Nostalgia in New York: MARCH 19, 2010

Nostalgia in New York, intends to honor and remember the unique experience of the Drive-in, with several readings from authors, artists, and filmmakers, as well as interactive fun, and of course, a few visuals. Come and support the festival, have a few drinks, and enjoy the wonderfully diverse stories.

The 3rd Annual DRIVE-IN Film Festival brings independent film to small towns across America, while celebrating the dying art of the local Drive-In, and this season, we want to introduce ourselves to NYC.

When: Friday, March 19, 2010
What: DRIVE-IN Film Festival - Nostalgia in New York
Where: Happy Ending Lounge, Ground Floor
Time: 8:00-10:00 PM

For more info about the festival, click HERE!
For more info about Happy Ending Lounge, click HERE!

Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome Street - Front of building says Xie He Health (was an old massage parlor...hehe.)

B, D Line to Grand Street
J, M, Z to Bowery
F to Delancey

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN for our 2010 Season!!
Also, please visit our full website:

Line-Up Announced!!

Please check out the 2008 DRIVE-IN Film Festival's inaugural line-up!

The DIFF Carnival!

Come to our BIG, FUN Fundraiser in Riverside Park on Saturday August 16, 2008. 1PM-8PM.

A small town fair in the middle of New York city, you can't miss it.

Click on the link to the right for more details or to donate!!

Thank you!

Tales from the Drive-In...

A.M. Homes

My parents have rented a house on Cape Cod. The drive from Washington, D.C., is impossibly long; we know that my father is getting hungry when he starts reading road signs out loud. He misquotes the Howard Johnson’s slogan (“Someone you know wherever you go”) as “Someone you know wherever you are.” We will tease him about this for years. The HoJo cola is flat, too sweet, almost pruney. Everyone except me has a fried-clam sandwich on a hot-dog roll with a blunt, squared-off end. The allure of fried rubber bands is (and remains) lost on me. At a motel somewhere in Connecticut, I am assigned the cot, because no one is willing to share a bed with me—I kick. The drinking glasses are wrapped in white paper bags; the toilet seat has a band around it, indicating cleanliness. Our car is parked right outside the door.

In the living room of the Wellfleet house, a single large pane of glass overlooks Cape Cod Bay. At night, the window is like an enormous television set on which I watch the reflections of my family: my mother and my brother at a table sifting through puzzle pieces, my father sketchbook in hand—his inky lines scratching out a version of my mother that she will insist looks nothing like her. “I am not that fat—am I?”

This is the summer that I know more than I can understand; I’m on the cusp of something. I stand at the edge of the ocean. The water is painfully cold; the tide sucks my ankles into the sand. My brother and I dare each other to go all the way in.

It is evening; we are going out with my parents. We are going because we know no babysitter here and we are not old enough to be left alone. For some reason, I am wearing my pajamas. My brother and I have brought pillows and blankets in the car. My father parks in a field, punctuated by metal speaker poles, facing a huge blank white billboard. There are people picnicking; others have set up folding lawn chairs next to their cars. Their faces are flushed—too many hours in the sun. The atmosphere is like a carnival. Someone sips from a flask, trying so hard to be inconspicuous that my eyes immediately go there. My father and I walk around. My brother, who is just enough older than me to be perpetually embarrassed by everything, stays in the car with my mother. I am being allowed a taste of a more adult world, but walking in my pajamas, in the twilight, I am not passing. I am being escorted by my father, who is humoring me. We are killing time, waiting for it to get dark so that the movie can start. On the program tonight is Arthur Penn’s “Bonnie and Clyde”—the movie that redefined the standard for violence in film.

As the light fades and the first stars come out, the movie begins. It is thrilling, larger than life, romantic—heightened by the night air, by the vastness of the screen. For the first time, I understand the concepts of sexiness and attraction—Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty emanate both. In the beginning, there is something fun about the movie—madcap, Keystone Cops, outlaw heroes, the chase. I sit in the back seat with my brother eating penny candy: Pixie Stix, Atomic Fire Balls, root-beer barrels, Lik-m-aid. And then I am afraid, overwhelmed. During the parts of the film that I don’t like, I duck down in the seat; the sound of gunfire—blasting from the metal box just in front of my left ear, tinny, too loud—is inescapable. I look to the sky for relief; there are thin white clouds, a three-quarter moon. I look above the screen and there are stars: there is a world beyond this one. I sleep. In what feels like the middle of the night—the sound of fresh gunfire wakes me—my eyes open and, with a sick sensation, I see that Bonnie and Clyde are dead. More than killed—overkilled.

