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Under the Influence of

Influential artists, writers, performers, thinkers and leaders in their field select the films that inspire their work and lives and/or films that they've inspired or made.

Box office open for advance ticket purchases Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 12-6 & from 1 hour before until the end of all events. During these hours, knock on the window if door is locked.
Only ticket holders arriving 15 minutes before showtime can be guaranteed a seat in the theater. Overflow seating available for sold out shows.
Tickets $10 suggested donation, unless otherwise noted.
Members only: Reserve your seat ahead of time at
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Past Screenings
January 2010
Jan. 28
7:30 pm


80 Blocks From Tiffany's
Dir. Gary Wiess, 1979, 67 min.


Dir. Steven Goodman, 1982, 25 min.

Egotrip and the Maysles Institute have partnered to present Egotrip's favourite documentaries. 80 Blocks from Tiffany's is a rich film where filmmaker Gary Wiess and cinematographer Joan Churchill hang out with the South Bronx gang, the Savage Skulls. In Shotgun, this party atmosphere turns tragic. Steven Goodman, who has gone on to lead the field of video education with EVC, provides a portrait of Shotgun, an eighteen-year-old gang member living in the South Bronx, facing serious criminal charges.

In attendance: Both filmmakers, Ponce Laspina, a former 5th Division President of the notorious Savage Skulls, and NYPD Detective Robert Werner (who appears prominently in 80 Blocks)




February 2010
Feb. 25
7:30 pm


Curated with Andreas Vingaard

Electric Boogie
Dir. Tana Ross, 1983, 30 min.
This film intimately follows four African-American and Latino young people coming up in the early '80s South Bronx, and their unflagging devotion to the art b-boy-ing and breaking.

Beat This!: A Hip Hop History

Dick Fontaine, 1984, 60 min.
This tremendous, highly stylized BBC production features dynamic appearances by a veritable who's who of original school luminaries: Kool Herc (in what are perhaps his most revealing and personal public interviews), Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, the Cold Crush Brothers, Lisa Lee, Sha-Rock, graffiti writer Brim of Tats Cru, and Officer Kevin Hickey of the NYPD's infamous Vandal Squad. Rhymed narration provided by NYC broadcasting legend Gary Byrd.

Post-screening discussion and Q&A with hip-hop legends the Soulsonic Force and Easy AD of the Cold Crush Brothers, as well as Electric Boogie director Tana Ross.

Sponsored by Sugar Hill Beer




March 2010
Mar. 25
7:30 pm

Curated with Andreas Vingaard

**Final night of the “Under The Influence Of Ego Trip” series!**

Public Enemy and LL Cool J Live In Europe

1987, 30 min.
Hip-Hop Gods Public Enemy and LL Cool J, live in Europe, at the height of their powers. Never before screened in the U.S.

Big Fun In The Big Town

Dir. Bram van Splunteren, 1986, 40 min.
Interviews and rare footage of Run-DMC with Jam Master Jay, Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Russell Simmons, the late, great Mr. Magic, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Grandmaster Flash, and the one and only Schoolly-D.

Followed by a panel discussion with Doug E. Fresh, Director Bram van Splunteren, Schoolly-D, and former Def Jam Records and Rush Productions Director of Publicity Bill Adler (who also makes a cameo in Big Fun).

Followed by a reception sponsored by Harlem's own Sugar Hill Ale!

  Big Fun in the Big Town
         Sugar Hill
January 2011
Jan. 25
7:30 pm
  Jockdocs: Under the Influence of Dave Zirin   Jock DocsNot Just a Game
Sugar Hill Ale

Not Just A Game
Power, Politics & American Sports
Dir. Jeremy Earp, 2010, 62 min.
We've been told again and again that sports and politics don't mix, that games are just games and athletes should just "shut up and play." But according to Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin, this notion is just flat-out wrong. In Not Just a Game, the powerful new documentary based on his bestselling book The People's History of Sports in the United States, Zirin argues that far from providing merely escapist entertainment, American sports have long been at the center of some of the major political debates and struggles of our time. In a fascinating tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture, Zirin first traces how American sports have glamorized militarism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, then excavates a largely forgotten history of rebel athletes who stood up to power and fought for social justice beyond the field of play. The result is as deeply moving as it is exhilarating: nothing less than an alternative history of political struggle in the United States as seen through the games its people have played.


With Sugar Hill Ale reception to follow.

