Teen with cancer co-directs ‘Farewell to Hollywood,’ with her as a subject

Reggie Nicholson and Henry Corra, co-directors and subjects of “Farewell to Hollywood.”

Reggie Nicholson and Henry Corra, co-directors and subjects of “Farewell to Hollywood.”

By Seth Shire

A part of me wants to say that I enjoyed “Farewell to Hollywood,” a new documentary co-directed by New York based documentarian Henry Corra and Regina Diane Nicholson (Reggie).

However, I do not think that “enjoyed” is the correct term for my reaction to this very moving, honest, frank, poignant and life affirming, personal documentary about a teenaged filmmaker’s final, two-year struggle with cancer.

“It’s kind of an ordeal, isn’t it?” Corra said to me, empathizing with my reaction to this heartfelt documentary which opened at Cinema Village on February 25 (Reggie’s birthday). Reggie, the film’s subject as well as its co-director, was a filmmaker whose goal was to make a feature film. As Reggie’s mother says, in the documentary, Reggie “won’t make her mark on the world until she’s done that.”

Corra recalled meeting Reggie at the 2010 Silver Docs Film Festival. He said that Reggie approached him about the idea of making a documentary about her. Corra said he told Reggie that, “If she was interested in collaborating on an unscripted, non-fiction project, where we were equal partners, then we’d be in business. And she was like ‘Yeah, I like that idea.’”

Corra added that at first, “I have to admit I was quite terrified at taking on the tragedy of a young person that we all knew was going to die, including Reggie. It was daunting for me.” After receiving encouragement from Reggie and her mother, Corra decided to proceed with the film.

Corra and Reggie formed a close attachment to the point where Corra actually wound up being her caretaker, all while he and Reggie continued making the film. Corra explained, “It’s coming of age while dying as an artist and as a young woman and it’s in hyper drive because of the circumstances.”

Corra, a student of the late documentary filmmaker David Maysles, explained that his approach to documentary filmmaking, influenced by Maysles, is about “collapsing the boundaries between art and life, subject and author.” Corra added that, “In a sense ‘Farewell to Hollywood’ is the ultimate master class in achieving this.”

When I asked Corra about his hope for “Farewell to Hollywood” he said, “Our hope for the film has already come true. When you make these unscripted, personal films the rules of the film are made up and established as you go along. Over a two-year period we developed this really amazingly interesting creative working relationship of a young person at the beginning of their career and a seasoned director working together. We actually were great collaborators. We made the film for ourselves. The film became synonymous with life for Reggie as well as for me. It became synonymous with her being alive and happy, doing the thing she wanted to do the most. Our goal was to make the most amazing film that the two of us, as well as our friends, loved. Whatever happens beyond that is to be determined.”

Corra explained that fame and fortune were not goals for Reggie, adding that, “She was very mature as an artist, to understand that.”

Cinema Village is located at 22 East 12th Street.

 

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Movies, folk dancing, Summer Streets and more outdoor events this week

This week the following, free events will be held outdoors in parks and other spaces open to the public.

 Folk dancing at Stuy Cove Park

July31 folk dancing

Folk dancing led by Christine Meyers

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association presents an evening of folk dancing led by Christine Meyers.

The session will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 7 p.m. at the park. No experience is necessary and all are welcome to attend regardless of age or fitness level. In the event of rain the event will take place on Sunday, August 3.

 

Movies at Waterside Plaza

Aug7 Bend It

“Bend it Like Beckham”

Waterside Plaza presents the return of RCN-sponsored movie nights on the plaza throughout August. Films will be shown on August 4 (“Bend it Like Beckham”), August 11 (“Kung Fu Panda”), August 18 (“Moneyball”) and (“Invincible”) August 25 at 8 p.m. (dusk) each night. No rain date. Event is cancelled if it rains.

Additionally, on August 16 at 8 p.m., Waterside will hold its first international food festival outside on the plaza. Event occurs rain or shine.

For more information, contact Yenneca Ketzis at yketzis@watersideplaza.com.

 

 Movies at Tompkins Square Park

AMPAS Gold Standard Series

David Bowie in “The Labyrinth”

Films in Tompkins presents screenings on Thursdays throughout the summer in the park, presented by Howl! Arts. See the Films in Tompkins Facebook page for updates.

On Aug. 7, “The Labyrinth” will be shown.

On Aug. 14, “Midnight Cowboy.”

 

Concert series concludes at Madison Square Park

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Madison Square Park Conservancy will conclude the twelfth season of Mad Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series on Aug. 6 from 7-8:30 p.m., with a performance by Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. Concerts take place on the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park. The park is located at 23rd St. between Madison and Fifth Aves. Concerts occur rain or shine and are appropriate for the whole family. Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic (no chairs allowed. For more information, visit madisonsquarepark.org.

 

 Traveling theater in the East Village

“EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes A Selfie,” a musical comedy about a New York EMT worker, will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds. A local performance will be held on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. on First Ave. and 10th St. (Pictured) Foreground: Briana Bartenieff. L-R: Celeste Bradsher-Layne, Lily Frenaux, Terry Lee King, Justin Rodriguez, Primy Rivera, Danielle Hauser, Michael David Gordon (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

“EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes A Selfie,” a musical comedy about a New York EMT worker, will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds. A local performance will be held on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. on First Ave. and 10th St.  (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

Theater for the New City presents “EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes a Selfie,” a musical which will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs from Aug. 2 to Sept. 14. The Sat., Aug. 2 show at 2 p.m. will take place in front of TNC, First Ave. and E. 10th St. The running time is one hour. Shows will take place at different sites in the five boroughs, returning to the East Village community for two performances in September. In this musical, a New York EMT worker is on a workingman’s grand tour of the world and decides to tackle global problems the way he does emergencies of his NYC beat. Every day, an EMT worker becomes inextricably entwined with the private lives of all kinds of New Yorkers, with all their personal crises. The hero of this play ministers to the widest variety of human beings, from vaudeville entertainers to ladies of the night to planet-saving protesters to occasional investigative journalists, one of whom makes him a sidekick for a worldwide expedition through trauma, violence, spying and accidental wars on a global scale. The music varies in style from bossa nova to hip hop to musical comedy to Gilbert & Sullivan.

Summer Streets

On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

A rest stop along the route will be located at East 25th Street and Park Avenue South. Additionally, the DOT will be offering free bike helmet fittings on East 24th Street and Park Avenue South on Saturday, August 2 from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fittings will also be offered during Summer Streets on August 9 and 16. For details, visit nyc.gov/summerstreets.

 

For even more events going on this week, including concerts, theater, kids’ events, art exhibits, burlesque and walking tours, see Town & Village’s Around & About section.

To find out about free events taking place throughout the city, see our Cutting Corners section.

For health related events, including free fitness classes, support groups and screenings, see Health and Fitness.

For events and services being organized by local houses of worship, see Religion in the Community.