2014 WINNERS!:
Best Narrative:  “Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari”, dir. Alexsei Fedorchenko
Best Documentary:  “When Elephants Dance, the Grass Gets Beaten”, dir. Jan van den Berg
Best Experimental:  “Symphony no.42”, dir. Réka Bucsi

Advanced tickets are available for Museum of Moving Image screenings here & Closing Night at Brooklyn Grange here!

read about this Fall’s upcoming GREEN SCREENING here!

shadowsofourforgottenancestors7PM @ Museum of the Moving Image

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Full Listing)

50th ANNIVERSARY PRESENTATION of the Ukraine/Carpathian-set Parajanov masterpiece on restored 35mm.

w/prize bottles of top shelf Nemiroff Ukrainian vodka!
Karpotrotter 2:30PM @ Museum of the Moving Image
Karpotrotter is a road movie homage to filmmaker Karpo Godina of the 60s/70s Yugoslav Black Wave, exploring the extreme cultural diversity of a small region of Serbia.
Plus, a new short about Alan Lomax & a rare 16mm print of Oss Oss Wee Oss – the obscure folklorist documentary that captured 1953 pagan May Day celebrations in Padstow, England.—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

wicker_man_poster_034:45pm @ Museum of the Moving Image
The Wicker Man (Full Listing)

This is it – the new, beautifully-restored, critically-acclaimed cult classic, re-cut again to the director’s final approval. 

On stunning DCP!


SUNSETEDGE POSTER FINAL copy7:30PM @ Museum of the Moving Image
Sunset Edge – (Full Listing)

Director Daniel Peddle & actors in person!

The well-known fashion casting director who discovered Jennifer Lawrence delivers a smart, beautiful, gritty, and stylish first feature that fits right into the ‘Dirty South’ cannon of films like George Washington and Gummo.

CelestialWIvesPoster2:30PM @ Museum of the Moving Image
Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari  (Full Listing)

Picture “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in the snowcapped Urals, with two-dozen female characters whose names all start with the letter “O,” and with enough bugged out sexcapades to earn a slot of John Waters’ DVD shelf, and you’ll get a brief idea of what’s in store. –Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Krasna Malanka_post_K_n_231213butter_on_the_latch_poster5:00 PM @ Museum of the Moving Image

“Butter on the Latch” director Josephine Decker + actress Sarah Small in person!

Skype intro. with director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk!


whenelephantsdance7:45 Music, 8:30PM Films @ Brooklyn Grange (Full Listing)
Rooftop Farm Shorts – Closing Night Party!

Directors Sandy Patch, Sarah J. Christman and Dexter Buell in attendance!

Our annual closing night tradition since 2011 – some of our best short films on Brooklyn Grange’s beautiful flagship rooftop farm (just down the street from MoMI)!


Museum of the Moving Image

shadowsofourforgottenancestorsSHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS.  Dir. Sergei Parajanov.  97min.   Narrative.  1964.  Ukraine.
50th ANNIVERSARY presentation of the Ukraine/Carpathian-set masterpiece.  
Restored 35mm print courtesy of Kino-Lorber!  w/prize bottles of top shelf Nemiroff Ukrainian vodka!

The Ukrainian film “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” won almost every award in sight on the 1964 film festival circuit.  But it’s become even more important in recent years, as a reminder not only of a talented director…but also of the restrictive Soviet approach to the arts. –Robert Ebert, 1966

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a boldly conceived and astonishingly photographed blend of enchanting mythology, hypnotic religious iconography, and pagan magic (all performed in regional Hutsul dialect).  Deep in the Carpathian Mountains of 19th-century Ukraine, love, hate, life, and death among the Hutsul people are as they’ve been since time began.  While young Ivan’s mother mourns her husband’s brutal murder, Ivan is irresistibly drawn to Marichka, the beautiful young daughter of the man who killed his father.  But fate tragically decrees that the two lovers will remain apart.  Unhappily married to another woman and cursed by a sorcerer, Ivan’s obsession with his lost love lures him ever closer to the edge.

