Monday, May 9

War Don Don

What’s Showing Today? | Monday, May 9

One of the best legal documentaries in recent memory, and one with a unique perspective on International law and war crimes, Rebecca Richman Cohen‘s War Don Don screens at Anthology tonight as part of Flaherty NYC. The cameras start to roll as a long civil war in Sierra Leone draws to a close (the title translates to “the war is over”), and Issa Sesay is a young fighter put on trial in a special court established by the U.N. He’s accused of despicable crimes, including rape, disfigurement and torture. Cohen was trained as a lawyer, and it was in this capacity she first encountered the story. Though the audience knows from the beginning Sesay will be found guilty, War Don Don takes a remarkably complex look at the proceedings, in which all might not be as it appears. Cohen is present for discussion tonight with a well-rounded lineup of guests including producer Francisco Bello and Chris Santora, one of the young prosecutors featured in the film. Given the questions the film raises about the conduct of the prosecution, this should be an extremely interesting Q&A. It’s moderated by three-time Oscar nominated documentarian Deborah Dickson, and in accordance with Flaherty tradition, everyone is encouraged to shuffle over to a nearby bar afterwards to continue the discussion in a less formal capacity.

James Fotopoulos’ feature-length, 2010 film Alice in Wonderland is treated to a just-announced encore screening at Microscope Gallery. No surprise on the demand for it; Amy Tabuin declared it a “must see” in Artforum. The work is an adaptation of an 1886 musical version of Alice that, per Fotopoulos’ website, uses “sculptures, drawings, text, and original music to explore the late 19th century’s evolution of painting, literature, and theatre into early photography and moving pictures.” Also check the website for more images from the film. Fotopoulos is present for a Q&A, and tonight also features two previously unseen shorts “Go Back and Watch It” and “Tape 1”, both from 2007 . And while I’m on the subject of Microscope, if you’d like to see your own work screened there, you have until May 15 to submit to the Bushwick Open Studios festival.

Oscilloscope’s latest documentary, Bananas!*, continues its run of free preview screenings tonight at Maysles with a director and composer Q&A afterward. (UPDATE: This is no longer free, as described here, but “$10 suggested donation,” as Oscilloscope is tweeting. Plays Park Slope Food Co-Op tomorrow at 7 pm and “refreshments will be served”. Far as I know, no admission price.)

The two Radical Light programs at MoMA today feature a number of well known names, including Bruce Conner, James Broughton, Marlon Riggs and George Kuchar. The 7 pm show is followed by a conversation between the curators and filmmakers Leslie Thornton and Abigail Child (whose work screened yesterday).

Today’s SCENE: Brooklyn program at BAM, Enchanted Brooklyn, includes early work by Georges Méliès (“Bluebeard,” “Cendrillon” and “Kingdom of the Fairies”) alongside more recent efforts by local filmmakers. That’s at 7 pm and subject to BAM’s usual admission costs.

Also in the realm of the fantastic, don’t miss the PAF Czech Animation Festival with a number of innovative, free events around the Williamsburg, Brooklyn area and also uptown at Bohemian National Hall. Tonight also features an audiovisual performance at one of NYC’s great hole-in-the-wall semi-illicit rock venues, Death by Audio. Not a wine and cheese party, this festival.


Vitaphone Project with Ron Hutchinson two-for-one at Film Forum

  • Vitaphone Vaudeville. 1, 4:40, 8:20 pm.
  • Showgirls in Hollywood (Mervyn LeRoy). 80 mins. 3:10, 6:50, 10:30 pm.

Taiwan Stories: Classic and Contemporary Film from Taiwan at Film Society of Lincoln Center

  • Early Train from Taipei (Liang Zhefu). HDCam. 1964. 98 mins. 2 pm.
  • Our Neighbors aka Head of Street, End of Lane (Li Xing). HDCam. 1963. 91 mins. 4 pm.

In Focus: Cinema Tropical at MoMA

  • Extraordinary Stories (Mariano Llinás). 2008. 245 mins. 4 pm.

Radical Light: Alternative Film & Video in the SF Bay Area at MoMA introduced by Kathy Geritz, Steve Anker & Steve Seid

  • Authority, Figures (Robert Nelson, Bruce Conner, Paul Kos, Ant Farm, Tony Labat, Max Almy & Chris Robbins, Doug Hall, Marlon Riggs). 1965-1991. 90 mins. 4 pm.
  • Stories Untold (James Broughton, Curt McDowell, George Kuchar, Chiop Lord & Mickey McGowan, Leslie Thornton, Greta Snider, Cauleen Smith). Abigail Child and Leslie Thornton also joining for discussion. 1968-1991. 95 mins. 7 pm.

PAF Czech Festival of Animation and Audiovisual Art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

  • Animation of Re-Edits at Cantina Royal, 58 North 8 Street, 11211. FREE. 6 pm.
  • Table + Alex Body + Diego Bodego at Death By Audio, 49 South 2 Street, 11211. $7. 9 pm.

