eclectic repertory film programming typically includes a little bit of
everything, from rare and classic cinema to cult films that fall
somewhere between the kind of midnight movies the cheesy cheapies that
the Pioneer Theater used to show and the ones the ’80s obsessed Landmark
Sunshine does now. It kicks the summer off in June with the Iron Mule
Short Comedy Festival, and a rare screening of W.C. Fields’ Million
Dollar Legs, which has never been released on DVD, and a series entitled
Obsessed in the ’90s, which includes titles like Misery and To Die
For. In July, there is a collection of films about Outsider Sports,
including Pumping Iron II: The Women and Sweethearts of the Prison
Rodeo. Also features musical sing-a-longs in both June and July of
Grease 2, Spice World and Moulin Rouge! ($13 ticket for the musicals
also includes one free beer.)
200 Hudson St., at Canal St.,
New York French Institute Alliance Francaise features some rare and
exciting film programs on Cinema Tuesdays. In June, it highlights films
starring Sylvie Testud, including Murderous Maids and a screening of
Sagan introduced by the actress. Also in June is a series dedicated to
1940s star Edwige Feuilliere, star of such films as Julie de Carneilhan
and Love is My Profession.
22 E. 60th St. (betw. Park & Madison
Aves.), 212-355-6100, www.fiaf.org.
The Anthology Film Archives provides viewers this summer with
an exciting collection of undistributed contemporary films, spanning
experimental narratives to lesser-known foreign films, and exciting
retrospective series. In June, it hosts the Bicycle Film Festival and a
week-long retrospective of films by Pierre Clementi, and in July it
screens Eccentricities of a Blonde, Manoel de Oliviera’s new film and
hosts anti-biopics like Lisztomania and Hans- Jurgen Syberberg’s “German
Trilogy,” as well as Jonas Mekas’ Selects: Boring Masterpieces, which
includes The Human Condition and Andy Warhol’s Empire. August features a
week of films programmed by Maniac Cop director William Lustig.
Ave. (at E. 2nd St.), 212-505-5181, www.anthologyfilmarchives.org.
BAM Cinema Fest
June 9 through 20, BAM Cinématek hosts its second annual film festival, a
lowscale, indie-minded collection of films that serve as an appetizer
for New York cinephiles before Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival
comes around in September. Highlights of this year’s contemporary slate
include Cold Weather, Aaron Katz’s follow-up to Quiet City; Cyrus, a new
comedy by the Duplass Brothers starring Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly;
and Valhalla Rising, a new Viking epic starring Mads Mikkelsen and
directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, the Pusher trilogy). Director
Olivier Assayas selects two films to screen, Maurice Pialat’s We Won’t
Grow Old Together and the director’s cut of Zodiac, and will also
discuss his films with critic and Film Comment editor Kent Jones. Other
retro highlights include screenings of William Lustig’s Maniac, G.W.
Pabst’s Diary of a Lost Girl and Wake in Fright, Ted Kotcheff’s
Ozploitation cult classic.
June 9 through 20, 30 Lafayette Ave. (at
Ashland Pl.), Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, www.bam.org.
from the Fest, the Brooklyn Academy of Music serves up an exciting
palette of films ranging from a retro of films about soccer in June—just
in time for the World Cup—to Contraband Cinema, a collection of
political films ranging from Red Dawn to Sal. Other highlights include a
second retrospective of films starring Cary Grant in July, featuring
Bringing Up Baby and a new print of Thirty Day Princess.
Ave. (at Ashland Pl.), Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, www.bam.org.
Brooklyn International Film Festival
indie-minded than the BAM Cinema Fest, the Brooklyn International Film
Festival focuses primarily on short films, experimental features and
documentaries (this year’s line-up of 69 films feature only nine
narrative features). Nothing you’re likely to recognize by title but a
good chance to brag about having seen a great film that nobody knows of.
June 4 through 13, Brooklyn Heights Cinema, 70 Henry St. (at Orange
St.), Brooklyn, 718-596-7070, www.wbff.org.
Bryant Park Summer
This popular outdoor film series can get pretty noisy,
making it rather hard to concentrate on the films screening, but it does
feature some fun populist cinema. This year, movies screen every Monday
night after sunset, starting June 21 with Goldfinger. Highlights
include Carousel on June 28, My Man Godfrey on July 12, The China
Syndrome on July 19 and Bonnie and Clyde on Aug. 23. Seating on the
Bryant Park lawn is obviously first come first served.
enter park at W. 41st St. and 6th Ave., www.bryantpark.org.
Celebrate Brooklyn!’s Music
& Movies Series
The films screened at this outdoor arts festival at
the Prospect Park Bandshell focus on the performing arts, so many of
all three of this year’s featured films feature live musical
accompaniment. On July 22, Carl Davis and the Two Man Gentlemen Band
will perform while The Chaplin Mutuals, a collection of short films by
and starring Charlie Chaplin, screens. DJ Tiger Style and Falu perform a
new score for the seminal Bollywood drama Mother India July 29. And
Aug. 6, organist Marco Benevuto and psychedelic/folk band White Tiger
provide a new score to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Roger Corman’s
House of Usher.
June 8 through Aug. 8, Prospect Park Bandshell, enter
park at 9th St. & Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, www.briconline.org.
Central Park Film Festival
This outdoor film festival is notably more crowded and noisy than the
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, but that’s to be expected given the
differences in venue. While the festival claims to focus primarily on “a
New York theme,” last year’s line-up had everything from Sex and the
City to the original Shaft to Twilight. Look to vote for their annual
“Viewer’s Choice” section in August. Screenings are free and start at
8pm, lineup TBA.
Aug. 18 through 22, Central Park, Rumsey Playfield,
enter park at E. 69th St. & 5th Ave., www.centralparknyc.org.
Cine Fest Petrobas Brazil
The Tribeca Cinemas host the 8th annual festival of contemporary
Brazilian cinema. Films to be screened range from imported comedies like
So Normal 2 and Elvis & Madonna to a swath of docs like Queen of
Brazil and Tamboro. The festival will close at Central Park’s
Summerstage with a tribute in honor of the 50th anniversary of Brasilia,
the nation’s capital.
June 5 through Aug. 12, Central Park, Rumsey
Playfield, enter park at E. 69th St. & 5th Ave. and the Tribeca
Cinemas, 54 Varick St. (at Laight St.), 212-941-2001, www.brazilianfilmfestival.com.
small art house is bound to be packed this summer, which is never good
for a theater of auditoriums with such bad sight-lines, that’s largely
because Film Forum’s summer repertory programming looks really
mouth-watering. Apart from individual weeklong runs of Michelangelo
Antonioni’s Le Amiche, Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and
Jacques Tourneur’s Nightfall, Film Forum will host a comprehensive
Anthony Mann retrospective and a mini-Charlie Chaplin program,
emphasizing later films like Monsieur Verdoux and A Countess from Hong
209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.),
Film Society at
The home to the most prestigious repertory theaters in
the city features some mighty tempting programming this summer. This
June alone is packed with some very exciting programs, including the New
York Asian Film Festival. From June 1 through 3, the Walter Reade
Theater will host a complete retrospective of director/playwright Agnes
Jaoui’s films both as a director and screenwriter, including Family
Resemblances and Let It Rain, her latest film. After that comes Open
Roads (June 4 through 10), the Society’s perennial survey of new Italian
films including new works by Giuseppe
Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso), Gabriele Muccino (The Last Kiss), Gabriele
Salvatores (I’m Not Scared) and Carlo Verdone (Iris Blonde). Then comes
the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (June 11 through 24),
featuring new docs by Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), Raoul Peck (Lumumba)
and Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon).
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, W.
65th St. (near Amsterdam Ave.), www.filmlinc.com.
regular slate of new indies and foreign films, The IFC Center screens a
lot of enticing older films as part of the “Weekend Classics”
(Friday-Sunday at 11 a.m.) and the “Waverly Midnights” (Fridays and
Sundays at midnight) programs. This summer the theater continues a
streak of topical series with Good Meds, Bad Meds: American Health Care
On Screen, with films like the Paddy Chayefsky-scripted drama The
Hospital and Bette Davis weepy Dark Victory, which features Humphrey
Bogart with a campy Irish accent. The latest midnight series Cage Heat:
Nicolas Cage at Midnight, also runs until July and includes the lumpy
but under-appreciated Neil LaBute The Wicker Man and Michael Bay’s Con
323 6th Ave. (at W. 3rd St.), 212-924-7771, www.ifccenter.com.
modern art will find a treasure trove of oddities at Light Industry this
summer. On June 3, Tuning a Deaf Ear will feature short films from
Pittsburgh, including Nosferatu in WSPD, a short adaptation of F.W.
Murnau’s film shot on super 8mm performed by kids from the Western
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Aug. 12, there’s Public Opinion
Laboratory Presents, featuring two performance art pieces involving
carousel slide and multiple kinds of movie projectors to create
elliptical new narrative-less, overlapping images.
220 36th St. (betw.
2nd & 3rd Aves.), Brooklyn, www.lightindustry.org.
Screening at Symphony Space, this relatively new film festival
is dedicated to short film programs. Shorts are arranged by generic
categories like International Short Program and Action Short Program, as
well as several dedicated to local filmmakers, like New York Short
Program and Brooklyn Short Program. Many of the films are loaded onto
the festival’s website via YouTube.
July 21 through 25, 2537 Broadway
(betw. W. 94th & W. 95th Sts.), 212-864-5400, www.manhattanfilmfestival.org.
Movie Nights On The
Part of the River to River Festival, this series pairs
classic New York movies with indie shorts screened on a rooftop plaza
overlooking the East River. This year’s offerings include Broadway Danny
Rose (July 29), Auntie Mame (Aug. 5), The Country Girl (Aug. 12) and
The Muppets Take Manhattan (Aug. 19).
The Elevated Acre, 55 Water St.
(betw. Coenties & Old Slips), www.rivertorivernyc.com.
Movies with a View at
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Screened on the newly opened Pier 1, this
Dumbo-based outdoor film festival is probably not the place where the
patrons of the nearby St. Ann’s Warehouse go—but that can only be a good
thing. Starting in July, the festival screens movies every Thursday
night after sunset, so get there early lest some yoga mom steal your
pic-a-nic spot. Highlights include Brokeback Mountain, The Blues
Brothers and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
1 Main St. (at
Washington St.), Brooklyn, 718- 802-0603, www.brooklynbridgepark.org.
Museum of Modern Art
If you can get past the uncomfortable seats in Titus 1, you’ll find
that the programming at MoMA is worth every bit of discomfort suffered
in house while watching the movies. In June the museum screens Neil
Diamond’s Reel Injun (June 14 through 20), a new documentary about the
representation of Native Americans, while in July it hosts a complete
retrospective of the films of Sally Potter (July 7 through 21), from
early shorts to Rage, her experimental drama released on cell phones. Be
sure to look out for a retrospective of films starring Ida Lupino in
August as well as a comprehensive collection of French comedies
distributed by Gaumont Studios in July (July 25 through Aug. 26).
53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.) 212- 948-9400, www.moma.org.
New York’s annual LGBT film festival
is sponsored this year by Marc Jacobs and Joan Rivers. Naturally they’ll
be screening Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, the documentary about
Rivers’ career as a comedienne—so quit asking her if it’s about her
plastic surgery, jerk. The festival will screen an estimated 100 films
from 20 countries over 11 days.
June 3 through 13, 333 W. 23rd St.
(betw. 8th & 9th Aves.), 646-290-8136, www.newfest.org.
New York Asian Film
The best film festival in town has come a long way from the
Anthology Film Archives nine years ago to Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade.
This year’s festival will feature tributes to Hong Kong stars Sammo
Hung and Simon Yam, with both stars in attendance, and screenings of a
bevy of pop and art house films, including historical drama-cum-martial
arts flick Ip Man 2 and camp sci-fi freak-out Robo-Geisha.
through July 8, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, W. 65th St. near Amsterdam Ave.
New York Food Film
Now in its fourth year, this quirky festival features some
tasty-looking treats, like The World’s First Food Truck Drive-In on June
26, when a herd of the city’s food trucks will allow attendants to
sample some of the best food in town along with some films starring some
of the trucks. Opening night of the festival is Oyster Night, when the
festival will screen four shorts and feature an oyster shucking
competition. Be sure to check out the Burger ‘N’ Beer Garden, which will
screen Beer Wars and include a meet-and-greet with acclaimed
microbrewery brewmasters and burgers from established burger joints like
Mr. Bartley’s and Louis Lunch. Most of the events are free to the
For information, visit www.nycfoodfilmfestival.com.
River Flicks at Hudson
Based around the posh Pier 54, where attendees can sample
cuisine and listen to the latest band, this year’s River Flicks film
program divides into two programs. The first program is the kid-oriented
Family Favorites, which includes The Wizard of Oz, The Great Muppet
Caper and the surprisingly winsome Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
The other program is for more “mature” audiences: I Still Know What You
Saw Last Summer screens some of the most popular flicks from last year
like The Proposal, Public Enemies and Star Trek.
Pier 54, W. 13th St.
and the West Side Highway, 212-627-2121, www.riverflicksnyc.com.
Rooftop Films Summer
This outdoor program of indie flicks is screened throughout
Brooklyn atop Brooklyn Tech High School, El Museo del Bario, The New
Design High School and The Old American Can Factory and on the lawn of
Fort Greene Park and Socrates Sculpture Park. Highlights of the slate of
contemporary features include Sweet Mud (June 20 on the pier at Solar
One), a comedy about a boy and his “mentally-troubled mother” set in a
kibbutz in the 1970s and the winner of the Sundance Best World Drama
prize, and Tiny Furniture (June 20 in the parking lot across from BAM), a
quirky comedy about a twenty-something girl adrift in Tribeca. Be sure
to check out the week of Swedish films starting July 21, including The
Ape (July 23 at Brooklyn Tech High School), a Dardenne-esque character
study. Doors open at 8, live music is performed at 8:30, the movies
start at 9 followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and finally an
after-party with complimentary drinks.
Various locations, 718-417-7362, www.rooftopfilms.com.
Sunshine at Midnight at the
Attended largely by stoners, hardcore shut-ins and
drunk hipsters, the Landmark Sunshine caters mostly to the kind of
people you don’t want to sit next to in a movie theater. The slate of
summer midnight movies isn’t exactly inspiring, but it does feature some
familiar favorites like Evil Dead 2 (June 25 & 26), Pee-Wee’s Big
Adventure (July 2 through 4) and Pink Flamingos (July 9 & 10). Be
sure to check out the New York premiere of Gone with the Pope (June 4
& 5), supposedly the posthumously edited pseudo sequel to cult
filmmaker Duke Mitchell’s The Executioner (aka: Massacre Mafia Style).
143 E. Houston St. (betw. Eldridge & Forsyth Sts.), 212-330-8182.