Who: Kevin Smith, DJ Steve Reynolds
What: Nitehawk Cinema and BuzzFeed Throwback Theater present free outdoor screening of Mallrats (Kevin Smith, 1995)
Where: 50 Kent Ave. between North 11th & North 12th Sts.
When: Tuesday, August 4, free with advance RSVP, doors open at 5:00, music at 7:00, film at sunset
Why: Writer, director, and costar Kevin Smith will be in Williamsburg on Tuesday night for a Q&A prior to a free twentieth anniversary screening of his 1995 cult fave, Mallrats, in which he plays Silent Bob to Jason Mewes’s Jay. Also in the cast are Ben Affleck, Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Priscilla Barnes, Michael Rooker, Joey Lauren Adams, Ethan Suplee, Claire Forlani, and, as himself, comic book legend Stan Lee. Mallrats deals with difficult breakups, game shows, Magic Eye pictures, pre-Paul Blart mall security guards, the Easter Bunny, sex, and general loitering. Advance RSVP is required but doesn’t guarantee entry to the event, which also includes a set by DJ Steve “Party Like It’s 1999” Reynolds and such food trucks as OddFellows Ice Cream, Luzzo’s Pizza, Best Buds Burritos, and Landhaus. Smith recently confirmed that he is in the process of making a Mallrats sequel, so this is a great opportunity to hear him discuss the underrated original as well as what’s coming next for these crazy characters.
BLACK SABBATH (Mario Bava, 1963-64)
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave. at Second St.
Saturday, August 1, 6:45, Tuesday, August 4, 7:00, and Saturday, August 8, 9:00
Series runs through July 31 - September 3
The film that gave Ozzy Osbourne’s band its name, Black Sabbath is just about everything you could want such a movie to be: cheap, exploitive, and featuring Boris Karloff, with nods to great French and Russian storytellers. (Um, sure . . . of course.) Founded in 1954 by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, American International Pictures was responsible for hundreds of low-budget independent films through 1980, specializing in horror, Westerns, blaxploitation, sci-fi, biker flicks, teen delinquency, women in prison, and even beach movies. Anthology Film Archives is paying tribute to the famed studio with a three-part series that begins July 31 by focusing on auteurs who either cut their teeth with AIP or were already well established. It’s quite a list; through September 3, Anthology will be screening works by Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Vincente Minnelli, Brian De Palma, and Roger Corman, who will make several appearances at the downtown movie house. Also on the roster is Italian scaremaster Mario Bava, whose Black Sabbath will be shown August 1, 4, and 8. Black Sabbath is, appropriately enough, an anthology of three short films hosted by Boris Karloff, a kind of melding of Karloff’s Thriller television series with Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. The Italian-French coproduction was significantly changed by AIP, altering the order of the films and drastically modifying one of the plots. Black Sabbath opens with “A Drop of Water,” supposedly based on a short story by Anton Chekhov. Late one night, nurse Helen Chester (Jacqueline Pierreux) is summoned by an elderly caretaker (Milly Monti) to a stately home where a medium — sporting perhaps the most frightening face ever on a dead person, with dark, deep-set eyes and a viciously wicked smile that makes her look like an evil doll — has died during a séance. After stealing the medium’s ring off her finger, Helen is suddenly taunted by a buzzing fly and drops of water, evoking what was experienced by the killer in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” who was haunted by the unending sound of a beating heart. (Perhaps not coincidentally, AIP was famous for its Poe adaptations.) The conclusion is truly chilling, with a cool little coda.
In “The Telephone,” the glamorous Rosy (Michele Mercier) returns to her apartment one night after an undisclosed outing and is harassed by a man who keeps calling her on her awesome black and red phone, the severity of his threats growing each time she picks up. When the man claims to be the recently deceased Frank, she turns to a former friend, Mary (Lydia Alfonsi), for help, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to save her from this supernatural peril. The Italian original had a tasty soupçon of lesbianism and prostitution, which was washed clean by AIP, but “The Telephone,” possibly inspired by works by F. G. Snyder and Guy de Maupassant, is still a creepy little story that holds up well in this surveillance-crazed age. The trilogy of terror concludes with the heavily atmospheric vampire yarn “The Wurdalak,” adapted from a novella by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy. In nineteenth-century Russia, a family awaits the return of its patriarch, Gorca (Karloff, looking like a cross between the Grinch, the Gremlin from the 1963 Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” and the Abominable Snowman), who has gone off to kill a wurdulak, a living cadaver that feasts on the blood of loved ones. Gorca’s son Giorgio (Glauco Onorato), Giorgio’s wife (Rika Dialina), their young son, Ivan, and Giorgio’s younger siblings, Pietro (Massimo Righi) and Sdenka (Susy Andersen), are joined unexpectedly by Vladimir Durfe (Mark Damon), a traveling nobleman who discovers a man with a knife in him outside the family’s cottage. But when Gorca finally shows up, there is something different about him, and the members of the clan must decide whether he’s still their father or if he’s been turned, coming home to feast on his family.