War Don Don (Rebecca Richman Cohen) at Anthology Film Archives. With director Rebecca Richman Cohen, producer Francisco Bello and Chris Santora, one of the Sesay trial prosecutors featured in the film, in attendance for discussion. HD. 83 mins. 7:30 pm.
Enchanted Brooklyn: Contemporary Fairytale Films at BAMcinématek. Featuring work by Georges Méliès, Emily Carmichael, Lynne Sachs, Adam Shecter, Li Cornfeld & Paul Snyder and Christina Choe. Part of SCENE: Brooklyn 2011. 75 mins. 7:30 pm.
The Silent House (La casa muda) (Gustavo Hernández) at IFC Center. 86 mins. 2:30 pm.
Bananas!* (Fredrik Gertten) at Maysles Cinema. Followed by Q&A with Gertten and composer Nathan Larson. 2009. 88 mins. 7:30 pm.
Alice in Wonderland with “Go Back and Watch It” and “Tape 1” (James Fotopoulos) at Microscope Gallery. Artist in person for Q&A, first time any of these shown in NYC. $6. 2007/2010. 110 mins. 7 pm.


The Arbor (Clio Bernard) at Film Forum. 94 mins. 1:15, 3:15, 6, 8, 10 pm. Ends May 10.
Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt) at Film Forum. 104 mins. 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, 7:50, 10 pm.

ANGELIKA Win Win, Last Night, Potiche, Miral, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Octubre, Exporting Raymond CINEMA VILLAGE The Colors of the Mountain, The People Vs. George Lucas, Certified Copy, Lebanon, PA, The Robber IFC CENTER 13 Assassins, An Invisible Sign, Beautiful Darling, Bill Cunningham New York, Blank City, Caterpillar, Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D, My Perestroika LANDMARK SUNSHINE Forks Over Knives, The Double Hour, Of Gods and Men, Incendies, Jane Eyre PARIS THEATER Potiche QUAD Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story, Harvest, Passion Play, In a Better World ReRUN Lord Byron VILLAGE EAST CINEMA African Cats, Sympathy For Delicious, Bill Cunningham New York, Water for Elephants, Hobo With a Shotgun, Daydream Nation, Insidious

Gallery Shows

Kevin Jerome Everson “More Than That” at The Whitney Museum. Closed Monday/Tuesday. $18 general, $12 students/seniors. Pay-as-you-wish Friday 6-9 pm. Ends September 18.
Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely at MoMA PS1, Queens. $10 general/$5 students and seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through August 8.
Modern Women: Single Channel at MoMA PS1, Queens. Featuring Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum, VALIE EXPORT, Anna Bella Geiger, Mako Idemitsu, Joan Jonas, Kristin Lucas, Mary Miss, Pipilotti Rist, Carolee Schneemann, Steina Vasulka. $10 general/$5 students and seniors. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through August 8.
Martha Colburn: Dolls vs. Dictators at the Museum of the Moving Image, Queens. $10 general/$7.50 students and seniors. Closed Monday. Through May 15.
Sung Hwan Kim: From the Commanding Heights…* at The Queens Museum. Admission by donation ($5 suggested). Closed Monday/Tuesday. Through August 14.
Jeff Whetstone “Seducing Birds, Snakes, Men” at Julie Saul Gallery, Chelsea. Closed Sunday/Monday. Through May 21.
Amy Granat “Cars, Trees, Houses, Beaches” at Nicole Klagsbrun, Chelsea. Closed Sunday/Monday. Through May 28.
Chris Marker “Passengers” at Peter Blum Soho and Chelsea. Marker’s first color photo series. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends June 4.
Almagul Menlibayera “Transoxiana Dreams” at Priska C. Juschka, Chelsea. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends May 14.
Renée Green “Sigetics” at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, Chelsea. Closed Sunday/Monday. Ends May 21.
Jessica Mein “Verso Reverso” at Simon Preston Gallery, LES. Closed Monday/Tuesday. Ends May 29.
Józef Robakowski at Goethe-Institut/Ludlow 38, Lower East Side. Through May 15.
Kara Walker “Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale” at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, LES. Closed Sunday/Monday. Through June 4.
Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven & Hell in Japanese Art at Japan Society. Ends June 12.
Soft Power at NURTUREart, Williamsburg. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Ends May 21.
Allison Somers “Black & Blue” at Microscope Gallery, Bushwick. 6-9 pm. Closed Tuesday/Wednesday. Through May 8.
“The End of Failure” at Louis V ESP, Williamsburg.Ross Moreno, Michelle O’ Brien, Christian Oitinnen and Kellie McCool, Shalo P, Anna Pratt, Jeff Ray, Chris Sollars, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Ryan Wilsie, Anne Yalon and Micahel Zheng. Through May 13.
Kota Ezawa “City of Nature” at Madison Square Park. Through May 15.