Monday, January 15
It’s hard to believe that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that half a century later racism is still such a central issue in America and around the world. In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was shot and killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-nine on Monday, and you can celebrate his legacy on Monday by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service project or attending one of numerous special events taking place around the city. Below are some of the highlights.
JCC Harlem: Community Carnival at All Souls Church, MLK Day-themed art projects for community children, 88 St. Nicholas Ave., free, 10:00, 12:30, 3:00
Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March: “A New Revolution: Youth and Social Change,” Eleanor Roosevelt Monument in Riverside Park at 72nd St. at 10:00 am to Manhattan Country School at 150 West 85th St. at 2:00, free
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Martin’s Mosaic, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm; Museum of Impact visits CMOM, Upstanders Fest, 12 noon - 4:00, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., $11-$14
Thirty-second Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with keynote speaker Jelani Cobb, Martha Redbone, and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, free, 10:30 am; Unbound: Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele, launch of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, moderated by Rashad Robinson and followed by a book signing, BAM Fisher, Fishman Space, free, 1:00; screening of 4 Little Girls (Spike Lee, 1997), BAM Rose Cinemas, free, 1:00
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including visits to “King in New York” and “Activist New York” exhibits and poster workshop, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., free with museum admission of $12-$18, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Family Matinees: Selma, Lord, Selma (Charles Burnett, 1999), $7-$15, 11:00 am; The Wiz (Sidney Lumet, 1978), $7-$15, 1:00, Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St., price includes admission to galleries
I Have a Dream Celebration: Make Art Not War: Interactive Handprint Mural, 11:30; I Have a Dream Cloud, 1:00; Kids Take Action! Letter Writing for Change, 1:30; Sylvia’s Story Corner on the Bus, 3:30, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., $11
Harlem Gospel Choir Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Matinee, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., $25-$30 (plus $10 minimum per person at tables), 12:30
Soul to Soul, with Lisa Fishman, Cantor Magda Fishman, Elmore James, Tony Perry, and musical director Zalmen Mlotek, followed by a discussion with the artists and creators, presented by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., $25 (use discount code “Mishpokhe” for 20% off online tickets), 2:00
Hands On | Harlem Dreams, Legends, and Legacy, teen photo studio, time capsules, mixed-media art, scavenger hunt, and in-gallery collage, Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th St., $3-$7, 2:00 - 6:00
Cinematters: Muhammad Ali: Me Whee (Arny Stone, 1975), followed by a Q&A with executive producer Drew Stone, Lou DiBella, and Craig Setari, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 5:00
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, January 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum looks to 2018 with its January First Saturday program, “New Year, New Futures.” There will be live music by Sinkane, BEARCAT, Zaven of Resonator Collective (an in-gallery soundscape for the terrific exhibition “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo”), and New Kingston; a curator tour of “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze” with Lisa Small; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make zines inspired by “Proof”; a community talk with Murad Awawdeh, the vice president of advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition; a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2017), followed by a discussion with activists Jessica Green and Aisha Karefa-Smart (Baldwin’s niece); a Feminist Book Club event focusing on the 1970 book Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement, edited by Robin Morgan, hosted by Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl based on selections by Judy Chicago; pop-up gallery talks on “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making”; a Brooklyn Dance Festival movement workshop and live performances; pop-up poetry with DéLana R. A. Dameron (Weary Kingdom) and Rickey Laurentiis (Boy with Thorn), followed by a signing; and a NYLaughs comedy showcase with Negin Farsad, Nimesh Patel, and Jordan Carlos, hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and followed by a discussion on humor, activism, and crisis. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making,” “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt,” “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” “Arts of Asia and the Middle East,” “Infinite Blue,” “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys,” “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.
Who: The Poetry Project
What: Forty-fourth annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading
Where: The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 East Tenth St., 212-674-0910
When: Monday, January 1, $25, 2:00 pm
Why: More than 150 writers, musicians, actors, dancers, and other artists will take the podium in this annual benefit for the Poetry Project, which “promotes, fosters, and inspires the reading and writing of contemporary poetry by (a) presenting contemporary poetry to diverse audiences, (b) increasing public recognition, awareness, and appreciation of poetry and other arts, (c) providing a community setting in which poets and artists can exchange ideas and information, and (d) encouraging the participation and development of new poets from a broad range of styles.” This year’s forty-fourth annual marathon boasts another fab lineup to welcome in the new year, including Andrei Codrescu, Anne Waldman and Fast Speaking Music, Anselm Berrigan, Bob Holman, Bob Rosenthal, CAConrad, DJ Ashtrae, Ed Askew Band, Edgar Oliver, Edmund Berrigan, Edwin Torres, Eileen Myles, Elliott Sharp, Erica Hunt & Marty Ehrlich, erica kaufman, Ernie Brooks w/Peter Zummo & Jeannine Otis, Jennifer Monson, John Giorno, Jonas Mekas, Joseph Keckler, LaTasha Diggs, Laura Ortman, Lee Ranaldo, Leila Ortiz, Lenny Kaye, Lucy Ives & Lara Mimosa Montes, Lydia Cortes, M. Lamar, Marcella Durand, Martha Wilson, Matt Longabucco, Nicole Wallace, Penny Arcade, Ubu Sings Ubu, Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte, Precious Okoyomon, Rachel Levitsky, Rachel Valinsky, Sarah Schulman, Shelby Cook, Steve Cannon, Steve Earle, Steven Taylor & Douglas Dunn, Tammy Faye Starlite, Ted Dodson, the Double Yews, Todd Colby, Tom Savage, Tony Towle, Tracie Morris, Washington Squares, Yoshiko Chuma, Yvonne Meier, and Yvonne Rainer, among many others.
