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



Who: More than fifty restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries in Williamsburg and Greenpoint
What: Sixth annual culinary festival Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint
Where: Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center in the former Engine 212 Firehouse, 134 Wythe Ave.
When: Sunday, September 13, $35, $55, $85, 1:00 - 5:00
Why: It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of “tasting” Williamsburg and Greenpoint was not the most appetizing of possibilities. But the culinary revolution in Brooklyn keeps spreading, and on Sunday, September 13, you can sample food and drink from more than fifty purveyors of edibles and potent potables from the neighborhood at the sixth annual Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint. Among those establishments that will be dishing out delights in East River State Park are Delaware and Hudson, Café Moto, Hope Garage, Juliette, Le Fond, Lilia, the Meatball Shop, MP Taverna, Pies ‘N’ Thighs, Randolph, St. Mazie, Sweetwater, and Zona Rosa. There are three ticket packages: The Bedford ($35) gets you four tastes and two drinks, the Roebling ($55) eight tastes and four drinks, and the Kent ($85) ten tastes, five drinks, a VIP gift, and access to the VIP area. There will be live music as well. All proceeds benefit the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center on Wythe Ave., which seeks to “provide a permanent home to neighborhood social justice organizations for continued advocacy and direct services to Williamsburg and Greenpoint [and to foster] civic and cultural engagement with original arts programming and community gatherings.”



A dead medium is not quite ready to say farewell to the world in Mario Bava’s BLACK SABBATH

BLACK SABBATH (Mario Bava, 1963-64)
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave. at Second St.
Saturday, August 1, 6:45, Tuesday, August 4, 7:00, and Saturday, August 8, 9:00
Series runs through July 31 - September 3

The film that gave Ozzy Osbourne’s band its name, Black Sabbath is just about everything you could want such a movie to be: cheap, exploitive, and featuring Boris Karloff, with nods to great French and Russian storytellers. (Um, sure . . . of course.) Founded in 1954 by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, American International Pictures was responsible for hundreds of low-budget independent films through 1980, specializing in horror, Westerns, blaxploitation, sci-fi, biker flicks, teen delinquency, women in prison, and even beach movies. Anthology Film Archives is paying tribute to the famed studio with a three-part series that begins July 31 by focusing on auteurs who either cut their teeth with AIP or were already well established. It’s quite a list; through September 3, Anthology will be screening works by Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Vincente Minnelli, Brian De Palma, and Roger Corman, who will make several appearances at the downtown movie house. Also on the roster is Italian scaremaster Mario Bava, whose Black Sabbath will be shown August 1, 4, and 8. Black Sabbath is, appropriately enough, an anthology of three short films hosted by Boris Karloff, a kind of melding of Karloff’s Thriller television series with Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. The Italian-French coproduction was significantly changed by AIP, altering the order of the films and drastically modifying one of the plots. Black Sabbath opens with “A Drop of Water,” supposedly based on a short story by Anton Chekhov. Late one night, nurse Helen Chester (Jacqueline Pierreux) is summoned by an elderly caretaker (Milly Monti) to a stately home where a medium — sporting perhaps the most frightening face ever on a dead person, with dark, deep-set eyes and a viciously wicked smile that makes her look like an evil doll — has died during a séance. After stealing the medium’s ring off her finger, Helen is suddenly taunted by a buzzing fly and drops of water, evoking what was experienced by the killer in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” who was haunted by the unending sound of a beating heart. (Perhaps not coincidentally, AIP was famous for its Poe adaptations.) The conclusion is truly chilling, with a cool little coda.


Boris Karloff serves as host of Mario Bava’s eerie anthology film BLACK SABBATH and plays one of its creepier characters

In “The Telephone,” the glamorous Rosy (Michele Mercier) returns to her apartment one night after an undisclosed outing and is harassed by a man who keeps calling her on her awesome black and red phone, the severity of his threats growing each time she picks up. When the man claims to be the recently deceased Frank, she turns to a former friend, Mary (Lydia Alfonsi), for help, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to save her from this supernatural peril. The Italian original had a tasty soupçon of lesbianism and prostitution, which was washed clean by AIP, but “The Telephone,” possibly inspired by works by F. G. Snyder and Guy de Maupassant, is still a creepy little story that holds up well in this surveillance-crazed age. The trilogy of terror concludes with the heavily atmospheric vampire yarn “The Wurdalak,” adapted from a novella by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy. In nineteenth-century Russia, a family awaits the return of its patriarch, Gorca (Karloff, looking like a cross between the Grinch, the Gremlin from the 1963 Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” and the Abominable Snowman), who has gone off to kill a wurdulak, a living cadaver that feasts on the blood of loved ones. Gorca’s son Giorgio (Glauco Onorato), Giorgio’s wife (Rika Dialina), their young son, Ivan, and Giorgio’s younger siblings, Pietro (Massimo Righi) and Sdenka (Susy Andersen), are joined unexpectedly by Vladimir Durfe (Mark Damon), a traveling nobleman who discovers a man with a knife in him outside the family’s cottage. But when Gorca finally shows up, there is something different about him, and the members of the clan must decide whether he’s still their father or if he’s been turned, coming home to feast on his family.

Black Sabbath might be minor Bava, but it’s a great place to start if you know little or nothing about the Italian director, who made such other films as Black Sunday, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, and Kill, Baby, Kill before passing away in 1980 at the age of sixty-five. Black Sabbath has that classic Bava look and feel, with colorful, lush sets, eerie cinematography by Bava and Ubaldo Terzano, captivating suspense, and essentially competent acting with questionable dubbing. Karloff has a ball both as the host of the whole thing and the star of the third film, chewing up the scenery with his playful eyes and mocking brow. He would go on to make a bunch of films for AIP, including Corman’s The Terror and The Raven, Daniel Haller’s Die, Monster, Die! and Jacques Tourneur’s The Comedy of Terrors, alongside such fab costars as Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre. American International served as a training ground for up-and-comers as well as a last bastion for aging actors and directors, and the strange and scary Black Sabbath fits right into their majestic raison d’être.


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.