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Week in Film: a Very Lynchian Retrospective, Full-Frontal Greek Mythology, and More

Saturday March 25 (10 pm),  Sunday March 26 (7:30 pm), Tuesday March 28 (10 pm) Thursday March 30 (10 pm) at Spectacle: $5, advance tickets available 

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.

(Flyer: Spectacle)

Honoré takes on a complicated couple from the story, Jupiter and Europa. In Ovid’s telling, their relationship blossoms the old-fashioned way– 5 when Jupiter morphs into a bull and after Europa is drawn to the beast by his fancy flower collar, he kidnaps the “Royal Maiden” and then rapes her. Ugh, not cool. Ovid, however, is of the opinion: “Majesty is incompatible truly with love; they cohabit nowhere together.”

So it’s pretty telling that Honoré’s film takes a slightly different approach, where Europa isn’t quite as young as Lolita or anything as creepy as that, and though Jupiter is older and clearly well versed in the fine art of porking, he’s not like some creepy old dude. It’s easier to think of this version of Metamorphoses as a French translation of Buffalo ’66, if Vincent Gallo’s character was a comp lit dropout. Just swap out the stink-eyed, tap-dancing teenager played by Christina Ricci for Honoré’s Europa, who could easily pass for a precocious 14 year-old, but might also just be a 21 year-old virgin (hard to tell). And replace Vincent Gallo, the possibly psychotic, confirmed asshole with another kidnapper douche named Jupiter. Consent is equally iffy, Stockholm Syndrome probable, but unlike Gallo’s lovable but sometimes kinda misogynist. Ok, quite a bit in some scenes.

Friday March 24 through Sunday April 2 at IFC Center: $14

We haven’t even completed our fourth moon cycle of the year, and IFC is already two-for-two with some bigtime retrospectives. The first was an epic Kubrick showcase, honor of a new documentary about the Tolstoy of film (as seen through the eyes of his personal assistant, a dude who interestingly enough doesn’t give two poo poos about movies). The theater’s second retrospective debuts today and it’s dedicated to David Lynch, whose very own biopic The Art of Life, arrives Friday March 31.

The Films of David Lynch, which of course includes all the classics (Eraserhead the freaky tearjerker, spooktastic Mulholland Driveand Wild at Heart in which you’ll find one of Nick Cage’s best-ever freakouts). But IFC went ahead and smushed in some surprises for the super-fans: Meditation, Creativity, and Peace is a documentary about Lynch’s obsessive devotion to transcendental meditation (apparently it works y’all), and a shorts marathon.

I’m just excited as the next gal to see Lynch films on the big screen, but more than anything I’m hoping all of this will put an end to a linguistic disease that now threatens an entire generation with a permanent speech impediment. It’s observed in the repeated, confused use of the term”Lynchian”– which unfortunately originated as a pretentious way to describe something as resembling the work of David Lynch, and henceforth lost all meaning. It’s usually coupled with a phenomenon that doctors are calling Neurocementia, and there’s a theory that Patient Zero was a member of the VICE editorial staff circa 2006.

The Blob
Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25 at Nitehawk: $12

If you’re feeling like a giant, grumpy slug despite the abundance of sunshine and just a hint of something resembling joy as we edge toward spring, then do us all a favor and don’t show up at the bar after work if you’re just gonna slump over your beer and shoot everyone the evil eye. Go put yourself in a dark room somewhere.

If you want another human to suffer your presence, consider purchasing them a movie ticket–The Blob, which is filling out the midnight slot on both Friday and Saturday this weekend at Nitehawk. Not only will you maintain some semblance of dignity by looking just like a slightly better organism than said Blob, but depending on your date’s taste in… squishy things, you might be able to convince someone to drag your limp, formless body home and you can be ornery blobs together, forever.

Female Trouble
Friday March 24 (9:15 pm), Monday March 27 (7 pm(, Thursday March 30 (9:15 pm) at Anthology Film Archives: $11

As part of Anthology’s Cross Dressing on Screen (March 23 through March 31) which might just be the screening series of the century– John Waters’s Female Trouble is on deck for three whole screenings. Get in line, boys. Divine stars as Dawn Davenport, a hitchhiking hustler looking for work, and crazy enough she finds it– even after getting knocked by a filthy vagrant she bangs on an even nastier mattress in the woods. (Psst, Divine is also the actress underneath all that bum costume.)

Unfortunately this is not the movie where Divine gets raped by an enormous, raging lobster– that’s Multiple Maniacs-. But the baby’s daddy might as well be a crustacean, because Davenport kicks into crazy beast mode that would make you think she’s had an animal bun in the oven when, desperate and on her own, she chews right through the umbilical chord, unleashing the little demon on this cruel and nasty world.

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Week in Film: Cinema Kink a-Go-Go, a Chloë Sevigny Retrospective, and More

Cinekink NYC
Thursday March 16 through Sunday March 19 at Anthology Film Archives: $11 individual screenings, $45 to $85 for all-access pass (get your tickets here

Fet culture and cinema? I mean, duh, guys, they’re a match made in heaven– er, whichever circle of hell doms and bronies go to. (Dunno about you guys, but that’s where I’m hoping to end up, Lucifer willing). That’s why Cinekink NYC– which clears up any confusion by calling itself “the kinky film festival”– is popping off this week for its 14th year.

