Silent Night, Deadly Night
Friday Dec. 18 and Saturday Dec. 19, midnight at Nitehawk: $11
Everyone knows the only sufferable holiday films are Xmas-themed horror movies. This 1984 genre classic Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a young boy who witnesses the murder of his parents at the hands of a psychopath dressed as Santa. Traumatized by his exposure to such unspeakable violence, the boy grows into a truly screwed-up young man whose thirst for blood knows no bounds. Oh, and of course he feels the need to don a Santa outfit during his mayhem sprees.
Don’t run screaming when you find out there are a ton of characters to keep straight in ZomBikers aka Vamp Bikers Tres– it’s true: witches, bikers, zombies, vampires, and club kids are all on the scene. “It’s like The Warriors,” explained Michael Alig, who’s starring as King of the Zombies, aka God, in the third and final installment of Brooklyn filmmaker Eric Rivas’ Vamp Bikers Trilogy.
Michel Auder + Rebekah Rutkoff: Sunsets and Other Stars
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 7:30 pm at Light Industry: $8 at the door
French artist, photographer, and filmmaker Michel Auder left France in the ’70s for New York City, where he’s resided ever since. He’s maybe best known as Cindy Sherman’s ex-husband (JK, but for real — how do you compete with Cindy Sherman?). Much of his video work (though apparently Auder “did not consider it fine art”) consists of ethnographic snapshots and sceney vignettes, the stuff of Auder’s cool Downtown life amongst artists like Annie Sprinkle, Larry Rivers, Hannah Wilke, among others.
But another good chunk of his focus was deadly personal. Take My Last Bag of Heroin (For Real), a 1993 piece which shows the filmmaker, who battled with heroin addiction for many years, breaking apart a glassine baggie of heroin onto a piece of aluminum foil and smoking the stuff. The video demonstrates the banality of drug use, often depicted as an explosively orgasmic experience, particularly in film.
Joe’s managed to bring all of them together for his first feature length film, which embodies that other half of Joe Wakeman most of us have yet to see. They Read By Night is “leather jacket film” with plenty of drugs, rock n’ roll, and pulpy mayhem, all against a clever literary background. The film premieres at Gravesend Recordings next week in Bushwick. We were lucky enough to see the film in advance, but for your viewing pleasure here’s a first-look at the trailer and a bit of what we discussed about the film with Joe when we recently caught up with him at Birdy’s.
Thursday Dec. 3, 6:05 pm and 9:20 pm at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue: $14
How much do you know about Iraq, like really? Take away the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein, and our 43rd President’s awful pronunciation of the name belonging to a country that’s informed so much public discussion in the past few decades (but so little real understanding), and we’re guessing the answer is: not so much. Iraqi ex-pat filmmaker Samir takes viewers on an informative trip through his homeland’s history through a very personal lens, his family tree.
City of Lost Souls
Friday Nov. 20th, 7:30 pm at Union Docs: $9
Juliet Jacques, the author of Trans: A Memoir, which accounts for her own experiences transitioning from male to female and her life from childhood up to her present 30-something self, will be on hand to present City of Lost Souls, a “trans musical spectacular.” Filmed in 1982, it provides an early look at identity politics and trans identity years before there was mainstream understanding of what it means to be trans. The film is such an early example of gender exploration that it’s lacking in recognizable “transgender” language– in fact, the word is never mentioned in the film (though there are instances of its use at that time).
“At that time in New York things were really wild,” Emily Armstrong recalled of the ’70s punk scene. She and her partner, Pat Ivers, are old school East Village types– they truly lived the Downtown era, and lucky for us they documented over 100 shows at CBGBs, filming bands like DNA and unbelievable moments like Iggy Pop covering Frank Sinatra for their weekly TV show, Nightclubbing. After NYU’s Fales Library acquired their archive for the Downtown Collection, thousands of the duo’s film reels were digitized and, for a time, were part of a weekly column at B+B.
Alone at Last emerged out of that archival effort and now, after more than 30 years since the artists last saw them, the 1981 black-and-white vignettes featuring 52 people who were prompted to seduce the viewer, will be shown at Howl! Happening. The video series captures the last breath of the freewheeling ’70s Downtown scene right before AIDS hit. “People who have seen it feel that it’s a very interesting depiction of that culture, that moment, because it was truly a moment. Soon after it was shot, people realized what AIDS was. So having a lot of sex for pleasure was completely redefined: having a lot of open sex was suicide. Things really changed, really fast.”
This week, cash in your change jar because you’re gonna need it for the screening of this lost Riot Grrrl film starring Kathleen Hanna. Also, pick from a bazillion or so documentaries this year at Doc NYC 2015, and more. Read on, friends.
It’s as good a week as any to catch some films and with one of our besties going outta commission soon (temporarily, thankfully) we’re encouraging you to cinematically tie one on and mainline all the movies you can possibly handle now, and actually just forever. Do consider jumping, because we’ve got plenty of product for you below.
This October marks the 100th anniversary of Les Vampires, a silent film–surprisingly surreal for its era and rife with gothic imagery– that stars Musidora as Irma Vep, France’s original vamp. “It’s not a vampire movie– it’s a cops and robbers caper– and she’s the brains behind the Vampire gang,” explained Michelle Handelman, organizer of an extensive series of events devoted to Les Vampires taking place later this month at a handful of institutions around the city.
As part of 100 Years of Irma Vep, Handelman is also screening her own 2014 film, Irma Vep, the Last Breath, a psychoanalytic exploration of the legendary vamp as much as it is a radical reassessment of Irma Vep, who’s played by both a trans-woman and a drag queen. “Both of the actors bring their own experience of living in the margins to the character,” Handelman said.