This week, we’re thinking a lot about the past — either our own not-too-far-gone experiences of high school or, like, deep historical stuff. But the films this week invoke a strange sort of nostalgia because none of these experiences are exactly our own, they’re either twisted, seriously intense versions of teenage-hood, fantastically horny imaginings of centuries past, or some vision of a lost young adulthood spent with Vincent Gallo. (Unfortunately, it’s true that we’ve never hung out). But who knows, maybe these films will strike a chord in you somewhere. You might not have been stuck in a school for the deaf in small-town post-industrial Ukraine and forced to help run a prostitution ring involving your fellow students, but maybe you had a similarly cray experience with young love. No? Well, whatever — that’s what movies are for.
The Tribe is a film completely without dialogue — but don’t worry, it’s not some silent film you’re going to have to struggle to stay awake to, rather it’s like no silent film you’ve probably ever seen. Set inside a Ukrainian school for the deaf, the film follows Sergey, a teenager new to the school who needless to say has some serious issues navigating the delicate and depraved social hierarchy. He quickly finds out the school is run by a gang known as the Tribe, they pimp out female students and commit small robberies all over town. With few other options, Sergey decides to join the gang and eventually climbs the ranks. He ends up falling in love with one of the girls, and presumably tries to get her out of a life of prostitution. Let’s just say the gang is none to happy about this prospect.
Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy will be on hand for discussion at several of the screenings — should be an interesting talk, so don’t miss the chance to meet him. Wednesday, June 17 through Tuesday, June 30 at Film Forum: $7.50 member, $13 regular
Note: Trailer is slightly NSFW if you work for the man.
Um, are you aware there’s a medieval times bar on Staten Island? Well, Troy has certainly been way up there on my list of stupid things to do for a while now. I’m hoping this is the summer I’ll finally make it over there, to feast on Foie Gras and a Rack of Lamb washed down with a goblet of wine and a flat slice of American Cheese Cake. All this amongst the dribble of neon-lit fountains watched over by Greek warriors and goddesses, just as the ancients intended. It’s hard to believe it, but there’s actually something even more medieval to come out of Staten Island than Troy, and that’s Torture Dungeon. This 1970 film shown exclusively in Times Square back in its day, is part of “The Deuce” film series at Nitehawk spotlighting 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, which used to be the spot for B-films, pulp, and you-name-it-sploitation. And Torture Dungeon was not only mega low on budget, it was also mega low on taste.
Nitehawk describes the film as a medieval romp “populated by petulant princesses, horny hunchbacks, idiot inheritors to the throne, and double crossing dukes.” We’re sold already. Even if Troy isn’t your idea of a good time, this film is an interesting window into the downtown dregs of ’70s New York City, a very different time and place. To get a better feel for what it was like to roam the crappy theaters of Midtown back then, just ask screenwriter John Borske, who will be on hand at Nitehawk to share his memories. Thursday, June 11, 9:30 pm at Nitehawk: $15
Sup Vincent Gallo? We see you’re interested in Christina Ricci. But what strange ways you have of showing it. We understand your frustration with her, she’s only not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman. And she’s not exactly the greatest at pretending to be your wife. Yes, your parents are embarrassing and hard to please, but that’s no reason to, like, slap Ms. Ricci upside the head. And maybe the fact that you’ve kidnapped her has something to do with her obstinate behavior. We know you aren’t actually you in the movie. We get it. Still, it’s hard sometimes to watch your movie, all things considered, but once in a while there are glimmers of actual stupid love which remind us that all the craziness and stupid couple fights are sometimes just a part of real life – even without a kidnapping.
Buffalo ’66 does manage to capture a certain Rust Belt bleakness that many movies have failed to and it’s so, so cool in the most whatever way possible. Anyway, we’ll keep watching your movie, and keep intermittently cringing and tearing up, just as we did when it first came out in 1998. Sunday, June 14, 3:30 pm and Friday, June 19, 9:15 pm at Anthology Film Archives: $10 general admission
I get the feeling Vice helped style these guys to look like longer-haired versions of the the Ramones who actually share some DNA. I dunno, something about their upbringing tells me they wouldn’t be dressed as such. But then again, maybe they’ve just watched so many movies, they naturally end up with a gait that’s all Reservoir Dogs-meets-James Dean. You decide. But one thing is certain, the Angulo brothers had a very, very strange childhood, one that’s borderline abusive, at the hands of a father who locked them inside their New York City apartment, letting them outside once a year, if that.
Once they liken their relationship with their parents to a master/slave-type interaction, you know this is going to be a disturbing film. But it’s also a redemptive story, as the brothers manage to escape their home (and somehow meet up with this filmmaker) and start living their own lives. Friday June 12th through Wednesday June 17th at Sunshine Cinema: $13.50 weekend standard