“Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” screening tomorrow night at the Cans Film Festival
Film “festival” might not be exactly the right word to describe this brand new monthly queer film series at Williamsburg’s Macri Park, but clearly the curators, Daniel Kessel and Ben Miller, are willing to bend things slightly for a solid pun. The Cans Film Festival pops off tomorrow night with the 1962 cult classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The organizers are hoping to give people access to classic, nostalgic, and just straight-up weird films that have inspired local drag queens and other queer artists. “For queens, these films really shape your aesthetic– and not just queens but every person really, especially artists,” Daniel explained. “Everyone has their own set of films that they particularly love and that have shaped them, especially when they were younger and were coming into their own as people and artists.”
The Reverend himself was supposed to be at the Wythe Hotel for Wednesday’s screening of Big Al: a Week in the Life of the Reverend Al Sharpton, but he ended up ditching out for a special civil rights summit convened by President Obama yesterday. Which, I guess is understandable. Instead, a big-screen version of Sharpton in his heyday filled the room.
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.
Big Al: a Week in the Life of the Reverend Al Sharpton Wednesday February 17, 7 pm at the Wythe Hotel: $11.50
Hey, it’s Black History Month which means we should be celebrating all kinds of incredible achievements from major badasses throughout American history. And, hey nothing against penis peanuts, but why don’t we give someone other than George Washington Carver a go for once? I’ll never, ever forget the look on my middle school teacher’s face when I told her, after reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I was considering converting to Islam– but what about some black icons who are part of our living history?
Spectacle calls this 1987 pulp noir, directed by Donald Cammell an “unmissable gem,” which was convincing enough, until we saw Cathy Moriarty sipping white wine in a massive fur coat backed by an original soundtrack composed by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. And then we were sold.
Grace Jones, Queen of Everything (Via the Kitchen)
Dirty Looks: A One Man Show Monday February 8, 8 pm at The Kitchen: $10
So this one’s a little bit beyond this week, but we fear that if you don’t make plans quick-like, you’re gonna miss out. Tickets appear to be sold out online already, but the venue suggests that you contact them and hopefully they’ll have some availability at the door. DREAM BIG. Why? Because Grace Jones is worth it.
We’ve been rubbing our grubby hands together in anticipation of the premiere of ZomBikers akaVamp Bikers Tres, the Coney Island horror film starring Michael Alig in the roll he was born to play– King of the Club Kid Zombies. Filmmaker Eric Rivas invited us to the carnival-side set last month, where we were inundated with (legit) bikers, busty witches, and of course, the E’d-out, colorful zombie squad led by Alig. But in the meantime, we’ve been given a great gift– the official Vamp Bikers Tres music video starring the Brooklyn all-lady rap trio, Hand Job Academy.
Screening of the 1989 Marlon Riggs “semi-documentary” about love between Black men as a revolutionary act. After the film, stay for a conversation between Pamela Sneed, Stephen Winter, and Bill Coleman.
Ever find yourself wondering about Satan, or listening to music that mothers would pale to hear? Banish those devilish desires of yours with a trip to everyone’s favorite Bushwick-based occult bookstore and event space, Catland, to take in the Satanic Panic Propaganda Video Show, a compilation of short videos showcasing the moral panic of the ’80s and ’90s centering around the potentially violent dangers of Satanic rituals and cults.
Syndicated has a bar/ restaurant to boot (Photo via Syndicated)
A brand new movie theater is opening up in Bushwick tonight, bringing their fancy take on the Nitehawk view-n’-brew model with them. Our guess is Syndicated will do quite well if they’re able to capitalize on a whole neighborhood’s desire to hibernate not far from the apartment during this season in hell. Proving their street cred, the cinema is kicking off their inaugural night with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1997 Spielberg-before-Spielberg-was-annoying sci-fi film that cost (at, ahem, $18 million) only a fraction of what studios blow on that dude now.
It was a tough month without Spectacle, but the DIY movie theater is back from renovations and, as you might expect, better than ever. And despite the major cash influx from a Kickstarter and a fancy new facade, the all-volunteer-run theater has managed to keep it real as hell. To celebrate, they’re looking back at their favorite films from the last five years for the “Best of Best of Spectacle” screening series (which will extend throughout the year). The theater is especially attuned to cinema from the former Soviet Block, so it makes perfect sense they’d screen Golem, a dystopian take on Der Golem, a 1914 Czech novel by Gustav Meyrink. But Polish director Piotr Szulkin swaps out Prague for a terrifying future that could easily be the backdrop for a Kafka novel.
It was a tough month without Spectacle, but the DIY movie theater is back from renovations and, as you might expect, better than ever. And despite the major cash influx from a Kickstarter and a fancy new facade, the all-volunteer-run theater has managed to keep it real as hell.
The first film screening open to the public is Vera Chytilová’s Panelstory (1979), a cinéma vérité exploration of one of the major tropes of life under a socialist regime: the apartment block, or dull concrete towers filled with thousands upon thousands of replicated, spartan homes that, in their supposed sameness, symbolize equality, unity, and communal living. The story is told from the various perspective of residents who are rewarded with their own apartments and quickly moved in, only to find that the buildings aren’t quite finished. Made in Socialist Czechoslovakia, Chytilova’s film satirizes the Communist Party’s inefficiencies and missteps, and was somehow able to squirm past the censors.