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“Rockets Redglare” and Linklater Short will ‘Howl’ at NYC’s East Village Film Fest

"Rockets Redglare" and Linklater Short will 'Howl' at NYC's East Village Film Fest

“Rockets Redglare” and Linklater Short will ‘Howl’ at NYC’s East Village Film Fest

by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

Pictured is Rockets Redglare, subject of the opening film at the East Village Film Festival. Courtesy: the filmmakers

Sundance 2003 surprise special screener, “Rockets Redglare!” will open New York City’s East Village Film Festival on August 20th as part of the HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts. The documentary by Luis Fernandez de la Reguera is the story of Michael Morra (a.k.a Rockets Redglare) a former body guard to punker Sid Vicious and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who later became an actor and stand-up comedian, including a touring act with Steve Buscemi. Redglare later died of liver failure and hepatitis-C following years of heroin use and other drugs. The film features interviews with Buscemi as well as Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch and Julian Schnabel.

Screening with “Rockets Redglare!” is the world premiere of a short film about the East Village by Steve Buscemi, one of thirteen shorts compiled as five minute portraits of the East Village created by local filmmakers including Buscemi, Michael Almereyda, Larry Fessenden and Nick Zedd.

Among the highlighted features at the festival will be the four films screening in the Sundance Film Series. Sundance fest special jury prize-winner “Die, Mommie, Die” by Mark Rucker and the Spanish film “El Otro lado de la Cama” (The Other Side of the Bed) by Emilio Martinez Lazaro, as well as Michael Winterbottom’s true story of two Afghan boys who travel to London for refuge, “In This World” and Mark Decena’s dot com love story, “Dopamine.”

Other highlights of the fest include a screening of director Richard Linklater’s new short “Live From Shiva’s Dance Floor” featuring “The Cruise” doc subject, Timothy “Speed” Levitch who gives his view on post 9/11 New York. Also slated are feature retrospectives from Taylor Mead, Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith and Shirley Clarke.

The festival will screen over 75 films at seven local venues and will continue through August 26th.

SCOWL, a concurrent film series during the HOWL festival will feature works curated by Richard Hell. Dubbed “a two-week series of anti-social film favorites from ‘Freaks’ to ‘Gummo’,” the program will offer celebrity introductions of films by Jarmusch and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

More than 200 event are scheduled for the HOWL festival, including the traditional Art Around the Park at Tomkins Square Park, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, and the return of the popular drag concert, “Wigstock.”

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