08/01/14 1:00pm


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.

Details: Om Puri Tribute and The Hundred-Foot Journey, Museum of the Moving Image,36-01 35th Avenue, Kaufman Arts District, August 3rd, 6 pm, $20.


For information about another screening and live event — Not to Be Missed: Chinatown — at the Museum of the Moving Image on August 3rd, go to the jump page.


07/01/14 1:00pm


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. 


06/19/14 1:00pm


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.


Photos: Museum of the Moving Image

06/02/14 1:00pm

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.

Photo: Museum of the Moving Image

05/09/14 1:00pm


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.

Details: The World Comes to Queens: Films from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, continuous screenings through August 31st, free with admission, $12/$9 senior citizens (65+) and students with valid ID/$6 children (3-12)/free for children under three.


05/07/14 1:00pm


By early 1964, Louis Armstrong had pretty much done it all. Thanks to his songs, movies, tours and TV appearances, he was beloved around the world. But on May 9, 1964, Pops outdid himself, replacing the Beatles at number one on the Billboard charts. “Hello Dolly,” his title song to a Broadway musical, ended the Fab Four’s 14-week run at the top with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” It was a miracle of sorts and to this day, Armstrong, who was 63 at the time, is still the oldest artist to attain a number one pop hit. Of course, the lads from Liverpool reclaimed the throne shortly thereafter, but “Hello, Dolly!” became the biggest hit of Satchmo’s lifetime. Plus, the tune had another successful round with the eponymous play’s film adaptation directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. This Saturday, the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image will mark the 50th anniversary of the song’s triumph by co-presenting a Hello Dolly Party. Attendees will enjoy a special screening of the movie, a dessert reception and a presentation by Armstrong House archivist Ricky Riccardi, who will present rare footage of the great trumpeter’s performances. They will also receive complimentary passes to the Armstrong House at 34-56 107th Street in Corona.

Details: Hello Dolly Party, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, May 10th, 1 pm, $12, but free for members of either museum.


05/01/14 1:00pm


He’s the greatest filmmaker you never heard of. Kenji Mizoguchi (1898–1956) produced 85 movies that spanned the silent and sound eras in Japan. Critics praised the beauty of his scenes, his masterful use of tracking shots and compositions that move between close-ups and tableaus, and his enduring focus on the human experience, particularly the suffering of women. Tomorrow, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Japan Foundation will kick off a major retrospective on Mizoguchi that will screen his classics, such as Ugetsu, which tells the story of two brothers who leave their wives and village to purse wealth and martial glory in 16th century Japan, and Street of Shame, which depicts five prostitutes in Tokyo’s red-light district who have double-lives as daughters, mothers, wives, loan sharks, and dreamers. The series will also show rare titles which have scarcely shown in the United States, such as Song of Home, which contrasts two country boys: a coach driver who has never left his village and a student who returns from Tokyo with city-slicker affectations and Western jazz records.

Details: Mizoguchi, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, May 2nd through June 8th, movies show on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at various times, click here for schedule, most screenings are free with admission. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles.


04/18/14 1:00pm


Decisions, decisions, decisions and decisions. Or to be more specific: science, kites, film noir and eggs. There are some great options for family fun, entertainment and enrichment in the borough tomorrow, April 19th. It’s probably easiest to list them in bullet form.

  • Doktor Kaboom! This loveable nut performs original interactive “science comedy” for audiences of all ages. Blending the dramatic with the wonders of scientific exploration, the Good Doktor (above) keeps the crowd riveted with interest and rolling with laughter going on a sidesplitting journey of increasingly spectacular (and often successful) experiments designed to involve, excite, educate, and entertain. Back by popular demand, he returns to Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park) for 1 pm and 3 pm shows on Saturday$14 per ticket or $100 for a Family Series Flex Pass (10 tickets to use however you want.)
  • Let’s Go Fly a Kite! It’s National Kite Month, and the King Manor Museum (150-03 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica) is offering a chance to learn about these objects that can be used for scientific discovery, fun or design. Attendees will create, decorate, fly and take home kites. Noon to 3 pm, free.
  • Spring Egg-Stavaganza! Easter weekend at Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main Street, Flushing) is known for two things: blooming flora and egg hunts. Due to popular demand, there will be two sessions that will include games, crafts, scavenger hunts and prizes. noon to 1:30 pm and 2 pm to 3:30 pm, $5.
  • The Real Mann! Hollywood legend Anthony Mann was one of the greatest directors of two genres that seem very disparate: film noir, featuring nocturnal and claustrophobic dramas; and the Western, with dramas set against wide-open landscapes. The Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria) launches an eight-film retrospective on Mann with two movies on Saturday. T-Men at 4 pm is about treasury agents who go undercover to penetrate a gang of Los Angeles counterfeiters. Raw Deal at 7 pm tells the story of a woman who helps spring her boyfriend from a state prison so they can flee to South America. If these movies inspire, the museum will screen two more —  The Great Flamarion and Border Incident — on Sunday.


04/09/14 1:00pm


The word “LEGO” is a combination of the Danish words “leg godt,” which mean “play well” in English. The original toys were made of wood, but in 1958, the LEGO Group introduced the interlocking brick, which currently comes in various colors, shapes and sizes and has a cult-like following around the world, mesmerizing adults as well as children. On Saturday, these plastic playthings will begin a long run in Queens, when the Museum of the  Moving Image offers 60-minute LEGO animation workshops for children twice a day through April 22nd. Led by a master builder, participants will work in teams to plan and create a stop-motion animated film. The same Astoria venue will screen The LEGO Movie in Dolby Digital 3-D from April 14th through April 18th. This stop-motion animated feature tells the story of Emmet, a perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the “most special, most interesting, most extraordinary person” and the key to saving the world. Meanwhile, the Queens Theatre on April 13th will open Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, a display of World’s Fair structures inspired by expert builder Cody Wells. They will be on exhibit through November 2nd. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park theater will go for more on May 18th with Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, three sessions after which each participant will leave with a mini-model of the New York State Pavilion.

Details for Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria): Master Builder Lego Animation Workshops, April 12th – 22nd, 1:30 pm and 3 pm, daily, $5 materials fee; The LEGO Movie, April 14th-18th, 1 pm daily.

Details for Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park): Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, April 13th – November 2nd, free; Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, May 18th, 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, free.


Top photo: Flickr (notenoughbricks); bottom photo: MMI

03/31/14 1:00pm


The British aren’t coming! The British aren’t coming! But the Cypriots, Czechs, Estonians, French, Italians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Romanians and Slovenians certainly are. On April 4th, the Museum of the Moving Image kicks of Panorama Europe, a showcase of 17 contemporary feature and short films from the Old Continent, many of which are co-presented by their corresponding country’s cultural agency. Unit 7 (below), a cop thriller set in the Seville in the late 1980s, screens first with director Alberto Rodríguez in person for a Q&A. Other movies include the following: Paradise: Love, about a middle-aged Austrian divorcee who vacations in Kenya, where sex with the buff beach boys is booming—and ultimately ruinous; Rosie, about a sad-sack, 40-something gay novelist who moves back to his rural Swiss hometown to care for his ailing, alcoholic mother, dredging up their complicated emotional history; and Sonja and the Bull (above), a Croatian comedy about a big city animal-rights activist lobbying to end the sport of bullfighting. A pro-bullfighting contingent approaches her with a bizarre, put-up-or-shut-up wager. The fun lasts through April 13th.

Details: Click here for dates, times, venues and movie descriptions. All films at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria; or Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, Manhattan. 

Grupo 7.  Pelicula Alberto Rodriguez. ATIPICA FILMS

Photos: MMI