Screening

Restorations and Revivals: Babylon


The incendiary Babylon has been finally released in the U.S., playing to packed screenings and hailed as a true discovery. Raw and smoldering, it follows a dancehall DJ (Brinsley Forde, front man of the British reggae group Aswad) in South London as he pursues his musical ambitions, battling against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbors, and police. The blistering soundtrack features Aswad, Johnny Clarke, Dennis Bovell, and more.

"CRITIC'S PICK. Babylon is a 39-year-old nugget of a movie about young British Jamaicans and their itinerant reggae scene built around sound systems, freestyling and parties with rich, low lighting. Just as seminal an entry in the English “angry young man” sweepstakes as the plays, novels and movies about alienation made in the 1960s. Babylon amounts to something that still feels new. You’re looking at people who, in 1980 England, were, at last, being properly, seriously seen." — The New York Times
 
"Assertive and ebullient, Babylon is as alive as a movie can be to the everyday mesh of liberating art, humorous camaraderie and hazardous political reality. Dennis Bovell’s reggae soundtrack...is a master class of mood — a sonic heartbeat full of joy, pain and fury, the needle drops like matches struck and the music an insistent, scented flame you hear, see and feel." — Robert Abele, The Los Angeles Times

"Like the reggae music that pulses through it,Babylon is rich, rough and real. And like the street life of the young black Londoners it portrays, it's threatening, touching, violent and funny. This one seems to explode in the gut with a powerful mix of pain and pleasure." — Variety

"Invaluable. Spills over with killer reggae on its soundtrack. Nearly four decades after its Cannes premiere, the pic is finally getting US distribution... it deserves a robust welcome." — The Hollywood Reporter

"Babylon does more than borrow the music, fashion, or world view of reggae. It embodies the ethos of the music—and it feels like a song, swaying from a clever joke to fire and brimstone, conveying a message less through language than through the passage of sound waves through bodies." —The New Yorker

"A STORY WITH LITERALLY EPIC STAKES. It's no surprise why the film may resonate now—its themes of finding community through art and trying to exist in a society that doesn't want you are unfortunately both timeless and extremely current." — GQ

"Babylon is a British cult classic [with an] irresistibly danceable dub soundtrack...a beautiful time capsule that shines a light on the vibrant underground culture that existed in early 80s south London." — BFI

"The 1980 cult classic considered by many to be the great U.K. reggae movie." — Rolling Stone

"It became a cult hit, resonating with reggae heads and black Londonites far before America experienced similar honesties with Do the Right Thing." — Vice

Read reviews here and here.

When:
Aug 2, 2019 to Aug 9, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $7
Time:
7:00 pm
Friday Time & Price:
7PM $9. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

QFest: Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You


DIRECTOR HARROD BLANK AND SUBJECT RUSTY TIDENBERG IN ATTENDANCE

Renowned art car artist Harrod Blank's camera-covered van breaks down near Albuquerque, NM. The only mechanic capable of fixing it is local drag racer, and machining savant, Russell “Rusty” Tidenberg. Rusty recently began to transition by getting breasts. While Rusty works, Harrod learns that Rusty's boss (father) cut his pay, his biker friends rejected him, and women won't date him now. Struck by his story, Harrod films Rusty for eight years. Other gender-non-binary art car artists that Harrod meets shed further light on gender identity in America. The film follows Rusty on this difficult journey of embracing and exhibiting both genders, while still hoping for acceptance, and love.

When:
Jul 31, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
7:00 pm
Wednesday Time & Price:
7PM $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
General Categories: 

QFest: Pasolini


This provocative biopic chronicles the final hours of Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Willem Dafoe) before his brutal murder in 1975. When he transposed the Marquis de Sade’s Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom from an 18th-century German castle to 1944 Fascist Italy, Pasolini faced resistance from the public, politicians, and press. For Pasolini—now in its first U.S. release—Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant; King of New York) focuses on Pasolini’s search for new material following the release of Salò. 

“It’s profane and it’s precious and it glows like the moon.” —The Guardian

“An absorbing portrait, particularly compelling when relying on Pasolini’s own words, which we hear verbatim through original letters and interviews.” —The Film Stage

Watch an interview with the director and star.

When:
Jul 27, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
7:00 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
7PM $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
General Categories: 

QFest: Before Stonewall


In 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The patrons decided to fight back, leading to three nights of rioting by the gay community. Marking the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement, Before Stonewall examines the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by gay and lesbian Americans since the 1920s. Revealing and often humorous, this acclaimed documentary—newly restored—celebrates the courage of those who led their lives with dignity despite widespread social discrimination, fear, and prejudice.

