It was a bad week for us film nerds in NYC with word emerging that Sunshine Cinema will likely be sold to developers. Such things do not bode well for the future of independent cinemas in the city, seeing as Sunshine is definitely one of the more mainstream of the downtown art house theaters and always seems to have sold out screenings during prime showtimes. Yikes. Well you can help us in our efforts to appease the cool-film deities by devoted prostration and abiding carefully by the following directions: a) pray silently over one Godard film, b) recite the lines along with a character from at least one Jarmusch movie and c) check out a weird film event (or two) this week. It’s very little to ask, really.
Mirrors of the Planet
This super ahead of its time and naturally overlooked Danish sci-fi film is counted in that special class of “really, really deep” space odysseys wherein the characters are traversing not only the outer reaches of time and the universe, but also really heady stuff like the meaning of love, lust, life, and what else is there? Oh right, death.
Apparently this film is a little lacking in the dialogue department. Spectacle writes: “Words don’t just fail Mirrors of the Planet— the movie renders them useless.” But that’s OK, it’s in Danish — they aren’t much for the verbal end of things anyway. These are the people who invented Danish Bagels we’re talking about. They’re all stuffed mouths, full bellies, and looks. Hence why Mirrors is best experienced as a visual journey. Strap in and share your hybrid pastry treats with the Spectacle staff. Friday May 15th (10 pm), Monday May 18th (7:30 pm), Wednesday May 27th (10 pm) at Spectacle Theater, Williamsburg: $5 at the door
This film picks up on the side of the story left invisible in 1971’s The French Connection, the crime thriller based on a real life heroin smuggling operation, and fills us in on what the crime bosses were doing in France. The Connection has a ’70s vibe all its own, technicolor saturated shots of the French riviera, old fashioned gun downs, and a return to the class mafia movie format of the time. Though we’ve read it’s something of a copy-cat film, the sense of nostalgia we get from the trailer alone is enough to get us to the ticket counter. Friday May 15th through Thursday May 21st at Sunshine Cinema, Lower East Side: $13.50
Haiti Film Fest
This fest has been in full swing since last weekend, but you’ve still got two days left to catch contemporary films from Haiti. Bet you’re a little rusty on your Haitian history, am I right? Of course I am. These films will certainly help in that department and I’ll tell you one thing, Haitian history sure ain’t boring.
Tonight the Central Library in Queens is hosting a screening of Lakay, a recently released documentary film following two brothers searching for their loved ones in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left the country in ruins. Stay after the film for discussion, though the guest speakers are still TBA. Thursday May 14th, 6 pm at Central Library in Jamaica, Queens: $10, suggested donation
Friday marks the final night of the film fest. Organizers are emphasizing there’s limited seating at this screening so get there early if you’re planning to attend. Storming Papa Doc will make its New York premiere, a 2014 documentary film about the 1958 attempted coup of Dr. Francois Duvalier, who had just been elected a year prior.
Duvalier would go on to consolidate his power by persecuting the political opposition and maintaining a secret police force that terrorized Haitian citizens. The Duvalier regime wasn’t overthrown until the late 1980s, after “Baby Doc,” Dr. Duvalier’s son inherited the Presidency. Friday May 15th, 5:30 pm at FiveMyles, Crown Heights: $10 suggested donation
Word on the street is Bjork’s music video and virtual reality playscape installation at MoMA Ps1 is “cool,” also “really neat,” and perhaps the only part of the massive celebrity-worshiping Bjork exhibition at MoMA worth seeing. Even if you’re so over seeing Bjork everywhere these past couple of months, we suggest you hit this one up. So this isn’t exactly a movie in the strictest sense, or even in a very liberal sense, but hey this is what movies might look like in twenty years, so might as well get used to it starting now. And don’t sleep on it, the installation is only on view until the end of this weekend. Now through May 17th at Ps1, Long Island City: $10 suggested donation for museum admission