Music Films Highlighted in INDIE 80s at BAMcinématek, Jul 17-Aug 27

Music Films Highlighted in INDIE 80s at BAMcinématek, Jul 17-Aug 27

BAMcinématek presents Indie 80s, a comprehensive, 60+ film series, with over a dozen featuring key music from the decade, Jul 17—Aug 27

Co-presented by Cinema Conservancy

The Wall Street Journal is the title sponsor of BAM Rose Cinemas and BAMcinématek.
Brooklyn, NY/June 11, 2015—From Friday, July 17 through Thursday, August 27, BAMcinématek and Cinema Conservancy present Indie 80s, a sweeping survey of nearly 70 films from the rough-and-tumble early days of modern American independent cinema. An aesthetic and political rebuke to the greed-is-good culture of bloated blockbusters and the trumped-up monoculture of Reagan-era America, Indie 80s showcases acclaimed works like Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise (1984—Jul 18), David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986—Aug 8), and Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape (1989—Aug 14) alongside many lesser-known but equally accomplished works that struggled to find proper distribution in the era before studio classics divisions. Filmmakers
including Ross McElwee, William Lustig, Rob Nilsson, and more will appear in person to discuss their work.

Twelve films in the series are about or heavily feature music from the decade:


Alphabet City (1984) 85min Directed by Amos Poe. With Vincent Spano, Michael Winslow, Kate Vernon. Nineeteen-year-old Johnny (Spano) is an East Village drug kingpin with the white Pontiac Firebird to prove it. But when he decides to go straight, he finds that the mob that made him isn’t going to let him off that easily. Punk filmmaker Amos Poe crafts a luridly expressionistic gangster saga set amidst the neon- splashed mean streets of the Lower East Side. The echt-80s, synthpop soundtrack is by Chic’s Nile Rodgers. Wed, Aug 26 at 9:30pm

Blank Generation (1980) 90min Directed by Ulli Lommel. With Carole Bouquet, Richard Hell, Ulli Lommel. Punk icon Richard Hell stars as a volatile rocker having an affair with a French journalist (Bouquet) in this grimy glimpse of New York’s punk underground. Capturing the raucous energy and seedy atmosphere of the 80s downtown scene, Blank Generation features Hell and his band the Voidoids performing classics like the title track and “Love Comes in Spurts” at CBGB, as well as an appearance by executive producer Andy Warhol. Digital. Thu, Jul 30 at 7pm

The Cosmic Eye (1986) 71min Directed by Faith Hubley. With Dizzy Gillespie, Maureen Stapleton, Linda Atkinson. The great Dizzy Gillespie guides viewers on a magical mystery tour of the Earth’s creation, its tribulations, and its wonders as seen through the eyes of alien travelers in this luminous phantasmagoria from animation visionary Faith Hubley. Her radiant imagery conjures a Chagall-meets-folk art universe, set to a score by jazz legend Benny Carter. Sun, Aug 16 at 2, 9:15pm

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) 93min Directed by Penelope Spheeris. The New York premiere of the new 2K digital restoration, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years has been in demand for decades by fans worldwide. It’s a fast-paced look at the outrageous heavy metal scene of the late 80s. Set in Los Angeles, the film explores fascinating portraits of struggling musicians, fans, and star-struck groupies. This raucous and uproarious chapter features Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, members of Aerosmith, Kiss, Motörhead, and performances by Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzy Borden, London, Odin, and Seduce. Party on, dude! DCP. Sat, Jul 18 at 4:30, 9:30pm

Heat and Sunlight (1987) 98min Directed by Rob Nilsson. With Rob Nilsson, Consuela Faust, Don Bajema. This edgy psychodrama—winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1988 Sundance Film Festival—gets inside the mind of a photographer (played by director Nilsson) as he goes to pieces over the demise of a romantic relationship. Shot on cool black and white video and featuring music by David Byrne and Brian Eno, Heat and Sunlight is fueled by a simmering emotional intensity that recalls the work of John Cassavetes. Mon, Jul 20 at 5, 7:30pm – Q&A with Nilsson

