Movie-Inspired Poems at Nitehawk Prospect Park

Special thanks to Max Cavanaugh, Kevin Maher and Nick Nadel for helping to make this possible. Also to Nicki Lilavois and Bob Hoff for their essential help with the first installation of the marquee poems. The final poems appeared January 2018. 

About Saint Flashlight:

Saint Flashlight is the art installation duo of Molly Gross and Drew Pisarra, two lifelong friends and published poets currently devoted to placing verse in public spaces. One previous project involved haikus written in black electrician’s tape on the walls of the Crest True Value Hardware in Williamsburg.

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at

Drew Pisarra has been known to stage Gertrude Stein plays, turn Fassbinder movies into poems, and blog weekly about Korean cinema. He recently grew a mustache to play Nietzsche in an opera by the Austrian-American composer Gisburg.




A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
seed from a book not
the screen she cracked it open
under the skylight

-Karen Hudes (written for Leonard Library)

Karen Hudes took her first swing at NYC signage as a kid in the 1980s, when she wrote the winning slogan to relaunch the Times Square Zipper. Later she conceived and curated a 2010 exhibition about Williamsburg’s handmade shop signs for The City Reliquary in Brooklyn. Check out more of her projects here.

Saturday Night Fever

right down to my blood
fast-footed strut this disco
love these teenage feet

-Diane Mehta

Diane Mehta is a fan of lyrical epigrams and jagged sonnets, the metaphorical equivalent of Emir Kusturica and Werner Herzog. Her poetry collection, Morning of the Monsoon, comes out in 2019 with Four Way Books.

She’s Gotta Have It
Nola Darling dreams
a story in black and white
loving herself first

-Molly Gross

Molly Gross cofounded the Filmette Film Festival at Harvestworks last year. Her love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at



Blue in the Face

lives intersect here
situational drop ins
at the cigar store

-Kate Lutzner​

Kate Lutzner is a Pushcart Prize nominee who loves movies, but whose dyslexia keeps her in local language films. Even so, she loved the French film Betty Blue and fancies herself a dark heroine.

Just Another Girl on the IRT

flygirl rides fast rails
pre gentrified Brooklyn world
yield delays ahead

-Pamela S. Booker

A former longtime Brooklyn resident, though never a “fly girl”, Pamela Booker is an interdisciplinary writer and educator who now lives in North Jersey. She misses the 1990s, and dreams of providing IRT riders with compelling new reads with her Charlie Brown inspired essay forthcoming this fall and a novel that explores drag activism and a murder, soon to follow.


because you’re lactose
intolerant our love is
not a pizza pie

-Regie Cabico (dedicated to Brendan Gillett)

Regie Cabico won the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and produces Capturing Fire, an international queer slam and summit. His “Moonstruck” moment was being kissed by Stanley Tucci onstage.



The Lords of Flatbush
sly leather jackets
punch drunk studs with jukebox dreams
hair as slick as spit

-Drew Pisarra

Drew Pisarra has been blogging on Korean movies at since 2007 and has written a poem for every movie that R.W. Fassbinder ever made.

Vampire in Brooklyn
when faced with a choice
love or everlasting life
she chose right poor thing

-Christine Fall

Christine Fall is a writer and documentary film producer. Her favorite vampire comedy (yes, it’s a genre) is the 1963 short Transylvania 6-5000, starring Bugs Bunny. You can find out more about Christine here.

The Warriors
at 96th Street
delayed of course mta
everyone must wait

-Jennifer Lam

Jennifer Lam is an arts advocate raised on a bracing diet of Masterpiece Theater and Hong Kong crime dramas. She can find felicity anywhere.

The Babadook

tonight we eat glass
with a side of psychosis
your mother will scream

-Octavio Roscioli (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Octavio Roscioli is a 25-year-old Brooklyn Software Engineer who also finds time to paint, bike, and front a post-punk rock band. Some of his biggest influences in life are Oscar Wilde, Kermit the Frog, and Kurt Cobain.
It Follows
trading sleep for love
as shadowing gambits wait
only steps away-Erick Szentmiklosy (The Haiku Guys & Gals)

Eric Szentmiklosy is a former payroll salesman who co-founded a national poetry brand, The Haiku Guys & Gals, by accident when working on another project and produces a monthly comedy series called Comedy Commune.

The Ring
your vcr is
ready for a garage sale
oh wait you are dead
-Lisa Ann Markuson (The Haiku Guys & Gals)
Lisa Ann Markuson is co-founder/co-owner of The Haiku Guys, Poet Ambassador for Bowery Poetry, founder/host of A Revolutionary Woman podcast, and currently working on the political verse project #PoemsForSenators. No one knows where she lives.


Volume 5 haikus were chosen by Saint Flashlight via social media contest.

