The Manhattan Film Festival was founded in 2006, and showcases the work of independent filmmakers in order to help them reach a broader audience. In 2013, it was named by Moviemaker magazine one of 25 “coolest film festivals in the world.” The MFF also prides itself on coming up with creative solutions to help filmmakers pursue their careers, including a Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program. This year, the festival boasts an eclectic mix of features, documentaries and short films. See the schedule here.
Just Labrynth. You know you love it. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you should probably go to this screening for reals. Because this is cultural knowledge you need—complete with David Bowie in full weirdo (read: Goblin King Jareth) regalia and Jennifer Connelly as a girl on the brink of womanhood. Also puppets. Lots of puppets.
You may not be able to hustle up the cash for a quick jaunt to London’s Royal Opera House (or even, for that matter, to our very own Met) but that doesn’t mean you need be deprived of the wondrous, visceral, weirdly compelling force that is opera. This weekend, the Royal Opera House’s performance of Verdi’s La Traviata (Fallen Woman) comes to a screen near you. Based on the real life romance between Alexander Dumas and Marie Duplessis, this three-act spectacle centers on the doomed love between Paris’s most famous courtesan and the man for whom she abandons her luxurious, lascivious lifestyle. Spoiler: tuberculosis features prominently.
Punk rock sensation G.G. Allin was renowned for his outlandish live performance antics—which involved defecating on stage, self-mutilation, nudity, and attacking audience members. He typically ended sets smeared in various bodily fluids. Despite poor reviews, Allin attracted a cult following over his career, as he strived to inject a little danger into rock. He eventually died from a drug overdose while this 1993 biopic was in post-production. Hated was the first film from director Todd Phillips (Old School, Starsky & Hutch, The Hangover), and he will be present for a Q&A after the one-night-only screening.
Now you’ve finally made it through OITNB, maybe you’re ready for some big-screen action?
If Super Size Me, Food, Inc., Hungry for Change and the collected works of Michael Pollan have yet to convince you of the evilness of Big Food, why not hit up Fed Up? The tagline is “Congress says pizza is a vegetable,” and it only gets better from there. Brought to you by Katie Couric, Stephanie Soechtig and Laurie David (the producer behind An Inconvenient Truth), this doc delves into America’s obesity epidemic and the creepy corporations behind it. Apparently guaranteed to “change the way you eat forever.” So if you treasure your customary diet, maybe skip it…
Thursday June 26, 11am, Village East Cinema (189 Second Ave), $7.50. LAST CHANCE!
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French writer, academic and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin famously collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard during the latter’s “radical” period. A Leftist influenced by Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan, Gorin’s political leanings consistently influenced his film work. He went on to teach as a university professor in California, and continued to make movies. Of one, Poto and Cabengo (1978), he explained: “The singsong of the twins reveals the shaky grounds of institutional power. It relativizes discursive authority from the family to the scientific community in their competitive and ineffectual attempts to ‘define’ the twins who spontaneously flit about the screen exceeding any definition.” If that makes any sense to you, join Gorin for a chat about Marxism and the movies. What better way to spend a Saturday night?
You’ll Be a Man is an indie French movie. “I know what you’re thinking!” says LES Film Fest director Tony Castle. “But it’s truly amazing—just a really captivating film about a 20-year-old boy. He becomes a live-in maid. The mother and son love him. The father hates him. Super weird and sexy!” It’s one of the hardest to market, Castle laments, but a brilliant film nonetheless.
LES Film Festival director Shannon Walker describes The Perfect 46 as “a sci-fi film about this guy who creates a test to see if your genetics are a good match with your partners.” Directed by Brett Bonowicz, the film is a fictional exploration of the burgeoning genome start-up culture represented in the real world by companies like 23andMe. “The trailer has quotes from scientists saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t all that out of the realm of possibility’,” says co-director Tony Castle. Creepy. And, adds Walker, the acting and cinematography are spectacular.
Ray Klonsky first encountered David McCallum nine years ago, when Klonsky (now 29) was in college and McCallum (now 44) was 19 long years into a life sentence. Then as now, McCallum was languishing in Otisville Correctional Facility—incarcerated for a crime he claims he did not commit.
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Chris Rock’s new film is shooting in the East Village tonight.
According to signs posted around the neighborhood, the “untitled Chris Rock movie,” produced by Scott Rudin and written and directed by Rock, is about “one-time stand-up Andre Allen, who has abandoned comedy — and the funny movies that make him famous — for more serious fare. But over the course of one day in New York, everything he thought he knew about his life gets overturned.”
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“Idealism and business rarely mix,” says Chester Kent, a lead character in Guy Maddin’s film, The Saddest Music in the World.
The Picture Show—a new experimental microcinema in Greenpoint—screened Maddin’s film (which is about finding the saddest music in the world during Depression era Winnipeg) on their opening night in early February. For Katya Yakubov and Daniel Hess, co-founders of the theater, idealism and business have found a rare place to converge… Except they haven’t exactly figured out the business part yet.
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Introducing “Reel Psyched,” wherein we tell you what we’re really excited to see in the theaters this week.
With the Lower East Side Film Festival in full swing in Manhattan and the Northside Festival’s film program popping off tonight in Brooklyn, it’s a good time to be a film buff.
At the L.E.S* Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday and continues through the weekend, offerings from up-and-coming directors are judged by a panel of guests including celebrities like Judah Friedlander (“30 Rock”) and Dan Janvey (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”). The audience favorite gets a $2,000 check from Vimeo (ahem, Bedford + Bowery’s video player of choice).
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