Let’s Get Lost (1988) 120min Directed by Bruce Weber. Fashion photographer Bruce Weber’s Oscar-nominated documentary of Chet Baker is an almost unbearably poignant elegy to the iconic jazz singer and trumpeter. Contrasting archival footage of Baker as a gorgeous emblem of 1950s cool with the ruined heroin addict he became, Let’s Get Lost—shot in sublimely shadowy monochrome—drifts hauntingly between past and present. Sun, Aug 9 at 4, 9pm

My Degeneration (1989) 61min Directed by Jon Moritsugu. With Loryn Sotsky, Amy Davis, Lesley Grant. An all-female garage band is indoctrinated by the American Beef Institute, given a makeover, and launched to superstardom while singing about “meat power” in this no-budget blast of rock ‘n’ roll and raw meat by sleaze-punk auteur Jon Moritsugu. Channeling the scumbucket sacrilege of John Waters, My Degeneration features DIY animation, music from bands like Bongwater and Vomit Launch, and a love story involving a pig’s head. 16mm. Wed, Aug 19 at 7pm

Say Amen, Somebody (1982) 100min Directed by George T. Nierenberg. This wildly entertaining documentary is an uplifting look at gospel music, bursting with show-stopping songs and an infectious sense of joy. Spotlighting two of the scene’s legends—Thomas A. Dorsey (considered the father of gospel) and Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith—Say Amen, Somebody is a living, breathing record of a major American musical movement. “A masterpiece. This is a great experience” (Roger Ebert). Tue, Aug 25 at 4:30, 7pm

Stranger Than Paradise (1984) Directed by Jim Jarmusch. With John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson. Arguably the quintessential indie film of the 1980s, Jim Jarmusch’s deader-than-deadpan comedy follows New York hipster Willie (jazz musician Lurie), his buddy (ex-Sonic Youth drummer Edson), and Hungarian cousin (Balint) on the world’s most bummed-out road trip from Cleveland to Florida. With its monochrome, minimalist cool and Screamin‘ Jay Hawkins soundtrack, Stranger Than Paradise ushered in a new era of low-budget American filmmaking.Sat, Jul 18 at 2, 7pm

This Is Spinal Tap(1984) 82min Directed by Rob Reiner. With Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer. The mock rock doc that goes to 11, This Is Spinal Tap chronicles the implosion of “one of England’s loudest bands” as it embarks on an ill-fated American tour. Brilliantly lampooning every heavy metal cliché in the book—from the bombastic theatrics and brain-dead lyrics to the bad hair and sexism—this endlessly quotable cult classic is “one of the funniest movies ever made” (Roger Ebert). DCP. Fri, Aug 14 at 4:30, 9:30pm

Vortex (1982) 90min Directed by Beth B & Scott B. With James Russo, Lydia Lunch, Bill Rice. Noir meets No Wave in this paranoid punk thriller from New York downtown agitators Beth and Scott B. Attitudinal underground musician Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks) stars as a no-BS, leather- clad detective investigating the murder of a politician in a futuristic dystopia of corporate corruption. The Bs make the most of a miniscule budget with stylish visuals, hardboiled dialogue, and an unsettling soundtrack. 16mm. Mon, Aug 10 at 9:30pm

Wild Style (1982) 82min Directed by Charlie Ahearn. With Lee Quiñones, Sandra Fabara, Patti Astor. The original hip-hop movie, Wild Style was the first film to document the scene’s music, breaking, and street art at its inception. It follows a subway tagger named Zoro (played by graffiti legend Quiñones) through the vibrant street culture of the Bronx in the early 80s. Filmed with semidocumentary authenticity, Wild Style features appearances by seminal artists like Grandmaster Flash, Cold Crush Brothers, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Busy Bee, and more. Fri, Aug 21 at 7pm

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Music Films Highlighted in INDIE 80s at BAMcinématek, Jul 17-Aug 27