Jan. 26
7:30 pm
  Jockdocs: Under the Influence of Dave Zirin   Jock Docs

Quarterback Princess
Dir. Noel Black, 1983, 96 min.
Quarterback Princess is a fact-based drama about Tami Maida, a teenage girl from Canada who, in 1981 became a quarterback for the boys' junior varsity football team while living briefly in Oregon, and not only led the squad to a winning season but also was crowned homecoming princess, gave young TV veteran Helen Hunt her first starring role. Filmed on location in McMinnville, Oregon.


February 2011
Feb 5th
  Harlem Homegrown
Under the Influence of Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts:
  Harlem Homegrown
The Cool World
Ronnie Clanton in The Cool World

Sugar Hill Ale

The Cool World
Dir. Shirley Clarke, 1964, 120 min.
With special guest, Ronnie "Hampton" Clanton
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts told us "I first heard of The Cool World because of its connection with poet and activist June Jordan, who worked as an assistant to producer Frederick Wiseman. The film's attempt to capture the reality of streetlife in Harlem takes us directly into the problem of how the neighborhood has been represented, misrepresented, and imagined, which is also a big concern of my book Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. I look forward to viewing and discussing this film with Ronnie Clanton, who starred as its protagonist, Duke (credited in the film as Hampton Clanton)." Ronnie "Hampton" Clanton also stared in the seminal and groundbreaking film the Education of Sonny Carson (1974) as Sonny Carson.
NY Times article with excerpt from Harlem is Nowhere>
Harlem is Nowhere inspired mixtape by DJ Rupture & Rhodes-Pitts>

AFTER THE SCREENING: Conversation, Q&A with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts and Ronnie Clanton.
Plus: A short reading from Harlem is Nowhere with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

With Sugar Hill Ale reception to follow.

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
Harlem is Nowhere
Feb. 24th
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of ego trip Pt. 2
Documentaries From the Classic Hip-Hop Era Curated by ego trip and Andreas Vingaard
  Doc Watchers
Sugar Hill Ale

Founding Fathers
Dir by Ron Lawrence and Hassan Pore, 2009, 75 min.
Founding Fathers is a chronicle of 70s park jam era emcees/dj/promoters in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan and their roles in the development of hip-hop and NYC sound system culture. This film delivers history of the core roots of this popular music as it plays out on the streets, parks and nightclubs in the late 60's/early 70's. Directors Ron Lawrence and Hassan Pore take an amazing journey through the boroughs rediscovering DJ's with massive sound systems.
Film Website>

AFTER THE SCREENING: Q&A with Director Hassan Pore, Disco Twins, DJ Lance, Fab 5 Freddy & DJ Divine of Infinity Machine

Calendar of future ego trip screenings>

March 2011
Mar. 31st
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of ego trip Pt. 2
Documentaries From the Classic Hip-Hop Era Curated by ego trip and Andreas Vingaard
ego trip - Rap City

Rap City
Dir. Glenn Holsten & Lisa Marie Russo, 1988, 27 min.
Rap City spotlights Philadelphia and features rare and candid footage of Illadelph legends DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and Schoolly-D, as well as then-rising female emcee Yvette Money.

Writing on the Wall
Dir. Sandra King, 1986, 28 min.
Writing On the Wall tells the poignant story of a young Newark, NJ graffiti artist, MIKAH, struggling to make a name for himself. But the film also wins big points for historical significance by presenting a snapshot of legendary New York City cult figure, KEO—graf writer, artist and designer, and emcee—while still a teenaged member of MIKAH's crew.

Scheduled to appear: Filmmakers Glenn Holsten and Sandra King, KEO X-MEN, Micah Kelly aka MIKAH, the subject of the film.

Calendar of future ego trip screenings>

April 2011
Apr. 7th
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of Sam Greenlee
The Spook Who Sat By the Door

The Spook Who Sat By the Door
Dir. Ivan Dixon, 1973, 103 mins.
The Spook Who Sat by the Door is based on the novel by the same name by Sam Greenlee. It is both a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy. Dan Freeman, the titular protagonist, is enlisted in the Central Intelligence Agency's elitist espionage program as its token black. Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to train young Chicago blacks as "Freedom Fighters." As a story of one man's reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy, the film is autobiographical and personal. The novel and the film also dramatize the CIA's history of giving training to persons and/or groups who later utilize their specialized intelligence training against the agency.

AFTER THE SCREENING: Reading and Q&A with Sam Greenlee


Apr. 15th
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of Mr. Complex
With Special Guests Pharoahe Monch, Dres from Black Sheep, Maya Azucena, Bliss and Just Ice
Under the Influence of Mr Complex
Under the Influence of Mr Complex

You Stole My Heart
Dir. Mr. Complex, 2009, 6 min.
A hilarious tale of a stick up artist who falls in love with one of his victims. Stars Duane Cooper, Oleena Ru, Bliss and Mr. Complex.