Remembering this now, I am not sure if they were inside their car or just next to it. I call my mother. Remind me of the summer we went to Wellfleet and saw “Bonnie and Clyde” at the drive-in, I tell her. “I have no memory of it,” she says. “But, if you say it happened, it must be true.” ♦


Jeffrey Eugenides

About a half mile from the drive-in, Pruett pulled the car over to the side of the road.

I was in the back seat, looking unhappy. Pruett and Conley were in the front seats, looking extremely pleased.

“You fuckers,” I said.

Heh-heh-heh, they went.

We had just shot for it and I had lost. Pruett got out and went around and opened the trunk. In the setting sun, he resembled his Grand Prix, his hair feathered back aerodynamically, his golden suntan matching the exterior paint job. His Frye boots might have been made of the same faded leather as the bucket seats.

I got out and went around to the back, too. “I told you we should have taken my dad’s car,” I said. “Your trunk’s too small.”

I was wearing flip-flops, madras shorts, and an alligator shirt. The six-pack in the back seat had come from the cooler on my father’s sailboat. The joint that Conley was rolling belonged to him. Once a year, maybe once every two years, Conley would buy an ounce of dope and smoke it up in a day and a half. The rest of the time he smoked other people’s pot.

I went up to Conley’s window. Crouching down beside the car, I took a hit. Then I went and crawled into the trunk. The last thing I saw was Pruett’s face, grinning at me.

The half mile to the drive-in seemed to take a long time. We stopped and started in what I assumed was the line of cars waiting to get in. Exhaust was seeping into the dark space where I lay curled.

It hadn’t been that smart a move to get stoned prior to my captivity. Nor was being trapped in a trunk worth getting into a drive-in for free.

As soon as the engine quit, I began to bang on the lid with my fist.

From somewhere near the trunk lock, which was partly rusted out, I heard Pruett’s voice. “Be cool,” he said. “There’s a guy watching us.”

Ten minutes passed. Twenty.

I began to kick my feet against the trunk lid.

Then Conley was speaking through the rust hole. “Eugenides,” he said, “you might want to know why they gave this movie an R rating. For one thing, there’s a lot of nudity. It’s about these two girls, at college, in a coed dorm, and they’ve been nude just about from the credits on. Pruett and I are almost sick of seeing tits at this point.”

I made no reply. My sense of cunning was increasing. I knew that if I said nothing Pruett and Conley would (a) tire of the prank, (b) begin to worry about my eventual level of retaliation and decide it wasn’t worth further provoking me, or (c) begin to worry, under the spell of their own increasingly paranoiac highs, that I had suffocated. For all these reasons, I kept mum.

Being locked in a trunk, at a drive-in, brought back other drive-in memories. Once, the three of us, Conley, Pruett, and I, had crawled through a hundred yards of underbrush in northern Michigan in order to get within view of a midnight showing of “Deep Throat.” That was something to see: your first X-rated movie, on a screen as big as a football field, without sound. About ten minutes into the film, however, a flashlight began raking the brush where we lay. Footsteps approached. “O.K., show’s over,” a man’s voice said. “Get out of here before I call the police.” We three lifted our heads. All around us, other heads started popping up. Fifteen or twenty other teen-agers had been lying in the grass with us.

I had memories of being with my family at drive-ins, too, in decorous situations with packed sandwiches and potato salad. And memories of being with my girlfriend in the back seat, of her going, “This is so cliché. This isn’t even erotic it’s so cliché!”

Somewhere in the middle of these pleasant recollections, Pruett opened the trunk and let me out.

“You guys die,” I said.

Pruett and Conley were shaking with laughter. In their place, I would have been shaking with laughter, too. I understood this and, on some level, forgave them, while plotting my revenge. In a week or two, I would forge an alliance with one of them to fuck the other guy up.

Now, however, I just wanted to open a beer and sit back and watch the movie.

For a moment, I was amply rewarded. On the huge screen was what appeared to be an immense, life-altering view of a woman’s naked cleavage. It was snow-white, gently undulating. My concentration on this image was so intense that it took me a few moments to realize that I was watching a herd of sheep. A herd of sheep moving over a green hill in what was probably Scotland.

“What’s this?” I complained.

“They’re playing a different movie than I thought,” Pruett said.

He lit another joint and passed it around. We took hits of the harsh dope, cooling our burning throats with sips of beer.

We shot for it and Conley lost and had to go get food. He came back with chili dogs, French fries, ice-cream bars.

And then for a long time we were silent, watching the sheep move over the hills, over the green hills, somewhere in Scotland. ♦