Maysles Cinema Mondays at Nowadays
56-06 Cooper Ave, Ridgewood, Queens
Monday, June 20th, Sundown
Muhammad and Larry
Introduced by Producer Laura Coxson
Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Bradley Kaplan, 2009, 52 min
In October of 1980 Muhammad Ali was preparing to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his friend and former sparring partner Larry Holmes. To say that the great Ali was in the twilight of his career would be generous; most of his admiring fans, friends and fight scribes considered his bravado delusional. What was left for him to prove?
In the weeks of training before the fight, documentarians Albert and David Maysles took an intimate look at Ali trying to convince the world and perhaps himself, that he was still “The Greatest.” At the same time, they documented the mild-mannered and undervalued champion Holmes as he confidently prepared to put an end to the career of a man for whom he had an abiding and deep affection.
Here for the first time is the unseen build up to that fight, accompanied by freshly shot interviews by Albert Maysles with members from both the Ali and Holmes camps, as well as others who were prime witnesses to this poignant foolhardy attempt at courage.
Monday, June 27th, Sundown (**RESCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH AT SUNDOWN DUE TO RAIN**)
Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau
Screening to be preceded by a traditional Hawaiian chant and dance performance.
Sam George, 2013, 100 min
Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau examines the legacy of the fearless big wave surfer and first-ever North Shore lifeguard beyond inspiring one of surfing’s most famous catchphrases, “Eddie Would Go.” Through interviews, reenactments and dynamic historical footage, professional-surfer-turned-filmmaker Sam George uncovers Aikau’s little-known personal and family history and finds a compelling allegory for the reclaiming of Hawaiian culture. Narrated by Josh Brolin and produced by Stacy Peralta.
Monday, July 11th, Sundown
Stretch and Bobbito
Bobbito Garcia, 2015, 95 min
During the 1990s, Stretch and Bobbito introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, and Big Pun as well as an unknown Jay-Z, Eminem, and the Fugees. The total record sales for all the artists that premiered on their radio show exceed 300 million. The late night program had a cult following in the art/fashion world and prison population as well. All would loyally tune in for the humor just as much for the exclusive tunes. Stretch and Bobbito brought a unique audience together, and created a platform that changed music forever.
Monday, July 18th, Sundown
Introduced by Director D.A. Pennebaker
D.A. Pennebaker, 1968, 78 min
On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar (shot by Albert and David Maysles). With his characteristic vérité style, D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend destroying his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his. Seeing this film inspired Michael Lang to create the Woodstock festival in 1969, and the neo-hippy Coachella generation would not exist without Monterey Pop.
Monday, July 25th, Sundown
Herzog Eats His Shoes
Les Blank, 1980, 20 min
Yes, German film director Werner Herzog really does eat his shoe to fulfill a vow to fellow filmmaker Errol Morris — boldly exemplifying his belief that people must have the guts to attempt what they dream of. Inspiring. Werner Herzog forges ahead in his unique cinematic quest for truth and the late, great filmmaker Les Blank — and co-founder of the American direct cinema movement with Robert Drew, Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert and David Maysles — captures it all.
Burden of Dreams
Les Blank, 1982, 95 min
For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made more perilous by Herzog’s determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of native Indians to pull a full-size, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. The result is an extraordinary document of the filmmaking process and a unique look into the single-minded mission of one of cinema’s most fearless directors. Also with Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale.
Monday, August 1st, Sundown
Post Screening Q&A with director Shan Nicholson and film subjects (TBA).
Shan Nicholson, 2010, 68 min
From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rights movement lay a unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed. Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture. Rubble Kings chronicles life during this era of gang rule, tells the story of how a few extraordinary, forgotten people did the impossible, and how their actions impacted New York City and the world over. Rubble Kings covers the real life NYC history that inspired the cult classic The Warriors.
Monday, August 8th, Sundown
Midsummer’s Night’s Dream
Julie Taymor, 2014, 160 min
A film by Julie Taymor of Julie Taymor’s much heralded and sold-out production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed at Theatre For A New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, New York in 2014. Taymor is the creative force behind such productions as The Magic Flute (Metropolitan Opera), Across the Universe, Frida, and of course the highest grossing Broadway musical of all time, The Lion King. Of all Shakespeare’s plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the most phantasmagorical, featuring fairies, spells, and hallucinatory lovers. Julie Taymor turns out a production that’s visually breathtaking, funny, sexy and darkly poetic. With cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto (Argo, Frida) and music by Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal, this is an immersive, inventive cinematic experience that was filmed during the show’s highly acclaimed inaugural run. The feats of visual imagination are ingenious and plentiful, but beating at the centre of the film is an emotionally moving take on the deeper human aspects of this beloved tale. In honor of mid-summer, the 62nd anniversary of Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park, and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Monday, August 15th, Sundown
The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, 2015, 103 min
Oscar®-nominated The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.
Monday, August 22nd, Sundown
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One
William Greaves, 1968, 75 min
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.
Monday, August 29th, Sundown
This is Spinal Tap
Rob Reiner, 1984, 82 min
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 Music did 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.