“Funny, sad, courageous, and touching!” —Seattle Times

“An absorbing, shocking, revealing, humorous, and thoroughly compassionate documentary.” —San Francisco Examiner

“It’s worth watching over and over again.” —Stage and Screen, London

“Entertaining and enlightening!” —Los Angeles Times

When:
Jul 27, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
5:00 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
5PM $10. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $8
General Categories: 

QFest: Secret Music


Director Daniel Beliavsky in attendance

Secret Music follows Pulitzer prize-winning American composer David Del Tredici (b. 1937) through his transformative and uninhibited commitment to writing what he calls “gay music,” a repertoire that celebrates the joys and honors the struggles of his life as a gay man. In his music, Del Tredici courageously and provocatively embraces his sexuality while confronting the fears and concerns shared by gay men of his generation – these include violence, marginalization, loneliness, and the need to be heard above the din of the normative. The film explores the challenging and urgent questions that emerge where biography, social history, and music intersect.

When:
Jul 26, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
8:45 pm
Friday Time & Price:
8:45PM $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
General Categories: 

QFest: Tongues Untied


Post-film panel discussion

Thirty years after its debut, Marlon Riggs’s film essay is considered a classic.  It was one of the first films to give voice to black gay men, presenting their perspectives on the racism, homophobia, and marginalization they experienced. Tongues Untied broke new artistic ground by mixing dynamic poetry (by Essex Hemphill and other artists), music, and performance, along with Riggs’s autobiographical revelations. The film was celebrated for its authentic representation of style and culture, as well its fierce response to oppression. When Tongues Untied had its national PBS broadcast (August 1, 1991), KUHT opted not to air it.  A community screening in the Museum’s Brown Auditorium was arranged, in partnership with SWAMP, DiverseWorks and the Community Artists Collective.  Filmmaker Marlon Riggs phoned in for a Q&A that was heard through the P.A. system!


When:
Jul 26, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
7:00 pm
Friday Time & Price:
7PM $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
General Categories: 

QFest: Cassandro, the Exotico!


Introduction and post-film Q&A by Cassandro

Lucha libre star Cassandro is famous as much for his flamboyant drag and sky-high pompadour as for his show-stopping acrobatics. His trailblazing ascent as one the industry’s first openly gay wrestlers has resonated internationally for a quarter century. A prize-winning fighter who reinvented a staunchly macho sport, Cassandro exudes resilience of all kinds—from the physical power to level his opponents, to an ability to revisit past trauma and cope with the scars of a body pushed to its limits. French-born filmmaker Marie Losier (The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye), who lives and works in New York, received the Guggenheim Award to make Cassandro, the Exotico!

• Watch an interview with the filmmaker.

► Plan ahead for your visit with parking information.

About the Speaker
World-renowned wrestler Cassandro got his start on the U.S./Mexico border. Born in El Paso in 1970, he began lucha libre training at age 15 in Juárez and became a professional wrestler in 1987, working under a mask as Mister Romano. He was soon encouraged to take on a new persona as an exótico—a male wrestler portraying a gay caricature. Although most exóticos are straight, Cassandro is gay. His first match as an exótico was unmasked, under the name Rosa Salvaje. In 1988, he was christened Cassandro.

When:
Jul 25, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID, $8
Time:
7:00 pm
Thursday Time & Price:
7PM $10. MFAH members, seniors (65+) & students with ID $8
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Duck Soup


A kind of anti-war movie (and one of the greatest comedies ever made), Duck Soup is irreverent in its satire that mocks militarism, politicians, and patriotism. Made when fascism and Nazism were gaining ground in Europe, the film’s contempt for warmongering still has relevance. Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont). 

Read appreciations of the film from the British Film Institute, Pre-Code.com, and The Guardian.

When:
Aug 10, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
6:30 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
6:30PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: The Story of Temple Drake


Often cited as one of the key reasons for the Code coming to be in the first place, The Story of Temple Drake is based on William Faulkner’s racy novel Sanctuary – which could not even be mentioned in the credits. Wealthy Southern party girl (Miriam Hopkins) survives a car crash only to be kidnapped by sleazy bootlegger Jack LaRue. The cinematography is by Karl Struss, who also shot F. W. Murnau’s silent classic Sunrise.

Restored by The Museum of Modern Art with support from Turner Classic Movies and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.

Read about the film in Nitrate Diva.

Read more essays here and here.

When:
Aug 10, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
5:00 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: The Red-Headed Woman


Jean Harlow commands the spotlight as Lil, a seductive woman whose ambition inspires her “vertical movement up the economic ladder by horizontal means” (Thomas Doherty). The saucy screenplay by Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) follows Lil’s wrecking the marriage of her boss, followed by more betrayals and outrageous bad girl behavior.

Read about the film here and here.

Read essays about the film here and here.

When:
Aug 4, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
5:00 pm
Sunday Time & Price:
5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 


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