Our film screenings highlight underground, avant-garde and independent cinema. When we can, we host the filmmaker for an introduction and post screening Q&A. We have shown thousands of films ranging from structural classics like Tony Conrad's "The Flicker" on 16mm, to music films such as Bjork's "Biophilia Live" and Sigur Ros' "Heima". We strive to bring classic films to be screened on 16mm but also new films by emerging independent filmmakers.
Directed by Danny Garcia (The Rise and Fall of The Clash/Looking for Johnny/Sad Vacation/STIV), ‘Rolling Stone: Life and Death Of Brian Jones’ is the first feature length documentary to be produced about the founder and original leader of The Rolling Stones. In the mid 60’s, Brian Jones emerged as 'the face' and poster boy of the Bohemian Swingin’ London scene, topping the charts with The Rolling Stones and dating model/actress Anita Pallenberg. However, his excessive lifestyle and his reputation as 'the original bad boy of Rock & Roll' was to cost him dearly.
As the scene descended into the acid ridden year of 1967 so did Brian. Targeted by the authorities and media, he spiralled out of control losing both Anita and the respect of the Stones. Two years later, Brian was found at the bottom of his swimming pool, the verdict: death by misadventure. During the last 50 years many theories have emerged, claiming that Brian was murdered and that it was covered up at high level, as ‘Rolling Stone: Life and Death Of Brian Jones’ discovers- the evidence for this is extremely compelling.
Long before films like LOVE, SIMON and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME became common fare at the multiplex, the only places gay men could see their lives and lusts depicted on screen with any degree of honesty was at their local all-male adult cinema. From coming out stories to romances, melodramas to camp comedies, the hundreds of films churned out by the gay adult film industry throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s were a driving force behind the spread of gay culture and constitute a largely forgotten cinematic document of the era — films that were often shot in actual queer spaces, starred the people who frequented them, and then played back in movie theaters that doubled as safe communal spaces for members of the community.
ASK ANY BUDDY is a feature-length video companion to the Artforum ‘Best of 2018’ Instagram feed of the same name. The piece uses fragments from 126 theatrical feature films spanning the years 1968-1986 to create a kaleidoscopic snapshot of urban gay life in the era — or at least how it looked in the movies.
From casual tearoom cruising to actual police raids, ASK ANY BUDDY uses rare footage shot at dozens of real bathhouses, bars, movie theaters, pride parades and legendary hotspots like New York’s West Side Piers to explore both the sex film genre’s unique blend of fantasy and reality and its role in documenting a subculture that was just starting to come into visibility in the years immediately following the Stonewall Riots. The piece uses explicit (but not gratuitous!) footage to accurately depict the social practices of the time and the types of activities that actually went on at these locations.
ASK ANY BUDDY was created by Evan Purchell, a film historian whose work on the subject has led to collaborations with Dark Entries Records, Dirty Looks, and Vinegar Syndrome. He is currently conducting research for an upcoming book on the history of the gay adult film industry.
"Purchell has compiled the ultimate photo album, full of moving snapshots of what gay culture—from cruising to cuddling, from smoking to sucking, from letter writing to leather wearing—looked like in the 60s, 70s, and 80s." - Juan Barquin, Dim the House Lights
Join us for our annual HOLLY JOLLY FILMS SHORTS HOLIDAY SHORT FILM PROGRAM this year virtually from the comfort of your own home! Free and Family Friendly! Join us for a selection of Kitsch Classics, fun animations, and the Holly Jolly staples we all love! We wish were were back at the Midtown Cinema showing you these films on 16mm per the usual, but we are happy to provide you with a little Holiday fun virtually with lots of surprises!
So, mix up the egg nog and get cozy in front of the fireplace - and your computer or TV! We'll see you there!!!
