Kate Lyn Sheil
“Quick, let's all cast Kate Lyn Sheil in something,” a wag tweeted recently. The most recent muse of Joe Swanberg—truly, the Louis B. Mayer of microindie cinema—was also recently seen at BAMcinemaFest in Alex Ross Perry's The Color Wheel
and as the star of her Greenpoint roommate Sophia Takal's Green
. With her long, fair, freckled face and cascading hair, she looks not so unlike a very young Meryl Streep, but with less WASP-y polish and little to no eye contact. She seems to register acutely but silently the expectations of the people around her, so that when she does express her emotions they come from a powerfully deep, thoughtful place. You get the feeling she'll end up exactly as famous as she wants to be.
Best Soundtrack to a Film Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Real Estate, Julian Lynch and others contribute fuzzily, noisily wistful tunes to this very of-the-moment road tripper from filmmakers just graduated from NYU; two estranged members of the film's fictional garage-pop band also bond over a hilariously mumbled singalong to Live's “Lightning Crashes,” the rights to which are well beyond the budget of this DIY lark.
The Nitehawk Cinema
Let's not go nuts about a fully integrated cultural experience bringing together all your favorite fads or anything: the best thing about Williamsburg's new eat-in cinema is that it shows good new movies, in an actual neighborhood, where people live. But the pickles are also pretty dope.
Best New Website
All the repertory and festival screenings in New York City tonight, and for the rest of the week, listed in one place, with well-curated supplementary links and fine original criticism. Is this what a competent business model looks like? We're repertory cinema junkies and we've never seen one before, is why we ask.
Best Samizdat Cinematheque
The Spectacle Theater
An ex-bodega not so repurposed that it doesn't still sell High Life tallboys, the Spectacle is like one of those old underground screening societies, making torrent-era cinephilia public (well, in the physical sense) by unearthing rare and esoteric classics and midnight movies from the still-dark recesses of cinema history.
Best De Facto College Film Society
The atmosphere is collegial and the programmers—many of them L freelancers, so we're a bit biased, sorry
—take their fun seriously, playing top-this with undervalued vintage picks and familiar films seen from new angles.
Theocracy-Baiting Recent Transplant to the Smith-Court-Bergen-Carroll Axis
Martin Amis's new neighbor, the director of I Am a Sex Addict
, accepted a commission to make a short film for the Sharjah Biennial—the money was awarded on the condition that he not criticize the emirate's ruler, Sheik Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi. So Zahedi went to Sharjah—currently buying its way into world prominence with an oil money-funded arts festival and a construction boom—and made a film in which he criticizes the country's treatment of migrant laborers and begs the ruler to allow the film to screen. The biennial then ordered him to destroy all copies of the film, Plot for a Biennial
, and never screen it in public (an order which his lawyers are currently fighting).