THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
ANNOUNCES NEW SUMMER MIDNIGHT MOVIES SERIES
NEW YORK, NY – (May 1, 2012) The Film Society of Lincoln Center introduced the addition of a Summer Midnight Movies series to their weekly programming. Led by a screening of Casey Pugh’s STAR WARS UNCUT, a fan-generated shot-by-shot remake of STAR WARS: EPISODE IV—A NEW HOPE on Friday, June 1, the series’ first announced offerings will include such late-night classics as Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD II, and Ralph Bakshi’s FRITZ THE CAT.
As a fan-generated project and true product of the public’s love for a film and world created by that film, presenting Pugh’s STAR WARS UNCUT on the big screen was an appropriate choice for Film Society to begin their Summer Midnight Movies series. New York City was the spawning ground for what is known today as “Midnight Movies” with the late night success of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s EL TOPO in 1970 (which recently enjoyed a sold-out screening at Film Society with the director in attendance) inspiring the phenomenon of screening offbeat and non-mainstream movies in theaters across the country.
Among the midnight presentations announced are the 70s futuristic anti-aging and stretch polyester cautionary tale, LOGAN’S RUN, David Lynch’s mindbending nightmare LOST HIGHWAY, big screen stand-up comedy staple RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT, Hooper’s near-operatic space vampire thriller, LIFEFORCE, the original uncut version of Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci’s THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, James Gunn’s horror/comedy/gross-out fest SLITHER, and Menahem Golan’s bizarre music spectacle THE APPLE, which will represent an encore screening of a sort – following the film’s popularity last year as part of a Golan-Globus salute at the Walter Reade.
Film Comment Editor-in-Chief and Midnight Movie co-Programmer Gavin Smith said, “Sometimes I sit in my office and wonder why Béla Tarr couldn’t have filmed a live-action version of the game Sodoku. Because if he had, we would program it in a second. But since he hasn't (at least so far, anything's possible), we might as well throw TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and FRITZ THE CAT on the screen and see what happens.”
Film, Description & Schedule
STAR WARS UNCUT (2012) 124min
Director: Casey Pugh
Finally making the hyperdrive jump from online to onscreen, the crowdsourced masterpiece STAR WARS UNCUT is a shot-by-shot remake of George Lucas’ 121-minute EPISODE IV—A NEW HOPE that takes the fan-film genre to a new level. Casey Pugh, the man behind this must-be-seen-to-be-believed tribute film, assigned 473 eager volunteers their own 15-second segment to reshoot or animate as they saw fit. Laid end to end (and subject to change at any time based on voter ratings), the result is one of the Internet’s true cinematic wonders: a manic, disjunctive bricolage spectacle of Lego stormtroopers, stop-motion Star Destroyers, tin-foil C-3POs, canine Chewies, and trash-can R2s. There’s an impressive number of illustrated entries and handmade animations, but it’s the backyard reenactments, with their moppet Princess Leias and minivan Millennium Falcons, that anchor the project in a shared love, the scope of which transcends the polish or perfectionism of any single segment.
Friday, June 1
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) 83min
Director: Tobe Hooper
One of the truly defining films of the great American independent horror movie renaissance of the 1970s. Locating the sweet spot between grindhouse and grand guignol, Tobe Hooper’s grisly classic is still potent almost 40 years later. Five youngsters on a rural road trip pick up—and quickly ditch—a demented self-mutilating hitchhiker before stumbling upon his kinfolk, the operators of an abbatoir/meat smokehouse. Death by meathook, sledgehammer, and chainsaw await the unwary kids, until the proverbial final girl (played by Marilyn Burns, one of cinema’s greatest screamers) is left to be tormented by her deranged captors in a veritable charnel house.
Friday, June 8
LOGAN’S RUN (1976) 119min
Director: Michael Anderson
Anderson’s trippy big-budget extravaganza from the height of 1970s futurism. In a domed 23rd century city that’s like a PG-rated Sodom or Gomorrah, everyone lives for pleasure…and dies at age 30. Or, rather, submits to the “renewing” ritual of “Carousel,” where hockey-masked, leotard-clad birthday boys (and girls) get vaporized before maniacally cheering hordes. Those who try to escape said fate (a.k.a. “runners”) risk termination at the hands of “sandmen” like Logan 5 (Michael York), who goes undercover to infiltrate a subversive group helping runners escape to a mythical land known as “Sanctuary.” Soon, Logan himself is on the run with the comely Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) in tow and a silver robot with fatal freezing powers in hot pursuit.
