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El Cacao at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

There are almost too many cool movies to pick from at this anthropology-themed film festival at the American Museum of Natural History, but a few stood out from the crowd. One of them is El Cacao a documentary that traces the origins of “Swiss” chocolate to a farm in Panama and introduces viewers to the village and the people who make their living from cacao. The film presents a challenge to widely-held ideas about fair trade and globalization. For the full schedule of films click here.

Read more about the festival here.

 

 

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East Punk Memories at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

film still from "East Punk Memories" (Photo via American Museum of Natural History)

film still from “East Punk Memories” (Photo via American Museum of Natural History)

There are almost too many cool movies to pick from at this anthropology-themed film fest (not the store working to make 24-32 year old women look like secretaries from the 1940s! the discipline!) happening Thursday Oct. 22nd through Sunday Oct. 25th at the American Museum of Natural History, but a few stood out from the crowd. East Punk Memories  (Friday, Oct. 23, 10 pm) delves into the Eastern Bloc punk scene in Hungary. The film was actually shot in the ’80s on Super 8 by French filmmaker Lucile Chaufor (who was in some punk bands of her own) at a time when Hungarian authorities were all “NO, WTF” about literally everything. The filmmaker recently returned to Hungary and tracked her subjects down. See the full schedule here.

Read more about the fest here.

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Film: 100 Years of Irma Vep, Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep

Filmmaker Michelle Handelman is spearheading 100 Years of Irma Vep, a several weeks-long series of events celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Les Vampires, an awesomely influential French silent film. At this screening, see Olivier Assaya’s ode to the film, Irma Vep. The film stars Maggie Cheung playing Maggie Cheung playing Irma Vep in a remake of Les Vampires. Convoluted, perhaps. But awesomely messy, indeed.

Read more here.

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The Invisibles at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

Probably the most of-the-moment film at this anthropology-themed festival happening at the American Museum of Natural History is Die Unsichtbaren (The Invisibles, Friday Oct. 23, 7:30 pm), a 2014 German documentary about the growing immigration crisis in Europe that has clearly only become more extreme since filming wrapped. The doc focuses on a handful of undocumented migrants from a variety of conflict zones after they arrive in a small town in Germany, just across the border from Poland and face what seems like an interminable waiting game to see whether they will be granted asylum or sent back.

Read more about the film fest and watch a trailer for The Invisibles here.

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Film: Asthma

Film still from "Asthma" (Photo via IFC Center)

Film still from “Asthma” (Photo via IFC Center)

Gus is a scuzzy dude with long stringy hair and a heroin problem– he resembles Jay Reatard in all the wrong ways and none of the right ones. At first it looks like he’s just another one of those trust-fund kids living in New York City with a seemingly endless opium supply chain and a cool old car, but turns out the Rolls Royce is stolen. A babe-ish tattoo artist finds this out the hard way. I mean, seriously, who ever responds to a guy yelling at you to “hop in” the car by actually hopping in the car? And why is she into this guy in the first place? He’s clearly high all the time. These questions, ladies and gentlemen, are exactly what’s regrettably pulling me into this film. Guilty pleasures, somebody’s gotta have em. Also, Iggy Pop has a cameo. Additional screenings daily (with the exception of Sunday Oct. 25th) at 10:50 am at IFC Center.

Read more about the film here.

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Week in Film: Japanese Horror Cats Hungry for Human and Paranoid Rural Stock Schemes

It’s as good a week as any to catch some films and with one of our besties going outta commission soon (temporarily, thankfully) we’re encouraging you to cinematically tie one on and mainline all the movies you can possibly handle now, and actually just forever. Do consider jumping, because we’ve got plenty of product for you below.

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Film: Věra Chytilová’s 80’s horror movie, Wolf’s Chalet

Part of the series Bohemian Delirium: Czech Horror in the ’80s and ’90s at Spectacle Theater. Filmmaker Věra Chytilová (Daisies) was blacklisted by the Communist Party for a time for her subversive contributions to the Czech New Wave, but she managed to make Wolf’s Chalet in 1987. The film’s major moving parts are teens, the ’80s, a ski retreat, and terrifying snow monsters that, as Spectacle puts it, “assure you’ll never look at a snow man the same way again.” Also playing Sunday Oct. 11 (7:30 pm), Friday Oct. 23 (7:30 pm), Friday Oct. 30 (10 pm). 

Read more here.

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Filmmaker’s ’70s Outlaw Culture’ Past Inspired Her Ode to Century-Old Les Vampires

Musidora as Irma Vep in the original "Les Vampires"

Musidora as Irma Vep in the original “Les Vampires”

This October marks the 100th anniversary of Les Vampires, a silent film–surprisingly surreal for its era and rife with gothic imagery– that stars Musidora as Irma Vep, France’s original vamp. “It’s not a vampire movie– it’s a cops and robbers caper– and she’s the brains behind the Vampire gang,” explained Michelle Handelman, organizer of an extensive series of events devoted to Les Vampires taking place later this month at a handful of institutions around the city.

As part of 100 Years of Irma Vep, Handelman is also screening her own 2014 film, Irma Vep, the Last Breath, a psychoanalytic exploration of the legendary vamp as much as it is a radical reassessment of Irma Vep, who’s played by both a trans-woman and a drag queen. “Both of the actors bring their own experience of living in the margins to the character,” Handelman said.

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Week in Film: Socialist Snow Monsters and Dystopian Drugs

Oh hi, it’s October, arguably the best month of the year. It’s still hurricane season (LOL look outside) and, uh, Halloween, which means it’s a horror movie marathon from here on out BBs. OK, so not all the films we’re excited to see this week are spooky, exactly, but all of them are guaranteed to shake you up in some way.

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Film: Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents

still from "Three Quarters" film by Kevin Jerome Everson (Photo via Union Docs Facebook)

still from “Three Quarters” film by Kevin Jerome Everson (Photo via Union Docs Facebook)

The Ann Arbor Film Fest usually requires that you be present in Ann Arbor, Michigan (aka 45 minutes from Detroit) to experience it. That’s all well and good for those of us with a valid Michigan driver’s license and/ or time + money to burn, but for all of us less-fortunate bastards out there, we’re kind of screwed. But suddenly our luck has turned around, because Union Docs is screening a lineup of nine short films from the 53rd iteration of AAFF earlier this year, curated by the festival.

Read more here.

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Film: BK Horror Club screening, The Strangers

If investing a lot of time and effort into leisure isn’t really your thing, the BK Horror Club has got your back with its curated selection of classic and contemporary horror films ranging from brilliant, thought-provoking horror films like It Follows and camp classics such as Scream. First up for the monthly-meeting film club is The Strangers, a film starring Liv Tyler as a freaked out wife-lady living out in the boonies with her equally horrified husband. Apparently they’re being stalked by strange beings, but the things are wearing masks so we can’t be sure what’s up.

Read more here.

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Week in Film: Hobo Graffiti and a Movie Fest for the Old School Freaks

Don’t even think about having something better to do than checking out a movie this weekend and beyond. We’ve got some great stuff right here including a totally creepy documentary about notorious polygamist Warren Jeffs, a Coney Island-based film festival for the freaks, and this fascinating looking doc (see the trailer above) about train hoppers and their mysterious hieroglyphs.

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