Support provided in part by the Union Square Awards, a project of the Tides Center,
The New York State Council on the Arts,
and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
UPCOMING SCREENINGS AND EVENTS AT THE MAYSLES CINEMA The box office is open for advance ticket purchases Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday, 12 - 6 pm, and one hour before the start of all events until they end. If the door is locked during these hours, knock on the store front window. Credit cards now accepted at the Box Office. Tickets $10 suggested donation, unless otherwise noted.
Ticket-holders arriving 15 minutes beforeshowtime are guaranteed a seat inside the theater. Overflow seating available for sold out shows. Members only: You can reserve your seat by emailing your name, the name and date of the event, and "Member RSVP" to firstname.lastname@example.org or(212)537-6843 x1 leaving a voicemail at no later than 24 hours before the screening start time. If you have a family membership, make sure to note the number of family members attending. Become a member> Our Cinema and one of our restrooms are handicap accessible. Feel free to call the Box Office at (212) 537-6843 if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Christine Turner, 2013, 58 min
Harlem's own Isaiah Owens, proprietor of the Owens Funeral Home--just a few blocks away from the Maysles Cinema on Malcolm X Blvd--and his family are the focus of this thoughtful cinematic portrait by New York filmmaker Turner. Growing up, Owens felt like an outcast for the interest in death and its rituals that led him to design elaborate ceremonies for the burial of neighborhood pets. Today, however, he is a pillar of his community, beloved for a gentle, practical approach to "homegoings" at a time when discussions of death are taboo and the undertaking field is dominated by impersonal big business. Venturing behind the scenes of a much feared and misunderstood profession, this thoughtful film examines the rituals of African American funerals and the approach that Owens takes to his craft, one of the few that black Americans could enter into freely after slavery. Combining cinéma vérité with personal interviews, Homegoings paints a portrait of Harlem's the dearly departed and the man who serves them.
Tuesday, June 25 and Friday, June 28: Post-film Q&As with director Christine Turner and the Homegoings cast!
Reception will follow the program on Friday, June 28!
"9/10 Stars! [A sense of justice and continuity makes the lovely documentary] Homegoings makes especially vibrant." —Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
StoryCorps Shorts: A 10th Anniversary Program
The Rauch Brothers, 2010-2013, approximately 20 mins.
Over 45,000 oral histories have been recorded by the NYC-based organization StoryCorps since they opened their doors in 2003. Archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the stories document the lives of Americans of all ages and beliefs in their own voices. In honor of their tenth anniversary, Documentary in Bloom at the Maysles Cinema is proud to present this program of StoryCorps short films, featuring the audio from selected oral histories brought beautifully to life with animation.
This program is made possible by P.O.V. Special thanks to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). More information on StoryCorps >
Celebrating Ballroom History. An evening of pushing the conversation forward in honor of New York Pride Week and National Testing Day Awareness Event. In partnership with Global Network of Black Pride, GMAD, SWERV, Anti Violence Project and Until There's A Cure
Commentator & Host: Iconic Father Kamari Lorenzi – Miyake Mugler.
Simone di Bagno and Michele Capozzi, 1982, 60 min
Before Paris is Burning, there was T.V. Transvestite. Shot in 1982 by filmmakers Simone di Bagno and Michele Capozzi, the documentary captures a fierce House of LaBeija ball thrown at a Harlem Bingo hall. "Lost" and not screened in public for over two decades, this rare film shows such legends as Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey and Sugar in a period before voguing and at the advent of AIDS.
The Show Must Go On: The Story of Snookie Lanore Dir. Zachary Kussin, 2011, 3 min.
Snookie Lanore (née Lawrence Taylor) 18, chose to name himself after the “Jersey Shore” star for her spunk and fun-loving personality. And with these same personal attributes, Snookie enlivens his own audience at the balls that he hosts. But instead of traditional ballroom events, Snookie’s feature drag runway battles, vogue dance-offs, and beauty contests.
These types of balls aren’t new. They’ve been held by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities of color for almost 50 years to provide a safe, judgment-free space for self expression—even a safe space for conflict resolution. They’ve also been made popular by several documentaries—Paris Is Burning, a 1990 film, stands out as an example. But those are the major leagues, meant for older followers. Snookie represents the “Kiki” scene—a ballroom subculture that traditionally caters to participants under the age of 18—whose events have recently grown in frequency and popularity, even among older fans from the major leagues.