Friday, June 15
Restored 35mm print!
RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT (1979) 78min
Director: Jeff Margolis
Hands down the greatest live-comedy performance ever to hit the big screen, this is the definitive record of a legendary American comedy phenomenon at the height of his powers. An incandescent, fearless and subversive comedy genius with undeniable street credibility, Richard Pryor was poised at the brink of movie stardom when he went before the cameras at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach during his 1978 tour to deliver a biting tour-de-force in which his stream-of-consciousness observations on the absurdities and hypocrisies of racial behavior and black life are projected with a sense of timing, rhythm, mimicry and outrage that has to be seen to be believed.
Friday, June 22
LIFEFORCE (1985) 101min
Director: Tobe Hooper
In this spectacular, deliriously over-the-top, sexed-up, and compulsively watchable adaptation of Colin Wilson's THE SPACE VAMPIRES, London is overrun by rampaging, energy-sucking zombies after a trio of humanoids in a state of suspended animation are brought to earth after being discovered in the hold of an abandoned European space shuttle. The mysterious beings are taken to London's Space Research Center for examination, whereupon the gorgeous and totally nude female of the trio (statuesque French actress Mathilda May) revives, reduces a hapless military guard to a desiccated cadaver, and then escapes into the city—still stark naked—in search of prey. Soon all three aliens (one of them played by Mick Jagger's brother Chris) are wreaking havoc throughout the city, their victims turned into zombies craving the life-force of the living.
Friday, June 29
LOST HIGHWAY (1997) 134min
Director: David Lynch
David Lynch’s most cryptic and uncanny excursion into the recesses of the human psyche, LOST HIGHWAY begins as musician Fred (Bill Pullman) and his wife Renee (sultry brunette Patricia Arquette) receive a series of unnerving videotapes shot inside their home, culminating in one of the couple asleep in bed. After a strange party encounter with a Mystery Man (Robert Blake, in grotesque kabuki makeup), Fred receives a final tape that shows him murdering Renee and winds up on death row—where he vanishes from his cell, his place inexplicably taken by Pete (Bathazar Getty). Pete is released from prison and a new story seems to begin in which the young car mechanic begins an affair with Alice (sultry blonde Patricia Arquette), the mistress of combustible gangster Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia) and finds himself lured into nightmarish intrigue involving theft, murder, and pornography.
Friday, July 6
THE EVIL DEAD (1981) 85min
Director: Sam Raimi
Sam Raimi’s instant classic, a textbook example of low-budget technical ingenuity and wildly inventive mayhem, is a laughing-screaming rollercoaster ride, balancing slapstick mayhem and over the top gore, once again underlining the kinship between horror and comedy. The recipe: Take six college students, a wood cabin, a forest, a copy of the Necronomicon Book of the Dead, a mysterious audio recording of a black magic incantation, an axe and a chainsaw…and don’t forget a sharp pencil. Mix with demonic possession and tree spirits, stand back and watch the fun.
Friday, July 13
EVIL DEAD II (1987) 84min
Director: Sam Raimi
Dead by dawn! In this not-exactly sequel/sort-of remake, Bruce Campbell's Ash arrives once again at the proverbial cabin in the woods for a vacation with his girlfriend. Discovering papers and artifacts belonging to the cabin’s former occupant, an archaeologist, they play a tape recording of an incantation from a copy of the Necronomicon “Book of the Dead” (of H.P. Lovecraft fame), unleashing a demonic force that possesses Ash’s girlfriend—and, well, let’s just say the romantic getaway goes seriously south. When the archaeologist’s daughter shows up with three companions, they find the semi-deranged Ash, now minus a (demon-possessed) hand, battling the forces of darkness tooth and nail (make that shotgun and chainsaw). Taking the premise of his original film and 10 times the budget (courtesy of Dino De Laurentiis of all people), Sam Raimi lets his imagination run completely wild, topping the earlier film with anarchic and at times deliriously surreal set pieces of outrageous excess, headlong camera work and berserk, punishing Three Stooges-esque violence.
Friday, July 20
FRITZ THE CAT (1972) 78min
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi’s inspired adaptation of R. Crumb’s Help! magazine comic strip became the first X-rated animated feature as well as one of the most successful independent animated films of all time. Bakshi follows the libidinous, pot-smoking feline on an amoral odyssey across New York City, as he indulges his primal urges, dodges the police and incites the occasional riot, aided and abetted by a heroin-addict rabbit and other assorted accomplices. Crumb was reportedly appalled by the end result, but 40 years later FRITZ THE CAT endures as a cheerfully profane, equal-opportunity send-up of the right and the left, fascist pigs and self-righteous revolutionaries, and just about everything in-between.
Friday, July 27
Original uncut version!
THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (Quella villa accanto al cimitero) (1981) 87min
Director: Lucio Fulci
Whatever you do, don’t go in the basement. In the conclusion of splatter king Lucio Fulci’s unofficial “Gates of Hell” trilogy–memorably described by London Time Out critic Sheila Johnson as “literally a hack-work of almost awesome incoherence”–Italy’s maestro of carefree narrative non sequitur exercises relative restraint to tell an effectively gothic (but gory) tale of a New England house with a history… a history as dark as the basement into which the unwary descend, never to return. The story centers on Bob, a young boy who moves with his parents to a new house formerly occupied by a late colleague of his academic researcher father. Bob notices the face of a little girl at a window in a photograph of the house—although she is invisible to his parents. When the family arrives and moves in, Bob goes on to have a series of encounters with his mysterious invisible friend, Mae, who warns him that he’s in danger. Did we mention there’s a mysterious basement? And that people keep going down there to meet gruesome deaths? We did? So what’s down there? You don’t want to know. Heavily censored for its initial theatrical release, HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is presented here in a rare 35mm print of the original uncut version!
Friday, August 3
SLITHER (2006) 95min
Director: James Gunn
In the most sensationally scary-funny creep-out movie since GREMLINS, an army of extraterrestrial slugs are turned loose in the sleepy, deer-hunting hamlet of Wheelsy, South Carolina, and sets about feasting on the local population. A Darwinian if ever there was one, Gunn paints the locals as a bunch of comic grotesques—overgrown frat boys, loose women and disturbingly picture-perfect nuclear families—then takes demented glee in turning the hunters into the hunted. SLITHER is a crack social satire that weighs in on the evolution-vs.-creationism debate, cautions against the dangers of groupthink and becomes a hilarious test case for the sacred vows of marriage
Friday, August 10
THE APPLE (1980) 86min
Director: Menahem Golan
Countries: USA/West Germany
Move over Rocky Horror, there’s a new midnight cult musical sensation in town, and its name is THE APPLE! Prophetically declaring that “Life is nothing but show business in 1994,” director (and Cannon Films impresario) Menahem Golan’s futuristic retelling of the Book of Genesis introduces us to wide-eyed Canadian songbirds Alphie (Scottish rocker George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart), whose heartfelt performance at the Eurovision Song Contest thrusts them into the clutches of the nefarious Mr. Boogalow (the great Vladek Sheybal), who plots to take over the world with his mind-controlling BIM music.
Friday, August 17
VAMPIRE’S KISS (1988) 103min
Director: Robert Bierman
Nicolas Cage delivers a wildly original, career-crowning performance–including the on-camera consumption of a live cockroach–in this pitch-perfect, pitch-black comedy about a Manhattan literary agent who believes he’s turning into a vampire. An anarchic companion piece to Scorsese’s After Hours, courtesy of the same screenwriter (Joseph Minion), Vampire’s Kiss offers an equally memorable portrait of the Big Apple as phantasmagoric hellhole, with Cage’s yuppified Peter Loew coming progressively unhinged after a one-night-stand (with seductive temptress Jennifer Beals) ends in a pair of fangs to the neck. Or does it?
Friday, August 24
THE ENTITY (1982) 125min
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Starring Barbara Hershey in a tour de force performance, this notorious, truly harrowing shocker has a deeply disturbing premise: A single mother is repeatedly visited, overpowered and sexually assaulted by an invisible being or force. She seeks help from a sympathetic but skeptical psychiatrist (Ron Silver) and eventually turns to a group of university parapsychologists who attempt to investigate these visitations by scientific means. Supposedly based on a true case, the film was picketed by feminists when originally released.
Friday, August 31
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com.
For Media specific inquiries, please contact:
John Wildman, (212) 875-5419
David Ninh, (212) 875-5423