Still from Shirley Clarke's "Skyscraper" | Image by moma.org

Local writer and New York University cinema studies PhD candidate Martin Johnson (a

City Paper

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contributor) kicks off a new film series tonight at the

. With Nineteen23, which runs every third Friday of the month, Johnson wants to focus on:

he writes in an e-mail announcement he sent out earlier this week. Tonight's inaugural screening focuses on cities and towns. Films include "Skyscraper," a 1960 documentary about New York's 41-story

directed by the late, great Shirley Clarke, who also crafted those indelible '60s documents

The Connection

,

The Cool World

, and the remarkable

Portrait of Jason

; Lincoln Johnson's "Elysium" (read the

from its Maryland Archive Footage); Larry Yust's 1969 educational adaptation of Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery;" and three other shorts. Many of the films will be screened in 16mm-print format, and all $6 of the admission price goes toward film rental and future curator/filmmaker visits. The next installment, Sept. 18, focuses on cell formations and political protests.

Nineteen23 starts at the 14 Karat Cabaret Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. $6.

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