Today opens a new era in Greenpoint, an up and coming neighborhood in northern Brooklyn that is seeing an influx of young professionals and artists who, in some cases, want to live in proximity to Manhattan, but not have to deal with its craziness all the time, and Greenpoint provides that haven nicely, I live here. Taking the lead in bringing solid arts programs and events to Greenpoint is Brooklyn-based arts organization Woven Spaces, who is launching the 1st Annual Greenpoint Film Festival, which runs today, October 27th through the 30th. As far as I can tell, tickets are available for all days, with a variety of options to attend from single tickets to pass packages. Check out their website for the full details.
At 8:00 tonight, the festival will kick off its screenings with the World Premiere of Jonas Mekas‘ new film My Mars Bar Movie, a bar in Lower Manhattan where Mekas, along with colleagues and friends, would go to relax, unwind, and have good times. Mekas’ calls the film “my love letter to it, to my Mars Bar. Mars Bar as I knew it.” Passion for the subject matter can carry a film a long way, add in experienced filmmaking skills, a poetic style, and this sounds like a great way to start of the 1st Annual Greenpoint Film Festival. Along with My Mars Bar Movie, many of Mekas’ other films will be screening throughout the festival, giving a sense of his depth of perspective and passion for creating.
A series of films from the great David Lynch will also be headlining the festival, from short docs, to experimental pieces of varying lengths, to Eraserhead will be screened throughout the fest. One to see for sure would be The Grandmother, a short Lynch made in 1970 about a boy who plants seeds that turn into a grandmother. Somehow the strangeness for Lynch is not surprising, perhaps giving us a deeper portal to view the creative mind of one of film’s most important icons.
As these established filmmakers are integral to a fest, possibly the most important aspect may be to bring new, emerging, as well as local voices to the screen, and the Greenpoint Film Festival is doing that right away, understanding its vital importance to the community and independent filmmakers. Topics far and wide are explored, filmmaking binds are broken with experimental techniques and methods of capture, and fresh ideas will be brought to the table, hopefully enlightening the journey everyone ultimately takes together.
This festival is a positive movement for the Greenpoint neighborhood, as arts appreciation, education, and jobs in the arts are something to rally behind, unlike some of the mean spirited and in some cases, the misinformed, contentious dialogue that is overwhelming the country concerning income disparity, the role of government, and corporate excess. Film can be a window to ourselves, giving new perspective that bridges gaps and delivers understanding of views opposed to our own that leads to productive dialogue, moving everyone forward, not back. Check out the fest, spend some money locally, watch things bloom. Look for more about this topic and others over on my new website ericshlapack.com. As always, you can receive the articles here directly as they are published by clicking on the “Subscribe” button.
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1st Annual Greenpoint Film Festival