A Detroit Mini-Festival
Programmer Brandon Walley in person!


Saturday, August 23rd at 6:00, 8:00, & 10:00 pm
$5 per screening or $10 for all

The NIGHTINGALE is delighted to host  Detroit filmmaker and programmer, Brandon Walley, to present 3 separate moving image programs that survey the cultural and physical landscape of Detroit from filmmakers that have lived there and created these works over the past decade. This mini-film-fest titled DEAREST CHICAGO, PLEASE LOVE ME! YOURS TRULY, DETROIT is a retort against the two extremes of content that usually dominate media about Detroit; that of exploitive ruin porn or the over-simplification that Detroit is quickly rising from the ashes.

 Brandon Walley is the Program Director for CORKTOWN CINEMA, the new incarnation of The BURTON THEATRE: an eclectic independent cinema that features art house, avant-garde, LGBT, foreign, local, and cult films. For the past six years he has also acted as the Regional Programmer for Media City International Film Festival in Windsor, Ontario. As a filmmaker, Brandon’s work has been received at film festivals and art exhibitions internationally.

This screening continues a dual city moving image dialogue. Last summer at Trinosophes in Detroit, The Nightingale’s Christy LeMaster presented CHICAGO LOVES DETROIT: Recent Short Film & Video Work from Chicago.


Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, film, found footage, video


Presented by Beguiled Cinema
Laura Colella and cast members via Skype!


Saturday, August 9th at 8:00 pm, $7 -10

“I absolutely love it! You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a smile from beginning to end.” –Paul Thomas Anderson

The micro-budgeted comedy Breakfast With Curtis was shot almost entirely in the homes of writer-director Laura Colella and her neighbors. Yet this is no ordinary home movie–it’s a coming-of-age story, family portrait, and stoner comedy all rolled into one. The title character is an introverted 14-year-old boy who overcomes his social anxiety during a “seminal summer” when he befriends the lovable eccentrics who live next door. His adventure begins when chief eccentric Syd asks him to shoot and edit a web series called “Breakfast With Syd,” in which the reclusive artist reflects on his life in the cultural underground and anything else that pops into his head. In making the series, Curtis becomes part of Syd’s little commune, which includes his wife, his artist roommates, and his kooky old landlady, Sadie. Eventually Curtis’s parents–who had fallen out with the neighbors five years earlier–learn to lighten up and follow suit.

Colella, who studied film at Harvard under the great Raul Ruiz, employs graceful tracking shots, screwball-style comic dialogue, and dreamy, laid-back pacing to advance a wholly cinematic style all her own. The film inspires a sense of wonder that’s all the more impressive given the seemingly limited setting. Such is the achievement of Breakfast With Curtis: it encourages us to find life-changing experiences where we rarely think to look.

Breakfast With Curtis is Laura Colella’s third feature as writer/director/editor. Laura’s films have screened at over 100 festivals, winning over 25 awards. She studied film as an undergraduate at Harvard, and is represented by United Talent Agency and Circle of Confusion. She also writes and directs plays, teaches Directing, Screenwriting and Filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and Vermont College of Fine Arts, collaborates on multimedia productions with Everett Company, and freelances in screenwriting, cinematography, and editing.

Programmed by Ben and Kat Sachs for Beguiled Cinema.

Filed under: artist in attendance, experimental, video


an unusual anime viewing experience

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.38.28 PM

Sunday, July 27th at 8:00 pm, $7-10

Otaku (the fan), shōjo (a young girl), transformation, technology, escapism, adolescence…

The Nightingale presents an unusual anime viewing experience. Composed of original shorts and clips, the works in this program emphasize thematic elements common to Japanese animation.

Including work by:
Hideaki Anno
Tezuka Osama & Junji Kobayashi
Masaaki Yuasa

Programmed by Emily Eddy & Daniel Baeza

Filed under: Uncategorized

DEAD BIRDS by Robert Gardner

Free Memorial Screening
Presented with Documentary Educational Resources, Studio7Arts, and UIC Daley Library

(photograph by Akos Ostor)

July 21st at 8:00 pm, Free

“In Dead Birds my fondest hope was that my camera be a mirror for its viewers to see themselves.” -RG

The Nightingale Cinema is honored to present a FREE screening of Dead Birds (1964) to note the recent passing of legendary nonfiction filmmaker Robert Gardner. This commemorative screening of his most influential film, Dead Birds, is a 16mm print from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Daley Library. The print is being made available to the public with special permission from Gardner’s family, Studio7Arts and Documentary Educational Resources of Watertown, MA (

There is a fable told by a mountain people living in the highlands of New Guinea about a race between a snake and bird. It tells of a contest which decided whether men would be like birds and die, or be like snakes which shed their skins and have eternal life. The bird won, and from that time all men, like birds, must die. 

-from the film Dead Birds

Screen shot 2014-07-02 at 1.22.42 PM

Gardner’s own synopsis of Dead Birds

Dead Birds is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem high in the mountains of West Papua. When I shot the film in 1961, the Dani had a classic Neolithic culture. They were exceptional in the way they dedicated themselves to an elaborate system of ritual warfare. Neighboring groups, separated by uncultivated strips of no man’s land, engaged in frequent battles. When a warrior was killed in battle or died from a wound and even when a woman or a child lost their life in an enemy raid, the victors celebrated and the victims mourned. Because each death needed to be avenged, the balance was continually adjusted by taking life. There was no thought of wars ever ending, unless it rained or became dark. Wars were the best way they knew to keep a terrible harmony in a life that would be, without them, much drearier and unimaginable.

Dead Birds has a meaning that is both immediate and allegorical. In the Dani language the words refer to the weapons and ornaments recovered in battle. Their other more poetic meaning comes from the Dani belief that people, because they are like birds, must die.

Dead Birds was an attempt to film a people from within and to see, when the chosen fragments were assembled, if they could speak not only about the Dani but also about ourselves.




Filed under: documentary, film, Free Screening!, Uncategorized

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