“All My Tomorrows,” Directed by Sonia Herman Dolz: Film Screening with Imagine Science Films

Screening with Imagine Science Films
Date: Friday, February 1

Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy and Imagine Science Films

Tonight, join Imagine Science Films and Morbid Anatomy for an exclusive U.S. premiere screening of “All My Tomorrows” directed by Sonia Herman Dolz. Imagine Science Films aims to transform the way science and scientists are portrayed in mainstream media, while emphasizing the importance of storytelling, narrative structure, and visual communication.

About the film:
“One must never forget that one dies not from disease, but from life,” wrote the philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Five centuries later, cancer surgeon Casper van Eijck arrives at the same conclusion: “You get cancer because you’re alive.” This film follows Van Eijck as he goes about his daily tasks at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. We also meet a cell biologist, a night nurse, a pediatric oncologist and a pathologist. Examining a culture of rapidly multiplying cancer
cells, the biologist sighs, “That you can reveal so much, but know so little about what’s going on.” We owe progress in medical science exclusively to unremitting human curiosity and attentiveness; the fundamentals have changed little since Hippocrates. Then as now, doctors relied on human techniques of looking, feeling and cutting. We also see patients and parents of sick children respond bravely to the devastating news doctors so often have to give. Perhaps mice will provide the answer to the question of why cells divide uncontrollably, because this animal shares 80% of its genes with humans.

Imagine Science Films is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in existence since 2008 committed to promoting a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers. ISF encourages a greater collaboration between scientists who dedicate their lives to studying the world we live in and filmmakers who have the power to interpret and expose this knowledge, ultimately making science accessible and stimulating to a broader audience.

Imagine Science Films is committed to drawing attention to the sciences, whether it is through art or our community outreach efforts.

Obscura Society NYC: Thomas Stathes Cartoon Carnival

When the Snow Flies (Paul Terry, 1927), Tom Stathes Collection

January 25th: Join archivist and projectionist, Tom Stathes, for a special screening celebrating the seasons
As Winter 2013 draws on, Tom Stathes has curated animated cartoons from the 1920s-1930s for every season of the year. Searching his vast stacks of 16mm animation rarities and Tom has hand-selected a wide array of gems: frolicking Springtime fun and hot Summer calamities for those with a warmer temperament, and breezy, cool Autumn shenanigans as well as snowy Winter escapades for those who relish the cold months. For a glimpse into past visions of the seasons as depicted by the merry-makers of early film animation, come enjoy the latest screening-shown in real 16mm film, with a real projector-a unique experience you’ll be sure to enjoy!

Tom Stathes is a Cartoon Cryptozoologist, with a rare film print collection comprised of over 1,000 shorts. His archive consists of everything from Felix the Cat and Farmer Alfalfa to silent reels from Bray Studios and Out of the Inkwell. A native-New Yorker, he turned his passion for the city’s animation legacy into a preservation mission. With his Bray Animation Project, he has worked with several film and comic historians to document the studios invaluable output. For more information go to cartoonsonfilm.com or brayanimation.weebly.com.

This is a part of “Atlas Obscura’s Speakers” series at the Observatory.

For ticket information CLICK HERE.


The Obscura Society is the real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura.

Find out more, and join our local events announcement list here.

Zombi Film Series!

A screening and discussion series on zombies and the politics of representation

Sunday, October 7, at 7 PM – White Zombie
Sunday, October 14, at 7 PM – I Walked with a Zombie
Sunday, October 21, at 7 PM – Night of the Living Dead
Sunday, October 28, at 3 PM – Les revenants (before the Atlas Obscura event) TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO HURRICANE SANDY!

Suggested donation: $5 (free for students taking the Brooklyn Institute class)
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society

Zombi is a film series presented by Anjuli Raza Kolb in collaboration with the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research fall course ‘Zombi’ and the Politics of Representation, which follows zombies from their birthplace in the Caribbean to the US and beyond. We’ll look at three classic American zombie flicks and a recent French twist on the zombie and assess whether any radical potential remains in the figure of our most populous, inscrutable, and ineradicable monster. Join us for just the films or sign up for the course for a rich reading list and outstanding discussion.

