Underground Film Journal

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Mantis Collective Gallery: Neil Ira Needleman

By Mike Everleth ⋅ November 18, 2010

Woman looking at artwork in a gallery

Nov. 20
8:00 p.m.
Mantis Collective Gallery
1306 N. 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Hosted by: Moviate

Does spending a night with Neil Ira Needleman sound like a little piece of Heaven to you? Well, it does to us!

Harrisburg, PA’s Mantis Collective Gallery — thanks to an egging on by Moviate — is hosting a rare one-man screening of Needleman’s eccentric (and that’s putting it mildly) short films. It’s 90 minutes of knee-slapping humor, sheer absurdity, deranged home movies, incredulous bouts of sincerity and — as Needleman puts it himself — films that “will pull your eyeballs out of your head.”

Needleman is one of the quirkiest and eclectic makers of short films in the field today. His work is almost virtually impossible to describe as each film is wildly different from the next. Yet, they all fit together just from the pure “Needleman-ness” quality that suffuses them all.

Some of Needleman’s films are purely experimental, while others have the feeling that they’re very personal, except that it’s near impossible to figure out if the guy is merely pulling your leg or not. And, having been in contact with the filmmaker I could certainly ask him, but having that mystique gives the films a more profound, albeit baffling, quality.

Below is a tentative lineup of the films screening, which may change. I’ve only seen a few of these that Needleman has chosen to show, but Corporate Art Policy, Florida Hotel Rooms and Visions of Wasted Time are all, I believe, brilliant.

  1. Capitol Symmetry (premiere–shot in Harrisburg)
  2. Dead Family Movie
  3. Florida Hotel Rooms
  4. Identity Theft
  5. My First Music Video
  6. Corporate Art Policy
  7. Some Playful Patterns I’ve Been Thinking About Lately
  8. Our Family’s Glorious Legacy
  9. My First Science Fiction Movie
  10. Visions of Wasted Time (Watch online)
  11. Reasonable Explanations
  12. Look What God Did to My Adult Movie
  13. Forsythia Madness
  14. Postcard from Brazil
  15. Passion Colors

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