54: The Director's Cut
Every month is special at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, but June just happens to be chock-full of unique and exciting events!
In addition to our previously announced sneak preview of Sundance sensation The Wolfpack (buy tickets), we'll be bringing you advance screenings of Patrick Brice's The Overnight on June 17 and the long-awaited director's cut of Mark Christopher's cult classic 54, which features 44 minutes of never-before-seen material cut from the original release in 1998, on June 23. Both will be followed by Q&As with the directors and, in the case of The Overnight, stars Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman.
In celebration of Father’s Day, we'll be presenting a full day of films featuring “Bad Dads” on June 21: The Royal Tenenbaums, The Stepfather, Devil's Advocate, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Then on June 25, our ongoing music series Sound + Vision Live returns with a screening of the documentary Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio, followed by a Q&A and live performance by BC Studio head Martin Bisi (buy tickets).
Read more about these events below and mark your calendars!
Crystal Moselle, USA, 2015, DCP, 89m
First-time feature filmmaker Crystal Moselle trains her camera on an utterly unique subject in this documentary that seems destined to join the ranks of Grey Gardens and Poto and Cabengo as a portrait of fascinating figures dwelling in society’s margins—or, in this case, a housing project on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Angulos are a family with seven long-haired children—six boys and one girl, ages 16-24—whose names are culled from ancient Sanskrit and who have been homeschooled by their mother and forbidden from leaving their apartment by their withdrawn Hare Krishna father. However, no restrictions have been placed on the children’s movie-watching diets, and the six brothers have not only grown to become die-hard cinephiles, they also collaborate on elaborate, meticulously staged remakes of their favorite films. Their love for movies signals a long-suppressed desire to engage with the outside world—but how do you reconnect with society when the inside of your apartment and your vast DVD collection is all you’ve ever known? Moselle enjoys a tremendous degree of access to the Angulo brothers, who have managed to become sensitive, passionate, and surprisingly self-conscious people eager to bridge the gap between the world they’ve invented for themselves and the great outdoors. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Thursday, June 11, 7:00pm (Q&A with Crystal Moselle and the Angulo brothers)
Patrick Brice, USA, 2015, DCP, 80m
Seattle transplants Alex and Emily (Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott and Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling) are settling into their new Los Angeles life with some difficulty (their young son makes friends more easily than they do). The two are overjoyed when outgoing fellow parent Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) invites them over for a dual playdate—one for the kids and one for the adults. Things take a turn for the bizarre when Kurt and his elegant French wife Charlotte (L’Auberge Espagnole’s Judith Godrèche) suggest putting the children to bed and continuing their couples date. The rare contemporary comedy that does not outstay its welcome, writer/director Patrick Brice’s second feature (after last year’s found-footage thriller Creep) capitalizes on Scott’s proven straight-man abilities and Schwartzman’s patented confidence, with art-house darling Godrèche more than holding her own amid seasoned comics. A The Orchard release.
Wednesday, June 17, 8:00pm (Q&A with Patrice Brice, Adam Scott, and Jason Schwartzman)
54: The Director’s Cut
Mark Christopher, USA, 2015, DCP, 106m
“A dictatorship at the door and a democracy on the floor” was Andy Warhol’s description of Manhattan’s legendary nightclub Studio 54, where, for a moment in the late 1970s, “the stars are nobody because everybody’s a star.” Writer-director Mark Christopher spent five years researching the disco scene to sketch this authentic portrait of the notoriously outrageous party palace ruled by its founder, unctuous Steve Rubell (Mike Myers, in an acclaimed dramatic turn). When test audiences condemned some of the film’s controversial content (involving Ryan Phillippe’s busboy turned bartender and Breckin Meyer’s husband to club-diva Salma Hayek), Christopher was asked to recut the film and reshoot key scenes, including the finale. Seventeen years later, the filmmaker’s intent, which includes 44 minutes of never-been-seen material, has been restored. “The path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” claimed Rubell, and Christopher’s director’s cut honors that Dionysian vision.