A short talkback will follow each screening.

Anjuli Raza Kolb is a lecturer at New York University and a doctoral candidate at Columbia, where she is writing a dissertation about epidemiology, horror, and terror.

Repo! The Genetic Opera


A screening and discussion on dystopian biofictions with writers Dan Grushkin and Wythe Marschall
Date/time: Sunday, November 18, 8 PM
Suggested donation: $7
Specialty drink: DNA cocktails (pineapple juice, strawberries, vodka)
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society and Genspace

Gattaca it ain’t… Paris Hilton co-stars in this near-future, unblinkingly musical, arch-campy gorefest about GeneCo, an evil corporation that creates synthetic organs and repossesses them when clients can’t pay, inevitably killing the clients.

As real biotechnology grows increasingly sophisticated and offers advancements such as the the growth of synthetic tissues and organs, what do lowest-common-denominator fictions such as Repo! tell us about our culture’s hopes and anxieties?

Join biology-obsessed writers Dan Grushkin and Wythe Marschall for a screening of our biotech era’s first “cult classic,” followed by a short discussion.

This screening is the culmination of the second series of classes at Genspace on Genetically Modified Storytelling.


Daniel Grushkin writes about the intersection of science, business and culture for a number of science and business magazines, including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, Businessweek. He’s a co-founder of Genspace.

Wythe Marschall is the co-author of Suspicious Anatomy, an illustrated book of fake neuroscience, and the co-founder of the Hollow Earth Society. He is a member of Observatory, an art-and-science gallery in Brooklyn. His stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and elsewhere.

Check out Dan and Wythe’s recent critique of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus for Scientific American.

Kevin and Matt Geek Out about Shark Cinema!

A special multi-media shark cinema show with comedian Kevin Maher and filmmaker Matt Glasson
Date: Thursday, August 9
Time: 8:00
Admission: $10
Produced by Morbid Anatomy

Tonight, join comedian Kevin Maher and filmmaker Matt Glasson will for “Kevin and Matt Geek Out about SHARK CINEMA!”, an obsessive look at dozens of classic (and some not-so-classic) movies that preceded and followed in the wake of the biggest great white baddie of them all: JAWS. The hosts revisit the all-but-forgotten pre-JAWS films (dating back to the 1930’s). They sink their teeth into JAWSPLOITATION knock-offs, the sanctioned sequels, cable-TV documentaries and more contemporary CGI shark movies. Kevin and Matt also dissect the films that tried to be the next big blockbuster by substituting a Great White with a giant alligator, a man-eating octopus or a killer grizzly bear. Plus they showcase jaw-dropping clips from films that feature gratuitous shark scenes in non-Shark movies. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Shark geek-out without looking back at the hit TV show that literally jumped the shark.


  • The Italian JAWS that Universal banned from the U.S.
  • The inevitable JAWS-inspired mermaid porno: GUMS.
  • Incredible scenes of sharks going against zombies, superheroes, giant apes, Jackie Chan, Burt Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, the Olsen Twins and, of course, the Harlem Globetrotters.

In this special 70-minute presentation the AUDIENCE DECIDES which clips they’ll get to see. Come to the show and you’ll determine whether they screen a clip of Bo Derek in ORCA THE KILLER WHALE or Karen Black from KILLER FISH.

Kevin Maher is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer whose work has appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, FEARnet and Nickelodeon. He’s created five web-series, including AMC’s “The Sci Fi Department” (short-listed for a Webby) and the upcoming “Grown-Up Words” for Nick-at-Nite. He hosts the NYC variety show “Kevin Geeks Out” with theme-nights celebrating Bigfoot, Dummy Deaths, Video Games, Alien Encounters and Visions of the Future. On a dare, Kevin once wrote 100 haiku about Batman. For more: http://www.LoveKevin.com