In-Person Screening and Post Film Q&A with Jeremy Moss
(Running Time: 61:35)
A fantasia of post-indoctrination, immigration, and iconography. A pageant of wanderers and searchers: Mormon missionaries, a pioneer, polygamists, scouts, hunters, church-goers, and an aspiring prophet walk and walk and walk. A pilgrimage of memory, history, ancestry, and place.
An experimental documentary that interrogates and explores the seeds of the filmmaker’s own religious indoctrination and eventual apostasy. He revisits the European landscapes where his ancestors were converted to Mormonism in the 1800s. He examines the desert places they colonized in the American West. He returns to Brazil and interviews individuals he had converted to the faith twenty years ago. Part diary film and part surrealist essay, the film deals with the experience of conversion and indoctrination, the pain of apostasy, and the discomfort and contentment from never fully breaking free.
Shot on location in Sweden, England, Northern Ireland, Brazil, upstate New York, the Great Plains, and the state of Utah. The film was completed at the Light Cone Atelier 105 post-production residency in Paris.
Jeremy Moss is a Pennsylvania-based filmmaker from the American Southwest. His films often overlap a number of genres—including dance film, surrealist non-fiction/fiction, and film emulsion-based abstraction. His work has screened at festivals and venues including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Chicago Underground, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Artists’ Television Access, Anthology Film Archives, UnionDocs, and Microscope Gallery. He is an Associate Professor of Film/Media at Franklin & Marshall College. His films and videos are distributed by Light Cone.
Freaks is a 1932 American pre-Code horror film produced and directed by Tod Browning. The original version of the film, running 90 minutes, was considered too shocking to be released, so several scenes were cut, resulting in an abridged runtime of 64 minutes. The original version no longer exists.
The film is based on elements from the short story "Spurs" by Tod Robbins.
The eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The film stars Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova and Roscoe Ates. Among the deformed cast were dwarf siblings Harry and Daisy Earles, Johnny Eck who had sacral agenenis, the conjoined twin sisters Daisy and Violet Hilton, and Schlitzie.
With Filmmakers Gary Adelstein and Jerry Orr Presenting In Person!
We are pleased to be screening a NEW 2K Resolution restoration/transfer of "READING 1974: Portrait of a City" by Jerry Orr, Gary Adlestein and Costas Mantis. This special 45th anniversary screening will be presented by filmmakers Jerry Orr and Gary Adlestein.
"One of the most original and most interesting American independent feature-length films of 1975." - Film Comment, May/June 1976
"So exotic and oozing with character, I forgot I was looking at my own culture. Unforgettable and beautifully bizarre." -Mike Kuchar
"Very impressive - one of the best of its kind that I've seen."- Bill Judson, Film Curator, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute
An incredible film, Reading 1974 captures a city as the suburbs took over as a mainstay of American life. Shot on 16mm film with various interviews and amazing cinematography, the film transports the viewer back to a time when the city was vibrant and alive, before a lull in the 80's/90's and early 2000's.
The Broadway play "SWEAT" discovered how important the film was and seeked permission to use it as part of their broadway show. This prompted a new 2K restored transfer.
Produced and directed by: Gary Adlestein, Costa Mantis, Jerry Orr. A documentary (in the city symphony tradition begun by experimentalists in the 1920's) that captures the essence of Reading, PA in 1974 at the height of the urban renewal era, when the centers of many mid-sized American cities were gutted and redesigned to make way for the "the future." The film captures its subject at exactly the point when what seemed unique and special about this rather old-fashioned, Pennsylvania Dutch, urban center was rapidly disappearing. This 16mm portrait - the first film to receive a production grant from the PA Council of the Arts - was shown at film venues (eg., MoMA's "What's Happening" series) and festivals throughout the country. As the years have passed, the makers of the documentary have observed it evolve into both a fascinating 1970's time capsule and a poignant cinematic elegy. (According to the 2010 Census Bureau data on cities with a population of more than 65,000, Reading had the "largest share of its residents living in poverty, barely edging out Flint, Mich." - New York Times 10/26/11).
