With LOADS by Curt McDowell
Thursday, September 14 at 8 PM, $7-10
THE DESTROYING ANGEL (Peter de Rome, 1976)
62 minutes, Digital File
The second and final feature by BFI-recognized experimental/erotic filmmaker and recent documentary subject Peter de Rome, THE DESTROYING ANGEL is a film truly unlike any other. A complete hybrid of horror movie and hardcore, its very loosely Poe-inspired story focuses on priest Caswell Campbell who is on sabbatical from seminary and, feeling torn between the pleasures of the flesh and his call to the cloth, indulges in an escalatingly bizarre series of psychotropic mushroom-feuled sexual experiences, all while being plagued by haunting visions of his doppelganger. Though more of its screen time is spent on sexual acts than in much of de Rome’s other work, THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s sex scenes are anything but traditional, growing increasingly surreal and deconstructed throughout the course of the film, advancing the plot and themes, and functioning as creepy hallucinatory episodes for the viewer. Accurately critically called “a mess but a masterpiece,” THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s weird blend of elements (including over-the-top acting, beautifully-edited psychedelic imagery, and a few jaw-dropping sexual feats) makes for a thoroughly watchable film that manages to be simultaneously campy and artful; erotic, frightening, and fun. (Screening thanks to Bijou Video.)
LOADS (Curt McDowell, 1976, released 1985)
19 minutes, 16mm on DVD
With LOADS, Curt McDowell–the preeminent satyr of underground lust–puts his hand, mouth, and camera where the money is: in and out of the underpants of tough, sometimes tender, alluring straight men. Shameless, touching, resplendent in body heat, LOADS remains a rhapsody to fluidity and flexibility, a seminal masterpiece in every way.
Special thanks to his sister Melinda McDowell Milks, who’s generously allowing us to screen it.
Programmed by Julia Zinn and Edward E. Crouse
Filed under: 16mm
Heat Situated/Necessary Accessories
Thursday, August 31 at 8 PM, $7-10
The Nightingale presents Heat Situated/Necessary Accessories: new video works and poetry by Shala Miller. Her work primarily consists of photography, text, video and drawing from time to time. Language and conversation serve as the thematic umbrella for Shala’s work. Whether it’s the language of a photograph and it’s poetic capabilities or the conversation between the soprano and alto.
Originally from Cleveland, OH, Shala is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she is soon to be a New Yorker.
THE ECHO, Super 8 converted to video, video, digital collage 8:14
LET’S GET IN THE DARK, video, 2:50
LULLABY FOR THE FALLING/A SPELL, video, 2:59
SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE HEAD AT THE TAIL, video, 5:08
videos to be followed by a reading of new poems.
Filed under: artist in attendance
, Super 8mm
Artist in Attendance!
The Nightingale, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Friday-Sunday, August 4-6th, $7-10
This August the Nightingale Cinema is happy to present a three night retrospective of Chicago native James Fotopoulos. Featuring past and new video works. Some of these pieces have not been screened in Chicago in over 10 years.
August 4th at 7:30 pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2001
USA, 74 min. 16mm/video
“Christabel is an abstract interpretation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s unfinished Gothic poem about female possession. Adhering to the poem’s structure the film is presented in four parts – Two digital video half hour segments and then two short 16mm conclusions. The contemporary relevance of the poem’s symbols and themes is underlined using performance combined with heavy image and sound layering.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2012
USA, 82 min, video
Agents Mr. Rainbow and Mr. Lamb are sent to an alien planet fighting a civil war. Their mission to destroy a perpetual motion machine is interrupted by their capture. While their interrogations proceed the two men struggle to come to terms with their suffering and pending death.
Dignity uses the minimal structure of a sci-fi B-film, the high artifice of painted backdrops, prosthetic horror effects, psychedelic noise soundtrack and early digital techniques to flesh out the philosophical ideas ranging from the stoic writings Marcus Aurelius to the fantasy prison drawings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
August 5th at 5pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2002
USA, 97 min, 16mm.
A hybrid film that intentionally clashes techniques and syntaxes, FAMILIES is a series docufictional vignettes in a rural industrial town as portrayed through Fotopoulous’ singular eye.
“Life in a rural industrial town: a teenage boy, his family, friends and failed attempt at love are investigated through stark black-and-white photography and static long takes. Filmed in a fusion of authentic and staged documentation, with robotic performances by actors and non-actors, the piece meditates on the mundane existence of human and animal life.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2014
USA, 103 min, video
Lamb is a troubled veteran and his girlfriend, M, is tormented as well. When he’s not working as a security guard in an old warehouse with other unstable vets, Lamb haunts a nightclub frequented by wounded and traumatized ex-soldiers. There he meets a one-armed vet, Thrill, who starts a strange story about the effects of his post-traumatic stress, which unsettles Lamb.
While walking though a forest, Lamb discovers a humanoid carcass and hides it in his basement. At the club he meets an older woman and begins an affair. Soon otherworldly events start to occur and his girlfriend is attacked inside their apartment by mysterious beings.
In the middle of the night the older woman comes over traumatized. She believes she was brought to an underground compound in the forest inhabited by creatures similar to the one Lamb discovered. She insists these aliens are waiting for a signal to attack. Lamb and M build a truck bomb to destroy the compound before it’s too late. As they drive it to the nuclear power plant the story Thrill told seems about to end.
August 6th at 5pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2003
USA, 78 min, 16mm
“Filmed in saturated colors on out-of-date film stocks with an aggressive soundtrack, the story of The Nest is told – The marriage of two young professionals unravels after an unnamed accident physically and emotional traumatizes the wife. Government agents, shadowy investigators and transgender beings appear, trying to solve the nervous-breakdown-mystery of secret alien forces that chose the couple as their target. In-camera tricks, drawings, derelict optical printing, miniatures, puppets and prosthetic makeup effects convey the dual collapse of the protagonists’ lives and the film structure as one unified entity.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2015
USA, 75 min, video
An actress living in New York performs an audition, then goes to meditation and winds up at a party of artists viewing a film. At home, she and her girlfriend explore buried memories and later nightmares trigger sleepwalking. Finally, the actress enacts a childlike performance inspired by a Frank Wedekind play.
Mr Fotopoulos will be in attendance for all the screenings.
James Fotopoulos is a filmmaker who began production on his first feature-length film, ZERO (1997), in 1995. In 1998, he founded Fantasma for the production of his second feature, Migrating Forms (1999), and would continue to create a number of critically acclaimed narrative feature films, such as Back Against the Wall (2000), Families (2002), The Nest (2003) and Dignity (2012).
There will be an 15 minute intermission between films.
Programmed by Raul Benitez.
Filed under: 16mm
, artist in attendance
, dual projection