Pioneer Theater
East Village / Lower East Side Movies
March 2006

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LGBT Wednesday

Newfest presents


(dir. Everett Lewis, 95 mins, 2005)

Weds Mar 1 7pm - buy tix

This is an LGBT Wednesdays program. At 7pm on the First Two Wednesdays of every month, NewFest presents highlights from their festival. Other Wednesdays at 7pm often, though not always, feature LGBT programming.

"The most subversive aspect of Everett Lewis' FAQs is not the gun-totting drag queen or the erotic sex scenes or its violent rebellion against the straights. It is the somewhat overlooked fact that being gay is not about sexual orientation or lifestyle at all but about being in love."
- Guillermo Rodriguez, Film Critic

Destiny (Allan Louis) is a drag queen with a deadly mission, patrolling the streets for instances of queer-bashing that continue to afflict the gay community. She comes to the aid of India (Joe Lia), a homeless teen who was set upon by a nasty gang, and takes him into her home despite the protests of Lester (Minera Vier), her butch lesbian roommate. Eventually the three set up house together, but India's bashers are not through with him yet; the strength and courage of this ragtag family, however, just might be enough to change their hearts.

Cultural Thursdays

Doors Art Foundation presents films from Croatia


(dir. Vinko Bresan, 90 mins, 2003)

Screening from DVD

Thurs Mar 2 7pm - buy tix

A Cultural Thursdays program. At 7pm on the First Thursday of the month, the Doors Art Foundation presents a film from Croatia. Other Thursdays at 7pm often feature programming presented with other ethnic and cultural groups.

Golden Bear Nominee - Berlin International Film Festival
In the Spirit of Freedom Award - Jerusalem Film Festival
Peace Film Award - Berlin International Film Festival
THE PHILIP MORRIS FILM AWARD, Audience Award - 2004 Karlovy Vary Film Festival
2003 Croatian Official Oscar Submission (Foreign Language Film)

Set amid the atrocities of war in the Balkans, SVJEDOCI (WITNESSES) is retold, Rashomon-style, from various characters` viewpoints, adding new information about the complexity of war and humanity.  The film traces a murder and police investigation in a small town in Croatia where, fueled by alcohol, three Croatian soldiers try to plant a bomb at the home of a Serb alleged to be a smuggler and black marketer. Startled to find him home -- he is supposed to be away -- they are forced to shoot him. Then they discover a witness whom they capture and hide in a garage belonging to the mother of one soldier. An honest cop and a female journalist launch separate investigations. Then a crippled soldier, the boyfriend of the journalist and the mother's elder son, returns home, and more secrets and lies spill out.The different viewpoints reveal the interconnections of nearly everyone in the small town, a microcosm for what happened in Croatia, where everyone, in a sense, bore witness to crimes committed during the war.

Screening from DVD

Feature Presentation


(dir. Matt Zoller Seitz, 91 mins, 2005)

Matt Zoller Seitz in person at every screening!

Thurs Mar 2 9pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 3 9pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 4 9pm - buy tix
Sun Mar 5 9pm - buy tix
Mon Mar 6 9pm - buy tix
Tues Mar 7 9pm - buy tix
Weds Mar 8 9pm - buy tix



"As dreams are interpreted, hearts are bruised and a loudmouth in a velour tracksuit gets undeservedly lucky, HOME accumulates a blurry, on-the-fly atmosphere spiked with moments of unexpected sweetness."
- Jeannette Catsoulis, NY TIMES

Film and television critic Matt Zoller Seitz makes his feature debut with HOME, a laid-back comic drama set at an all-night party in Brooklyn.

On a sweltering midsummer’s night, struggling playwright Bobby (Jason Liebrecht) heads off to a Brooklyn house party, hoping to reconnect with free-spirited ex-girlfriend Harper (Minerva Scelza), who is still very much on his mind. But when Bobby meets elegant editor and co-hostess Susan (Nicol Zanzarella), he reconsiders his options. Susan is still reeling from a recent breakup, but might be enticed into romance – if Bobby can make up his mind.

Also on the prowl at the party is charismatic motormouth Tommy (Stephen T. Neave), who manages to charm the ladies even as he irritates Bobby. Red-headed singleton Rose (Erin S. Visslailli), Susan’s roommate and co-hostess of the party, fancies Tommy herself, but it’s Harper who catches Tommy’s eye.

Over the course of the night, as wine bottles empty and inhibitions are lost, various couples court and spark, break up and get down. Harper and Tommy flirt outrageously; Bobby and Susan circle each other warily; and the relationship of Josh (Bradley Spinelli) and Annie (Jennifer Larkin), reaches the breaking point. Romantic banter gives way to startling moments of pain, loneliness and anger, and the cast of characters expands as the party rages on.

There's Pete (Zach Oberzan), a neurotic obsessed with leaving New York City, and his patient partner Sammy (Rob Scorrano); newlyweds Mike (Marc Nolan) and Carmen (Jennifer Russo), Susan's brother and sister-in-law, who extol the virtues of suburbia; and Tim (John Sebastian), a shambling, bespectacled jazz buff. Some want sex; others want love. Some want freedom; others want stability. They all go home with someone.

Written, produced, directed, and edited by Seitz, HOME is a funny, sexy, and bittersweet roundelay in the spirit of early Altman. Featuring the sharp writing and deep love of film that has earned Seitz a national readership, HOME is a romantic comedy that packs a lot of stories into just two floors.