Jerry Orr and Gary Adlestein have visited Moviate many times to show their solo and collaborative pieces. Their organization, Berks Filmmakers was one of the main inspirations for the start of Moviate and the mission to bring avant-garde, underground, and personal cinema to the Harrisburg area.
Tone Deaf Touring, Dread Central, MetalSucks and Freeman Promotions Present: Claudio Simonetti's Goblin performing the live score to Dario Argento's classic film, Deep Red / Profondo Rosso, plus an additional set of classic Goblin material.
This show is brought to you locally by Mr. Suit Records and Moviate
ADMISSION: $8 - 25% of Each Ticket Will Be Donated to PRO.A - The Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance http://pro-a.org/about/
"Beautiful...Powerful..." - Sean Dunne (American Juggalo / Oxyana)
In 2011, Stephen McCoy set out to make a documentary film about homeless people and addicts in downtown Boston, people he labeled “Nightcrawlers.” Using his Hi8 camcorder, he filmed everything he experienced. And now, after his five year journey, he’s homeless and addicted to heroin. NIGHTCRAWLERS chronicles his journey and metamorphosis from artist and documentarian to subject of his own cautionary tale. Curated from almost 80 hours of his personal tapes, this intoxicating video diary gives a glimpse into a post-financial crisis America, a place of fear, paranoia, and poverty that drew the filmmaker into its dark underbelly and never let go.
ADULTS ONLY (17+ due to drug use, nudity, and violence)
Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival
Set in medieval Iceland, The Juniper Tree follows Margit (Björk in a riveting performance) and her older sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadottir) as they flee for safety after their mother is burned to death for witchcraft. Finding shelter and protection with Johan (Valdimar Orn Fygenring), and his resentful young son, Jonas (Geirlaug Sunna Pormar), the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that’s soon strained by Katla’s burgeoning sorcery. Photographed entirely on location in the stunning landscapes of Iceland in spectacular black-and-white by Randy Sellars, The Juniper Tree is a deeply atmospheric film, evocative of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Day of Wrath and Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, and filled with indelible waking dream sequences (courtesy of legendary experimental filmmaker Pat O’Neill). A potent allegory for misogyny and its attendant tragedies, The Juniper Tree is a major rediscovery for art house audiences. New restoration by the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
MOVIATE presents a rare One Night Only screening of the new cult movie sensation, SURFER: TEEN CONFRONTS FEAR! Real-life physicist Douglas Burke serves as director, writer, and star of this unbelievable exercise in amateur filmmaking reminiscent of the work of Neil Breen and Tommy Wisseau.
Surfing since as young as he can remember, at the age of 13, Sage is crippled by fear after suffering a wipeout on a huge wave. The wave slammed him to the bottom and held him pinned there without air until he nearly died.
With his whole life still ahead of him yet now paralyzed by fear, Sage no longer surfs the waves. But unable to ignore the mystical and powerful pull of the ocean, he fishes in the surf, and finds more than he bargained for.
This is the story of a teenager who confronts fear…
While editing home video footage of his son surfing, physicist-turned-filmmaker Douglas Burke saw the opportunity to create an expansive feature film that explored his faith in God and love for the sea. The result is a true crowd-pleaser and the latest masterpiece from a legitimate modern outsider filmmaker.
“This Christian surfing movie is the next THE ROOM.” - Vice
“The weirdest home movie ever.” - Chicago Reader “A bizarre successor to THE ROOM.” - SlashFilm
Films by Lynne Sachs and Mark Street: Since 2008, filmmakers Lynne Sachs and Mark Street have been showing some of their films together in an attempt to uncover connections and dissonances, pitting the x against the y, the magenta against the green, the hard edged against the ephemeral.
