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?
Audio Visuals Sunday, Jan. 31, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Silent Barn: $5 suggested donation
Hey! It’s a combined live music/screening event at the Silent Barn in honor of the release of Kung Fu Crimewave‘s new music video for their very topical song, “Winter Squall.” The band is fluent in so-called “regressive rock,” or what sounds to us like a mix of weird-punk and psych– there’s a crush of instruments going on here but not in an annoying Arcade Fire way. But instead of having a traditional something-release show, the Kung Fu kids have brought together a bunch of local filmmakers (who have either dabbled in or are steeped in music videos) to share their work. There’s even a Q+A after the screenings, so if you’re curious about how they get stuff done, well here’s your opportunity to hear it straight from the horsies’ mouths.
You better believe “The Craft” is a part of this lineup. (Film still via BAM)
It’s no wonder February is shaping up to be the perfect time to binge on witchy happenings– the start of the month is marked by an important pagan festival, Imbolc, a time of “weather divination” (Groundhog Day!) and looking out for the first indications of spring and omens. No better way to help you seek out those good omens than an esoterica art show, curated byPat Grossman of Phantasmaphile, a blog chronicling the fantastical. But to avoid the rather hellish indications that winter will continue from here until eternity (guys, that snow is going absolutely nowhere until July) we suggest you hole up at BAM, which will play host to another Phantasmaphile effort, “Witches’ Brew“– a series spotlighting the major cinematic witch tropes throughout film 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.
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’s about time we got a moon-landing conspiracy theory comedy– I mean, it’s all right there in front of us: everyone’s super loving the ’70s right now (don’t pretend you haven’t seen betches in bellbottoms recently, it’s happening whether we like it or not), cynicism regarding the government and Hollywood is at an all time high, and people are finally realizing there’s a high probability that lizard people rule the world.
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.
Spectacle Theater gets a makeover (Photo by Nicole Disser)
Our favorite lil’ indie theater reopens tonight as a renovation project that choked up the reels for a whole month nears completion. For a brief time last year, the future of Spectacle at South 3rd Street, where it has occupied the ground floor for the last five years, looked like it was in jeopardy. Thankfully, the volunteer-run movie theater successfully raised more than $40,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund an overhaul that saved it from being forced out. I popped by this morning to get a peek at what’s new, fingers crossed that the theater had stayed true to its roots.
Nathan Silver is a relentless filmmaker who thus far has chronicled a variety of naturalistic social dramas which combine the weirdness of Harmony Korine with Fassbinder’s unwavering gaze at dysfunction. Silver’s fifth feature-length film Stinking Heaven, which has won some serious critical praise, sees the Brooklyn-based filmmaker continuing in this tradition.