Mean Girls
queen bees score mad burns
high school is for wannabees
put it in the book

-Seth‏ Rosenbaum

Seth Rosenbaum is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn. He has written and performed three solo plays presented as part of the Hot! Festival at Dixon Place. He enjoys reading science fiction novels, long city walks with headphones, and dropping sick Mean Girls one liners whenever possible.

The Shining
too much space and time
daddy gets stressed and flips out
writing books is hard

Jessica van Campen​

When not semi-fervently writing her second screenplay, Jessica van Campen divides her time between urban hikes, her Brooklyn rooftop okra farm and wine.

The Taking of Pelham 123
I thought I was free
I sneezed, he said “Gesundheit”
He knew it was me

Steven Santos

Born in Brooklyn, Steven Santos is a freelance television editor currently transitioning into becoming a writer/producer with a show currently in development and other projects cooking. “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” is the embodiment of his sense of humor. 


cursed by ice and cold
winter is not eternal
the snowman knows so

-Nicki Lilavois

Nicki Lilavois recently received a grant to visit schools in Finland and returned with a guiding principle for her life: less is more.

Home Alone

never was trapping
thieves in home easier than
packing your suitcase

-Genevieve Wollenbecker

Genevieve Wollenbecker will watch just about any movie and is currently working on her first novel.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
pointy hats swiped from
the shop around the corner
the elf has been scrooged

-Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian lives between Brooklyn and Berlin, and is aware that this is a cliché. She often looks to the mundane things that surround her for inspiration and has recently made projects about things such as dust, eye floaters, and on hold music.

For this final chapter of the Movie Marquee Poems the poets wrote about the act of watching a film.

the story begins
in the dark with you and me
light beams popcorn crunch

-Molly Gross

Molly Gross’ love of film, especially Japanese, is pronounced as is her desire to sing and dance. Her latest chapbook of poems, Crisscross (2016), can be read online at

nothing greener than
the preview screen or whiter
than movie set snow

-Matthea Harvey

Matthea Harvey is a poet and artist who lived right next door to this movie theater for eleven years. She has now moved three blocks away.

should the frames speed up
you will quickly realize
this life is slapstick

-Drew Pisarra

Drew Pisarra has been blogging on Korean movies at since 2007 and has written a poem for every movie that R.W. Fassbinder ever made.

Holiday book drive with Nitehawk and Out of Print to benefit NY Foundling!


After giving thanks this week, give books to kids! On December 2, in conjunction with our screening of Scrooged, Nitehawk and Out of Print are hosting a book drive for the screening to benefit The NY Foundling

Tickets to the movie may be sold out but that doesn’t mean you’re out! We’re still encouraging people to come by and donate books or, heck, even some cold hard cash. And if you un-Scrooge status isn’t enough, you’ll also receive some pretty amazing benefits from Out of Print.

The details are…

1) Donate at least one new book (appropriate for ages ten and younger) and receive a $25 gift card to Out of Print’s website. 

2) Donate $15 onsite and get a $25 gift card to Out of Print’s website — 100% of this donation will go to The NY Foundling. 

Non bah, humbug!

Q&As from the 2015 Tribeca Film Institute Summer Documentary Series at Nitehawk Cinema

In July, Nitehawk teamed up with Tribeca Film Institute for the second year  to present a curated series of documentaries from the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. We hosted reprise screenings of three documentary highlights of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival: Live From New York(T)Error, and Very Semi-SeriousEach screening hosted a Q&A afterwards with the films’ directors, producers, and subjects which, lucky for you, we recorded and have posted here!



Interview: Leslie Buchbinder, Director of HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS


This month, Nitehawk’s Art Seen presents the New York premiere of Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists. (Get your tickets here!) The new documentary centers around an incredibly unique group of artists in Chicago who, whether you know them or not, you will certainly recognize the artists they have influenced (like Gary Panter who will be at the April 23 screening). Art Seen programmer Caryn Coleman chatted with first-time director Leslie Buchbinder about the film, Hairy Who, New York and what’s up next…

Nitehawk: You grew up in Chicago and knew some of the “Hairy Who” artists. How did this influence you and when did you decide that this was a documentary you wanted to make?

Leslie Buchbinder: Well…it so happened that at the same time I entered adolescence, this extraordinary group of artists – later known as the Chicago Imagists – entered my family’s life. There was (happily, now!) no way to avoid either the art or the artists! While gazing at this powerhouse scene with pubescent eyes, I was alternately disturbed and relieved, perplexed and enlightened. Plus, I had the remarkable privilege of occasionally ‘hanging out’ with this group. For example, at the age of 14, I somehow coerced Ed Paschke and Roger Brown to spend an afternoon making holiday tree decorations with me. While we sat together forging ornaments out of flour, salt, and water, I watched Ed’s and Roger’s agile hands transform the goop into fully-painted forms, including genetalia-replete torsos adorned with sparkles & pins. The day was uncanny and magical: It reaffirmed my goal to live a life devoted to un-adult-erated creating within grownup time.

