In a few weeks the fifth annual BAMcinemaFest at the Brooklyn Academy of Music kicks off, bringing a wide array of stellar content to New York’s hippest borough. Today, the full line-up has been revealed for the festival, which runs from June 19th to the 28th, which includes the New York premiere of the documentary “Peaches Does Herself” about punky synth pop star Peaches (complete with a live performance by the star) and the New York premiere of “I Used to Be Darker,” the new film by Matthew Porterfield. Get your subway tickets ready: it’s going to be a good one.
On Tuesday, June 25th, “Peaches Does Herself” will have its New York premiere. Anyone familiar with the aggressively avant garde pop rocker will undoubtedly want to show up (she’s kind of the best) and the documentary promises a campaign of shock and awe, complete with “cameos by stripper Sandy Kane and transsexual porn star Dannii Daniels.” In other words: you might want to leave mom at home. What’s more is that right after the screening, Peaches, presumably doing herself, will perform live at BAMcafe with Kane in attendance as a “guest performer.”
Similarly the premiere of “I Used to Be Darker,” an indie drama, will be followed on June 21st by a performance by Kim Taylor, who stars in the film. Also making its New York premiere is the SXSW Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary feature “William and the Windmill,” about a Malawian teenager who builds a homemade windmill in the hopes that it will rescue his family from poverty.
Additionally there will be two shorts programs at the festival this year – a Narrative Shorts Program and a Documentary Shorts program, both stocked with exceptional content. This year’s main slate features 24 feature films with 23 New York premieres and one world premiere, with a bevy of great movies including: “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “The Spectacular Now,” “Drinking Buddies,” “Computer Chess” and more. For more information and tickets head to BAM.org. Full lineup below.
Brooklyn, NY/May 24, 2013—BAMcinématek announces the full schedule for the fifth annual BAMcinemaFest (Jun 19—28) including special events, an added film to the main slate, guests, and shorts programs.
On Tuesday, June 25, BAMcinemaFest presents the New York premiere of Peaches Does Herself, starring the cult synth-punk musician and performance artist, on the Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater. Known for her audaciously foul-mouthed lyrics and gender-bending persona (as well as high-profile collaborations with everyone from Iggy Pop to Christina Aguilera), the cult Canadian electroclash star directs herself in this no-holds-barred rock opera, which tells the loosely autobiographical tale of her rise to stardom and romance that ends in heartbreak. This filmed version of her epic stage performance in Berlin bursts with nudity, pink underwear, and shocking cameos by stripper Sandy Kane and transsexual porn star Dannii Daniels, bringing Peaches’ unique brand of post-feminist, shock-rock cabaret to shameless cinematic life. Following the screening, Peaches will perform live at BAMcafé with guest performer Kane.
Following the New York premiere screening of I Used to Be Darker, Matthew Porterfield’s (Putty Hill, BAMcinemaFest 2010) lo-fi chronicle of a family’s dissolution, on Friday, June 21 at 6:45pm, country-soul musician Kim Taylor performs live at BAMcafé. Taylor makes her film debut in Porterfield’s film as Kim, a bohemian singer-songwriter on the verge of divorce when her runaway niece shows up unannounced and seeks refuge in their dysfunctional home. Drawing comparisons to Cat Power and Loretta Lynn, Taylor has released five acclaimed studio albums and has been called “the next great troubadour…a great talent coming into her own” (Caroline Klibanoff, Paste).
Ben Nabors’ SXSW Grand Jury Prize winning documentary William and the Windmill is the 23rd New York premiere in this year’s main slate, screening Saturday, June 22 at 1:30pm. Out of bottle caps, bicycle parts, and other scraps of junk, a Malawian teenager too poor to afford school tuition pulls off a miraculous feat of engineering: constructing a bare-bones power-generating windmill he hopes will pull his family out of famine and poverty. This eye-opening documentary dives into the aftermath of his inspiring achievement, as he becomes a hero and a symbol of hope across the globe—and is forced to cope with the increasingly heavy burden of his ingenious creation. Nabors will appear in person for a Q&A following the screening.
