FREE FILM SCREENING: “The Films of Ladislav Starevic”
Monday, February 22nd, 8:00pm
**FREE** (including free popcorn and snacks)
Continuing Sugar City’s ongoing monthly series of classic cinema screenings, there will be a FREE screening of short films by Ladislav Starevic, the Russian animator and independent filmmaker who pioneered stop-motion puppet animation, on Monday February 22 at 8pm. Sugar City will be screening a selection of four of Starevic’s best films, almost all of which are unavailable in the U.S. and rarely if ever screened, including his most famous work “The Camerman’s Revenge” and a rarely-seen uncut version of “The Mascot”. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to enter the strange and wonderful world of one of the great masters of animation!
Although he remains a hugely important filmmaker due to his invention of stop-motion puppet animation 100 years ago, Starevic’s work would be notable no matter when it was made due to his bizarre and fantastically unique vision. Although ostensibly for children, Starevic’s weird and wonderful films exhibit a sensibility more in tune with the dark minds of Tim Burton or Edward Gorey than with other children’s films of his era (or any era). For starters, Starevic is notorious for using the actual dead bodies of insects, frogs, and other animals as the puppets in his films, giving them more than a twinge of the strange and bizarre. At the same time, like the best fables of Aesop and Grimm, the stories he told with his grotesque menagerie of puppets often had disturbingly adult themes lurking just below the surface.
“The Cameraman’s Revenge”, for example, follows the story of an adulterous beetle who spends his ‘business trips’ in a creepy insect burlesque house. “The Mascot” (aka “The Devil’s Ball”) is certainly the strangest film in Starevic’s strange body of work, telling the story of an adorable stuffed animal who comes to life, only to run into the Devil himself and become trapped in an unforgettably weird carnival of demons that makes fare like “The Corpse Bride” seem like an episode of Sesame Street. After seeing the rare, complete version that will be presented at Sugar City, it will be no mystery why Terry Gilliam (director of “Brazil”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, and “The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus”) named “The Mascot” as one of his favorite films of all time.
For fans of recent films like “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Coraline”, or “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, the strange and beautiful films of Ladislav Starevic are a must-see. Among the other pioneers of early cinema like Lumiere and Melies, Starevic’s name has been unfairly forgotten, due mostly to the general unavailability of his films in the West. But all it takes is one look at any of Starevic’s work to understand how far-reaching his influence remains, even 100 years later.
Monday February 15th
Unwelcome Guests- LP Release Show for these Local mad men
Busman’s Holiday- Bloomington Indiana’s finest
Brian Wheat- playing solo this time around
M by Fritz Lang, 1931
Sugar City (19 Wadsworth St)
8pm, Monday January 25
FREE (including free popcorn!)
It’s time for another FREE film screening at Sugar City, Buffalo’s favorite all-ages multi-use funplex!
Come on out for a rare screening of the classic German expressionist crime-thriller M, directed by Fritz Lang in 1931 and starring Peter Lorre. What better way to slaughter your winter blues than to sit back and enjoy the great Peter Lorre give a deliciously psychotic performance playing one of the great nutso serial killers in film history? (This is the role that typecast him as a bloodthirsty madman for the rest of his life, and brother, does he ever earn it. Seriously, next to “crazy” in the dictionary, there is a picture of this guy’s bugged-out eyes and sweat-drenched forehead.)
So stop in, sit back, get toasty, enjoy some free popcorn, maybe even make some new friends, and enjoy this wigged-out cinema classic from 1930s Germany, where artists really knew how to do crazy.
A little more about the film:
Unlike a lot of early film classics, aside from being one of the most important films of all time, Fritz Lang’s M (1931) is also tons of fun. M creates the template for the modern serial killer movie and psychological thriller, while at the same time putting a quirky Weimar spin on everything. It’s Silence of the Lambs with a Threepenny Opera twist. (Although, sadly, no cabaret singing.)
Peter Lorre stars in the role that would typecast him as a slimy reptillian villain for the rest of his life. (Before M he was known for his comedy work, which seems kind of unthinkable in hindsight.) Lorre’s character is a pedophile serial killer, stalking the streets of 1930s Berlin and preying on unsuspecting children while the rest of the city convulses in fear. In the film’s classic opening sequence, he whistles a jaunty tune as he casually purchases the balloon with which he will lure his next victim.
But just as much as it is a psychological thriller, M is a witty social satire and even, in places, a dry and not-so-dry comedy. The citywide panic caused by the killer mobilizes both the police and the city’s criminals, who feel that the extra heat brought on by the police’s hunt for the killer is too much to bear. So the shady, colorful underworld characters organize themselves in their own parallel search for him. While the police use cutting-edge methods like fingerprints to stalk their prey, the colorful criminals of the city draw upon the “Beggar’s Guild” in a series of eccentric sequences that play like Bertholt Brecht directing an episode of Law and Order: SVU.
The film is visually and sonically stunning, and climaxes in one of the great monologues in film history. Peter Lorre plays the part he was born to play, one of the great movie psychos of all time. It’s an expressionist classic made by one of film’s great directors, and it was arguably the high point of German cinema for decades to come. You heard everyone yakking on about Lang, Pabst, and Lubitsch in Inglourious Basterds this fall – now come on out and dig one of the best movies any of those dudes had to offer, the first serial killer movie and still the best: M.
Tuesday Jan 19 7pm
Sugar City is excited to host the 1st official meeting of
Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo.
This is the new Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo Networking Group. An arm of the national Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Program that works to identify and cultivate the next generation of arts leaders in America. It is a place for new leaders to share their interests with others as they continue to develop their skills and their commitment to the arts. The Emerging Leader Program targets professionals who are either new to the arts field, with up to five to ten years of work experience in the arts, or are 40 years of age or younger.
More Information about the national program:
Sat Jan 16th
$5 7PM All Ages
7:00- The Bella Donna
7:30- Goodnight From The Desert (Tour Return)
8:10-Walls (New Buffalo Pop Punk)
8:50-Sounds Of Goodbye (Tour Return)
9:30-Smoke And Mirrors (Erie,PA)