The most knowledgeable New York City movie audience - 2006
Some of the city's premier revival showcases (I'm not naming names) can resemble mental-hospital day rooms, and not just because the audience members talk back to the screen or laugh at whatever they see. At BAM, however, the movie crowd skews fabulously, enthusiastically healthy—they're young, mixed, and knowledgeable. Directors like Tsai Ming-liang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul are demigods to these people, rather than exotic, who-the-fuck? tongue twisters. BAMsters provided the nucleus of the cult that attached itself to Terrence Malick's film maudit The New World, and they packed the house for last spring's Michelangelo Antonioni retro—most of the weekend screenings had to be moved out of the intimate BAMcinématek and, displacing new releases, into the biggest of BAM's four movie theaters. Even there Antonioni's 40-year-old Red Desert sold out.