WANDA: Barbara Loden Video

wanda-blogWANDA (Barbara Loden, 1970) | Buy Tickets

As we do for each of the VICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series, Nitehawk and VICE invite scholars, artists, filmmakers, and film restorers to offer their thoughts on that month’s screening. One of our contributors, Kate Zambreno, discusses an somewhat strange interview with Barbara Loden on The Mike Douglas Show along with Yoko Ono and John Lennon. It’s one of the few things you can source on Loden online and worth a watch…

 You can read all the written contributions for Wanda here on VICE.com (and get it in person at tomorrow night’s screening).

 

 

Best Of: From the Page to the Screen

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Tomorrow night Nitehawk is delighted to be place where literature meets cinema with a special screening of When Harry Met Sally. The event is presented in collaboration with Nylon Magazine and Alfred A. Knopf celebrating Nylon Magazine’s first book club pick, The Most of Nora Ephron, the new collection of the writer-director’s journalism, essays, fiction, and screenwriting.

This got us thinking about the great (and often not-so-great) movies that come from novels. From Frankenstein to The Hunger Games there sure are a ton of examples to choose from so we’ve each listed only one of our favorites below. Which of course begs the question…what are yours??

thehauntingCaryn’s selection: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959) adapted as The Haunting by Robert Wise (1963)

hhh4Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone. – Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

The story goes that when Robert Wise was making West Side Story he decided to read a much-talked about book that had just been published: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Recognizing the potential for stunning atmospheres and chilling characters, Wise purchased the rights to the book and set out to make the film…in black and white, Val Lewton style.

The results reveal an incredible transformation from the page to the screen. The conniving personality of the house, Nell’s internalization, the blurred boundary between two dimensions, and the undeniable pull towards something evil really make Jackson’s narrative come alive. Most amazingly is the personification of the house; it aches and creaks and bends and taunts its inhabitants. And how you read Shirley Jackson’s seductively descriptive and dark language is exactly how Wise makes it visible.

It’s one of the very rare examples of when you can see a movie and then read the novel and still relish every word.

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Kris’s selection: Dune by Frank Herbert (1965) adapted as Dune by David Lynch (1984)

dune“Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never persistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.” – Frank Herbert’s Dune (1965)

Dune is a pretty intense dose of nerdery.

It’s about a far-away planet in the distant future. There’s ancient dynasties and giant monsters. There’s a boy on a quest.

That little description could match 100 different sci-fi/fantasy stories, but there’s only one Dune. Not only is Dune about how a desolate Hell of a planet that becomes the center of the universe, it also tackles a lot of dweeby philosophical stuff that’s fun to mull over: the burden of a living God, humanity’s greater legacy in the universe, the revolutionary power of religion.

You definitely don’t get anything like that in Star Wars.

The series gets weirder and weirder as it goes, but on its own, the first Dune book is a meaty sci-fi epic with the kind of scope and elegance that makes for great movies. The problem, though, is that even though Dune is rich with battles, sex and explosions, the thing that elevates the books is all of the dorky fake histories and words with a lot of ‘y’s and ‘k’s in them. In the book, most of that information gets relayed through prose and internal monologue — it’s world-building, not plot. Imagine condensing condensing an entire season of Game of Thrones down to two hours, it would hardly make any sense.

This is the main problem with David Lynch’s weirdly magnetic adaptation of Dune.

Lynch’s Dune is kind of a fantastic mess, one that tries to maintain the book’s philosophical and mythological edge while also being kind of like the director’s own grand version Star Wars. Lynch attempts to solve Herbert’s mythmaking by including quite a lot of whispered internal monologue — the result is… really off-putting for some reason.

Despite its incoherence, there’s something about Dune’s grotesquery that’s difficult to pry away from. Lynch’s vision never feels wholly familiar or comfortable. There’s something… meaty and rotten about it. The oozing boils on Baron Harkonnen’s fat, greasy face; the endless rows of teeth in the gaping mouths of the planet’s sand-worms; those hazy blue eyes. Just like the book it’s based on, there’s nothing quite like it.

Hatched Essay: EATEN ALIVE

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THE DEUCE presents Eaten Alive (Tobe Hooper, 1977)
Thursday, December 12 at 9:30pm | Buy tickets

An essay re-blog.

Everything and everyone in Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive looks like it/they need a good, long, hard scrub. The dingy dwellings, saturated coloring, and hazy lighting make an atmosphere that mimics each character’s dirtiness (both inside and out) as well as their visceral insanity.  No one here, aside from the little girl and poor pooch, is pure: sex, killing, stealing. Eaten Alive is where vice meets its crocodilian end.

The Big Country: Written Contributions

BC_005-smVICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series: The Big Country (William Wyler, 1958) on Tuesday, November 19 at 9:30pm | Buy Tickets

The seventh screening of the VICE, The Film Foundation, and Nitehawk trifecta presentation of restored 35mm prints by The Film Foundation is none other than William Wyler’s epic western, The Big Country. As we’ve done with the previous screenings, we’ve invited people to write about the film and this month we have  William Wyler scholar Gabriel Miller and Susanna Moross Tarjan, the daughter of renowned composer Jerome Moross, write about The Big Country. You can read their texts on VICE.COM.

A last minute addition (which will be included in the printed program) is by scholar Jennifer L. McMahon who co-edited The Philosophy of the Western and is included below. We’ve also added some stunning still images of The Big Country to prepare you for the scope of the film. So be sure to come on Tuesday, it’s surely the best way to get ready for Thanksgiving.

Film Still: ALPHABET CITY

Screen film still of the stunning 35mm print for our Deuce presents: Alphabet City screening tonight (Thursday, November 8). Buy tickets.

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Horror Movie Trivia

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Horror Movie Trivia
October 30, 8pm | Cafe | Free to Play
5 Persons Per Team

Tis the season. With Halloween fast approaching, we’re going to be hosting another round of ALL HORROR Trivia in Nitehawk’s cafe on Wednesday, October 30th at 8pm.

We’ll be having five rounds of trivia, including a round of Name That Logo, where your once useless knack for being able to name studio and production company logos will finally — finally! — have its day in the sun.

We have a stack of horror-themed prizes to give out, and the usual array of passes, shirts and free stuff that we can award y’all for liking horror movies so much.

Trivia begins at 8pm, but by all means, get there early. Space in the cafe is extremely limited, so if you want a table without having to go all Cropsy on someone, arrive with time to spare.

Patti Podesta: Kubrick Exhibition Designer

999905_10151493803155894_1719851916_nFor tonight’s VICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series screening of Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, we’re thrilled to include a recorded introduction by film Production Designer, Patti Podesta.

Podesta was responsible for the incredible design of the recent KUBRICK exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that juxtaposed Kubrick’s process and films in a provocative (highlighting conceptual and cinematic processes and cultural resonance). Most interestingly was the way that it was punctuated with contemporary artworks, showing the ever-present relationship between visual art and film. 

You can see images from the KUBRICK exhibition here. Image included in this post (taken by me and a personal favorite) is of a John McCracken sculpture adjacent from the 2001:  A Space Odyssey room.

PATHS OF GLORY: On Kubrick, On Vice.

paths-of-glory-01PATHS OF GLORY (Stanley Kubrick, 1957) | Buy tickets

Each of the VICE Presents: The Film Foundation Screening Series at Nitehawk Cinema includes an accompanying written contribution section featuring texts by those who have a relationship with the film. For our Paths of Glory screening, we have Kubrick scholar James Naremore (see excerpt below) share his thoughts and include an unpublished interview with James B. Harris, Kubrick’s creative partner for over a decade and produced The KillingPaths of Glory, and Lolita.

Apparently there was another kind of warfare between Kubrick and producer-star Kirk Douglas, who, in his autobiography, calls Kubrick a “talented shit.” Douglas claims that he had to angrily insist on the picture’s unhappy, historically accurate ending. Whatever the case, he also made sure that the character he plays was built up into one of the most sympathetic and courageous protagonists in any Kubrick movie (to find a similar character in a Kubrick picture see Spartacus, which Douglas also produced). The tension between star and director was nevertheless productive: Paths of Glory is a dark, emotionally powerful film in which Douglas’s passionate humanism tempers Kubrick’s harsh, traumatic view of European history.

Read the entire interview on VICE.COM.

Outdoor Screening Band Highlight: Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra

dreamlandorchestraFree outdoor screening: CHICAGO
Doors: 6pm | Band: 6:30pm | Move: 7:30pm

RSVP 

Transport back to the jazz era of the 1920s tomorrow night at our free outdoor screening of CHICAGO at Havemeyer Park! Before the roaring musical murders begin on-screen, we’ll be featuring the Michael Arenalla and his Dreamland Orchestra. Get ready to dress up, dance, and settle into one of the last evenings of summer!

Again, the screening is free but please RSVP!