2017-08-09 / Features

Socrates Sculpture Park’s Outdoor Cinema

Film Forum, in its ongoing partnership with Socrates Sculpture Park, once again selected six films for the summer Outdoor Cinema series at the Long Island City sculpture park. Film Forum and Socrates, in collaboration with Rooftop Films, present this annual free international film festival, now in its 19th season – one of the longest running summer film festivals in New York City.

Outdoor Cinema 2017 features eight weeks of movies shown under the stars in the 5-acre waterfront park on Wednesday evenings, July 5 through August 23. While our city hosts many outdoor movie series, this festival has always distinguished itself by its critically-acclaimed international array of titles, each celebrating a different country or culture.

This summer’s lineup included films from Mauritania, Greece, Sweden, Venezuela, Spain, and the USA, among others. Six of the eight films were selected by Karen Cooper, Director, Film Forum. Dan Nuxoll of Rooftop Films selected “Liberation Day” and “The Challenge.”

The films are presented in their original language with English subtitles. Each evening features regional cuisine from neighboring Queens restaurants and performances by local musicians and dancers that celebrate the culture of the film’s country of origin. Pre-screening performances begin at 7:00 pm and films begin at sunset (weather permitting). Admission to films and performances is free of charge. The evening’s food and performance line-up will be announced the week prior, and weather updates are posted regularly, on the park’s website: www.socratessculpturepark.org/films.

John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park said, “As a nod to our Queens community, we’ll celebrate Greek culture with the critically acclaimed comedy, “Chevalier,” and watch Christopher Walken dance in our streets in the absurdist musical, “Romance & Cigarettes.”

There are two films remaining in the festival:

August 16

“Romance & Cigarettes” (USA)

Directed by John Turturro; 2005, 115 mins.

Actor extraordinaire John Turturro directs a down-and-dirty (leave the kids at home) musical love-hate story. James Gandolfini stars as Nick Murder, a Queens construction worker and family man, who lusts after an oversexed lingerie clerk (Kate Winslet) as his seething wife (Susan Sarandon) goes on the warpath, enlisting the aid of her Elvis-wannabe cousin (Christopher Walken). Steve Buscemi plays his best friend, with hilarious cameos by Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Bobby Cannavale, Eddie Izzard, and Elaine Stritch.

August 23

“Bad Hair (Pelo Malo)” (Venezuela / Peru / Argentina / Germany)

Directed by Mariana Rondón; 2013, 93 mins.

A touching and humorous coming-of-gender story, BAD HAIR chronicles the life of 9-year-old Junior, living in a bustling Caracas tenement with his widowed mother. Junior fears he has pelo malo – bad hair – and for his school photo, he wants to iron his stubbornly curly mane to resemble his pop star idols. His mother has serious misgivings; she suspects her son is gay. Rondón grounds her film in the cultural realities of working-class Venezuela and, by dint of two remarkable performances, finds warmth and humor between mother and son, even as the uncertainties of pre-adolescence threaten to pull them apart.

Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Blvd. (at Broadway) in Long Island City.

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