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"TINY" with Martin Bell

Saturday July 20 5:00PM

Martin Bell in person Sat July 20 at 5:00pm & Sun July 21 at 3:30pm

More than thirty years after Streetwise, Bell and his filmmaking partner, the late, legendary photographer Mary Ellen Mark, return to one of that film’s most haunting subjects, the brash 14-year-old who went by the nickname of “Tiny.” Erin Blackwell has survived drug addiction, crushing poverty, and unfathomable mental distress, but Bell discovers the mother of ten battered-but-unbowed, changed by the years though with her indomitable life force very much intact, struggling to keep her children from following in her footsteps. Culling together footage shot over the course of three decades, Bell and Mark produce a tender tribute to this resilient, flawed, and defiantly independent women, and a family trying to change its fortunes.

"CASSANDRO, THE EXOTICO!" with Marie Losier

Saturday July 20 7:30PM

Marie Losier in person Saturday 5pm (moderated by Eric Shorey AKA DJ Accident Report) & 7:30pm

Marie Losier, whose recent mid-career retrospective at MoMA reviewed a body of work rich with revealing artist portraits that blow apart the familiar bio-doc template, puts the spotlight on a stupendous LGBTQ+ showman in Cassandro, the Exotico!. Known in the wrestling ring as Cassandro, 47-year-old Saul Armendariz is the openly gay champion of Mexico’s exotico wrestling circuit, a subgenre featuring competitors in drag and, between back-breaking suplexes, generous doses of camp vamping. The compassionate, funny, and fabulous Cassandro, the Exotico!, shot entirely on 16mm film as per Losier’s established custom, follows the Liberace of the Lucha Libre in his final years of competition as he struggles with opponents, the cruel passage of time, and substance abuse. Losier utilizes bold experimental conceits to dig into the seeming paradox posed by the existence of this fierce femme in the most macho of pastimes.

A Film Movement release.

"TINY" with Martin Bell

Sunday July 21 3:30PM

Martin Bell in person Sat July 20 at 5:00pm & Sun July 21 at 3:30pm

More than thirty years after Streetwise, Bell and his filmmaking partner, the late, legendary photographer Mary Ellen Mark, return to one of that film’s most haunting subjects, the brash 14-year-old who went by the nickname of “Tiny.” Erin Blackwell has survived drug addiction, crushing poverty, and unfathomable mental distress, but Bell discovers the mother of ten battered-but-unbowed, changed by the years though with her indomitable life force very much intact, struggling to keep her children from following in her footsteps. Culling together footage shot over the course of three decades, Bell and Mark produce a tender tribute to this resilient, flawed, and defiantly independent women, and a family trying to change its fortunes.

"CHALK" with Rob Nilsson

Friday July 26 7:00PM

Rob Nilsson in person

Directed by Rob Nilsson, winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes for Northern Lights and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Heat and Sunlight, as well as the creative leader of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Action Group and The Tenderloin yGroup acting workshops, whose participants were largely street people from the city’s skid row, Chalkcenters its drama around a rundown black pool hall operated by the dying 60-year-old Watson (Edwin Johnson). The rough-and-ready film was brilliantly shot on video by DP Mickey Freeman and produced by Rand Crook and Ethan Sing. Watson’s two sons—doted-on, adopted Chinese-American pool prodigy T.C. (Kelvin Han Yee), and Jones (Johnnie Reese), Watson’s child with a Korean woman he met during the Korean War—vie for their father’s affections, culminating in a can’t-win match between T.C. and a ranking pro (Don Bajema), arranged by the spurned Jones. “An Oedipal drama so raw it feels like falling facedown onto a pile of bricks... Nilsson combines a performance-oriented, Cassavetes-like realism with a painterly, expressionist sense of color and composition...”—Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

"CHALK" with Rob Nilsson

Saturday July 27 4:30PM

Rob Nilsson in person on 7/26 at 7pm & 7/27 at 4:30pm.

Directed by Rob Nilsson, winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes for Northern Lights and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Heat and Sunlight, as well as the creative leader of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Action Group and The Tenderloin yGroup acting workshops, whose participants were largely street people from the city’s skid row, Chalk centers its drama around a rundown black pool hall operated by the dying 60-year-old Watson (Edwin Johnson). The rough-and-ready film was brilliantly shot on video by DP Mickey Freeman and produced by Rand Crook and Ethan Sing. Watson’s two sons—doted-on, adopted Chinese-American pool prodigy T.C. (Kelvin Han Yee), and Jones (Johnnie Reese), Watson’s child with a Korean woman he met during the Korean War—vie for their father’s affections, culminating in a can’t-win match between T.C. and a ranking pro (Don Bajema), arranged by the spurned Jones. “An Oedipal drama so raw it feels like falling facedown onto a pile of bricks... Nilsson combines a performance-oriented, Cassavetes-like realism with a painterly, expressionist sense of color and composition...”—Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

"ASHES AND DIAMONDS" with Walter Bernstein

Sunday July 28 5:00PM

Walter Bernstein in person

On the occasion of his one-hundredth birthday, I asked legendary screenwriter Walter Bernstein (Fail Safe, The Magnificent Seven, The Front, The Molly Maguires, That Kind of Woman) to choose a film dear to him that he would like to share— either one he has been involved with in his decades-long career (including the many years he worked pseudonymously while blacklisted during the McCarthy era) or one he simply loves. He chose Ashes and Diamonds, Andrej Wajda’s searing 1958 masterpiece about a young Polish Nationalist Army assassin, tasked in the last days of World War 2 to kill a communist official. Please join Walter Bernstein for this special screening in honor of his hundredth birthday.—James Schamus

"THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR + THE TRIP" with Eileen Myles

Sunday August 18 7:00PM

I’m a huge fan of Frank Wilderson’s Black, White & Red. In it I read about Ivan Dixon’s The Spook Who Sat By The Door. He quoted the following about its screening history: “Reluctantly released by United Artists, The Spook Who Sat by the Door attracted lines that went around the block at the back-alley theaters in which it was booked. Weeks later, after a National Guard Armory in California was robbed (much in the same way that had been depicted in the movie), the film was snatched off the screen and pulled from distribution.” I think my own short film engages politics, and especially the politics of the region I shot it in which is America finally because it must. I’ve been dying to see Dixon's film since I read about it. I’m pairing it with The Trip because I can and because I crave the experience of seeing a film with an audience that probably hungers for its news today at least as much as I do.—Eileen Myles