Bowery buffs, prepared to be glued to a seat at Anthology Film Archives all weekend long. David Mulkins, chair of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors preservation group, has curated a program of films that show the old Bowery Lane at its glitziest and its seediest. The title of the series, “From Mae West to Punk: Bowery On Film” pretty much says it all.
While Lionel Rogosin’s 1956 work of cinema verite, On the Bowery, received a lot of attention when it was screened at Film Forum and released on DVD (it’ll show at Anthology along with “How Do You Like the Bowery?”, a short 1964 doc in which skid row denizens answer just that question), the others featured here aren’t quite as well known.
There’ll be two films by Raoul Walsh: The Bowery (1933) and Regeneration (the latter, released in 1915, is said to be the first feature-length gangster film and will be accompanied by various short kinetoscope and mutoscope pieces showing life on the Bowery). She Done Him Wrong, starring Mae West, is described as a “a raunchy, wise-cracking homage to the gay 1890s Bowery.” On Saturday, a series of shorts range from documentation of life around the Bowery Mission to a poolside chat with Bugs Bunny, who reveals his Lower East Side roots (who knew?).
There are films of more recent vintage, as well: In The Vanishing City (2009), city planners, developers, politicians, small business owners, landlords, and tenants speak with filmmakers Jen Senko and Fiore DeRosa (who will attend Monday’s screening) about gentrification. And what would a Bowery film fest be without a documentary about CBGB? Mandy Stein’s 2009 doc, Burning Down the House, features interviews with Hilly Kristal, Richard Hell, Jim Jarmusch, Deborah Harry, and David Byrne.
For showtimes and tickets, head over to Anthology.