Showing posts with label Anthology Film Archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthology Film Archives. Show all posts

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Recommended: 'Brighton Beach' at Anthology Film Archives

Anthology Film Archives is screening the U.S. theatrical premiere of "Brighton Beach," a long-lost documentary from 1980 by directors Susan Wittenberg and Carol Stein. 
Set against the iconic Coney Island boardwalk, "Brighton Beach" is a neighborhood in constant re-formation. This 1980 documentary offers a vérité portrait of the immigrant communities that changed the Brooklyn neighborhood — mostly Soviet Jews and Puerto Ricans — as they mingle on the boardwalk with long-time residents, eye one another, and coexist around a shared sense of uprootedness. 
Here's some analysis from Hyperallergic
The documentary is not just a peek at the neighborhood during that time — its inclusion of archival footage and photographs from throughout the 1900s renders it a 20th-century retrospective. Brighton Beach neighbors Coney Island, which for decades was New Yorkers' epicenter of summertime recreation. Footage spanning every era depicts different generations of beachgoers, bygone rides like the Parachute Jump or Human Pool Table in action, performers like the Barry Sisters at the Amphitheater, or more niche events like a beauty contest for elderly women. 

It's catnip for history nerds, and the visual conversation between past and present makes for a fascinating study in how neighborhoods evolve. That more than 40 years have elapsed since the initial release only deepens this conversation — now, the entire thing is a period piece. 
The 60-minute film is playing through Thursday. Details here.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Documentary on collage artist Michael Anderson to debut at the Anthology Film Archives

Text by Daniel Efram

"No Compromise When It's Time to Die," a documentary about NYC-based collage artist Michael Anderson (1968-2020) "during the unexpected last year of his life," is set to make its North American premiere at Anthology Film Archives on June 27. 

Longtime East Village resident and documentarian Fred Riedel, who produced and directed the film, will be on hand for a Q&A. Afterward, friends and fans of Anderson's can attend an afterparty at the Bowery Electric featuring a set by Rubin Kodheli, who performed the soundtrack to the film. 

"Michael Anderson and I connected creatively when he reached out to me over Instagram asking if he could rip up a poster I'd made for my film about Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo in order to turn it into an original collage portrait of Ranaldo," said Riedel. "I visited Michael during the process of converting the shards of many copies of the poster into an amazing artwork, which we then both agreed should be the basis for a new poster of the film. 

"From that grew an interest in his large, gregarious personality and work," he continued. "It didn't take too long to see a film in that. Though I'm profoundly saddened that he wasn't able to see the edited work, I feel very fortunate to have captured some kind of essence of him and his creative process and to be able to share that with others." 

Riedel has a long history of producing and directing video and TV programs with Jem Cohen, Jeff Preiss, Keith Griffiths, Simon Field, Lee Ranaldo, Ravi Coltrane, Marc Maron and Charles Busch, among others. 

The film plays at 7:30 p.m. on June 27. You can buy tickets here. Anthology Film Archives is at Second Avenue and Second Street.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Anthology Film Archives hosting 'a long-overdue retrospective' of East Village artist Abigail Child

The work of longtime East Village resident Abigail Child is the subject of a five-day program starting Friday at the Anthology Film Archives on Second Avenue and Second Street. 

... Anthology hosts a long-overdue retrospective of the work of the moving-image artist, writer, and poet Abigail Child. A leading figure of the generation of experimental filmmakers that emerged in the late 1970s-early 1980s, Child has continued to make innovative and challenging work – in a dizzying variety of forms and on a wide range of topics – ever since. 

Child, who has often grouped her films into thematically and/or formally linked series, first gained widespread recognition with the seven films presented under the title "Is This What You Were Born For?" Created between 1981-89, these works inspired (and continue to inspire) a plethora of commentary, and have become modern classics.
Find the full list of films and times here. The theater is at 32 Second Ave. at Second Street. 

Child also shared a few photos with us... including this scene on Third Avenue from "Game" (1972) ...
... and Child filming on Avenue A at Third Street in the early 1990s for "B/Side" (1996) ...

Friday, April 1, 2022

A 1-day strike at Anthology Film Archives

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Here are a few scenes from last evening's strike at the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street at Second Avenue. 

As previously reported, AFA staff voted unanimously last year to unionize with UAW Local 2110, whose members include employees at cultural institutions such as BAM, MoMA and the Guggenheim. 

According to employees: "AFA's negotiating position and current contract offer are untenable."

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Workers at Anthology Film Archives set to strike this evening

Workers at the Anthology Film Archives have decided to hold a one-day strike. 

Tonight from 6:30-9:30, workers will set up a picket line outside the theater on Second Street at Second Avenue. The activities include a selection of "anti-capitalist shorts" screened outside.