Black Sabbath might be minor Bava, but it’s a great place to start if you know little or nothing about the Italian director, who made such other films as Black Sunday, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, and Kill, Baby, Kill before passing away in 1980 at the age of sixty-five. Black Sabbath has that classic Bava look and feel, with colorful, lush sets, eerie cinematography by Bava and Ubaldo Terzano, captivating suspense, and essentially competent acting with questionable dubbing. Karloff has a ball both as the host of the whole thing and the star of the third film, chewing up the scenery with his playful eyes and mocking brow. He would go on to make a bunch of films for AIP, including Corman’s The Terror and The Raven, Daniel Haller’s Die, Monster, Die! and Jacques Tourneur’s The Comedy of Terrors, alongside such fab costars as Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre. American International served as a training ground for up-and-comers as well as a last bastion for aging actors and directors, and the strange and scary Black Sabbath fits right into their majestic raison d’être.
Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 1, 8, 15, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
Now in its sixth year, Summer Streets takes place the next three Saturday mornings, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, slide, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can stop for some food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle workshops, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are some of the highlights.
Foley Square Rest Stop
Slide the City (advance preregistration required,) “ICY SIGNS” by Steve ESPO Powers, Free Style Soccer with NYC Flo, Historical Reenactors with Ben Franklin, and The Mantises Are Flipping W.3 by Bodystories: Teresa Fellion Dance + John Yannelli with members of the SLC Experimental Music Ensemble, 10:00 – 10:35, 10:55 – 11:35, 12 noon – 1:00 (August 15 only, 26 Federal Plaza)
SoHo Rest Stop
Fitness Classes, Free Bike Repair by Bicycle Habitat, Bike & Roll Bike Rental, Honest Tea, Waterfront Alliance Table
Astor Place Rest Stop
American Kennel Club Dog Park, Department of Design and Construction Arts & Crafts Workshop, Therapeutic Arts by Wheeling Forward, Guided and Self-Guided Walking Tours
Midtown Rest Stop
Whole Foods Market Summer Camp, CitiBike Information & Education, live music and dance performances, juggling, and tai chi demonstrations
Uptown Rest Stop
DOT Safety Zone, “The Postcard Project” by Connie Perry, Parkour Fitness Demonstrations, Serious Fun Children’s Network Workshop, Central Park Sightseeing Bike Rental, Bronx Museum of the Arts: Arts & Crafts with Artist Educators, live music, dance, and comedy performances
I WAS THERE: THE MUSIC DOCS OF JULIEN TEMPLE — JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN (Julien Temple, 2007)
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway
Saturday, August 1, 3:30
Festival runs July 29 - August 7
Director Julien Temple, who has made two outstanding documentaries about the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and the Fury), turns his camera on Joe Strummer of the British punk group the Clash in The Future Is Unwritten. Temple collects remarkable home movies of Strummer, from his early days as young John Mellor, a career diplomat’s son, through his time as the leader of one of the most famous and controversial bands in the world and his death at the age of fifty from a congenital heart defect. Strummer’s friends and family gather around a campfire in Brooklyn’s Empire St.-Fulton Ferry Park and talk about Strummer’s life and career, sharing keen insight in a format that the musician loved; his campfire get-togethers came to be known as Strummerville, a place for people to assemble and discuss life, art, and anything else that came to mind. Temple adds lots of footage of the Clash in action, as well as clips from Strummer’s earlier band, the 101ers, made up of squatters fighting the power, and his last band, the Mescaleros. Temple also brings some of Strummer’s drawings to life, animating them in humorous ways. Strummer essentially narrates the film himself, as Temple includes audio excerpts from Strummer’s “Last Call” radio show and interviews he gave over the years. Temple, a close friend of Strummer’s, paints a fascinating portrait of the complex man, featuring stories from the likes of Bono, Johnny Depp, Flea, Mele Mel, Courtney Love Cobain, Martin Scorsese, Steve Jones, John Cusack, Matt Dillon, Steve Buscemi, Damien Hirst, Roland Gift, Don Letts, Mick Jones, and many others. And there’s lots of music as well, of course, including several versions of “White Riot.” The Future Is Unwritten is screening August 1 at 3:30 in the “I Was There: The Music Docs of Julien Temple” sidebar of Lincoln Center’s annual “Sound + Vision” series, which also includes The Filth and the Fury, The Clash: New Year’s Day ’77, Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come, Ray Davies: Imaginary Man, Glastonbury, Never Mind the Baubles: Christmas with the Sex Pistols, and The Liberty of Norton Folgate, with Temple on hand for various introductions and Q&As.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, August 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00
