What’s Showing Today? Monday, April 23
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Featured Screening: The Student of Prague at MoMA
MoMA‘s Kino! New Films from Germany has a perhaps unlikely opening night pick—1913’s The Student of Prague, an often-overlooked, fantastical silent film that also represents one of the first productions of Germany’s Babelsberg Studios, which celebrates its centennial this year.
Though perhaps more modest in its design than the better-known movies it precedes like Faust, The Golem, and Caligari, it retains its own unique atmosphere and innovative special effects. The story was written by Hanns Heinz Ewers, a literary figure noted his his similarities to Edgar Allan Poe, friendship with Aleister Crowley and and early recognition of cinema as a valid form of artistic expression—or, as Sigfried Kracauer describes him, “he had the good fortune to be a bad author with an imagination reveling in gross sensation and sex . . . always good screen material.” Many of Ewers stories correspond to Goethe’s literature, and Student of Prague represents a reworking of his take on Faust. In it, a young student becomes obsessed with a beautiful young lady and makes a bargain to sell his reflection to the devil only to learn his doppelgänger is committing horrendous crimes. The protagonist is played by Paul Wegener, who is best known for directing and starring in the 1920 version of The Golem. He also went on to further collaborations with Ewers and Rye and a dubious association with the Nazi party, albeit one much more fruitful than Ewers’s own. In addition to rejecting the Nazi party’s anti-semitism, Ewers was rejected by his parties for his association with noted homosexuals. He had arranged Stellan Rye‘s gig directing Student of Prague after Rye, an ex-Danish military lieutenant and burgeoning literary celebrity, spent several years in prison following convictions of organizing ritualized homosexual activity within the army barracks. Rye left for Berlin where friend Herman Bang (author of the source story of Carl Dreyer’s Michael) introduced him to Ewers. Rye and Ewers subsequently made five additional, now-lost, features together, three of which starred Wegener—the final collaboration for all three being Die Augen des Ole Brandis, about a painter who makes a similarly Mephistophelean bargain with a mysterious figure to receive eyes that may see the world as it really is; being an Ewers story, the world is irredeemably corrupt and debased save a requisite last-minute happy ending.
With the war oncoming, Rye voluntarily enlisted in the German army and was killed in France. Ewers lived briefly in the United States and was interned for three years without charge as a suspected spy (not entirely without evidence). Back in Germany, he tried to win favor with the Nazi party, who ultimately rejected him and banned his works, culminating in his dying in poverty of tuberculosis. The Student of Prague is probably remembered today because of the endorsement of its historical significance in Sigfried Kracauer’s influential 1947 From Caligari to Hitler, and furthermore its somewhat uneven photography at its most dazzlingly inventive places The Student of Prague as a nascent influence on the expressionist style.
Ken Jacobs‘ 440-minute Star Spangled to Death runs over the next four evenings at Spectacle. $10 passes are available for all four nights, and Jacobs will be in attendance for Thursday’s concluding chapter.
With The Killing of Sister George, Robert Aldrich operates in full-on camp-dread mode applied most successfully in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, and The Legend of Lylah Clare. Like Jane, Clare and the much earlier The Big Knife, Sister George has its roots in the world of showbusiness—Bery Reid plays a sadistic, alcoholic, disaffected lesbian soap opera star.
Tribeca Film Festival
- Jane and Tortured Dust (Part 3 & 4) (Stan Brakhage). Details. 1984/1985. 31 min. 3:00 pm.
- Film and Photo League/Workers International Relief. Details. 1930/1926/1932. 89 min. 4:00 pm.
- Unknown (Jaume Collet-Serra). Details. 2011. 113 min. 4:00 pm.
- The Student of Prague (Stellan Rye). Details. Live accompaniment. 1913. 60 min. 7:30 pm.
The Killing of Sister George (Robert Aldrich) at IFC Center. Details. 35mm. 1968. 138 min. 8:00 pm.
Bjarne Melgaard Inverviews Leo Bersani at The Kitchen. Details. 7:00 pm. FREE.
Modern Mondays: An Evening with Adam Pendleton and Lorraine O’Grady at MoMA. Details. 7:00 pm.
Star Spangled to Death Part 1/4 (Ken Jacobs) at Spectacle. Details. 1957-2004. 8:00 pm.
Jean Gentil (Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas) at Anthology Film Archives. Details. 2010. 84 min. 7:00 and 9:00 pm.
