What’s Showing Today? Thursday, July 24
Click venue names for ticket info & directions
This summer, Spectacle‘s all-volunteer collective is one of the participating artists in the inaugural NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial at the Museum of Arts and Design. In addition to presenting an ongoing display of posters, custom trailers, and ephemera, the Museum has invited Spectacle to program its cinema for the summer. Over the next six weeks, it will present eleven programs: six programs featuring exceedingly rare, internationally sourced 35mm prints, and five “special event” programs spotlighting Spectacle as an interdisciplinary community centered around collaborative programming, expanded cinema, live events, and remix culture.
One might shorthand the description as “Spectacle with a budget.” Close readers know that I, and virtually all Screen Slate’s regular contributors, are longtime programmers at the space—as well as trailer editors, poster designers, tech gurus, and janitors. We value the esteemed presentation that well-financed, established venues provide, but we see in a 30-seat, DIY space like Spectacle, which does mostly digital projection, an opportunity to build a community that exchanges interests, skills, and values around our shared passion for the moving image. Sometimes the files glitch, but it seems like a reasonable trade-off to have that level of personal and intellectual exchange with ourselves and our audiences. (And at least it’s not a nitrate fire.)
And within that context, we find an opportunity to mine areas that we feel might be overlooked: whether due to political, economical, historical, or prejudicial factors. Which have a very real impact on programming, given the cost and effort involved in international shipping of 35mm prints: it’s difficult to spring for schlepping 30kg around the globe without the support of (politicized) financial assistance, often from state consulates. Spectacle, which begs and barters for permissions—a fact which a lot of people seem inclined to deny, perhaps because our ability to program seven days a week on a budget of up-to-1/3-of-the-door-on-$5-admission with an average of seven people actually showing up a night admittedly sounds unbelievable, and in any case threatens to undermine the authority of legitimate institutions—finds that presenting these movies digitally is at least enough to open a dialog around them. And even if we often hear, “I like you on Facebook, but I haven’t actually been to the theater,” I’m still comforted to think we might adapt and adopt a familiar adage by saying not a lot of people go to Spectacle, but everyone who does starts a microcinema. In any case, at this point, it has more active volunteers than seats. (That said, the computer broke last night, and it is currently unclear who will fix it. But the shows will go on one way or another.)
Therefore, it’s incredibly humbling to have the opportunity to present some of our favorite films that we feel might be most rewarding to be seen on 35mm prints. Everything has been carefully and painstakingly sourced, including titles such as Deux Fois and The Gold Diggers that, when they show at all, have almost always been seen on 16mm reductions—the Museum has spared no expense to present titles that have rarely, or in some cases never, shown on 35mm in the United States before. The films are not curios—which Spectacle often presents, and finds valuable—but legitimate, under-recognized masterpieces.
One of the biggest cases-in-point is tonight’s presentation of Panelstory by one our favorite filmmakers, the late Vera Chytilová. Boldly critical of the Czech state at a time when suppression had already scattered many of its New Wave filmmakers abroad, Panelstory is a provocative morality play set amid a failing housing project, bursting with humor, pathos, and brilliant features of vérité-style camerawork.
Thanks for bearing with this unabashed self promotion—which, I should warn, will be followed with more tomorrow in a program for which I suspect many artists may be Screen Slate contributors—and hope to see you at MAD. And if you have a spare Mac Mini: holler.
- Get Shorty (Barry Sonnenfeld). Details. 35mm. 1995. 105 min. 6:45 pm.
- 3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves). Details. 35mm. 1957. 92 min. 9:00 pm.
- The Brute. Details. 35mm. 1952. 81 min. 7:30 and 9:20 pm.
- The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles). Details. DCP restoration. 1948. 87 min. 12:45, 4:50, and 9:20 pm.
- Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang). Details. New 35mm print. 1945. 103 min. 2:40 and 7:00 pm.
- 52 Tuesdays (Sophie Hyde). Details. DCP. 2013. 114 min. 4:00 pm.
- Futuro Beach (Karim Ainouz). Details. DCP. 2013. 106 min. 7:00 pm.
- Boys (Mischa Kamp). Details. DCP. 2014. 78 min. 10:00 pm.
- Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese). Details. 1976. 113 min. 1:30 pm.
- José Mojica Marins and the Culture Wars in Brazil: Awakening of the Beast and The Strange World of Coffin Joe (José Mojica Marins). Details. 1968/1969. 125 min. 7:00 pm.
- ENTERTAINMENT: Hurelements en faveur de Sade (Guy Debord), Screen Test: Penelope Palmer (Andy Warhol) and The Flicker (Tony Conrad). Details. 1952-1966. 98 min. 7:00 pm.
- Panelstory (Vera Chytilová). Details. 35mm. 1980. 96 min. 7:00 pm.
my eyes can’t focus and my brain is talking: A Film Program in Two Parts at Lisa Cooley. Details. 16mm films and videos by Marie Menken, Paul Sharits, Kurt Kren, Jeremy Blake, Paul Cclipson, Michael Snow, Stan Brakhage, Jud Yalkut, Owen Land, Malcolm Le Grice, Victoria Fu, and Josh Slater. 7:00 pm.
- Christoph Schlingensief at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens. $10 general/$5 students & seniors/under 16 free. By donation on Mondays. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Closes August 31.
- View all exhibitions at Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, Queens. $12 general/$9 students and seniors/$6 ages 3 to 18. Free admission Friday 4-8 pm. Closed Monday.
- “Here and Elsewhere” at The New Museum, Bowery. $16 general/$14 seniors/$10 students. Pay-what-you-wish Thursdays 7:00 to to 9:00 pm. Closed Monday-Tuesday. Closes September 28.
Below Listed North-South
- Hito Steyerl “How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational Installation” at Andrew Kreps Gallery, 537 West 22 Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closes August 15.
- Gilbert & George Film and Video Sculptures, 1972-1981 at Lehmann Maupin, 201 Chrystie Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Closes August 8.
- “Glass Puzzle: Uri Aran, Andrea Büttner, Joan Jonas, Yorgos Sapountzis, and Mary Simpson” at Simone Subal, 131 Bowery, 2nd Floor. Open Wednesday-Sunday, Noon to 6:00 pm. Closes August 1.
- Brice Dellsperger “Body Double: Vous n’en croirez pas vous yeux” at Team Gallery, 83 Grand Street and 47 Wooster Street. Grand: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, Noon to 6:00 pm. Wooster: Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday, Noon to 6:00 pm. Closes August 1.
- BFFA3AE “DTR” at 47 Canal. Open Wednesday-Sunday, Noon to 6:00 pm. Closes August 3.