Bruce LaBruce on THE DRIVER’S SEAT (1974)

unnamedArtist, filmmaker, provocateur Bruce LaBruce talks about The Driver’s Seat, a film he selected and will introduce on April 29 at Nitehawk (get your tickets here)…

In the mid-eighties, my roommate Candy and I rented a movie called The Driver’s Seat at After Dark, the local video store. It starred Elizabeth Taylor, with a cameo by Andy Warhol, so we couldn’t have been more excited. I’d always heard it was a Eurotrashy B-movie and the VHS copy quality was terrible, as if it had been ripped from a television broadcast, so somehow I didn’t get it at the time. About five years ago I re-watched a much better quality version online and it was a revelation. 

Elizabeth Taylor’s performance in an extremely challenging role struck me as one of her best. (She made the film on two conditions: that she could choose the cinematographer, and that it should be as faithful as possible to Spark’s novel.) The direction, by Italian theatre, opera, and film director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, adapting a very bizarre and audacious novel by Muriel Spark (she also wrote The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), seemed remarkable. And it was shot by legendary cinematography Vittorio Storaro, who had already worked with Bertolluci on The Conformist and Last Tango in Paris, and would go on to shoot Apocalypse Now.

The Driver’s Seat, bathed in a magical golden light, represents one of my favourite pieces of cinematography. Beyond that, the film seems totally prescient and relevant today, with its numerous cataclysmic terrorist events, and Taylor’s complaints of violation at the airport security check. It’s also one of the most complex feminist statements of the seventies, serving as a kind of allegory for a woman in search of her ultimate orgasm. Incidentally, the film was produced by the nephew of director Roberto Rossellini, Franco, whose lover, Antonio Falsi, who also starred in Griffi’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (also shot by Storaro), plays the hot garage mechanic in The Driver’s Seat. Franco Rossellini also produced Caligula, which Falsi acted in, and both men were reputedly lost to AIDS.

See The Driver’s Seat in 35mm at Nitehawk Cinema on April 29 (purchase tickets here). And don’t miss the Bruce LaBruce film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (April 23–May 2, 2015). 

The Influence of Billy Wilder’s ACE IN THE HOLE


For many, legendary director Billy Wilder’s 1951 film Ace in the Hole is not only his best but also one of the most influential films of the last century. Unfortunately, despite its uncanny commentary on the news media that is still relevant today, it’s slightly under the radar for a lot of audiences. Because of it’s perfect mixture of brilliant filmmaking (from the cinematography to the writing to the acting, ah, Kurt Douglas) and a scathing look at the media’s influence to create a news frenzy, we’re excited to screen it here at Nitehawk this Tuesday as part of our Journalist in Film series with VICE News. But before you take our word for it, read what the likes of John Sayles, Martin Scorsese, and Chuck Bowen have to say about the film…

John Sayles (from THE DISSOLVE)
“It’s a really dark film, and it’s got Billy Wilder’s acidic view of human nature. I really reacted to the tawdriness of it, which you rarely really saw done well at the time. Kirk Douglas’ performance—one of the interesting things you see in Michael Douglas is that he’s one of the few lead actors who’s willing to play a heel, like in the Wall Street movies. And his father was the same way. Kirk Douglas could play a hero, but very often, he played a charismatic heel. You know from the start here that this guy’s too big for the world he’s landed in, and he’s going to be pretty ruthless. Film noir is a claustrophobic genre. There’s no escape in film noir. There’s a point in Miller’s Crossing where John Turturro’s character is under the gun, and he says, “Let me go, I’ll leave, I’ll go out of town,” and you wanna say, “There is no out of town in film noir! There’s only this closed system, so don’t believe him! There’s nowhere for him to go!”

With Ace In The Hole, there’s the claustrophobia of the mine, but really, the claustrophobia is in this closed, sleazy system of greedy people with their own agendas, and it’s going to end in tragedy. The only nice guy is the guy who’s trapped down at the bottom of the mine, and of course he doesn’t stand a chance if that’s the world he’s depending on to save his life.”

“This Billy Wilder film was so tough and brutal in its cynicism that it died a sudden death at the box office, and they re-released it under the title Big Carnival, which didn’t help. Chuck Tatum is a reporter who’s very modern–he’ll do anything to get the story, to make up the story! He risks not only his reputation, but also the life of this guy who’s trapped in the mine.”

Chuck Bowen (from SLATE MAGAZINE)
“Ace in the Hole appropriately opens in motion. Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) doesn’t waste time. Consideration, nuance, empathy—words that are anathema to a man who prizes action and momentum. In a striking opening shot, we see a tow truck pulling a convertible behind it as it idles into a small western town. Tatum’s sitting behind the convertible’s steering wheel, though you wouldn’t guess from his cocksure expression that he’s out of work and in dire economic straits; for him, this truck is merely a substitute for the limo he’ll inevitably return to. The truck stops in front of the Albuquerque Sun-Bulletin‘s office, and Tatum marches in and gets himself a crummy newspaper job after launching into a series of double and triple entendres that establish him as a brilliant reporter who can’t work for anybody. Talent, after all, only means so much when you’re drunk or screwing your boss’s wife, though Tatum intends to prove that hunger, more so than even talent, trumps any setback or limitation.”…more

Shadow of a Doubt on VICE: written contributions on Hitchcock’s first masterpiece

SOAD-still03SHADOW OF A DOUBT (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943). Tuesday, April 29 at 9:30pm. Archival 35mm. Get Tickets!

If you can believe it, our yearlong program of VICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series concludes this Tuesday with our screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Shadow of a Doubt. As we have done throughout the series, we have a few fantastic essays for the evening’s program. Check out this excerpt from one of our program text contributors, William Rothman (author of Hitchcock: The Murderous Gaze and Must We Kill the Thing We Love?: Emersonian Perfectionism and the Films of Alfred Hitchcock). 

Hitchcock was profoundly attracted to the moral outlook—rooted in the American Transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau—that enabled the Hollywood movies of the New Deal era to achieve their rare combination of popularity and seriousness. The 39 Steps followed the lead of It Happened One Night, the monster hit that marked 1934 as the beginning of the period when the Emersonian worldview was ascendant in Hollywood, by concluding with the union of a man and woman that holds a hope of being a relationship worth having. In turn, the brilliant thrillers Hitchcock made in the few years remaining before his departure for Hollywood followed the lead of The 39 Steps by aligning Hitchcock thrillers with American romantic comedies—but only up to a point. Hitchcock found himself unwilling or unable to abandon himself to the genre’s Emersonian outlook, which was already beginning to suffer repression in Hollywood—as in the nation at large—by the time David O. Selznick lured him to America. For Hitchcock was no less powerfully drawn to an incompatible vision. He never tired of quoting Oscar Wilde’s line, “Each man kills the thing he loves.”

Read the rest of Rothman and others essays on Hitchock’s Shadow of a Doubt on 

Video: Ben Rivers Introduces THE BEYOND

On March 26, 2014, London artist/experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers selected and presented a 35mm presentation of Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond for the first of Art Seen’s screenings where we ask contemporary artists to present and introduce a film that has influenced them.

Next Art Seen is THE ART OF THE STEAL, screening on April 19 (Saturday) and April 20 (Sunday) at noon!

Art Seen: Ben Rivers on Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND

thebeyond-1Special 35mm ART SEEN presentation of THE BEYOND (Lucio Fulci, 1981) presented by Ben Rivers! Wednesday, March 26 at 9:30pm | Get Tickets

London artist and experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers selected Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond for the first of Art Seen’s screenings where we ask contemporary artists to present and introduce a film that has influenced them. Rivers’ says:

The Beyond belongs to a period in horror that helped form my love of cinema, and hence shaped my life. Around the age of 11, just starting secondary school, some friends and i would hire vhs tapes from a very dodgy video shop in my little country village. The video shop was in the basement of a church, and the owner cared none for the fact that we were clearly not 18. The Beyond was one of his offerings, and as far as my murky memory tells me, my first Fulci. His lack of concern for plot, in favour of atmosphere and visceral effect, could be said to have had a lasting impact on my own filmmaking, even if the outcome is somewhat different… 

Ben Rivers’ new film with Ben Russell, A Spell to Ward off the Darkness, screens in March as part of The Film Society’s New Directors, New Films at MoMA. 

Written Contributors: THE CONNECTION

CONNECTION-still02THE CONNECTION (Shirley Clarke, 1962). Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30pm. Get Tickets.

The written contributor program for our VICE presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series 35mm presentation of Shirley Clarke’s The Connection is now online! Includes texts by Clarke’s daughter, Wendy Clarke, and Dennis Doros from Milestone Films (those responsible for restoring and re-introducing Clarke’s work to the world). Our favorite line? “If Barbara Loden is underexposed, Shirley Clarke is a ghost.” Don’t miss this rare and important screening on Tuesday as The Connection isn’t available on DVD/Blu Ray (yet!). We’ll have a special introduction by writer/director Desiree Akhavan.

Read the whole thing here on!

Post by Caryn Coleman, Senior Film Programmer/Communications. @caryn_coleman