New York City's Showplace of Independent Cinema
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MAY 2006

Monster Monday!

Fangoria presents


(dir. Chris Sivertson, 115 mins, year)

Screening from 35mm

Mon May 1 6:30pm - 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.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

“A slice of CNN pie that corkscrews down into hell. A must see.”
- Tobe Hooper

"THE LOST is unrelenting - a vicious, abrasive film that begins with an unforgiving sucker punch of an opening, then evolves like a slow motion train wreck that you just can?t take your eyes off of."

"THE LOST is an incredible film. Running the gamut from hilarious to thought provoking to outright terrifying, the movie grabs you by the collar and slams you against the wall, daring you to look away for just a single second."

It started on an unseasonably warm autumn day. Ray, Tim, and Jennifer were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking a little. But Tim and Jen didn’t know Ray had in mind. And if they’d known, they wouldn’t have thought he was serious. Then they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite—and knew he was dead serious. It’s now four years later and Ray has not been charged with the murders in the campgrounds, but there’s one cop determined to make him pay. Ray figures he’s in the clear. Tim and Jennifer think the worst is behind them, that the horrors are all in the past. They’re wrong. The worst is still to come.

An excerpt from THE LOST recently appeared in THE OUTLAW BIBLE OF AMERICAN LITERATURE alongside excerpts from other writers such as William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller.

STARRING: Marc Senter, Shay Astar, Alex Frost, Megan Henning, Robin Sydney, Michael Bowen, Ed Lauter, Dee Wallace-Stone, Erin Brown, Ruby La Rocca, and Eddie Steeples.

SXSW Film Festival, Sitges Festival Interncaional de Cinema de Catalunya (Sitges, Spain), Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival (Ravenna, Italy), and the International Week of Fantastic Film (Malaga, Spain).

Feature Presentation

Free Culture at NYU presents


(dir. Twila Raftu & Shaun Cronin, 68 mins, 2006)

Mon May 1 9pm - buy tix
Tues May 2 9pm - buy tix
Weds May 3 9pm - buy tix

copyright, intellectual property, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -

but what is the future of free culture?

this fascinating documentary about the invisible war on free culture features perspectives from such luminaries as DJ Danger Mouse, Lawrence Lessig, Richard Stallman, and many others

While Congress changes our copyright laws under the behests of a few powerful corporations, individuals across the United States are losing their digital rights. Activists are working together to change this oppressive regime and create an alternative of freedom. Two filmmakers uncover the problems in one of the most important legal battles of our time: copyright law and digital rights management. Featuring interviews with DJ Danger Mouse, Lawrence Lessig, Richard Stallman and more.

Best of Slamdance Shorts

Tues May 2 7pm - buy tix

(78 min program TRT)

This is a Tuesdays@7 program, generously sponsored by Magic Hat. 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 series of shorts from their 2006 festival.

THE DAY I DIED by Maryam Keshavarz
A love triangle ensues one long hot summer day in Chascamús, Argentina.

The final days of one of 42nd Streets unforgettable lunch counters.

RISING TIDE by Robert Todd & Michael Dwyer
Tthree business owners from three different generations struggle to keep their shops alive in Rye, NY.

THE HOMECOMING by Michael Lucid & Amanda Barrett
A sketch from the online comedy show "Prettythingsss."

HIGH WINDS by Vanessa Ly
A French hit man must escape L.A.’s Chinatown after his last kill.

LISTENING by Yvonne Buchanan
A series of shots of a kitchen interior, where subtle movement of objects and reflections reveal a presence.

NO EXIT, by Etienne Kallos
Two gay men and a transsexual hole up together in a sleazy motel, desperate to alleviate their loneliness and disconnection at any cost.

LGBT Wednesday

Newfest presents

making of a legend

(dir. Mr. Pam, 95 mins, 2006)

Weds May 3 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.

NewFest LGBT Film Festival presents a highlight from their 2005 festival.

This rollicking, rock-hard film documents the making of BuckleRoos, an award winning porn film.


