Oops, suddenly you stand in front of a small cinema with the name Maysles Cinema. In the window there is a poster for ”5 Broken Cameras” that runs the same night with a skype Q & A with one of the directors. Another poster promotes ”The House I Live in” by Eugene Jarecki to be screened in January.
We enter the small lobby, have a photo taken next to the poster of the Maysles Brothers masterpiece ”Grey Gardens” (1975) and have a small chat with a female staff member, who tells us that the cinema has been here in Harlem on Malcolm X Boulevard for five years with screenings and debates, and a lot fo classes for kids and grown-ups related to film and theatre.
Taken from the very informative webiste of the Maysles Institute: … The Cinema is committed to a democratic experience, one where filmmakers are asked to attend the screenings of their work, and audiences have the opportunity to actively engage the films and each other in post-screening forums. Coupled with its scheduled series, we encourage the programming participation of local social and cultural organizations and citizen-activists to deepen community involvement and provide exposure for under-represented social issues and overlooked artists and their work.
And a quote from the old master himself (he celebrated his 86th birthday December 6!) from an interview made by David Noh for Film Journal International: In Harlem you walk down the street and people talk to each other, and loud enough so that you hear their conversation. We wanted to be a part of it and we wanted to have a theatre where we could show documentaries exclusively and also teach local kids how to make their own movies. These movies have been good enough that three of twelve of our kids got their films on TV.”
Photo: Poul Rude.