Metrograph Launches Digital Membership Program to Preserve ‘Communal Movie Watching’

Exclusive: Metrograph Digital will kick off this week with Metrograph Live Screenings, which are designed to feel like an in-theater experience.
Jeremy Liebman

As a “normal” moviegoing world continues remains uncertain, quick-thinking adaptation has become the name of the name. New York City’s Metrograph, both a beloved boutique theater and growing distribution label, is leaning into that ethos with the July 24 launch of its Metrograph Digital, a platform that seeks to combine the joy of in-person moviegoing with the safety of at-home viewing.

The first Metrograph Digital initiative set to roll out is Metrograph Live Screenings, which will unspool this week with “a rotating selection of new releases and repertory titles, opening at set showtimes, with introductions, pre-show material, and Q&As specific to every show.” The program will include works by Claire Denis, Éric Rohmer, St. Clair Bourne, Ulrike Ottinger, Alain Resnais, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Satoshi Kon, Laurie Anderson, and Manfred Kirchheimer. Starting July 31, photographer and activist Nan Goldin will become the first guest programmer with a new series crafted to accompany her latest film, “Sirens.”

While Metrograph Digital has been long in the works, the team promises it will “continue and expand long after the theatrical film experience returns. In the coming weeks and months, an expansion of digital initiatives will include ticketed extended engagements on demand (TVOD), as well as expanded editorial coverage and exclusive original video work available exclusively to members.”

“The digital strategy of Metrograph will be to roll out new components through 2020 and beyond,” said Metrograph CEO Christian Grass. “Our goal is to present all the facets of the Metrograph experience — from our distinct film programming, editorial coverage, and original video material — to create a compelling, essential home for anyone who is passionate about movies.”

The Metrograph Live Screenings will include “film-specific pre-shows, introductions, and feature films in the best quality available via a native Metrograph player, complemented by a robust selection of newly commissioned film writing, interviews, and videos on our website, inspiring conversation about movies long after they end.”

To experience Metrograph Live Screenings, audiences will tune in for a live broadcast screening at a scheduled showtime via Metrograph’s livestream player. After each show, a recording of the broadcast will be available on demand for a limited run.

“What’s most exciting to me about Metrograph digital expansion is that it means a larger audience can see more of the films we feel so passionately about, while continually broadening our offerings,” said Jake Perlin, artistic director of Metrograph. “The foundational principle of the Metrograph theater is the pleasure of sharing cinephilia and a view that there are always new filmmakers and ideas to discover from around the world, and with Metrograph Live Screenings, that is now possible online, in addition to our theater.”

Metrograph Live Screenings are automatically available to existing Metrograph members at no cost, and for $5/month or $50/annually through a new Digital Membership available on any computer or mobile device, and connectable to TVs. Find out more here.

Check out the current Metrograph Live Screenings schedule below, with much more to come.

(Screenings introduced by Metrograph programmers)

Opens Friday, July 24 – 8:00pm EST
Claire Denis’s “L’Intrus” (2004) – digital exclusive (A Metrograph Pictures release)
with Bruce Baillie’s “All My Life” (1966)
Through July 27

Opens Monday, July 27 – 8:00pm EST
St. Clair Bourne’s “Paul Robeson: Here I Stand” (1999)
Guest introduction by organizer and cultural historian Kazembe Balagun, Project Manager for Rosa Luxembourg Shiftung New York City
Through July 29

Opens Wednesday, July 29 – 8:00pm EST
Manfred Kirchheimer’s “Bridge High” (1975) and “Stations of the Elevated” (1981)
Guest introduction by Kirchheimer
Through July 31

Opens Friday, July 31 – 8:00pm EST
Nan Goldin’s “Sirens” (2019) – digital premiere
with Vivienne Dick’s “Liberty’s Booty” (1980) and “Beauty Becomes the Beast” (1979)
Guest introduction by Goldin
Through August 2

New Digital Restorations from Canyon Cinema

Opens Sunday, August 2 – 8:00pm EST
Nan Goldin Presents Michael Roemer’s “Nothing But a Man” (1964)
Guest introduction by Goldin
Through August 5

Opens Monday, August 3 – 8:00pm EST
Michael Roemer’s “Nothing But a Man” (1964)
Guest introduction by programmer Melissa Lyde
Through August 5

Opens Tuesday, August 4 – 8:00pm EST
Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway’s “Feed” (1992)
Through August 7

Opens Wednesday, August 5 – 8:00pm EST
Damani Baker and Alex Vlack’s “Still Bill” (1978)
Guest introduction by filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack, and producer/editor Jon Fine
Through August 7

Opens Friday, August 7 – 8:00pm EST
Satoshi Kon Retrospective begins

Opens Monday, August 17 – 8:00pm EST
Jenna Bliss’ “The People’s Detox” (2018)
Guest introduction by Bliss
Through August 19

Opens Wednesday, August 19 – 8:00pm – EST
James Gray’s “Two Lovers” (2008)
Guest introduction by Gray
Through August 21

Opens Friday, August 21 – 8:00pm EST
Judy Irving’s “Dark Circle” (1982) (A First Run Features release)
Guest introduction by Irving
Through August 27

Opens Saturday, August 22 – 8:00pm EST
Alain Resnais’ “Je t’aime, Je t’aime” (1968)
Through August 24

Opens Monday, August 24 – 8:00pm EST
New restoration: “Mayday” (1970)
Restoration courtesy of the Yale Film Archive
Guest introduction by writer and researcher Yasmina Price
Through August 26

Opens Wednesday, August 26 – 8:00pm EST
Laurie Anderson’s “Home of the Brave” (1986)
Through August 28

Opens Friday, August 28 – 8:00pm
Ulrike Ottinger Retrospective – “Ticket of No Return” (1979)
Series continues through September

Opens Sunday, August 30 – 8:00pm
Djibril Diop Mambéty’s “Le Franc” (1994) and “The Little Girl Who Sold The Sun” (1999)
New restorations – (Metrograph Pictures releases)

Opens Tuesday, September 1 – 8:00pm
Djibril Diop Mambéty’s “Hyenas” (1992) – new restoration (A Metrograph Pictures release)
Guest introduction by Boukary Sawadogo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies, City College of NY (CUNY)
Through September 4

Opens Friday, September 4
8:00pm – Éric Rohmer x 3 – “Boyfriends and Girlfriends” (1987)
(A Metrograph Pictures release)
Guest introduction by filmmaker Noah Baumbach – new restoration and digital premiere

Series continues through September with “The Aviator’s Wife” (1981) and “4 Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle” (1987).

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