Here in New York, these Kiki balls generally take place twice monthly, which makes Snookie a very busy teen. Since starting two years ago, Snookie has hosted over 40 of these events, and he sees many more on the horizon. He first got his start when a friend asked him to host a ball that he threw. At first, Snookie said, he didn’t think he could, but then this life-long Church singer found a new way to show his talents. Snookie shares how hosting makes him feel in The Show Must Go On.
Poetry By Sephology, The Lyrical Prodigy
Q&A with filmmakers to immediately following the screening.
Followed by a post-screening Mini-Ball featuring The Paragon House of GianMarco Lorenzi.
Special fundraising partnership with Until There’s A Cure®
Get Down is partnered with Until There’s A Cure®. Until There’s A Cure® is a national organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and funds to combat this pandemic. Fueled by concerns about the effects of HIV/AIDS on the lives of their children, two California mothers were inspired to create the non-profit organization Until There’s A Cure® Foundation in 1993. The Foundation was the first non-profit organization to create and sell a bracelet to raise funds for a cause.
Tedsmooth's Old School Jam
(with surprise guests!)
"Rapper's Delight" Performance Featuring Legendary MCs Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Grandmaster Caz (The Cold Crush Brothers).
I Want My Name Back
Roger Paradiso, 2012, 90 min.
If you know your old-school rap history, then you know that the legendary Sugarhill Gang introduced Hip Hop to the world with the Top 40 Hit "Rapper's Delight." But the story you haven't heard is the shocking truth about how a con game and identity theft led to the band's breakup. Master Gee and Wonder Mike waged a thirty plus year battle against Sugarhill Records to reclaim their names and legacy. In this documentary we hear the true story of two of the original members of The Sugarhill Gang, Michael Wright (Wonder Mike) and Guy O'Brien (Master Gee). The film also features Grandmaster Caz (The Cold Crush Brothers), Melle Mel (Grandmaster Flash), and Vinnie and Treach (Naughty by Nature).
Venus and Serena
Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, 2013, 99 min
Venus and Serena
at 7:30 pm
Full week Run!
Ever since Venus and Serena Williams started playing in tennis tournaments, they've provoked strong reactions - from awe and admiration to suspicion and resentment. They've been winning championships for over a decade, pushing the limits of longevity in such a demanding sport. How long can they last? In Venus & Serena, we gain unprecedented access into their lives during the most intimidating year of their career. Over the course of 2011, Venus grappled with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease while Serena battled back from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Neither Venus nor Serena let their adversities hold them back. They drew their greatest strength from each other.
"That was a tough year for us because we both got injuries and so many issues. So seeing that is just motivating to see how much we’ve overcome and to make us stronger."
Price of Gold
Sven Zellner, 2012, 86 mins
Gold: today’s most popular investment product. This astounding film is the first to document the illegal gold-diggers in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert risking their lives for a few grams of the precious mineral. While the speculative market value of gold in the Western world holds little relation to any tangible yardstick, the film describes in very direct and stark images what it means to prospect for gold by hand, in brutal conditions eerily reminiscent of the California Gold Rush during the late 19th- century. In amazingly intimate shots, Sven Zellner shows us the people at the other end of the world who pay the real price of gold.
“The setting is the Gobi Desert, a barren, golden landscape where desperate Mongolian nomads, known as “ninjas,” search for leftover gold veins that the giant international mining companies might have overlooked when they swept through the area years ago. The equipment is crude. The language is foul. They treat women (there is one female cook) like chattel, and each other like dirt. Sven Zellner, an accomplished photographer, spent years earning the trust of this scrappy group, which he follows into the claustrophobic shafts and the cramped quarters of the makeshift tent. His cinematography is breathtaking, and he drives home the inherent dangers of this illegal trade.” —Gayle MacDonald, The Globe and Mail
The Maysles Cinema is located at:
343 Malcolm X Boulevard / Lenox Avenue (between 127th and 128th Streets)