Who: Jennifer Goggans, Daniel Madoff, Virginie Mécène, Janet Eilber
What: Livestream of archival performances, live chat
Where: Martha Graham Dance Company YouTube page
When: Saturday, May 2, free, 2:30
Why: The Martha Graham Dance Company might be sheltering in place, but the troupe is offering a bevy of delights with the livestreaming program “Martha Matinees,” in which the vault is opened up and archived performances are shown on YouTube, with special guest commentators and a live chat. On May 2 at 2:30, “CunningGraham” explores the genius of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham with an excerpt from the series Mondays with Merce, followed by a CunningGraham Technique Comparison from this past February featuring dancers from Graham 2 and the Cunningham Trust, an excerpt from a 1958 performance of Graham’s Embattled Garden, a 1989 production of Cunningham’s August Pace (duet #4), and a 1958 excerpt of Graham’s “Dance of Jubilation” from Clytemnestra. Providing their thoughts via live chat on the relationship between the two dance giants will be Jennifer Goggans and Daniel Madoff from team Cunningham and Janet Eilber and Virginie Mécène from team Graham. You can catch the earlier matinees, along with classes and interviews, here.
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave. at Second St.
Exhibitions continue through February 1, 2020
In conjunction with Gagosian’s presentation of three fall Richard Serra exhibitions, Anthology Film Archives is screening a full retrospective of the San Francisco-born sculptor and draughtsman’s films and videos, primarily short, silent, 16mm works, from the late 1960s and 1970s and featuring collaborations with Joan Jonas, Gerry Schum, Babette Mangolte, Robert Bell, Philip Glass, and others. Running October 17-23, “Richard Serra: The Complete Films and Videos” is divided into four programs, consisting of: Hand Catching Lead, Hands Scraping, Hands Tied, Hand Lead Fulcrum, Frame, Tina Turning, and Color Aid; Paul Revere, Anxious Automation, Veil, China Girl, Surprise Attack, Television Delivers People, and Boomerang; Match Match Their Courage and Prisoner’s Dilemma, with Spalding Gray, Richard Schechner, Kathryn Bigelow, Leo Castelli, and Bruce Boice; and Railroad Turnbridge and Steelmill/Stahlwerk. Program four on October 19 at 6:00 will be followed by a panel discussion with curators Søren Grammel, Chrissie Iles, and Jeffrey Weiss, moderated by Benjamin Buchloh.
“Triptychs and Diptychs” is on view at 980 Madison Ave. through November 2, “Forged Rounds” at 555 West 24th St. through December 7, and the gorgeous “Reverse Curve” at 522 West 21st St. through February 1. In addition, Serra, who will turn eighty-one on November 2, is represented at the newly reinstalled Museum of Modern Art with his own room containing “Equal,” four stacked pairs of forged weatherproof steel.
Monday, January 21
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have turned ninety years old on January 15; he was only thirty-nine when he was assassinated. 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. 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: Assemble food packages, Repair the World NYC, 318 West 118th St., free, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March: “Changing the System: Marching Toward Justice,” Frederick Douglass Circle at 10:00 am to Manhattan Country School at 150 West 85th St. at 2:00, free
Thirty-Third Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with keynote speaker Tarana Burke and performances by Oddisee and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., free, 10:30 am
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Martin’s Mosaic, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., noon, $11-$14
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including a visit to the “Activist New York” exhibit and a 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
ColorLab: I Have a Dream Edition, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, followed by the BCM Kid’s March at 4:15, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., $11
Living Black History: Founding Black Harlem, in conjunction with “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow,” New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, free with museum admission of $6-$21, noon - 4:00
ON HER SHOULDERS (Alexandria Bombach, 2018)
260 West 23rd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Saturday, November 10, 10:00 am
Sunday, November 11, 9:55 pm
Festival runs November 8-15
See. This. Documentary. Now! Alexandria Bombach’s On Her Shoulders is an extraordinary film about an extraordinary human being. In August 2014, the Yazidis of Northern Iraq were attacked by ISIS, who raped and killed thousands of Yazidis in what amounted to a genocide, turning countless women into sex slaves. Twenty-one-year-old Nadia Murad survived and later escaped the horror and has been on a mission ever since, traveling around the world to share her story in order to save and protect this ethno-religious minority, who have been scattered throughout refugee camps. “What must be done so a woman will not be a victim of war?” she demands. For a year, Bombach followed Nadia and Murad Ismael, executive director of Yazda, a global organization dedicated to supporting the Yazidis and other vulnerable groups, as Nadia met with media and politicians while hoping to be able to address the UN General Assembly. They go to Canada, Germany, Greece, and America, occasionally joined by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, Yazda deputy executive director Ahmed Khudida Burjus, and former International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, as she makes her case to anyone who will listen.
