Saturday, February 21, 2009

Film Series Examines Social and Economic Change in the Bronx

For all you documentary lovers out there in the BoogieDown, there's a super interesting film series being offered by the Maysles Cinema (343 Lenox Avenue @ 127th Street) next week from 2/23 to 2/28.

Rent Control: New York City Documented and Imagined Part VI: The Bronx will feature films highlighting a variety of social issues in both the North and South Bronx. Here are all the nitty-gritty details regarding the series:

From Monday, 2/23, to Tuesday, 2/24, The Maysles Cinema presents films set and shot in the North Bronx, from Christopher Coy's Bullwackie in New York (1986), a rare documentary that captures the dub and sound system impresarrio at work in his North Bronx studio, to Lyn Pyle's Passin' It On: 25 Years Organizing the Northwest Bronx (1999). On Tuesday we take a look at the some of the Kuchar Brothers' Bronx set and shot 8mm kitchen-sink masterpieces that secured their legacy as the Bronx's answer to the downtown underground filmmaking scene in the 60s.

From Wednesday, 2/25 to Saturday, 2/28, we first head south with Felix Rodriguez's La Bruja: A Witch from the Bronx (2005), an intimate documentary about performance artist Caridad De La Luz and Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed's Bronx Princess (2008) about 17 year-old Rocky, leaving behind her mom in the South Bronx to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana.

On Thursday, 2/26, The Maysles Cinema and Center for Urban Pedagogy present Court Roomier - an evening on the Bronx's Housing Court. The Bronx Housing Court - one of the busiest courts in the world - handles bitter disputes between landlords and tenants. But what happens when Housing Court has its own housing crisis? Join us on Thursday, February 26th, for a screening and discussion about the judiciary's role in urban housing crises. William Sarokin's incisive documentary Housing Court (1985) will be followed by an update on issues currently facing the Bronx's Housing Court from Philippe Knab, a Housing Court Attorney working with the Bronx Defenders. We will also screen Lincoln Hospital (1970) this evening, a short film that takes a look at the relationship between another kind of space and a populace. This program is curated by Valeria Mogilevich.

On Friday, 2/27, we show William Sorokin's Simpson Street (1979), a brief history of the South Bronx followed by a preview of Edwin Pagan's upcoming documentary Bronx Burning, which chronicles the arson-for-insurance fraud fires of the 1970s and a photo slide show from legendary photographer Joe Conzo. We will conclude the evening with a panel discussion with Director Edwin Pagan, Photographer Joe Conzo, Filmmaker, DJ and activist Loira Limbal and Lorraine Montenegro, Executive Director of United Bronx Parents. On Saturday, February 28th we wrap up the Bronx Rent Control series with Alan and Susan Raymond's The Police Tapes (1977), a strong influence on Fort Apache, The Bronx, Hill Street Blues and continued representation of urban communities in general.

Rent Control: NYC Documented and Imagined is curated by Jessica Green and Philip Maysles. Screenings are open to the public at the suggested but not required donation of $7.

Screenings are open to the public at the suggested (but not required) donation of $7. Click here for more info.


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