Director Sergei Parajanov’s life was full of consistent conflict from Soviet authorities (including a stint in Georgian prison even in his younger years for ‘committing homosexual acts’ with a KGB officer).  Even after his critical success, the director suffered further imprisonment and persecution, but still managed to direct three other brilliant, one-of-a-kind films.  Rural Route and Kino-Lorber are proud to honor his daring, eccentric legacy and present this masterpiece of world cinema upon its 50th anniversary.

preceded by:

CARPATHIAN RAP. Dir. Sashko Danylenko. 5min. Music Video. 2011. Ukraine.
Animation for Ukrainian ‘ethnic chaos’ band, Dakha Brakha, a performance art project with extreme musical depth, created at the Kiev Center of Contemporary Art.

Museum of the Moving Image                                                                                                  


KARPOTROTTER.  Dir. Matjaž Ivanišin.  50min.   Documentary.  2014.  Vojvodina, Serbia.

A road movie homage to filmmaker Karpo Godina of the 60s/70s Yugoslav Black Wave, exploring the extreme cultural diversity of a small region of Serbia.

 In 1971, at the peak of the Yugoslavian ‘Black Wave’, filmmaker Karpo Godina traveled through the flat hinterland of Vojvodina, submerging himself in local culture from village to village.  The multi-ethnic character of the region was translated into a wide variety of faces, languages and customs in his unusual road movie, Imam jednu kucu (I Have a House).
 Unfortunately, as time passed, little of the original film was preserved.

Forty years later, another filmmaker traces the steps of young Godina. With fragments of the original Super-8 material, authentic folk music, and video from the present day, Slovenian filmmaker, MatjažIvanišin, has come up with another all-together original film, in conversation with an all-together original film, along with a startling ending that feels relevant both then and now.  A highlight of this year’s Semi-Feature/New Presentation series at Rotterdam. 

preceded by:

OssOssWeeOss2OSS OSS WEE OSS. Dirs. Alan Lomax, George Pickow, Peter Kennedy. 18min. Documentary. 1953. Padstow, Cornwall, U.K.

16mm print courtesy of Indiana Univ. Libraries Moving Image Archive!

The obscure, infamous folklorist documentary captured pagan May Day celebrations in this sleepy fishing village before it began to draw the thousands of visitors that it does today.  Like other May 1st celebrations, Padstow’s local custom dates back centuries to the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, revolving around the rebirth of the land and fertility rituals for women.  In Padstow, the festivities are centered around two tribal-looking hobby horses, known locally as “obby osses,” which dance through the town streets, accompanied by drums and accordions, trying to capture young maidens under their black frame-hung capes.

LOMAXDir. Jesse Kreitzer.  12min.  Narrative.  2013.  Lula, Mississippi/Iowa.
The famed ethnomusicologist encounters Bill Henley (a 73-year-old recluse living in the Mississippi Delta) amidst his 1941 journey to record an oral history of the blues.


Museum of the Moving Image


THE WICKER MAN. Dir. Robin Hardy. 94min. Narrative. 1973. Scotland.

Newly restored Final Cut on stunning DCP!

This is it – the new, beautifully-restored, critically-acclaimed cult classic, re-cut again to the director’s final approval.  The Wicker Man is the tale of a pious (virgin) police sergeant who travels to a remote Scottish Isle in search of a missing girl and discovers an entire community that has embraced a sexually uninhibited pagan lifestyle, centered around the worship of nature.

