Modern Ruin | Kings | Screen: Special Showings | Indy Week
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When: Sat., Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m. 2015

MODERN RUIN: A WORLD'S FAIR PAVILION

SATURDAY, NOV. 14, RALEIGH

KINGS—Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem "Ozymandias" tells of a desert traveler who encounters "two vast and trunkless legs of stone" on a pedestal that declaims, "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" But oh, how the mighty have fallen. The imperative to despair at the forgotten king's wealth takes an ironical turn as the narrator looks around and sees only "the lone and level sands" stretching away. A contemporary analogue of hope and hubris can be found in the New York State Pavilion, almost all that remains of the 1964 New York World's Fair, a nationalistic expo of mid-century ingenuity. Those Space Needle-like towers, designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson, still hover over Queens like UFOs after weathering years of disuse and disrepair. These former symbols of progress have become, as Matt Silva has it in his new documentary, a Modern Ruin. The film tells the story of the Pavilion during its World's Fair heyday, its subsequent decline—though it was used, at various times, as a concert venue and a roller-skating rink—and modern efforts to rehabilitate the structure. Silva, along with N.C. State film studies professor Marsha Gordon, will be present to discuss the film following the screening. 6:30 p.m., $10, 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, 919-833-1091, www.kingsbarcade.com.Brian Howe

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