(dir. Donald Quest, 81 mins, 2005)

Thurs May 4 7pm - buy tix

Starring: Latin Daddy, Glenys Javier, Gerardo Diaz, Jennifer Weathers and Aisha Williams

What happens when you stick a prostitute, drug dealer, ex-con and a random black girl in the same room? HOOD POLITICS.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

May - June 2006

No one can be surprised that good films are coming from Central and Eastern Europe, both as a source of production and as a subject for films by foreigners. This May and early June, the Pioneer very proudly hosts a wide range of films from and about the very diverse region that stretches from the Baltics to the Balkans, and from the Rhine to the Urals. Other than some very loose historical and geographic similarities, the films have little in common. We're just taking the moment to celebrate some films from and about the region. We look forward to welcoming filmmakers and other friends from across the region, as well as people just looking for some strong movies.

At the moment, this program is not complete. We will be adding to it as other films are confirmed.

Titles in the program are incorporated into the general schedule below. Click here for only the Brave New Europe program.

Presented with the generous collaboration of Daniela and Andrej Urem (Doors Art Foundation), Zoya Rozin, Wanda Bershen (Red Diaper Productions), Marjorie Sweeney, Signe Baumane, Krzysztof Kamyszew and Ewa Domeredzka (Society for Arts / Chicago), Phil Bajorat (Chicago International Film Festival), Shalom Neumann (Fusion Arts Museum), Marc Mauceri (First Run Features), Victor Dashuk, Gorazd Poposki (Gallery MC), Edita Zulic, Karel Och (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), and many others.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Feature Presentation


(dir. Teona Strugar Mitevska, 82 mins, 2004)

France / Republic of Macedonia / Slovenia. In Macedonian subtitled in English, with some sequences in English.

Thurs May 4 9pm - buy tix
Fri May 5 9pm - buy tix
Sat May 6 9pm - buy tix
Sun May 7 9pm - buy tix
Mon May 8 9pm - buy tix
Tues May 9 9pm - buy tix
Weds May 10 9pm - buy tix

* Karlovy Vary International Film Festival * Rotterdam Film Festival *
* Sarajevo Film Festival * Rio de Janeiro Film Festival *

Teona Strugar Mitsevska’s stunning first feature presents a slice of Macedonian life in 2001, the year the former Yugoslav republic skirted civil war with its ethnic Albanian citizens. Presenting an affecting story of a brother and sister who love each other but have to bridge different political ideas and personal agendas effectively captures the tension of the time. Viola (Labina Mitevska, who played the young Albanian girl in BEFORE THE RAIN) returns from college in the U.S. moody and withdrawn. Guns are being fired and bombs exploding in Skopje, the city where her family lives. Her brother Kokan engages Viola as a cover in one of his pick-ups and their trip to the Albanian border to get a bag full of money turns into a harrowing homeward journey through police inspections and land mines. About the same time, Viola tells Kokan her secret: She has a baby daughter she left behind with a diplomat's family when she left for America.

Nominated for a Tiger award at the Rotterdam festival in 2004, and subsequently screened at several other festivals, Mitsevka has been praised by VARIETY as a talented young director and someone to watch.

Presented by Red Diaper Productions, as part of their program "Screening Women: Recent Films from the New Europe."

A Pioneer Hit!


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

Fri May 5 11pm - buy tix
Fri May 12 11pm - buy tix
Fri May 19 11:30pm - buy tix
Fri May 26 11:30pm - 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!

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Michael Haneke:

(dir. Nina Kusturica and
Eva Testor, 58 mins, 2005)

Sat May 6 7:30pm - buy tix



A documentary on Michael Haneke, director of Caché and The Piano Teacher, one of the most provocative and important filmmaker working today.

