twi-ny, this week in new york

Free Art Walk of the Week


1. Free Chelsea art walk

2. Milos Forman at MoMA

3. In and around the World’s Most Famous Arena

4. Sidney Lumet at Film Forum

5. Chocolate rises at the Ritz-Carlton


7. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance, including Chunky Move at the Kitchen, Dollar Store at the Knitting Factory, Taj Mahal at the Brooklyn Museum, Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence at the Joyce, the 92nd St. Y’s Harkness Dance Festival at the Joan Weill Center, the Bravery at Terminal 5, and the Big Sleep at the Mercury Lounge

8. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including Aaron Landsman’s site-specific OPEN HOUSE all over town, Patrick Stewart in MACBETH at BAM, and Chris Elliott’s INTO HOT AIR

9. and twi-ny’s weekly recommended events, including book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, workshops, and plenty of choices for the Year of the Rat, Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month

Volume 7, Number 36
February 6-20, 2008/b>

Send all comments, suggestions, reviews, and questions to Mark Rifkin
at admin@twi-ny.com.

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Twi-ny, This Week in New York

Jheon Soocheon, "Beyond Bar Codes: A Site for Meditation," at White Box


The FLAG Art Foundation

545 West 25th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Open to the public: Saturday, February 9, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Admission: free


The FLAG Art Foundation is a brand-new Chelsea gallery specializing in contemporary art, encompassing works from private collections. Started by Glenn Furhman, the cofounder of MSD Capital (which exclusively handles Michael Dell’s fortune), FLAG is open to the public only on occasional Saturday afternoons, and even then only for a few hours. (It is next open February 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.) Visitors are not allowed to take photographs or bring home a printout of the works on view, there is no wall text, and the map that locates the works is unwieldy and difficult to navigate. (We were even encouraged not to take notes as well.) While the foundation will loan out pieces to museums, none of the art is for sale.

Maurizio Cattelan, "Frank and Jamie," wax and clothes, 2002

As complicated and mysterious as that all is, the space’s initial exhibit, the Chuck Close-curated "Attention to Detail," is a wonderful collection of pieces by more than fifty artists who distort reality in inventive and creative ways. Visitors are greeted right off the elevator by Maurizio Cattelan’s "Frank and Jamie," a wax sculpture of two life-size cops standing on their heads. What looks like a bale of hay is actually a large cube that Tara Donovan constructed using toothpicks. Despite its small size, Ron Mueck’s "Spooning Couple" looks frighteningly alive, as does Tomoaki Suzuki’s little painted wood statue, "Natascha." While further explanation might not be needed for two of Yuken Teruya’s miniature trees cut out of bags, there’s no way to know (unless you’re already familiar with his work) that Thomas Demand’s supposed photograph of grass is actually a photo of a carefully designed patch made of paper, one blade at a time. The museum-quality show also features paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, and installations from an all-star lineup that includes Louise Bourgeois, Vija Celmins, Olafur Eliasson, Tom Friedman, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Jim Hodges, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Richard Pettibone, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Struth, Rachel Whiteread, Fred Wilson, and others.

© Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey, "Lauren," 2006, from CLASS PICTURES (Aperture, 2007)


Aperture Gallery

547 West 27th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., fourth floor

Through February 28 (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



Over the last fifteen years, Dawoud Bey has traveled to Detroit, Orlando, San Francisco, New York, and Lawrence and Andover in Massachusetts, photographing students in both public and private high schools. He spends between three and four weeks at each school, getting to know the kids, the teachers, and the overall environment. The vast majority of the photos show the subject in a classroom, often seated in a chair and/or at a desk or table, looking straight into the camera. Each photo is accompanied by a short autobiographical statement in which the student reveals something about themselves. The honesty of their words — the kids share a remarkable amount of personal information and private thoughts — goes hand in hand with the honesty of the portraits, taken at a time when these teenagers are just starting to really investigate and explore who they are and what their role in the world might be. It’s all a lot more serious than you might imagine, and wholly compelling. Bey will be joined by photographer Carrie Mae Weems on February 19 for a discussion of the project, followed by a book signing.