The film originally arrived in 1973, at a juncture in time where many in the counter-culture movement had left traditional Christian-based religions for alternatives like the Church of Satan, the Church of Scientology, the Hare Krishna movement, and cults like The People’s Temple (which would tragically end with the Jonestown massacre in 1978).  You also had the “free love” movement, and a return to nature with the rise of communes and celebration of the first Earth Day (1970).  With this in mind, it is not surprising that screenwriter Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, Frenzy), would choose to write a ‘horror’ story tied to pagan religion, with a core worship of nature/earth and sex/fertility/birth, as it relates to both ancient British May Day traditions and what was occurring in contemporary popular culture.   It is this combination that lends a credible air to the film, ultimately making it that much more unsettling.

preceded by:

SYMPHONY NO. 42. Dir. Réka Bucsi. 10min.  Animation.  2013.  Hungary.
47 observations in the irrational connections between humans and nature.

COUNTY FAIR.  Dir. Michael Mercil.  3min.  Experimental/Doc.  2012.  Wooster, Ohio.
A brief glimpse of the 4-H livestock competition at the 2011 Wayne County Fair, featuring music by Bill Frisell.  This short is made of outtakes from Mercil’s longer piece, Covenant, exploring the relationship between humans and animals.

BURN OUT THE DAY.  Dir. Sasha Waters Freyer.  4min.  Experimental.  2014.  Iowa & New York state.  16mm print!
The pleasures and terrors of rural domestic comfort.


Museum of the Moving Image


SUNSET EDGE. Dir. Daniel Peddle. 87min. Narrative. 2013. Clemmons, North Carolina.

World Premiere!  Director & actors in person!

Well-known fashion casting director, Daniel Peddle, delivers a smart, beautiful, gritty, and stylish first narrative feature that fits right into the ‘Dirty South’ cannon of films like George Washington and Gummo.  Sunset Edge is a real-life abandoned trailer park in North Carolina that Peddle (a native of the surrounding area) became obsessed with using as a location.  It is in this place of ghostly remnants that four apathetic teens find themselves in harrowing circumstances as daylight fades and a mysterious man comes out of the shadows.   The story, told non-linearly with well-positioned dream sequences and flashbacks, encourages the unraveling of a mystery as suspense and tension grow.  This is no normal mystery though, as Peddle plays with horror and thriller genre conventions, repeatedly undermining expectations within a narrative puzzle, and embodying it all with meaning, as well as providing an honest representation of today’s youth.

Peddle runs a model casting company (The Secret Gallery in Chelsea), and has a proven track record of ‘street finds,’ including that of a young Jennifer Lawrence, who was walking through Union Square, on vacation with her mom, when Peddle first cast her for an Abercrombie Kids ad.  It’s not surprising that he would serve as casting director on his own film.   His selection of first-time local actors suit Sunset Edge perfectly, and provide it with a sense of authenticity that Peddle, having previously made two documentary films, certainly would want.

preceded by:

WHITE EARTH. Dir. J. Christian Jensen.  9min.  Doc.  2013.  North Dakota.
A visually-stunning portrait of the N. Dakota oil boom told from a young boy’s perspective.  Winner of a 2014 Student Academy Award.

GODKA CIRKA (A HOLE IN THE SKY).  Dirs. Àlex Lora & Antonio Tibaldi.  10min.  Doc.  2013.  Beerato and Hargesia, Somaliland
Young Alifa looks up at the Somali sky and thinks about her daily life as a shepherdess.


Museum of the Moving Image


CELESTIAL WIVES OF THE MEADOW MARI. Dir. Alexsei Fedorchenko. 106min. Narrative. 2012.  Mari El Republic, Russia.

Picture “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in the snowcapped Urals, with two-dozen female characters whose names all start with the letter “O,” and with enough bugged out sexcapades to earn a slot of John Waters’ DVD shelf, and you’ll get a brief idea of what’s in store.  –Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Fedorchenko conjures a one-of-a-kind film of folklore-based tales rooted in the Mari El autonomous region of central Russia – an area littered with lakes, forests, and long-standing traditions.  The Mari are often referred to as one of the last true remaining nature-based pagan societies of the world.  In the Meadow Mari, sexual maturation, fertility, love, and marriage intermingle with rituals and nature.   Here you will find a woman cursed by a jealous tree, another disappearing as she becomes the “lover of the wind,” and a voluptuous aunt rubbing her flat-chested niece down with her towel in order to pass along some femininity.

