Friday was the debut screening of the Newark Movie Mixtape, and it was a real delight: perfect setting, in the lovely Riverfront Park (where Planning Director Damon Rich and Riverfront Coordinator Chris Caceres are doing some really innovative programming, from yoga to Zumba to house-music dance parties to boat tours), a great engaged crowd who seemed to dig the clips (our one cheat, a Whitney Houston music video not shot in Newark but inescapably connoting it, drew some serious applause), and the visual resonance of Newark scenes on a big screen with the actual city skyline in the background.
A decent portion of the crowd stayed the whole, somewhat long duration, too–2 hours, 8 minutes in the final cut! I’d love to tweak and revise this slightly and screen it again sometime, though it might be hard to make cuts; the only real dud, to my mind, was a long and reeeeaaaaaalllllly dull melodramatic romance scene set in Port Newark in Matt Cimber’s 1968 kitchen-sink drama Single Room Furnished. I also got a few fantastic suggestions from people in attendance, including an episode of Sesame Street (!) I hadn’t known about. I’ll have to think it through; in the meantime, some cool (IMHO) shots from the screening:
and finally, a few shots by Damon Rich–I especially love the cinematic bridge reaching for the real one!
I’m very grateful to everyone who collaborated and supported this, and also to everyone who took a chance and showed up to watch it. Here’s to future screenings!