"I always say that film is 24 lies per second at the service of truth or at the service of the attempt to find the truth."
- Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke, the Austrian director of such acclaimed films as THE PIANO TEACHER, TIME OF THE WOLF, CODE UNKNOWN, and FUNNY GAMES is arguably the most provocative and important filmmaker working today. His most recent film, CACHE (HIDDEN), starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil, winner of the Best Director prize at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, is one of the best reviewed films of the year and has appeared on numerous critics’ top ten lists. 24 REALITIES PER SECONDis a compelling documentary that provides a rare window into the life, ideas and work of the celebrated filmmaker.

Directors Nina Kusturica and Eva Testor followed Michael Haneke for a period of two and a half years. They accompanied him to film premieres and public appearances, radio interviews and photo shoots; they observed him as he scouted locations, directed actors on the set, and made final cuts in the editing room. In between, on long train and car rides, Haneke spoke candidly about his childhood, his transition to filmmaking, and his views on cinema, discussing films that inspired him and his own work (he counts THE SEVENTH CONTINENT and 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE among his favorites). What emerges in this insightful documentary is a portrait of a dedicated filmmaker, a charming yet elusive figure in thrall to cinema and the constant perfection of his craft.

Sunday Shorts

Chicago City Limits First Sundays Comedy Films

First Sundays

Sun May 7 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.

Visit the First Sundays website

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe


Clayton Patterson presents

Mon May 8 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.

This month:
Clayton's Wild Style tour through Europe

Freaks, fire eaters, people who can stretch their skin, walk on glass, stick drills up the nose, world record for laying on a bed of nails, with the least number of nails...

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

From the Shtetl to the S(h)tates


Tues May 9 6:45pm - buy tix

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

Join the Young Leaders of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) on May 9th
as they continue their multi-venue series "From the Shtetl to the S(h)tates"

This acclaimed Yiddish film from the director of CROSSING DELANCEY brings to life the story of a recently emigrated Russian Jewish family in the Lower East Side at the turn of the century.

Introduction:Valery Bazarov, HIAS
Location & Family History Department

From the Shtetl to the States is a series of cultural events celebrating the immigrant experience in New York, which supports our efforts to save our bubbes and zaydes (elderly Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union who are now at risk of losing their Supplemental Security Income, a life-sustaining public benefits program). Stay tuned for upcoming events in the series.To learn more about HIAS campaign to assist elderly Jewish refugees, visit here.

To learn more about HIAS Young Leaders, visit here.

LGBT Wednesday

Newfest presents

Cycles of Porn:
Sex / Life in L.A. 2

(dir. Jochen Hick, 104 mins, 2006)

projected from DVD

Weds May 10 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.

NewFest LGBT Film Festival presents a highlight from their 2005 festival.

CYCLES OF PORN is a revealing, scintillating and non-judgmental glimpse into a world where sex, art and business collide in the City of Angels.


(dir. Greg Whiteley, 78 mins, 2005)

Thurs May 11 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)

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Feature Presentation


(dir. Amy Grappell, 72 mins, 2005)
United States / Ukraine * in English, Russian, and Ukrainian with English subtitles

Thurs May 11 9pm - buy tix
Fri May 12 9pm - buy tix
Sat May 13 9pm - buy tix
Sun May 14 9pm - buy tix
Mon May 15 9pm - buy tix
Tues May 16 9pm - buy tix
Weds May 17 9pm - buy tix

“Personal, political, historical, I loved It.”
- Richard Linklater , director of BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET

“Beautifully captures the spirit of the former Soviet Union and the soul of its people.”
– Albert Maysles

“After the recent, quiet Revolution in Ukraine, this movie is a must see as it uses a cultural exchange theater project for the focal point of examining a people who despite political realities are driven by dreams that become realities.”
- Louis Black, Publisher, AUSTIN CHRONICLE

The story of an American theater troupe that witnessed the fall of Communism.

