Turtle, the alternative salon organized by filmmaker Michael H. Shamberg, will host two special documentary events at IFC Center: Ellen Kuras, the noted cinematographer, in person to present a sneak preview of her new film THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON), Wednesday, May 7 at 8:00pm; and a screening of Grant Gee's JOY DIVISION, a look at the influential British band, Thursday, May 8 at 8:00pm, with producer Tom Atencio in person. Both evenings also include JUNKOPIA, a 1981 short by Chris Marker (who also designed the Turtle logo), with live musical accompaniment by Christina Courtin.
Turtle, described as "an anarchic salon", was started by filmmaker Michael Shamberg in London in 2006, with subsequent events in Düsseldorf and Paris. The IFC Center screenings, along with the recent "Turtle in The Tank" event, bring Turtle to Michael's hometown of New York. Donald Smith of London's Chelsea Space, site of the inaugural Turtle, described the salon as "an open and chaotic network of diverse but interconnecting ideas, people, projects, events and venues. Following an imposed period of inactivity and relative isolation, Michael H. Shamberg reconnects with an international coterie of artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, musicians, dancers, architects... people, inviting proposals for readings, rantings, artworks, texts, performances and screenings."
Ellen Kuras is one of independent cinema's most talented cinematographers, with such films to her credit at Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls, Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity and Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. She has won Sundance's cinematography award three times and has been nominated for Emmys and for Independent Spirit Awards. Screened in the documentary competition section of Sundance this January, THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON), Ms. Kuras's directorial debut, tells the story of a Laotian family ripped apart by the Vietnam War. Ms. Kuras will appear in person with the film's co-director, Thavisouk Phrasavath, to discuss her career and her new film.
JOY DIVISION, Grant Gee's exploration of the history and legacy of the pioneering British post-punk band, has drawn crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival and at Film Comment Selects. Rare footage of live performances and new interviews with industry insiders and the surviving band members are combined in this look at Joy Division's innovative sound, the shattering death of lead singer Ian Curtis and the formation of New Order out of the band's ashes. "The year 1980 may seem like a long time ago," Stephanie Zacharek wrote in Salon, "but Grant's picture is so immediate, and so alive, that it may as well have been yesterday." The film's producer, Tom Atencio, will take part in a Q&A after the screening.
Turtle wishes to thank Tom Atencio, Grant Gee, Ellen Kuras, Chris Marker, Tom Luddy, Christina Courtin, the Criterion Collection and the Tribeca Film Festival for their support.
Tickets for each Turtle event are $11.50 for the General Public and $5 for IFC Center members.
IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas at West 3rd Street, box office: 212 924-7771.