This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Slide the City will be coming to Park Ave. as part of Summer Streets celebration

Slide the City will be coming to Park Ave. as part of Summer Streets celebration

Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 1, 8, 15, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Now in its sixth year, Summer Streets takes place the next three Saturday mornings, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, slide, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can stop for some food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle workshops, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are some of the highlights.

Foley Square Rest Stop
Slide the City (advance preregistration required,) “ICY SIGNS” by Steve ESPO Powers, Free Style Soccer with NYC Flo, Historical Reenactors with Ben Franklin, and The Mantises Are Flipping W.3 by Bodystories: Teresa Fellion Dance + John Yannelli with members of the SLC Experimental Music Ensemble, 10:00 – 10:35, 10:55 – 11:35, 12 noon – 1:00 (August 15 only, 26 Federal Plaza)

SoHo Rest Stop
Fitness Classes, Free Bike Repair by Bicycle Habitat, Bike & Roll Bike Rental, Honest Tea, Waterfront Alliance Table

Astor Place Rest Stop
American Kennel Club Dog Park, Department of Design and Construction Arts & Crafts Workshop, Therapeutic Arts by Wheeling Forward, Guided and Self-Guided Walking Tours

Midtown Rest Stop
Whole Foods Market Summer Camp, CitiBike Information & Education, live music and dance performances, juggling, and tai chi demonstrations

Uptown Rest Stop
DOT Safety Zone, “The Postcard Project” by Connie Perry, Parkour Fitness Demonstrations, Serious Fun Children’s Network Workshop, Central Park Sightseeing Bike Rental, Bronx Museum of the Arts: Arts & Crafts with Artist Educators, live music, dance, and comedy performances


grove alley silent disco

Grove Alley
Grove Pl. & Hanover Pl., parallel to Fulton & Livingston Sts.
Friday, July 31, free with advance RSVP ($5 for headphones), 5:00 – 11:00

Following in the tradition of Grove Alley Makers Nite, Grove Alley Paint Nite, and Grove Alley Game Nite, Grove Alley Silent Disco promises one wild and crazy evening in downtown Brooklyn. Admission is free with advance RSVP; once you’re in, you lay down five bucks for a pair of headphones and get to choose among three channels with which to get your groove on, with live spinning by Talib Kweli, DJ Beto, DJ Chela, and DJ Joro Boro. The four interactive DJ booths will feature multimedia installations by Taezoo Park and animation from Sticky Monger. Brooklyn Brewery will be supplying some tasty beverages, while such food trucks as Kimchi Taco, Sweet Chili, Morris Grilled Cheese, and Coolhaus will be on hand as well.



Icon painter Andrei Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsyn) takes off on an epic journey in Soviet masterpiece

ANDREI RUBLEV (ANDREY RUBLYOV) (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
Museum of Arts & Design
2 Columbus Circle at 58th St. & Eighth Ave.
Friday, July 31, $10, 7:00
Series continues Friday nights through August 28

Soviet auteur Andrei Tarkovsky followed up his dazzling debut, Ivan’s Childhood, with the three-and-a-half-hour epic Andrei Rublev, a quietly powerful tale of a monk and icon painter making his way through early fifteenth-century Russia. But it is much more than a historical, biographical look at the real-life figure during the creation of tsarist Russia. “I knew it would certainly not be a historical or biographical work,” Tarkovsky wrote in his 1986 book Sculpting in Time. “I was interested in something else: I wanted to investigate the nature of the poetic genius of the great Russian painter. I wanted to use the example of Rublyov to explore the question of the psychology of artistic creativity, and analyse the mentality and civic awareness of an artist who created spiritual treasures of timeless significance.” The film begins with a seemingly unrelated prologue in which a man named Yefim (Nikolay Glazkov) takes off in a hot-air balloon as the townspeople try to prevent him from flying, as if he is defying God by soaring in the sky. Tarkovsky then spreads out his tale over the course of eight vignettes, some of which feature Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsyn) as a minor character, more of a background observer than the protagonist. A gentle, slow-moving man with a deep contemplation of existence, Rublev, along with his traveling companions and fellow painters Daniil (Nikolai Grinko) and Kirill (Ivan Lapikov), encounters a skomorokh (Rolan Bykov) performing in a barn before being interrupted by the authorities; meets up with aging master Theophanus the Greek (Nikolai Sergeyev); has a falling-out with Kirill; is joined by a new apprentice, Foma (Mikhail Kononov); comes upon a pagan bacchanalia in the woods; befriends the beautiful holy fool Durochka (Irma Raush, Tarkovsky’s wife at the time); finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between the grand prince and his brother, leading to a brutal Tatar invasion; takes a vow of silence after committing a major sin; and watches as a young boy, Boriska (Nikolai Burlyayev, who played Ivan in Tarkovsky’s feature debut), leads the construction of a church bell in a small town, the ropes surrounding the lifting of the bell referencing the ones that Yefim hung from earlier, each trying to get closer to God in their own way.