After seeing a theatrical double-bill of JAWS and JAWS 2 as a child and being delightfully traumatized, Matt Glasson became obsessed with movies that unleashed the hidden terror from the deep blue sea (and yes, he was a fan of DEEP BLUE SEA as well). When he’s not watching shark movies, Matt works as a video editor, shooter and a film director. In 2011, he made his feature debut wearing multiple hats as writer/director/actor/editor with the film LOVE STALKER. He loves cats. For more: www.matthewglasson.com” www.matthewglasson.com

Kevin Geeks Out is the comedy-variety show created by writer-comedian Kevin Maher – a confabulation of vintage film clips and videos, new finds, guest experts, games and curiosities. To geek out with Kevin you don’t need to be a geek, you just need to love cool stuff. Since 2008, Kevin has geeked out with 26 different installments of his video variety night to fill those gaps in your education about Bigfoot! – Robots! – Video Games! – Frankenstein! – Batman! – KISS! – Vincent Price! – Wrasslin’! – and Dummy Deaths! His shows have been critics’ picks in the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Gothamist, The New York Times’ “Urban Eye”…and what other comedy show can you name that’s been featured in Scientific American Online?

Tom Stathes Cartoon Carnival #10: Made in NYC

tomcarnivalAn Evening of Cartoons with Tom Stathes


Date: Friday, June 8th

Time: 7:30

Admission: $12

Presented by Atlas Obscura

New York City was the birthplace of American cinema with the earliest animated films created in the 1910s. This edition of The Tom Stathes Cartoon Carnival features selections of early and wacky animated cartoons created right here in New York City. Tom’s show, comprising oddities from the 1910s through 1940s, is presented in 16mm form with a projector-the technology serving as part of the spectacle-in order to demonstrate how film was meant to be enjoyed. Cinephiles, cartoon and comic fans and lovers of all things vintage are sure to enjoy a Cartoon Carnival!

Please keep in mind films of an early vintage tend to contain politically incorrect themes. Themes in the films do not reflect the sentiments of the exhibitor or the host venue. Due to the age and fragile nature of antique film prints, there may be momentary technical difficulties during the screening.

Tom Stathes is a Cartoon Cryptozoologist, with a rare film print collection comprised of over 1,000 shorts. His archive consists of everything from Felix the Cat and Farmer Alfalfa to silent reels from Bray Studios and Out of the Inkwell. A native-New Yorker, he turned his passion for the city’s animation legacy into a preservation mission. With his Bray Animation Project, he has worked with several film and comic historians to document the studios invaluable output. For more information go to cartoonsonfilm.com or brayanimation.weebly.com

ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE http://obscura-society-tom-stathes.eventbrite.com/

Life and Death Mask Making Workshop with Artist Sigrid Sarda


Life masks by Sigrid Sarda, teacher of today's workshop.

Life and Death Mask Making Workshop with Artist Sigrid Sarda
Date: Sunday, June 3
Time: 10 AM - 4 PM
Admission: $100 (includes $40 materials fee)

*** Limited class size; Must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] gmail.com
This class is part of The Morbid Anatomy Art Academy

For many centuries and in many civilizations, artisans have created what are called “Life Masks” or “Death Masks” cast from the faces of the famous or the infamous to preserve their likeness-living or dead-for posterity. In this class, students will learn to create their very own Life Masks working with alginate-a non-toxic seaweed-based mold making product that is easy on the skin-and plaster. Students will pair up and cast one another, but don’t be alarmed; the workshop’s instructor Ms. Sarda assures us that you will love this experience, and that most everyone who has been cast comes out feeling relaxed to the point of jello, with the extra insentive of a free facial. All materials are included, and each student will leave class home with their face immortalized in plaster.

The day’s schedule:

  • Partnering up and casting
  • Adding plaster to the negative mold
  • An hour break for lunch (give or take depending on how fast the plaster dries)
  • Demolding and cleaning the cast
  • Touching up any imperfections in the plaster cast

Warning: If you are someone who is extremely claustrophobic, this is not for you. Dress casually and have fun!

Sigrid Sarda is self taught in the art of ceroplastics. She has been featured on such programs as The Midnight Archive and will be appearing on TV’s Oddities this June. She will be showing her work in London this fall. You can find out more here, here and here.

