The Underground Railroad gets a one-week theatrical run in NYC

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Thuso Mbedu
Thuso Mbedu

Based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad is one of the biggest cinematic events of the year—despite its airing on the Amazon Prime streaming service. Like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks season three, Jenkins’ 10-part series defies the conventions of television in scale, scope, production, and performance. As a result, it’s something to behold, even with the glare from the sun hitting your television in your living room.

But if you were holding out for the perfect conditions to watch the show and you live in the New York City area, you’re in luck. The IFC Center will be screening all 10 installments of Jenkins’ series to the cinema this July. That’s right, a darkened room, a massive sound system, and some serious air conditioning to view what is undoubtedly one of the best shows of the year.

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“Barry Jenkins is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, and has created yet another masterwork with The Underground Railroad,” said IFC Center General Managers John Vanco. “While it is a series, the story of Cora and the world that Barry and his team have crafted deserve the biggest screen possible, and we are thrilled to be the ones bringing it to New York.”

The Underground Railroad is one of the most critically acclaimed series of the spring. Here at the A.V. Club, writer Stephen Robinson gave the series an A. They wrote, “The Underground Railroad doesn’t hesitate to show slavery’s brutality in shocking, often gruesome detail: There’s the body horror of a man being whipped to near death and burned alive; the Rosemary’s Baby-style psychological terror of a woman having her child stolen from her for sinister purposes; and a slave catcher, relentless as the shark in Jaws, who stalks human prey and drags them back to hell. The Underground Railroad’s most consistently disturbing moments make up a historical reality we can’t escape, no matter how hard we try.” Seeing any of its installments on the big screen would be a privilege, so don’t miss out.

The Underground Railroad will play at New York City’s IFC Center from July 16 through July 22.