Tarkovsky classic explores the nature of faith and sin and art and creativity as seen through the eyes of several Russian icon painters

At a surprisingly fluid pace despite the film’s length, Tarkovsky and cowriter Andrei Konchalovsky (Runaway Train, Maria’s Lovers) explore such issues as sin, guilt, fear of God, vanity, loyalty, jealousy, poverty, and the search for truth, with Rublev often more of a secondary character or commentor. “People should be reminded that they are human beings, that the Russian people are of one blood and one land. Evil is everywhere around. And there are always those who would sell you for thirty coins,” the cynical Kyrill tells Theophanus as Andrei takes part in a passion procession. “New trials are heaping on the Russian men — Tatars, famine, pestilence. But they keep on working. And carrying their cross humbly. They never despair but resign themselves to their fate, only praying to God to give them strength. Won’t the Most High forgive them their ignorance?” Tarkovsky employs many of the visual letimotifs first seen in Ivan’s Childhood and used throughout his career, including numerous scenes with horses, water, tree roots, and dense forests, beautifully photographed by Vadim Yusov in black-and-white. Among the many memorable images: Paint spills into a river, Andrei pets a bird under a tree in the wind, and the bell is cast as if rising from the fiery pits of hell. Several moments involve brutal violence and torture, particularly of animals; Tarkovsky defended his treatment of one horse that he pushed down an outdoor staircase and is actually killed onscreen. Color brightens the epilogue of the film as Tarkovsky and Yusov lovingly pan across many of Rublev’s actual icon paintings in a kind of artistic creative epiphany. Twice during the film, Andrei looks directly at the camera, right at the viewer, as if he can see us, imploring us to take heed of his mission. A poetic masterpiece that can often be found on lists of the best films ever made, Andrei Rublev is screening July 31 at 7:00 as part of the the Museum of Arts & Design series “Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time,” which runs Friday nights through August 28 and includes all seven of Tarkovsky’s full-length films (Solaris, Stalker, Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, The Mirror, Nostalghia, The Sacrifice) before concluding with the behind-the-scenes documentary Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.


Joe Strummer documentary is part of Julien Temple sidebar at Sound + Vision series at Lincoln Center

Joe Strummer documentary is part of Julien Temple sidebar at “Sound + Vision” series at Lincoln Center

Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway
Saturday, August 1, 3:30
Festival runs July 29 - August 7

Director Julien Temple, who has made two outstanding documentaries about the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and the Fury), turns his camera on Joe Strummer of the British punk group the Clash in The Future Is Unwritten. Temple collects remarkable home movies of Strummer, from his early days as young John Mellor, a career diplomat’s son, through his time as the leader of one of the most famous and controversial bands in the world and his death at the age of fifty from a congenital heart defect. Strummer’s friends and family gather around a campfire in Brooklyn’s Empire St.-Fulton Ferry Park and talk about Strummer’s life and career, sharing keen insight in a format that the musician loved; his campfire get-togethers came to be known as Strummerville, a place for people to assemble and discuss life, art, and anything else that came to mind. Temple adds lots of footage of the Clash in action, as well as clips from Strummer’s earlier band, the 101ers, made up of squatters fighting the power, and his last band, the Mescaleros. Temple also brings some of Strummer’s drawings to life, animating them in humorous ways. Strummer essentially narrates the film himself, as Temple includes audio excerpts from Strummer’s “Last Call” radio show and interviews he gave over the years. Temple, a close friend of Strummer’s, paints a fascinating portrait of the complex man, featuring stories from the likes of Bono, Johnny Depp, Flea, Mele Mel, Courtney Love Cobain, Martin Scorsese, Steve Jones, John Cusack, Matt Dillon, Steve Buscemi, Damien Hirst, Roland Gift, Don Letts, Mick Jones, and many others. And there’s lots of music as well, of course, including several versions of “White Riot.” The Future Is Unwritten is screening August 1 at 3:30 in the “I Was There: The Music Docs of Julien Temple” sidebar of Lincoln Center’s annual “Sound + Vision” series, which also includes The Filth and the Fury, The Clash: New Year’s Day ’77, Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come, Ray Davies: Imaginary Man, Glastonbury, Never Mind the Baubles: Christmas with the Sex Pistols, and The Liberty of Norton Folgate, with Temple on hand for various introductions and Q&As.



