It’s quite possible you’re #AllMyMovied-out this week already, what with Shia LeBeouf’s latest stunt and all, which we made our way over to yesterday. The ongoing event (three whole days, people) seems to be yet another attempt by the actor to translate his
acting skills Transformers appearances into “performance art” (i.e. some totally derivative rendition of Marina Abramovic’s Adidas commercial). Well, here are a slew of movies (and related events) that will restore your faith in film (no guarantee you’ll actually grow fond of Transformers, though).
Saturday Nov. 14th, 3 pm at the New Museum: $8
If you couldn’t get into that screening of the lost Riot Grrrl film, In Search of Margo-Go– well, we can’t really blame you, that shit was $$$ (I mean, it was also a benefit for Dirty Looks, an organization that does some really excellent film programming, which we wrote about here). But here’s your chance to get your rocks off a similarly queer, girl-power way.
The New Museum is hosting a meta-retrospective right now, Histories of Sexuality, which reinvigorates two exhibitions from the museum’s past: 1994’s Bad Girls and Homo Video: where we are now from 1986-87. Like Kathleen Hanna and the Riot Grrrl movement, the artists involved in these exhibitions were interested in challenging the oversimplification and essentialism often attached to the women’s and queer movements. The video work in both exhibitions emphasized the complexities within these liberation thrusts, and the importance of identifying, for example, the particular concerns of women of color and celebrating sexual freedom– you know, third wave feminism stuff and identity politics we all know well at this point.
The New Museum returns to the two exhibitions with Histories of Sexuality as a means of emphasizing their own place within the discussion of sexuality, gender and feminism over the years but also to continue the conversation within the present cultural context. New and old video work from the artists– Jane Cottis, Richard Fung, Suzie Silver, and more– will be on view in museum’s Resource Center throughout the exhibition (through January 10th, 2016). And there’s an accompanying panel discussion, “Hall Pass,” you should consider checking out, too.
The focus is Kelly, Wynne Greenwood’s videos of her re-re-performing with her band, Tracy + the Plastics (which consisted of Wynne and her “backup singers,” Nikki and Cola, or pre-recorded videos of herself). Tracy + the Plastics played in the “living rooms and punk clubs” of the Pacific Northwest starting in the late ’90s (long after Riot Grrrl reached its peak in the region) up until 2006. Wynne wrote that playing with recorded images of herself was like “interacting with a fragmented self.”
But things get even more complex. Flash forward to now, and Wynne has recorded videos of herself performing with Tracy + the Plastics during a residency here. The result is the premiere of these videos at the New Museum and accompanying panel in which Wynne will speak about the recent videos she made of herself playing with recordings of herself. Phew, that may sound convoluted, but the payoff is gonna be worth it– here’s our recommendation: get to the New Museum early, check out the videos, then get thee to the panel for some context.
Second Annual Native American and Indigenous Film Festival
Wednesday Nov. 11th, 6:30 pm – 9 pm at NYU Anthropology, 25 Waverly Place: Free
Thursday Nov. 12th, 6:30 pm – 9 pm at NYU Leslie ELab, 16 Washington Place: Free
This free event features two days of programming featuring films by and about Native American and indigenous peoples. Tonight, check out Into America: the Ancestors’ Land (Nadine Zacharias) a documentary following Angelo Baca and his Native American grandmother, Helen Yellowman, on their road trip back to their ancestors’ homeland, the American Southwest. Baca is an accomplished academic, while his grandmother leads a very traditional way of life as a Navajo storyteller. What they find are oil rigs, industry, and environmental degradation. Baca comes to understand the vast separation between his life and that of his Navajo ancestors before they were forcibly removed from their land.
On Thursday night, the festival presents a series of short films by “indigenous filmmakers from across the Americas” including Blackhorse Lowe, Doris Loayza, Alex Lazarowich, Tanis Parenteau, and Angelo Baca, among others. Prior to the screenings, the department will serve dinner and stay afterwards if you’re into hearing a panel discussion with the filmmakers and cast.
The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd (1970-1975)
Wednesday Nov. 11th, 6:30 pm at Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI): $5 at the door
In this cinéma vérité work shot between 1970 and 1975, Arthur Ginsberg documents banal conversations and interactions between a couple engaged to be married, Carel Rowe and Ferd Eggan (and occasionally their friends), who try their best to be normies, but are actually total freaks. Ginsberg actually approached the couple to help him make a documentary about the making of a porn film (Carel was a porn actress and Ferd a “bisexual junkie“). But an exchange between the couple and a friend convinced Ginsberg to switch gears and instead he convinced Ferd and Carel to let a camera invade their private lives in arguably a much more invasive way than simply filming sex.
The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd is almost like the original Big Brother, as we watch the couple level the anxieties inspired by an omnipresent camera. Besides being a strange portrait of an individual couple and the impact of cameras on relationships and human interaction, the film offers a window into the “West Coast counterculture” of the 1970s: people who really lived sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. The film was originally intended to be displayed simultaneously on eight screens as part of an installation, but this event will screen the footage in its entirety.
Video on Demand
Thursday Nov. 19th, 8 pm at Anthology Film Archives: $10 at the door
This two-part screening event will present two remarkably disparate works by the composer and visual artist, C. Spencer Yeh, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Issue Project Room. Yeh makes some pretty wild experimental music and lives in New York City (hence the residency) but he also happens to be a world-traveling filmmaker. In Travelogue: Cairo Egypt, Yeh combines documentary footage and video journal entries shot during and after the revolution in Egypt, a kind of avant-garde exploration of Egyptian politics, tourism, and surveillance.
The second film, 2002 might as well have been made on an alien planet in the context of Travelogue. With eyes and ears toward Western popular music, Yeh created a “concert film,” or rather a compendium of several concerts by the likes of Deerhoof, Animal Collective, and Comets on Fire wrapped up in one film. Something tells us this won’t be your average concert film. After the screening, Yeh will be on deck for a Q&A session.