Hitchcock, Pacino and Cuban Rappers Star in Upcoming Bronx Film Series

By Patrick Wall on July 6, 2012 6:54am 

Moviegoers at the first annual summer film series at the Bronx Documentary Center in 2011. The 2012 series begins on Saturday, July 7.
Moviegoers at the first annual summer film series at the Bronx Documentary Center in 2011. The 2012 series begins on Saturday, July 7.
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Bronx Documentary Center

BRONX — A knife-wielding motel owner, underground Cuban rappers and a bearded, long-haired Al Pacino — what more could you ask for on a sizzling summer night in The Bronx?

In the coming days, Lehman College will kick off a high-definition Alfred Hitchcock series with a showing of “Psycho," the Bronx Museum of the Arts will screen the Cuban documentary “Young Rebels” and the Bronx Documentary Center will host an outdoor viewing of 1973’s gritty crooked cop drama, “Serpico.”

“They seem to fit well on a hot night in New York City,” said Bronx Documentary Center founder, Michael Kamber as he ticked off some of the other New York crime flicks on the center's calendar, including "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Q & A."

The one-year-old Melrose nonprofit launches its second annual summer film series at 7 p.m. Saturday with “Serpico.”

The center, located at 614 Courtlandt Ave., also has several documentary screenings planned for the summer, including “Reportero” about Mexican journalists under siege, “In a Dream,” the story of an artist’s crumbling marriage, and several short nonfiction films by Hunter College students.

A $5 donation gets guests into the center’s backyard, where films play on a large screen, and into the indoor photo gallery, where Nina Berman’s exhibit about the borough’s urban farms is on display.

At Joyce Kilmer Park along the Grand Concourse, rumba rhythms and hip-hop beats will fill the air on the  evening of July 6 during the Bronx Museum of the Art’s monthly “First Friday” free event.

The Afro-Cuban group Irobu kicks things off with live music at 6 p.m., followed by an outdoor screening of “Young Rebels,” a 2005 documentary about Cuba’s burgeoning hip-hop scene and the debate it’s stirred over rap’s role as protest music versus commercial enterprise.

Inside the (air-conditioned) Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College on July 9, horror film buffs will be treated to the mother of all psychological thrillers, “Psycho.”

The college’s cultural programming arm, Lehman Stages, will present eight Hitchcock classics in July through a partnership with Emerging Cinemas, a company that transmits high-definition feeds of art-house films and live cultural performances to theaters nationwide.

Besides the Hitchcock films — which include crowd-pleasers “Vertigo,” “Rear Window” and “The Birds” — Lehman Stages will screen video of live operas and ballets.

Lehman Stage director Dante Albertie said he has “no ... idea” whether Bronxites will show up for the black-and-white films or the performance footage, but he’s hopeful.

“I get the sense that the Bronx is in some sort of renaissance,” Albertie said, “so I think the outlook for the future is good.”

Tickets cost $8 for the Hitchcock movies, which screen Monday through Wednesday in July, at 2 and 7 p.m. The Lovinger Theater is housed inside Lehman’s Speech and Theatre Building near 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West.

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