The BAMcinematek, the curated portion of
the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas that presents daily
screenings of retrospective film programs, will be taking a vacation
this holiday season - the first since its inception in July 1999.
The series will take a six-week break, from Friday, Dec. 21 until Friday, Feb. 1 so that an extra screen can be dedicated to first-run features during one of the busiest movie-going times of the year.
The theater in which the cinema series takes place will be added to Rose Cinemas’ first-run screenings during the holidays and into January. The result will be four theaters at BAM (30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place) dedicated to just-released films, such as "Amalie," "The Man Who Wasn’t There," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In the Bedroom" and "The Shipping News." [See reviews in this issue.]
This hiatus also gives some breathing room to curators Adrienne Mancia and Florence Almozini. According to Rose Cinemas’ spokeswoman Molly Gross, the plan is based on using one more room to accommodate the larger seasonal audiences.
"The holidays are usually the best time for first-run films, so we can focus on them, while giving the staff - that programs a different film every night - a break," said Gross.
BAMcinematek programming began about six months after the opening of the Rose Cinemas in November 1998. Since that time they’ve presented a vast array of series, including retrospectives of the work of Fritz Lang, Lars von Trier, Nanni Moretti and Frank Capra. Along with guest curators they’ve shown travelling film festivals and other thematic programs, including the current overview of Soviet cinema of the 1960s, which will end on Thursday.
From its inception the BAMcinematek has included Wednesday evening special events, including "Cinema Chat with Elliot Stein," "Black Cinema Cafe" and "Brooklyn Filmmakers Network." These programs will also be taking a break but will resume in February.
The BAMcinematek returns on Feb. 1 with a one-week run of "Loners," the second feature by Czech director David Ondricek, about the intertwining lives of young people in search of love and happiness. Future attractions include screenings of filmmaker Stephanie Black’s documentary "Life and Debt," that takes a hard look at how the trickle-down theory of global economics affects the Jamaican economy and culture.