For many of us, not being able to go to a movie theater is a big loss. It’s not dire, and there are far more difficult challenges that we’re all facing. Still, for those who love the moviegoing experience, it’s sad not to be able to sit in the dark and dream a communal dream with a goup of strangers.
If you’re missing movies, here’s an NYC-centric film festival you can have right in your own home, from Jonathan Stevenson via Two Coats of Paint:
There’s especially fine below-the-radar fare from the 1990s – a fertile period for independent cinema. From one outstanding movie a veritable festival can arise.
Nick Gomez’s Laws of Gravity (1992) is a rough gem. Set in pre-gentrification Greenpoint and Williamsburg and shot in handheld verité style, it spans a few hectic days in the lives of half a dozen white working-class friends and associates who have, to a greater or lesser degree, consigned themselves to the distant margins of productive society. For the men in this crew, successful petty crime passes for upward mobility, though some get righteously nervous when it attains the level of gunrunning. The film approaches, if by a measure it doesn’t reach, the cold, incisive brilliance of Ulu Grosbard’s Straight Time (1978), starring Dustin Hoffman, Theresa Russell, and M. Emmet Walsh, which mines the core tragedy of the career criminal. Uglier and more serious than Sam Henry Kass’s kindred 1994 antediluvian Red Hook romp The Search for One-Eyed Jimmy – a droll shaggy-dog story rich with cameos and before-they-were-famous appearances – Laws of Gravity is more about grim doom than jaunty survival.
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