Coolidge Nook Theatre is internet hosting ‘Midnight Films 101.’ We now have your syllabus


As you’ll be able to most likely inform from all of the rental vans getting caught on Storrow Drive, the annual inflow of latest school college students has as soon as once more arrived in our truthful metropolis. Within the pursuits of the lately matriculated, Coolidge After Midnite is devoting the month of September to “Midnight Films 101,” a canonical overview of cult movies curated by director of particular programming Mark Anastasio, who this previous June acquired an honorary Ph.D. from Troma College, bestowed by founder Lloyd Kaufman himself earlier than a screening of “The Poisonous Avenger.”

The collection is targeted on introducing audiences to essentially the most infamous of nocturnal blockbusters, from again when individuals first began getting groovy on the films after hours. It’s a lineup of classics that Professor Anastasio hopes shall be “a beacon for weirdos,” inviting an entire new class to return out on weekend nights and let their freak flags fly. To make issues simpler for incoming freshmen, we’ve supplied a syllabus full with associated programs, dialogue questions and really helpful studying.

Essentially the most disgusting film ever made turns 50 this yr, and time has completed nothing to boring its cheesy, transgressive attraction. (If something, it appears like an much more essential provocation at the moment.) John Waters’ signature assault on good style stars his common partner-in-crime Divine, right here attempting to defend her title because the Filthiest Individual Alive from a few power-mad intercourse perverts who run a stolen child ring and push heroin at elementary faculties. The movie proudly presents rape, incest, homicide, sodomy, cannibalism, castration, bestiality, an anus that sings “Surfin’ Hen” and an unsimulated act of coprophilia that despatched audiences staggering into aisles slick with vomit. But it stays an endearingly ebullient movie — filled with camaraderie and fellow feeling — taking contagious delight within the deviant antics. 5 a long time in the past, Waters used to get arrested for obscenity at any time when the film screened in sure cities. It’s now a part of the Library of Congress’ Nationwide Movie Registry.

Associated programs: Deviant Psychology 202, Poultry in Observe


In response to Hollywood legend, Common Footage executives have been so baffled by Alex Cox’s sneeringly hilarious 1983 debut that they’d deliberate to bury it on VHS, till native cinema hero George Mansour booked the movie for midnight screenings at Kenmore Sq.’s seedy previous Nickelodeon theater, the place punks began streaming in after evenings on the Rathskeller or Spit. A triumph of horrible angle, the movie stars Emilio Estevez as a disaffected grocery store clerk mentored within the artwork of vehicle repossession by Harry Dean Stanton’s grizzled previous pace freak. Everybody’s chasing a Chevy Malibu that has an alien locked in its trunk, however the film’s extra involved with giving the finger to Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America. “Repo Man” takes place in a flattened-out, anonymously scuzzy consumerist wasteland set to music by Iggy Pop and the Circle Jerks, the place all people’s typically rotten however no less than they’re affable about it. Estevez would by no means once more be this cool.

Associated programs: Auto Physique Workshop, Superior Roswell Conspiracy Research

Solutions for additional studying: “The Many Names of Pablo Picasso” by Jonathan Richman


Initially screened seven nights per week after hours at New York Metropolis’s Elgin Theatre, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970 acid Western turned such a favourite of John Lennon’s that he talked Beatles supervisor Allen Klein into distributing the film throughout the U.S. by way of ABKCO’s movie division. This stark, critically unusual expertise stars the filmmaker himself as a gunslinger circling in a spiral to the middle of a spherical desert, searching 4 separate masters of mayhem who’re every alleged to symbolize one of many world’s main religions, I believe. It’s an elusive film edited with intentionally destabilizing cuts that reorient the viewers to totally different views on these buckets of brilliant purple blood and abrupt acts of violence. Unavailable on residence video till 2007, the movie attained mythic standing on the repertory and bootleg circuit alongside Jodorowsky’s 1973 follow-up, “The Holy Mountain.” Mesmerizing even when I don’t know what’s happening half the time.

Associated programs: Historic Icons: Eye of Windfall, Edibles.

Questions for dialogue: What may the girl consuming from the stone phallus water fountain presumably symbolize?