Congress for Curious Peoples 2 Day Symposium, in Conjunction with The Coney Island Museum

2012_congress_adDate: Saturday April 21st and Sunday April 22nd
ADMISSION: $30 for full weekend admission; tickets here
* Location: Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Ave. Brooklyn (please note changed location!)
Presented by The Morbid Anatomy Library with The Coney Island Museum

The Congress for Curious Peoples is a 2-day scholarly-yet-popular symposium that is part of the larger, 10-day Congress of Curious Peoples This year’s iteration will feature panel discussions on such topics as pre-cinematic immersive amusements and religion as spectacle, with featured speakers including Sara Velas of The Velaslavasay Panorama; Paul Koudounaris of Empire of Death; an as-of-yet unnamed representative of the amazing Sleep No More; and Colin Dickey, author of Cranioklepty. Also featured will be stand-alone lectures on the 17th century artist of fetal skeleton tableaux Frederik Ruysch and the phenomenon of ethnographic displays called “human zoos,” a screening of an over-the-top early 1970s TV Evangelist Christmas spectacular, and introductory lectures by myself and Coney Island Museum director Aaron Beebe. Full schedule follows; hope to see you there!


11:00 – 12:00: Keynote Addresses

  • Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy Library
  • Aaron Beebe, Coney Island Museum

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch

1:00 – 3:30: Immersive Amusements: Cosmoramas, Cycloramas and Panoramic Illusions: Panel discussion moderated and introduced by Aaron Beebe, The Coney Island Museum

  • Suzanne Wray
  • Sara Velas, The Velaslavasay Panorama
  • Jessica Routhier, The Saco Museum
  • Errki Huhtamo, UCLA
  • Russell Potter, Rhode Island College
  • Denise Blake Oleksijczuk, Simon Fraser University

4:00 – 5:00: The Business of the Dead: Frederik Ruysch as an Entrepreneurial Anatomist, Lecture by Daniel Margocsy, Hunter College

5:00: Christmas in America: Miss Velma and the Evangelist Spectacle: Screening of “Christmas in America,” an early 1970s television special by Miss Velma, early TV evangelist, introduced by Daniel Paul


11:00 – 1:00: Religion and Spectacle: A panel with discussion moderated and introduced by Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy Library

  • Paul Koudounaris, author of Empire of Death
  • Shannon Taggart, Photographer
  • Salvador Olguín
  • The Venerable Tsering Phunstok
  • Colin Dickey, author of Cranioklepty

1:00 – 2:30: Lunch and Sideshow Visit

2:30 – 3:30: Traveling Ethnographic Shows and Human Zoos, a lecture by Elizabeth Bradley

3:30 – 5:30: Theater Rethunk: An Alternative History of the Theatrical: A panel with discussion moderated and introduced by Chris Muller

  • Amy Herzog, Queens College
  • An as-of-yet unnamed representative of Sleep No More
  • Chris Muller, New York University
  • Dick Zigun, Founder of Coney Island USA

The Hidden River Expedition: A Re-Exploration of the Post-industrial Wilderness along Philadelphia’s Rivers

6026610110_a5b7e169bf_o1An Illustrated Lecture and Film Screening with Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy)
Date: Friday, May 18
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

In August of 2011, Allen Crawford (aka Lord Whimsy) left his house to embark on a three-day, forty-mile solo kayak trek from Mount Holly, NJ to Bartram’s Garden, in West Philadelphia. This May 18th, Crawford will present a video using footage shot from his kayak during this trek. He will also give a slideshow presentation, highlighting the strange history along these rivers he traversed: fugitive slave enclaves, floating churches, Civil-War era submarines, and derelict aircraft carriers all await you. This expedition was a re-exploration of Philadelphia’s landscape, and an investigation of how its built and grown environments have affected each other over time. This landscape is not pristine, but it is wild-and perhaps most important, it’s new. The “local frontier” exists!

Lord Breaulove Swells Whimsy (a.k.a. Victor Allen Crawford III), After twenty long years, has at last achieved his dream: unemployability. He is an artist, designer, author, re-explorer, failed dandy, tin grandee, gentleman trespasser, bushwhacking aesthete, parenthetical naturalist, pseudo-intellectual, and a middle-aged dilettante.

