Multibuy: Bebop New York
Birth of American Indie Cinema
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Late-50s New York. In Greenwich Village bars and Times Square burger joints painters, writers, critics, musicians were making a new world. Filmmakers were right there too.
Like the Abstract Expressionists, like the Beats, filmmakers were advocating for freedom from convention and the expression of real feeling. They demanded a cinema liberated from Hollywood, from ‘the system’. They wanted, in the words of critic Jonas Mekas, films that were “less perfect, but more free.”
This season presents a selection of films made in New York in these years. Here are films shot on location, which capture urban life in its raw, unrefined state, and with a spontaneity and immediacy that is new. Some go further, developing a first-person shooting style which allows us to inhabit the filmmaker’s way of seeing.
John Cassavetes’ directorial debut bottles the excitement of 50s bohemian New York – all late-night parties, smoky nightclubs and existentialist chat.
Stan Brakhage: An Adventure in Perception (18*)
A triple bill of films by the American pioneer of 'first-person' cinema.
Echoes of Silence + Pestilent City (15*)
Shot between 1962-5 on black-and-white 16mm film, these two rare micro-budget indies offer haunting images of Beat-era New York.
Women Independents (12A*) + Introduction by Helen de Witt
An evening of short films by women pioneers of independent American cinema.
The Cool World (15*)
Set to Dizzy Gillespie’s celebrated jazz score, this portrait of 1960s Harlem street life was the first feature shot on location in the borough.