Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin's Beautiful, Disgusting Journey

First, a word of fair warning: This week's film features gruesome beheadings, rotting corpses, mouse-eating, a pile of shit, and a human uvula used as an action-movie prop. So would you believe us if we told you that Benh Zeitlin's Egg, which premiered at the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival, is also a beautiful, almost melancholy meditation on Herman Melville's Moby Dick? It sure is, only this time instead of a white whale, Ahab is chasing a nice round egg yolk. In nine short and intensely disturbing minutes, Zeitlin takes us on an epic journey from the treacherous ocean to the inside of the even more treacherous human digestive system. It's pulse-pounding, it's heartbreaking, and also really kind of gross. Egg is one of a number of films available on the first DVD released by the Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series, a screening series held on the first and third Monday of every month at Barbes in Park Slope and run by filmmaker Joe Pacheco. It's a terrific event that regularly shows some great films by some great filmmakers, and they're celebrating their second anniversary this Monday, December 17. —Bilge Ebiri