Dreamland: The Coney Island of the Mind

A program of Coney Island-themed films from our collection
7 films
Join us at the FMC Screening Room (475 Park Avenue South, 6th Floor) on Friday, August 25th, 2023, at 7pm, for an exciting program of Coney Island-themed films from our collection, curated by Philomena Mattes!

Films

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    Arcade Isle
    Experimental
    Narrative

    Arcade Isle
    Katherine Bauer

    color, silent, 8 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Body
    • Erotic
    • Hand-Processed
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    Sodom By the Sea
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Sodom By the Sea
    Harriet Hirshorn

    16mm, color, sound, 17 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Environment / Nature
    • Ethnographic
    • Landscape / Architecture
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    Coney Island
    Documentary
    Experimental

    Coney Island
    Peter Cramer

    super8, color, sound, 12 min
    Rental format: DVD NTSC
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Political / Social Activism
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    Grandma's House Original Version
    Experimental

    Grandma's House Original Version
    Bob Fleischner

    16mm, black and white, sound, 24.25 min
    Rental format: 16mm
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    The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society’s Dream Films
    Documentary
    Experimental
    Narrative
    Installation

    The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society’s Dream Films
    Zoe Beloff

    Digital File, color and b/w, silent and sound, 40 min
    Rental format: Digital file
    • History
    • Psychology / Mental Health
    • Erotic
    • Political / Social Activism
    • Personal / Diary / Journal
    • Found Footage
    • LGBT / Queer
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    Ricki Ticki
    Documentary
    Experimental
    Installation

    Ricki Ticki
    Sarah Friedland

    color, sound, 6 min
    Rental format: Digital file
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Biography / Autobiography
    • Family
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    Go Go Go
    Experimental

    Go Go Go
    Marie Menken

    16mm, color, silent, 11.5 min
    Rental format: 16mm
    • Landscape / Architecture
    • Ethnographic

Description

Join us at the FMC Screening Room (475 Park Avenue South, 6th Floor) on Friday, August 25th, 2023, at 7pm, for an exciting program of Coney Island-themed films from our collection, curated by Philomena Mattes!

Called “America’s Playground,” “The Poor Man's Paradise,” “Sodom by the Sea,” or simply and most aptly, “Dreamland,” Coney Island has been, for 150 years, the mythic-iconic, fever-dream stage-setting of summer vacation. Sprung up along the rough edge of the working-class immigrant communities of South Brooklyn, Coney is both the prototypical, all-American amusement park packed with dazzling lights and sky-high thrill rides, soft ice cream and hot dogs, as well as a seedy site of titillating and transforming encounters with the sexual, forbidden and other— under the circus tents at the freak show, on stage at the striptease, cruising beneath the boardwalk or groping in the darkness on the Tunnel-of-Love. Though burned to the ground on half a dozen occasions and marked by periods of neglect, Coney Island and its singular power of attraction have endured, and have remained a favorite muse for generations of the city’s artists and filmmakers.

These short works selected from the Film-Makers’ Cooperative archive depict Coney Island from the 1920s to the present, tracing the history of its boom-and-bust cycle of decay and rebirth, and capturing its unique visual vocabulary of hand-painted carny banners, fantastical architecture, and glowing neon signage. But most importantly (and intriguingly), they explore Coney Island’s emotional and psychological resonance as one of America’s truly mythic territories: “the Coney Island of the mind,” a dreamland that invokes childhood, memory, and desire.

Every nation needs orgiastic escape from respectability— that is, from the world of What-we-have-to-do into the world of What-we-would-like-to, from the world of duty that endureth forever into a world of joy that is permitted for a moment [...] Perhaps Coney Island is the most human thing that God ever made or permitted the devil to make. -Richard Le Gallienne

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PROGRAM:

Arcade Isle (2011), Kat Bauer, 8 minutes, 16mm, silent, color

Sodom By the Sea (1989), Harriet Hirshorn & Mary Patierno, 17 minutes, 16mm, sound, color

Coney Island (1987), Peter Cramer, 13 minutes, Super-8 to digital, sound, color

Grandma’s House (1965), Bob Fleischner, 24.5 minutes, 16mm, sound, B&W

Ricki Ticki (2010), Sarah Friedland, 6 minutes, digital, sound, color

Go Go Go (1964), Marie Menken, 12 minutes, 16mm, silent, color

Plus five selections from The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society’s Dream Films (2009), Zoe Beloff, 16.5 minutes, digital, sound and silent, color and B&W:

The Lonely Chicken Dream (1954)

The Midget Crane (1926)

The Bear Dream (1937)

The Abandoned Ark (1962)

The Bobsled (1972)

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Total Run Time: 97 minutes.