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BAMcinemaFest 2015: ‘Decline of Western Civilization’ (soon on DVD/Blu-ray), Q&A w/ cast of ‘Kids,’ & more

Decline

The BAMcinemaFest returns for its seventh annual year from June 17-28. They’ll have the NY premieres for several films, and there are a few pretty cool special events too.

On a music-related note, beloved punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization is getting a new restoration and that will be screened alongside a Q&A with director Penelope Spheeris on June 19 at BAM Rose Cinemas. The initial film, which includes footage of Black Flag, Germs, X, Alice Bag Band, Circle Jerks, Catholic Discipline, and Fear, was released in 1981. That was followed by 1988’s equally indispensable Part II: The Metal Years that followed LA hair metal scene (KISS, Alice Cooper, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, WASP…and Lemmy), and a third film on ’90s “gutter punk” (Final Conflict, Litmus Green, Naked Aggression, The Resistance). The first two have been out-of-print (and highly bootlegged) since the ’90s and the third one was never released on home video at all. Happy day: the whole series is finally getting released as a DVD/Blu-Ray box set on June 30 via Shout! Factory. The box set will feature newly-restored 2K prints of the films plus outtakes, lots of deleted scenes and commentary tracks by Dave Grohl.

A non-music but still very cool special event happening during BAMcinemaFest is a screening of cult ’90s film Kids, which turns 20 this year. (And also notable to indie rock nerds since Lou Barlow did the soundtrack.) The screening happens June 25 at BAM Rose Cinemas, and there will also be a Q&A with some of the main cast members, including Chloe Sevigny (Jennie), Rosario Dawson (Ruby), Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly) and. Screenwriter Harmony Korine and director Larry Clark will be there too. Sadly neither Justin Pierce (Casper) or Harold Hunter (who was also Harold in the movie) will be there, as we lost both of them years ago. (Justin to suicide in 2000 and Harold to a cocaine-induced heart attack in 2006). Though as New Yorkers may know, there’s a park named after Harold in NYC, and for the past 8 years October 11 has been Harold Hunter Day. The Harold Hunter Foundation was also launched in 2007, and its “goal is to harness the power of skateboarding to transform lives.”

Another cult ’90s film, Richard Linklater’s Slacker, will get an outdoor screening during the fest at Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 25.

And one more music-related event: A screening of Les Blank’s Leon Russell documentary, A Poem Is A Naked Person, which was filmed from 1972-1974 but not publicly released until this year, on June 27 at BAM Rose Cinemas. It got its world premiere at SXSW, and this will be its NY premiere. It looks like Criterion will be putting it out on home video at some point.

Tickets to BAMcinemaFest go on sale to BAM members on May 26, and to the general public on May 29.

Check out the full list of films, with a clip of a Darby Crash interview from The Decline of Western Civilization and the disturbing fight scene in the park from Kids, below…

Main Slate

• OPENING NIGHT: The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt) NY Premiere
Narrative
• CLOSING NIGHT: Tangerine (Sean Baker) NY Premiere Narrative
• CENTERPIECE: Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry) North American Premiere
Narrative
• Advantageous (Jennifer Phang) NY Premiere Narrative
• Best of Enemies (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville) NY Premiere Documentary
• Breaking a Monster (Luke Meyer) NY Premiere Documentary
• Call Me Lucky (Bobcat Goldthwait) NY Premiere Documentary
• Cop Car (Jon Watts) NY Premiere Narrative
• Counting (Jem Cohen) North American Premiere Documentary
• The Grief of Others (Patrick Wang) NY Premiere Narrative
• Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (Stephen Cone) NY Premiere Narrative
• Here Come the Videofreex (Jon Nealon, Jenny Raskin) NY Premiere
Documentary
• The Invitation (Karyn Kusama) NY Premiere Narrative
• Jason and Shirley (Stephen Winter) World Premiere Narrative
• Krisha (Trey Edward Shults) NY Premiere Narrative
• Nasty Baby (Sebastián Silva) NY Premiere Narrative
• Pervert Park (Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors) NY Premiere Documentary
• Prophet’s Prey (Amy Berg) NY Premiere Documentary
• The Russian Woodpecker (Chad Gracia) NY Premiere Documentary
• Stinking Heaven (Nathan Silver) NY Premiere Narrative
• Uncle Kent 2 (Todd Rohal) NY Premiere Narrative
• Unexpected (Kris Swanberg) NY Premiere Narrative
• A Woman Like Me (Alex Sichel, Elizabeth Giamatti) NY Premiere Documentary

Special Events

• Kids (Larry Clark) 20th anniversary cast reunion
• The Decline of Western Civilization (Penelope Spheeris) New Restoration
• A Poem Is a Naked Person (Les Blank) NY Premiere New Restoration
• OUTDOOR SCREENING AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK: Slacker (Richard
Linklater)

Short Films

• Actresses (Jeremy Hersh) NY Premiere Narrative
• Blood Below the Skin (Jennifer Reeder) NY Premiere Narrative
• Gary Has an AIDS Scare (Joe Callander) NY Premiere Documentary
• Jazzy for Joe (Owen Kline, Andrew Lampert) NY Premiere Narrative
• Judy Judy Judy (C. Mason Wells) World Premiere Narrative
• Maryland Public Television Interviews the Reagans (Pacho Velez) NY Premiere
Documentary
• Mondo Cane (Michael Almereyda) World Premiere Documentary
• Muck (Bruce Smolanoff) NY Premiere Narrative
• Pink Grapefruit (Michael Mohan) NY Premiere Narrative
• Porcupine (Sam Fleischner, Iva Gocheva) World Premiere Narrative
• The School is Watching (Dan Schoenbrun) NY Premiere Documentary
• Swimming in Your Skin Again (Terence Nance) NY Premiere Narrative

Full schedule to be announced.

Check It Out

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