Views from The Avant-Garde
Flying in the face of complaints that rising rents, commercial strip-malling and gentrification are indelibly harshing New York's artistic vibe, the underground cinema scene has been booming in the city for more than a couple of years now. Going on its third year, Bradley Eros and Brian Frye's Tuesday night Robert Beck Memorial Cinema continues to screen celluloid hermeticisms to an avowed art-core crowd on Ludlow St. In Williamsburg, the Monday night screenings by Ocularis at Galapagos have become increasingly popular, serving up a mixture of underground oddities, live music and video mixing, film festival showcases and classic experimental fare, sometimes going head-to-head with similarly eclectic guest-curated offerings on the same nights at Tonic. Up until last May, curator Astria Suparak rounded out the week with Wednesday avant-garde film screenings at Pratt, spun with a superlative curatorial taste that combined a savvy political consciousness and sexy indie-rock-style showmanship without ever losing crucial nerd cred.