Posted tagged ‘Young Friends of Film’

Photos from Young Friends of Film Presents: It Might Get Loud

August 3, 2009
Director Davis Guggenheim with Film Comment Senior Editor Chris Chang

Elisabeth Shue with director Davis Guggenheim
Elisabeth Shue with director Davis Guggenheim

All photos by Godlis

Our most recent Young Friends of Film event–It Might Get Loud–was a smash success, with a packed house, director Q&A and afterparty. Don’t miss out next time! Join YFF now and you’ll be on the A-list for a year’s worth of events designed especially for younger film-lovers.

Thanks again to our friends at KEXP for taking part in the event. New Yorkers, you don’t have to stop rocking–tune into 91.5 FM for great music, local events and much more from KEXP Radio New York.


Can The Film Society rock? You bet — on Thursday, July 30th, It Might Get Loud!

July 21, 2009

What do Jack White, The Edge and Jimmy Page have in common? A borderline psychotic obsession with their guitars, naturally. On Thursday, July 30, Young Friends of Film presents a preview screening of It Might Get Loud, a documentary examination of these legendary axemen from Inconvenient Truth director David Guggenheim.

Over in the current issue of Film Comment, Chris Chang (who’s been rumored to rock himself) has a great Hegelian analysis of the inherent drama of bringing together three such charismatic personalities:

Page nicely fits the bill of rock ‘n’ roll progenitor, at the very least nominally, having, among other things, co-authored the 1971 Zeppelin staple “Rock and Roll.” Contra Page’s blistering finger virtuosity, we have The Edge’s militantly reductive technique, a method that favors open-stringed, ringing chords over aggressive solo noodling—albeit after said chords have passed through towering racks of effect processors. Jack White is a bit too young, and has come late to the “roots” variety of rock he emulates, so he must necessarily be categorized, at least for now, as postmodern anomaly. But his generation will always gleefully admit to the vampiric joys of pastiche. On the way to the film’s on-screen summit, he lets slip an ulterior motive: “stealing” the chops of his guitar elders. Given the same opportunity, who wouldn’t?”

Come for the potential chop-stealing opportunities, but stay for the director Q&A and afterparty. These Young Friends of Film events are always packed with great conversation, free drinks, and interesting people. And if you want to feel like a VIP all year, you might consider joining Young Friends of Film. For just $250, you’re on the A-List for parties and events designed especially for younger film enthusiasts at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. You can let your Netflix queue languish while you sit in on engaging conversation with top actors about their craft, meet influential directors, and hob-nob with other discriminating film lovers all year long. What are you waiting for? Join now.


We’d also like to give a shout-out to our media partner KEXP. Maybe you’re like me, a long-time listener to KEXP’s excellent internet radio stream via iTunes. Turns out the pioneering Seattle station was so popular in New York via the internet that in 2008, the KEXP folks joined with Radio New York to launch a Gotham-centric offshoot called Radio Liberation, 91.5 FM on your radio dial. Same adventurous musical mix, but with 75% less rain. Seriously, tune in, they rock.

Don’t forget to join us on Thursday July 30th for a rocking screening and party!

Don’t Call It “Quirky”: Jim Jarmusch hashes out The Limits of Control with YFF

May 4, 2009


Both devotees and the merely curious gathered last Thursday, April 30 for the Young Friends of Film special event “An Evening with Jim Jarmusch.” The event boasted a chat & reception with Jarmusch following the screening of his new film The Limits of ControlFilm Comment editor Gavin Smith issued an ominous yet invigorating disclaimer that the film was zealously dividing the critical legions, but proudly forecasted it to be a personal Top Ten of 2009 entry.

Jarmusch is an indie icon due to his highly-regarded oeuvre, as well as his distinctive white-maned guise and a uniquely droll, delicately precise mode of articulation that has made him a go-to talking head for profiles and documentaries. Suffice to say, he’s a prized raconteur with much to share. Things got to a befitting start as Jarmusch declared, “This is the first real audience for the film,” before quipping, “that is, if you are real.”

Jarmusch unconventionally opened with a confessional of the semi-cosmic deliberations haunting him as of late. Like the film itself—laden with  endless variations of cryptic passages, exchanges, and codes—he returned time and again to the power of the “imagination” and its transcendent ability to decontextualize information, all the while mischievously noting, “this doesn’t necessarily relate to the film.” The discussion conformed with his continual quest to find new ways of conveying meaning outside of conventional narrative tropes. The film, ultimately,  “was an exercise in celebrating a love of cinema and what it is capable of.”

When Smith insistently questioned the political critique inherent in his recent films, highlighted by Murray’s Dick Cheney evocations in Control, Jarmusch semi-jokingly replied “I’d rather talk about Pythagoras.” While he conceded, “It was a real drag in the last ten years telling foreign cab drivers I was Canadian,” and reinforced the Dead Man-reminiscent stance that “America was founded on genocide,” Jarmusch remained weary of didactic messages, insisting his films are grounded in metaphor.

The audience was refreshingly uninclined to ask for cut-and-dry explanations, instead throwing out suggestions for extrapolation. Jarmusch expressed extreme admiration for his DP Christopher Doyle (“For every two ideas, he has a hundred.”), regular performers Bill Murray (“He’s just so human. I am moved by how observant and empathetic he is.”) & Tilda Swinton (“I just want to layer more and more preposterous wigs and disguises on her… One day I asked her to marry me.”), and film scorers Boris (“Their music is very cinematic, atmospheric. Music nurtures my creativity process.”). He discussed the intuitive rhythm he and longtime collaborator/editor Jay Rabinowitz worked to create, and displayed a surprisingly optimistic attitude towards the You Tube age, celebrating the beauty of “free information.”

