The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry

Sunday, April 3rd, 7:30pm

Keeling's Caribbean Showcase

Curated by Keeling Beckford of Keeling's Reggae Music and Videos

The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee Scratch Perry

Dir. Ethan Higbee & Adam Bhala Lough, 2008, 90 min.

An in depth exploration of one of the most fascinating and influential artists of our times, Lee Scratch Perry. This documentary probes into Perry's mysterious youth as well as the notorious events of his peak production years in Kingston. Scratch mentored a young Bob Marley, created the sound of Reggae as we now know it, pioneered a new genre of music called Dub, invented what was to become the remix and produced international hit songs for artists from Junior Murvin to The Congos to Paul McCartney to The Clash all while working out of the infamous Black Ark Studio, a shack that he built with his hands then later burned to the ground in a fit of drug addled rage. Equally a documentation of a musical culture and a fascinating character study of genius and madness, The Upsetter is a sight and sound clash of visual and aural styles, utilizing archival footage, photographs, concert video, audio clips, music video clips both old and new, and an exclusive, candid interview with the mastermind himself at his home in Switzerland. Filmed in Jamaica, London, Switzerland, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Colorado, The Upsetter charts Perry's influence on all reaches of the globe.


After the Movie: Q&A with co-director Adam Bhala Lough


Reception Sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale

Jock Docs Finale: “Base to Base, Borough to Borough: Baseball in NYC!”

Wednesday, March 30th, 7:30pm

Jock Docs Finale: “Base to Base, Borough to Borough: Baseball in NYC!”

Curated by Laura Coxson


I’m Keith Hernandez

Dir. Rob Perri, 2009, 20 minutes

Part baseball documentary, part anti drug film, part socio-political satire, I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ utilizes a version of Hernandez life as a vehicle to discuss how male identity is shaped by TV/film, sports, advertising, and pornography.

By examining the aforementioned types of media in conjunction with Lacan’s “Mirror Theory”, a clearer picture of masculinity emerges. As part of this discourse, the physical attribute of the mustache is explored as a symbol of male virility. Other topics include the Iran/Contra Affair and the resulting “Crack Explosion”, celebrity obsessed culture, and the subtleties of children’s television programming.


Director Rob Perri in attendance.


Wolf Ticket

Dugan Beach, 2009, 9 minutes

Dock Ellis again! This time, Ellis recounts the infamous details surrounding his ongoing feud with Reggie Jackson in the 1970s. Pitching (while drunk on vodka) during an all-star game, Ellis gave up a massive home run to Jackson. When something else Reggie did got Dock’s goat, Dock resorted to beaming him in the head in a subsequent game (here, he boldly confesses to being upset that he only broke Jackson’s glasses and not his jaw).


Plus Clips from “Dem Bums: The History of the Brooklyn Dodgers” and “A Man Named Mays”


Ed Randall--host of the radio program  “Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball” will moderate the screening and discussion!

Cosponsored by Bat for the Cure


Screening Followed by a Reception Sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale

The Experiment

Saturday, March 12th, 7:30pm

The Experiment

Curated by Peter Buntaine and Lorenzo Gattorna

Melting Ground

Dirs. Richard Garet and Asher Thal-Nir, 2011, 16mm on video, b&w, sound, 40 min.

"...As if Erik Satie and Albert Pinkham Ryder had taken a helicopter ride in Alaska together in order that they might locate a cipher or secret alphabet in the clouds, the mist and the glacial moraine below. Aerial adumbrations of wilderness unfolding in time like a Chinese landscape painting from the Sixteenth Century. Topography as stand-in for the unconscious. With geology and waterfall as phantasm, a panorama of lost places flickering in the eidetic harbor of dream. Of what was and never will be again, as much in metaphor, in mind, in memory as in actual place. Who am I? Where am I going? What can I become?" - David Baker on 'Melting Ground'


At Sea

Dir. Peter Hutton, 2004-07, 16mm, color, silent, 60 min.

"The momentum of more than forty thousand tons is as absolute as the darkness" (John McPhee, Looking for a Ship). Hutton's most recent film—a riveting and revelatory chronicle of the birth, life, and death of a colossal container ship—is unquestionably one of his most ambitious and profound. A haunting meditation on human progress, both physical and metaphorical, At Sea charts a three-year passage from twenty-first-century ship building in South Korea to primitive and dangerous ship breaking in Bangladesh, with an epic journey across the North Atlantic in between.


Filmmakers Peter Hutton and Richard Garet in person for a Q&A's following the screenings and a reception sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale

Under the Influence of ego trip Pt. 2

Thursday, February 24th, 7:30pm

“Under the Influence of ego trip Pt. 2”

Curated by Ego Trip and Andreas Vingaard


Founding Fathers

Ron Lawrence and Hassan Pore, 2009, 75min.

Founding Fathers is a chronicle of 70s park jam era emcees/dj/promoters in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and their roles in the development of hip-hop and NYC sound system culture. This film delivers history of the core roots of this popular music as it plays out on the streets, parks and nightclubs in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Directors Ron Lawrence and Hassan Pore take an amazing journey through the boroughs rediscovering DJ’s with massive sound systems.


Q&A with Director Hassan Pore, Disco Twins, DJ Lance, Fab 5 Freddy & DJ Divine of Infinity Machine


Reception Sponsored By Sugar Hill Ale to follow screening and discussion!

