Still from Pere Portabella’s The Silence Before Bach (2007) (images courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park)

Outdoor movies are a dime a dozen in the summer in New York City, but the program at Socrates Sculpture Park is unique. Teaming up with Film Forum and Rooftop Films for its annual series, the park eschews blockbusters and cult classics for foreign films. Each week a movie from a different country is featured, along with local performers and food vendors who represent the culture of that country in some way.

Outdoor cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park

This Wednesday, Socrates will screen The Silence Before Bach (2007) by the Spanish director Pere Portabella. The non-narrative film is a series of vignettes — some contemporary, others historical; some straightforward, others surreal — that all feature or relate to Bach’s music in some way, from a tour of Leipzig led by a Bach impersonator to a player piano moving through a series of empty rooms as it sounds out the Goldberg Variations. The film “demands engagement and a kind of surrender, a willingness to enter into a work shaped by correlation, metaphor and metonymy, by beautiful images and fragments of ideas,” Manohla Dargis wrote in the New York Times.

Arrive early to eat paella made by In Patella and watch performances from Numina Dance and Poetry Theatre as the sun sets on the East River.

When: Wednesday, August 9, pre-screening performance at 7pm, film at sundown
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park (32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens)

More info here.

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art and politics but has also been known to write at length about cats. She won the 2014 Best...