Last night, just a couple dozen people braved the rain and cold to help kick off the first Greenpoint Film Festival with the premiere of Jonas Mekas’s new documentary, “My Mars Bar Movie.” The film, which Mr. Mekas, 88, said he had recorded during trips to Mars Bar over the course of fifteen years at Anthology Film Archives across the street, begins with a close-up of the archivist and filmmaker’s first name carved in the bar, followed by admiring shots of an insect-ridden fly strip and then the first of countless clinking tequila glasses.
Yesterday evening marked the beginning of what appears to be a promising new presence on the New York film scene: the opening night of the first annual Greenpoint Film Festival, launched by Brooklyn based arts organization Woven Spaces.
Films screened for the rest of the weekend will be a promising melange of documentaries, features and shorts with experimental tendencies, as well a good helping of repertory programming. The festival takes places at the Broadway Stages studio this weekend at 222 West St, which offers views of Manhattan and the East River in a loft-style screening space. The venue also happens to be beneath one of Brooklyn’s first rooftop farms, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm (and you know how we feel about Rooftops). Festival programmer and photographer Scott Nyerges spent 2010 documenting the farm’s growing season, so it comes as little surprise that they have chosen regeneration as the program’s organizing theme.
On October 27th, the Greenpoint Film Festival will make its debut. Inside Broadway Stages, movies from avant-garde, indie filmmakers will be screened, as will the work of cult favorite David Lynch. Throughout the four-day event, a wide variety of films with diverse themes covering environmental issues, local happenings, and social commentary are going to be shown.
Well-known for his contribution to the avant-garde film world, Jonas Mekas has been called the godfather of it all, but the humble 89-year-old doesn’t want that label.
“I don’t like it because there is a big misunderstanding,” he said as he spoke to this paper in his Clinton Hill studio in August before Hurricane Irene was set to hit. “It all began long before I was born.”
Did you know that the Little Rascals was set in Greenpoint? It’s one of the screenings for the upcoming Greenpoint Film Festival, the first of what will become an annual affair organized by Woven Spaces, a local nonprofit public arts group. Taking place October 27 – 30 at Broadway Stages in Greenpoint, the line-up includes favorites and lesser-known experimental, avant-garde shorts and feature-length films.