Dir. Mr. Complex, 2011, 4 min.
When people in today's society get too engulfed in text messaging they become awkward in the simple act of conversing face to face, even in the most intimate moments. Stars Duane Cooper and Jackie Nova.

Die Laughing
Dir. Mr. Complex, 2010, 15 min.
A young man seeks revenge on his father for cursing him with the power of being too funny. Stars Kenny Williams, William Jackson Harper, Giannina Frino and Marlene Duperley

Dir. Mr. Complex, 2011, 27 min.
When a Fanatic loses his girlfriend to his idol, he snaps and becomes detrimental to them all. Stars Shaun B. Laurent, Shernita Anderson, Andres "Dres" Titus and Pharoahe Monch.

Afterparty with DJs OhsoKool and Crossphada and superstar performances!

Yardstick Flicks on Myspace>
Apr. 28th
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of ego trip Pt. 2
Documentaries From the Classic Hip-Hop Era Curated by ego trip and Andreas Vingaard
ego trip

White Lines and the Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug
Dir. Travis Gutiérrez Senger, 2010, 26 min.
This film (which won the Best Documentary Short award at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival) is the story of Junebug's double life as a DJ and drug dealer. Recalling the Bronx in the early 1980s, this documentary explores the old-school days of hip-hop and the dangerous underworld at the legendary Disco Fever. Never-before-seen footage and interviews with Kurtis Blow, DJ Hollywood, and Sal Abbatiello tell the tragic story of one of the greatest DJs ever.

SBX! Holding Down the Tradition
Dir. Jun Ohki, 2005, 31 min.
A cult classic set in the heart of hip-hop and featuring unearthed battle footage from the late eighties. Part music video and part documentary, SBX! stars a powerful line-up of hip-hop figures and underground celebrities, among them Show & AG, Lord Finesse, Percee P, Party Arty, D-Flow, Edan and Dave Tompkins. This film is a uniquely joyous celebration of the D.I.T.C. crew's contributions to BX hip-hop history that plays like Jim Jarmusch run amok in Patterson Projects.

Plus a very special bonus film live from the planet of Brooklyn…

Scheduled to appear: Filmmakers Travis Senger and Jun Ohki, Sal Abbatiello (Disco Fever; Fever Records), legendary hip-hop pioneer DJ Hollywood and D.I.T.C. members to be announced

Q&A: Sal Abbatiello of the Disco Fever >
Q&A: Travis Gutiérrez Senger, director of White Lines… >
Q&A: Lord Finesse on the Greatest Rhyme Battle of His Life >
Q&A: Jun Ohki, director of SBX! Holding Down the Tradition >

Facebook Event

Calendar of future ego trip screenings>

May 2011
May 21st
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of ESPO  

Steve Powers

A Love Letter For You


A Love Letter For You
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2010. 59 min
Jail bound youth spray paints a love letter to his girl.
Film Website>

Espo Runs The Show.
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2005, 25 min
A artist's manager tries to keep his client motivated for his debut solo show at a leading art gallery.

Got That Gary
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2000, 1min
Gary promotes the wares of the Street Market.

Style Wars The Musical
Dir. Matt Lenski
A preview of the beautifulest musical on off broadway

Q&A with ESPO and more to come

Facebook Event

Steve Powers aka ESPO was born and raised and Philadelphia, then moved to New York City in 1994. After stints as publisher of On the Go Magazine, author of the book The Art Of Getting Over, and full-time graffiti writer, Powers opened his studio in Janurary of 1998. Since then he has shown at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, The 49th Venice Bienalle, The Luggage Store in San Francisco, and had his first museum solo show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 2007. He founded the Dreamland Artist Club and partnered with Creative Time to commission over 45 artists to paint signs and rides in Coney Island and as a Fulbright Scholar, Powers painted a love story in the streets of Dublin and Belfast. He lives and works in Manhattan.

June 2011
June 7th
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of Le Tigre  

Under the Influence of Logo
Under the Influence of Logo

Under the Influence of Logo



  Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour
Dir Kerthy Fix, 2010, 72 min.
Who Took the Bomp? follows electronic feminist icons Le Tigre on the This Island tour across four continents and ten countries. Supported by a community of devoted fans and led by outspoken Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Le Tigre confronts sexism and homophobia in the music industry while tearing up the stage via performance art poetics, no-holds-barred lyrics, punk rock ethos, and whip-smart wit in this edgy and entertaining documentary. Who Took the Bomp? features never before seen live performances, archival interviews, and revealing backstage footage with these trail-blazing artists. "Hysterically funny, shamelessly political and musically intense” says Rolling Stone.