BAMcinemaFest also hosts two shorts programs: a Narrative Shorts Program on Thursday, June 20 at 9:30pm and a Documentary Shorts Program on Thursday, June 27 at 9:30pm, featuring 14 films with 10 New York premieres and one world premiere. Highlights of the narrative program include: the New York premiere of BAMcinemaFest alum Dustin Guy Defa’s (Family Nightmare, BAMcinemaFest 2011) Lydia Hoffman, Lydia Hoffman, which stars I Used to Be Darker’s Hannah Gross as a woman who invites a vagabond into her home and was shot by talented indie DP Sean Price Williams (Somebody Up There Likes Me, The Color Wheel); the New York premiere of the Rockaway Beach-set The Sun Thief, by Jason Giampietro (editor of BAMcinemaFest main slate world premiere Hellaware), which features indie music talent Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) and Alejandra Deheza (School of Seven Bells); and When We Lived in Miami, Amy Seimetz’s (Sun Don’t Shine) latest film, which she directed, wrote, and stars in, about a woman dealing with unresolved feelings for her ex while cooped up during Hurricane Isaac. The documentary program features the New York premiere of Century, acclaimed avant-garde filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson’s 16mm ode to a Buick Century, which meets its fate; Sergio Oksman’s A Story for the Modlins, a speculative portrait of hermetic Rosemary’s Baby extra Elmer Modlin, who withdrew from society with his wife and child and spent 30 years alone in a dark apartment leaving only a box of evocative mementos behind; and the New York premiere of Michael Almereyda’s (Hamlet, Nadja) chronicle of a small fishing village, Skinningrove, which won the Short Film Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance.
Finally, BAMcinemaFest continues its yearly tradition of hosting an outdoor screening in conjunction with New York’s top outdoor festival Rooftop Films, with Drinking Buddies, Joe Swanberg’s fresh and seductive romantic comedy starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, and Ron Livingston. The screening takes place on Thursday, June 27 at 8:30pm in the parking lot across from BAM on Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place.
In its first five years, BAMcinemaFest has presented the New York premieres of many high-profile American indies, including Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me (2012), Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture (2010), Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson (2009), Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011), Alex Ross Perry’s The Color Wheel (2011), and many others, along with spotlight screenings of Academy Award-nominated films Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop (2009) and Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012).
This edition’s main slate showcases a total of 24 features, with 23 New York premieres and one world premiere; the full lineup and schedule are below.
HT = Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater
BRC = BAM Rose Cinemas
Wed, Jun 19
7:30pm: Opening Night—Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (HT)
Thu, Jun 20
7pm: This is Martin Bonner (BRC)
7:30pm: Spotlight Screening—The Spectacular Now (HT)
9:30pm: Short Narrative Program (BRC)
Fri, Jun 21
6:45pm: I Used to be Darker—Followed by a live performance by Kim Taylor (BRC)
7:30pm: Spotlight Screening—Crystal Fairy (HT)
9:30pm: It Felt Like Love (BRC)
Sat, Jun 22
1:30pm: William and the Windmill (BRC)
4pm: After Tiller (BRC)
6:45pm: Mother of George (BRC)
9:30pm: Hellaware (BRC)
Sun, Jun 23
1:30pm: Remote Area Medical (BRC)
4pm: The Cold Lands (BRC)
6:45pm: Computer Chess (BRC)
9:30pm: White Reindeer (BRC)
Mon, Jun 24
7pm: The Crash Reel (BRC)
9:30pm: Museum Hours (BRC)
Tue, Jun 25
7:30pm: Special Event—Peaches Does Herself (HT)—Followed by a live performance by Peaches and Sandy Kane
9:30pm: God Loves Uganda (BRC)
Wed, Jun 26
7pm: C.O.G. (BRC)
9:30pm: These Birds Walk (BRC)
Thu, Jun 27
7pm: Northern Light (BRC)
8:30pm: Outdoor Screening—Drinking Buddies
9:30pm: Short Documentary Program (BRC)
Fri, Jun 28
6:45pm: Continental (BRC)
8:30pm: Closing Night—Short Term 12 (HT)
9:30pm: Newlyweeds (BRC)
Detailed film descriptions for BAMcinemaFest
Most screenings followed by Q&As.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2012, US) 96min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by David Lowery.
With Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine.
Brought to life with exquisite period detail and richly textured cinematography from talented young DP Bradford Young (winner of the US Dramatic Cinematography Award at Sundance for his work on this and
Dosunmu’s Mother of George), the gritty landscape of 1970s Texas Hill Country serves as the backdrop for this mood-drenched collision of love and crime. After his pregnant wife (Rooney Mara) makes one false move during a bloody shootout, a bank robber (Casey Affleck) faces a 25-year sentence that destroys his dreams of a family life. Shot through with the yearning and melancholy of a folk ballad, Lowery’s directorial breakthrough—one of the most acclaimed films at Sundance and a special Critics’ Week selection at Cannes—extends the Bonnie and Clyde tradition with its breathtaking meditation on the fragility and transience of love. An IFC Films release. Opens August 16.
Wed, Jun 19 at 7:30pm Intro with David Lowery, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster
Short Term 12 (2013, US) 96min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Destin Cretton.
With Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Stephanie Beatriz, Rami Malek.
Sincere and emotional but never sentimental, this drama, based on the director’s real-life experience, follows a tenacious young counselor named Grace (United States of Tara’s Brie Larson, in a soul-baring breakthrough performance) who works with her long-term boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr., The Newsroom) in a halfway house for troubled teens. More than just caretakers, they foster relationships with the at-risk patients that are far more therapeutic than their requisite treatments. With handheld camerawork by Brett Pawlak, this extension of the director’s award-winning 2008 short film of the same name is bracingly honest, refreshingly original, and a singular achievement. A Cinedigm release.
Fri, Jun 28 at 7:30pm Q&A with Destin Cretton, Brie Larson, and Keith Stanfield.
Crystal Fairy (2013, Chile) 98min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Sebastián Silva.
With Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva.
An opener at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sebastián Silva’s (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for The Maid) latest is a bizarre, mescaline-driven road trip through Chile. In a frequently hysterical, often cringe-inducing performance, Michael Cera is Jamie, a boorish American expat who, when he’s not inviting transvestite hookers back to his friend’s apartment, is chiefly interested in drug tourism. He and three Chilean brothers plan to set off in search of the prized San Pedro cactus and its promise of beachy hallucinations, but in the previous night’s drunken stupor Jamie invites a free-spirited fellow American (Gaby Hoffmann in a naked performance, literally), whose devil-may-care worldview gives them more of an adventure than any of them had bargained for. An IFC Films release. Opens July 12.
Fri, Jun 21 at 7:30pm Q&A with Sebastián Silva, Michael Cera, and Gaby Hoffmann
The Spectacular Now (2013, US) 99min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by James Ponsoldt.
With Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler.
In this bittersweet coming-of-age dramedy from the writers of (500) Days of Summer, sociable high schooler Sutter (relative newcomer Miles Teller, in a magnetic performance) is endlessly charming and effortlessly popular—never mind that he is also arrogant and reckless and possibly an alcoholic, forever nursing a whiskey-infused 7-11 beverage cup. After a post-breakup all-night binge, he wakes up on the lawn of his classmate Aimee (Shailene Woodley, The Descendants)—a sweet, uncorrupted, and whip-smart girl with spirited ambition despite her uncool status—and the pair instantly connect, for better or worse. Funny and tender with moments of astonishing tragedy, the film co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). An A24 release. Opens August 2.
Thu, Jun 20 at 7:30pm Q&A with James Ponsoldt and Michael Weber
After Tiller (2013, US) 87min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Lana Wilson & Martha Shane.
Forty years after Roe v. Wade, abortion remains a divisive and incendiary national debate. In the aftermath of Dr. George Tiller’s assassination in 2009, only four physicians in the US continue to perform
third trimester abortions, each plagued by constant death threats, protests, and legal battles—all for their steadfast commitment to women’s rights. Filmmaking duo Shane and Wilson bring us this intimate portrait of the intrepid practitioners as they grapple with the ethics that permeate their personal and professional lives. Winner of the Documentary Jury Prize at Sarasota Film Festival. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
Sat, Jun 22 at 4pm Q&A with Lana Wilson & Martha Shane
C.O.G. (2013, US) 88min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez.
With Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, Troian Bellisario, Dale Dickey.
Adapted from a chapter in David Sedaris’ superb story collection Naked , C.O.G. stars musical theater and TV star Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening and Glee) as David, a recent Yale grad who gets his hands dirty at an Oregon apple orchard in a vainglorious search for Thoreau-esque self-discovery. When his best friend and would-be fellow apple picker bails on him, he seeks companionship from a series of mentors (each scarier than the last) who provide harsh lessons on faith, friendship, love, and identity. Charming and witty as the young hero, Groff is the perfect mouthpiece for Sedaris’ indelible voice, and writer-director Alvarez imbues the story with heartbreak and a surprising degree of darkness. A Screen Media release. Opens this September.
Wed, Jun 26 at 7pm Q&A with Kyle Patrick Alvarez
The Cold Lands (2013, US) NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Tom Gilroy.
With Lili Taylor, Silas Yelich, Peter Scanavino.
Eleven-year-old Atticus (Silas Yelich, winner of the Special Jury Prize for Promising Actor at the Nashville Film Festival) and his mother Nicole (Lili Taylor) live a modest life off the grid in the woods of upstate New York. When Nicole dies suddenly after refusing to seek treatment for an illness, Atticus is left to fend for himself. His uncertain future takes a turn when he develops a fast-growing friendship with a weed-smoking necklace salesman. With gorgeous visuals and surprising touches of fantasy, Gilroy captures the dangers and freedoms of living on the margins of American society.
Sun, Jun 23 at 4pm Q&A with Tom Gilroy, Peter Scanavino, and Silas Yelich
Computer Chess (2013, US) NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Andrew Bujalski.
With Wiley Wiggins, Patrick Riester, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Myles Paige, James Curry, Gordon Kindlmann, Jim Lewis, Chris Doubek, Tishuan Scott.
Bujalski, the director of Funny Ha Ha and Beeswax (BAMcinemaFest 2009), is back with a true original—a lo-fi surrealist comedy about an imaginary 1980 chess conference where large, and sometimes hilariously defective, chess-playing computers and their nerdy programmers are pitted against a crusty grandmaster (Boston film critic Gerald Peary) to determine whether man or machine rules supreme. With humor so bone dry that one might mistake his film for a documentary, Bujalski employs a bleary-eyed black-and-white aesthetic by shooting with a vintage Portapak U-Matic video camera, which achieves a retro hyperrealism that mixes beautifully with the film’s shades of deadpan surrealism. A Kino Lorber release. Opens July 17 at Film Forum.
Sun, Jun 23 at 6:45pm
Continental (2013, US) NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Malcolm Ingram.
The Continental opened deep in the basement of New York’s majestic Ansonia Hotel in 1968, advertising the gleaming emporium as akin to “the glory of ancient Rome.” This legendary gay bath house, with a host of amenities including a sauna and swimming pool, a cabaret nightclub, the first light-up dance floor à la Saturday Night Fever, an “orgy room,” and K-Y jelly in the vending machines, was a notorious beacon of hedonism, but it also proved integral to the gay liberation movement of the pre-AIDS era. Hosting a bevy of now-legendary performers such as Cab Calloway, Gladys Knight, the Pointer Sisters, Patti Labelle, and most famously, Bette Midler (aka Bathhouse Betty), with Barry Manilow on the keys,
the Continental shuttered after just seven years. Ingram tells the club’s colorful story in this extraordinary documentary.
Fri, Jun 28 at 6:45pm
The Crash Reel (2013, US) 109min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Lucy Walker.
Once a fearless master of gravity-defying leaps and mid-air flips, champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered massive head trauma after an accident in 2009—a brush with death that brought his Olympics-bound career to a sudden halt. Oscar-nominated documentarian Lucy Walker brings together a wealth of vérité footage, juxtaposing years of astonishing airborne feats with an unflinching look at Pearce’s long and agonizing rehabilitation. The result is an unforgettable testament to the passion of a phenomenal athlete and the tireless support of the family and friends who guide him through his recovery. An HBO Documentary Films release. Debuts on HBO on Monday, July 15.