The Coolidge’s present pre-show video options Julianne Moore reminiscing about seeing “Eraserhead” on the theater means again in her Boston College days, which so far as I’m involved beats the heck out of Nicole Kidman welcoming us to AMC. To Ms. Moore’s level, it’s most likely unattainable to neglect the place you have been while you first noticed David Lynch’s demented 1977 debut , a black-and-white phantasmagoria of paternal nervousness and dread, set in a clanging, industrial nightmare area of noisy pipes and a good noisier child. Some Lynch films might be abstruse of their intentions however there’s no mistaking right here the primordial terror of a younger father-to-be going through his deepest fears of being saddled with an unpleasant, torturously needy parasite that, it doesn’t matter what, is not going to allow you to get any sleep. There ain’t a lot else a poor dad can do in addition to lengthy for a girl within the radiator to reassure him that no less than in heaven, every thing is okay.

Associated programs: HVAC Restore and Upkeep Workshop

Solutions for additional studying: “Hen Recipes for the Whole Household” by the Editors of Reader’s Digest, “Dr. Spock’s Child and Little one Care” by Benjamin Spock, M.D.


Walter Hill’s 1979 motion basic is about in New York Metropolis however takes place someplace close to the intersection of comedian books and Greek mythology. There’s nary a civilian to be discovered on this nightscape populated virtually fully by elaborately costumed avenue gang members guarding their turf with bats, chains and some other blunt instrument inside attain. When our title crew is framed for an assassination of a rival chief throughout a gathering within the Bronx, they’ve bought to make it 20 miles again to Coney Island with each gang within the metropolis after their scalps. It’s a lean and imply little bruiser of a film, elemental in its pleasures and notorious amongst theater house owners for drawing rowdy crowds. (Anastasio claims that almost all of his early-career encounters with tough prospects occurred at late-night Coolidge screenings of “The Warriors.”) However the largest thrill for native Yankee-haters is certain to be what turns into of the face-painted, pinstripe-wearing Baseball Furies.

Associated programs: City Planning for the Commuter Period, The right way to Sew a Leather-based Vest

Questions for dialogue: 1.) Are you able to dig it? 2.) Are you able to dig it? 3.) Are you able to dig it?

Solutions for additional studying: “The Iliad” by Homer


The quintessential midnight film bombed upon preliminary launch in 1975, revived a yr later as an viewers participation expertise at Greenwich Village’s Waverly Theater to change into the longest-running theatrical launch in cinema historical past. It’s a beguiling mix of tacky Fifties sci-fi film tropes and drag present burlesque, with Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon’s uptight, all-American couple seduced by Tim Curry’s vamping “Candy Transvestite” Dr. Frank N. Furter in a contented, attractive celebration of decadent needs. A “shadowcast” lip-syncing in entrance of the display carried out at midnight reveals for greater than 25 years on the Harvard Sq. Theatre till it shuttered in 2012. (They’ve since moved to the AMC Boston Widespread however at a extra affordable hour.) The movie endures not simply due to the rollicking songs by Richard O’Brien, however as a result of it sees intercourse as one thing like these previous monster films it spoofs — scary at first, till you understand how a lot enjoyable you’re having.

Associated programs: Transylvanian Gender Research, Motorbike Restore

Questions for dialogue: No matter occurred to Fay Wray?

Solutions for additional studying: “I, Igor: The Plight of Laboratory Assistants in Horror Literature” by R.M. Renfield.


For causes that proceed to confound, this oddball fiasco from writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau has been promoting out midnight reveals on the Coolidge since 2009. A ceremony of passage for space college students and fairly presumably the worst movie ever made, this staggeringly incompetent story of a really unusual man’s heartbreak was immortalized in James Franco’s 2017 “The Catastrophe Artist,” a very charitable making-of comedy content material to skim the floor of a undertaking so inept on each stage it appears like footage of lately arrived aliens failing to go themselves off as individuals. But I discover one thing off-putting and ugly about this complete phenomenon, noticing not one of the celebratory or mind-expanding qualities one often feels at these late-night gatherings. It’s a petty, misogynistic film made by a creepy man attempting to get again at his ex, and the 11 minutes of graphic, anatomically confounding intercourse scenes solely add to the ick issue. Loopy when “Pink Flamingos” appears like a extra palatable different.

Associated programs: Misogyny 101, A Historical past of Spoons

Solutions for additional studying: “Filmmaking for Dummies” by Bryan Michael Stoller


“Midnight Films 101” runs on the Coolidge Nook Theatre from Friday, Sept. 2, by means of Saturday, Sept. 24.



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