Last Movies
Saturday, November 4, 2023

Light Industry, Nitehawk Cinema, and Spectacle Theater are co-hosting a day-long suite of screenings, films bound together by a single, shared characteristic: they are Last Movies. The phrase is evocative, rhyming with those familiar designations so often pinned to auteurs and their work (first films, late style), but here we refer to something else entirely. From morning to midnight, we will be presenting the last movies of Franz Kafka, John Dillinger, Charlie Parker, Boris Vian, Lee Harvey Oswald, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sergio Leone, Bette Davis, and Stanley Kubrick—that is, the last film they saw before they died.

This organizing principle came to us via the artist and curator Stanley Schtinter, who previously oversaw London’s Liberated Film Club. His research into the subject has brought to light many other Last Movies, resulting in our screening series and, now, a book, newly published by Tenement Press, which will be available at all three venues. Schtinter is joining us in New York for the latest iteration of his project, providing introductions to every show.

“Last Movies brings together its selections by the force of an external event, one which bears not on the films themselves but on little-known details of their exhibition histories…It abandons all those calcified criteria most frequently used to organize cinema programs: period, nation, genre, director, star, theme. Nothing internal to these films motivates their inclusion, their ‘quality’ least of all. Although Schtinter can choose a death to research, the title to be shown is dictated by history. This is all to say that Last Movies embraces chance, an avant-garde strategy its orchestrator has been known to marshal in previous undertakings.

And so it should be for a program about death. The tenacity of the ‘life review’ flashback as a trope in fiction films could be attributed to the fact that people who have had near-death experiences claim to have encountered the phenomenon. It is more likely that this convention endures because it satisfies a reassuring fantasy: that life will ultimately attain coherence. The fantasy of that ‘last movie’ is undone by the reality of Schtinter’s Last Movies. They are often random and in large part unchosen; they throw significance into crisis and demand acquiescence to externality. They are, in other words, like death itself.”

- Erika Balsom

Nitehawk Williamsburg
136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn

Two-for-One Admission Price

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (d. 1982)
20,000 Years in Sing Sing (Michael Curtiz, 1932) 78m
Archival 35mm print courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Bette Davis (d. 1989)
Waterloo Bridge (James Whale, 1931) 81m
35mm print courtesy of Park Circus.

Spectacle Theater
124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn


Franz Kafka (d. 1924)
The Kid (Charlie Chaplin, 1921) 53m
Live score by Dan Arnés and Erik Gundel

Charlie Parker (d. 1955)
Stage Show (Dorsey Bros., 1955 w/Count Basie, Kate Smith, Charlie Manna [program lost, only opening credits survive]) 30m *1m screened*

Boris Vian (d. 1959)
I Spit on Your Grave (Michel Gast, 1959 [heart attack during the first minutes of the film’s premiere]) *5m screened*

Sergio Leone (d. 1989)
I Want to Live! (Robert Wise, 1958 [heart attack while watching on television]) 120m *30m screened*

Stanley Kubrick (d. 1999)
Eyes Wide Shut Trailer (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) 1m

Light Industry
361 Stagg Street, Suite 407, Brooklyn


Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1963)
War Is Hell (Burt Topper, 1961 [arrested mid-screening]) 81m *15m screened*

John Dillinger (d. 1934)
Manhattan Melodrama (W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor, 1934) 99m


Pier Paolo Pasolini (d. 1975)
Oedipus Rex (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967) 104m

For Light Industry screenings:

Tickets - Pay what you can ($10 suggested donation), good for both programs, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm. No entry 10 minutes after start of show.