Mon, Jun 24 at 7pm Q&A with Lucy Walker
Drinking Buddies (2013, US) 90min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Joe Swanberg.
With Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, Frank V. Ross, Mike Brune, Joe Swanberg.
The ever-prolific Joe Swanberg (who has directed 15 films in less than a decade) delivers this seductive rom-com, a departure from his previous work. At a Chicago microbrewery, smitten coworkers Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson, Safety Not Guaranteed) are a little too friendly considering they’re both unavailable: Kate keeps it casual with gregarious rich guy Chris (Ron Livingston), while Luke’s longtime sweetheart (Anna Kendrick) has marriage on the brain. When all four go on a camping trip, this frothy romance turns into something a lot harder to swallow. A Magnolia Pictures release. Available on VOD July 25 and in theaters August 23.
Thu, Jun 27 at 8:30pm Q&A with Joe Swanberg
God Loves Uganda (2013, US) 83min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Roger Ross Williams.
Shifting between Kansas City and Uganda, this provocative exposé reveals the inner workings of a group of American missionaries who have instilled a virulently conservative ideology in Uganda by influencing public policy. Their mission is to eradicate “sexual sin” with abstinence-only sex education and brutal punishment of homosexuality. Fueled by outrage and with a sharp journalistic alertness to his complex subject, Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams has already stirred controversy with this powerful polemic.
Tue, Jun 25 at 9:30pm
Hellaware (2013, US) 75min World Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Michael M. Bilandic.
With Keith Poulson, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sophia Takal.
An aspiring but less than ambitious photographer Nate (Keith Poulson, Somebody Up There Likes Me) clumsily navigates the New York City art world in a post-grad haze, waiting for his breakthrough project to fall into his lap. During a drug-fueled wormhole through the annals of YouTube, Nate discovers his next subject when an arbitrary click lands him on a crude music video by the Young Torture Killaz—an Insane Clown Posse knock-off group of jaded Delaware teens with a lot to scream about—and the inspiration (and exploitation) flows. BAMcinemaFest alumnae Kate Lyn Sheil and Sophia Takal (Green) co-star in this satirical snapshot of New York City pretension.
Sat, Jun 22 at 9:30pm Q&A with Michael M. Bilandic
I Used to be Darker (2013, US) 90min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Matthew Porterfield.
With Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace, Nick Petr.
After a seaside summer gone sour, Northern Irish runaway Taryn crashes at the Baltimore home of her aunt and uncle just as their marriage is falling apart. Drawing inspiration from the Bill Callahan song “Jim Cain”—“I used to be darker, then I got lighter, then I got dark again / Something too big to be seen was
passing over and over me”—Porterfield (Putty Hill, BAMcinemaFest 2010) confronts the pain of a family’s dissolution in the form of this naturalistic, lo-fi musical. A Strand Releasing film.
Fri, Jun 21 at 6:45pm Q&A with Matthew Porterfield, Kim Taylor, and Deragh Campbell
It Felt Like Love (2013, US) 82min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Eliza Hittman.
With Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nicolas Rosen, Richie Folio, Kevin Anthony Ryan, Case Prime.
Evoking the unsentimental honesty of Maurice Pialat and Catherine Breillat, Brooklyn native Eliza Hittman’s debut feature explores feelings of fear and shame that tend to be elided in more conventional coming-of-age films. During an uneventful summer, lonely Lila develops an unhealthy fixation on an older thug. Deluded and awkward in her romantic pursuit, she soon finds herself in a dangerously vulnerable situation. Set in South Brooklyn, Hittman’s film offers a glimpse of a local milieu that is often overlooked.
Fri, Jun 21 at 9:30pm Q&A with Eliza Hittman, Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, and additional cast
Mother of George (2013, US) 106min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Andrew Dosunmu.