Statement by Matt Zoller Seitz

Coverage: NY TIMES * FILM THREAT * "Filmmaking for the Poor" review * "Filmmaking for the Poor" interview * DOWNTOWN EXPRESS * NEW YORK Magazine * "Flickhead" *


(dir. John Cassavetes, 123 mins, 1980)

Fri Mar 3 6:30pm - buy tix
Weds Mar 22 6:30pm - buy tix

Writer-director John Cassavetes presents one of his most touching motion pictures with this story of the unlikely bond between a cynical New Yorker and a young boy. Gloria (Gena Rowlands), the quintessential "tough-talkin' dame"--complete with time in prison and ties to the mob--has put those days behind her, now living a quiet, solitary life. That changes when the Mafia marks her neighbors for death and Gloria is asked to care for their young son, Phil (John Adames). She reluctantly agrees, but because the boy knows incriminating information, they must immediately go into hiding, which takes them on a journey through New York City and ends up sparking a mother-son bond that neither could have ever expected. Cassavetes creates an empowering female role with Gloria, and Rowlands (his real-life wife) runs with it, making her transformation from bitter ex-criminal to overprotective, yet still tough, mother figure seem honest and believable. It is this budding maternal relationship that gives the film a sweetness even amid the gun smoke.

Pioneer Late Nights


(115 mins, 2006)

Fri Mar 3 11pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 10 11:20pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 17 11pm - buy tix

"An excellent overview of the ambiance and showcased talent at arguably the best annual U.S. rock festival ..."
- Dennis Harvey, VARIETY

Experience it for the first time...or in a whole new way! Coachella will feature two-hours of highlights from the previous six years of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The Arcade Fire * Radiohead * Red Hot Chili Peppers * Belle & Sebastian * Bjork * Bright Eyes * The Chemical Brothers * Fischerspooner * The Flaming Lips * Iggy & the Stooges * Mars Volta * Spearhead * The White Stripes * Saul Williams * many more. . .


(dir. Sam Raimi, 85 mins, 1981)

35mm print is 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Sat Mar 4 11pm - buy tix


Director Sam Raimi's first film has achieved legendary status since its 1982 release, and for good reason. Though perhaps not as widely seen as its two sequels, EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS, THE EVIL DEAD is arguably the best of the three. It is the story of five college-age friends who travel to a cabin in rural Tennessee where the stumble upon the Book of the Dead, an ancient tome bound in human flesh and inked in blood. After unwittingly awakening the unspeakable terror told of in the book, each of the friends is transformed into the evil dead, one by one, except for Ash (Bruce Campbell). So, Ash is left with no other way to survive than to dismember the living corpses of his sister, girlfriend, and two of his friends. Shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts some impressive camera work and extremely over the top gore effects as well as a sense of humor much more subtle than the tongue-in-cheek aesthetic of the two sequels.

Sunday Shorts

Chicago City Limits First Sundays Comedy Films

Science Fiction Springtime

First Sundays - in Space!

Sun Mar 5 7pm - buy tix

filmmakers & special guests will attend!

This is a Sunday Shorts program. Early evenings on many Sundays, the Pioneer presents programs of short films.

Part stand-up comedy act, part film festival, part party, First Sundays is a monthly festival featuring the best in short comedy films from around the world. Each screening features new films, audience and judges awards, and an after party sponsored by Stella Artois.

This month: a science fiction-themed program.

Visit the First Sundays website

Monster Monday!

Fangoria presents

Robert Englund in

(dir. Tim Sullivan, 88 mins, 2005)

Screening from 35mm

Mon Mar 6 7pm - buy tix

This is a "Bizarro Monday" program. Every Monday at 7pm the Pioneer presents the finest (and trashiest) in horror, sci-fi, freakshow, exploitation, martial arts, genre, b-movies, z-movies, and just plain weird stuff.

"Refreshingly vulgar, completely un-PC, and, much like the original, an expected excuse for extremely sadistic humor and gore, 2001 MANIACS has all the elements of a good time and still raises a dialogue among viewers that not many have had the balls to address in horror, or filmmaking in general, since the 70's. You'll squirm, screech and then writhe with laughter."
- Shane French, FANGORIA

A re-imagining of HG Lewis' drive-in cult classic, 2001 MANIACS keeps tongue firmly in cheek as it tells the twisted tale of the small Southern town of Pleasant Valley, brought low during the Civil War by the North, now doomed to eternally extracting bloody revenge on unsuspecting Northern travelers.

The screening of 2001 MANIACS at the Pioneer Theater will mark its East Coast premiere and will be followed by a Q & A with writer/ director Tim Sullivan and stars Christa Campbell, Wendy Kremer, Jay Gillespie, and Dylan Edrington.

Fangoria news item

Slamdance presents

Tues Mar 7 7pm - buy tix

This is a Tuesdays@7 program. Every Tuesday at 7pm features special guests presenting their film, and is followed by a beer and pizza reception for ticket holders.

The Slamdance Film Festival presents a highlight from their 2006 festival.

Find Love
Directed by Erica Dunton * USA (77 MIN / COLOR) 2006
Two strangers find love when looking for it, was the last thing on their minds.

playing with the short
The Origins of Electricity
Directed by Benh Zeitlin
A Slamdance $99 Special by the Slamdance 2005 Grand Jury Animation Winner
An ill-fated light bulb confronts the unholy meaning of light.

The director and Slamdance staff will attend the screening.

LGBT Wednesday

Newfest presents

Shorts Showcase

Weds Mar 8 7pm - buy tix

This is an LGBT Wednesdays program. At 7pm on the First Two Wednesdays of every month, NewFest presents highlights from their festival. Other Wednesdays at 7pm often, though not always, feature LGBT programming.

Guest-curated by Roberta Marie Munroe, Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, this collection of works spotlights some of the strongest LGBT shorts featured at Sundance and NewFest in recent years. Join Roberta and some of the featured filmmakers for a discussion of shorts and shorts programming following the screening.

Charas Presents


(dir. Kenya Cagle, 118 mins, 2005)

Thurs Mar 9 6:30pm - buy tix

A Cultural Thursdays program. Thursdays at 7pm often feature programming presented with ethnic and cultural groups.