Tuesday, February 5 Talk and Book Signing: Tod Papageorge, AMERICAN SPORTS, 1970, OR, HOW WE SPENT THE WAR IN VIETNAM (Aperture, February 2008), 6:30

Tuesday, February 19 Talk and Book Signing: Dawoud Bey, CLASS PICTURES (Aperture, 2007), in conversation with Carrie Mae Weems, 6:30


Maslen & Mehra, "Lynx — Lehderstrasse 32 — Berlin I," freestanding recycled advertising lightbox, 2007


Priska C. Juschka Fine Art

547 West 27th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through February 23 (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



Combining technology and nature — as well as reality and fantasy — Tim Maslen and Jennifer Mehra create photographs of striking imaginary scenes. For their "Mirrored" series, Maslen & Mehra make mirrored sculptures of silhouetted people, place them in a natural environment, and then photograph them on location (Australia, New Zealand, Death Valley), resulting in intriguing landscapes that are partially reflected onto the figures themselves. In the "Native" series, they sort of reverse the theme, placing mirrored silhouettes of animals in the middle of urban landscapes. Thus, ibex seem to be scrounging for food in front of the Louvre, four deer mingle on a plaza in London, and a coyote prowls on a ledge overlooking the Empire State Building, creating a fascinating sense of displacement.


Keith Haring, Untitled, acrylic and marker on cast hydrocal, March 5, 1983


Tony Shafrazi Gallery

544 West 26th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through February 29 (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



There’s an entertaining, childlike quality to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88), Keith Haring (1958-90), Donald Baechler (1956-), and Kenny Scharf (1958-), who came of age together during the burgeoning 1980s downtown art scene. Dozens of pieces are scattered liberally throughout the many rooms at Tony Shafrazi, including Scharf’s colorful alien creatures, Haring’s gridlike figures, Basquiat’s mixture of words and images, and Baechler’s black-and-white characters and huge ice-cream cones. In Baechler’s "Conversazione," a man in a top hat is bouncing beach balls. An entire universe exists inside a smiling alien’s mouth in Scharf’s "The Fun Inside." Haring made unique manhole covers out of baked enamel on aluminum or acrylic fluorescent paint on wood. And Basquiat drew skulls and wrote all over both sides of the wood and canvas in "Famous." While Scharf and Baechler continue to enchant with new works, this exhibition is a time capsule capturing a moment that will never happen again, overwhelmed by the tragic early deaths of Basquiat and Haring.

© Susanna Majuri

Susanna Majuri, "Saved with Water"


Several galleries have intriguing exhibits running through February 16. At first glance, Bart Michiels’s "The Course of History: The Mediterranean Theatre" at the Foley Gallery (547 West 27th St., www.foleygallery.com) seems to comprise beautiful large-scale photographs of natural landscapes; however, in actuality, they were taken at modern-day sites where historic battles were fought, at such places as Marathon, Lepanto, Cannae, Monte Cassino, and Thermopylae. Following on the heels of last year’s "Apparitions," Bill Armstrong returns to ClampArt (521-531 West 25th St., www.clampart.com) with "Renaissance," in which he repurposes figures from reproductions of Renaissance works, distorts them, then silhouettes them against different-colored backgrounds. Susanna Majuri puts herself in mysterious series of narratives that come alive with burst of color in "Saved with Water" at Galerie Adler (547 West 27th St., www.galerieadler.com). And Robert Miller (524 West 26th St., www.robertmillergallery.com) is displaying marvelous paintings by the late Rodrigo Moynihan, realistic still-lifes of his studio, incorporating such objects as paper, cotton, lightbulbs, rags, paint tubes, cans, plates, casts of hands, and other things on tables and shelves. Moynihan’s expert use of line and perspective will make you want to reach out for the objects, which seem three-dimensional.


