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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday July 15 and Saturday July 16 at IFC Center: $14
I remember very clearly my first time at a Mexican wrestling match, aka lucha libre– like almost any arena you can imagine staging such an event in the U.S., the place was barebones and there were troughs carrying swiftly flowing rivers of piss presumably into the storm drains outside. But let’s just say I’ve never been to a sporting event north of the border where it was a-OK for muscley men in masks to grasp a group of little people by the wrists, and one by one, ignoring their struggle and cries, toss them off into the stadium abyss. Where was it these little luchadores were on their way to? Not anywhere nice, is all I can say.
The series starts off straight away with a jury favorite: Do Not Resist won Tribeca’s Best Documentary Feature. Craig Atkinson’s directorial debut focuses on the disconcertingly rapid militarization of the police in the United States– a timely subject if ever there was one.
On the 19th, Nitehawk will be screening Jenny Gage’s All This Panic, a coming-of-age story about seven teenage girls in New York. On the 20th, there will be a screening of Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, Maura Axelrod’s portrait of the artist Maurizio Cattelan.
On the 21st, the final film in the series will be Vanessa Gould’s Obit, which takes you into the offices (and yes, “the morgue”) of The New York Times obit writers. We caught that one at Tribeca and can tell you it’s a must-watch if you’ve ever wondered how many obits the Times has prewritten for living people. (Spoiler: about 1,700.)
All screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and will take place at 7:30pm, at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue).
The Lower East Side’s new cinephile paradise is joining the city’s summer tradition of (mostly free) outdoor film screenings. Next Tuesday, Metrograph will be showing The Wizard of Oz (the classic one, not that J-Franks nonsense) in Seward Park, at Essex Street. As Metrograph knows, half the pleasure of going to the cinema is to gorge yourself on snacks, so there will be complimentary popcorn for movie-goers to munch on while they watch Dorothy follow the yellow brick road.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Vamp Bikers Tres trailer has finally dropped. After a shooting marathon that seemed more like a roving zombie party than any script-driven film production we’ve ever seen, we can finally start to make some sense of all the crazy shit that’s happened since we first caught up with director Eric Rivas. Back in December, we met Rivas and his crew, including Michael Alig who stars in the film as the King of the Club Kid Zombies, on-location out in deserted off-season Coney Island. As it turned out over the last several months, Alig was just (if you can ever even use that qualifier in a sentence about the notorious ex-party promoter) the beginning when it came to cameos and weirdness.
Nelson Sullivan’s Downtown: ’83 – ’89
Monday July 18, Tuesday July 26 (7:30 pm and 10 pm) at Spectacle: $5
When Nelson Sullivan, the tireless documentarian of the 1980s downtown party scene, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1989, not only did he refuse to go quietly into the ’90s and subsequently save himself from the disappointing developments of the aughts, but he left over 1,200 hours of footage in his wake. It was a “treasure trove of late-night videos,” according to Michael Musto. As the former Village Voice writer whose beat was the ins and outs of the Downtown party scene (he was largely responsible for some of the first coverage of the Michael Alig murder case), Musto should know some good gossip when he sees it.