Doomed Love
Friday January 6, 7:30 pm at Spectacle: $5

It’s been an awful long time since I’ve seen a movie at Spectacle… who am I kidding? I was pretty much lost for the two or so weeks when I was forced to go without this $5 standby, cini-mini home for everyone from underground-art house weirdos and to -sploitation freaks. I forgive you Spectacle workers, I guess you too needed to watch Law & Order with your family and drunkenly cry yourself to sleep in your childhood bedroom where Frank the teddy bear has been replaced by a mostly-empty bottle of desperately cheap whiskey.

Get ready for Friday, because all of that will finally be behind you when Spectacle flings open its doors, fires up the projector, and welcomes us weary souls back into its cavernous confines.

Turn your eyes toward Doomed Love, “a delectable hunk of sunken downtown treasure ripe for rediscovery” that combines a necromantic affair with Twilight Zone-esque eeriness for a surreal love story that’s as gloomy as it is captivating.

But legit, you can pretty much bet that everything screening at Spectacle this month is going to be off the chain, that’s because Best of Spectacle returns for a 2016 recap of, well, the coolest shit they’ve got. As the theater advises, “No need to pick and choose; all of the best is right here.”

Thursday January 5, 1:40 pm at IFC Center: $14

If you haven’t seen this on Netflix yet, like seriously where have you been? Well, perhaps you recently woke up from a coma, or maybe you’re just not willing to pay for Netflix. Both are good excuses, but any other reason simply will not do.

Ok, finger wagging is over. For real though, you gotta see this documentary about the legacy of slavery in America– even if you’ve already heard people discussing it, and especially if you feel like  you so know this stuff already. You will inevitably learn something, no matter who you are. The film does a brilliant job of picking apart the 13th amendment to the Constitution and its lasting effects.

We’re taught in history class that “the 13th” was a great thing, since it outlawed slavery and “involuntary servitude.” Right? Well, tacked onto the end is once exception:

“[…] except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Through interviews with Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander (author of “The New Jim Crow”), the filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) connects the dots between the U.S. prison system, mass incarceration of people of color, the portrayal of crime and criminals in the media and political sphere, and demonstrates that these things are essentially the continuation of slavery, albeit in a constitutionally mandated form. It’s disturbing stuff, but a massively important conversation about white supremacy and ongoing oppression in the age of Black Lives Matter and the seemingly endless stream of cases of police brutality and outright murder of black and brown citizens by police officers. It’s a must see.