1991. Glasnost. Perestroika. The Soviet Union opens its doors to the West. A troupe of young American actors from La Mama Theater in NY travels to Kiev to participate in the first American/Ukrainian cultural exchange theater project in history. The play they are to perform is based on the life of Les Kurbas, a revolutionary Ukrainian theatre director who was murdered in one of Stalin’s purges. Two weeks into their trip, Gorbachev is kidnapped, the Kremlin is overthrown by a military coup and the entire USSR is plunged into volatile uncertainty. As rehearsals progress, the play ironically begins to mirror action in the streets. Kurbas and his company struggled to make art during the revolution that ushered in Communism; the international troupe performs the life of Kurbas as the walls of Communism come tumbling down. During the massive political changes of 1991, including the fall of Communism and the Ukraine declaring its national independence, LIGHT FROM THE EAST takes viewers on a philosophical inquiry into the meaning of freedom.

Falcon Film Fiesta

Fri May 12 7pm (sharp!) - buy tix

The Falcon Film Fiesta is a non-competive forum in which independent filmmakers have the opportunity to screen their short films before a capacity crowd in a New York City movie theatre. Our focus being the works of New York based ethnic, female, and foreign filmmakers.

Confirmed titles so far:
No Turning Back - Enrico Falconi - 15 min
Gentrifucked - scot-free - 11 min
Daddy's little girl - Oliver Noble - 5 min
Photographic Memory - Kelvin Bias - 13 min

End of the Century

(dir. Jim Fields & Michael Gramaglia, 110 mins, 2003)

Sat May 13 6:30pm - buy tix

Hey! Ho! Let's go!

In 1974, the New York City music scene was shocked into consciousness by the violently new and raw sound of a band of misfits from Queens, called The Ramones. Playing in a seedy Bowery bar to a small group of fellow struggling musicians, the band struck a chord of disharmony that rocked the foundation of the mid-'70s music scene. This quartet of unlikely rock stars traveled across the country and around the world connecting with the disenfranchised everywhere, while sparking a movement that would resonate with two generations of outcasts across the globe. Although the band never reached the top of the Billboard charts, it managed to endure by maintaining a rigorous touring schedule for 22 years.


(dir. Gerard Damiano, 61 mins, 1972)

Sat May 6 11pm - buy tix
Sat May 13 11pm - buy tix


The movie that changed the film industry (probably for the worse)

How far does a girl have to go to untangle her tingle?

Linda, frustrated that her hugely energetic sex life leaves her unsatisfied, seeks medical help. The doctor informs her that the reason for her problem is that her clitoris is mistakenly located at the back of her throat - but there is a very simple remedy, which the doctor, and various other men, proceed to demonstrate. . .


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

Sun May 14 7pm - buy tix
Sat May 20 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 Mondays program presents

One Dark and Stormy Night

Mon May 15 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.


An evening of frightful short films, presented by the people at

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Bitter +
Samantha Smith Project

Tues May 16 7pm - buy tix

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

"Bitter!" (Gor'ko!) - dir. Darya Zhuk , 2003, Russian with English subtitles - 40 min
A story of a childhood friend wrestling with the decision to get married in contemporary post-Soviet world. In the times of unstable economic situation, Alex is torn between Western-like ambition to jumpstart his career and desire to live up to his family's traditional expectiations to get married. The film explores the reasons for marriage and the marriage process in the former USSR.

"Samantha Smith Project" - dir. Irene Lusztig - 51 min
A meditation on historical amnesia, nostalgia, and the manufacturing and dismantling of political enemies. Braiding together the story of Samantha Smith’s historic journey to the Soviet Union in 1983 (as a child diplomat and official guest of her high profile “pen pal” in the Kremlin, then-Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov) with a parallel personal narrative of travel to Russia fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, The Samantha Smith Project explores the aftermath of the Cold War and the contemporary Russian landscape.

LGBT Wednesday


(dir. Spencer Schilly, 96 mins, 2006 year)

Weds May 17 7pm - buy tix
Fri May 19 9pm - buy tix

This is an LGBT Wednesdays program. Many Wednesdays at 7pm feature LGBT programming.

Sometimes life can get a little twisted

After waking from 13-year coma, a young man pursues his childhood dream of becoming a clown, while his unnerved father attempts to teach him how to be a car-salesmen instead.