GOODNITE CHARLIE is the story of a good boy that turned bad. A young man Charlie (portrayed by Ernest Dancy) is arrested and given a bail of $500,000. No one in his family has that kind of money except his uncle Kenneth (Kenya Cagle), a family therapist and former martial arts instructor. Against his better judgement Uncle Kenneth uses his house and car as collateral for Charlie's bail. Once out Charlie, decides to skip town. Uncle Kenneth must capture Charlie, and bring him to justice or lose every thing he has.

Kenya Cagle in person

Feature Presentation


(dir. Ari Taub, 115 mins, 2005)

Thurs Mar 9 9pm - SOLD OUT
Fri Mar 10 9pm
- buy tix
Sat Mar 11 4:30pm
- buy tix
Sat Mar 11 9pm
- buy tix
Sun Mar 12 4:30pm
- buy tix
Sun Mar 12 9pm
- buy tix
Mon Mar 13 9pm
- buy tix
Tues Mar 14 9pm
- buy tix
Weds Mar 15 4:45pm
- buy tix
Weds Mar 15 9pm
- buy tix
Sat Mar 18 4:30pm
- buy tix
Sun Mar 19 4:30pm
- buy tix
Tues Mar 21 4:30pm - buy tix
Sat Apr 1 4:30pm - buy tix

"Don't expect SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, but maybe something even better."
- S.T. VanAirsdale, THE REELER

"The pea brains in charge of expensive Hollywood junk should be forced to watch THE FALLEN an indie war movie shot for less than a million bucks over 10 years . . . They might learn that big isn't always better - THE FALLEN is more compelling and intelligent than flicks made for 100 times that."
- V.A. Musetto, NY POST

"A compelling indie war movie? Ari Taub has managed just that. The acting is remarkable."
- Raven Snook, TIME OUT NY

"War may be hell, but Italian women are heaven. . . finds its humanity in the dailiness of a soldier's life. . .directed with a naturalistic style."
- Jeannette Catsoulis, NY TIMES

Best Director/Best Film - Milan International Film Festival
Best Director- Brooklyn International Film festival
Official Selection - Moscow Film festival
Official Selection Dubrovnik International Film Festival

A new war classic - a stunning new perspective on World War II

THE FALLEN is a three-sided story about German, Italian, and American soldiers, set in Northern Italy during the final weeks of the World War II. On the one side, a group of American supply soldiers delivers ammunition to the front line, a journey that becomes a descent into hell, the success of the mission becomes less likely with every setback. On the other, a doomed German unit and their ragtag Italian partners struggle to maintain morale and discipline amongst their beleaguered troops in the face of certain defeat. Torn between these are the divided loyalties of the Italians, both fascist soldiers and communist partisans, who have turned brother against brother in a bloody civil war.

The film looks at the everyday life of the soldiers, their encounters on the road, their hopes and dreams, and the differences in values, morals, and patriotism between the cultures at the end of that era.


(dir. Bettina Perut & Ivan Osnovikoff, 68 mins, 2005)

Fri Mar 10 7pm - buy tix

Welcome to New York is a set of impressions, an exercise of inverted ethnography - from South to North - in which the Chilean directors show their particular and sarcastic vision of the "Capital of the World."

Tragedy and comedy alternate in strong contrasts while the camera goes in its journey across the city looking for humans, animals, politics, fashion, sense and nonsense, beauty and dead. All within the frame of the 2004 Presidential Campaign, in which George W. Bush was reelected.

But WELCOME TO NEW YORK is also a reflection on the contemporary human being, his inescapable animal nature and tragic fate. Instead of disappearing under a heavy layer of civilization, these philosophical topics seem to become more evident in the most influential city of the present world.

Bettina Perut & Ivan Osnovikoff in person

Feature Presentation


(dir. Michael Ferris Gibson, 82 mins, 2005)

Fri Feb 24 7pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 11 7pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 18 11pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 31 11pm - buy tix


one city, one day, one website, no limits

“It’s an absolute blast. . .24 HOURS ON CRAIGSLIST is the ultimate people zoo.”

“a whirlwind tour. . .a colorful mosaic. . .crowd-pleaser. . .engaging. . .zippy. . .sharp”


“fun and titillating. . .mesmerizing. . .this film is poignant”
- Wired News

You know Craigslist-- it's the secret engine that drives the local economy, the place you likely found your last job, apartment, car, couch, bandmate, dance lesson, bankruptcy attorney or Friday-night date. Everybody's got a Craigslist story, and filmmaker Michael Ferris Gibson came up with an ingenious idea to find a few of them: he set out to document one random day on Craigslist. What he delivers is a rollicking portrait of the urban experience in all its eccentric glory - a cross section of folks doing everything from selling 250 pairs of women's army-surplus pants to everything-they-own (to finance a trip around the world); guys looking for roommates or wives; an Ethel Merman impersonator looking for a back-up band and a strange fellow hoping some hot chicks will show up for his basement sex party. Looking for a support group for your diabetic cat? Need to rent a husband, find a horny poodle, a gay sperm donor or a pre-op transsexual escort? Maybe you need a movie crew (that's right - Gibson's cast, crew and music were all found through Craigslist). Gibson even found what can only be called the Ultimate Craigslist Story, which you've just gotta hear. There may be Craigslists all over the globe at this point, but Craigslist will always be a uniquely American creation, and Gibson's terrific movie is a giddy celebration of total freedom and everything we love and hate about it. Find a date on Craigslist, and come and see it!

