thinking he’s a jolly pediatrician who makes house calls and checks your pulse with the aid of a pocket watch. Best known for his schlocky sci-fi/horror B-movies like Mars Needs Women and the 1969 original of It’s Alive! (not to be confused with the 1974 cult classic written/directed by Larry Cohen), Buchanan made some super awful and yet somehow successful films, as the story goes. The Times put it best after Buchanan died in 2004 at the age of 81: “It was not so much that his films were bad; they were deeply, dazzlingly, unrepentantly bad.”

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Four Films: Reenacting a TV Suicide, Politically Involved Girls, and Madge at Her Best


Kate Plays Christine
Friday August 26 through Thursday September 1 at IFC Center: $15
This year at Sundance, there were two films focused on Christine Chubbuck, the Florida news reporter who killed herself live on the air in the summer of 1974 during the broadcast of her talk show– although the filmmakers in each case took a wildly different approach to exploring not only the story of Chubbuck’s death but our own unrelenting fascination with her suicide and how knowing that it was caught on film makes the whole situation strangely titillating.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

How a Film About Traversing Boundaries Begot a Film Series, Imagined Boundaries

(Photo: Courtesy of Jess Thoubboron)

(Photo: Courtesy of Jess Thoubboron)

When Jess Thoubboron wanted to screen her new short film, Strangers, she thought about how to showcase it in a way that connected to her motivation for making the film in the first place.

Strangers, Thoubboron’s directorial debut, is about two strangers who meet and instantly form a special bond and encourage one another to traverse their self-imposed boundaries and reexamine how they perceived themselves.

Keep Reading »

1 Comment

Yer Week in Film: Disco Inferno, Poland on Fire, and Aural Crime Solving


Wild Combination: a Portrait of Arthur Russell
Thursday August 18, 9:30 pm at the Metrograph:$15

It seems like the perfect moment to revisit this 2008 documentary about Arthur Russell, the eccentric experimental musician whose disco dance records are seeing a serious resurgence more than 20 years after his death– what with a sampled homage to Russell’s “Answers Me” on Kanye’s new oneLife of Pablo, and Eric Copeland’s “self-described Arthur Russell-influenced album” Black Bubblegum.

Wild Combination: a Portrait of Arthur Russell reflects on the late musician’s wide ranging talent as a classically-trained cellist, steeped in traditional Indian music, who had a knack for meditative dance tracks and even a bit of rock music under his belt from his time in a power pop group called the Necessaries.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Twillerama, the Trillest Film Festival for Animations and by Animations

(Via Twillerama)

(Via Twillerama)

A quick hypothetical for you: if real people host film festivals with “real films,”  then wouldn’t it make sense that an animated film festival should be hosted by animated people? Crazy, I know, but filmmaker Morgan Miller seems to think it’s worth a shot.

After completing an animated short starring the characters Jeff Twiller and Randy—two coarse guys who enjoy the simple things in life and “like to hang out at the dump” in a place “kind of like Queens”—Miller decided that they’d be perfect hosts for their own film festival.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Get on Board With the Women’s Surf Film Festival, this Weekend at Rockaway Beach

(Flyer Courtesy of Women's Surf Festival)

(Flyer Courtesy of Women’s Surf Festival)

With the Olympics currently in full swing, we’re seeing badass women kicking butt on a daily basis. Whether it’s Simone Manuel making history in the pool as the first African-American woman to win swimming gold in an individual event, or the whole American gymnastics team defying the laws of physics over and over again like it’s no big deal, women in sports are killing it.

So the timing couldn’t be better for the 4th annual Women’s Surf Film Festival, taking place this weekend at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Exclusive Clip: The Lost Arcade, a New Doc on the Old-School Arcade’s End Game

Tonight, a new documentary about the life and death of a legendary Lower East Side arcade, Chinatown Fair, will be screened at The Metrograph, kicking off The Lost Arcade‘s first theatrical run. We first told you about the film– the passion project of Kurt Vincent (director) and Irene Chin (producer) who raised money through a Kickstarter campaign– when it premiered at the NYC DOC festival last fall. To celebrate the theatrical arrival of The Lost Arcade, we’ve got exclusives from the filmmakers: a clip from the doc (see above) and shots taken inside the otherworldly Chinatown Fair by photographer Chris Bernabeo.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Film: Seven Reasons to Poison Yourself + Charlie Parker’s Doppel in Black-and-White


