Sit back and enjoy some mind-rattling films screening this weekend and beyond. A new documentary brings us deep into the complex, overlapping layers of South Sudan’s contemporary social and political developments under the influence of Neo-colonialists, and get a sneak preview of an Austrian thriller rife with horror movie. And of course there’s more. Read on.
Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh Ich seh)
Friday August 14th, doors open 8 pm at Industry City, Sunset Park: $15
We think you’ll be titillated to find that Rooftop Films is screening a truly creepy film this evening. In this Austrian thriller (set to be released this September) the mother of two young boys undergoes a dramatic plastic surgery procedure and returns home with her faced completely bandaged. She moves about the house robotically, silently and it goes without saying the boys are more than a little creeped out.
But things get even weirder as time goes by and they realize their mother is continuing to act strangely. They admit to each other the creeping possibility that the woman behind the bandages isn’t their mother. The filmmakers are fond of utilizing silence as a suspense-builder. And while most of the film seems to proceed as Funny Games meets Eyes Without a Face, things start to descend into the supernatural.
Not only will you be getting a head start on the film if you attend this screening, you’ll also be treated to live music by Faten Kanaan, whose throwback-synth sounds are worthy of a spot in any John Carpenter film. Stick around after the show and screening for booze drinking brought to you by New Amsterdam and Vodka and Ommegang. Remember, liquor before beer!
Bone (aka House Wife, et. al)
Friday, August 14 (also August 20, 28, and 31), 10 pm at Spectacle Theater, Williamsburg: $5 at the door
B-Movie legend Larry Cohen made some seriously controversial films in his directing heyday in the ’70s and ’80s. And though he’s since focused his efforts on screenwriting, see: Phone Booth that 2002 film starring Colin Farrell-stuck-inside-a-phone-book, his low-budget work is still as potent as ever.
Bone (1972), a meta-sploitation film of sorts, is an unflinching satire of racist stereotypes (oh, and sexism too) and the portrayal of some very twisted prejudiced ideas about race and sexuality. This film doesn’t seem easy to watch, exactly. The blatant racism of the characters and plot line, though all part of the film’s dark comedy, can be straight-up nauseating. And while Bone is chock-full of B-movie melodrama and kitsch, Cohen has tapped into some very real (however terrible) ways of white thinking. As Spectacle writes, the film is “one of the most bitterly negative portrayals of Whiteness to ever be committed to film.”
Diary of a Teenage Girl
Friday August 14th through Wednesday August 19th at Sunshine Cinema: $13.50
In theory, these kind of films piss me off. They make being a teenage girl look easy, as if sexual awakening runs seamlessly into an unwavering sense of confidence and self-assurance. In short, no one’s this cool when they’re a teenager. And pity the teenager who thinks they should be this rad.
Minnie loses her virginity and declares her adulthood, dictates her diary as doodles of psychedelic flowers bloom around her glittering eyes, and generally prances around with the capabilities of a 30-year-old. Realistic is the last word I’d use to describe Minnie’s portrayal of a teenage girl. But then again, all I had was Jawbreaker and Mean Girls. Both are amazing films in their own right, but instead of starting at the awkward beginning, they assume that femininity and sexual prowess are fully realized at 16. Also, the crimes of Boyhood, namely the unapologetic halos placed around white young malehood, have not yet been avenged.
So, maybe Minnie isn’t so bad. Also, I dunno about you, but I’m a sucker for this ’70s nostalgia stuff. Keep it coming, just as long I never have to see or hear about American Hustle ever again.
We Come As Friends
Friday August 14th through Tuesday August 18th at IFC Center: $14
The mood of this documentary film portraying contemporary South Sudan is one of urgency. As one of the world’s newest states, and one that is still suffering from the lingering affects of colonialism, war, poverty, and genocide (among other issues), the country is at once going through immense change and being held back by its past.
The filmmakers’ major focus is the impact of both American and Chinese influence (neo-colonialism), both of which, in their view, have an enormously destructive potential for the fragile social fabric of a nation in recovery. While the Chinese are practicing old fashioned land rape by extracting natural resources and leaving pollution and other problems in their wake, radical Evangelist American missionaries are hellbent not just on collecting souls but spreading their dogmatic message. We suggest you refrain from eating before seeing this movie, you might puke our dinner up onto your neighbor.