(Rinjin 13-gô)

(dir. Yasuo Inoue, 115 mins, 2005, 35mm)

Sat Mar 11 11:20pm - buy tix



featuring a cameo by Takashi Miike

Synopsis from the Fantasia Festival in Montreal:
Kids can be really cruel and, if Neighbor No. 13 is any indication, Japanese kids are particularly harsh. Throughout his youth, Juzo Murasaki (Oguri Shun) is tormented and physically abused by his classmates. Lead by Tohru Akai (Hirofumi Arai), the abusers finally take this abuse way too far, pouring acid on Juzo's face in a science class. He is badly disfigured but his cold-blooded, unsympathetic attackers don't seem to mind. Years later, Juzo gets a job working alongside his childhood nemesis on a construction site and learns that Tohru's abusive ways remain intact. Around the same time, Juzo undergoes a surreal and radical split. No longer visibly scarred, he manufactures a demonic, bullying alter-ego (played by Japanese kabuki superstar Nakamura Shido) that appears to have inherited his formerly mangled face. Known as No. 13, this violent figure appears only when Juzo's rage reaches the boiling point. Seeking brutal vengeance for all the indignities committed against Juzo in childhood, No. 13 targets Tohru and anyone else who gets on Juzo's nerves. Needless to say, it's not a pretty sight.

Acclaimed Japanese music video director Yasuo Inoue makes his feature directorial debut with this terrific adaptation of Santa Inoue's celebrated manga from 1994. In spite of the manga's popularity, Santa resisted screen adaptation for almost a decade. Once he discovered Yasuo's work, however, Santa immediately changed his mind. So what exactly did he see? That becomes immediately apparent in the film's beautiful opening sequence. Yasuo is a gifted visual stylist with a refined, exacting precision that occasionally resembles anime—in fact, there's a violently grotesque animated sequence in the middle of the film—and there's plenty of over-the-top, music video flourishes, throughout. At the same time, Inoue is capable of carefully measured restraint. With some genuinely creepy imagery and a distinctive, unusual pace, it's almost impossible to relax while watching this troubling, atmospheric film. Takashi Miike fans should also take note. Look carefully for both his influence and a brief cameo as an angry, irritating neighbour who is attacked by the title character. In fact, like a lot of Takashi Miike's films, this feels like an art film trapped in a horror film's body. Fans of either should be pleasantly surprised.
—Jonathan Doyle


(dir. Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, 98 mins, 2005)

Sun May 14 7pm - buy tix

A young woman fumbles with love and ethics as she navigates a career with one of corporate America’s darlings. . . the pharmaceutical industry.

Karly Hert (Katherine Heigl, GREY'S ANATOMY) has spent the last ten years selling drugs. . . legally, that is.

Although fiction, SIDE EFFECTS is closely based on the writer/director's decade working directly for the pharmaceutical industry as a sales rep. The film provides a satirical, insider’s look at the daily marketing practices of big pharma.

Before you pop your next pill you should see SIDE EFFECTS!

"The timing of Side Effects couldn’t be better.” - Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
“Goes from amusing to savagely funny” - Jeanne Lenzer, BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL
“Biting” - Soledad O’Brien, CNN
“Drop dead fascinating” - Deborah Ray, Healthy Talk Radio
“4 stars” - Eric Campos, FilmThreat

Bizarro Monday!

Clayton Patterson presents

Mon March 13 7pm - buy tix

This is a "Bizarro Monday" program. Every Monday at 7pm the Pioneer presents the finest (and trashiest) in horror, sci-fi, freakshow, exploitation, martial arts, genre, b-movies, z-movies, and just plain weird stuff.

Lower East Side Videographer and Documentarian extraordinaire Clayton Patterson presents a program drawn from his vast archives.



(dir. Hyatt Bass, 86 mins, 2000)

Tues Mar 14 7pm - buy tix

This is a Tuesdays@7 program. Every Tuesday at 7pm features special guests presenting their film, and is followed by a beer and pizza reception for ticket holders.

Starring Karen Sillas, Harris Yulin, Shirley Knight, Heidi Swedberg and William Moses.

A successful New York sculptor returns to her Texas home to reconnect with her family, only to encounter old patterns of miscommunication and jealously. From her emotionally distant father and her fiercely competitive mother to her sister and sister's husband who blame everyone else for their own sacrifices, it becomes clear that everyone is an outsider in this complex family.

Hyatt Bass and producer Jeanne O'Brien-Ebiri in person


(dir. Greg Whiteley, 78 mins, 2005)

Weds Mar 15 7:15pm - buy tix



"As journeys go, this is one to treasure."
- Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Greg Whiteley's small, tender documentary portrait looks at life after rock 'n' roll as experienced by the original bassist for the New York Dolls."
- Stephen Holden, NEW YORK TIMES

A recovering alcoholic and recently converted Mormon, we first meet mild-mannered Arthur Kane on the LA bus he takes most days to his job at the Family History Center library. No one would connect the shy 55-year-old in the suit and tie to Arthur "Killer" Kane, statuesque bassist for the legendary '70s rock band, The New York Dolls.

Arthur became the bass player for the Dolls in 1971 and helped form, in rocker Morrissey's words, "one of the most raucous, notorious bands in musical history." Decked out in platform heels, skin-tight pants, smeared lipstick and hair a mile high, the Dolls' gender-bending stage antics belied a ferocious sound that presaged punk and influenced a generation of musicians. But drug abuse and inner-band bickering led to a split in 1975, with Arthur himself bottoming out.

In the early spring of 2004, Morrissey, former President of the New York Dolls fan club and curator of the 2004 Meltdown Festival in London, asked the Dolls to reunite for two shows. Arthur was ecstatic.

But how would it all turn out?

(synopsis adapted from RottenTomatoes)

Cultural Thursdays
Third I NY presents

"Our Modern Times"

Thurs March 16 7pm - buy tix

A Cultural Thursdays program. Thursdays at 7pm often feature programming presented with ethnic and cultural groups.







a program of shorts about the omplexities of contemporary desi lives

"There is a new wave of filmmakers who are changing the entire approach to Indian cinema. They are not churning out tired old stereotypes but are portraying contemporary people in current settings. They are addressing a diverse range of issues and are voicing modern-day concerns."
- Ashvin Kumar, Director, ROAD TO LADAKH

A Short Documentary | New York Premiere | USA 2004 | 20mins | Video Color | DIRECTOR: Liam Dalzell
Since 9/11, turban-wearing Sikhs in America have endured harassment and violence after being mistaken for "terrorists." Several Sikh taxi drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area talk about this threat, and why they don't give up their faith. Their modest pride makes an ironic contrast to the gloomy scenes of night in San Francisco.

