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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Why Not Hit This Night of Indie Films, Art, and Music

(Photo: Courtesy of The Luminal Theater)

(Photo: Courtesy of The Luminal Theater)

Escape the scorching summer temperatures in the city next week by fleeing to the Opera House Lofts, near the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, where The Luminal Theater, a microcinema organization, will be teaming up with Bondfire Radio, a radio streaming site, to host a screening of indie short films and media-based art projects from national and local directors and artists.

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Fast Approaching Films: Stay #Woke at Critical Paranoia + Beware Psychopathic BBs

The Childhood of a Leader
Wednesday July 20 through Thursday July 28 at IFC Center: $14
Actor Brady Corbet’s directorial debut follows the coming-of-age of a seriously naughty child who is maybe the scariest looking blonde-maned creep you’ve ever seen standing 3-feet tall in a Victorian drop-waist looking slightly underfed. Maybe early cutoff from the teet is to blame– always look to the mother, right? Well, maybe– but this isn’t Corbet’s first sociopathic-character-study rodeo (see: 2013’s Simon Killer where Corbet played the part and helped co-write with director Antonio Campos), so let’s trust that he goes a little bit farther than some yawn-worthy evolutionary quibble.

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In Bight of the Twin, Genesis P-Orridge Travels to Benin, the Birthplace of Voodoo

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge in "Bight of the Twin," a new documentary from Hazel Hill McCarthy III

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge in “Bight of the Twin,” a new documentary from Hazel Hill McCarthy III

I’ll be the first to admit it, my total “experience” with voodoo involves not much more than occasional trips to my local botanica to refresh my incense supply, and subsequently stressing about my decision to go with the “Fast Luck Egyptian Money Drawing” candle (*alleged) over the Reverse Action Evil Eye one (*also alleged). Which is to say, I have exactly no actual experience. I’m totally gonna let the lovely Haitian shop owners dress my devotional candle of choice with what looks like confetti and smells like potpourri, because why not? In my understanding, it’s best to cover all your bases on the warpath to riches, and I’ll take any and all of the help that the Supernatural Powers That Be, whoever they may be, are willing to give me.

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