Orgone Cineclub is a film and supperclub series organized by Mavi Phillips (Orgone Productions) and Nikki Cohen (This Place), hosted at Greenpoint’s Magick City (37 Box Street). Mavi’s a filmmaker, while Nikki’s background is in event planning, and she also occasionally DJs for The Lot Radio. Many of the films that have inspired Mavi’s work are boundary-pushing cathartic surrealist journeys challenging taboos around female sexuality and cultural norms. Together, the pair are bringing rare films and a Brooklyn-casual dinner party setting to a creative crowd. It’s cinema chic, with a sexy throwback vibe.
The name Orgone refers to a pseudoscientific concept proposed in the 1930s by Austrian psychoanalyst Whilem Reich. He suggests it’s a sexual and universal life force meant to be harnessed for therapeutic use. Orgone Cineclub borrows the name to reference juxtaposing extremes: narrative, documentary, journalism, and fashion films that create visually sensual experiences in unexpected ways, hoping to awaken viewers and provoke good old-fashioned conversation. Orgone Cineclub presents an atmosphere where guests are encouraged to interact with strangers—in a world where a majority of our daily human connection is digital, it feels totally unique and stimulating.
I went to Orgone Cineclub’s screening of The Nude Vampire. The film was pretty much what you’d imagine 70s French vampire erotica to be, but way more fantastique, with sultry and lavish costumes that would inspire the likes of Lady Gaga, and a seemingly high production value. Kubrick might have unwittingly been inspired by it for Eyes Wide Shut, and the shocker ending could have almost been a reference to Planet of The Apes, which came out two years before The Nude Vampire.
Before the screening, everyone hung out on the sidewalk sipping rose or negronis and chatting, not quite sure what we were in for. The crowd of about 20 people was motley but mostly creative, genuinely looking for a surprising Brooklyn experience and maybe a bit of networking too, in a non-networkers setting. Some people were there with a couple friends, while others attended solo. Then the film kicked off, and we were served a delicious sweet-but-salty cinnamon bacon popcorn. It was so good I have no shame in admitting I ate two bags. After the film, everyone filed back outside for more drinks and a brief recess as the space was turned over to transform into a dinner party setting.
A night at Orgone seemed to encapsulate a genuine connectivity that can get lost in the rush of New York, where sometimes it’s hard to slow down and take in your surroundings.
Orgone’s third installment of the film & supper club series will be held Monday September 26th at Magick City (37 Box Street). The film will be Derek Jarman’s post-apocalyptic punk fantasy Jubilee (1978, UK), followed by a family style dinner by chef Eric Feigenbaum. Pre-drinks kick off the event at 6pm, with the film at 7:15pm, and dinner at 9pm. Tickets are $45/person which includes the screening, dinner + a snack before the film. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice. Wine and cocktails will be available for purchase.