One of Rodrigo Moynihan’s dazzling paintings at Robert Miller

Through February 22, SHAG (547 West 27th St., www.shag-ny.com) is presenting the work of Bobby Hill and Ernest Rosenberg, two street artists born in Harlem and now based in Brooklyn. The both incorporate popular culture into their pieces, with Hill turning to Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Miles Davis and Rosenberg emulating Jean-Michel Basquiat while referencing George Washington, the Met, and the New York Rangers. Korean-born artist Jheon Soocheon transforms White Box (525 West 36th St., www.whiteboxny.org) into a huge UPC in "Beyond Bar Codes: A Site for Meditation," in which commercialism and globalization dominate and viewers are invited to meditate on their own value in society. Brooklyn-based artist Luis Gispert might freak out some people with his latest film, SMOTHER, which runs through March 1 at Mary Boone (541 West 24th St., www.maryboonegallery.com). The film stars Taryn Manning and Steven Bauer and involves a boy and his bicycle, a missing toe, and a bloody boombox. After checking out the bizarre film, go across the street to Zach Feuer (530 West 24th St., www.zachfeuer.com) to see the rest of "El Mundo Es Tuyo (The World Is Yours)," featuring some of the objects from the film and other pieces, including motion-activated heart-shaped speakers.

In the Neighborhood

Donald Sutherland can’t save his daughter in DON’T LOOK NOW


K2 Lounge

Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

Admission: free with $7 bar minimum

212-620-5000 ext 344


After hanging out in Chelsea on a Friday afternoon, head over to the Rubin Museum, which is free after 7:00. The K2 Lounge has become quite a happening, with a DJ, food and drink, book signings, gallery talks, live music, and more. After imbibing a little bit, go downstairs to the theater, where the Mind Over Matter film series continues through February and into March, with screenings of such complex classics as Nicolas Roeg’s DON’T LOOK NOW, Takashi Miike’s ICHI THE KILLER, and Andrei Tarkovsky’s SOLARIS.

Friday, February 8 Mind Over Matter: DON’T LOOK NOW (Nicolas Roeg, 1973), introduced by Frances Kiernan, 9:30

Friday, February 15 Mind Over Matter: ICHI THE KILLER (Takashi Miike, 2001), 9:30

Miike makes more magic in ICHI THE KILLER

ICHI THE KILLER (Takashi Miike, 2001)

Takashi Miike, who a few years ago had New York filmgoers rushing to Film Forum to see AUDITION — and then rushing to get out because of the violent torture scenes — has done it again with ICHI THE KILLER, a faithful adaptation of Hideo Yamamoto’s hit manga. When Boss Anjo goes missing while beating the hell out of a prostitute, his gang, led by Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano, star of the beautiful MABOROSI), a multipierced blond sadomasochist, tries to find him by threatening and torturing members of other gangs. As the violence continues to grow — including faces torn and sliced off, numerous decapitations, innards splattered on walls and ceilings, body parts cut off, and self-mutilation — the killer turns out to be a young man named Ichi (Nao Omori), whose memory of a long-ago brutal rape turns him into a costumed avenger, crying like a baby as he leaves bloody mess after bloody mess on his mission to rid the world of bullies. This psychosexual S&M gorefest, which is certainly not for the squeamish, comes courtesy of the endlessly imaginative Miike, who trained with master filmmaker Shohei Imamura and seems to love really sharp objects. The excellent — and brave — cast also includes directors Sabu and Shinya Tsukamoto and Hong Kong starlet Alien Sun.