Having taken a solemn vow to do as little in life as possible, Whimsy was dismayed one morning to discover that he had accidentally wrote, designed, and illustrated The Affected Provincial’s Companion, Volume One (Bloomsbury 2006), which has been optioned for film by Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil. His face and his words have graced the hallowed pages of The New York Times, Interview, Frieze, Vice, Tin House, and Art in America.

He and his wife are proprietors of the design and illustration studio Plankton Art Co. Their most notable project to date is the collection of 400 species identification illustrations that are on permanent display at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Ocean Life.

A devoted enthusiast, lower-case adventurer, and explorer of what he calls “the local frontier,” Whimsy spends most of his time among the nooks and margins of the forgotten, the curious, and the speculative that is found beneath, around, and between the everyday. He smells like gusto.

“The Secret Life of Mushrooms” — Screening and Q and A with the Filmmakers

slom-disc-face-v1-1Screening of the film “The Secret Life of Mushrooms” with the film’s producer/director Kathleen Green and interviewer Dan Glass
Date: Monday, May 21
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

“Kat Green’s documentary on mushroom tourism in Mexico is a valuable and insightful examination of the fallout when global culture encounters indigenous sacred traditions. At a time when most of the focus is on ayahuasca tourism in the Amazon, Kat’s documentary reminds us that mushroom tourism continues, as it has since the 60s. Well worth viewing!” – Dr. Dennis McKenna, co-author of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching

Psilocybin mushrooms were first brought into the public consciousness in the late 1950′s after R. Gordon Wasson discovered the ceremonial mushroom rituals of the Mazatec Indians in Mexico and published his findings in Life magazine.

 Huautla de Jimenez – the largest town in the Sierra Mazateca – was made famous amongst spiritual seekers, resulting in a hippie invasion to the remote mountain town that lasted over a decade. Today, mushrooms are still commonly used for healing, and have become a very public symbol of Huautla’s pride in their culture.

 The Secret Life of Mushrooms features interviews with anthropologist and author of The Devil’s Book of Culture, Ben Feinberg, local curandera Ines Cortes Rodriguez, Mazatec ritual specialist Edward Abse, and a wide variety of local historians, musicians, and business owners, as journalist Dan Glass investigates the long term cultural effects that outsiders have had on the small mountain town in the last 50 years.

Tonight, join filmmakers Kathleen Green and Dan Glass for a screening of The Secret Life of Mushrooms at Observatory, followed by a brief Q & A. You can find out more about the film by clicking here.

Kathleen Green (Producer/Director – The Secret Life of Mushrooms) Brooklyn filmmaker Kathleen Green has been working in film, video, and live event production since 1997. In that time, she has created documentaries, music videos, short films, and visual art with the goals of finding untold stories, exploring new ways to capture dance on camera, and generally making pretty things to look at.  Her work has been screened at the Dance on Camera Festival, Coney Island Film Festival, the New York Tango Film Festival, the 2007 Americans for the Arts Convention, the Pioneer Theatre, Collective: Unconscious, the Bowery Poetry Club, on the Fuse network, and at various galleries in Berlin. She has also worked with HBO, MTV, MSNBC, the Sundance Channel, VH1, Fuse, and the History Channel as a freelance editor and post supervisor.  She is currently developing a non-fiction series about fire artists and their work entitled Playing With Fire, and the dance film, Strange Attractors.

Dan Glass (Interviewer – The Secret Life of Mushrooms) Dan Glass has written travel, science, and culture stories about such diverse subjects as solar eclipse chasing, Puerto Rican senior citizen bicycle gangs, the psychological effect of viewing earth from space, and flophouses in Coney Island, among others. He’s traveled through over 40 countries on five continents, with highlights including excursions to Ethiopia’s Omo Valley to find ritual stickfighting battles, solo horse treks through central Mongolia, and riverboat trips 800 miles down the Congo River. His work has been featured in outlets including Wired, NPR, Discover, and Playboy Online. He lives in New York City.