Love’s Labor Found Looking at what we all do for some half of our waking adult life is always revealing. Once this particular level of inquiry begins it can address a myriad of issues including class disparity, existential questions and whether dreams are deferred or denied. Through observational vignettes and historical tracings these films investigate the world of work in unexpected and invigorating ways. "Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind Bring me my boots and shoes You can hang back or fight your best on the frontline Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues"- Bob Dylan
"Winterwheat", (1989,8 minutes by Mark Street) Made by bleaching, scratching and painting directly on the emulsion of an educational film about the farming cycle. The manipulations of the film's surface created hypnotic visuals while also suggesting an apocalyptic narrative
"Lima Limpia" (2015, 10 minutes by Mark Street) An observational documentary made in Peru’s capital. The film begins with the legions of street sweepers who attack the sidewalks with a balletic intensity, and moves on to consider other urban vignettes in this powerful, dense city.The protagonists of the film quixotically and optimistically chip away at the dirt of this locale through a series of repeated gestures.
"Morning, Noon, Night; Water, Land and Sky", (2019, 18 minutes by Mark Street) Archival footage of a scuba exploration of a sunken ship gives way to scenes that explore the working rhythms of the current Brooklyn Navy Yard as well as conjuring ghosts of past technologies and characters
"The Washing Society" (2018, 44 minutes, by Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker) When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? THE WASHING SOCIETY brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, our film investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.
Did you catch any of the films at the 20th annual Moviate Underground Film Festival in May 2018? If so, you'll want to see the best of program, if not, this is a great chance to catch a great curated selection of short films from the most recent film festival.
After the breakup of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten), formed Public Image Ltd (PiL)– his groundbreaking band which has lived on nearly 15 times as long as his first one. He kept the band alive ever since, through personnel and stylistic changes, fighting to constantly reinvent new ways of approaching music, while adhering to radical ideals of artistic integrity. John Lydon has not only redefined music, but also the true meaning of originality.
Former and current bandmates, as well as fellow icons like Flea, Ad-Rock and Thurston Moore, add testimony to electrifying archival footage (including stills and audio from the infamous Ritz Show). With his trademark acerbic wit and unpredictable candor, Lydon offers a behind-the scenes look at one of music’s most influential and controversial careers.
Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, director Steve Loveridge’s Sundance award winning MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is a startlingly personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicling her remarkable journey from refugee immigrant to pop star.
She began as Matangi. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative immigrant teenager in London. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage, having created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey along the way; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth.
Never one to compromise on her vision, Maya kept her camera rolling throughout. MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. provides unparalleled, intimate access to the artist in her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame explodes, becoming one of the most recognizable, outspoken and provocative voices in music today
THE HUNGAN (1991) Super 8mm Horror Feature Film Made in Harrisburg in 1991 and never shown locally in public!!!! With Filmmaker Keith Hanshaw In Person!!! Keith was the Assistant Director and the Special Effects Supervisor (among other titles) on the film and will be in attendance and doing a Q&A post screening! One night only!!!
SHOWING WITH - HALLOWEEN SAFETY ( a quirky little short shown on 16mm film)
THE HUNGAN Genetic experiments gone wrong unleash an ancient voodoo curse that produces a masticating monster with an appetite for terror. Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance.
THE HUNGAN was written in 1988 by Harrisburg / Hershey native Randall Dininni who later went on to direct the film in 1991. The film was shot on Super 8mm in the Harrisburg / Hershey area and featured local actors and crew! Come out and see this lost classic and hear stories from Keith Hanshaw about what it was like to make a horror film locally back in the late 1980's / early 1990's. This is a very special Halloween treat!!!
23rd Annual Underground Film Festival - May 13th - 15th, 2022
Annual Film Festival Update!
Due to the continuance of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the prevalence of the Delta variant in our area, we have decided to push the festival back to May of 2022, in the hopes of starting up again with fully in-person programs. We have extended our submission deadline, so please use the link below to submit your entry
Thanks for your understanding. More updates to come. Stay safe.