From the vast basement and back alley of New York City’s Anthology Film Archives comes “Smother This, New Mexico,” a self-described “panoramic journey through the very bowels of one of America’s foremost film dumping grounds.” Founded in 1968 by critic and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, Anthology is an international center for the preservation, promotion and presentation of experimental, independent and avant-garde cinema. Now Anthology is hitting the road with some of the unknown, unfinished and unwanted 16mm productions that have been collected from “trash cans, widowers, bankrupt laboratories and total weirdos.” Basement Films alumnus Emily Davis and Anthology dude Andrew Lampert will host this evening of recently unearthed weirdness. Possible film titles might include: “F’ed up Food,” “Student Film Trilogy,” “Child with Goat,” “Hellish Hippie Wedding,” “33 YoYo Tricks” and “Orgy at Grandma’s House.” Experimental, local audio/visual band Our Years With Light will open the show. “Smother This, New Mexico” will take place on Friday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m. at Stove (112 Morningside NE). Tickets are a mere $5.
“I spent six months researching before I even put pencil to paper,” assures writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff regarding his controversial war-on-terror thriller, Traitor.
Few things summon as much shifting affection and disdain as the place where you grew up. As a result, finding a way out of or back to your hometown is a recurring theme in both art and life. Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin has a specialty in traveling through time, unearthing buried secrets and recalling the terrible heartsickness to which they’re attached. All the while, he does his best mock Battleship Potemkin, manipulating the montage until it becomes a beautifully warped spirograph. In his latest work of erratic, Soviet cinema-inspired video art, Maddin finds himself emotionally stuck in his Manitoban hometown, posing the question, What if I filmed my way out of here?
In the decently crafted Traitor, Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle plays Samir Horn, a Somali-born Muslim-American arms dealer trying to foment (or is it prevent?) a major terrorist attack on the United States. Much of Traitor’s runtime is taken up by questions of Samir’s loyalties. Clearly, as indicated by the title, he’s a traitor. But is he a traitor to the United States, where he once served in the U.S. Special Forces as an explosives expert? Or is he a double-agent, waiting to backstab his fellow conspirators?
Writer/producer Steven Bochco knows him some cops (“Hills Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue,” “Cop Rock”). He knows him some lawyers (“L.A. Law,” “Murder One,” “Civil Wars”). Apparently, he also knows him some “Simpsons.” How else to explain his casting of Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”) as a flinty, tough-talking female judge in the new courtroom drama “Raising the Bar”? Kaczmarek has voiced Judge Harm, a flinty, tough-talking adjudicator on Fox’s animated sitcom, since 2001.