It’s summertime and there are 100 reasons to celebrate, including the new season of Summer for the City starting July 13 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Film at Lincoln Center.
Summer For the City is Lincoln Center’s three-month-long summer festival featuring more than 1,000 artists from New York City and beyond, performing across 10 outdoor stages. From May to August, Summer For the City will animate every corner of the Center’s 16-acre campus with more than 300 free and Choose What You Pay concerts, film screenings, dance nights, theater, comedy, pop-up performances, civic events, family-friendly days, and more, a reflection of the multifaceted communities of New York. For more information, visit SummerfortheCity.org.
The Summer For the City outdoor film series promises to delight and thrill moviegoers, with iconic titles including the seminal music documentaries, Wim Wenders’ Academy Award-nominated “Buena Vista Social Club” and “Gimme Shelter,” following the Rolling Stones during their notorious 1969 tour, directed by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin; quintessential 1954 monster classic “Godzilla” and the 1955 follow-up “Godzilla Raids Again”; Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi cult favorite “Time Bandits”; Mystery Train, Jim Jarmusch’s boozy and beautiful pilgrimage to Memphis and considered to be his finest directorial offering; Jennie Livingston’s landmark documentary “Paris Is Burning,” a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene; NYFF35 selection “Happy Together,” Wong Kar Wai’s raw, lushly stylized portrayal of a relationship in breakdown; and Monsieur Hulot’s “Holiday,” the first in the Hulot series which launched director Jacques Tati into international stardom.
Here are a few events that caught our eye.
“Buena Vista Social Club”
Wim Wenders, United States, 1999, 105m
With a small film crew, Wim Wenders accompanied his old friend Ry Cooder, who had written the music for “Paris, Texas,” and “The End of Violence,” on a trip to Havana. Cooder wanted to record his material for Ibrahim Ferrer’s solo album at a studio there—following the recording of the first “Buena Vista Social Club” CD (which had not yet been released at that time). Wenders immersed himself in the world of Cuban music. Over the course of several months, he observed and accompanied the musicians, first at home in Havana; then, weeks later, in April 1998, on their trip to Amsterdam for the first public performance of the band (who had never played together outside a studio); then, still later, in July 1998, to their triumphal concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He thus followed the old heroes of the traditional Cuban son music on their path from being completely forgotten to becoming world-famous—within the period of just a few months. “I thought, I’ll shoot a documentary,” Wenders has said, “and here we were, about to witness a fairytale that no one could have imagined in this form.” The music documentary became a cinematic sensation and an international success. Along with an Academy Award nomination for best documentary film, “Buena Vista Social Club” won in the same category at the European Film Awards, the German Film Prize in Gold, Germany’s Golden Camera, and the Grand Prize for Film in Brazil, as well as garnering numerous other awards. A Janus Films release.
Wednesday, July 13 at 9 p.m.
“Paris Is Burning”
Jennie Livingston, United States, 1990, 76m
Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene. Made over seven years, “Paris Is Burning” offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia and transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women—including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza—“Paris Is Burning” brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community. A Janus Films release.
Thursday, July 21 at 10 p.m.
“Godzilla Raids Again”
Motoyoshi Oda, Japan, 1955, 81m
Toho Studios followed the enormous success of the original “Godzilla” with this sequel, efficiently directed by Motoyoshi Oda as a straight-ahead monsters-on-the-loose drama. An underrated standout among the Showa Godzilla films, “Godzilla Raids Again” introduces the monster-versus-monster format that would dominate the remainder of the series, pitting Godzilla against the ferocious, spiny Anguirus as the kaiju wreak havoc in the streets of Osaka in a series of elaborate set pieces that succeed in upping the ante for destruction. A Janus Films release.
Saturday, July 30 at 9 p.m.
Entry to all outdoor screenings will be available for free via General Admission—first-come, first-served. Advance reservations are not required; just line up along the west side of Barclay’s Grove at Hearst Plaza (30 Lincoln Center Plaza). Seating will open to the public 30 minutes before showtime. All screenings will use headsets. Learn more here.
Face coverings and proof of COVID-19 vaccination will not be required for outdoor events; however, face coverings are welcome and everyone is encouraged to complete their primary vaccination series and get boosted before attending. Learn more here.
All films will take place outdoors at Hearst Plaza (30 Lincoln Center Plaza). In the event of a postponement due to inclement weather, rain dates include July 28 and July 31. Stay tuned to @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram for updates.