IFC Center’s “Movie Nights” program returns this summer for three evenings with independent filmmaker Jem Cohen (“Chain,” “Benjamin Smoke,” “Instrument”). In its “Movie Night” series, the IFC Center turns over a theater to special guests and lets them call the shots. Audiences can discover what some of their favorite authors, musicians, artists, and filmmakers would pick if it were Movie Night at their house. Cohen will present sneak previews, premieres and rarities, along with discussions with such special guests as Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto of Fugazi and filmmaker/photographer John Cohen.
The program kicks off with “Film and the Folk/Punk Connection” on Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30, which includes screenings of John Cohen’s 1963 music documentary “The High Lonesome Sound;” Jem Cohen’s “Nice Evening,” “Transmission Down,” a portrait of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous; a short film of Patti Smith’s cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”; never-before-seen outtakes from Jem’s Fugazi film “Instrument”; and other surprises, along with guests John Cohen and Ian MacKaye (The Evens, Fugazi, Minor Threat). A live performance by folk musician Jessy Carolina will set the stage for the evening. As he began defining his artistic style, Jem Cohen found a template not in the film world, but in the D.I.Y. music scene that erupted in Washington D.C. in the late 70’s. “Folk, punk, and underground filmmaking seem inherently related art forms: regionally vital, anti-establishment, both carrying and bending their traditional lineages,” he notes. “As we explore how these realms connect through the moving image, I hope to unearth some essential truths about independence.”
The series continues with two more movie nights. On Tuesday, August 11, Cohen screens “Empires of Tin,” a presentation of Jem Cohen’s “documentary musical hallucination” about empire, which will include film, readings, and music. On Thursday, September 3, Cohen will present a program called “Shorts, Rarities and Things to Come” with unseen films old and new, excerpts from recent collaborations and a glimpse at the methods behind the madness. For more information, click here.