Nadia is not a born activist; she has taken up the cause because she can’t see any other option. In the process, however, she has become a remarkable speaker and a reluctant hero to her people, but it takes a toll on her. As she tells her story, she must relive over and over again the atrocities she personally experienced and meet with men, women, and children who are suffering terribly and often break down into tears upon just being in her presence. “As a girl, I wish I didn’t have to tell the people this happened to me. I mean, I wish it hadn’t happened to me so I wouldn’t have to talk about it,” she explains. “I wish people knew me as an excellent seamstress, as an excellent athlete, as an excellent makeup artist, as an excellent farmer. I didn’t want people to know me as a victim of ISIS terrorism.”
Bombach, who directed, edited, and photographed the film — using a small, handheld Canon EOS 5D Mark III to be as unobtrusive as possible — treats Nadia with a deep respect and sensitivity, being very careful not to exploit her even further, nor does she put her on a pedestal. She focuses her camera on Nadia’s striking face and her expressive eyes, which are filled with a mix of horror and hope, tired beyond their years. Throughout the film, Bombach (Frame by Frame, Common Ground) includes clips of an interview she conducted with Nadia near the end of their time together. Nadia’s long black hair and black top nearly fade into the black background, her face and neckline prominent as she speaks openly and honestly about her mission. Nadia barely ever allows herself to smile, refusing to feel joy when there is still so much work to be done; she will not stop until there is justice and accountability for what is happening to the Yazidis. It’s heartbreaking when she says, “I can’t bear to live this kind of life.” In a rare moment out of the public spotlight, she is in a kitchen cooking, and it is absolutely delightful, a much-needed break from the intense pressure that hovers over her. On Her Shoulders is a deeply affecting, heart-wrenching film that will leave you emotionally exhausted but also energized to take action. “I want women and girls to see themselves as something special,” Nadia — who was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize — says, refusing to acknowledge that she herself is special indeed. Winner of numerous festival awards, On Her Shoulders, which recently completed a theatrical run at Village East, is screening November 10 and 11 at DOC NYC, with Bombach participating in Q&As after the shows.
THE BIG SICK (Michael Showalter, 2017)
Pier 63 Lawn, Hudson River Park
Cross at West 22nd or 24th St.
Wednesday, July 18, 8:30
Series runs through August 15
Michael Showalter’s surprise summer hit, The Big Sick, is a heart-wrenchingly bittersweet romantic comedy loosely based on the real life of Pakistani American actor and comic Kumail Nanjiani. It would do a disservice to call the film, which was produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, a mere romcom, as it is so much more, taking on religion, assimilation, responsibility, culture, and personal identity with intelligence and wit. Kumail plays an Uber driver and stand-up comedian gigging at a Chicago club with fellow comics CJ (Bo Burnham), Mary (Aidy Bryant), and his doofy roommate, Chris (Kurt Braunohler). Kumail spends a lot of time at his parents’ suburban home, the heart of his family, where his mother, Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff) and father, Azmat (Anupam Kher), continually invite single young Pakistani women to “drop by” to meet him, determined to arrange a proper marriage for their son. However, Kumail has started sort-of seeing a blond American woman, Emily Gardner (Zoe Kazan), after she playfully heckles him at a gig. As their relationship gets more serious, Kumail still hasn’t told his parents or his brother, Naveed (Adeel Akhtar), jeopardizing their future, but when Emily is struck by a sudden illness, Kumail reevaluates who he is and what he desires out of life. Emily’s illness also forces him to get to know her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano), who at first want nothing to do with him.