Bottle Rocket 
Wednesday August 10, 6 pm, 8:15 pm, and 10:30 pm at Syndicated: $3

There’s a Wes Anderson retrospective happening this week at Syndicated which is… something. If celebrating Wes Anderson’s particularly noxious brand of twee makes you want to pour cyanide in your cereal, then feel free to move on to our next pick. But if you’re something of a masochist, read away.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

At Free Films in Tompkins, the Real Star-Crossed Lovers are Baz Luhrmann + Guac

Free Films at Tompkins (Photo: Joshua Davis for The Local East Village)

Free Films at Tompkins (Photo: Joshua Davis for The Local East Village)

Dinner theater is often regarded as cheesy, and not in a good way. Cinemas serving food with flicks can be pricey (and let’s be honest, sometimes a little too air conditioned)– also, where’s that food even coming from? One of those Wolfgang Puck airport terminal franchises? Let’s be real, the answer’s probably much worse than that. So what is one to do when they want to enjoy the blissful multitasking of watching moving pictures with their eyes while shoving deliciousness into their mouths?

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Watch the JT LeRoy Doc on a Roof and Try Not to Get Blown Away

As ’90s “it” author JT Leroy once put it in a book title, the heart is deceitful above all things. But not as deceitful as LeRoy himself ended up being. Embraced as a hard-living, gender-bending literary wunderkind by everyone from Bruce Benderson to Bono, the troubled teen author was famously outed as a fabrication of Laura Albert, a somewhat less troubled 40-year-old woman. A new documentary about this bizarro episode in literary history, Author: The JT LeRoy Story, recently premiered at BAMcinemaFest– if you missed it there, Rooftop Films is offering another chance to see it, Aug. 18, with Albert and filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig in attendance.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Laugh Off the Last Days of Summer at This Comedy Film Festival

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

Yes, the last month of summer is finally be upon us, but there’s no putting a chill on the boozy, breezy, time-honored tradition of summer film festivals. On August 27 and 28 at Nitehawk Cinema, the SHORTS fest will offer up some 12 to 13 short films per day– all of which aim to take a more varied, surreal, and experimental approach to comedy.

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

The full line-up of films, selected by the Brooklyn Comedy Festival and Kickstarter, can be found here. Promising picks include Sunday’s Greener Grass, a “dark comedy of manners” directed by Paul Briganti, in which two soccer moms go above and beyond to fit into their cookie-cutter suburban surroundings.

Then there’s Bridey Elliott’s Affection, which is “a comedy about isolation and loneliness” (well then!). Elliot (of Fort Tilden fame) has always had a penchant for exploring unlikeable women while still capturing their nuanced humanity, something she talked about with Bedford + Bowery a couple of years ago (in addition to the ever-relevant topic of dick picks and other sundry affairs).

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

(Photo: Courtesy of Kickstarter)

Another promising entry is the New York-centric Jana & Shasta, directed by Tynan Delong, about a naïve, hapless Florida couple making their first trip to the big city after winning round-trip bus tickets on a radio contest. As you might expect, hilarity ensues.

And because comedy (or anything for that matter) is best enjoyed with some booze, Nitehawk will be serving its weekend brunch menu alongside the screenings, with a $15 entree and mimosa or Bloody Mary option to upgrade the giggle-fest.

SHORTS will be wrapping up the The Brooklyn Comedy Festival, which takes place August 22 to 28. And in case you need another reason to get some laughs in during the last month before September hits, Nitehawk will be launching the last month of the Comedians in Film series, which started in June and which finishes up with SHORTS. Other highlights during the series run include Women in Comedy (including Obvious Child and She-Devil) and Late Night, which features raunchy classics such as the 1983 flick Easy Money.

Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly identified that Nitehawk’s Comedians in Film starts in August, when it actually started in June.

No Comments

Yer Near Future in Film: Smashing Smithereens + One Pervy Crustacean

Multiple Maniacs
Friday August 5, 7:20 pm and 9:40 pm at IFC Center: $15
John Waters’s second full-length film, Multiple Maniacs, a black-and-white absurdist comedy that he shot in 1970 for just $5,000, might be his best film ever. But most of us wouldn’t know– the film never saw wide release beyond a 1994 VHS tape. Until now. Thanks be to the Criterion Collection for restoring this masterpiece to its former, er, glory’s not the right word exactly– unless of course we’re talking glory holes.

Keep Reading »