Discover more from Marquee Mixtape with Alec Rodriguez
Issue #2: Macabre Marquees 🎃
Dispatches from spooky szn revival programming in NYC and the beyond
Marquee Mixtape is back from a longer break than scheduled due to the production of the forthcoming podcast and I’m writing in on Halloween morning from CDMX 🇲🇽
Quick update on the pod: We’re officially rolling records on episodes and finalizing the pod art with the hope of launching in the next week! Guest outreach has been received with excitement and intrigue as I’m booking more record dates in November. Stay tuned!
My traversals through repertory cinema in October took me to an old stomping ground in Los Angeles, a bucket list cinema haven in Mexico, and the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.
Return to the New Bev
At the start of October I was in LA for a hot minute to help my old college friend Jorge with his short film production and when there was a few hours of free time on the call sheet I suggested we take a detour at the New Bev Cinema since he’d never been. The New Bev was my gateway to revival houses when I was a teenager and it had been almost a decade since I last visited. The programming there is always on point and on the first day of October they were screening SUPER 8 (2011) on 35mm — a movie that Jorge and I saw on opening day during our college era when we had to learn 8mm production.
The New Bev has gotten better with age: the sound and projection quality was ideal, the live introduction was delightful, it was a sold out show and one of the kids from the Super 8 cast (now grown up) was in attendance. Also, I had almost forgotten about the cinema’s old school 2D cartoons pre-show they usually play plus classic movie trailers aligned with their programming for the month — all celluloid projection because like the marquee shouts at passersby: ALWAYS ON FILM!
The 8th Annual BROOKLYN HORROR FILM FEST
I’ve lived in Brooklyn for nearly a decade and this year was finally my time to attend one of NYC’s buzziest festivals which I believe for the first time was exclusively hosted by Nitehawk Cinema. I only got to experience a couple of screenings and that was enough to have me seriously consider a festival pass next year. The community of filmmakers and horror fans was super warm, passionate and kind. I was so impressed with the community building aspect of the fest. Arrow Video was a sponsor and had a table stacked with their physical media collection sold by actual members from their London team. I got to meet Alan Simmons — streaming curator for Arrow Player — who sold me a copy of the brand new restoration of Ringu (1998) on 4K blu.
I attended the NIGHTMARE FUEL shorts block that screened about a dozen horror shorts with a handful of the filmmakers in attendance for a post-show Q&A moderated by festival programmer, Matt Barone. Each short delivered the highest order of eeriness, shocks, ingenuity, and bleeding heart passion for indie filmmaking and the horror genre. Big shouts to The Mosquito Lady, My Scary Indian Wedding, and Ride Baby Ride!
A week later I returned for a live score screening of A PAGE OF MADNESS (1926) — part of the festival’s annual Fear in Focus repertory series with this year being themed after J-Horror. A Page of Madness is a silent B/W Japanese film that is nearly 100 years old and the screening was accompanied with an original score performed by The Flushing Remonstrance — the duo of Catherine Cramer and Robert Kennedy — who delivered an experimental soundscape of cosmic growls from the void and a mind-bending electronic percussion that paired perfectly with the movie’s decent into madness. If you haven’t experienced a live score screening before then I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a truly unique time at the movies. Look out for my conversation with The Flushing Remonstrance when the Marquee Mixtape podcast drops soon!
Keep this film fest on your radar when it comes back around next year!
Celebrating Hip Hop 50th Anniversary…on Mars!
NYC has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop all year round and there’s been plenty of repertory screenings for it, too. I caught an outdoor screening of Brown Love over the summer and in October I had to make it someway somehow to the Museum of the Moving Image for a 35mm screening of John Carpenter’s 2001 B-movie classic, GHOSTS OF MARS. This was a DVD that got replayed to death by my brother and I back in the day and I was grateful MoMI brought it back so I could experience it on the silver screen. I’m not sure if it was an original release print or not but MoMI nabbed a stunning celluloid copy. Ghosts of Mars was the closer to the museum’s film series — Real Rap: Hip Hop Star Power On Screen — and there was a live introduction by co-curator, Tiffany Joy Butler. I still love this movie and I picked up a few things that didn’t stick when I was 12 years-old like the fact that the ruling society on Mars was a matriarchy and the big bad alien-possessed human had war face paint that resembled Pazuzu the demon from The Exorcist. The cast is absolutely stacked: Natasha Hendridge, Pam Grier, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, and my guy Ice Cube as Desolation Williams. Carpenter took big swings with this original film and it ends with a cliffhanger that promises more adventures with Hendridge and Ice Cube…and I kinda still want to see that.
Espooky Times at Cineteca Nacional
I’m in Mexico this week and of all the cinemas on my wishlist to visit here I had to go with Cineteca Nacional. This place is a haven for cinephiles and I’ve never experienced another cinema quite like it. Free outdoor screenings, multiple movie memorabilia shops, bar with live music on the rooftop, astounding repertory programming, and ideal sound and picture quality auditoriums. For the Substack, I wanted to catch a horror film here and luckily the timing worked out to see the 50th anniversary re-release of THE WICKER MAN (1973). I always heard it was a classic horror film and I saw the image of the giant, burning Wicker Man, and I never saw the Nic Cage remake except for the infamous clips from the early days of YouTube. So I kinda went in blind and really enjoyed it. I noticed some striking similarities in modern horror films like Midsommar and Hot Fuzz. Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee are cartoonishly good and evil characters that had me grinning every time they shared the screen. It’s a weird ass time. Seek it out!
Horror movies will always be one of my favorite genres to watch with a crowd because they’re made to possess the auditorium with a sense of forbidden curiosity that has us facing either our core fears or something worse: the unknown.
Up next: Noirvember 🔎