Written by Nanjiani (The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, Silicon Valley) and freelance journalist and author Emily V. Gordon (SuperYou: Release Your Inner Superhero, The Carmichael Show) — the original screenplay garnered an Oscar nomination — The Big Sick is as gripping as it is funny. The characters are well defined, and the plot is filled with both delightful and shocking twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat, tears at the ready, particularly if you don’t know what ultimately happened to Kumail and Emily in actuality. Nanjiani is adorably understated playing a version of himself, while Emmy nominee Kazan (Ruby Sparks, Olive Kitteridge) is charming and quirky as Emily; the two have an instant chemistry that makes the stop-and-go beginning of their relationship thoroughly involving. Emmy winner Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond, Men of a Certain Age) and Oscar and Emmy winner Hunter (The Piano, Saving Grace) are terrific as Emily’s parents, who have some issues of their own to resolve aside from Kumail and Emily. (As a side note, the scene where Beth gets into a fight with a heckler was inspired by a real incident in which Hunter heckled a tennis player at the US Open.) Bryant (Saturday Night Live, Danger & Eggs) and musician and stand-up comic Burnham provide solid, um, comic relief, while Shroff and Kher excel as Kumail’s parents, who insist that Kumail follow tradition, regardless of what he wants for himself. One of the best films of the year, The Big Sick is screening July 18 in Hudson River Park’s annual free series “Hudson River Flicks: Big Hit Wednesdays,” which consists of popular 2017 films; it continues through August 22 with such other hits as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Wonder Woman, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 12 & 19, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
Now in its eighth year, Summer Streets will continue for the next two 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 relax and enjoy 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
Beachside Slide (advance preregistration required), Adaptive Obstacle Challenge, MSG/New York Knicks and New York Liberty brand ambassadors, DOT Hand-Cycle Demonstration, Elisa Monte Dance (interactive Boomerang on August 12 and Lost Art on August 19), historical reenactors Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin, bike rentals and valets
SoHo Rest Stop
Fitness classes, 5K Walk Concert, Honest Tea Activation, Clif Kids Bike Park, interactive “Pulsus” sculpture by Allen Sayegh
Astor Place Rest Stop
Citi Mobile Everest 360, Mini Golf NYC, Food Sessions by Daily tous les jours and Nico Fonseca with guest chef John Mooney (advance registration required), Paws and Play Dog Park and workshops, NYC Water On the Go, “Smellmapping Astor Place” by Kate McLean (RSVP for “Smellwalk” with Miriam Songster here), Village Alliance: “Creativity Cubed: Faces, Places and Traces” (August 12 only)
Midtown Rest Stop
Health and Fitness Zone (with yoga, dance, meditation, more), New York Road Runners, NYC Parks Mobile Fitness Unit, Learn to Ride Classes for Kids and Adults by Bike New York, Recycle-a-Bicycle Workshop, Taste of Summer Sampling Zone, Taste of Summer Performance Stage with cooking demos and live music, interactive “Smell Synth” exhibit with Museum of Food and Drink, NYCDOT Mobility Management Program
Uptown Rest Stop
Adventure Zone (with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Discover Outdoors Foundation, East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Surfrider Foundation), Adaptive Obstacle Course + Bouldering Wall, I Love NY mobile visitors center, Zipline, Loudest Yeller Historical Bicycle Tour, Environmental Zone (with NYBG, Design Trust for Urban Space, Talk Trash City, more), Urban Agriculture Workshops with Parkways, City of New York programming (with DOT/DDC Green Infrastructure, DOT Energy Management, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, more), DOT Arts & Culture Hub (with Noguchi Museum, Museum of the City of New York, National Museum of the American Indian, El Museo del Barrio, CultureNow, more)