Have we got an interesting crew for you this week! Our lineup is a regular emotional rollercoaster, from feel-horrible humanitarian films about sex slaves and child soldiers all the way to feel-sick, total-garbage cult Martial Arts-action films. Don’t try to swallow them all at once is our only advice.
Dada Brunch: Dreams That Money Can Buy
Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30, 11:40 am at Nitehawk: $16
German-born avant-garde artist Hans Richter was best known for his contribution to experimental cinema. He claimed to have made the first ever abstract film, Rhythmus 21, in 1921. But this brunch-time event features Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947), an example of perhaps the closest Richter ever got to narrative filmmaking. The list of collaborators is a who’s-who of the Dada and Surrealist movements: Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Alexander Calder, just to name a few, all helped with the experimental film.
Likewise, the film is rife with Freudian symbology and surrealist motifs of all kinds. If there’s a plot of any kind, it’s that a dude named Joe (aka Narcissus), who is a self-taught reader of the subconscious (“psychologist” wouldn’t exactly cover Joe’s practice of reverse dream analysis, or selling specially designed dreams to his clients) begins seeing patients in his apartment.
The event opens with two shorts by Richter, Ghosts Before Breakfast and Symphonie Diagonale. But maybe best of all: the films will be live-scored by Parlor Walls, a newish scuzzy rock band featuring Alyse Lamb (of EULA).
2015 Olive Tree International Story-Teller Film Festival
Saturday, August 29, 1 pm to 4 pm at Anthology Film Archives: $10 in advance/ $15 at the door
Yeah, we know, this one’s kind of a mouthful. But it’s cool, this festival can call itself whatever it wants because the lineup is full of films with a humanitarian bent.
Filmmaker Joel Sandvos is responsible for the fest’s anchor, full-length feature The Pink Room. The documentary won an Emmy award for its portrayal of Miel, an indentured prostitute in Cambodia who was sold into sex slavery as a child. Depressing? Absolutely. Redemptive? Yes, thank heavens.
Canadian filmmaker Norm Fassbender (uh, not to be confused with Rainer Fassbinder — though sharing a similar sounding name with the legendary filmmaker can’t hurt the guy), directed War Child, a short animated film about the experiences of one South Sudanese musician.
Saying that Emmanuel Jal, who has performed all over the world, came from a humble background would be an almost criminal understatement. Jal became a child soldier at the age of six, and the film focuses on the time leading up to the precise moment when he was drafted.
I’ve read that the film leaves you desperately hanging. But don’t freak out, the subtitle is “chapter one” so we’ll probably get to see what happened to Jal next, sooner or later.
Hump! Dirty Movie Festival
Friday, August 28 (7 pm, 9 pm) and Saturday, August 29 (6 pm, 8 pm, and 10 pm) at Roulette: $25
Dan Savage’s column was the only thing that kept me awake at my job as a “server” at a Korean-American diner a few years back. That, and the regular customer I was madly in love with who I’m sure would have regarded me as a dignified person if I wasn’t tragically hungover every time he ordered his bacon-egg-and-cheese on a bagel or bi-bim-bap.
But it’s okay, if I’d submitted to “Savage Love” and dished about the crush, D. Savage probably would have told me we were a match made in Never Gonna Work Out, because Dan keeps it real like that. And if you’re okay with other people keeping it equally as real about sex and doing it on film in the form of five-minute dirty movies, then you should probably check out Hump! this weekend at Roulette.
This traveling “Best of Hump” festival features 18 of the Dan Savage-curated amateur porn films. And with titles like, “Butthole Lickin'” (2008), “Humparaoke” (2014), and “Beethoven’s Stiff” (2013), you better believe you won’t be seeing any trailers here.
Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 29, midnight at Sunshine Cinema: $10
Sometimes you need total garbage like this culty martial arts action film, Miami Connection, complete with all the mega-cheese ’80s stadium rock the human body can handle. Don’t fear the blood-gushing Samurai sword fighting scenes, it’s the haircuts and music that are really gonna make your stomach turn. Imagine Chuck Norris and Kenny Powers moved to Florida, met up with the girl-version of Poison and had a filthy orgy, this would be the monster conceived of that Satanic conference.