New Yorkers know summer weather is great… until it isn’t. The stench of _______ in the city becomes unbearable (there are so many varieties, I’ll let you fill in the blank with your favorite). We lose half our ice cream cone down our arms before we have a chance to eat it. My personal breaking point? When my skirt and my thighs become a singular entity. And when that moment hits, it’s time to find some indoor relief. Movie theaters, it turns out, are the perfect escape.
Have you ever been in the situation where you’re walking down the aisle of a grocery store, a certain song plays over the speaker and you find yourself overcome with emotion? Maybe it triggered the memory of your first boyfriend, or it reminded you of a particular place, or the lyrics were particularly relevant to a recent event. If you’ve ever stifled sobs in the dairy aisle while deciding between skim and 1%, you’re not alone.
If there were a list of naturally aggressive words in the English language, it feels like “manifesto” would be at the top of that list. But it’s really just a declaration of intentions, be it Marx’s or lululemon’s. Each one carries weight, because once we verbalize or document a motive, we make a formal commitment to it. And one person who seems to understand the power of a manifesto is filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt.
Roselfeldt’s 2015 film, Manifesto, premiered at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and is finally being offered to New York City audiences at Park Avenue Armory’s Drill Hall. In real estate-starved Manhattan, it’s hard not to walk into the space and be awed by its sheer size. The dark, cavernous 55,000-square-foot room holds thirteen giant movie screens. A lone bench sits in front of each one, and as you perch on it, a speaker delivers targeted audio for the piece of film you’re watching.
I love movies. From the classics to the contemporaries, the small indies to the big blockbusters. We’ve been pretty open about that here on the blog where we’ve covered a film festival (here), attended an opening week screening (here), or most recently, just waxed poetic about one of our favorite directors (here). So when the weather warms up, it should come as no surprise that one of our favorite things to do is catch an outdoor movie screening.
New Yorkers are fortunate that there are numerous free outdoor movie screenings offered in many of the city’s amazing parks throughout the summer. You could watch The Omen at Bryant Park, Purple Rain at Hudson River Park, American Graffiti at Brooklyn Bridge Park or The Royal Tenenbaums at McCarren Park. But we’re not the only ones who love movies in New York City, and we’re definitely not the only ones who love free activities. City dwellers wait in anticipation for the schedules to be released at the beginning of the season and appear en masse for showtime. In order to find a spot most of us have to turn up hours earlier, often with blankets and refreshments in tow.
What are the criteria for an outstanding short film? Or, more precisely, what are the criteria for an outstanding student-produced short film? The specificity makes a huge difference, actually. That’s exactly what the Columbia University Film Festival seeks to answer with screenings, voting and discussions. The festival is the result of Columbia University’s MFA students’ years of study in the prestigious school’s film program. As one would expect, being part of the Columbia University system gives the students access to massive film archives, unparalleled research collections and mentorship from industry leaders. Alumni have gone on to produce box office hits (Frozen) and Netflix favorites (Making a Murderer), and are regular film award nominees and winners.