Go See The Night of the Hunter Next Tues. in Williamsburg
For the eighth feature in our screening series with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation at Nitehawk Cinema, we present The Night of the Hunter, actor Charles Laughton’s sole directorial effort. Considered a commercial and critical flop upon initial release, it has since risen from cult staple to full-blown classic. And rightfully so: its intriguing mixture of Southern Gothic dread mixed with bold German Expressionism makes it a near anomaly of the era, so it makes sense that it took everyone a few decades to catch up to its brilliance. Beyond the sheer technical and storytelling perfection, there’s a bravura, career-defining performance from Robert Mitchum as the ghoulish villain pulsating at the center (there’s a reason why his infamous knuckle tattoos been referenced by everyone from Spike Lee to The Simpsons.)
You’ve heard a lot from us about Sandy Kim. She’s been in our magazine and on our websitetons of times, mostly due to the fact that she’s one of our favorite photographers making work today. She mixes intelligent ideas with tits and dicks and a no-fucks-given attitude, and we love her for it. But can you believe she’s never had a solo show in her home city of New York? We can’t either. That all changes tonight. Our other good photo buddy, Lele Severi, one of the geniuses behind the Newsstand in the Lorimer L stop station, has opened a new space called Muddgutsthat will host workshops, signings, screenings, and art shows. of which Sandy’s is the first. It all happens tonight at 41 Montrose Ave. in Brooklyn, and you should definitely come. We hear there may be special guests!
If you’re in San Francisco, head to the opening of photographer Jocko Weyland’s new show tonight. If you’re not, we’ve got pictures.
The VICE Photo Show: It’s like the magazine, but bigger and in NYC.
You’re invited to our advanced screening of legendary filmmaker Wong Kar-wai’s new film The Grandmaster on July 20th in San Diego. RSVP
Go to Our Screening of ‘A Woman Under the Influence’ Tonight in Williamsburg
For the second feature in our screening series with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation at Nitehawk cinema, we present a gem from independent maverick John Cassavetes called A Woman Under the Influence. The 1974 drama concerns a troubled housewife and features a jaw-dropping performance by Gena Rowlands. It’s a performance that is rightfully counted as one of the greatest acting achievements of all time. Simultaneously life-affirming and soul-crushing (often within the same scene), this is not cookie-cutter cinema. These are heavy, complex themes explored by unhinged actors twirling in a maelstrom of emotions, and if you want to make it through this thing without having a breakdown we’d recommend dulling your senses with a stiff drink. Also, Kim Gordon will be on hand to introduce the film and help you cope with what you’re about to see.
To get you in the mood, we asked a few of our favorite cinema buffs to weigh in on the film. There are a few small spoilers, so if you really enjoy being completely blindsided when you walk into a theater, maybe just show up at Nitehawk tomorrow and be blown away.
- Introduction by Greg Eggebeen
“A Woman Under the Influence” is a terrific, evocative title, but a very strange one for a filmmaker previously partial to the bluntness of unadorned plural nouns: Shadows, Faces, Husbands… titles that dare you as a viewer to draw your own conclusions about their meanings. But this one, well, it all seems laid out for you, right? She’s under the influence! This is a movie about the dangers of alcoholism! It does have a kind of mid-70s “afterschool special” ring to it.
Perhaps that’s what I thought I was getting into when I walked into a theater at age 20 to watch this movie. And yep, right off the bat, there’s Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti looking very down-and-out indeed, trashed at a sleazy LA bar. But oh boy, I had no idea where this thing was headed. I had no clue that by the end of it alcohol would seem almost incidental to this story—a kind of red herring, like making a movie about Al Capone and calling it The Tax Evader. Mabel Longhetti is far too powerful a force for her behavior to be ascribed to any particular “influence.” This woman is the influence.
Come See ’Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’ Tonight in Williamsburg
Last week we told you about a new partnership between VICE and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, a company dedicated to preserving classic movies and putting them in the faces of whippersnappers like you who would never see them otherwise. Tonight’s screening of Robert Altman’s Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, marks the first installment of this new series at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn. Below is a short essay on Altman and Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean by David Sterritt, who is something of a Robert Altman buff.
The early 1980s were a miserable time for the great Robert Altman, whose career was definitely on the skids. American politics and culture were entering the Reagan era, and moviegoers were hunkered down in conservative mode; the cutting wit and caustic social commentary of MASH and Nashville seemed too ornery for comfort at a time when comfy entertainments like Annie and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were burning up the box office. Altman had tanked with Quintet in early 1979, made a partial recovery with A Perfect Couple a few months later, then flatlined with HealtH and underperformed with Popeye the following year.
Fearing for his career, Altman beat a tactical retreat, selling his production company, Lion’s Gate Films, and looking for fresh territory to explore. “I feel my time has run out,” he told me in one of our many interviews. “The movies I want to make are movies the studios don’t want.” Taking advantage of the lower stakes (and lower budgets) in theater and television, he directed a pair of one-act plays by Frank South—Precious Blood and Rattlesnake in a Cooler, packaged under the title 2 by South—onstage in Los Angeles and off Broadway, and turned them into TV movies immediately afterward.