This sweet and quirky comedy begins on the eve of Wesley Watson’s 25th birthday when he wakes from a thirteen-year coma after his childhood mentor, Happy Henry, brings a small musical clown to his bedside.

As the adult Wesley recovers, his father trains him to follow his paternal footsteps as a car salesman while the lovely Nurse Tami encourages Wesley to follow his childhood dream of becoming a clown. At first Wesley attempts to please his father but soon discovers that the car lot is no place for a man-boy who dreams of being a clown. So against his father’s wishes, Wesley decides to follow his own heart and pursue his childhood dream until a fatal clowning mishap sends Wesley back to the car lot!

With the help of Nurse Tami, Happy Henry, his mother, and the future Pumpkin Queen, Wesley battles his inner-clown and outer-car salesmen in a struggle that forces him to make a choice that ultimately saves lives and solves a surprising decade-long mystery.

Cultural Thursdays
Third I NY presents

Thurs May 18 9pm - buy tix

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

The Third I New York group presents South Asian independent cinema

City of Photos
(Nishtha Jain/India/60mins, 2005, Video, in Gujarati & Hindi with English subtitles)
City of Photos explores the little known ethos of neighborhood photo studios in Indian cities, discovering entire imaginary worlds in the smallest of spaces. Tiny, shabby studios that appear to be stuck in a time warp turn out to be places throbbing with energy. As full of surprises as the people who frequent these studios are the backdrops they enjoy posing against and the props they choose. These afford fascinating glimpses into individual fantasies and popular tastes. Yet beneath the fun and games runs an undercurrent of foreboding. Not everyone enjoys being photographed; not every backdrop is beautiful; not all photos are taken on happy occasions. The cities in which these stories unfold themselves become backdrops, their gritty urban reality a counterpoint to the photo palaces. Desires, memories and stories, all so deeply linked to the photographic experience, come together as part of a personal journey into the city of photos.

About the Director:
Nishtha Jain started her career as an editor and correspondent for video newsmagazines before joining the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), specializing in Film Direction. Her diploma film Jam Invalid won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film festival in 1999. Since then she has made several documentaries for Television and worked briefly as Executive Producer for a documentary channel 'Chakra'.

Photos are available here.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe
Feature Presentation


(dir. Bob Hercules and Cheri Pugh, 80 mins, 2006)
United States * in English, with some other languages subtitled in English

Thurs May 18 7pm - buy tix
Fri May 19 7pm - buy tix
Cheri Pugh and Bob Hercules in person

Sat May 20 5:15pm- buy tix
Bob Hercules in person

Sat May 20 9pm - buy tix
Bob Hercules in person

Sun May 21 5:15pm - buy tix
Eva Kor in person

Sun May 21 9pm - buy tix
Eva Kor in person

Mon May 22 5:15pm - buy tix
Eva Kor in person

Mon May 22 9:30pm - buy tix
Eva Kor in person

Tues May 23 5:15pm - buy tix
Tues May 23 9pm - buy tix
Weds May 24 7pm - buy tix
Sun May 28 4:45pm - buy tix

"It's impossible not to be moved by [Eva Kor's] fierce capacity for life."
- Dana Stevens, NY TIMES

"Affecting . . .a portrait of an incredible yet flawed woman . . . chilling."
- Raven Snook, TIME OUT NY

"Compulsively watchable."
- Bilge Ebiri, NY TIMES

"Riveting. . .heads for true importance."
- Melissa Levine, VILLAGE VOICE

"Takes one's breath away."

Could you forgive a war criminal? Could you forgive your worst enemy if it released you from your past trauma?

FORGIVING DR. MENGELE tells the story of a shocking act of forgiveness by Auschwitz survivor Eva Mozes Kor and the firestorm of criticism it has provoked.

Eva and her twin sister, Miriam, were victims of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele's cruel genetic experiments--an experience that would haunt them their entire lives. We follow Eva's metamorphosis from embittered survivor to tireless advocate for reconciliation. This unexpected transformation was sparked when Eva, in an attempt to get information about the experiments, met with another former Auschwitz doctor.

