Thursday, March 15

Step By Step at Spectacle Theater

What’s Showing Today? Thursday, March 15
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Featured Screening: The World is Watching: Syrian Documentaries at Spectacle Theater

Today programmers Steve MacFarlane and Molly Fair inaugurate Spectacle Theater‘s participation with DOX BOX Global Day. Since 2007 Syria’s DOX BOX has offered the Middle East’s premiere showcase for non-fiction filmmaking with selections ranging from legendary Syrian filmmakers Omar Amiralay and Oussama Mohammad to a young crop of upcoming artists. This year, however, rather than seek government permission to hold the festival and in order to protest the governments killing and oppression of civilians they have sent this year’s program global for simultaneous screening in twenty venues spanning cities including Tangier, Vancouver, Khartoum, Edinburg, Leipzig, Cairo, Marrakech, Philadelphia and more.

As the organizers explain, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Syrian revolution, “all screening fees and theatrical rights have been waved for participants so that this global event can serve as a platform to engage audiences around the world and provide a nuanced perspective on this moment in Syrian history.” And further:

Thus, today, it is not the time or place to hold screenings of the world inside Syria. On the contrary, today is the time to put up screenings of Syria; globally.  We want the world, through our technically-modest cinema, to see our people.  We want the world to witness how poverty, oppression and isolation do not prevent humans from being spectacularly brave, stubborn and dignified. In a Global Day for Syria that we choose to take place precisely on the very evening of the “canceled” closing night of DOX BOX, which happens to coincide with the first anniversary of the Syrian revolution.  A coincidence that we read not see as a random event, but rather as an intuition, confirming documentary cinema’s role as a mirror people’s lives and as an indicator of justice.

The full statement may be read here.

Today’s programming begins with a 7:30 pm screening of Everyday Life in a Syrian Village, Amiralay’s 1974 “unabashaed critique of the impact of the Syrian government’s agricultural land reforms.” Farmers, health workers, police officers and peasants address the camera. The 9:30 pm shorts program includes 2003 work by Amiralay offering a damning perspective of the ruling Baath party, Joude Gorani‘s chronicle of a journey along the entirety of the Barada river surrounding the capital city Damascus, and Oussama Mohammed’s 1978 Step By Step, a short documentary about child military inscription that I’m told is one of the harrowing highlights of the program. Spectacle’s DOX BOX programming continues tomorrow with two more shorts programs running at 7:30 and 9:30 pm.

Also Recommended

Jerome Hiler appears alongside his longtime partner Nathaniel Dorsky for an evening of recent rarities at The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Both artists are known for working in the recently-extinct Kodachrome 16mm stock creating transcendent, silent works exhibiting a stunning use of light and color nonpareil. So graceful and delicate is their sensitivity to light that each screening and the attendant ambient conditions and contexts provide the effect of a unique performance. Hiler’s Words of Mercury also screens daily through Sunday as part of the Whitney Biennial. And through March 22 FSLC presents FREE daily screenings of 2010’s Music Makes a City, a 2010 documentary by Hiler and edited by Dorsky chronicling the Louisville Orchestra of the 1940s and comprising lyrical footage of the Ohio River Valley. It’s narrated by Will Oldham.

And today marks the start of MoMA‘s Curel and Unusual Comedy Part 3: Selections from the Eye Film Institute, The Netherlands, comprising rarely seen, ribald comedies held by the storied film archive. Details are here.


Nina Menkes at Anthology Film Archives
Series Details • Through March 16

  • The Bloody Child. Details. 35mm. 1996. 86 min. 7:00 pm.
  • Dissolution. Details. Video. 2010. 88 min. 9:00 pm.

Screen Loud at Anthology Film Archives

  • Program 1. Details. Work by Nuno Portugal, Iona Uricaru, Juan de Dios Martil Atienza & Claudia Vásquez. 7:15 pm.
  • Program 2. Details. Work by Iva Radivojevic, Cristina Escoda, Michele Catalano and Àlex Lora. 9:15 pm.