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Week in Film: OG Badass Babe Mildred Pierce; Purple Reign in Blood, and More

Purple Rain: Terror Beyond Belief
Friday January 27, 7:30 pm at Spectacle: $5 always

Ok, so I might be outing myself as a giant lame by admitting this but, until I came across this mind-blowing feature presentation, I had no idea that “détournement” is actually, like, its own thing. Basically, that’s just a fancy word for (re)appropriated movies that have been drastically altered and yet retain some of the original characteristics of their source films which tend to be instantly recognizable classics. The result is a chunky, weird-tasting at first, but then loveably gritty combination of parody/homage, familiar/totally alien, nostalgic/apocalyptic– or post-modern upchuck that could trick your grandma and scare the kids. In other words, it’s very punk.

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Anthology Film Archives Adding New Library and Café, With Help from Sparkly Art Auction

Jonas Mekas and Andy Warhol (Courtesy Stephen Shore / Anthology Film Archives)

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.

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Sip on Herpes Slurpees With Cast of ‘Drunky’ at Alphaville on Saturday

(Flyer via "Adventures of Drunky"/ Augenblick Studios)

(Flyer via “Adventures of Drunky”/ Augenblick Studios)

Let’s be real, it’s been a sticky week. And since the frozen negroni machine has been broken at the Narrows for going on forever, you’re probably thinking, what’s the point of even leaving my fire-escape kiddie pool this weekend? There never is one, truth be told. But there’s something going down this weekend at Alphaville that could turn out to be the next best thing to soakin’ in a plastic tub filled with the champagne of public water and dribbles of your own pee.

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Relive the Indie Film Forum That Brought Us Heavy Metal Parking Lot and Penis Puppets

Detail from the first "I Am Eye" flyer (Via Microscope Gallery/ "I Am Eye")

Detail from the first “I Am Eye” flyer (Via Microscope Gallery/ “I Am Eye”)

Probably the best known film to come out of the I Am Eye scene opens with a view from the cameraman’s car as John Heyn and Jeff Krulik pull into a a sweaty asphalt parking lot full of Wayne’s World clones. “I’m ready to rock!” the spandex-clad kids with big hair exclaim un-ironically, throwing up devil horns and alternating between sloshing around beer bottles and back-bent air guitar. The next 15 minutes or so of Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986) is nothing short of sheer brilliance and even though the film– which has won praise as “the original viral video” and “the Citizen Kane of wasted teenage metalness”– is approaching its 30th anniversary, it feels supremely right-now. In a lot of ways, this “sleeper” bootleg hit anticipated the kind of cheeky, ironic tone that today we see everywhere in art-making.

Likewise, I Am Eye, the DC-based “independent film forum” that ran from 1982 to 1991 out of a DIY venue called dc space, was a hotbed for underground filmmakers whose influence is still felt today, even if what they screened back then is seriously hard to find now. But for the first time in 25 years, the founders are gathering up their old reels and holding a screening/reunion at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick that opens this weekend.

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11 Years of ‘Audacious’ Selfies Show the Growth of K8 Hardy

Film still from K8 Hardy's "Outfitumentary" (Courtesy of K8 Hardy)

Film still from K8 Hardy’s “Outfitumentary” (Courtesy of K8 Hardy)

Selfies have become so ubiquitous that if your Instagram feed can’t claim at least one, it’s safe to assume you’re the hideous victim of a Korean rubber face mask gone horribly wrong, or you’re so vain that turning a lens on yourself for an arms-length shot is totally out of the question. In art, that lens has been swapped out for an electron microscope, aimed squarely at the self, but penetrating far beyond the puckering duck face.

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Week in Film: Get Super Real with Death Docs and Master Manipulations

film still from Des Morts (Spectacle Theater)

film still from The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (Light Industry)

Sup guys? Stuff got a little out of hand last week with all those space films and so this time around we’re bringing you back down to earth. Though as always we’re keeping it weird. This week we’ve got surreal takes on film strips that have been sliced, diced, and “inappropriated.” Also in our lineup (which doesn’t include this week’s standout Tribeca Film Festival screenings; click here for those) is an account of the cray stuff that can happen when IRL begins to reflect art. So welcome back to hell, we’re glad you could join us once again.

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Week In Film: Strange Noir Saga, Underage Nymphos, and Seeing John Malkovitch

The sun will come out tomorrow y’all, but that doesn’t mean our black-as-black hearts have grown any less cynical. We’ll never be wary of shutting ourselves inside and “catching” what I’ve heard people call “flicks,” as opposed to having face-to-face human interactions. Those are never as good as movies anyway, and the only thing you can “catch” from people are diseases. Am I right or am I right? That’s why we’re gracing you yet again with at least a handful of excuses to avoid that horrible social anxiety otherwise known as talking to people, particularly like a date or something. Imagine the horror! Hell is other people and movies are really the only thing that, once in a while, might trick us into thinking that’s a bunch of bull.

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