Just another day at the office! In the above photo, a professional stuntman performs a “high fall” from a scissors lift near Kaufman Astoria Studios. Usually these daredevils do this kind of stuff for a living, but on Sunday, they’ll take risks solely for the public’s enrichment during New York on Location, a celebration of film production in the Big Apple. Presented by the Museum of the Moving Image, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817, and Kaufman Astoria Studios, this family-friendly, outdoor street fair will offer attendees the rare opportunity to explore more than 20 movie trailers and trucks and chat with movie professionals about what they do on set. Some trucks will feature star dressing rooms, while others will contain props, cameras, wardrobes, and special effects. More details and another image on jump page.
Films from Taiwan’s New Wave Cinema Movement, which had its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, are marked by their realistic and sympathetic portrayals of a society that was dealing with urbanization, poverty and political upheaval. Generally, the movies depict regular people with normal lives, and instead of building to a climactic finish, they often carry on at a real-life pace. The leader of this movement is Hou Hsiao-hsien, a prolific actor, singer, producer, and director known for his minimalist dramas with extensive improvisation and sensuous nuances.
From September 12th through October 17th, the Museum of the Moving Image will host Also Like Life, a series that will screen all of Hou’s 17 features on celluloid (including two new 35mm prints), plus rare shorts, and a sidebar of related films, such as Olivier Assayas’s documentary HHH: A Portrait of Hou Hsiao-hsien. Before some screenings, film experts will provide introductions.
The Museum of the Moving Image announced an awesome street fair planned for September — New York on Location. It’ll take plan on Sunday, September 21st from 11 am to 5 pm. This is a free, day-long and family-friendly event at the Kaufman Astoria Studios offering a special look at film production in NYC. Kaufman Astoria Studio will open movie trailers and trucks to the public, and movie professionals will be on hand to talk about about what they do on set. There will also be stunt professionals demonstrating high falls, street fighting and stunt driving. Food will even be available from movie catering trucks.
It’ll all take place on the backlot at Kaufman Astoria Studios, at the Museum of the Moving Image and on the surrounding streets. Can’t wait for this one!
Photo by Pat Alvarado for the Museum of the Moving Image
This Friday, Hong Kong’s prolific movie director Patrick Lung Kong will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from another Asian director, Tsui Hark, at the Museum of the Moving Image. A true pioneer of Cantonese cinema, Kong wrote 14 films that he directed between 1966 and 1979 and starred in 60 films between 1958 and 2002. The museum will then screen The Story of a Discharged Prisoner (below), followed by a conversation with Kong and Hark, a native of Vietnam who remade this film. The event will kick off Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Cinema of Patrick Lung Kong, a nine-film series featuring rare titles imported from Hong Kong from August 15th through August 24th.
Stay in Queens this weekend and experience life in some of the world’s most remote areas. From August 8th through August 10th, the Museum of the Moving Image will host the tenth annual Rural Route Film Festival by screening 16 international motion pictures — five features and 11 shorts — from faraway places in Slovenia, Somalia, Hungary, Russia, and other countries. The main theme is ancient pagan cultures as this year marks the 50th anniversary of Sergei Paradjanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (bottom photo), which blends mythology, religious iconography, and pagan magic from Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains in the 1800s. Appearances by filmmakers and actors and live music will accompany some of the screenings.
The schedule and more photos are on the jump page.
He played the leader of a militant Sikh sect in the 1996 Indian film Maachis. He portrayed a Pakistani immigrant in England who struggles with his westernized children in the 1999 British flick East is East. And he even had roles in Hollywood productions with Patrick Swazey (City of Joy, 1992), Jack Nicholson (Wolf, 1994), and Val Kilmer (The Ghosts and the Darkness, 1996). Now, he’s coming to the Museum of the Moving Image. This Sunday, Om Puri (seated, above) will watch clips of his finest acting moments and chat about his roughly 50-year career with Indian actress and food expert Madhur Jaffrey. Then the museum will host a special preview screening of his newest work, The Hundred-Foot Journey (below), a Steven Spielberg-Oprah Winfrey production that also stars Helen Mirren. In this adaptation of a book by Richard C. Morais, Puri is the patriarch of proud family that opens an Indian restaurant next to a famous Michelin-starred eatery in the south of France. An all-out war ensues.