Friday, February 22 Mind Over Matter: SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE (George Roy Hill, 1972), introduced by David Velleman, 9:30

Friday, February 29 Mind Over Matter: THE DEAD ZONE (David Cronenberg, 1983), 9:30

Friday, March 7 Mind Over Matter: WHIRLPOOL (Otto Preminger, 1949), introduced by John Guare, 9:30

Friday, March 21 Mind Over Matter: SOLARIS (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972), introduced by Phillip Lopate, 8:00

SOLARIS (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)

Natalya Bondarchuk and Donatus Banionis star in the Russian 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick, 1968), in which something strange is going on in outer space that is unexplainable to both the characters in the film and the people in the audience. Banionis plays Chris Kelvin, who is sent to the Solaris space station to decide whether to put an end to the solaristics project that Burton (Vladislav Dvorzhetsky) complicated twenty years before. What he discovers is one death, two possibly insane men, and his supposedly dead wife (Bondarchuk). Ambiguity reigns supreme in this gorgeously shot (in color and black and white) and scored film that, while technically sci-fi, is really about the human conscience. See it whether or not you checked out Steven Soderbergh’s recent underrated remake with George Clooney and Natascha McElhone.

Friday, March 28 Mind Over Matter: eXistenZ (David Cronenberg, 1999), introduced by Patricia Towers, 9:30


White Box

525 West 36th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Tickets: $500



Saturday, February 23 Baroque costume ball benefiting White Box, featuring a violin solo performance by Aaron Stolow, a sitar performance by Mahesh Davi, a DJ, and an auction of masks by created by such artists as Donald Baechler, Hunt Slonem, William Wegman, Dennis Oppenheim, Bernar Venet, and others, 7:00 — 10:00

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International Film Festival of the Week

Hana Brejchová is tantalizing in Milos Forman’s LOVES OF A BLONDE


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

February 14-28

Tickets: $10, in person only, may be applied to museum admission within thirty days, same-day screenings free with museum admission, available at Film and Media Desk



For more than forty years, Milos Forman has been compiling a fabulous resume, making challenging, unusual, and unique films, from his days at the launch of the Czech New Wave to today, when he is still pushing the envelope. MoMA is paying tribute with a retrospective that includes such marvelous, eclectic, and wide-ranging works as AMADEUS, LOVES OF A BLONDE, TAKING OFF, MAN ON THE MOON, RAGTIME, HAIR, and, of course, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. (LOVES OF A BLONDE is also screening at BAM February 15-21.) Forman, along with his some of his friends, will be on hand for the February 14 screening of BLONDE and the February 15 screenings of TAKING OFF and CUCKOO’S NEST.

Thursday, February 14 LÁSKY JEDNÉ PLAVOVLÁSKY (LOVES OF A BLONDE) (Milos Forman, 1965), introduced by Forman and friends, 7:00

Friday, February 15 TAKING OFF (Milos Forman, 1971), introduced by Forman and friends, 6:00

Friday, February 15 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Milos Forman, 1975), introduced by Forman and friends, 8:00

Saturday, February 16 VALMONT (Milos Forman, 1989), 3:30

Saturday, February 16 DOBRE PLACENÁ PROCHÁZKA (A WELL-PAID WALK/A WALK WORTHWHILE) (Milos Forman, 1966), 6:00

Saturday, February 16 HORÍ, MÁ PANENKO (THE FIREMEN’S BALL) (Milos Forman, 1967), 2:00

THE FIREMEN’S BALL (Milos Forman, 1967)

Milos Forman’s final Czechoslovakian film is an absurdist comedy about a local firemen’s ball and lottery, featuring a group of grumpy old clueless men who struggle through selecting contestants for the beauty contest so the winner can present the eighty-six-year-old former chairman with a gift before he dies of cancer and all the lottery gifts are stolen. This fun film has a charming element of silent slapstick that will leave you laughing out loud.

