BY JON CRONIN
Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image will present the New York premiere of the new film Princess Cyd, as well as an early career retrospective of its creator titled Talk About the Passion: Stephen Cone’s First Act.
Cone and cast members from Princess Cyd will appear in person at select screenings that are to be announced at a later date.
The retrospective will highlight some of Cone’s features, such as Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, The Wise Kids and his short films. Princess Cyd, a BAMcinemaFest hit, and the documentary on Cone will screen together from Nov. 3 to 12.
“Stephen Cone has established himself as one of the most distinctive and accomplished filmmakers working today,” said Eric Hynes, who is the museum’s associate curator and the organizer of the series. “In both his features and short films, Cone has dexterously explored and, sometimes, exploded the borders between comedy and drama, community and the self, faith and sexuality, sincerity and performance. As a writer, he imbues his characters with humanity and respect, and as a director oriented toward collaboration and improvisation, he approaches his actors the same way.”
Calum Marsh, a critic for The Village Voice, described Princess Cyd as “an endearing, full-hearted film of self-discovery and mentorship and love” following the film’s premiere at BAMcinemaFest. “The film’s warmth and generosity reminded me of the late Jonathan Demme,” Marsh wrote.
The film’s narrative follows 16-year-old Cyd, who—during a summer transition from adolescence to adulthood—spends time away from her depressed father and moves in with her novelist aunt in Chicago. She soon meets a barista named Katie and the two begin a soulful relationship.
Cone spent his childhood in the South and was raised by religious parents. His father became a pastor when Cone was in elementary school. As an adult, Cone moved to Chicago and now teaches at Northwestern University.
Cone culled his cast from Chicago-based actors. Promotional material for the film states that “the characters they play are just as revelatory, dotting the spectrum from self-possessed young people to self-challenging older people, sincere believers to curious nonbelievers, gays and straights and bisexuals and those uncertain or defiantly undefined, and every one of them still in the process of questioning themselves and the meaning of it all.”
The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35 Ave. in Astoria. Unless otherwise noted, general admission is $15, while students and seniors pay $11. Museum members will pay $7 for tickets. Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us.