The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 1-7

04/01/2015 9:00 AM |

confessions_jo gibbons

Confessions of a Sociopath (2001)
Directed by Joe Gibbons
Gibbons’s work is brilliant, unique, and indispensable, full stop. It is also, by definition, criminal for being at odds with his society’s wants. The New England-raised performance artist and filmmaker was arrested this past January after filming himself staging an unarmed bank robbery. The act recalled scenes from many of Gibbons’s films and videos made since the 1970s, several of which are mock-confessional offerings from a disreputable alter ego that shares his name. “Joe Gibbons” is variously an alcoholic, drug addict, peeping tom, and petty thief on a lifelong quest to study himself for the sake of better understanding human nature. In Confessions of a Sociopath (loosely inspired by Samuel Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last Tape), the drink-sustained middle-ager sits viewing old Super 8 footage and reflecting on how it all went wrong. As he recalls stealing books to sell at secondhand shops, navigating parole appointments, provoking authority figures to sate his need for attention, doggedly seeking and failing to land blue-collar jobs, and struggling to gain entry into American culture’s mainstream, he gives a self-portrait of an artist: A person unfit for any work but his own, and doing his best to contribute. Aaron Cutler (Apr 5, 5:45pm in Program 3 of Anthology Film Archives’s four-part Gibbons series, part of “Revisions: American Experimental Film, 1975-90“; “all proceeds from the screenings,” according to Anthology, “will support Joe’s health, food, clothing, and shelter requirements during his time of need”)