2005_12_BkIndCinSer.jpgFor a little while now, Barbès in Park Slope has been Brooklyn's equivalent to Cinema Classics/Riffifi: a bar with a back room performance space showing different kinds of classic and interesting cinema once a week on a 16 mm projector. Oh yeah .. and it's free. The technology might not be as good as the more standard repertory houses around town, but the programming is usually fairly interesting. Cinema Classics/Riffifi has turned their Monday screenings over to Metropol, showing horror movies every Monday at 10 PM, so we're not sure if the days of catching something like Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve are gone, but it seems that Barbès has picked-up the slack and gone even deeper into the esoteric and obscure screening things like the 1934 Josephine Baker starrer Zou-Zou, original "It Girl" Clara Bow's The Plastic Age and documentaries by the likes of Les Blank, Joris Ivens and Willard Van Dyke.

Starting tonight, though, Barbès Travelling Cinema is changing its perspective from the mostly distant past to the present and near future, at least for the first Monday of each month, as they launch the Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series, a monthly film festival of works from contemporary independent cinema -- new stuff you likely won't have seen anywhere else. Tonight at 7 PM is the inaugural event featuring three films (one feature and two shorts) and a post-screening Q&A with the three directors. The program includes the documentary short Barbara Leather by Seth Lind (10 mins); Craig Mitchell's narrative short Late Bloomer (13 mins) which showed at last year's Sundance Film Festival; and the apparent narrative-documentary hybrid feature Unloosened and Root from director David Dixon. Sounds like a worthwhile new series not just for Brooklyn but for all of NYC. And did we mention it's free?

Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series runs the first Monday of every month at Barbès in Brooklyn: 376 9th Street at 6th Avenue in Park Slope, one block from the F train. (718/965-9177)