According to the letter posted to the @AFAworkers account, AFA staff voted unanimously last year to unionize with UAW Local 2110, whose members include employees at cultural institutions such as BAM, MoMA and the Guggenheim. 

As the letter states, "AFA's negotiating position and current contract offer are untenable." 

Read on for more details. Tonight's screenings at the 52-year-old theater include two showings of Ted Fendt's "Outside Noise."

H/T Leo

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Cinema Salons — 'a mini-festival of radical films' — coming to the Anthology

Starting on Wednesday night, the Anthology Film Archives will host a series of one-hour Cinema Salons dubbed "Cinesymposia."

Per the Anthology's website:
Each Salon is a mini-symposium organized around a specific theme. Each Salon features three short films and three rounds of arena discussion. Each Salon invites you to come prepared with thoughts, manifestoes, and democratic screeds. Each Salon invites you to engage in ideas and exchange in communion.

Host and curator cherry brice jr. described it this way in an email to EVG:

These Salons are a mini-festival of radical films: a screening and discussion series with rowdy, audience-led debate, moderated by a panel from film, community organizing, and philosophy backgrounds. 

 The first screening on Wednesday night (at 8) is free:

The Civic Cinema. The enclosure of the commons was a political project long before it was a public health one. Whatever happened to the ancient agora? What became of the public sphere? Can the film theater — especially one closed to the general public — fill the role of a community consciousness-raising space? Featuring three experiments in cross-cultural discourse, the films in this program beg the question of just what the nature of dialogue is. 
The subsequent screenings on Oct. 20 and Nov. 3 are each $7. Find more details here.

The Anthology Film Archives is at 32 Second Ave. at Second Street.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Anthology Film Archives returns with in-person screenings on Aug. 5

Quick update to our last post... The Anthology Film Archives will start hosting in-person screenings again on Aug. 5.

The 51-year-old NYC institution on Second Avenue and Second Street is returning with a very Anthology-like screening... 
Anthology Film Archives marks its long-awaited post-pandemic reopening with a program that could only take place "in real life," projected theatrically and on film: our brand-new restoration of Paul Sharits's rarely screened early masterpiece, Razor Blades (1965-68). 

The latest in our ongoing series of restorations of Sharits's films, Razor Blades is a typically mind-bending, consciousness-expanding experiment in perception and a classic among "expanded cinema" works. 
By means of color combinations, the strobe-like flickering of the dueling projectors, a high-volume stereo soundscape, and single-frame imagery, it demonstrates the cinema's capacity for exploring the mysterious interaction between light, color, rhythm, eye, and mind. The double projection piece never exhibits precisely the same way, rendering every screening a unique experience.

Find more details about the reopening here

As previously noted, the Anthology has been showcasing its independent, experimental and avant-garde fare online since the start of the pandemic. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Anthology Film Archives teases a return

Updated 7/17: The theater reopens on Aug. 5!

The Anthology Film Archives has remained closed for in-person screenings since the start of the pandemic in March 2020... continuing to showcase its independent, experimental and avant-garde fare online. 

However, they've added the word "soon" on its entrance here on Second Street at Second Avenue...

The Anthology's website now lists an August return for in-person screenings and events. (You can support the 51-year-old institution in a variety of ways, including an annual membership and gift cards.)

Most local movie theaters have reopened, except for the Anthology and Metrograph, which is back with in-person attendance on Ludlow Street in September.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Anthology Film Archives will remain closed for the time being

One year ago today Anthology Film Archives temporarily closed its doors at the start of the pandemic.

Although NYC theaters were OK'd to reopen at limited capacity last Friday, the theater on Second Street at Second Avenue was not among the movie houses electing to restart its in-person programming. 

Here's more via the Anthology Instagram account
[D]espite that announcement, Anthology is not planning to rush it — given the current COVID numbers in NYC, the uncertainty surrounding new variants of the virus, and the increasing momentum of the vaccination program, we are keeping our theaters closed for the time being. 

We're hard at work developing the protocols that will allow us to safely reopen when the time is right, and we’ll keep you updated. 

Meanwhile, we'll continue to offer online programming before and after we open our doors, so that until everything returns (as much as possible) to normal, watching our programs from home will still be an option.

The Anthology is a vital part of this neighborhood (and NYC)... looking forward to when they are ready to safely return.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Breaking the internet 1995 style at the Anthology Film Archives

A weeklong series titled "1995: The Year the Internet Broke" starts tonight at the Anthology Film Archives.

Per the description:

The groundwork for interconnected global computer networks was laid in the 1960s, but it didn’t capture the public imagination until the mid-1990s, at which time a confluence of factors including the release of Netscape Navigator, the Windows 95 operating system, high-profile hacking arrests, and aggressive direct marketing campaigns by commercial service providers AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy fast-tracked the information superhighway for mainstream traffic. Once the domain of scientists, hobbyists, hackers, and role-playing gamers, the internet had irreversibly broken into the public imagination.