Jarmusch’s frantic request for three more questions after Smith announced “We’ve got time for one more,” revealed a charmingly superstitious nature, a formalist sensibility much like his filmmaking, and an eagerness to engage his audience. He proved receptive to the inevitable non-questions, welcoming interpretations of the film, insisting, like the mantras of its characters, that subjectivity is the name of the game. His only expressed hostilities were towards the descriptor feared by all serious-minded independent directors: “quirky.”

Attendees were invited to a reception in the Walter Reade lobby; the clamoring throngs accumulated not around the free alcohol but the special guest, who went beyond gentlemanly courtesy, genuinely engaging each inquiring mind. “Elvis has left the building, time to go home,” chaperone Smith chuckled, but a lobby exit revealed that Jarmusch had merely retreated outside for his trademark nicotine indulgence, continuing to hold court with enthusiasts waiting in the wings.  Walter Reade’s newly designated smoking area rules were left graciously unenforced.

-Brynn White

Favorite Jim Jarmusch moments (The Limits of Control screens Thursday 4/30 with filmmaker Q & A!)

April 22, 2009

Set in the striking and varied landscapes of contemporary Spain (both urban and otherwise), shot by acclaimed cinematography Christopher Doyle, and featuring music by cult Japanese psychedelic metal band Boris, Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control is the story of a mysterious loner (played by Isaach De Bankolé) whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. And it’s screening Thursday, April 30 at the Film Society, with an onstage Q & A with the filmmaker and party afterward!

In honor of this highly anticipated new film, we reached out to a Jim Jarmusch expert to take us through some of his more notable cinematic moments. We found Brynn White, a Film Comment contributor and Film Forum repertory programming assistant. Below are her picks and commentary.


BW: A visiting Hungarian gets a taste of ”America” (and its TV dinners) from the confines of her hangdog cousin’s Lower East Side apartment in Jarmusch’s revolutionary evocation of the profoundly mundane. The formalist camera remains as consistently heavy-lidded and immobile as its central trio of deadpan hipster-vaudevillians.


BW: A bayou-set jailbreak fable… but the bona fide liberation occurs early on as cellmates John Lurie and Tom Waits abandon their scowlful posturing and ego-bumping when anachronistic clown Roberto Benigni makes a rapturous selection from his ledger of American pop culture discoveries.


BW: Johnny Depp rides the purgatory rails to the end of the line in Jarmusch’s sublime Western fever dream. Neil Young’s abrasive rhapsodies punctuate an exposition so simultaneously unsettling and gleeful that Crispin Glover seems a natural byproduct.


BW: The adroit capstone of Jarmusch’s mix tape paean to the last great tabletop democracy: former Warhol-superstar Taylor Mead, a sort of Noel Coward of the New York underground, whimsically ruminates on life in its twilight stage.

ADDED BONUS: afro and denim vest-clad Lou Reed extemporizes on NYC and nicotine, while Jarmusch drolly ponders his priorities regarding sex & cigarettes and celluloid Nazis’ smoking techniques in Paul Auster and Wayne Wang’s Blue in the Face.

You can read more of Brynn White’s writing at Stop Smiling.

An evening with Jim Jarmusch and screening of The Limits of Control is a co-presentation of Young Friends of Film and Film Comment Selects. Admission includes the screening, a Q & A and party with open bar afterward. You can buy tickets here.

We’re knocking on the House Next Door for this ace review of Days of Being Wild

February 4, 2009

“1990’s Days of Being Wild, the sophomore effort that established wandering souls and romantic misconnection as Wong’s enduring fetish subjects, still reverberates with some of the most haunting passages in any Hong Kong movie—and of course it is this colonial city, as much as the ache of love itself, that provides the cause for swooning,” writes Film Comment-er Andrew Chan over at The House Next Door. Check out the entire review for an in-depth look at where the film fits into Wong Kar Wai’s larger oeuvre.

See Days of Being Wild tomorrow night in a special Young Friends of Film presentation. There will be snacks and an open bar to follow.

Film Society Week Ahead February 5-11

February 4, 2009


All inclusive entertainment: Young Friends of Film presents Wong Kar Wai’s Days of Being Wild with a post-screening discussion and party with open bar and free snacks, Thursday February 5 at 7:30. [Buy tickets]

Celebrate Black History Month at the Film Society:
We honor the remarkable career of pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux with a series of films that are a rare glimpse of authentic and complex African-American characters during the pre-war period. Enjoy a special reception on opening night, February 6th.

Wikipedia Loves Art is here! Save the date for these meet-ups to mix it up with art-lovers like yourself:
Friday, February 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art [RSVP on Facebook]
Saturday, February 7 at the Brooklyn Museum [More info on Flickr]
Friday February 13th at the New York Historical Society [More info on Flickr]

Photos from last night: YFF presents Short Cuts

December 5, 2008

Our blog photographer, Susan Sermoneta, was on hand to get these great shots of the Short Cuts Q & A and afterparty.




See more photos–and join our pool–at Flickr!