The Projectionist

by Abel Ferrara

The Projectionist

Synopsis

Nicolas “Nick” Nicolaou is a New York City original, a Cypriot immigrant who moved to America as a young boy and found work as a teenager in Manhattan during the heyday of independent motion picture exhibition in the 1970s — when dozens of theaters, including art houses, grind houses and porn palaces, glittered prominently across the urban landscape. Defiant in the face of gentrification, corporate dominance and changing viewing habits, the Queens-based Nicolaou became a theater owner in the ’80s as the number of screens in the city began a precipitous decline. Four decades on, the tenacious entrepreneur operates three very distinct neighborhood theaters: Manhattan’s Cinema Village, Bay Ridge’s Alpine Cinemas and Forest Hills’ Cinemart, beloved destinations for generations of moviegoers. Director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York) — whose early works The Driller Killerand Ms. 45, became grindhouse staples as Nicolaou was learning the business — traces the life and work of a fiercely independent New Yorker who refuses to give in, out of a love for the medium and the city that shaped him. At once a walking tour of New York City’s evolving theatrical landscape, a history of movie-going over the last 50 years, and a document of two friends’ irrepressible movie love, The Projectionist is an indelible tribute to what the streaming era can neither replicate nor replace when we go to the movies.

Director

With a reputation as a director of controversial cinema, Abel Ferrara moves into his fourth decade of filmmaking with continued work in the US as well as European projects. Recent successes include Pasolini, starring Willem Dafoe, and Welcome to NY, starring Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset. Born in the Bronx in 1951, Ferrara started on Super 8 in his teens in upstate New York with writers Nicholas St. John and John McIntyre. His first features were DRILLER KILLER and MS. 45 in the late 70s. The 80s and 90s led to a cult reputation with legendary films like THE KING OF NEW YORK, BAD LIEUTENANT, THE ADDICTION and THE FUNERAL. Ferrara is currently preparing his next feature SIBERIA with Willem Dafoe, Isabelle Huppert and Nicolas Cage.

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY

2017 ALIVE IN FRANCE (documentary)
2014 PASOLINI
2014 WELCOME TO NEW YORK
2011 4:44 - LAST DAY ON EARTH
2009 NAPOLI, NAPOLI, NAPOLI
2008 CHELSEA ON THE ROCKS (documentary)
2007 GO GO TALES
2005 MARY
2001 R XMAS
1998 NEW ROSE HOTEL
1997 THE BLACKOUT
1996 THE FUNERAL
1995 THE ADDICTION
1993 DANGEROUS GAME
1993 BODY SNATCHERS
1992 BAD LIEUTENANT
1990 THE KING OF NEW YORK
1987 CHINA GIRL

Crew

Director Abel Ferrara
Composer Joe Delia       
Cinematographer Ken Kelsch
Editor Fabio Nunziata
Producers Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Michael M. Bilandic, Joshua Blum, Katie Stern, Michael Weber

Technical Data

format DCP / colour / 5.1
length 81 min.
original language English, Greek

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