Tuesday, June 23, 7:00pm (Q&A with Mark Christopher)
The Royal Tenenbaums
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Joe Johnston, USA, 1989, DCP, 93m
Suburban inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) devises a ray gun with the power to make household objects microscopic. But he leaves it in reach of his two children, and soon they, along with a pair of kids from next door, find themselves shrunk to a quarter of an inch and accidentally taken out with the trash. Now the gang must fight to survive in their own backyard, where ants and scorpions are as large and terrifying as jungle beasts. This reimagining of The Incredible Shrinking Man was a box-office smash for Disney, and marked the directorial debut of Joe Johnston, responsible for such ’90s nostalgia as The Rocketeer and Jumanji. Moranis provides the glue as the worried pop who scours the yard with stilts and a magnifying glass.
Saturday, June 21, 2:00pm
The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson, USA, 2001, DCP, 110m
Father issues are never far away in a Wes Anderson film, but they’re perhaps most explicit in The Royal Tenenbaums, a multi-generational mosaic of comic dysfunction. Reprobate Royal (Gene Hackman at his latter-day peak) long ago abandoned his family of child prodigies, and in his absence the offspring have grown into unfulfilled neurotics: widowed financial genius Chas (Ben Stiller), obsessed with the well-being of his sons; adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), a frustrated playwright; and failed tennis pro Richie (Luke Wilson), who secretly pines for Margot. A compendium of Anderson themes and tropes: stylized production design, vintage soundtrack, and droll performances, capped by Hackman’s wily turn as the manipulative patriarch.
Saturday, June 21, 4:00pm
Joseph Ruben, USA, 1987, 35mm, 89m
Outwardly comforting and handy around the house, Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) excels at charming widows and insinuating himself into their family units. But when they fall short of his expectations, they’re made to pay dearly. His new ready-made clan consists of Seattle widow Susan (Charlie’s Angels’ Shelley Hack) and her teenage daughter Stephanie (scream-queen Jill Schoelen), who suspects something sinister beneath his wholesome, birdbath-building façade. Long before embodying the mystical John Locke on Lost, O’Quinn garnered universal praise for his riveting work here as a man so desirous of the perfect family that he’s willing to kill for it.
Saturday, June 21, 6:30pm
Taylor Hackford, USA, 1997, 35mm, 144m
It’s The Firm meets Rosemary’s Baby: hotshot Florida attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is lured to New York City by the promise of riches from senior partner John Milton (Al Pacino). Any similarity to the name of the Paradise Lost scribe is no coincidence, as Milton reveals a diabolical agenda for Lomax and his young wife, Mary Ann (Charlize Theron, in a full-blooded, career-launching role). Pacino’s performance as a ripsnorting father figure (or perhaps something more sinister…) is outsized enough to make his work in Scarface look restrained, yet his pyrotechnics are right at home in this deliciously lurid tale. Features a scorching turn by Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) as Kevin’s seductive office mate as well as an operatic new twist on selling your soul.
Saturday, June 21, 8:30pm
Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio
Sound + Vision Live:
Martin Bisi: Sound and Chaos
BC Studio consists of a cavernous stone room, a humble collection of trusty gear, an upright piano, and a 35-year-old couch. The Studio is underground (literally), and so close to the Gowanus Canal that it’s nearly underwater. It could very easily be a dungeon—but instead, it’s the source of much of the loudest, funkiest, most out-there music ever captured on tape in New York City, including work by Sonic Youth, Swans, Herbie Hancock, Lydia Lunch, Brian Eno, and John Zorn. Martin Bisi (producer, studio head, and legendary musician in his own right) must have performed some kind of dark magic down there. In an attempt to give Bisi’s studio a more proper place in NYC music history, filmmakers Ryan Douglass and Sarah Leavitt released a documentary in 2014 entitled Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio featuring footage of bands recording in the space, interviews with many of the luminaries that have worked there, and fly-on-the-wall scenes from Bisi’s life. We are thrilled to present a screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Bisi. Finally, Bisi will perform an ambient, soundscape set on guitar that will channel the density and orchestral layering of his productions, and will reproduce the dramatic vocals of his latest album, Ex Nihilo. Bisi will be accompanied by Ernest Anderson on guitar and electronics, and Genevieve Kammel Morris, of the mock-pop electronic project LAUDS, on viola and electronics.
Thursday, June 25, 8:00pm