A small screen simply isn’t good enough for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which features more spectacular imagery of space and special effects than dialogue. This 1968 science fiction classic, which was released during the height of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, depicted exploration of the unknown and prophetically demonstrated how computers were primed to control daily human activity. As part of the See It Big! Science Fiction Part Two series, the Museum of the Moving Image will show a rare 70mm version of this mysterious Stanley Kubrick masterpiece six times in early July.
He was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. His movie reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers around the world, and he published more than 20 books before dying in 2013 after a very public battle with thyroid cancer. Of course, he’s probably best known for starring in the long-running TV show At the Movies with Gene Siskel (above). On Tuesday, June 24th, the Museum of the Moving Image will provide a preview screening of Life Itself, a documentary by Steven James (Hoop Dreams) on Roger Ebert that is based on Ebert’s bestselling memoir of the same name. Ebert’s widow, Chaz Ebert (below), will be present, and she will participate in a post-screening discussion with Variety film critic Scott Foundas and filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, whom Ebert once called “the filmmaker of the decade.”
Details: Life Itself, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria/LIC, June 24th, 7 pm, $20.
It’s an 18-minute video installation which winds its way from an imaginary Chinese restaurant in Astoria to Nazi-occupied Paris, and it’s on display as a 50×8-foot-long projection in the Museum of the Moving Image’s lobby through September 21st. American Meshuggana, which the host venue commissioned, uses text-based animations set to an original jazz score on a black-and-white shot of urban traffic. The piece is by the South Korea-based, two-artist collective Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, which consists of Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge. They specialize in a distinct brand of fast-paced, text-based video works. Using Adobe Flash, they synchronize rapidly moving text (in 21 languages) with original jazz scores, creating videos that blur the boundary between poetry and moving image.
Details: American Meshuggana, Museum of the Moving Image Lobby, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, on display through September 21st, free with admission.
World’s Fair. World’s Fair. World’s Fair. World’s Fair. World’s Fair. World’s Fair. Repeat until August 31st. The Museum of the Moving Image is currently — and continuously — screening excerpts from six movies about the two World’s Fairs that took place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (1939 and 1964). Among the highlights are scenes about a plastic green brontosaurus (above) based on Sinclair’s logo and Electro (below), a voice-controlled robot whose vocabulary had more than 700 words stored on a 78 RPM record. Here’s the rundown.
The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair. This film depicts the complications of a love triangle with a young woman who breaks her engagement with a Westinghouse engineer to be with her anti-capitalist art teacher. The movie features discussions about the importance of machines, especially Electro.
To New Horizons. This documentary tells the story of the the 1964 General Motors Highways and Horizons Pavilion, which contained the popular Futurama exhibit. Individual car ownership and the highway system are the main themes.
World’s Fair Report with Lowell Thomas. Legendary broadcaster Lowell Thomas, who traveled to the Middle East in 1918 and discovered T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), hosts this promotional video, which was made about three years before the 1964 World’s Fair opened. The original version included footage of President John F. Kennedy speaking at a promotional press event, but it was revised shortly after his assassination.
Sinclair at the World’s Fair. Corporate sponsors, including car manufacturers, oil companies and airlines, built many of the 1964 pavilions. Arguably, the most popular one was Sinclair Oil’s Dinoland, which featured nine life-sized fiberglass dinosaurs.
Unisphere: The Biggest World on Earth. The Unisphere was built in 1964 to represent the theme “Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe.” To this day, it’s the world’s largest globe-shaped structure.
To the Fair. This humorous film, commissioned to promote the 1964 fair, shows visitors coming to NYC by any means possible, including helicopter, hydrofoil, 10-seat bike, and amphibious car.