Michael Moore in Trumpland
Monday October 24 through Thursday October 27 at IFC Center: $14
Yeah, yeah we know, Michael Moore is… well, he’s Michael Moore. His particular way of showing outrage feels almost obsolete by now, a bit like a relic of the Bush ere, or worse– like an old white dude who insists on putting himself at the center of his films for some reason that seems to have disintegrated long ago. For his latest film, you might expect that Moore has aimed his camera squarely at “Trumpland” aka underemployed, undereducated white men in flyover America. But that’s not the case at all, actually.
For all its faults, “Trumpland” is unlike anything the filmmaker has ever done. Rather than crisscrossing the Broken Heartland, the entire film is confined to a monologue delivered in a Trump-leaning town (about 20 percent of the audience members were Trump supporters, Moore recently told a crowd at IFC). Rather than berating Trump, Moore delivers what The Times describes as “a paean to his opponent in the presidential contest, Hillary Clinton.”
Sounds… not that exciting, right? Well, Indiewire went so far as to call it “barely a movie.” But, actually, Trumpland might be the perfect film to see if you really wanna clear your head before the election, a way to detox away all the gnarliness that’s gone down. Interestingly, the tension has only escalated since this film was shot, just hours after that video came out and sandwich boards outside bars all over the city declared something along the lines of, “No one respects whiskey more than I do. I have tremendous respect for whiskey.” The Times declared the film “accidentally revelatory,” which is something we can definitely appreciate, but more importantly it seems like a snapshot of a brief, historically significant moment, right before the storm.
The Mansion of Madness
Wednesday October 26, 10 pm at Spectacle: $5
Speaking of making history, Spectober V is here y’all, and you know what that means. Yes, it marks year number 5 of this shizz, allowing Spectacle to use the most menacing Roman numeral ever. But it also means it’s time to get spooky, y’all. Let’s get this party started. Once you’re done getting your Halloween costume together, catch this screening of The Mansion of Madness. Also at 5 bones, it’s much cheaper than those crazy expensive IRL “haunted houses” that always end up sucking anyway, no matter how many Michael Myers dudes with chainsaws they’ve got running around. Guaranteed.
Just listen to what Spectacle has to say about this one:
Beginning with Poe’s story The System Of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, in which a reporter visits an asylum to discover the system by which the insane and the caregivers has become a bit muddled, we enter into a place where political satire and surrealist horror blend into a truly astonishing film, where a man becomes a chicken, the body becomes a musical instrument, and nothing is ever as it seems.
Sounds sufficiently outrageous. But if that still hasn’t sold you, this will: Take note of the butler/host dude (0:19 in the trailer) who looks exactly like Donald Trump, wonky mop hair and all, only he’s got a wand. DT with magical powers? If you’ve got a scarier Halloween costume than that up your sleeve, consider seeking help at a loony bin like The Mansion, stat, because there’s literally nothing more horrifying on the planet.
The Films of FLOTUS
Sunday November 13, 6 pm at Rough Trade: FREE
You know that thing about artists, and how they’re actually not so great at talking about their own work, which usually comes out as a bunch of vague jibber-jabber, but when they speak about work that’s not their own, and made by someone who they admire, they light up and suddenly become articulate and engaging?
Even if you’re not so sure this is actually “a thing” (it is, I swear), there are at least a few podcast/radio show type things that rely on a similar logic. There’s Person Place Thing– the host is live-taping an interview with artist Renee Cox next week (Wednesday October 26), as part of the Black Pulp! exhibition. And The Talkhouse, which brought Kathleen Hanna and Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves together recently.
So we have high hopes for The Films of Flotus, a program spotlighting a pair of filmmakers who’ve set out to create their own lil’ movies inspired by FLOTUS, the new album from Lambchop (aka Kurt Wagner)– which is apparently an acronym for a phrase we use so often: “for love often turns us still.” K.
There’s a whole other layer of this artists-inspired-by-other-artists thing at work here too: Lambchop, a Nashville-based artist known for his new country music, has drifted out of his comfort zone and taken an ambient electronic detour for this album.
Bill Morrison is a filmmaker known for his use of archival footage and already decaying or otherwise chemically disrupted film. He’s currently the focus of a solo retrospective at MoMA (Compositions is on view now through November 21), but he’s also made time to share his 18-minute film, “The Dockworker’s Dream,” that was inspired by Lambchop’s track, “The Hustle.”
Filmmaker Elise Tyler (also from Nashville) will be showing her film about “a young homeless couple,” inspired by Wagner’s track “NIV,” an auto-tuned track that Tyler interpreted as “upbeat” which provides a strange contrast to the no doubt bleak subject of her film.
Stay after the screening for a discussion with both Morrison and Tyler moderated by Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo.