Double Feature with Alex Ross Perry: Slaves of New York & Her Smell

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Midnite weekend screenings happen on Friday & Saturday nights (meaning arrive on Friday and/or Saturday night by 11:45pm for seating, the movie starts after midnite)!

Run Time: 258 min.

On the occasion of the release of his sixth film, director/writer Alex Ross Perry presents a special double-feature screening of Her Smell and one of the films that influenced it, Slaves of New York (on 35mm).

Alex Ross Perry introduces.

Slaves of New York (1989)

Director: James Ivory Run Time: 124 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R

Starring: Bernadette Peters, Adam Coleman Howard, Nick Corri, Madeleine Potter, Chris Sarandon, Mary Beth Hurt

As downtown rent prices increase and money fails to trickle down to the avant-garde artist set, Eleanor feels trapped in her live-in relationship with her boyfriend Stash (Adam Coleman Howard), a volatile artist whose temper might be more negligible than his talent. What he lacks in real feeling Stash makes up for in real estate, and the waifish but worldly Eleanor endures Stash’s infidelities with his rich groupie Daria (Madeleine Potter) as she struggles for recognition as an artist in her own right.

Taking their cue from Tama Janowitz’s edgy prose, on which she based her screenplay for the film, director James Ivory and cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts use a bold palate of colors and light to evoke New York as seen through the eyes of young artists. The avant-garde art world is here in form as well as content: split screen techniques that evoke Warhol (who was interested in filming these stories) and a relentless use of primary colors are the visual counterpart of these characters’ artistic styles and artistic temperaments. Slaves, which was very well received by European audiences, features some of Merchant Ivory’s most thoroughly realized design elements by production designer David Gropman and costume designer Carol Ramsey. Janowitz called the characters in her stories ‘modern saints,’ and ‘early Madonna’ might best describe the bold and outrageous clothes Ramsey creates for Eleanor and her circle.

Though many audiences, expecting another ‘frock film,’ were surprised by Merchant and Ivory’s unusual choice of subject matter in 1989, Eleanor has come to fit into the Merchant Ivory canon both as a displaced wanderer – a subject explored by the filmmakers again and again – and as a young female artist whose own talents are dominated by a temperamental male artist, the province of Francoise Gilot in Surviving Picasso.

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Her Smell (2019)

Director: Alex Ross Perry Run Time: 134 min. Format: DCP Rating: R

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Agyness Deyn, Gayle Rankin, Ashley Benson, Amber Heard, Eric Stoltz, Virginia Madsen

Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) is a ’90s punk rock superstar who once filled arenas with her grungy all-female trio Something She. Now she plays smaller venues while grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom. When Becky’s chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.

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