The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson) at BAMCinématek. Details. 35mm. 1977. 95 min. 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15 pm.
Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín) at Film Forum. Details. 2010. 98 min. 1:00, 3:15, 5:40, 7:50 and 10:00 pm.
The Gang’s All Here (Busby Berkeley) at Film Forum. Details. 35mm. 1943. 103 min. 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30 and 9:40 pm.
Gerhard Richter Painting (Corinna Belz) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 94 min. 1:00, 6:10 and 10:15 pm.
A Separation (Asghar Farhadi) at Film Forum. Details. 2011. 122 min. 3:00 and 8:00 pm.
- “Being Singular Plural” at The Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side. View screening schedule. Closed Thursdays. $18 general/$15 students and seniors/Children free. Free Saturdays 5:45 to 7:45 pm. Ends June 6.
- “Spiels in the House of Art: Photography, Film and Video” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Closed Mondays. Suggested donation admission. Ends August 26.
- Media Lounge and Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Ongoing.
- Mark Boulos “Projects 97” at MoMA, Midtown. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Through July 16.
- “9 Scripts from a Nation at War” at MoMA, Midtown. Work by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander and David Thorne. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Through August 6.
- “The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook” at MoMA, Midtown. Work by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander and David Thorne. $20 general/$12 students/$16 seniors. Closed Tuesday. Through April 29.
- Frances Stark “My Best Thing” at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through April.
- Rania Stephan at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through April.
- Chim↑Pom at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through April 23.
- Clifford Owens “Anthology” at MoMA P.S.1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students/$5 seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through May 7.
- Julika Rudelius “What is on the Outside” at The Museum of Arts and Design, Columbus Circle. $15 general/$12 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Through July 5.
- Neil Goldberg “Stories the City Tells Itself” at Museum of the City of New York, Upper West Side. $10 general/$6 students and seniors. Open 7 days a week. Ends May 28.
- 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.
- Whitney Biennial 2012 at The Whitney Museum. See screening schedule above. Ends May 27.
Below listed North-South
- Notations: The Cage Effect Today at Hunter College Times Square Gallery, 450 West 41 Street. Open Tues-Sat 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Ends April 21.
- Nina Yuen “The School” at Lombard-Freid Projects, 518 West 19 Street. Open Tues-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 26.
- Lorraine O’Grady “New Worlds” at Alexander Gray Associates, 508 West 26 Street. Open Tues-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- Alex Prager “Compulsion” at Yancey Richardson Gallery, 535 West 22 Street, 3rd Floor. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- Beryl Korot “Selected Video Works: 1977 to Present” at bitforms gallery nyc, 529 West 20 Street. Open Tues-Sat 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 5.
- “Constructed Site” at .No Gallery, 251 East Houston Street. Closed Mondays. Tue-Fri open Noon to 6:00 pm, Sat-Sun open 1:00 pm. Ends April 29.
- Owen Land at Essex Street, 114 Eldridge Street. Appointments only. Ends May 13.
- Shannon Plumb & Marianna Rothen “Last Seduction” at Hendershot Gallery, 195 Chrystie Street. Open Tues-Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 3.
- “Radical Localism: Art, Video and Culture from Pueblo Nuevo’s Mexicali Rose” at Artists Space. Curated by Chris Kraus and Mexicali Rose with Artists Space. Open Wed to Sun Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends May 27.
- Frank Heath “Post Holes” at Simone Subal, 131 Bowery, 2nd Floor. “Graffiti Report Form” begins on the hour. Open Wed to Sun Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends April 26.
- Mary Ellen Carroll “Federal, State, Country and City” at Third Streaming, 10 Greene St. Open Wed-Sat Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends May 19.
- Charles Atlas “The Illusion of Democracy” at Luhring Augustine, 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick. Open Tues-Sat 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Ends May 20.
- Stephen Dirkes “Obscure Object Films – Photoplays” at Rabbithole, 33 Washington Street, DUMBO. Open Mon-Fri Noon to 5:00 pm. Ends April 30.
- Hollis Frampton, Fiona Banner, Melinda McDaniel and Klub Zwei ”So to Speak” at BRIC Rotunda Gallery, 33 Clinton Street, Brooklyn Heights. Open Tues.-Sat. Noon to 6:00 pm. Ends April 28.