Working in the dual role of artist and historian, Ghani describes the project as “centered around five unfinished Afghan feature films shot, but never edited, between 1978 and 1992: years that encompass the Afghan Communist coup d’état, attempted reforms that met bitter rural resistance, a series of internal purges and assassinations, the Soviet invasion and withdrawal, a five-year attempt at national reconciliation, the handover of power to a mujahidin coalition, and finally dissolution into civil war.
“From the unfinished films commissioned, produced and canceled by various iterations of the Afghan state, in various moments of the Afghan Communist project, we can reconstruct not the truths, precisely, of how the state existed and acted in those moments, but rather its most important fictions: its desires and fears, ambitions and ghosts. In the imaginary presented by most finished films of the period, we see the ideal People’s Democratic Republic that could have been, but wasn’t; in the unfinished films, the reality–a utopian project secured by violent force–lingers like a shadow, just barely concealed behind allegories and codes. The world around the films, where filmmaking itself was a dangerous enterprise, seeps into the world onscreen.”
Festival Cinema Invisible’s International Film Festival is the only upstate New York film festival that showcases films exclusively from and about the Middle East and Northern Africa. The sixth annual celebration brings together cinema enthusiasts and filmmakers to discover the best “invisible cinema.”
Held at Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady from 10am-9pm on Saturday (April 22) and 10am-7pm on Sunday (April 23), the festival will screen 58 feature-length and short films selected from more than 1,450 submissions representing nearly 100 countries, including Afghanistan, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan, Poland and the United States.
Memphis soul great Booker T. Jones heads to MASS MoCA
Photograph by Ed Conway
In North Adams, the already massive MASS MoCA is about to double its gallery space with the Sunday, May 28 grand opening of the 130,000 square foot Building 6, featuring major new exhibitions and installations by James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt and more.
And MASS MoCA is also expanding its performance offerings for the upcoming summer season. The museum has previously announced a number of high wattage performances – including outdoor concerts by the rock band Cake (Sunday, May 28) and My Morning Jacket (Saturday, August 12), as well as the return of the big multi-day music festivals Solid Sound (June 23-25) and FreshGrass (September 15-17), but now they’ve upped the ante with a summer-long schedule of concerts, films, theater, a dance party and lots more.
Tickets for the newly announced events are now on sale, and if you purchase tickets by Wednesday, May 3, the early-bird price includes a 25% discount.
Here’s the schedule of newly announced performance events for MASS MoCA’s 2017 summer season:
In 2001, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and his practice won the architectural competition for the design of EMPAC at RPI in Troy. Throughout the building’s construction, the collaboration between Grimshaw Architects (now just Grimshaw) and RPI was very close in all details of this extraordinary project.
Tonight (Monday, March 27) EMPAC and the Rensselaer School of Architecture will screen the new documentary Some Kind of Joy: The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings at 6pm in the EMPAC Theater. Admission is free. The film will be introduced by Grimshaw partner William Horgan, who was the lead project architect for EMPAC.
Jeff Strange (Donnybrook Fair) and Jimmy Kelly (the Jimmy Kelly Band) have teamed up to write Find Your Way Home, an Irish musical stage drama, which had its world premiere at Dublin, Ireland’s Civic Theatre in November.
Now folks in Greater Nippertown will have a chance to get their first peek of the show. Albany’s Palace Theatre will be screening the first act of the musical – filmed at the world premiere – at 4pm on Sunday, March 26.
“As You Are,” the dramatic coming of age movie directed and co-written by Albany native Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and filmed around Greater Nippertown, is having its Albany premiere today Friday (March 3) at the Landmark Spectrum 8 Theatres.
The Special Jury Award-winning film of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival – starring Owen Campbell (“Boardwalk Empire”), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”) and Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) – opens its week-long run today with a special 7pm benefit screening for Youth FX, the teen filmmaking program that helped during the Albany shoot.
Joris-Peyrafitte, co-writer Madison Harrison and producer Joseph Mastantuono (all Albany natives) will be joined by cast members Mary Stuart Masterson (“Benny & Joon,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Some Kind of Wonderful”) and Owen Campbell (“The Americans,” “Boardwalk Empire”) for a Q&A session following the benefit screening.
Tonight (Wednesday, March 1) EMPAC at RPI in Troy kicks off the second half of the Watering the Flowers film series, which will feature the work of EMPAC artists-in-residence throughout the Spring 2017 season.
Started in Fall 2016, Watering the Flowers takes its title from cinema pioneer Georges Méliès’ 1896 film of the same name, which was itself a copy of a Lumiere brothers film and was in turn endlessly copied and referenced by fellow filmmakers. In a similar way, this film series aims to “water the flowers” by allowing current artists-in-residence to screen the films that influence them.
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