(Flyer via the Silent Barn)

(Flyer via the Silent Barn)

Audio Visuals
Sunday, Jan. 31, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Silent Barn: $5 suggested donation

Hey! It’s a combined live music/screening event at the Silent Barn in honor of the release of Kung Fu Crimewave‘s new music video for their very topical song, “Winter Squall.” The band is fluent in so-called “regressive rock,” or what sounds to us like a mix of weird-punk and psych– there’s a crush of instruments going on here but not in an annoying Arcade Fire way. But instead of having a traditional something-release show, the Kung Fu kids have brought together a bunch of local filmmakers (who have either dabbled in or are steeped in music videos) to share their work. There’s even a Q+A after the screenings, so if you’re curious about how they get stuff done, well here’s your opportunity to hear it straight from the horsies’ mouths.

Filmmakers include Claire Esslin (who’s releasing her first music video at the event), Ian Perlman (an experienced music-video-maker who’s done work for bands like Beach Fossils, DIIV, and Mr. Twin Sister, Dima Dubson (of Morrissey Night), and more than a dozen others that include award-winners, Sundance kids, and DIY mainstays (like Stuart Solomon, co-founder of Aviv). Not to be missed!

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5 pm / 7:45 pm / 10:30 pm at Syndicated 

We’re a little early on this one, but tickets have been selling out left and right over at Syndicated, and since no New Yorker in their right mind actually does anything for Mardi Gras, we’re pretty sure other people will agree that seeing the “reimagining” of the insane 1992 acid noir Bad Lieutenant is way better than a beads-boobs-and-beer schlop fest.

Just when you thought Abel Ferrera’s film starring Harvey Keitel as a crack-smoking, blackmailing, bribe-taking corrupt as hell cop in the Bronx, then Werner Herzog dropped a new version that is not only set in New Orleans– the spookiest, most perfect city for a crime story ever – but stars Nicolas Cage. The lieutenants are almost mirror images of one another– Cage, is perfect at portraying tentative sanity, and he’s also got a taste for rock. But this version arguably takes even on even more psychedelic twists than the original and demonstrates Herzog’s incredible talent for tapping into the subtleties of madness.

Ferrera, hilariously, was not well-aware of the remake as it was ongoing nor was he too much delighted to hear of it. Upon hearing news of the remake he said, “I wish these people die in Hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up.” While Herzog’s response was, “I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is.” Whatever, that’s trivial stuff. All you need to know is that Herzog’s version has maybe the best scene involving a lizard in cinema history since Godzilla.

(Photo via "Quicksand"/ The Kitchen)

(Photo via “Quicksand”/ The Kitchen)

January 28 through February 6 at The Kitchen: $16/ $20

Composer and  legendary forerunner of “opera-for-television” Robert Ashley teamed up with experimental choreographer/dancer Steve Paxton to create and film Quicksand, what the filmmakers are describing as an “opera novel” in three acts. The Kitchen will present the movie’s world premiere.

As you might expect from an opera film, at three hours with intermission, it’s long. But that’s not like opera-long. Thanks be to Ashely for understanding that if Americans could ever manage to digest what’s overwhelmingly regarded as a stuffy, old-timey medium, it’s gonna have to be more palatable in terms of time and material. Which explains why the story itself, a spy thriller, is way more compelling than some epic clash between brothers over a really, really loud lady.

The hero of Quicksand is a composer who’s been recruited by American intelligence officials (part of an agency referred to as “The Company,” but like definitely the CIA) to work as a spy. He travels to South Asia, where he gets wrapped up in a plot to overthrow the military dictatorship– which sounds, you know, like kind of a dangerous task for anyone, let alone a silky-palmed music man. But he goes along with it, and The Company lends him support along the way.

Elektro Moskva
Tuesday February 2 at 10 pm, Friday February 12 at 7:30 pm, Saturday February 20 at 10 pm, Monday February 29 at 8 pm at Spectacle Theater: $5 

We can’t think of a better film for the Sovietphile, or the music nerd, or even an object fetishist whose affection lies in exposed circuit boards, perfectly arranged masses of wires, twisty knob and turny buttons. For anyone else belonging to the Facebook group devoted entirely to Soviet Synthesizers (hey, I know you’re out there!), you’re probably well aware of this film’s existence but, even so, here’s your chance to see it amongst fellow synth-nerds and amateur Russian speakers. Spectacle is screening Elektro Moskva, a film all about the bizarro and coveted synthesizers built in the Soviet Union from the ’70s through the ’90.

True, the censorship-riddled atmosphere inspired some incredible DIY efforts, but on the flip side of things, the bloated Soviet military and bureaucratic apparatus led to the creation of some truly original instruments. Go see it, seriously– it’s kitschy, it’s cute, and if you’ve never been to Russia this will give you a sort of idea of what it’s like to sit in the average synth-nerd’s living room and eat pickles and drink vodka, an encounter some of us can only dream about. The last screening, which takes place on February 29th, will feature a live DJ set performed by co-director Dominik Spritzendorfer.