The stories range from tender and sweet to funny and disturbing, which Fedorchenko takes an even-handed approach in telling.  His method displays more interest in an exploration of the nature of the original Finno-Ugric animist folklore and a fascination with the subject matter that, in another director’s hand, could easily be objectified.  In addition to skilled directing and eccentric storytelling, this movie is loaded with incredible cinematography.  Beginning with costumed characters playing in snowdrifts in Mid-Winter celebration, through images of erotic ‘peak-a-boo’ in a spring meadow, summer river bathing, and mushroom picking in the Fall, DP Shandor Berkeshy captures the landscape, people and costumes in vivid color and beauty.

preceded by:

PROSPECT. Dirs. Zeek Earl & Chris Caldwell. 13min. Narrative. 2013. Hoh Rainforest, Washington.
A teenage girl and her father hunt for precious materials on a toxic alien planet, but there are roving bandits that want the same thing.


Museum of the Moving Image

Krasna Malanka_post_K_n_231213

KRASNA MALANKA. Dir. Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk.  52min.  Documentary.  2013.  Krasna, Chernivtsi oblast, Ukraine.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE!  Skype intro. w/director!

The Warden, the Bear, the Gypsy, the Devil, Grandpas & Grandmas, and Kings & Queens take over the village of Krasna in continued celebration of pagan/Christian-hybrid, mid-winter Malanka.  Up-and-coming director Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk weaves together beautifully-crafted animation and live-action footage in this up-close-and-personal portrait of a community and their rituals, founded on the inseparable bond between nature and human beings.  (Traditions that come from the same Ukrainian/Romanian-Carpathian Mountain heritage depicted in Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors).

Malanka is especially important for young men in the village – a coming-of-age carnival replete with leering paper mache masks, haystack bear bodies, and layers of colorful ribbon.  It is said that the Soviets feared (and actually banned Malanka) because it is led by a “Warden,” a real-life ex-soldier who gathers the other characters with weapons in hand (Bears with knives, Gypsies with maces, Kings with swords, Grandpas and Grandmas with sticks) for a 24-hour “baptism of fire.”  Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk’s film features everyone involved in the making of a holiday – from the master mask-maker, who crafts reflections of the wearers, to two old neighbors (one, a former enforcer of the Soviet banishment; the other, a former policeman but underground supporter), to the young men marching in the parade — loaded with the chaos one would expect from a masculine-planned, village-wide affair.  (Featured among this year’s Berlinale Talents.)


BUTTER ON THE LATCH.  Dir. Josephine Decker.  63min.  Narrative.  2013.  Mendocino Woodlands, CA & NYC.
Director Josephine Decker + actress Sarah Small in person!

After a personal breakdown, a Brooklyn performance artist and her friend head to California to become immersed in a rustic camp atmosphere and to learn folk music and dance. But the intended escape devolves into a psychosexual drama that pushes their friendship – and sanity – to the edge. Butter on the Latch had its international premiere at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, with Decker’s second film, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely. This vivid debut film is made with a restless, almost dreamlike energy. (synopsis from First Time Fest)

Decker’s naturalistic approach to storytelling allows dreams and reality to come crashing together in an indistinguishable visual tumult of dance, environmental imagery, and wild-eyed fervor. Painting in broad strokes with bold camera movement and sensuous POV shots, Director of Photography Ashley Connor builds upon Butter on the Latch’s malleable interpretation of reality. This is the kind of movie you sink into like you’re part of a friend’s story – but one that will leave you thinking hours after you’ve left the theater.

