Q&A: FAULTS w/ Writer/Director Riley Stearns & Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, husband and wife filmmaking team of writer/director Riley Stearn & actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead stopped by for Nitehawk for a special screening of their cult-deprogramming film FAULTS. In the Q&A, the two discuss audiences fascination with cults, the kind of research they did to produce the film (lots of news stories on lady sociopaths), and how being married affects their working relationship.

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Q&A: RIVER’S EDGE w/ Director Tim Hunter

On Thursday, May 5, 2016, director Tim Hunter joined Nitehawk film programmer John Woods to discuss RIVER’S EDGE following a sold out 35mm screening of the film. Throughout the chat, the two talk on the real teenage murder and cover-up that inspired the film; landing the likes of Dennis Hopper, Crispin Glover, and Keanu Reeves for a cheapo indie (“God watches over independent films”); and how his experience filming his previous film, Over the Edge, lent credibility to the youth culture featured in River’s Edge.

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On June 2, Nitehawk’s books on screen series, Booze & Books, celebrates the new edition of Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel, published by New York Review Books, with a 35mm screening of the film classic starring Greto Garbo, John Barrymore, and Joan Crawford (amongst many others). The new publication, which will officially be available on June 7 but we’ll have it for sale earlier at our screening, features an introduction by Noah Isenberg. Just yesterday, NYRB put an excerpt of Noah’s introduction which we’re happy to provide a little taste of here…

Noah Isenberg

In the preface to her posthumously published memoirs, It Was All Quite Different, written in 1960, the last year of her life, Viennese-born writer Vicki Baum begins with a reckoning of sorts:

You can live down any number of failures, but you can’t live down a great success. For thirty years I’ve been a walking example of this truism. People are apt to forgive and forget a flop because they care little about things that aren’t in the papers or on television, and a book that fails dies silently enough. But a success, moth-eaten as it may be, will pop up among old movies or as a hideous musical or in a new film version, or in a Japanese, a Hebrew, a Hindu translation—and there you are.

The success to which Baum is referring is her international best seller Grand Hotel. In the novel, Baum brought her readers into a complex, multi-perspectival world—in this case a luxurious, pulsating, yet vaguely tragic first-class hotel—in which they can eavesdrop on the conversations, and on the lives, of the finely observed people that she presents. Readers became so attached to the characters that when the novel was initially serialized in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, whose circulation at the time topped two million, they wrote letters of protest after a certain unnamed character (no spoilers here) gets killed off late in the story. Originally published as Menschen im Hotel in Berlin in 1929, the book was quickly adapted to the stage, co-written by Baum, where it opened in January 1930 to rave reviews and an extended run at the Theater am Nollendorfplatz under the direction of Max Reinhardt and his star pupil Gustaf Gründgens (who played the leather-clad gangster boss in Fritz Lang’s M the following year).

When Grand Hotel was published in the United Kingdom in 1930, it earned a new round of impassioned accolades from both critics (“brilliant” and “especially poignant to the present day”) and the public. After an English-language stage adaptation made a major splash on Broadway, Doubleday released the American edition in early February 1931. It spent several weeks at the top of the Publishers Weekly bestseller list and sold 95,000 copies in the first six months. Baum soon relocated to Hollywood, where she assisted in adapting her story to the screen at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; the credit sequence of the film features her prominent byline beneath the title. In 1932, she attended the glitzy premiere in Times Square, escorted by none other than Noël Coward. Directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Greta Garbo, the Barrymore brothers, and Joan Crawford, the film earned the studio the Oscar for Best Picture that year.

Read the rest of Noah Isenberg’s excerpted introduction to GRAND HOTEL here.
Buy tickets to the June 2 screening of THE GRAND HOTEL at 7pm here.

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HIGH-RISE Q&A with director Ben Wheatley & Nitehawk’s Caryn Coleman

b251c4e3-ed32-4521-b067-ac79766df01eFollowing the New York premiere of HIGH-RISE at the Tribeca Film Festival, director Ben Wheatley came to Nitehawk on April 21 to talk about Ballard, architecture, sound design, and Tom Hiddleston. To make the evening even more special, Wheatley gave everyone in the audience a HIGH-RISE shirt that he illustrated and Norton provided new versions of J.G. Ballard’s novel HIGH-RISE. What a great night…and Wheatley has the pics to prove it!

Thanks to Magnolia Pictures, Norton, and Mr. Wheatley!

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The Wicker Man: How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

wickerman-blogHAWKS NITE OUT: The Wicker Men at Villain
Sunday, May 1; 5pm | TICKETS

5764885078_7eefde6e14_bThere is no better filmic celebration of Mayday than the Christopher Lee-starring, Robin Hardy-directed, horror classic, The Wicker Man (1973). In honor of its brilliant unusualness, cultural importance, and Lee’s amazing hair, below is a text I wrote last year called How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare. The essay was written in collaboration with UK artist Darren Banks’ solo exhibition, Backwater, and compares the film to Joseph Beuys’ performance piece that gives the text its title. 

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare
Robin Hardy’s bizarre film The Wicker Man (1973) situates horror at the boundaries of sanity and puts varying degrees of morality up for grabs. Emerging at the death rattle of the utopian ideal that was widely envisioned in the 1960s, it is situated amongst American shockers The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Last House on the Left (1972) which grappled with the disillusionment of societal stability in the wake of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Junior and Robert F. Kennedy, the 1969 riots, and emerging fragile economies. The Wicker Man is a decisively British interpretation of this failure by hippie culture and reactively calls those in authority into question. At the same time, it challenges a reluctance to return to nature and the generation’s abandonment of community in favor of new individualism. It’s a unique film that both embraces and discards community, nature, sex, religion, capital, and the value of life.


