The lack of female directors in the film industry isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, but with the rise of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp in the past year, this gender gap has been highlighted now more than ever– just take Natalie Portman’s presentation of the Best Director award at this year’s Golden Globes as an example. Nitehawk Cinema and Metrograph, two local movie theaters, are also recognizing this disparity with a series of film screenings focusing exclusively on female directors.
Fourteen months before the 1929 stock market crash, a 1,516-seat theater struck someone as a good investment. Most of a century later, Park Slope is a good investment once more. Nitehawk Prospect Park Cinema will open a refurbished version of the theater in March.
Yesterday, Matthew Viragh, founder of Nitehawk, gave Bedford + Bowery a tour of the construction site.
Representation matters. But unsurprisingly, it’s still lacking in nearly all fields. Especially in Hollywood. Casts, directors and producers are overwhelmingly white and male. So much so that in 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated claims of systematic discrimination against female directors.
Yes, the last month of summer is finally be upon us, but there’s no putting a chill on the boozy, breezy, time-honored tradition of summer film festivals. On August 27 and 28 at Nitehawk Cinema, the SHORTS fest will offer up some 12 to 13 short films per day– all of which aim to take a more varied, surreal, and experimental approach to comedy.
The full line-up of films, selected by the Brooklyn Comedy Festival and Kickstarter, can be found here. Promising picks include Sunday’s Greener Grass, a “dark comedy of manners” directed by Paul Briganti, in which two soccer moms go above and beyond to fit into their cookie-cutter suburban surroundings.
Then there’s Bridey Elliott’s Affection, which is “a comedy about isolation and loneliness” (well then!). Elliot (of Fort Tilden fame) has always had a penchant for exploring unlikeable women while still capturing their nuanced humanity, something she talked about with Bedford + Bowery a couple of years ago (in addition to the ever-relevant topic of dick picks and other sundry affairs).
Another promising entry is the New York-centric Jana & Shasta, directed by Tynan Delong, about a naïve, hapless Florida couple making their first trip to the big city after winning round-trip bus tickets on a radio contest. As you might expect, hilarity ensues.
And because comedy (or anything for that matter) is best enjoyed with some booze, Nitehawk will be serving its weekend brunch menu alongside the screenings, with a $15 entree and mimosa or Bloody Mary option to upgrade the giggle-fest.
SHORTS will be wrapping up the The Brooklyn Comedy Festival, which takes place August 22 to 28. And in case you need another reason to get some laughs in during the last month before September hits, Nitehawk will be launching the last month of the Comedians in Film series, which started in June and which finishes up with SHORTS. Other highlights during the series run include Women in Comedy (including Obvious Child and She-Devil) and Late Night, which features raunchy classics such as the 1983 flick Easy Money.
Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly identified that Nitehawk’s Comedians in Film starts in August, when it actually started in June.
The series starts off straight away with a jury favorite: Do Not Resist won Tribeca’s Best Documentary Feature. Craig Atkinson’s directorial debut focuses on the disconcertingly rapid militarization of the police in the United States– a timely subject if ever there was one.
On the 19th, Nitehawk will be screening Jenny Gage’s All This Panic, a coming-of-age story about seven teenage girls in New York. On the 20th, there will be a screening of Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, Maura Axelrod’s portrait of the artist Maurizio Cattelan.
On the 21st, the final film in the series will be Vanessa Gould’s Obit, which takes you into the offices (and yes, “the morgue”) of The New York Times obit writers. We caught that one at Tribeca and can tell you it’s a must-watch if you’ve ever wondered how many obits the Times has prewritten for living people. (Spoiler: about 1,700.)
All screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and will take place at 7:30pm, at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue).
You’re no doubt already counting down the hours till Independence Day weekend, with its blessed promise of a booze-soaked Monday (and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…). But don’t waste your precious free day standing in a massive, sweaty crowd all afternoon just to have any hope of glimpsing some fireworks thwarted when some NBA reject stand right in front of you at the last minute. Instead, spend it drinking, partying, and stuffing your face with grilled meats (or grilled meat substitutes), at one of these parties– no screaming toddlers included. Fireworks are overrated, anyway.
“Thanks for seeing a Christmas movie in February,” Greenpoint filmmaker Charles Poekel told everyone gathered for the latest installment of Nitehawk’s Local Color series.
Last night, during the latest installment of Nitehawk’s series The Deuce, James Toback revealed that there’s a reason the head-smashing scene in his debut feature looks so real. It’s because, according to the controversial director, it was real.
The video for David Bowie’s new single, “★” (pronounced “Blackstar”), is now up on YouTube, but those who made it to Nitehawk this afternoon to watch it on the big screen got a special treat. And not just the free ★-branded boxes of popcorn. After the screening of the 10-minute mindfuck featuring human scarecrows, sorcery, and a blindfolded Bowie, its director, Johan Renck, fielded questions from Noisey editor-in-chief Eric Sundermann.
If you want to see the short film accompanying David Bowie’s new song, “★,” when it premieres at Nitehawk on Thursday, there’s still one time slot that isn’t sold out. But if you want to see the new play, Lazarus, co-written by Bowie and featuring original songs, it won’t be so easy. The last batch of tickets sold out soon after we gave you the heads up about them (after all, the New York Theatre Workshop has a capacity of around 200), and there are just four tickets on StubHub: two for $600 each, and two for $1,000 each.