USA 2000 | 20mins | Video Color | DIRECTOR: Leena Pendharkar
Remember those halcyon days of the Internet Bubble? In 2000, Leena Pendharkar made her Journalism thesis film about the ecstasy-laden world of her boyfriend's internet start-up. Pendharkar was tired of the mainstream media blitz of Ecstasy stories focusing on teens overdosing on pills at overcrowded raves. Three Asian American programmers ruminate about ecstasy's almost inherent connection to technology and its natural place in the world of computers and electronic music.

USA 2004 | 15min | Super 16mm | DIRECTOR: Leena Pendharkar | Starring Purva Bedi and Danny Wooten
Can love really conqueror all? Uma Balachandran, a 20-something Indian American woman is at a unique crossroads: faced with a romantic, sunrise proposal from her African American boyfriend John Ray, her instinct is to say yes. But she's haunted by her father's wishes for her to marry the perfect Indian man. What's worse, Uma's old flame of 4 years, the all-American Troy Black, wants Uma back so badly, he's planning to storm in on Uma and John and break up their sunrise tryst. But an unlikely stranger alters his destiny. Does love really conquer anything? Maybe. Maybe not. Set in front of the rising sun behind the beautiful backdrop of San Francisco, A MOMENT is about choices.

DIRECTOR: Ashvin Kumar | UK/KASHMIR | 2003 | 55 mins | 35mm color | English
Road to Ladakh is a surreal journey into a new kind of cinema playing up the juxtapositions and contradictions that are an inherent part of modern day India. Road To Ladakh is a sensual, suspenseful love story revolving around an encounter between two strangers thrown together by chance into the magnificent wilderness of Ladakh or the Land of the Purple Moon. Both are outsiders in this mountainous resort in India, both are lonely, both crave the human contact that their roles in society deny them. Tentatively they search each other out in a film that is exquisitely poised on a knife-edge between elusiveness and engagement, suspicion and tenderness.

Feature Presentation


(dir. Tommy Stovall, 104 mins, 2005)

Fri Mar 17 6:30pm - buy tix
special benefit screening for the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
Q&A with writer / director Tommy Stovall, producer Marc Sterling, and composer Ebony Tay * tickets $20

Thurs Mar 16 9pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 17 9pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 18 9pm - buy tix
Sun Mar 19 9pm - buy tix
Mon Mar 20 9pm - buy tix
Tues Mar 21 9pm - buy tix
Weds Mar 22 9pm - buy tix

Do unto others

A suspense drama with a social conscience, HATE CRIME is the story of Robbie and Trey, a gay couple whose quiet life together is shattered when Trey is brutally beaten while walking the dog. The prime suspect is their neighbor Chris, a fundamentalist preacher’s son whose bigotry is no secret. When Chris and Robbie become the prime suspects, Robbie receives help from some unlikely sources to execute a dangerous plan that will expose many secrets.

Directed by Tommy Stovall and shot on location in Dallas, Texas, HATE CRIME stars as Seth Peterson (PROVIDENCE), Bruce Davison (X-MEN, RUNAWAY JURY), Giancarlo Esposito (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS), Cindy Pickett (FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF), Chad Donella (FINAL DESTINATION), Susan Blakely (THE TOWERING INFERNO), and Lin Shaye (THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY.)


(dir. Stanley Kubrick, 93 mins, 1964)

Fri Feb 24 11pm - buy tix
Sun Mar 19 7pm - buy tix
see information about this date

Fri Apr 7 11pm - buy tix


"The most shattering sick joke I've ever come across."
- Bosley Crowther, NEW YORK TIMES

"It's one of the greatest - and undoubtably the most hilarious - antiwar statements ever put to film. See it before the world ends."
- Marjorie Baumgarten, AUSTIN CHRONICLE

DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB is Stanley Kubrick's Cold War masterpiece. Based on the novel RED ALERT by Peter George, the film is set at the height of the tensions between Russia and the United States, when all it would take to destroy the world was one push of a button. And General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) is just the man to do it.
(synopsis adapted from Rotten Tomatoes)

Bizarro Mondays program presents

One Dark and Stormy Night


Mon Mar 20 7pm - buy tix

filmmakers & special guests will attend

This is a "Bizarro Monday" program. Every Monday at 7pm the Pioneer presents the finest (and trashiest) in horror, sci-fi, freakshow, exploitation, martial arts, genre, b-movies, z-movies, and just plain weird stuff.

"What do you get when you cross Philip K. Dick with the Tibetan Book of the Dead? BROKEN SAINTS - a brooding piece of web noir for people high on transcendental meditation instead of amphetamines," raved WIRED Magazine. BROKEN SAINTS is a flash-animated comic book-style epic apocalyptic adventure that follows the harrowing quests of four very different protagonists - a bitter American programmer, an aging Japanese priest, a troubled Arabic mercenary, and a mysterious Fijian girl - after they receive the same dreams and visions. As the pieces slowly begin to fall into place, it is revealed that these strangers are inextricably linked. and somehow part of a terrifying conspiracy. "In a collage taking aspects from comic books, animation, film, and prose, BROKEN SAINTS is revolutionary in style... watch with the lights out and a jaw locked," praised Ain't It Cool News. Now in a rare opportunity, you can see several episodes of this groundbreaking series on the big screen!

Creator/Writer/Director Brooke Burgess will join FEARSmag's Joseph B. Mauceri on NITESHIFT, Monday, March 13th, 2006, at Midnight, East Coast Time, on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City, and streaming on the web at Burgess and Mauceri will discuss BROKEN SAINTS, featuring some sound bites from the series, and take audience calls, should time allow.