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Q&A: Ethan Hawke on his Chet Baker Biopic BORN TO BE BLUE

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Ethan Hawke dropped by Nitehawk to talk on his new biopic on the life of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker BORN TO BE BLUE. Moderated by film critic Joe Neumaier, the two talk on adding an element of reality to the biopic form, drawing influences from Chet’s music, and about a million other things in a lengthy, energetic discussion.

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Q&A: Director Jeremy Saulnier talks Punks v. Neo-Nazi Thriller GREEN ROOM

Ahead of its April release, Nitehawk hosted director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) to talk about his punks vs. white supremacists blood bath Green Room. Headed up by Entertainment Weekly writer Kevin O’Sullivan, the two share a funny talk about Saulnier’s punk rock past, the film’s genre movie roots (“it’s a way to get Mad Max for super cheap”), and why he followed up a critical darling like Blue Ruin with a bloody, hard hitting punk thriller.

“If you think you are the one person to make the one movie at the one time then you know it’s the right choice… even though it seems lazy.” – Jeremy Saulnier

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Q&A: THE BEST OF EVERYTHING with Matt Zoller Seitz, Alan Sepinwall & Emily Nussbaum

On Monday, March 28, 2016, Nitehawk’s BOOZE & BOOKS presented a screening of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING in celebration of Matt Zoller Seitz’s book, MAD MEN CAROUSEL, published by Abrams Books. A panel discussion with leading television critics Matt Zoller Seitz (author of Mad Men Carousel), Alan Sepinwall (author of The Revolution was Televised), and Emily Nussbaum (TV Critic at The New Yorker) followed the film, the three discuss the film, how it relates to Mad Men, and the state of modern television.

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Springin’ Along: Nitehawk’s 2016 Spring Menu [Photos]

It’s finally time to shake the slushy, weirdly mild, gross winter of 2015 off our heels and celebrate the dawn of Spring with an overhauled dinner menu to nosh on in our theaters. Along with the highlights below, we’ve got a new seasonal popcorn (chipotle ranch), new small plates (tuna wontons, heirloom tomatoes with burrata), and a (eeee!) Pina Colada Float made with coconut sorbet, pineapple Jarritos and rum.

We’ve already got a great line up of exciting new first run films and repertory movies lined up to pair with these dishes, and before long we’ll be dishing out even more new goods with a Summer menu and programming.

00 image11Fried Calamari
squid, zucchini, red pepper, chipotle aioli, lemon

We haven’t had calamari on the menu in a while, so we’ve decided to bring it back with a bang. Battered in buttermilk and corn meal flour, we’re serving the deep fried calamari along with zucchini and red peppers on a bed of chopped romaine. For dippin’ we’ve got a kick-y chipotle aioli that’s made in house. (more…)

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Q&A: Director Trey Edward Shults talks KRISHA

On Tuesday, March 15, Nitehawk and A24 came together for a special sneak preview screening of 2015 SXSW winner KRISHA with director and co-star Trey Edward Shults. Moderated by WOR Radio film critic Joe Neumaier, Shults talks about this deeply personal film of addiction and anger, starring several members of his own family. A winner of a bevy of awards – it won the top prize at SXSW in 2015, and Shults nabbed the Cassevettes Award at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards – Krisha follows a woman, long plagued with addiction, as she returns to the family she left making for a particularly troublesome Thanksgiving. Krisha opens for a full run at Nitehawk Friday, March 25.

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Q&A: Writer/Director Benjamin Dickinson talks CREATIVE CONTROL


Following our Local Color screening of CREATIVE CONTROL, the film’s writer and director Benjamin Dickinson sat down for a chat with Tribeca Film Festival Senior Programmer Cara Cusumano. Creative Control is a satirical look at a bleak, Yuppified near future of Williamsburg and its so-called “creative class” – or, as Dickinson puts it – “a miasma of crapulence and self-hatred.” Cusumano prods Dickinson on his visual inspirations – Antonioni and luxury advertisements – and the challenge of switching between the emotional taxation of acting and the analytical eye of directing.

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Country Brunchin’: Dökk Vetur Performs Before THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Nitehawk kicked off its 2016 Country Brunchin’ program over the weekend of March 5 in the oil soaked deserts of New Mexico featured in Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Not your average Western, we parted ways with the usual honky tonk fanfare that accompanies a Country Brunchin’ presentation and invited NYC drone band Dökk Vetur to perform a set before the film. 

Above is the full performance, along with a montage of oil barons, massive fires, and vast oil fields put together by Nitehawk’s cinema department.

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Q&A: THE LEGEND OF SWEE PEA w/ Lloyd Daniels & Director Benjamin May

On Wednesday, January 27 Nitehawk invited former basketball phenom Lloyd Daniels and director Benjamin May talk THE LEGEND OF SWEE PEA in a rowdy Q&A w/ Vice Sports editor-in-chief Jorge Arangure. The two talk race, disappointment, redemption and life in the NBA.

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VIDEO: Open Your Third Eye w/ Drippy Eye Projections, The Joshua Light Show & Worthless Live

This January, Nitehawk’s art & film program Art Seen expanded its horizons with a psychedelic performance by Drippy Eye Projections, The Joshua Light Show and Brooklyn band Worthless.

Stemming from the unique history of the Joshua Light Show that began in the 1970s, this interactive live psychedelic light show features a mix of analog and digital projections (a “psychedelic  slipstream”) along with a live musical performance. The visuals and audio operate in an evolving conversation throughout and each performance is a unique experience suited to the space in which its acted out.

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