The Karl Rove Paranoia Film Festival

Opens Fri March 12

Clinton St. Theater

You may remember Dennis Nyback from his stint programming at the Guild, and giving pre-movie lectures at the Clinton Street. He's a film exhibitionist in every sense of the word; he's never met a promotional gimmick he didn't like. Drawing from an extensive collection of educational films and oddball features, he repackages his films under new titles as he tours the world. An impatient curator, he rarely if ever shows a program for more than one night, lest he get bored with it. This week, Nyback has finally returned with "The Karl Rove Paranoia Film Festival": seven days of fear-mongering and twisted visions.

One of Nyback's passions is presenting educational films as cultural artifacts. He kicks off the series with a program called "I Know Why You're Afraid," which contain a bunch of films designed to teach kids to be afraid of strangers, cars, lice, and menstruation. Other packages of short films include Sunday's "Drug and Booze Educationals," which is everything you should know about LSD, PCP, hard drugs, and booze. Then Wednesday has "Is That a Bomb in Your Pants, Or Are You Just Glad to See Me?" which has cartoons about Arabs and mad bombers, along with movies about atrocities that seem admissible during wartimes.

Politics rears its ugly head with a screening of the 1974 paranoid thriller The Parallax View on Saturday, where Warren Beatty plays a loner who thinks he's exposing an assassination conspiracy for his newspaper by posing as a loner who is being recruited by the shadow organization as an assassin. Nyback may be saving the best for last, however, with a Thursday (March 18) program called "Fuck the Republican Party: Secrets from Their Own Propaganda Films." With films from 1940 to 1980, this collection shows how the fear tactics of the Republican Party haven't really changed all that much over the decades. Come see what Karl Rove and G.W. Bush are going to recycle for their next campaign.