(dir. John Touhey, 77 mins, 2005)

Tues Mar 21 6:30pm - buy tix

This is a Tuesdays@7 program. Every Tuesday at 7pm features special guests presenting their film, and is followed by a beer and pizza reception for ticket holders.

"A heartfelt exploration into a family's grieving...a truly unique drama about [the] tragedy...Star Joe Iacovino gives a great performance as the bitter and conflicted Frank who struggles to decide how he felt about his sister. A more than worthy addition to the legacy of that tragedy, it's highly recommended."

Set in New York on the third anniversary of 9/11, SEPTEMBER 12TH is a powerful drama about memory and those left behind.

A family remembers Lori Riga, a victim of the tragedy. Her fiancé Rick reveres her, but Lori's younger brother, Frank, has a very different recollection of the girl. That night, their opposing views violently collide. What is the truth about Lori? And who is the mysterious lawyer who interrupts her memorial service?

A fiction feature dealing directly with 9/11, SEPTEMBER 12TH is a surprising take on the tragedy that changed our world. Ultimately, this award-winning film is a moving story of humanity and hope.

Science Fiction Springtime

The Pioneer's first annual foray into the world of independent and classic science fiction launches on March 23! The Centerpiece film is PUZZLEHEAD, a mesmerizing and provocative modern take on the Frankenstein legend. Other films include the documentary NO ONE'S WATCHING: AN ALIEN ABDUCTEE'S STORY, and SECRETS OF THE SHADOW WORLD (in which avant-garde legend George Kuchar is visited by aliens), as well as PRIMER, MUPPETS IN SPACE, SOLARIS directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, and the Tobe Hooper chiller LIFEFORCE.

The Science Fiction Springtime is programmed by the esteemed Professor Reinhardt van Nostrand, Professor Emeritus of Schlechtendingen at the University of Würms, Germany, and a special consultant to the Pioneer Theater on matters of the Paranormal and the Occult.

Read filmmaker Jeremy Vaeni's interview with Dr. van Nostrand

Sunday Shorts

Chicago City Limits First Sundays Comedy Films

Science Fiction Springtime

First Sundays
- in Space!

Sun Mar 5 7pm - buy tix

filmmakers & special guests will attend!

This is a Sunday Shorts program. Early evenings on many Sundays, the Pioneer presents programs of short films.

Part stand-up comedy act, part film festival, part party, First Sundays is a monthly festival featuring the best in short comedy films from around the world. Each screening features new films, audience and judges awards, and an after party sponsored by Stella Artois.

This month: a science fiction-themed program.

Visit the First Sundays website

Science Fiction Springtime

Cultural Thursdays is abducted by aliens!

An Alien Abductee's Story

(dir. Jeremy Vaeni, 99 mins, 2006)

Thurs Mar 23 6:30pm - buy tix
Mon Mar 27 6:30pm - buy tix

A Cultural Thursdays program. Thursdays at 7pm often feature programming presented with ethnic and cultural groups. In this case, alien abductees. Also, the Monday screening is a Bizarro Mondays program. As you realize.

An alien abductee embraces his surreal side
while searching for truth and UFOs


You remember that movie you've always wanted to see? The one where an alien abductee confronts his friends and family about what they really think of his outrageous claims? The one where he reveals that not only is he an abductee, but he has recently become possessed by some mystical energy that physically contorts his body into yogic postures, Tai Chi exercises, and Whirling Dervish twirls?

Remember how you've always wondered what would happen if a group of abductees met up on a UFO hotspot together in the dark of night? Remember that? No? Well now you don't have to--it's all right here!

Come live the memory you should be reliving but didn't experience in the first place and wonder no more!

Jeremy Vaeni in person

Science Fiction Springtime

Feature presentation


(dir. James Bai, 81 mins, 2005)

Thurs Mar 23 9pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 24 9pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 25 9pm - buy tix
Sun Mar 26 9pm - buy tix
Mon Mar 27 9pm - buy tix
Tues Mar 28 9pm - buy tix
Weds Mar 29 9pm - buy tix

"A witty mix of FRANKENSTEIN and David Lynch's ERASERHEAD - with a tip of the hat to Hitchcock's SABOTEUR - PUZZLEHEAD is an indie delight."
- V.A. Musetto, NY POST

"Unnerving ambition. . . a stunning conceit. . .fusing form and content with a sureness that eludes all but a handful of first timers, [writer / director James] Bai shapes the movie to illustrate and emphasize the creature's fragmented perceptions."
- Matt Zoller Seitz, NY PRESS

"Maintains a delicious tension between narrative wildness and compositional discipline. Mining the Frankenstein myth and finding psychosexual gold, the movie creates a love triangle that seems to share a single disturbed personality. . .PUZZLEHEAD reveals the selfishness of creation with style, originality and the understanding that even a tin man can have a heart."
- Jeannette Catsoulis, NY TIMES

Director-writer James Bai employs special effects wizardry and sci-fi storytelling in this futuristic take on the conflict between man and machine. In a dreary, depopulated world where technology has been outlawed, a reclusive scientist named Walter secretly creates a self-aware android in his own image and names him Puzzlehead. Walter finds Puzzlehead useful - as a project, his companion, his housekeeper, and most significantly his connection to the outside world. Like a child, Puzzlehead develops his own personality and self-awareness through his experiences, ultimately leading to a curious love triangle when Puzzlehead meets Julia, a woman whom Walter has yearned for but never dared to approach. When Walter impersonates Puzzlehead to pursue Julia himself, the android and his maker are drawn into a sinister spiral of passion and betrayal.

Science Fiction Springtime
Pioneer Late Nights


(dir. Shane Carruth, 78 mins, 2004)

Fri Mar 24 10:45pm - buy tix
Sat Mar 25 10:45pm - buy tix

"PRIMER is the headiest, most singular science-fiction movie since Kubrick made 2001."