Eva's ideas about justice, revenge and the possibility of healing through forgiveness--as well as the passionate opposition from other survivors--become a window to a larger discussion of the many ways people define forgiveness.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe
Sunday Shorts

Latvian Shorts

Sun May 21 7pm - buy tix

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

Esteemed filmmaker Dzintra Geka curates a program of distinguished short films from Latvia.

White Beast / Baltais zvers
Short feature by Janis Vingris S16mm, 20’, 2004, Latvia
Set in future (year 2012) this story tells about the time when government has legislated for every citizen of Latvia to possess a minimum amount of money (30 Lats) on their electronic bank-cards which are to be presented to police upon their request at any time. A person failing to present this amount is considered as criminal - malicious pauper.

Water / Udens
by Laila Pakalnina 20 min Synopsis
Maria decides to go for a swim in the pool even though it looks deserted and she’s warned that the water is cold. When she gets into the pool she is faced with not only the frigid water, but with her other feelings as well. Like fear.

Signe and... / Signe un...
Documentary by Dzintra Geka 30 min, Betacam SP, 2003, Latvia
This is a film about creativity, sex and immortality, about the accidentally fateful people who were encountered by the Latvian animation film director Signe Baumane in Latvia and the United States. The images in the film as signs, and someone who is waiting ... Film is not attempt to make portrait of Signe - it is exploring the situation where creative career is consuming so much of personal life qualities.

Insomnia / Bezmiegs
Director Vladimir Leschiov 2004, 35 mm, colour, Dolby SR, 7’
She comes at night, quiet as a cat, to take his sleep away until he feed her. All she needs is milk brought by him somewhere between sleep and reality. Her name is Insomnia.

Woman / Sieviete
Animation film by Signe Baumane 2002, 35 mm, colour, 10’
A visually poetic story about where a woman comes from (from the Moon), how does she get out in the world (a Bull or a Passion carries her), and the two ways she may encounter a man - one way she brings Love to a man the other – Death.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Feature Presentation


(Što je muškarac bez brkova)

(dir. Hrvoje Hribar, 109 mins, 2005)

Croatia * in Croatian subtitled in English

Mon May 22 7pm - buy tix
Musician Tamara Obrovac in person!

Thurs May 25 9pm - buy tix
Fri May 26 9pm - buy tix
Sat May 27 9pm - buy tix
Sun May 28 9pm - buy tix
Mon May 29 9pm - buy tix
Tues May 30 9pm - buy tix
Weds May 31 9pm - buy tix

Thessaloniki International Film Festival * Sarajevo Film Festival

A young widow, an aging immigrant who has returned home from Germany, and a priest from a bankrupt parish are struggling to come to terms with the post-war environment, complete with its prejudices, illusions, and unpleasant mentality. What follows is a powerful, poignant romantic comedy set in rough landscape, about a woman who falls in love with a local priest. He is not blind to her love, but is unable to choose between the church and her, until the circumstances force him to make his choice.
[adapted from the Thessaloniki International Film Festival's synopsis]

Presented by the Doors Art Foundation

Cinewomen NY presents

Tues May 23 7pm - buy tix

Cinewomen NY website

This is a Tuesdays@7 program, generously sponsored by Magic Hat. 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 Camille Holder Brown 18 minutes
A humorous look at how one mother and daughter navigate the transition from girl to woman.

Dir Beth Taylor 26 minutes
A funny, moving look at the lives of three women in their thirties with very different ideas on motherhood and why “Mum” may or may not be the word for them.

Dir Andrea Odezynska 18 minutes
Andrea, a New York filmmaker, embarks on a journey to the land of her ancestors to escape the stresses of her city life. Accompanying an ethno-musicological excursion, she enters the village of Utoropy. Sensitive cinematography reveals the magic of a culture deeply connected to the earth that still exists in rural Western Ukraine. Elderly women sing ancient songs as a wedding procession follows the dirt path from the church. The women meet Baba Ana, a traditional healer who uses natural remedies and whispered incantations to cure ailments.