With Danai Gurira, Isaach De Bankole, Yaya Alafia, Tony Okungbowa, Bukky Ajayi, Angélique Kidjo.
In a flurry of dazzling colors, textiles, music, and dance, Brooklyn restaurant owner Ayodele and his bride Adenike (The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira) are married and ceremoniously blessed with traditional Nigerian prayers of fertility. Adenike struggles to conceive a child, and with mounting pressure from her oppressive mother-in-law, she must take drastic measures to save her marriage. With sumptuous, spellbinding cinematography from DP Bradford Young (Pariah, Middle of Nowhere), Andrew Dosunmu’s (Restless City) exquisite sophomore feature is an enlightening look at immigrant life, capturing the vibrant culture of Crown Heights’ Yoruba community. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
Sat, Jun 22 at 6:45pm Q&A with Andrew Dosunmu
Museum Hours (2013, US/Austria) 107min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Jem Cohen.
With Mary Margaret O’Hara, Bobby Sommer, Ela Piplits.
Infused with a sense of wonder at art’s ability to console in times of darkness, acclaimed media artist Jem Cohen’s breakthrough feature film captures the beauty of Vienna in winter from the perspective of two unlikely new friends. A Canadian woman (singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara) visits an ailing family member and finds solace in the majestic Kunsthistorisches Art Museum, where she meets a soft-spoken middle-aged guard who offers to keep her company on her trip. As they stroll through the city streets, observing how the paintings of the Old Masters reverberate throughout the snow-covered landscape, their meandering conversation gives way to candid exchanges on art, grief, and love. A Cinema Guild release. Opens June 28 at IFC Center.
Mon, Jun 24 at 7pm
Newlyweeds (2013, US) 87min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Shaka King.
With Amari Cheatom, Trae Harris, Tone Tank, Colman Domingo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Adrian Martinez.
Rent-to-own repo man Lyle and his girlfriend Nina are a Brooklyn couple united through a deep and meaningful love of plants—specifically, the fragrant, desiccated kind that you pack into a pipe and puff on. Dispassionately whiling away their days at their jobs and spending evenings in an amorous haze, the wake-and-bake lovebirds must reevaluate their relationship and their lifestyle after a series of rambling and episodic errors, marked by jealousy and poor judgment. With a vaporous mix of tones and emotional shifts, this stoner comedy cum melodrama is no cautionary tale or screed against (or for) Mary Jane, but is ultimately a bittersweet tale about how this couple deals with life and love once the smoke clears. A Phase 4 Films release.
Fri, Jun 28 at 9:30pm Q&A with Shaka King
Northern Light (2013, US) 105min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Nick Bentgen.
From the frozen woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula emerge three families, each weathering the challenges of recession-era America while preparing for the Sault Ste. Marie I-500, an annual snowmobile marathon. First-time director Bentgen’s gentle observational gaze and meticulously framed, breathtaking images form the nexus of this nuanced portrait of Midwestern working-class life. An official selection of True/False and Hot Docs and winner of Most Innovative Feature Film at Visions du Reel.
Thu, Jun 27 at 7pm Q&A with Nick Bentgen and producer Lisa Kjerulff
Remote Area Medical (2013, US) 80min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman.
Amid the nation’s ongoing debate over health care reform, this bracing new documentary examines the everyday realities of Americans who lack access to affordable medical treatment. Filmed during three days in the operation of a “no-cost” clinic set up annually at Bristol, Tennessee’s NASCAR speedway, Remote Area Medical documents the range of medical care the eponymous organization provides to low-income patients in the heart of Appalachia. In the process, this moving film, which won the Special Jury Prize at IFF Boston, reveals the spirit of a community, the fragility of the human body, and the inequality of our broken health care system.
Sun, Jun 23 at 1:30pm Q&A with Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman
These Birds Walk (2013, US/Pakistan) 71min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq.