After taking last month off because of the July 4 holiday, the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturday program is back August 1 with a celebration of Caribbean Heritage in preparation for the annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade on Labor Day. There will be live performances by BombaYo, the Braata Folk Singers, Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca, and Klash City Sound System and Supa Frendz; a printmaking workshop; a pop-up carnival with poet Arielle John; a book club talk with Naomi Jackson about her new novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill; and screenings of Black Radical Imagination shorts, clips from Taboo Yardies hosted by director Selena Blake, Jonathan David Kane’s Papa Machete, followed by a Q&A with Kane, and Cecile Emeke’s webseries Ackee & Saltfish, followed by a talkback with Emeke. In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” “The Rise of Sneaker Culture,” “Kara Walker: ‘African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence,” and “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds.”
CARMEN & GEOFFREY (Linda Atkinson & Nick Doob, 2006)
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center
144 West 65th St. between Amsterdam & Columbus Aves.
Saturday, August 1, free, 1:00
Carmen & Geoffrey is an endearing look at Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder’s lifelong love affair with dance — and each other. The New Orleans-born de Lavallade studied with Lester Horton and went to high school with Alvin Ailey, whom she brought to his first dance class. Best known as a pitchman for 7UP (the “uncola”) and playing the intriguing Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die, Trinidadian Holder was a larger-than-life gentle giant who was a dancer, choreographer, composer, costume designer, actor, stage director, writer, photographer, painter, and just about anything else he wanted to be. The two met when they both were cast in Truman Capote and Harold Arlen’s Broadway show House of Flowers in 1954, with Holder instantly falling in love with de Lavallade; they remained together until Holder’s death this past October at the age of eighty-four. Directors Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob combine amazing archival footage — of Eartha Kitt, Josephine Baker, Ulysses Dove, de Lavallade dancing with Ailey, and other splendid moments — with contemporary rehearsal scenes, dance performances, and interviews with such stalwarts as dance critic Jennifer Dunning, former Alvin Ailey artistic director Judith Jamison, and choreographer Joe Layton (watch out for his eyebrows), along with family members and Gus Solomons jr, who still works with de Lavallade, and Dudley Williams, who just died last month. The film was made on an extremely low budget, and it shows, but it is filled with such glorious footage that you’ll get over that quickly. Carmen & Geoffrey, along with additional rare archival footage, is screening August 1 as part of the free Lincoln Center Out of Doors program “A Celebration of the Life of Geoffrey Holder” and will be preceded by the panel discussion “The Life and Work of Geoffrey Holder” with Doob and Atkinson, moderated by Leo Holder, Geoffrey and de Lavallade’s son. Fans should also check out the new exhibition “The Genius of Geoffrey Holder,” on view through August 29 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Who: D. A. Pennebaker, David Bowie fans and wannabes
What: Outdoor screening of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (D. A. Pennebaker, 1973), introduced by the director, preceded by Night of 1000 Bowies’ Dance Party and Look-a-Like Contest with DJ Cosmo Baker
When: Monday, July 27, free, 6:30
Where: Morningside Park, 113th St. & Morningside Dr.
Why: A few weeks ago, a young woman we work with had no idea who Ziggy Stardust was. Well, she’ll know all about the David Bowie alter ego if she attends what should be a wild night July 27 in Morningside Park, which begins with a dance party and Bowie look-alike contest, followed by a screening of Pennebaker’s 1973 film, with Pennebaker on hand to talk about the work, which documented the July 3, 1973, performance of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Bowie’s record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, came during a particularly fruitful period, right in between Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane. The soundtrack features such Bowie greats as “Moonage Daydream,” “Space Oddity,” “Cracked Actor,” “Changes,” “Suffragette City,” and “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” as well as the Bowie-penned Mott the Hoople hit “All the Young Dudes” and covers of the Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and the Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat.” The evening is presented by Maysles Cinema and Reel Harlem: The Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival.