In James Nares’s 1976 film Pendulum, a large metal sphere swings ominously from a bridge in a desolate TriBeCa street. We watch with unease as the ball, viewed from multiple positions, traces a giant arc, pulling on the cable, which emits a low rhythmic groan on the soundtrack. This tense, hypnotic Super-8 film, which transforms a forlorn streetscape into existential theater, offers a strange love-letter to a city (at that moment) riddled with danger and alive with artistic possibility. Pendulum was made several years after Nares’s arrival in New York at age 21 from his native England. The city’s been …by Paul Dallas on May 21, 2013
Youth culture didn’t start in the ’60s. In the parlance of today’s teens, the appropriate response to this might be “duh.” Teenage, director Matt Wolf’s artful new non-fiction film, uncovers the “hidden history” of youth culture and locates its origins in various youth movements in the first half of the 20th century. From German Swing kids to American Victory Girls, the film offers a veritable lexicon of lost teen vocabulary (“teen canteen,” “buzz bucket,” “boogie in the strut hut”), and reminds us that the invention of teenager culture depended on the invention of a new language — and one that …by Paul Dallas on Apr 25, 2013
The Brazilian drama Neighboring Sounds made it onto many critics’ best-of lists for 2012 and recently won Best Feature at the Cinema Tropical Awards in New York, which recognize excellence in Latin American cinema. The film’s director, Kleber Mendonça Filho, was in town to accept the award and to attend a screening at the Museum of the Moving Image of short films he produced over the last decade. The first of these shorts was made in 2002, the year Fernando Meirelles’ urban epic City of God burst onto the international scene and Madame Satã played at Cannes. In the decade …by Paul Dallas on Jan 28, 2013
The world of commercial sea fishing is captured in all its stark and violent beauty in LUCIEN CASTAING-TAYLOR and VÉRÉNA PARAVEL’s Leviathan.
If you’re heading off to Sundance in a few weeks (or just wincing at the January film releases), you may want to make a stop off in Queens. First Look, the annual showcase of new international cinema, opens today at the Museum of the Moving Image and offers filmgoers many compelling reasons to shake off the post-holiday doldrums and to leave the Netflix cave. It also suggests the expansiveness of independent cinema worldwide. Curated by Dennis Lim (editor of Moving Image Source, the Museum’s multimedia magazine) and the museum’s film curators, Rachael Rakes and David Schwartz, the series presents a …by Paul Dallas on Jan 4, 2013
It’s been a banner year for Charles Atlas. In 2012, the filmmaker and video artist was included in the Whitney Biennial, opened his first New York solo show, “The Illusion of Democracy” (the inaugural show of Lurhring Augustine’s brand new Bushwick gallery, no less), had seminal, rarely-screened works revived care of keen programming at local NYC film series’ Dirty Looks and Light Industry, and is now unveiling his long-awaited collaboration with enigmatic singer/musician Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), which opens today at IFC Center. Turning, which had its New York premiere this past weekend at DOC NYC, is …by Paul Dallas on Nov 16, 2012