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BEST MIDNIGHT MOVIES
The IFC Center
The IFC Center
courts the NYU crowd previously associated with Sunshine at Midnight and the dearly departed Two Boots Pioneer by astutely balancing cinephile cred and awesomely 90s home-video guilty pleasures, as in recent spotlights on Paul Verhoeven, James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Nicolas Cage and now John Travolta. (All counterbalanced, we hasten to add, with autodidact-welcoming repertory matinees—now playing rare Ozu, provided you're not too hung over from sneaking a 40 into Face/Off
BEST insurgent PROGRAMMER
Matt Peterson is the usual moderator and head operator of Red Channels
, a film curatorial collective that is injecting insular NY film culture with a generous shot of punk-rock politics. Self-conscious vagabonds, Red Channels are�‚ without an institution, infiltrating every screen in town with rare social history documents followed by invigorating discussions.
BEST UP-AND-COMING ODDLY CAPITALIZED COMBINATION BAR AND INDEPENDENT MOVIEHOUSE
ReRun & iNDIESCREEN
Actually, we have a tie. Dumbo's reRun Gastropub Theater
, featuring rows of minivan seats, a Blu-ray projector, and on-site bar, features best-of-the-fests Amerindies astutely curated by critic Aaron Hillis; Williamsburg's indieScreen
promises eclectic programming (like, you know, the Northside Film Festival
) within clubby-modern environs in the future shadows of the Domino Sugar Factory Condos.
GREATEST NEED OF
A MOVIE THEATER
Not that BAM Rose Cinemas
doesn't do what it can to serve residents, but you know the insane crowds at the UA Court Street most nights? That's what happens when a neighborhood with a population greater than some states (and bordering Crown Heights, Brownsville, Flatbush...) doesn't have a single screen.
BEST REPERTORY SERIES
A good film series is an occasion to screen great films. A great film series includes odd or middling films in such a specific context that new insights—about not only the director, but about genre and narrative conventions—are revealed. Jed Rapfogel's "Anti-Biopics
" series at Anthology Film Archives was great, or, as a west coast film curator described it, "good enough to steal!"
Film Comments's Top 40
As an online complement to his excellent Film Comment
essay contextualizing internet film criticism within the history of the practice, sometime L
contributor Paul Brunick and others (including a handful of other L
writers) compiled a list of 40 Top Film Criticism Sites, with annotations for those looking for a point of entry into the wide-ranging but often quite incestuous online film community. The omission of thelmagazine.com was, we're sure, simply to avoid the appearance of bias.
BEST ONSCREEN NYC
Harvey Wang's Last New Yorker
is a pitch-perfect elegy to the disappearing city, an ode to the last standing mom-and-pop shops dotting Manhattan streets and the cantankerous olds who patronize them. Scott McGehee & David Siegel's Uncertainty
, on the other hand, evinces a deep understanding of Bloomie's emergent city, from Chinatown rooftops to the uncomfortable seating at Cinema Village. (Ha!)
WORST ONSCREEN NYC
Watch out! The subway's full of knife-wielding blacks! Seriously, this was, like, New York, I Love You
bad—even though director Jon Turteltaub was born here—largely for its spatial incoherence the Statue of Liberty is accessible by bus? And a short walk from Tribeca? Huh?
BEST LOCAL, NATIVE
The Safdie Brothers
Two years ago, Josh Safdie nailed the gentrifying city in his savvy, misunderstood Pleasure of Being Robbed
. This year, he and his brother Benny did it again in Daddy Longlegs
, examining, among other things, the arrogance of parents who have turned Manhattan into their families' playground. Still doubting their authenticity? They cast Abel Ferrara as a mugger!