Pushing cinema vérité to its raw emotional limits, this hard-bitten portrait of Karachi’s underclass is also an ode to the beauty and anguish of childhood that has earned it comparisons to François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. For their extraordinary debut feature, Mullick and Tariq traveled to Pakistan to raise awareness about the work of aging humanitarian Abdul Satar Edhi, the man behind the nation’s largest philanthropic organization. Immersing themselves in the lives of the countless runaways crowding Edhi’s orphanages, they emerged with this heartbreaking chronicle of poverty and street life seen through the eyes of the young and vulnerable, with a lyricism that honors the resilience of its subjects. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
Wed, Jun 26 at 9:30pm Q&A with Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq
This is Martin Bonner (2013, US) 83min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Chad Hartigan.
With Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet, Demetrius Grosse.
In this reflective and absorbing drama, a divorced middle-aged Australian expat (Paul Eenhorn), adrift in his adopted country, moves to Reno, where he takes a job at a Christian charity that eases newly released prisoners back into society. Through this work he meets just-released felon Travis (Richmond Arquette), who is struggling to adjust to the world after 12 years in prison. Finding kinship in their shared feeling of being lost, the two men form an unlikely friendship. Understated, affecting performances by the two leads and a rigorous aesthetic earned this gem the Best of NEXT Award at Sundance.
Thu, Jun 20 at 7pm Q&A with Chad Hartigan
White Reindeer (2013, US) 82min NY Premiere—Narrative
Directed by Zach Clark.
With Anna Margaret Hollyman, Laura Lemar-Goldsborough, Lydia Johnson, Joe Swanberg, Christopher Doubek.
A bittersweet, subversive take on the holiday genre that’s drawn comparisons to John Waters and Douglas Sirk, White Reindeer follows a shell-shocked real estate agent (BAMcinemaFest alum Anna Margaret Hollyman, Gayby) who grapples with personal tragedy while fumbling to let loose among the strip clubs, department stores, and swinging new neighbors during one sad, strange December in suburban Virginia. An official selection of SXSW and winner of Best Feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival.
Sun, Jun 23 at 9:30pm Q&A with Zach Clark, Anna Margaret Hollyman, producer Melodie Sisk, producer/cinematographer Daryl Pittman, and composer Fritz Myers
William and the Windmill (2013, US/Malawi/South Africa) 88min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Ben Nabors.
Out of bottle caps, bicycle parts, and other scraps of junk, a Malawian teenager too poor to afford school tuition pulls off a miraculous feat of engineering: constructing a bare-bones power-generating windmill he hopes will pull his family out of famine and poverty. This SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner dives into the aftermath of his inspiring achievement, as this young hero becomes a symbol of hope for Africa watchers across the globe and is forced to cope with the increasingly heavy burden of his ingenious creation.
Sat, Jun 22 at 1:30pm Q&A with Ben Nabors
Special Screening and Live Performance
Peaches Does Herself (2012, US) 80min NY Premiere—Documentary
Directed by Peaches.
Peaches Does Herself follows the musician Peaches through her journey from bedroom wannabe musician to rock star. Through a selection of songs from Peaches’ four albums, a mythical biography is told based on the misconceptions surrounding her image. On the advice of 65-year-old stripper Sandy Kane, Peaches makes music that is sexually forthright. Her popularity grows and she becomes what her fans expect her to be, transsexual. She falls in love but gets her heart broken and has to realize who she really is. Described as an anti-jukebox musical, Peaches Does Herself is also directed and produced by Peaches.
Tue, Jun 25 at 7:30pm Followed by a live performance by Peaches in BAMcafé with guest performer Sandy Kane
Following the New York premiere screening of Matthew Porterfield’s (Putty Hill, BAMcinemaFest 2010) lo-fi chronicle of a family’s dissolution, I Used to Be Darker, on Friday, June 21 at 6:45pm, country-soul musician Kim Taylor performs live in BAMcafé. Taylor, making her film debut, stars as Kim, a bohemian singer-songwriter on the verge of divorce when her runaway niece shows up unannounced and seeks refuge in their dysfunctional home. Drawing comparisons to Cat Power and Loretta Lynn, Taylor has released five acclaimed studio albums and has been called “the next great troubadour…a great talent coming into her own” (Caroline Klibanoff, Paste).