CINÉSALON: Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)
French Institute Alliance Française, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Tuesday, December 12, $13, 4:00 & 7:30
Series continues Tuesdays through December 19
In her new book Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes (Columbia University Press, $20, November 2017), Columbia professor and film historian Annette Insdorf writes that the beginning moments of Costa-Gavras’s masterful 1969 political thriller, Z, “places us metaphorically in the perspective of the investigator even before we meet him: we must be attentive to detail, skeptical, and then capable of seeing the larger picture. Given the film’s incorporation of flashbacks as well, Z builds a cumulative sense of inevitability that the truth will emerge.” Insdorf will be at FIAF on December 12 to sign copies of her book and introduce the 7:30 screening of Z, which is part of the CinéSalon series “Actor’s Choice: Lambert Wilson & Yves Montand,” curated by French actor and singer Wilson. (The film will also be shown at 4:00; both screenings will be followed by a wine reception.) The Algerian-French coproduction was adapted by Costa-Gavras and Jorge Semprún from Vassilis Vassilikos’s novel, a fictionalized account of the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing antiwar activist Grigoris Lambrakis and the government cover-up that tried to make it look like an unavoidable accident. “Any similarity to real persons and events is not coincidental. It is intentional,” the credits explain. The film opens with rapid cuts of military and religious medals before zeroing in on a meeting in which the General (Pierre Dux) tells fellow law enforcement and governmental figures that they must eradicate the “ideological mildew,” referring to left-wing activists and, specifically, a deputy (Montand), based on Lambrakis, who is scheduled to speak at a large rally. After a violent incident, the Magistrate (Jean-Louis Trintignant) starts interviewing participants and witnesses and refuses to give up even when the General, the Colonel (Julien Guiomar), and other important figures threaten him as he seeks the truth, which doesn’t matter at all to those in power, who feel they understand the larger scheme of things. The Magistrate is helped by a photojournalist (producer Jacques Perrin) who is not afraid of asking penetrating questions and secretly snapping pictures. As the lies build, the truth slowly emerges, but that doesn’t mean the violence is over.
Costa-Gavras, a Greek expat who lives and works in France, has made many political films in his long career (State of Siege, L’Aveu, Missing, Amen.), influenced by his father, who was part of the anti-Nazi Greek resistance and was later imprisoned by Greece for being a Communist. Z might ostensibly be based on specific events, but unfortunately it’s a universal story that could take place just about anywhere in a world that has lost such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr., the Kennedy brothers, Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat, Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, and others to assassination. The film, which is in French, never reveals where it is set, and most of the characters are not named, instead identified by their jobs: the deputy, the colonel, the general, the magistrate, etc. Cinematographer Raoul Coutard, best known for his work with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Philippe Garrel, shoots the film in a cinéma-vérité style, favoring handheld cameras (he also plays the English surgeon); Françoise Bonnot’s editing keeps building the tension while flirting with documentary-like elements; and Mikis Theodorakis’s lively score complements the action with energy and fervor. There’s also a huge dose of sly humor bordering on farce throughout. The film is particularly relevant in America, where terms such as “fake news” and “truthiness” have taken hold and the forty-fifth president has repeatedly called for and/or condoned violence against his opponents, his rivals’ supporters, and the free press. The title refers to the French word “Zei,” which means “He lives!” a phrase used by protestors; when the military took over Greece in 1967, it banned the use of the letter “Z” on placards and graffiti, along with many other things, which are listed over the closing credits. “Z” was nominated for five Oscars — Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Foreign Language Film, winning the latter two; it was the first film to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film. In addition, Trintignant (Amour, The Conformist, A Man and a Woman) was named Best Actor at Cannes. “Actor’s Choice” concludes December 19 with Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey, with Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, and Audrey Tatou.
