Bottle Rocket 
Wednesday August 10, 6 pm, 8:15 pm, and 10:30 pm at Syndicated: $3

There’s a Wes Anderson retrospective happening this week at Syndicated which is… something. If celebrating Wes Anderson’s particularly noxious brand of twee makes you want to pour cyanide in your cereal, then feel free to move on to our next pick. But if you’re something of a masochist, read away.

Because Wes Anderson Week is going down in Bushwick, that means you’re going to see and be seen– so  it’s essential that you assemble your squad for this affair (aka anyone you’ve dragged into selfies and tagged the unflattering result #mybestgirl), get everyone to don the same red Supreme beanie so you can pose for a special Team Zissou edition of you weekly #squadgoals Instagram is essential.

It’s also important that, if you’re forced to choose only one movie, go with the lesser-known Wes Anderson film. But Syndicated’s never been too keen on deep cuts, and aside from the director’s short films, including “American Express: My Life. My Card,” you’ve definitely seen every single Wes Anderson film, trust. So you’re left with only one choice: Bottle Rocket, the filmmaker’s first.

The 1996 film stars, of course, the Brothers Wilson (Owen with a grown-out buzz cut that looks borrowed from an ex-Marine) who, along with a few of their fairy good looking male friends, decide to rob their local bookstore. Wonky escapades ensue– there are gun, blues tracks, old cars, and everything that is so not Wes Anderson. There has to be a reason why Wes Anderson never made another “heist film,” but critics and Hollywood big wigs didn’t seem to see it. What attracted them to Bottle Rocket, however, wasn’t Anderson’s knack for crime capers, instead it was his earnest outlook. Martin Scorsese praised the film in a 2000 Esquire article: “Here was a picture without a trace of cynicism […] the central idea of the film is so delicate, so human: a group of young guys think that their lives have to be filled with risk and danger in order to be real. They don’t know that it’s okay simply to be who they are.”

Aw. Take a note from Scorsese, kids– you don’t have to dress up in cool skater wear with a #squad at your back– just be who you are!

(Flyer via Spectacle)

(Flyer via Spectacle)

Sweet Love, Bitter
Thursday August 11 (10 pm), Thursday August 25 (5 pm), and Tuesday August 30 (7:30 pm) at Spectacle: $5

Spectacle describes Richie “Eagle” Stokes, the hero of Sweet Love, Bitter as “unmistakably modeled after Charlie Parker,” and we can’t argue with that: Eagle, a super-talented jazz genius of the first order and legendary sax player is on the down slope– with a heroin problem that continues to chip away at his body, mind, and soul. He meets David Hillary a guy in need of a job, at a pawn shop and sharing in a sort of desperate status and mutually charismatic cling, the two become unlikely pals– a black jazz musician and a white academic.

There’s a lot going on here– aside from the film’s “psychic digressions,” there are some remarkably frank discussions about race, identity, and privilege for a movie released in 1966, in addition to a rather honest portrayal of New York City’s creative underground. It’s a tough world out there for us sensitive souls, and it’s rare to find a film that actually hits at the stark dichotomies of the struggling artist while maintaining a sense of realism about the shit sandwich force-fed to even the most talented among us. Sweet Love, Bitter will certainly get you thinking about how far (i.e. how not far) we’ve come to addressing some of these issues.