Post-screening Q&A with: Director Kerthy Fix and Le Tigre members Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman.

About the Speakers:
Kerthy Fix's credits include Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman with director Jennifer Fox, Hotel Gramercy Park with filmmaker Douglas Keeve, and Who Does She Think She Is?, airing on PBS this year. She also directed and produced Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields.

Kathleen Hanna is best known for her groundbreaking performances as a member of the seminal 90′s punk band, Bikini Kill, and her more recent multimedia group, Le Tigre. She is currently making art, giving lectures and writing a new album with her band The Julie Ruin.

Johanna Fateman, a Harlem resident and "zine queen," is best known for her work with Le Tigre. She produces the band Men, is a frequent art and pop culture contributing writer at Art Forum and co-owns Manhattan's Seagull salon.

July 2011
July 15th,
7:30 pm
  Under the Influence of Jorge "Pop Master Fabel" Pabon

Under the Influence of
Jorge 'Pop Master Fabel' Pabon
Jorge "Pop Master Fabel" Pabon

Viccin' Spree

Apache Line


  Viccin' Spree
Dir. Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, 12 min.
A short on back in the day Hip Hop Fashion with a comedic twist... starring Lil Lep, Flip Rock, B-Boy Fever One, Ness, Sweepy, Fly T, Black Crash, Fabel, Buddha, Louie Familia and Gato.

Apache Line: From Gangs to Hip Hop
Dir. Jorge "Fabel" Pabon and Johnny "Zip" Rodriguez, 60 min.
This work in progress documentary takes us on a journey through the trials, tribulations and triumphs of NYC street gangs/families that celebrated urban culture, through artistic expression, prior to the advent of what we know as "Hip Hop culture". This documentary is a testament to the power of transforming negative energy to positive and captures testimony from some of the folk heroes who reveal untold chapters of New York City's urban history. Hip Hop icons such as: Afrika Bambaataa, T.KID 170 and INK 76 share their experiences during the transition from gangs to Hip Hop culture. They describe how they fought for survival and a sense of identity. Apache Line also focuses on accountability and encourages our youth to think critically about decisions they make. It represents the experiences of generations of Americans and many who continue to search for acceptance, love and a family.

Q&A with Jorge Pabon following the film, more details forthcoming

Jorge "Pop Master Fabel" Pabon was born and raised in Spanish Harlem, NYC where, at an early age, he developed his dance and choreography career at Hip Hop jams and clubs throughout the city. His pioneering individuality has been showcased internationally since 1982. Fabel is Senior Vice President of the Rock Steady Crew and also co-founder of GhettOriginal Productions, Inc. With GhettOriginal, Fabel co-authored, co-directed, and co-choreographed the first two Hip Hop musicals, So! What Happens Now? and Jam on the Groove (first official Off-Broadway Hip Hop musical). Along with members of the Rhythm Technicians and The Rock Steady Crew, he won the 1991 Bessie Award for choreography. Fabel gained world renown as a featured dancer in the classic Hip Hop movie, Beat Street. Along with senior members of Rock Steady Crew, Fabel was an honoree at VH1's 1st Hip Hop Honors. He was a principle dancer and one of the artistic directors in Rennie Harris's theatrical production, Legends Of Hip Hop. As an adjunct professor, he teaches dance in the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts as well as the Collaborative Arts Program (CAP 21). Fabel presents lectures, demonstrations, master classes, and participates in outreach programs and conferences internationally. He is one of the foremost Hip Hop dance historians and activist within the culture. Fabel is currently producing his monumental documentary titled, Apache Line: From Gangs to Hip Hop. He is also directing another documentary he conceived titled, Urban Armor: Hip Hop's Fashionable Flavor. His other forms of expression include "graffiti" art, DJ'ing and digital arts.

Feb. 8th,
7:30 pm

  Under the Influence of Presents:
A Black History Month Special:
Lava 1&2 (StraightMan)

StraightMan, 2012, 60 min.
A documentary about a true Legend of Graff and Hip Hop.

The screening will be followed by a reception and Pop Up Show (The Train Map).

Featuring Lava 1&2, Flint 707, Bama, Clyde, Turk 62, Nic 707, Panic, Rebel and Slave and many others!

343 Malcolm X Boulevard / Lenox Avenue (between 127th and 128th Streets)
Suggested Admission: $10 (unless otherwise noted). The box office is open 12 - 6pm Monday - Friday and 1 hour before all showtimes till event end.

NYSCA logo   This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,
in partnership with the City Council.