Wastedland 2: The Quest for UFO 907 & The Meaning of It All

UFO 907 (photo by Luna Park)

After a year of touring the United States with his darkly humorous, philosophical fairy tale, filmmaker Andrew H. Shirley brings Wastedland 2 home for it’s NYC premiere and a blowout celebration at Maspeth’s Knockdown Center on September 15. Following hot on the trail of the all-knowing UFO 907, a motley crew of graffiti miscreants band together on a quest to discover the answer to one of the most pressing questions of our time: What’s the point??

The film will be screened within an immersive art installation featuring work by ADAM VOID, Amy Smalls, CASH4, DARKCLOUDS, EKG, George Vidas, Greg Henderson, NOXER, RAMBO, Ryan C. Doyle, SMELLS, UFO 907, William Thomas Porter, and WOLFTITS. Musical performances by CRAIG ANDERSONIC, DIRTYFINGER, DJ DOG DICK, JACER RACER & THE UFHOES, KARMA KIDS, NINJASONIK and more throughout the evening.

When: Friday, September 15 | Opening reception: 7pm-midnight | Screenings: 9pm & 11pm
Where: Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378

Under the Influence of ESPO

espo loveletter daycare carfare

This Saturday only, fall Under the Influence of ESPO. Steve Powers will be on hand at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem to introduce the following film program:

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

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, 1 min
Gary promotes the wares of the Street Market.

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

espo loveletter beautiful

I had an opportunity to view the semi-fictional/semi-autobiographical A Love Letter For You film earlier this year – if you are a fan of ESPO’s work, you will not want to miss this screening. I might also add that the Maysles Cinema regularly programs rarely screened graffiti films, many of them of historical interest. They should be supported, as they “work hard to solicit material and programs from amateur video-graphers, “hood” documentarians, street vendors, video store-owners, neighbors and citizen-activists.”

Under the Influence of ESPO
Saturday, May 21st, 7:30-10:00pm

Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Blvd. (btw. 127th & 128th Sts.)
New York, NY 10027

Tickets: $10

Basquiat Film Begins NYC Run at Film Forum

Next Wednesday marks the beginning of a two-week run of Tamra Davis’ Jean-Michel Basquiat film, The Radiant Child, at New York’s Film Forum. The film revolves around a rare interview with a young Basquiat on the cusp of meteoric success, but also engages Downtown art scene luminaries such as Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, and Kenny Scharf.

The director will be on hand to discuss the film at 8pm screenings on July 21-22 and Fab 5 Freddy will introduce the film on July 23, also at 8pm. Tickets are available online here.

Free NYC screening of Wholetrain

Since the heyday of painted trains, there have been a number of excellent documentary films that highlighted the burgeoning graffiti movement. The legendary Style Wars and Wild Style come to mind, as well as the more recent Infamy and Bomb It. To date Hollywood has shied away from producing fictionalized accounts of graffiti culture, although that probably isn’t a bad thing, given that graffiti vandalism is often exaggerated and sensationalized. Fortunately for us, first time director Florian Gaag, an active member of Munich’s graffiti scene for many years, has delivered an impressive cinematic debut that accurately represents the writer lifestyle. Filmed on location in Munich and Warsaw, Wholetrain includes striking footage of rolling stock featuring the work of writers Won, Cemnoz, Pure, Ciel and Neon. And if that weren’t enough, Gaag collaborated with Hip Hop great KRS One on the film’s soundtrack.

Next Tuesday, New York will be treated to a free screening of Wholetrain, followed by a discussion between director Florian Gaag and writer Pure. No stranger to painted trains, Pure started writing in the late 70s and has since gotten down with infamous writers such as Reas, Ven, Jonone as well as fellow TFP member Sento.

Film Screening + Conversation
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 7:00pm
Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street (at Bowery)
New York, NY 10003
Tel.: +1 (212) 439-8700
Closest Subway: 6 at Bleecker Street
Admission is free, no reservations required.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s what others had to say about the film:

Ket: “I loved the movie. I thought that Wholetrain represented the scene the best – ever. It really captured what writers go through and their struggles; they were humanized, they weren’t caricatures. I appreciate that. I remember that it made me feel that I was there with those guys, living with those guys. It took me back to a time when I was living the way those kids were living. I thought it was very authentic in that sense.”

Henry Chalfant: Wholetrain shows the human dimensions of Graffiti-Writing. The social conflicts of the protagonists are fascinating and allow you to take a look at the writers’ real lives. Real characters, real problems. Wholetrain is a very good film that not only reflects writing culture but also leaves room to authentically portray the writers’ social reality.”

See you Tuesday.