"An ingenious movie about the perils of ingenuity. . .Invigorating. . .Like PI or MEMENTO, PRIMER is the kind of movie likely to inspire both imitators and cultists. . .Carruth has invented something fascinating."
(A.O. Scott, NY TIMES)

* Grand Jury Prize - Sundance Film Festival *

PRIMER is set in the industrial park/suburban tract-home fringes of an unnamed contemporary city where two young engineers, Abe and Aaron, are members of a small group of men who work by day for a large corporation while conducting extracurricular experiments on their own time in a garage. While tweaking their current project, a device that reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it by blocking gravitational pull, they accidentally discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities--ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next.

A ThinkFilm release.

Pioneer Late Nights
Science Fiction Springtime


(dir. Tim Hill, 87 mins, 1999)

Fri Mar 24 12:15am - buy tix
(technically Sat morning)

Sat Mar 25 12:15am - buy tix
(technically Sunday morning)

One of the best Muppet features, MUPPETS FROM SPACE begins with Gonzo wondering where he came from and then promptly receiving messages from his alien brethren. Though the rest of the Muppet clan believe Gonzo insane, especially after he announces his revelation on Mrs. Piggy's talk show, he arouses the interest of an idiotic government official, which leads to his imprisonment. Kermit reluctantly realizes Gonzo is in trouble and brings his fellow Muppets to try and help him escape. This one features a soundtrack made up of mostly 70s funk and introduces a new Muppet - Pepe the prawn, who gets quite a few laughs here.
[synopsis adapted from Rotten Tomatoes,]

Science Fiction Springtime


(dir. George Kuchar, 140 mins, 1999)

Sat Mar 25 6pm - buy tix


This three-part mini-series explores the mysterious and the mundane in a splash of digital dioramas that wipe across the screen in a cascade of electronic barfs. Zeroing in on the paranormal theories of UFO author John A. Keel, this leisurely exposition, which was funded by the ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION, sweeps the viewer into a candy-colored world of scintillating mysteries made all the more intriguing by culinary digressions. Sit back and let the aromas of kitchen coziness clash with the stench of marauding monstrosities as the shadow world engulfs the many who probe its delectable appetizers. Here, in this kalaeidoscopic videotape, you will meet and marvel at the talking heads and chewing mouths that fill the soundtrack with the jingles of juju-land—jingles that sing of songs we, as a people of earth, have forgotten in our mad rush to fill the void with various vapors of vacuous virtue. Taste the treats of our ancestors and the hearty heritage of our heretics as we probe the black holes that litter the plane of cosmic luminescence above our heads. Feast upon the food of the Gods and regurgitate with scriptural elegance, the message that takes shape in the shimmering sludge.
[synopsis adapted from Video Databank,]

Science Fiction Springtime

(dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 165 mins, 1972)

Sun Mar 26 3pm - buy tix


"It is science-fiction in the formal sense of the word; in substance, it is a parable about the nature of mankind."
- Richard Eder, NY TIMES

SOLARIS, director Andrei Tarkovsky’s science fiction cult classic, presents an uncompromisingly unique and poetic meditation on space travel and its physical and existential ramifications. When a long-standing Russian space station hovering above the planet Solaris begins to report strange phenomena, Kris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis), an eager and intrepid cosmonaut, departs for the station in order to investigate. Warned by former Solaris specialists that the planet presents incomprehensible obstacles, Kelvin is nevertheless secure in his mission. However, the minute he steps foot onto the haunted and desolate space station, everything changes. Kelvin learns that of the three members left on board, one has killed himself and the remaining two have seemingly become schizophrenic recluses. When Kelvin’s dead ex-wife appears out of the shadows, the reports that Solaris is a thinking being capable of reading human minds and materializing their desires and memories are proven true. As Kelvin joins the rest of the crew in a seemingly life-or-death struggle to understand this phenomena, Tarkovsky crafts a mind-altering earthbound space odyssey. Filled with visions of humanity versus itself, SOLARIS takes the philosophical investigations of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to extravagant lengths and offers no answers except this: The only frontier humanity has yet to conquer is that of its own existence.
[synopsis adapted from Rotten Tomatoes,]

Science Fiction Springtime

Vampires from space!

Tobe Hooper directs!


(dir. Tobe Hooper, 101 mins, 1985)

Sun Mar 26 6:45pm - buy tix

View Trailer

"Its style is shrill and fragmented enough to turn LIFEFORCE into hysterical vampire porn."
- Janet Maslin

When alien vampires terrorize London, it's up to a determined police inspector and an astronaut to stop them.

American and British space travelers discover humanoids while exploring near Halley's Comet. The astronauts bring three of these aliens aboard their spaceship and head back to earth. However, their guests turn out to be evil vampires who kill all but one of the astronauts - Carlsen.

After the ship arrives in London, the monsters -- led by a beautiful female -- escape and wreak havoc throughout the city, transforming humans into zombies.

Meanwhile, the surviving astronaut and Caine, a determined police inspector, frantically try to track down the creatures, and destroy them. But the "Space Girl" has a strange hold over Carlsen, and he has trouble fighting the urge to join her.

Can Carlsen overcome the alien's mysterious powers and help Caine stop the fiends before London and the rest of the planet are destroyed?
[synopsis adapted from Rotten Tomatoes,]


Fri Mar 24 7pm - buy tix

(dir. Ilil Alexander, 52 mins, 2004)

Ilil Alexander’s stunning debut film boldly documents the clandestine struggle of three women fighting for their right to love within their beloved Orthodox communities in Jerusalem. All three are pious, religiously committed women. All three are lesbians, and members of a secret support group called the “Ortho-dykes.”

Ilil Alexander in person!

