In an attempt to spread cinema all over Miami-Dade and move away from the overexposed Wynwood neighborhood — now the go-to location for practically every event in town — the film festival Borscht Diez will hit the beach for the third day of the upcoming fest. After jaunts to the Everglades and Stiltsville, Borscht Diez will host events all day Friday, February 24, in a multitude of Miami Beach locations.
By day, most of the events will be located at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, which Borsht Corp. cofounder Lucas Leyva says is his favorite Miami theater. "If I know something is going to Miami Beach Cinematheque, I'll go out of my way and wait just to see it there," he says.
At noon, the Cinematheque will host John Wilson: American Treasure, a retrospective of documentarian and "national hero" John Wilson's idiosyncratic and occasionally banned work. "He's the kind of guy who was at Sundance and would go up to people to meet them with a buzzer in his hand," Leyva explains. "He makes these great videos, some of them instructional, like How to Remain Single, How to Keep Smoking, How to Act on Reality TV."
"He'll do things like go on court TV several times as different characters and wear hidden things and mock the whole thing," Leyva adds. The best part is that Wilson is working a movie during the festival. In fact, the event, which costs $10 to attend, will be part of his ongoing film project.
Following the retrospective will be yet another interactive experience. This one, though, involves watching a feature film while surrounded by cacti. For $10, guests can join an audience of cacti to watch Miami native David Fenster's film Opuntia while the plants provide live commentary during the screening via an electronic translator. Narrated by a cactus, the film is about Cabeza de Vaca, a conquistador-turned-shaman, and explores cultural, personal, and natural transformation.
Transforming again, the Cinematheque will become a Polish bathhouse for the premiere of Julian Yuri's first feature film: 23 Films About a Man Named Arthur. It's a domestic fantasia on Flagler Street, entirely in Polish with English subtitles, that the fest says is "as brutal, hilarious, moving, and confounding as it is indescribable."
At night, the action will move to the New World Center, where one of the festival's most ambitious events will take place. Coral Orgy, a collaborative site-specific performance celebrating the cosmic synchronicity of sex on the reef, will take place at 6 p.m. Borscht describes the event as "an explosion of the concept of a film festival that is also part concert, part haunted house, and part art installation."
The New World Center will be transformed into a psychedelic coral reef via immersive projection-mapping by the local marine biologists and artists of Coral Morphologic, accompanied by a live score performed by Animal Collective, which will debut new music. The audience can explore various happenings throughout the building, including videos, installations, and experiences by Rachel Rossin, Mayer/Leyva + Tenderclaws, Jacolby Satterwhite, Institute for New Feeling, Digital Museum of Digital Art, Eric Cade Schoenborn, Michael John Hancock III, and Leo Castañeda, and enjoy live performances by Animal Collective, Hot Sugar, and Otto Von Schirach (who will be accompanied by a surprise guest).
The once-in-a-lifetime "hallucinatory aesthetic experience," presented by Borscht, Coral Morphologic, and III Points, begins at 6 p.m. in SoundScape Park, and doors to the New World Center open at 7. Tickets can be purchased for $25 for the first 24 hours, $40 until Valentine's Day, $60 until the day of the show, and $80 at the door. The first 50 students with ID will receive free entry, and select performances will be live-streamed free at SoundScape Park.
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As wild as all of that sounds, the night won't end there. For those with the All-Access Exclusive Illuminati VIP pass, there will be a 35mm 16th-anniversary screening of Louis C.K.'s Pootie Tang at the Faena Hotel Screening Room. The event, which will debut Secret Celluloid Society Roadshow's portable 35mm system, will also feature a special Q&A following the screening.
"SCS has been hard at work in the labs developing truly portable 35mm film projectors that will be able to turn any space into a 35mm cinema," says Nayib Estefan, director of Secret Celluloid Society. It's all about offering the city "challenging screenings in new spaces as we rip the projection booth out of the movie palace and bring it to you."
At the same time, Borscht will host a free-with-RSVP event at the bar Cucu's Nest. Hosted by Fat Nick, the event will allow guests to dance to all the hits from 2001 at the premiere of Nick Corirossi's South Miami nightmare short, Miami 2001 (a sequel to Miami 1996), with performances by Jazzy F and Fat Nick.
February 22 through 26 at venues across Miami. Visit pray4borscht.com.