1995 opened the floodgates to a torrent of internet-themed films. Suddenly, the paying public was confronted with the radical new idea of Sandra Bullock ordering delivery by logging on to Much as Hollywood valorized the Wild West, it was now pursuing a new kind of Manifest Destiny across the information superhighway at breakneck speed. Instead of their parents’ “Hi-yo, Silver!”, the young generation of keyboard cowboys had a new rallying cry: “HACK THE PLANET.”

Featured titles include "Hackers," "The Net" and the so-bad-it's-bad-AND-good "Johnny Mnemonic."

And why not...

Find all the screening times and titles at this link.

The Anthology Film Archives is on Second Avenue at Second Street.

Any questions? You can email me at

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

At the opening night of 'The Devil Probably: A Century of Satanic Panic' series at the Anthology Film Archives

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

There’s a line forming when I arrive early this past Friday for the opening night of "The Devil Probably: A Century of Satanic Panic" series at Anthology Film Archives.

I’m at this East Village treasure, 32 Second Ave. at Second Street, where I meet guest curator, Genevieve HK, media preservation coordinator at the New York Public Library, Kolbe Resnick, head theater manager, and Jed Rapfogel, programmer at the Anthology.

[Genevieve HK]



Tonight, Lucien Greaves, cofounder of The Satanic Temple, as well as some members of the Satanic Temple of NYC, are leading what’s billed as a black mass ritual but may, in fact, be a destruction invocation ritual before the sold-out screening of "HÄXAN." I'm there as everyone is setting up for the screening...

There's also a slideshow by Greaves that touches on pseudoscience and the history of satanic panic and hysteria in the media. Before his arrival, Temple chair of events and rituals Stryder Crown urges the enthusiastic audience to chant “Hail Satan” as part of the call-and-response to the ritual.

The evening included an appearance by several protestors, who prayed and demonstrated on the sidewalk outside the theater...

The series runs through Feb. 20 with notable visits from filmmaker Jacqueline Castel and occult historian Mitch Horowitz, who'll provide an intro to horror classic "Rosemary's Baby" this coming Saturday night.

You can see the schedule and learn more about the series at this link.


The Anthology Film Archives will celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year. Visit this link to learn more about their expansion project.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The devil in the details: 'Satanic Panic' at the Anthology Film Archives

If you're looking for some more legit Halloween-related movie fare, then look no further than this upcoming series at the Anthology Film Archives.

Here's more about The Devil Probably: A Century of Satanic Panic:

With so many treating Halloween as nothing more meaningful than an excuse to party till dawn in a half-assed superhero costume, it’s safe to say the holiday has drifted far from its historical roots.

Nevertheless, by virtue of its relationship to various traditions honoring the dead – as well as to ancient festivals marking the onset of the “darker half” of the year, a transitional moment when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead were thought to become porous – Halloween also conjures up images of the underworld, and by association, notions of Satan, witchcraft, and other dark forces.

Films include Roger Corman's "The Masque of Red Death," Mario Bava's "Black Sunday" and George Miller's "The Witches of Eastwick." The series runs tonight through Nov. 8 at the Anthology on Second Avenue and Second Street. Find more details at this link.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

CineKink returns to the Anthology Film Archives

[2018 photo by Stacie Joy]

CineKink NYC returns for its 16th annual engagement starting tomorrow (Wednesday) through Sunday ... and the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street at Second Avenue will be the main venue again for the curated program of films and videos that celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality.

A few details via the EVG inbox...

Billing itself as "the kinky film festival," the event is presented by CineKink, an organization dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television. Works featured at CineKink NYC will range from documentary to drama, comedy to experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit — and everything in between.

The CineKink NYC festivities commence tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8 p.m. with a fundraising kick-off extravaganza to be held at M1-5 Lounge (52 Walker St.)

The festival then moves to Anthology Film Archives from Thursday through Saturday with several different film programs scheduled for each day.

The festivities conclude Sunday with an afternoon workshop titled "From Fantasy to Film: Design Your Own Porn Film."

One item of local interest to mention: Saturday's slate of shorts includes "The Baroness," who "navigates the ever-growing world of latex fashion." The Baroness has her shop over on 13th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Find all the detail about CineKink 2019 at this link.

And here are a few photos from last year's CineKink via EVG contributor Stacie Joy...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Essential Cinema at the Anthology Film Archives

I'm browsing through the Anthology Film Archive's new spring catalog (featuring a sketch of the late Jonas Mekas on the cover) ...

