Support Your Local Cinema!
Upcoming flicks at area movie houses
By Scott stiffler
Last week, our Spring Cinema Roundup looked at offerings from Film Forum, the Tribeca Doc series, the Angelika Film Center and the Tribeca Cinema Kids Club series. This week, we complete the list of dependable local haunts with upcoming highlights from some of the Village and Downtown’s most uniquely, passionately, competently programmed cinemas.
ARTIVIST FILM FESTIVAL
March 25th-27th, at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street. Visit www.artivists.org
What does Los Angeles know that New York doesn’t? We’re about to find out — when the artist/activist-themed film festival “Artivist” makes its way to Gotham. Its mission, to “strengthen the voice of advocate artists while raising public awareness for social global causes,” will do so with a roster of films concerning human rights, children’s advocacy, environmental preservation and animal advocacy.
Opening the festival (7 p.m., March 25th) is “Sutton: A Man For All Seasons.” This documentary reveals the legacy of Harlem fixture Percy Sutton. In the director’s chair is Jamal Jospeh (former Black Panther and current Chairman of Columbia University School of the Arts graduate film program).
March 26th, 7 p.m., “Children of War” follows a group of recently escaped Ugandan child soldiers as they undergo emotional and spiritual healing. Directly following is “Intelligent Life” — which makes a case that the horrors of modern American life can be corrected before the consequences are irreparable.
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
At 32 Second Ave (at 2nd St.). Call 212-505-5181 or visit www.anthologyfilmarchives.org.
Anthology’s quest to “preserve, exhibit, and promote public and scholarly understanding of independent, classic, and avant-garde cinema” translates into screenings of over 900 film and video programs annually.
Their “Essential Cinema” series rescues the classics from DVD and returns them to the big screen where they belong. Cinema doesn’t get much more essential than Jean Renoir’s “The Rules of The Game.” This scathing 1939 film satirizes the French ruling class by revealing the affairs and betrayals that take place during time spent at a country estate. Don’t go looking for a happy ending. But if you do go, be there at 3:30 p.m. on April 24th and 25th.
April 9th-15th, the New York premiere of “It Came from Kuchar.” In the 1950s, twin brothers George and Mike grew up in the Bronx — creating works on film and video. Years later, their innovative camera work and sly sense of humor would win over converts such as John Waters, Buck Henry and Guy Maddin (all of whom appear in this film to lavish praise on the Kuchar brothers).
At 323 Sixth Ave. (at West Third St.) Call 212-924-7771. For the Box Office, call 212- 924-5246 or visit www.ifccenter.com.
Open since 2005, it’s hard to imagine the neighborhood without this three-screen source of independent, foreign and documentary features.
If you didn’t get your fill of drama during the Oscars, IFC continues the James Cameron (“Avatar”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”). The (friendly?) rivalry from the former married couple continues with IFC’s “Bigelow vs. Cameron” series. It’s been going on since Feb. 26th. Catch the tail end by screening Bigelow’s 1995 film “Strange Days” on March 26th/27th. Then, on April 2nd/3rd, it’s Cameron’s “Aliens.” April 9th/10th, it’s Bigelow’s “Near Dark”. The series wraps up April 16th/17th with Cameron’s 1984 calling card to fame: “The Terminator.”
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., “The New York International Children’s Film Festival” screens kid-friendly flicks. Check out www.gkids.com for the schedule.
VILLAGE EAST CINEMA
At 181 Second Avenue. Call 212-529-6799 or visit www.villageeastcinema.com.
The sister space of Angelika Film Center began its life as “The Yiddish Art Theater” way back in 1926. These days, it’s a seven-screen movie theater featuring “an eclectic mix of programming, from commercial blockbusters to the finest in independent film” Presently, that translates into flicks including “Up,” “The Blind Side,” “Precious” and “The Last Station.”
At 22 East 12th St. (btw. University Place & 5th Ave.). Call 212-924-3363 or visit www.cinemavillage.com.
Built in 1963 “in the shell of a turn of the century fire station,” Cinema Village’s three screens thrive thanks to the fact that they “exist where we are: in the midst of most diverse, cosmopolitan and cine-aware of cities.”
Those who speak Mandarin will have a leg up on those who divide their time between reading the subtitles and soaking in the action — when the 2007 China/Hong Kong-made film “The Warlords” screens. This Jet Li actioner takes place during the 1860s Taiping Rebellion. Li is General Pang — who, after his soldiers are slaughtered, takes up with bandits. Revenge soon must share equal billing with lust — as Pang and one of his new allies both all for a beautiful courtesan (opens April 2nd).
Opening April 23rd, “Breathe Made Visible” is a 2009 Swiss film about American dance pioneer Anna Halprin. Archival footage and recent interviews (with the likes of the late Merce Cunningham) reveal Halprin’s lasting influence.
LANDMARK SUNSHINE CINEMA
At 143 E. Houston St.; call 212-330-8182 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Singles and disgruntled seniors, be warned! Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m., caregivers and their babies swarm the seats and the aisles for “Rattle & Reel” screenings. Adults pay normal admission prices; admission for all babies? Free! Tickets available at the box office only on the day of show.
When the tots are asleep, The “Sunshine at Midnight” series offers $9.99 tickets and screens films of decidedly adult fare. April 30th and May 1st, it’s Oliver Stone’s enduring affront: “Natural Born Killers.
Now playing, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” gets the thumbs up from The Villager’s resident film critic. See Ed Koch’s review on this very page. Also generating good buzz, and currently playing, is “The Runaways.” It’s the story of Joan Jett’s early-career band The Runaways. Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Joan Jett has been praised by the legend herself (who cooperated with the making of this film).
Want to win a Gibson USA Les Paul Jr guitar? Sunshine is giving one away to celebrate the release of Jonathan Demme’s new concert documentary: “Neil Young Trunk Show.” To snag that guitar, autographed by Young himself, go to Sunshine’s website. There, you’ll find an incredibly easy Demme-based trivia question and information about how to (armed with the answer) enter the contest.