The Northside Festival, or, Towards a Williamsburg Cinema 


For this year's Northside Festival (see and much of the rest of this issue), we at The L, along with our partners, are excited to be presenting films for the first time. We're showing them at IndieScreen, a new venue on Kent Avenue, next to Glasslands and across from the future home of the Domino Sugar Factory condos—a good place for a movie theater in a neighborhood rather shockingly without one, though IndieScreen's programming identity seems, at this writing, as up for grabs as its neighborhood's taste.

This will be an interesting screen to follow, you see, because nobody's quite sure what kind of movies you#8212;the hip young urbanite we tell our advertisers is The L's typical reader#8212;actually like to watch. (Other than Wes Anderson. Everyone's pretty sure you like Wes Anderson.) The advanced median age of the typical arthouse crowd is a running joke and cause of consternation among programmers facing the impending mortality of their subscription base, and consequently hungry, so hungry, for younger blood.

I hesitate to blame curators for this state of affairs#8212;editing each issue's repertory coverage leaves me feeling further behind in my viewing, classical and contemporary divisions#8212;and I hesitate to blame audiences, because the thought depresses me-to say nothing of the poor programmers eager to geek out with likeminded hipsters such as your theoretical self. Indeed, anecdotal evidence (read: that glorious year when the Brooklyn Vegan comments section called bullshit on Summerscreen for not showing any Godard) suggests that pandering is not the answer. Surely, one can discuss the Semiotics of Twilight for only so long before applying such an expensive education to something more substantial. (Surely?)

It could simply be that geography is destiny#8212;when wondering what kind of repertory film "you" will turn up for in your own backyard, I don't think it's too optimistic to suggest that it falls to the theaters to develop their own audience.


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