Terence Davies at BAMCinématek
Series Details

  • The Deep Blue Sea. Details. Q&A with Davies, Rachel Weisz and Lisa Schwarzbaum. 35mm. 2012. 98 min. 7:00 pm.

War and Remembrance: The Films of Aleksei Guerman at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Series Details

  • Khrustalyov, My Car!Details. 35mm. 1998. 150 min. 1:30 pm.
  • Twenty Days Without War. Details. 35mm. 1976. 101 min. 4:30 pm.
  • The Seventh Companion (with Grigori Aronov). Details. 35mm. 1967. 89 min. 6:30 pm.
  • Trial on the RoadDetails. 35mm. 1971. 96 min. 8:30 pm.

Cruel and Unusual Comedy Reprised at MoMA
Series Details

  • No Harm Done–Animals and ChildrenDetails. 1912-1929. 80 min. 1:30 pm.

Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now at MoMA
Series Details

  • Faustfilm: An Opera (Stan Brakhage). Details. 1987. 44 min. 3:00 pm.

Canadian Front 2012 at MoMA
Series Details

  • Mesnak (Yves Sioui Durand). Details. 2011. 96 min. 4:00 pm.
  • I Am a Good Person, I Am a Bad Person (Ingrid Veninger). Details. 2011. 82 min. 6:30 pm.
  • Café de Flore (Jean Marc Vallée). Details. 2011. 120 min. 7:00 pm.

Cruel and Unusual Comedy Part 3: Selections from the Eye Film Institute at MoMA
Series Details

  • Sexual MisconductDetails. Accompaniment by Yaeko Miranda, violin; Ben Model; Peter Bufano; and Mike Dobson. Introduced by Elif Rongen-Kaynakci. 1912. 52 min. 1:30 pm.

The World is Watching: Syrian Documentary Series at Spectacle Theater
Series Details

  • Everyday Life in a Syrian Village (Omar Amiralay). Details. Digital. 1974. 85 min. 7:30 pm.
  • A Flood in Baath Country (Omar Amiralay), Step By Step (Oussama Mohammed) and Before Vanishing (Joude Gorani). Details. Digital. 1969. 92 min. 9:30 pm.

Whitney Biennial 2012 at The Whitney Museum
Series Details

  • Jerome Hiler: Words of Mercury. Details. 16mm transferred to HD. 2011. 25 min. Every half hour from Noon to 5:00 pm.

A Quiet Inquisition (Alessandra Zeka & Holen S. Kahn) at 92YTribeca. Details. 7:00 pm.
Miss Representation
(Jennifer Siebel Newsom) at The Brooklyn Museum. Details. 2011. 85 min. 7:00 pm.
Female on the Beach
(Joseph Pevney) at Chelsea Clearview. Details. Early show introduced by drag queen Hedda Lettuce. 1955. 97 min. 7:00 and 9:30 pm.
In a Silent Way: Rarities by Jerome Hiler and Nathaniel Dorsky at Film Society of Lincoln CenterDetails. 16mm. 1967-70/2005-2006/2012. 67 min. 8:15 pm.
Vigilante Vigilante (Max Good) at IFC Center. Details. 2012. 86 min. 8:00 pm.
CUNY Film Festival Faculty Doc Screening at Hunter College Ida K. Lang Recital Hall, 695 Park Ave. Details. 7:00 to 9:00 pm.


Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné) at Film Forum. Details. DCP. 1945. 190 min. 1:00, 4:30 and 8:00 pm.
Gerhard Richter Painting (Corinna Belz) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 94 min. 1:15, 3:15, 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 122 min. 1:15, 4:00, 6:45 and 9:10 pm.
Music Makes a City (Oswley Brown III & Jerome Hiler) at Film Society of Lincoln Center. Details. Digital. 2010. 103 min. 7:00 pm. FREE.



Below listed North-South


  • David Lynch at Tilton Gallery, 8 East 76 Street. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends April 14.