BAM Commissions Sesquicentennial Documentary

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10/31/2011 1:01 PM |


The Brooklyn Academy of Music, as you may have heard, is currently observing its 150th anniversary (it hosted its first performances in between Lincoln’s election and inauguration). The celebrations will climax with the debut of the new Richard B. Fisher building, but there’s also a coffee table book, and, an email from late last week reveals, a documentary portrait of the institution, commissioned by BAM, to be directed by Michael Sladek, whose last film was the art documentary Con Artist.

The film is currently in production, announced Sladek’s production company, Plug Ugly Films; it will feature “behind-the-scenes footage of the 2011/2012 season,” talking-head spots from many of the theater artists who’ve staged works at BAM, and a bit of history.

BAM’s film programming is a comparatively new element of the Academy, but it’s frequently one of their most direct engagements with the immediately surrounding culture. So BAM has programmed a yearlong Brooklyn Close-Up series, surveying The Seventh Art’s depiction of the County of Kings. (Brooklyn’s long cinematic history is given tribute in the series poster, above, and with its accompanying drawings here, by Nathan Gelgud.) Everything begins tonight, with a spotlight on Coney Island, and an entirely Halloween-appropriate film about people in costumes wandering through New York City: The Warriors.

The screenings will be held every few weeks or so until next winter; The Playlist already put up BAM’s press release running down the included films and the neighborhoods depicted.