Southerners have their Civil War reenactments but what do East Villagers have when it comes to reliving their defining battle? Just the annual Tompkins Square Park Riot reunion shows. But this year, on the 25th anniversary of that tumultuous night when cops went gonzo on a group protesting the park curfew (resulting in over 100 complaints of brutality), they’re getting much, much more.
Clayton Patterson, the Lower East Side documentarian/curator/artist/editor/historian/Bad Santa, writes in to tell us he’ll be screening his 3-plus hours of raw footage of the riot. (How did he film for that long without his iPhone battery dying, you ask? Well, first off, this was 1988 — way before iPhones. And second off, his wife Elsa Rensaa made charging runs while he filmed. If you haven’t seen “Captured,” the great documentary about this, watch it now.)
Patterson, who was arrested for failing to turn his footage over to authorities, will present the screening at Anthology Film Archives on August 6. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to instead attend an August 8 screening, at the New Museum Theater, of some of Patterson’s documentary work — it’ll include shorter clips from his riot reel and a discussion with the man himself.
So what about those riot reunion shows? Well, they’re happening on July 28, and August 3 and 4. Expect the usual lineup of dubiously named bands (Transgendered Jesus, Sexual Suicide), bigger acts (David Peel, Reagan Youth), and appearances by counterculture legends like Norman Siegel, Ron Kuby, Penny Arcade, Jennifer Blowdryer, and at least one pie-hurling yippie.
This year, as you can see from the event page, there will also be after parties, films screenings, and a panel discussion.
Given current events, the whole shebang couldn’t be better timed.