Cinewomen NY presents

Cinewomen NY

Tues Mar 28 7pm - buy tix

Cinewomen NY website

This is a Tuesdays@7 program. Every Tuesday at 7pm features special guests presenting their film, and is followed by a beer and pizza reception for ticket holders.

a program of short films presented by the Cinewomen, NY filmmaker group

Dir by Jessica Habie. 80 mins.
A new feature documentary preview on: hip-hop, spoken work, and performance artists, singers and activists; narrated by Smokifantastic. Love? Money? Political Propaganda? What inspires female artists to take risks? An up-close look at eleven ladies and the paths they choose in life, love and the movement for social change. Artists include: Raqiyah Mays, Denise De La Cruz, Nemesis, Elizabeth Mendez Berry, Claudia Alick, Helena D. Lewis, Amanda Diva, Kyana Brindle, Vista Solo, Toni Blackman.

Harlem Sistas Double Dutch
Dir Nicole Franklin. 7 mins.
Nicole Franklin's short film Harlem Sistas Double Dutch brings to life the characters Vivian and Ruby who are thriving women in Harlem?s new renaissance. Vivian, a free-spirited Harlem diva gives advice to her admiring niece in a film that shows how family bonds can get in the way of a woman's night on the town. Or do they?

Dir Leslie Weinberg. 5 mins.
An experimental film exploring the idea of four dancers listening to the same piece of music in four different locations of New York City. They simultaneously break out into dance to express themselves, "dancin in the street." There is a fusion of hip hop, jazz, modern and ballet styles. The music was composed by Scott Freiman and Jendra Jarnigan was the Director Of Photography.


(dir. Joseph Lovett, 67 mins, 2005)

Weds Mar 29 7:15pm - buy tix


"Lovett employs bittersweet but blissful recollections of men who can only be described as survivors."
- John Anderson, NEWSDAY

"The director, Joseph Lovett, wants us to ask if there's such a thing as too much freedom, and he has the sobriety to say yes - and no."

Documentary producer/director Joseph Lovett focuses his lens on the unbridled sexual passion and exploration that marked the twelve years from Stonewall (1969) to the first reported cases of AIDS (1981). With access to a filmic and photographic treasure trove of erotic life on New York's West Side Piers, trucks, bars, dance clubs, baths and beaches, Lovett's cast of storytellers takes us from the remarkably repressed pre-Stonewall period to an era of sexual excess unparallelled since ancient Rome.

Straightforward, funny and titllating at the same time, they tell their stories with remarkable wit, humor and perspective. For younger people - those who became sexually active after the age of AIDS - this film may be a startling revelation of what everyday life was like when American youth were cutting loose from Puritanical values and ascribing to the watchword of the time, "If it feels good, do it."

Cultural Thursdays
14th Street Y presents
Lights! Camera! Jews!
A Jewish Film Series

Oy Gay!
An Evening of Queer Jewish Film

Thurs Mar 30 7pm - buy tix

A Cultural Thursdays program. Thursdays at 7pm often feature programming presented with ethnic and cultural groups.

Sexuality, identity, and family values collide in this hilarious, touching, and gender-bending night of film exploring two gay men's experience growing up Jewish.

TOMBOYCHIK (Sandi DuBowski, 2001; 15 minutes)
Sandi Simcha DuBowski's (Trembling Before G-d) award-winning short film depicts the fierce love between DuBowski and his 88 year-old Grandmother. They dress up in drag together, reveling in their closeness, as well as struggle with gender and sexuality.

other titles to be announced

Feature Presentation


(dir. Pedro González Rubio & Carlos Armella, 87 mins, 2005)

Fri Mar 31 7pm - buy tix
Fri Mar 31 9pm - buy tix
Sat Apr 1 9pm - buy tix
Sun Apr 2 5pm - buy tix
Sun Apr 2 9pm - buy tix
Mon Apr 3 9pm - buy tix
Tues Apr 4 9pm - buy tix
Weds Apr 5 9pm - buy tix
Fri Apr 7 7pm - buy tix
Sat Apr 8 5pm - buy tix
Sun Apr 9 5pm - buy tix


"Undeniably powerful, and quietly devastating."
- Grady Hendrix, NY SUN

"Harsh, intense. . .continually takes you one step further than you thought you'd go."
- Stuart Klawans, THE NATION

"You end up on the scary, decaying lip of civilization. . . a monstrous portrait of economic annihilation on the outskirts of the global village."
- Mike Atkinson, VILLAGE VOICE

"Harrowing, deeply suspect. . .an unflinching look at bullfighting and debasement in the Yucatán Peninsula."

"I was profoundly impressed; the impact was 100% emotional."
- Alejandro González Iñarritu (Director of Amores Perros)

"These talented co-directors create an especially intimate environment; at times it seems they must be invisible to their subjects, as several of the moments they capture on film are hard to believe – and, at times, hard to stomach."
- Diana Sanchez (Toronto Film Festival programmer)

Best Film (Horizontes) – San Sebastian Film Festival 2005
Best Film – Morelia Film festival 2005
Audience Award – Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival 2005
Special Mention for Best Documentary – Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival
Best Documentary – Havana Intl Film Festival 2005

Fernando Pacheco, aka El Suicida, is a young bullfighter who doesn’t fight in the great arenas of Mexico, but rather in the popular festivals of the small Mayan communities of the Yucatan Peninsula. With unbelievable, and at times disturbing, closeness, documentary filmmakers González-Rubio and Carlos Armella follow Pacheco’s life in and out of the bullring. A warm-hearted and honest character, Pacheco is a man whose self-destructive behavior – heavy alcohol and drug use, even in the ring – bring his private life and public performance to extremes of insanity. But it is ultimately Pacheco’s wife (who is also his manager) who pays the highest price for his behavior, and the camera relentlessly stays on their relationship, even during the crude scenes of domestic violence. Toro Negro achieves moments of extreme realism that fascinate and produce high tension. Human passions and conflicts are explored with rawness and humor and the film proves that reality can have much greater suspense and be far more captivating than fiction.

Pioneer Theater

Calendar-style schedule - Pioneer Theater front page

Directions to the theater - Press materials