Decker got her start as a documentary producer, and is not one to sit still in any one role. She’s starred in a number of collaborator, Joe Swanberg’s feature films, as well as doing performance art, and playing in the all-female accordion band, The Main Squeeze Orchestra.



7:30PM doors
Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

whenelephantsdanceRooftop Farm Shorts 

Directors Sandy Patch, Sarah J. Christman and Dexter Buell in attendance! 

Our closing night tradition since 2011 – some of our best short films on Brooklyn Grange’s flagship rooftop farm – just down the street from MoMI!  (photo from When Elephants Dance, the Grass Gets Beaten)



.  Dir. Sandy Patch.  14min.  Documentary.  2012.  Chimborazo Province, Ecuador.
Twice a week for over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in Ecuador, to harvest glacial ice (full of vitamins and minerals nonexistent in commercially-produced ice) that covers the highest altitudes of this dormant volcano.

THE SEA [IS STILL] AROUND US.  Dir. Hope Tucker.  4min.  Experimental.  2012.  Corinna, Maine.
“Rachel Carson is dead, but the sea is still around us…this small lake is a sad reminder of what is taking place all over the land, from carelessness, shortsightedness, and arrogance.  It is our pool of shame in this, ‘our particular instant of time.’” E.B. White, 1964.

BRIMSTONE LINE.  Dir. Chris Kennedy.  10min.  Experimental.  2012.  Brimstone, Ontario, Canada.
A series of grids frame the Credit River, delineating the landscape and motivating the movement of the camera, while the water continues to flow by.

WHEN ELEPHANTS DANCE, THE GRASS GETS BEATEN.  Dir. Jan Van den Berg.  25min.  Documentary.  2014.  Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.
Coming from a village agricultural background, Moon and Bun San don’t have the money for a traditional wedding, but friends and family help them put it together.  During the course of the wedding and preparations, we get a picture of the dramatic situation of many small Cambodia family farms.  Every day large foreign companies are buying more of the agriculture land that had been given to them by the government, while promised job opportunities don’t happen and the farmers find themselves without land or income.  (Director Jan Van den Berg is based in Utrecht, Holland, but his documentaries have artistically explored important human rights issues and unique cultures around the world.)

GOWANUS CANAL.  Dir. Sarah J. Christman.  7min.  Experimental.  2013.  Brooklyn, NY.
Just below the surface of one of the most contaminated urban waterways in the United States, microorganisms thrive amidst the toxic waste in ‘mud paintings’ of surprisingly psychedelic color and texture.

THE LAKE.  Dir. Dexter Buell.  9min.  Experimental.  2012.  Brooklyn, NY.
Adjacent partners seek redemption and release from their demons and a failing marriage through interaction with an urban lake.

NGABEN:  EMOTION AND RESTRAINT IN A BALINESE HEART.  Dir. Robert Lemelson.  16min.  Documentary.  2012.  Klung Kung, Bali, Indonesia.
A poetic and impressionistic look at “Ngaben,” the famed, elaborate Balinese funerary ritual from the perspective of a mourning son.


Divide in Concord. Dirs. Kris Kaczor & Dave Regos. 82min. Documentary. 2013. Concord, MA.
An 84-year-old woman tries to take down the third largest industry in the world. Jean Hill, a self-proclaimed warrior, leads historic Concord, Massachusetts on America's first environmental crusade to ban the sale of bottled water.
One Good Year. Dir. Mikal Jakubal. 80min. Documentary. 2014. Humboldt County, CA.
Stigmatized by mainstream society and persecuted by law enforcement for three generations, Humboldt's famed but elusive pot farmers share their triumphs and  turmoils, thoughts on legalization, and the daily adventure that is the life they've built for themselves in the area's remote hills.
Cotton Road. Dir. Laura Kissel. 73min. Documentary. 2014. South Carolina & China.
A beautifully shot documentary that follows the commodity of cotton from South Carolina farms to Chinese factories to illuminate the work and industrial processes in a global supply chain.