David Brisbin stars in “No Picnic,” written and directed by Phil Hartman.
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The MoRUS Film Fest will kick off with a bang this weekend with the 25th Anniversary Tompkins Riot Reunion Films. The festival will also include a variety of documentary and fictional works about the changing neighborhood.
The first annual film event by the new Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space will feature more than a dozen rare titles, and will screen at various sites representative of the museum’s theme of “reclaimed space.”
All-access tickets ($20) for the eight-day celluloid celebration are available at morusfilmfest.eventbrite.com and at MoRUS, 155 Avenue C between Ninth and 10th Sts. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are also available at the door for a suggested donation of $5 per film.
For all screenings, doors (or garden gates) will open at 7:30 p.m. and films will begin at dusk. There will be limited seating available at community garden screenings, and people are welcome to bring their own blankets and folding chairs. MoRUS organizers advise, “Mosquitoes appreciate the community gardens as much as we do, so come prepared!” In case of rain, outdoor films will relocate to MoRUS.
Selected screenings will feature discussions and Q&A’s with filmmakers and other speakers. Refreshments, including wine and beer, and popcorn will also be available.
On Sat., Aug. 3, sponsored by The Shadow newspaper — producers of the 25th Annual Tompkins Square Riot Reunion Show — and screening at MoRUS will be “Your House Is Mine” (filmmaker Carolyn McCaughey will be in attendance) and “Squat or Rot,” plus a Paper Tiger Television special on the demolition of the Fifth St. Squat, featuring interviews with the late activist and Indymedia journalist Brad Will, Frank Morales, Corinne Bordeaux, Steve Englander and others.
On Sun., Aug. 4, also part of the riot reunion films series, radical cartoonist Seth Tobocman will present a special historical slideshow and there will be a screening of Paper Tiger Television’s “Tompkins Square Park: Operation Class War on the Lower East Side.”
Mon., Aug. 5, the first night of the festival’s “Home in Loisaida Films” series, screening at La Plaza Cultural garden, at Avenue C and Ninth St., will include “LES,” directed by Coleen Fitzgibbon; “Heart of Loisaida,” directed by Marci Reaven and Beni Matias; and the 1978 documentary “Viva Loisaida,” featuring Bimbo Rivas and a young Chino Garcia of CHARAS, directed by Marlis Momber. Filmmakers Reaven and Momber will be in attendance.
On Tues., Aug. 6, “Home in Loisaida Films” continues in La Plaza Cultural with “B/Side,” a Reaganomics-era, East Village documentary / fictional mash-up, directed by Abigail Child; and “Not For Sale,” about the razing of Esperanza Garden for new luxury condos on E. Seventh St., directed by Yael Bitton.
On Wed., Aug. 7, “Community Garden Films,” showing in 6B Garden (Avenue B and Sixth St.), will feature “More Than Flowers,” directed by Laura Beer; “Loisaida, Avenue C,” directed by Maeva Aubert; and a Paper Tiger TV special on the demolition of Esperanza Garden.
On Thurs., Aug. 8, “7th Street,” a documentary shot by actor Josh Pais between 1992 and 2002 on the block he grew up on, Seventh St. between Avenues C and D, will screen in the 6B Garden. Pais will be in attendance.
On Fri., Aug. 9, at Orchard Alley garden, on Fourth St. between Avenues C and D, “Landlord Blues,” a 1988 experimental crime thriller set on the L.E.S. by Jacob Burckhardt — who will be in attendance — will be screened in 16 millimeter.
On Sat., Aug. 10, also at Orchard Alley, Phil Hartman’s 1990 “No Picnic” will show, also in 16 millimeter. The star-studded cast includes Steve Buscemi as “The Dead Pimp” and Richard Hell as “Irate Tenant,” plus Luis Guzman and Judith Malina. The director will be in attendance.
For trailers and more information, visit www.morusnyc.org, and click on the “Morus Film Fest” button.
Tompkins riot video — uncut
In addition, separate from the MoRUS Film Fest, L.E.S. documentarian Clayton Patterson, for the 25th anniversary of the Tompkins Square Riot, will be screening his entire videotape recording (three hours and 33 minutes) of the epic East Village clash, at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St., on Tues., Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. The tape was the only full record of the battle between police and squatters and activists and was important evidence in the subsequent legal proceedings that saw several officers disciplined or criminally indicted. Tickets, $10.
Also, on Thurs., Aug. 8, “Clayton Patterson: From the Underground and Below,” short documentary films by Patterson about the Lower East Side, will be screened at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, at 7 p.m. Tickets for nonmembers, $8.