Dir Kate Clere 15 minutes
A young mother, torn by love she has for her son, faces the daily inner struggle saying goodbye to him, for another long day apart.

Dir Kristina & Nick Higgins 6.25 minutes
Ann McCombie is 81, gardens 15 acres every day, built the road to her house and is single handedly cleaning the blighted landscape of a deserted community. Along the way, she figured out the secret to a happy life.


(dir. Tonje Hessen Schei, 75 mins, 2006)

Weds May 24 9pm - buy tix

``A damning critique of the mainstream news media's gung-ho coverage of the Iraq invasion.''
- Joseph Gelmis, Film Critic Emeritus, Newsday

INDEPENDENT INTERVENTION is an award-winning documentary about the US media coverage of the war in Iraq. Focusing on the human costs of war, it contrasts the mass media’s coverage of the invasion of Iraq with independent reports of the brutal realities on the ground.

INDEPENDENT INTERVENTION investigates important issues that govern today’s information flow, and looks at how this system reveals itself during times of war and political turmoil.

INDEPENDENT INTERVENTION features Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Dahr Jamail, Danny Schechter, Norman Solomon, David Barsamian, Kalle Lasn, James Zogby and Jim Hightower. It also includes the voices of Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Bill Moyers, Arundhati Roy, Jeremy Scahill, US Senators and Iraqi people.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

(dir. Gabor Zsigmond Papp, 82 mins, 2004)

Hungary * In Hungarian with English subtitles

Thurs May 25 7pm - buy tix

Secret tapes of the Hungarian Communist Police!

From 1958 to 1988, the film studio of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior made several hundred propaganda films, including shorts, instructional works and features. Over a wide thematic range, these films sought to teach Hungarian policemen how to maintain public order. Topics included secret home-raids, operatives shadowing suspects, how to install interceptive devices and recruiting informers and agents. The monotone narration used in these films contrasts with the "elevated" cause they were supposed to serve. As a result, these films can seem wickedly comical, petty or shocking to us today as contemporary viewers. But in the 1960s and 1970s, plenty of time and effort was put into this form of ideological training. The films were also made with relatively large budgets, with the participation of renowned experts, and they utilised the most advanced technologies of their time. By selecting and masterfully assembling the strongest samples, director Zsigmond shows us how the operation of the totalitarian dictatorship under Kádár functioned, and the main forces underlying its efficiency.

[synopsis adapted from International Documentary Festival Amsterdam description]


(dir. John Ford, 93 mins, 1935)

Fri May 26 7pm - buy tix


Edward G. Robinson and Jean Arthur

directed by John Ford

Although John Ford's films often included comic elements, he made few that were pure comedies--THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING, starring Edward G. Robinson as obsequious hardware-store clerk Arthur Jones, is one of them. A man of almost appallingly regular habits, Arthur hasn't been late for work in years. Although he has a long-standing crush on his lively coworker Wilhelmina "Bill" Clark (Jean Arthur), he's unable to tell her how he feels. While he's having lunch one day, he's arrested by police who mistake him for mob boss Killer Manion. After his employer clears him, the police give Arthur a pass identifying him as the non-Killer. As a gimmick, a newspaper hires the clerk to write a series of articles speculating about his unruly doppelgänger. The gangster reads the piece, learns about the pass, and realizes how convenient such a document could be. He pays the terrified Arthur a visit, extracting the pass and insisting the newspaper series be devoted to his past exploits before departing for a night of the usual mayhem. Robinson's career received a huge boost from this deliciously humorous film, which toys amusingly with his gangster iconography. Not all is comic, however, as Ford filters the Victorian Jekyll-and-Hyde notion of a split self into his narrative to suggest Jones's evil twin corresponds to the darker corridors of the meek clerk's unconscious mind.
[synopsis adapted from]


(dir. Sam Raimi, 85 mins, 1981)

35mm print is 1.33:1 aspect ratio

Sat May 27 11:30pm - 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.

Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

Sunday Shorts

Fusion Arts Museum Presents

Program #1
Sat May 27 6:30pm - buy tix

Program #2
Sun May 28 6:30pm - 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.

Shalom Neuman, Czech native and director of Lower East Side's Fusion Arts Museum, presents two distinct programs of shorts from across Central and Eastern Europe. More details will follow.

Program 1:

directed, produced, and edited by Margot Niederland

Diagonale Galerie Paris, France * Director & Installation artist Shalom * Music Marc Sloan * Poetry Eugene Ostashevsky * Editing Carrie Beehan

"impeachment of the oversight quilt" 2005
by naval cassidy and the hands of orlak

Program 2:

director, editor, camera, interviewer MITCH CORBER

An engaging interview with charismatic avant-garde composer-poet John Cage interlaced with choice interview clips, comments & tributes from musicians Philip Glass, Glenn Branca, Johnny Reinhard, Charlie Morrow, Joshua Pierce and Grete Sultan, poets/writers Richard Kostelanetz, David Antin, Jackson Mac Low, artists Allan Kaprow and Alison Knowles, performance artists Stuart Sherman and Mitch Corber, educators Marjorie Perloff, Peter Frank & Mary Feinsinger. A demonstration of Cage's invention the “prepared piano” is followed by performance of Cage's revolutionary Sonatas and Interludes.

performed at: Ukrainian Museum & FusionArts Museum

Bizarro Monday!
Brave New Europe:
New Films from and about Central and Eastern Europe

(dir. Roman Polanski, 94 mins, 1962)

Poland * In Polish with English subtitles

Mon May 29 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.

Roman Polanski's breakthrough film

Roman Polanski's first feature-length film is a suspenseful three-person chamber drama reminiscent of the work of Ingmar Bergman. KNIFE IN THE WATER was filmed in the director's native Poland and financed through government subsidies. Although denounced by local authorities as devoid of any significant social or political content, the film caused a minor sensation in the West, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film, and even made the cover of Time magazine. The action takes place almost entirely within the confined setting of a sailboat owned by a wealthy journalist (Leon Niemczyk) and his much younger wife (Jolanta Umecka). On their way to the lake for a weekend of sailing, they are accosted by a young hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanowicz) who jumps in front of their car, forcing them to stop. Annoyed by the youth's daredevil posturing, the journalist nevertheless decides to invite him to join the couple on their boat, initiating a series of playfully competitive games between the two men. Playfulness soon gives way to hostility, however, as each tries to outshine and humiliate the other in front of the woman, who appears to be taking a more than casual interest in her husband's young rival.
[synopsis adapted from RottenTomatoes]

The Reeler presents

Director Lodge Kerrigan in person!

(dir. Lodge Kerrigan, 100 mins, 2004)

Tues May 30 6:30pm - buy tix

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

Few recent American films possess the dueling austerity and rawness evident in Lodge Kerrigan's 2005 masterpiece KEANE. Damian Lewis portrays the title character, a schizophrenic lost in a panicked, squalid quest to find a young daughter who ostensibly vanished in the tumult of Port Authority. At the motel he calls home, he acquaints himself with single mother Lynn (Amy Ryan) and her own little girl, Kira (Abigail Breslin), both of whom embrace Keane out of a necessity as tactical as it is emotional.

While Keane's subject matter recalls Kerrigan's 1994 breakthrough CLEAN, SHAVEN, the filmmaker reprises the earlier film's ache and chill without resorting to its singular horror. Rather, an astonishing turn by Lewis and (literally) unflinching camerawork by John Foster reveal a man awash in crisis and catharsis, on the verge of genuinely knowing something. Like its namesake, Keane is a discovery worth making.

Join The Reeler editor S.T. VanAirsdale and friends Lawrence Levi (Looker) and Karina Longworth (Cinematical) for a post-screening, talk-show style discussion with filmmaker Lodge Kerrigan. The chat will be podcast around the globe on, so bring your critical A-game and tell New York and the world what you think.

Pioneer Theater

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