Welcome to revival cinema, devoted to virtual screenings of films that are outside of a current release. Revival cinemas (or repertory houses as they are also called) had their heyday in the 1960s and 70s before the DVD and TCM. James Wolcott, cultural critic for Vanity Fair says it best, “Revival houses were where epiphany-seeking cinephiles and less exalted film junkies could dip into the dark for a few hours and cut their Dracula fangs on Hollywood golden oldies, the latest foreign craze, avant-garde provocations, and camp treasures with cult followings.”
There are still many of these celebrated revival cinemas in existence today (think Film Forum in New York) and the occasional new one opening up (Metrograph in New York). Now through our virtual cinema platform we can provide you an opportunity to catch some of these exclusive restorations and re-releases. Films will be updated regularly so bookmark this page!
Nationtime (US, 1973)
Run Time: 80 min. Rating: Not rated
Fully restored in 4K and available in its originally-intended length for the first time in decades! Nationtime is the long-lost film that William Greaves made about the National Black Political Convention of 1972, when 10,000 black politicians, activists and artists went to Gary, Indiana, to forge a national unity platform in advance of the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. The delegates included a wide array of political thinkers – Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, Pan-Africanist Amiri Baraka, PUSH founder Jesse Jackson, elected officials Ron Dellums, Charles Diggs, Walter Fauntroy, Richard Hatcher, Carl McCall, plus key women in the fight for racial equality — Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Fannie Lou Hamer and Queen Mother Moore (who was arguing for reparations). Entertainers Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, Isaac Hayes and Richard Roundtree lent their star quality and entertained the crowds. Sidney Poitier & Harry Belafonte narrate the film.
The Mouth of the Wolf (Italy, 2009)
Run Time: 68 min. Rating: Not rated
Winner of major prizes at the Berlin and Turin film festivals, the hauntingly beautiful debut feature from Pietro Marcello (Lost and Beautiful, Martin Eden) interweaves two love stories: the 20-year romance between a Sicilian tough guy and a transsexual former junkie whom he met in prison, and a poetic reverie of the Italian port town of Genoa, depicted in all its mysterious, fading glory. Commissioned by the Fondazione San Marcellino, a Jesuit order dedicated to helping society’s poor and marginalized, The Mouth of the Wolf masterfullly combines documentary with fiction and melancholy home movies from the past century with poetic images, sounds, and music of the waterfront today.
Billy the Kid (US, 2007)
Run Time: 84 min. Rating: PG-13
A provocative coming-of-age story, Jennifer Venditti’s debut film, BILLY THE KID (2007), is an acclaimed odyssey into the soul of an American teenager. Venditti follows Billy as he navigates small town Maine, grappling with isolation and first-time love, and traversing the frustrating gap between imagination and reality. Exhilarating and heartfelt, the film grants an intimate, empathetic view of an expressive and seemingly fearless outsider and provides an unvarnished and unique snapshot into what it’s like to grow up in America.
Watch a very special q&a a/perture hosted with Billy the Kid (Billy Price), director Jennifer Venditti and producer Chiemi Karasawa on October 12. Click here to access
The Watermelon Woman (US, 1996)
Run Time: 90 min. Rating: Not Rated
Re-released for its 20th anniversary in a pristine 2K HD restoration, The Watermelon Woman is the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye), a twenty-something black lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, a beautiful and elusive 1930s black film actress popularly known as “The Watermelon Woman.” While uncovering the meaning of Fae Richards’ life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval in her personal life. Her love affair with Diana (Guinevere Turner, Go Fish), a beautiful white woman, and her interactions with the gay and black communities, are subject to the comic yet biting criticism of her best friend Tamara (Valerie Walker). Meanwhile, each answer Cheryl discovers about the Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her future.
Still Life (China, 2006)
Run Time: 111 min. Rating: Not Rated
Still Life, winner of the 2006 Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is an empathetic portrait of those left behind by a modernizing society and, as in director Jia Zhang-ke’s earlier films (Platform, Unknown Pleasures, The World), it is a unique hybrid of documentary and fiction.
In Still Life, great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the construction of the Three Gorges hydro project: Countless families that had lived there for many generations have had to relocate to other cities. Fengjie’s old town, which has a 2000-year history, has been torn down and submerged forever, but its new neighborhood hasn’t been finished yet. There are still things that need to be salvaged and yet there are also things that must be left behind. In Still Life, such life-changing choices face both Sanming, a miner traveling to Fengjie in search of his ex-wife of sixteen years, and Shen Hong, a nurse who has come to Fengjie to look for her husband who she hasn’t seen in two years. Both Sanming and Shen will find who they’re looking for, but in the process they too will have to decide what is worth salvaging in their lives and what they need to let go of.
Sicilia! (Italy, 1999)
Run Time: 66 min. Rating: Not Rated
20th Anniversary Digital Restoration
Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth, or a meal of bread, wine and winter melon, takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in this masterful film from legendary filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet. Sicilia! is a tragicomedy involving an orange peddler, an Italian recently returned from America, two “stinky” police officers, a guilt-stricken landowner, a traveling knife sharpener and, perhaps most unforgettably, an indomitable peasant mother who reminisces about meals of snails and wild chicory, her husband’s philandering and cowardice, and her own father’s belief in an honest day’s labor, socialism, and St. Joseph.rent now
The Hole (Taipei, 1998)
Run Time: 89 min. Rating: Not Rated
Winner of the 1998 Cannes FIPRESCI Prize (Intl. Critics’ price), THE HOLE, is set in Taipei just prior to the start of the 21st century. The vaguely futuristic (at the time) story follows two residents of a quickly crumbling building who refuse to leave their homes in spite of a virus that has forced the evacuation of the area. As rain pours down relentlessly, a single man is stuck with an unfinished plumbing job and a hole in his floor. This results in a very odd relationship with the woman who lives below him. Combining deadpan humor with an austere view of loneliness and several unexpected musical numbers, Tsai Ming-Liang crafted one of the most original films of the 1990s.
Beyond the description, trailer and quoted reviews on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and IMDb. We encourage you to research our films at your own informational interest level via the internet.
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