There are, as always, a lot of interesting offerings... most immediately, there are several films this weekend from the Anthology's Essential Cinema collection. "Citizen Kane" plays tomorrow and Saturday night at 8 in 35mm. On Sunday, you can catch Warhol's "Eat" and "Harlot." Find more details at this link.

Essential Cinema screenings are $9 (no entry fee for Anthology members). The theater is on Second Street at Second Avenue.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Screening of this Bowery film classic benefits the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors

The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors is presenting a special benefit screening of Lionel Rogosin's 1956 documentary "On the Bowery" in a restored 35mm print on April 7.

The 65-minute film chronicles three days in the life of Ray, a railroad worker who drifts onto the Bowery. He enters the Confidence Bar & Grill and begins a weekend of drinking ...

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1957.

Per the invite:

We're especially excited to have it introduced by the filmmaker's son Michael Rogosin, who will be presenting a slideshow peak at a rare trove of his father's Bowery photographs from the 1950s. He'll also share an excerpt of an interview of Martin Scorsese discussing the film's impact.

This benefit screening for the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors takes place Sunday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street at Second Avenue.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A memorial for Jonas Mekas outside the Anthology Film Archives

There's a makeshift memorial for Jonas Mekas outside the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street at Second Avenue. Mekas, the filmmaker, writer, poet, curator, historian as well as co-founder of the Anthology, died yesterday morning. He was 96.

Steven shared these photos...

Here are several links for more on Mekas and his impact on cinema...

Jonas Mekas: how a Lithuanian refugee redefined American cinema (The Guardian)

Jonas Mekas, Underground Filmmaker Who Cast A Long Shadow, Dies At 96 (NPR)

Jonas Mekas, RIP: Why This 96-Year-Old Legend Was Our Most Important Cinephile (IndieWire)

And among his many, many works... "My Mars Bar Movie," an 87-minute documentary on one of the filmmaker's favorite bars.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

RIP Jonas Mekas

[Image via Facebook]

Jonas Mekas, the award-winning filmmaker, poet, publisher and co-founder of the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street and Second Avenue, died today. He was 96.

The Anthology announced the news on Instagram and Facebook: "Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning. He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on."

In 1954, he co-founded the seminal publication Film Culture. He was also the first film critic of The Village Voice, where he championed noncommercial work from 1958 to 1975 in the "Movie Journal" column.

Here are a few passages from the intro of an interview with The Village Voice in September 2017...

Born in Lithuania, Mekas first came to New York in 1949 as a refugee; he had been imprisoned by the Nazis, then found himself stateless after the Soviets invaded. Plunging himself into the underground film scene, he became the Village Voice’s first full-time film critic in 1958 ... fervently championing independent and experimental cinema.

Mekas didn’t just write about movies. He made them, he showed them, and it would be fair to say he lived them. Much of his prolific cinematic output was built around footage of his everyday life. (Start with his masterpieces — "Walden,' from 1969; "Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania," from 1972; "Lost, Lost, Lost," from 1975; and "As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Glimpses of Beauty," from 2000.)

By founding the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque in the 1960s, he made it possible for underground filmmakers to bypass traditional distribution schemes. The Cinematheque eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, which continues to be one of New York’s essential screening venues.

But the past tense doesn’t fit Mekas. He still makes films; he still writes, teaches, programs, and champions. This man who worked with Andy Warhol and John Lennon and Lou Reed and Maya Deren might be the least nostalgic person I’ve ever encountered. And he remains more excited than discouraged by what he sees in the world — even when he’s perplexed by it.

Several filmmakers have paid their respect to Mekas... (We'll update this post later...)


The Anthology added a second Instagram post about Mekas, which reads in part:

Jonas was the guiding force here at Anthology from its founding through to the present day, and even as he reached the age of 96 the idea that he might not be here in person to continue to inspire us has been inconceivable. But Jonas was nothing if not forward thinking, large spirited, and devoted in every fiber of his being to celebrating what is most vibrant in life and culture.

His work as a filmmaker, artist, writer, and archivist (among many other roles) was animated precisely by a powerful, paradoxical balance between a preoccupation with the past and an inexhaustible openness to new ideas, forms, and experiences. What better model for confronting the fact of his passing, for balancing sorrow at his death with a celebration of the vitality of his legacy?

His absence will be difficult to accept, but his spirit will continue to suffuse Anthology, New York City, and avant-garde culture around the world.

Updated 1/24

There's a makeshift memorial for Mekas outside the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street at Second Avenue ... Steven shared thee photos...

Selected reading:

Jonas Mekas: how a Lithuanian refugee redefined American cinema (The Guardian)

Jonas Mekas, Underground Filmmaker Who Cast A Long Shadow, Dies At 96 (NPR)

Jonas Mekas, RIP: Why This 96-Year-Old Legend Was Our Most Important Cinephile (IndieWire)