Two Film Classics From Maysles Harlem At Maysles Monday’s In Queens

mayles modnays in queensNowadays, a big back yard with food and drinks on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood, has invited Maysles Cinema in Harlem to program a free, summer-long, outdoor Monday-night film series all summer. Upcoming programs below.

Monday, August 22nd, Sundown
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One is a film that is as complex creatively as the pronunciation of its title. Director William Greaves created a seminal movie-within-a-movie by expanding on the cinema verite style of filmmaking and the using production techniques in both the filming and editing that reflect on the process of filmmaking itself. The film takes place in Central Park where an eccentric director, played by Greaves, has three separate film crews cover the proceedings of making a screen test. It was filmed in 1968 but didn’t premiere publicly until 1991 whereupon it rapidly gained a cult following and reinforced Greaves status as one of the great American documentary filmmakers.

Gaining a cult status from those individuals who were able to view it, the film eventually caught the attention of actor and filmmaker Steve Buscemi, who caught a screening of the docu-drama at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993. Seeing the film’s potential, Buscemi worked to secure financing for a sequel and the wide-release of the original film. Eventually, Buscemi and Greaves were joined by the adventurous Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh. Together, the three managed to secure both distribution channels for the film as well as financing for one of Greaves’s sequels.

William Greaves, 1968, 75 min

Monday, August 29th, Sundown
This is Spinal Tap

soinal tap

A mockumentary, a musical, a comedy,  a film that made Tom Waits cry. This is Spinal Tap follows fictional (now only semi-fictional) British heavy metal band Spinal Tap on their US tour as they try to reclaim their place on the charts and maneuver the array of requisite groupies, promoters, hangers-on and historians, sessions, release events and those special behind-the-scenes moments that keep it all real. Rob Reiner directs and stars in this largely ad-libbed 1984 spoof that leaves everyone quoting that line “Turn it up to eleven”. It does for rock and roll what The Sound of Musicdid for hills. With Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Ed Begley Jr., Dana Carvey, Billy Crystal, Paul Shaffer, Angelica Huston, Fred Willard and Fran Drescher.

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Rob Reiner, 1984, 82 min

Nowadays, 56-06 Cooper Ave, Ridgewood, Queens

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