New Films Presented by Livia Bloom

Monday, February 14th-Sunday, February 20th, 7:30pm

Documentary in Bloom: New Films Presented by Livia Bloom


The Day Was a Scorcher

Ken Jacobs, 2009, 8min.

In this remarkable stroboscopic work, New York City avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs takes a dynamic approach to the notion of documentary. The director animates photographs of his wife and children taken on a trip to Rome in the 1970s, re-visiting and re-living the past in a distinctly modern way.


Port of Memory

Kamal Aljafari, 2009, 71min.

In this art world hit, director turns his camera inward: On his Palestinian family and the details of their lives in Israel; on Jaffa and Ramle, the cities of his youth; and on the decaying architecture that is the silent battleground for Israeli and Palestinian social and cultural conflict and the site of his childhood. Aljafari begins his exploration in Ramle with a lyrical split-screen study of the bare structural bones of innumerable terraces and porticos that once overlooked the city in Balconies, a prologue to Port of Memory. He then moves across Jaffa in the midst of gentrification, studying the faces of his family as they brace themselves in the face of the harrowing specter of losing their family home. Aljafari deftly integrates fictional cinematic techniques reminiscent of Antonioni and Bresson into vivid, emotional, and contemporary documentary.

Director Kamal Aljafari will be available for a post screening Q&A on Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th


Friday’s screening and discussion will also be followed by a reception sponsored By Sugar Hill Ale!  

The Cool World

Saturday, February 5th, 7:30 pm

Harlem Homegrown

Under the Influence of Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts:

The Cool World

Dir. Shirley Clarke, 1964, 120 min.

With special guest, Ronnie “Hampton” Clanton

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts told us  "I first heard of The Cool World because of its connection with poet and activist June Jordan, who worked as an assistant to producer

Frederick Wiseman. The film's attempt to capture the reality of streetlife in Harlem takes us directly into the problem of how the neighborhood has been represented, misrepresented, and imagined, which is also a big concern of my book  “Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America.” I look forward to viewing and discussing this film with Ronnie Clanton, who starred as its protagonist, Duke (credited in the film as Hampton Clanton)." Ronnie “Hampton” Clanton also stared in the seminal and groundbreaking film the Education of Sonny Carson (1974) as Sonny Carson.

After the Movie: Conversation, Q&A with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts and Ronnie Clanton and a short reading from “Harlem is Nowhere” with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts


Reception Sponsored By Sugar Hill Ale to follow screening and discussion!

Not Just a Game

Tuesday, January 25th, 7:30pm

Jock Docs: Under of the Influence of Dave Zirin

Curated by Laura Coxson

Not Just a Game

Dir. Jeremy Earp, 2010, 62 min.

We've been told again and again that sports and politics don't mix, that games are just games and athletes should just "shut up and play." But according to Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin, this notion is just flat-out wrong. In Not Just a Game, the powerful new documentary based on his bestselling book The People's History of Sports in the United States, Zirin argues that far from providing merely escapist entertainment, American sports have long been at the center of some of the major political debates and struggles of our time. In a fascinating tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture, Zirin first traces how American sports have glamorized militarism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, then excavates a largely forgotten history of rebel athletes who stood up to power and fought for social justice beyond the field of play. The result is as deeply moving as it is exhilarating: nothing less than an alternative history of political struggle in the United States as seen through the games its people have played.

Q&A with Dave Zirin

Sugar Hill Ale Reception to Follow

White Dog

Friday, January 21st

Ego Trip Presents:

White Dog

Dir. Samuel Fuller, 1982, 90 min.

Samuel Fuller’s White Dog, part exploitation flick, part uncompromising anti-racist parable, is the story of a young actress (Julie), played by “Teen Beat” generation star Kristy McNichol, who adopts a true “white dog.” In White Dog, this actual white-furred dog has been trained to attack and kill black people, forcing Julie to choose between putting the dog down or trying to “cure” the animal of its savage racism -- if that is even possible. The screenplay is loosely based on the non-fiction novel “White Dog” by Romain Gary, which is in turn based on real life experiences that Romain and his wife, the late actress Jean Seberg (Godard’s Breathless), endured when they unwittingly adopted a “white dog” in Alabama in the late 60s.  As film critic Armond White pointed out in his essay for Criterion, White Dog  was shelved almost 10 years before its U.S theatrical release because “No movie is ahead of its time, just ahead of cultural gatekeepers.”


Panel Discussion with Hip Hop collective Ego Trip to follow Friday’s screening

Sugar Hill Ale Reception to Follow

My Name is Albert Ayler

Thursday, January 20th, 7:30pm

My Name is Albert Ayler

Dir. Kasper Collin, 2005, 79 mins.

This film chronicles the life and times of Albert Ayler, the jazz saxophonist who influenced avant- garde jazz taking it to unexplored levels of artistic and experimental freedom. Originally from Cleveland, Ayler arrived on the New York jazz scene via a prolonged stint in Sweden where he recorded his first album in 1962. A mysterious figure in many ways, Ayler was found dead eight years later somewhere along the East River. This weighty film contemplates the man and his music and includes never before seen concert footage as well as extensive interviews with Ayler and his brother. “Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin’s melancholy, beautiful feature debut does more than just chronicle this undervalued musician; it brings Ayler and his message of spiritual unity back to life”. - the Village Voice


Q and A with director after the screening

Sugar Hill Ale Reception to Follow


I See White People

A quarterly series that examines the role white racism, privilege and cultural attitudes play in shaping the perspectives that dominate American documentary and fiction film.