Fri, Jun 21 at 9pm
Short Narrative Program 82min total
Thu, Jun 20 at 9:30pm
Broken Specs (2012, US) 6min NY Premiere
Directed by Ted Fendt.
Mike snaps his glasses in two and sets off on a strange day of running into people he only kind of knows.
Care (2012, US) 22min World Premiere
Directed by Brett Wagner.
Drea is a young woman whose life is just about to happen. But she is starkly alone in caring for her father, who has Alzheimer’s and mistakes her for his wife. When his confusion turns to violence, Drea must confront the limits of her ability to care for him.
Lydia Hoffman, Lydia Hoffman (2013, US) 15min NY Premiere
Directed by Dustin Guy Defa.
A young woman invites a vagabond to stay the night at her house but her feelings of insecurity threaten to overshadow the visit.
The Sun Thief (2013, US) 26min NY Premiere
Directed by Jason Giampietro.
On the day before leaving New York for graduate school in Iowa, a writer’s plan to spend a romantic day at Rockaway Beach with a woman he’s secretly dating is disrupted by an oddball surfer.
When We Lived in Miami (2012, US) 13min
Directed by Amy Seimetz.
Filmed in Miami during Hurricane Isaac, When We Lived in Miami is a hypnotic short about the lengths one woman will go to keep her family from falling apart.
Short Documentary Program 88min total
Thu, Jun 27 at 9:30pm
BROKEN NEWS 1: Disaster (2012, US) 5min NY Premiere
Directed by Lori Felker.
Part one in a series. I read the headlines all day. At night, I recalled what I knew. I went to sleep. I woke myself up. I reported the newest news I could muster. I went back to bed. I forgot what I said. I asked my graphics team to rebuild the news after I broke it.
Catnip: Egress to Oblivion (2012, US) 7min NY Premiere
Directed by Jason Willis.
Catnip is all the rage with today’s modern feline, but do we really understand it? This film frankly presents the facts about this controversial substance.
Century (2012, US) 7min NY Premiere
Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson.
Shot in Charlottesville, Virginia, this short stars a General Motors automobile—the titular brown Buick Century—which meets its fate.
Declaration of War (2013, US) 6min NY Premiere
Directed by Dustin Guy Defa.
This mesmerizing short, a haunting compilation of C-SPAN footage taken from the day George Bush announced “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan, opens a new window into how government officials embraced the war.
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family (2012, US) 11min NY Premiere
Directed by Rachel Mayeri.
Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, like to watch television. But what would a film made expressly for chimps look like? A primatologist stages actors dressed in chimp suits to present a primate drama for chimpanzees at the Edinburgh Zoo.
Skinningrove (2012, US) 15min NY Premiere
Directed by Michael Almereyda.
Photographer Chris Killip shares unpublished images chronicling time that he spent among the fiercely independent residents of a remote English fishing village.
A Story for the Modlins (2012, Spain) 26min
Directed by Sergio Oksman.
This doc tells the tale of Elmer Modlin, who, after appearing in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, fled with his family to a far-off country and shut himself away in a dark apartment for 30 years.
Tina Delivers a Goat (2012, US) 2min NY Premiere
Directed by Joe Callander.
After taking counsel from a local village elder, Tina discovers the benefits of a goat, delivers the goat, says hi to mama and papa and behbeh, takes a photo, and leaves.
When the Zombies Come (2012, US) 9min
Directed by Jon Hurst.
At a remote hardware store, employees have turned their love of zombies into an obsession, which warps their perception of the store and its customers.
The four-screen BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences alternative and independent films that might not play in the borough otherwise, making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily, year-round repertory film program. BAMcinématek presents new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has not only presented major retrospectives by major filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Manoel de Oliveira, Shohei Imamura, Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), Kaneto Shindo, Luchino Visconti, , but it has also introduced New York audiences to contemporary artists such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo, and, most recently, Andrzej Zulawski. From 2006 to 2008, BAMcinématek partnered with the Sundance Institute and in June 2009 launched BAMcinemaFest, a 16-day festival of new independent films and repertory favorites with 15 NY feature film premieres; the fifth annual BAMcinemaFest will run from June 19—28, 2013.