The Griswold clan clearly understands the repulsive monstrosity they have wrought on this earth

VACATION (John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, 2015)
Opens Wednesday, July 29

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s Vacation is one of the most vile, insipid, insulting, mean-spirited, and offensive films ever made, the Human Centipede of comedies. This next-generation sequel to the first four theatrical movies in the popular series — which began in 1983 with National Lampoon’s Vacation and continued as the Griswold clan, featuring Chevy Chase as luckless dad Clark and Beverly D’Angelo as his sexy wife, Ellen, visited Europe and Vegas and celebrated Christmas as only they can — is an unmitigated disaster, a thoroughly repulsive trip through the dregs of nasty humor. Russ “Rusty” Griswold (Ed Helms), originally played by Anthony Michael Hall, is now all grown up and married to Debbie (Christina Applegate), who dreams of going to Paris. But Russ has a better idea — a drive cross-country with their children, the sensitive James (Skyler Gisondo) and the younger Kevin (Steele Stebbins), a cruel little asshole who bullies his older brother relentlessly, to visit Walley World, the ultimate destination of the first film. Russ rents a ridiculous blue Tartan Prancer, the “Honda of Albania,” and off they go on a series of absurd, disgraceful and, most unfortunately, unfunny adventures involving a steer, Debbie’s old sorority, a hot woman (fashion model Hannah Davis) in a red car, white-water rafting with a just-jilted guide (Charlie Day), hapless border guards (Tim Heidecker, Nick Kroll, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña) at the Four Corners Monument, and Russ’s sister Audrey’s (Leslie Mann) very well hung conservative husband (Chris Hemsworth). I have to admit that I did laugh out loud three times, but those extremely brief respites do not make up for the rest of this abhorrent and repugnant monstrosity. Even cameos by Chase and D’Angelo ring false and fall completely flat. There was a sweet, playful charm to the original, written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis and featuring the great Imogene Coca as Aunt Edna and Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn as Ellen’s in-bred cousins, but there is nothing the least bit appealing about this ill-conceived sequel, written and directed by Goldstein and former Freaks & Geeks star Daley, who have previously cowritten Horrible Bosses, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. At one point, the Griswolds take a break in what turns out to be a basin filled with raw sewage; Vacation will make you feel like you’ve just spent one hundred minutes in that rancid pond.


The Braata Folk Singers will help celebrate Caribbean Heritage at Brooklyn Museum on August 1 (photo © copyright Braata Productions)

The Braata Folk Singers will help celebrate Caribbean Heritage at Brooklyn Museum on August 1 (photo © copyright Braata Productions)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, August 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00

After taking last month off because of the July 4 holiday, the Brooklyn Museum’s free First Saturday program is back August 1 with a celebration of Caribbean Heritage in preparation for the annual New York Caribbean Carnival Parade on Labor Day. There will be live performances by BombaYo, the Braata Folk Singers, Cuban jazz pianist Elio Villafranca, and Klash City Sound System and Supa Frendz; a printmaking workshop; a pop-up carnival with poet Arielle John; a book club talk with Naomi Jackson about her new novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill; and screenings of Black Radical Imagination shorts, clips from Taboo Yardies hosted by director Selena Blake, Jonathan David Kane’s Papa Machete, followed by a Q&A with Kane, and Cecile Emeke’s webseries Ackee & Saltfish, followed by a talkback with Emeke. In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” “The Rise of Sneaker Culture,” “Kara Walker: ‘African Boy Attendant Curio (Bananas),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence,” and “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds.”