5 Best Local Indie Screening Series Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series Curated by filmmaker Joe Pacheco (As Smart as They Are), this free screening series is held the first and third Monday of each month in the romantic, velvet-draped comfort of Park Slope hangout Barbès.
Rooftop Films Not just on rooftops anymore, this ever-expanding summer series fuses the beauty of New York’s environment with the pleasures of film viewing. New Filmmakers Series Wednesdays at Anthology the best work from the city’s countless young auteurs is showcased, after a boozy, meet-and-greet reception. Woodstock in the City The East Coast’s most spirited, celebrated festival does not stop working during its off-season. Instead, it brings Woodstock-caliber cinema to us high-strung urbanites every month, complete with post-screening Q & A’s and free wine and snacks. Speakeasy Cinema On the third Monday of each month, at LES’s Collective Unconscious, energetic filmmaker Matt Kohn (Call It Democracy) invites a seasoned director (past guests have included Jem Cohen) to pick a surprise film of their choice. A lively discussion ensues, no doubt fueled by the lax attitude toward boozing while viewing.
5 Worst New York Movie Critics
Stephen Holden, New York Times Politicians, public buildings, whores, and boring, out-of-touch movie critics all get respectable if they last long enough. Ed Koch, The Villager Not really a movie critic in any sense of the word, but The Villager apparently thinks people would rather read the semicoherent ramblings of a senile public figure than actual movie reviews. Couldn’t he just get a blog? Rex Reed, New York Observer Star-fucking, name-dropping, recycled cocktail-party bitchery, and a miraculously total ignorance of film art and history. Armond White, New York Press Hopelessly muddled reactionary politics, insufferably accusatory moralizing, taste transparently forged in opposition to the anticipated position of his ideological counterparts. Used the phrase “alleged torture” in his review of Road to Guantanamo. And he writes in such ugly, brutish sentences. New Times Syndicated Critics, Village Voice Aside from the general blandness (or worse) of the New Times critics the Voice has been forced to use at the back end since the takeover budget slash, what smarts is the choking-off of one of the best opportunities available to the city’s wide pool of up-and-coming freelancers.
5 Best New York Movie Critics
David Edelstein, New York Engaging even when off the mark, and the most enthusiastic dissector of directorial technique going. J. Hoberman/Michael Atkinson, Village Voice We can’t imagine New York movie culture under the stewardship of anybody but Hobes, and we don’t want to; second-stringer Atkinson’s workaholic torrents occasionally run purple, but more often hit the sweet overlap of canny and evocative. Dave Kehr, New York Times All due respect to lead Times critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis (all the writing chops, acerbic wit, and impeccable taste befitting the Paper of Record), but the veteran who writes the weekly DVD column has a sharper, more comprehensive grasp of film history than anyone else currently filing regularly for an American daily. Nick Pinkerton, Reverse Shot A snob in the best possible sense: rigorous (if occasionally inexplicable) standards, unimpeachably on-point in observation, fiercely eloquent in advocacy and leave-you-stammering-ly vicious in attack. Has an unfortunate tendency to bring a movie’s presumed fans down with it, but perhaps he’ll mellow with age. Amy Taubin, Film Comment Intimidating progressive intellectual credentials, which makes her voice that much more commanding when she weighs in in favor of an unlikely pop underdog (as she frequently does). Plus she was once photographed by Andy Warhol.