The Ultimate Grey Gardens Festival
June 12–14

Now that Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore have resurrected Big and Little Edie on HBO, the Maysles Cinema brings it all back home with a series entitled "STAUNCH!," a tribute to one of the greatest documentaries of all time and its countless fans. Besides screenings and a panel discussion with Albert Maysles, expect Rocky Horror­­–like re-enactments, a Grey Gardens–themed fashion show, outtakes, rare audio, prizes, and a re-created diorama of the subjects' bedroom. Maysles Cinema, 343 Lenox Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, 212-582-6050, mayslesinstitute.org/cinema

 

BAMcinemaFEST
June 17–July 2

Fourteen NYC premieres pepper BAM's inaugural celebration of new indies (not just from Sundance) and repertory faves, opening with Cruz Angeles's touching post-9/11 drama Don't Let Me Drown. Highly recommended are the hilariously perceptive bromance Humpday; Big Fan, a sort of sports-themed take on The King of Comedy; and Bronson, a hyperkinetic biopic on Britain's most violent prisoner. There will also be outdoor screenings, "An Evening With Arnaud Desplechin," four all-night movie marathons, and more. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org 

 

New York Asian Film Festival
June 19–July 2

Transformers 2? Harry Potter 17? Spit out the stale multiplex popcorn and munch on summer's wildest blockbuster event, still bursting with pop insanity in its eighth year. Forty movies are on tap, including Yoshihiro Nishimura's nuttier-than-it-sounds Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, short films based on his notorious Tokyo Gore Police, and a soft-core "pink" surprise from the director of this year's Oscar-winning Best Foreign Language Film, Departures. Expect special guests and restored rarities, too. IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, 212-927-7771, and Japan Society, 343 East 47th Street, 212-715-1258, subwaycinema.com 

 

The Secret Policeman's Film Festival
June 26–July 31

For the 30th anniversary of the Amnesty International "mock 'n' roll" benefit show, co-founded by John Cleese, Lincoln Center and the Paley Center for Media will be home to 22 rare movies and TV specials, plus live performances from more than 60 comedians (the Monty Python team, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Silverman) and as many rockers (the Police, U2, Radiohead, Morrissey)—though Spinal Tap certainly falls under both categories. The Film Society of Lincoln Center, filmlinc.com, and the Paley Center for Media, paleycenter.org

 

Tony Manero
June 26

John Travolta digs out the polyester suit in this sequel to . . . no, just kidding. Set in the turbulent early '80s of Pinochet-era Chile, Pablo Larrain's marvelously unhinged study of pop-culture obsession in a suffocating environment concerns a fiftysomething sociopath (Alfredo Castro), whose deepest passion is a restaging of Saturday Night Fever in a dirty cantina. Easily my favorite from last year's New York Film Festival, it's a shocking indictment of the extremes to which fascist rule will drive people. Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, 212-924-3363, cinemavillage.com

 

Lake Tahoe
July 10–16

Mexican auteur Fernando Eimbcke's 2006 goofball comedy Duck Season tenderly explored adolescent longings with a minimalist deadpan wit, and his stylish follow-up further mines the static vignettes and long pauses of classic Jarmusch or Kaurismäki. Diego Cataño stars as a despondent, small-town Yucatán teenager who crashes the family Nissan, the reasons for his melancholic nature revealed as he meets eccentric strangers in search of the car parts he needs. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarachives.org

 

Somers Town
July 15–28

Brassy young British pip-squeak Thomas Turgoose reunites with writer-director Shane Meadows (This Is England) in this shaggy, endlessly charming dramedy set in working-class London, wistfully shot in black-and-white. A Nottingham runaway with a permanent chip on his shoulder, Tomo (Turgoose) befriends and crashes with reticent Polish immigrant Marek (Piotr Jagiello); together, they're a couple of schemers and dreamers who both fall in love with the same Parisian waitress. Witty and warmhearted, it's a feel-good movie that never seems forced. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110, filmforum.org

 

'Premiere Brazil'
July 16–31

Co-organized by the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, MOMA's seventh annual survey of contemporary Brazilian cinema includes a retrospective of renowned documentarian Eduardo Coutinho, up through last year's Juego de Escena—his experimental doc-narrative hybrid about women and storytelling. Also screening are poet-songster Caetano Veloso's only directorial effort, Cinema Falado, and Humberto Mauro's rare 1937 O Descobrimento do Brasil, scored by the great Heitor Villa-Lobos. On Thursday nights, various Brazilian musicians will perform for free in the sculpture garden. The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 212-708-9400, moma.org

 

Nicholas Ray
July 17–August 6

Screening for one week is a brand-new 35mm print of Ray's breathtaking 1950 noir masterpiece In a Lonely Place, starring Bogey as a down-and-out screenwriter suspected of murder and Gloria Grahame as his golden alibi. Beginning July 23, the bigger-than-life auteur will be honored through a 14-film retrospective, including They Live by NightJohnny Guitar, Rebel Without a Cause (obviously!), as well as little-seen gems like Party Girl, Wind Across the Everglades, and Born to Be Bad. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110, filmforum.org

 

World's Greatest Dad
August 21

Comedic actor–turned-filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait's Sleeping Dogs Lie—a/k/a "the dog blowjob rom-com"—planted the seed (OK, wrong choice of words) that Goldthwait wrings tender humanity from disturbing premises, but his scandalously entertaining new satire proves a darker, funnier success. After his asshole son dies embarrassingly, high school teacher and failed writer Robin Williams fakes his kid's suicide note out of pain and desperation, earning himself sympathy while martyring his pathetic offspring as a tortured, misunderstood hero. Magnolia Pictures, in limited release, magpictures.com

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