Support Your Local Cinema!
Upcoming flicks at area movie houses
BY SCOTT STIFFLER
With the warmer weather, New Yorkers cautiously emerge from their home entertainment center cocoons and “staycations.” It’s the perfect time of year to get out of the apartment, take a walk, smell the blooming flowers, and…enter a darkened room so sequestered from the outside world that it might as well be the dead of winter.
Here, then (in no particular order), are upcoming highlights from some of Downtown and the Village’s most uniquely, passionately, competently programmed cinemas. Don’t be alarmed or offended at the conspicuous absence of your favorite haunt; Part II of our Spring Cinema Roudnup will appear in an upcoming issue.
TRIBECA CINEMAS KIDS CLUB
This new series features classic short and feature length films — appropriate for all ages, and augmented by Q&A sessions, arts and crafts, live music and (healthy) snacks! Tickets: $7 for under 14, $12 for double feature. Adults (over 14): $10, $18 for double feature. Purchase in advance at www.tribecafilm.com/kidsclub on the day of event (btw. 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.) at the Tribeca Cinemas Box Office, 54 Varick St. For info., call 212-941-2001. Sat., March 20th, “The Big Green Rabbit” takes the PBS sensation from the small screen to the big one with some Emmy-award winning episodes. Afterwards, it’s the 1973 animated film “Charlotte’s Web.” Be prepared for some wet eyes at the end of that one!
Tribeca Cinema Kids Club is curated by the Tribeca Film Festival — that annual downtown behemoth which returns this year from April 21st through May 2nd. For information, visit www.tribecafilm.com. NOTE: After their March 20th installment, Kids Club is on hiatus until after the Tribeca Film Festival.
At 209 W. Houston St.; Call 212-727-8110 or visit www.filmforum.org. For the Box Office, call 212-727-8112.
A nonprofit cinema since 1970, Film Forum is serious about delivering on its original mission statement. That mission? To provide a home for “NYC theatrical premieres of American independents and foreign art films” as well as “repertory selections including foreign and American classics, genre works, festivals and directors’ retrospectives.” The third screen “is dedicated to extended runs of popular selections from both programs, as well as new films for longer engagements.”
March 22nd at 7:45 p.m., “The Docks of New York” screens with selected shorts from the National Film Registry. Josef von Sternberg’s 1928 expressionist masterpiece still packs a wallop. Dock worker George Bancroft marries (or does he?) waterfront hooker Betty Compson after rescuing her from suicide. Daniel Eagan, author of “America’s Film Legacy: the Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry,” will introduce the program — which also includes 1929’s Burns and Allen Vitaphone short “Lambchops” along with and other selected silent and sound shorts (augmented by live piano accompaniment from Steve Sterner).
March 31st through April 13th, “The Sun Behind the Clouds” updates the struggle for Tibetan independence, focusing upon the March 2008 demonstration against Chinese rule (in English, Tibetan and Mandarin — with English subtitles).
April 28th through May 11th, “Anton Checkhov’s The Duel” is a 2010 film based on Chekhov’s 1891 novella. It’s a classic Chekhovian tale: the young ne’er-do-well aristocrat vs. the arrogant man of science; the attraction of a manipulative, narcissistic mistress vs. the life of the mind and of principled action. When sins of the flesh take place amidst the beautiful countryside, it’s a recipe for eventual disaster.
May 12th through 18th, “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo” is a 2009 exploration of the uniquely Japanese appreciation for both the diminutive and the transient. Insect lovers — from families visiting the countryside to hear crickets to beetle cartoon images — reveal the religious, literary and philosophical underpinnings of a nation’s entomological obsession. In Japanese with English subtitles.
THE ANGELIKA FILM CENTER
At 18 West Houston St. (at Mercer St.); 212-995-2000; www.angelikafilmcenter.com.
This Arthouse cinema, with a cafe for discussion and socializing, boasts locations in both New York and Texas. Its sister space here in the city is Village East Cinema (www.villageeastcinema.com).
Opening April 2nd, “Leaves of Grass”: It’s shades of Cronenberg’s “Dead Ringers” when Edward Norton plays twins Bill and Brady Kincaid. Philosophy professor Bill returns to rural Oklahoma — supposedly to mourn the death of his pot-growing brother (only to be lured into Brady’s complicated and dangerous schemes). Susan Sarandon and Richard Dreyfuss round out the cast. Get in line now, because Norton and writer/director Tim Blade Nelson are scheduled to attend the April 2nd premiere.
Opening June 11th, “Coco & Igor” echoes last year’s “Coco Before Chanel.” Period scenes are combined with archival footage to tell this tale of an early 1900s affair between Chanel and the brooding, unfaithful Igor Stravinsky. Jan Kounen directs.
TRIBECA CINEMAS: DOC SERIES
At Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street (corner of Laight). Call 212-941-2001. Tickets are $10 per screening ($8 for students, seniors) and can be purchased at www.tribecafilm.com/docseries or at the box office immediately before each screening. For more information, call 212-941-2001. After March 22, this series is on hiatus until after the Tribeca Film Festival (April 21st through May 2nd)
This twice-monthly series features interesting, innovative and thought-provoking documentary films. March 22nd, 7:30pm, “Nerdcore Rising” investigates the newest wave of Hip-Hop — as it follows the godfather of the genre (MC Frontalot) on his first national tour. From South Carolina to the Penny Arcade Gaming Convention in Seattle, see why hackers, gamers, bloggers and podcasters from across the country fly their nerd flags high and bask in Frontalot’s success. Director Negin Farsad and actor MC Frontalot will be in attendance!