“I’m a natural person to write about a voyeur because I’m a voyeur myself,” award-winning, bestselling journalist Gay Talese says in Myles Kane and Josh Koury’s Voyeur. The documentary makes a voyeur of the viewer as well as it follows the thirty-five-year journalistic relationship and offbeat friendship between Talese, longtime New York Times and Esquire writer and author of such books as Honor Thy Father and Thy Neighbor’s Wife, and Gerald Foos, the owner of a Colorado motel who claims he spent decades spying on people from a special crawl space he built above the rooms. In January 1980, Foos, owner of the Manor House Motel, wrote a letter to Talese, offering him a story about what he was doing; Foos considered himself a researcher, not a pervert or a peeping Tom. Using archival footage, news reports, and new interviews, Kane and Koury follow Foos, his second wife, Anita, and Talese as the journalist prepares to write a major piece for the New Yorker in advance of the release of his latest book, The Voyeur’s Motel. New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison considers Foos a disturbed sociopath in need of attention, while Grove/Atlantic senior editor Jamison Stoltz and publisher Morgan Entrekin have their doubts about the veracity of Foos’s eerily specific tale. So as questions arise about key facts and Talese’s professional ethics, Foos wonders if he should have remained silent — “I’m used to private spaces, places that nobody could see me and I could see them,” he explains — and an angry Talese faces a potentially tarnished legacy.
Kane and Koury, who previously collaborated on such documentaries as Journey to Planet X, We Are Wizards, and We Will Live Again, often use a model of the Manor House to depict certain events while also re-creating scenes of Foos watching couples having sex — including one time when Talese joins him in the snooping and experiences a wardrobe malfunction. (Kane and Koury also let the camera lovingly follow Talese as he impeccably dresses himself, every detail crucial to his overall appearance, much like a journalist getting every single fact right.) Over the years, Talese and the Fooses developed a unique kind of bond that is unusual for a writer and his subject, but the erudite Talese, now eighty-five, defends his actions. “My life has pretty much been living through other people’s experiences and to be a very accurate chronicle, an observer, watching other people, listening,” he says. “I take my time, and I am genuinely interested in the people I am writing about because there’s something about them that I feel I can identify with.” It is fascinating to watch the reactions of Foos and Talese as the article comes out, the book is published, and all hell breaks loose. Voyeur raises significant issues about truth in journalism, the writer’s ethical responsibilities, and the lure of salaciousness. Early on, Talese, in his writing bunker filled with decades and decades of carefully organized files — in a way similar to the collections of baseball cards and other objects Foos keeps in his basement — says, “The story never ends. Stories never die. A lot of reporters think when they leave a story, it’s all over. Sometimes it’s just beginning.” Kane and Koury stick with the story and end up with quite a tale, something that is not about to die anytime soon. On December 1, Voyeur starts streaming on Netflix and opens at IFC Center, where Kane and Koury will participate in a Q&A following the 6:05 screening on Friday night.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, December 2, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum honors World AIDS Day and looks at what’s to come in the African diaspora in its monthly free First Saturday program in December with “From Ancient Egypt to the Afrofuture.” There will be live music by Daví, Everyday People featuring DJ mOma and Jade de LaFleur, and Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, performing a Sun Ra tribute; a curator tour of “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt” with Edward Bleiberg; an artist talk and tour of “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys” with Ahmed Mater and Catherine Morris; a hands-on art workshop in which participants will create headdresses inspired by the museum’s ancient Egyptian collection; the scholar talk “Everything in the Future Is Black” with Makeba Lavan exploring the work of Wangechi Mutu, Octavia Butler, George Clinton, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, and others; teen pop-up gallery talks on Ancient Egyptian art; screenings of Terence Nance’s short films They Charge for the Sun, Swimming in Your Skin Again, and Univitellin, followed by a talkback with Nance; “Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings” short films by Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye and Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and Brontez Purnell, curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett and commissioned for Visual AIDS’ annual Day With(out) Art in honor of World AIDS Day; and a feminist book club discussing Angela Y. Davis’s “Working Women, Black Women, and the History of the Suffrage Movement,” hosted by Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl in conjunction with “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making.” In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party,’” “Soulful Creatures,” “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze,” “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” “Arts of Asia and the Middle East,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.
Who: Ayad Akhtar, Tom Santopietro, Steven Pasquale, and others
What: Discussion and performance
Where: Barnes & Noble, 150 East 86th St. at Lexington Ave., 212-369-2180
When: Tuesday, November 28, free, 4:00
Why: Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony nominee Ayad Akhtar’s latest play, Junk, is currently on Broadway, running at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater through January 7. On November 28, Akhtar, who has previously written the plays Disgraced, The Invisible Hand, and The Who & the What and the novel American Dervish as well as cowriting and starring in the film The War Within, will be at the B&N on Lexington and Eighty-Sixth St. in conversation with author, media commentator, and Broadway theater manager Tom Santopietro, discussing Junk, set during the 1980s junk-bond phenomenon. In addition, Junk star Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife, reasons to be pretty) and other cast members will perform scenes from the play, which has just been published in paperback by Little, Brown.