Sunday, February 17 GOYA’S GHOSTS (Milos Forman, 2007), 2:00

Monday, February 18 THE DECATHLON (Milos Forman, 1973) and KONKURS (AUDITION) (Milos Forman, 1963), 2:00

Monday, February 18 HAIR (Milos Forman, 1979), 4:00

Monday, February 18 AMADEUS (Milos Forman, 1984), 6:30

Tuesday, February 19 CERNY PETR (BLACK PETER) (Milos Forman, 1964), 6:00

Tuesday, February 19 RAGTIME (Milos Forman, 1981), 8:00

Wolfgang (Thomas Hulce) and Constanze (Elizabeth Berridge) go through hard times in AMADEUS

Wednesday, February 20 TAKING OFF (Milos Forman, 1971), 6:00

Wednesday, February 20 THE PEOPLE VS LARRY FLYNT (Milos Forman, 1996), 8:00

Thursday, February 21 NEDOSTAJE MI SONJA HENIE (I MISS SONIA HENIE) (Milos Forman, 1971) and CHYTILOVÁ VS FORMAN (Vera Chytilová, 1981), 5:30

Thursday, February 21 RAGTIME (Milos Forman, 1981), 8:00

Friday, February 22 MAN ON THE MOON (Milos Forman, 1999), 6:00

Friday, February 22 VALMONT (Milos Forman, 1989), 8:30

Saturday, February 23 CERNY PETR (BLACK PETER) (Milos Forman, 1964), 2:00

Saturday, February 23 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (Milos Forman, 1975), 4:00

Saturday, February 23 NEDOSTAJE MI SONJA HENIE (I MISS SONIA HENIE) (Milos Forman, 1971) and CHYTILOVÁ VS FORMAN (Vera Chytilová, 1981), 7:00

Milos Forman brings the classic 1960s rock musical to Central Park

Sunday, February 24 HAIR (Milos Forman, 1979), 1:30

Sunday, February 24 THE PEOPLE VS LARRY FLYNT (Milos Forman, 1996), 4:00

Sunday, February 24 DOBRE PLACENÁ PROCHÁZKA (A WELL-PAID WALK/A WALK WORTHWHILE) (Milos Forman, 1966), 6:30

Monday, February 25 LÁSKY JEDNÉ PLAVOVLÁSKY (LOVES OF A BLONDE) (Milos Forman, 1965), 6:00

Monday, February 25 HORÍ, MÁ PANENKO (THE FIREMEN’S BALL) (Milos Forman, 1967), 8:00

Wednesday, February 27 MAN ON THE MOON (Milos Forman, 1999), 6:00

Wednesday, February 27 THE DECATHLON (Milos Forman, 1973) and KONKURS (AUDITION) (Milos Forman, 1963), 8:30

Thursday, February 28 GOYA’S GHOSTS (Milos Forman, 2007), 5:30

Thursday, February 28 AMADEUS (Milos Forman, 1984), 8:00


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

February 13 — March 3

Tickets: $10, in person only, may be applied to museum admission within thirty days, same-day screenings free with museum admission, available at Film and Media Desk



This year's collection of documentaries at MoMA take a look at the changes in the environment as seen from around the world, including films from Finland, France, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Austria, Hungary, Pakistan, Australia, Sweden, and the U.S. There is also a special career retrospective on cinematographer and director Joan Churchill, who will be present for discussions after several screenings.

Wednesday, February 13 SPRAYMASTERS (Manfred Kirchheimer, 2007), followed by a discussion with Kirchheimer, 6:00


Thursday, February 14 ODDECH WIELKIEGO LASU (THE NATURE OF REBIRTH) (Johanna Lampi, 2007) and BLACK DIAMONDS (Catherine Pancake, 2006), followed by a discussion with Pancake, 6:00

Thursday, February 14 GARBAGE WARRIOR (Oliver Hodge, 2006), 8:00

Friday, February 15 TEETH (Alice Arnold, 2007) and EXPOSED (Heidrun Holzfeind, 2005), followed by a discussion with Katherine Devoir and Arnold, please avoid wearing perfume products for this screening, 6:00

Friday, February 15 HORS LES MURS (OUT OF BOUNDS) (Alexandre Leborgne, Pierre Barougier, 2005), 8:00

Saturday, February 16 DOCTOR (Mong-Hong Chung, 2006), followed by a discussion with Chung, 2:00

Saturday, February 16 SERAMBI (Garin Nugroho, Tonny Trimarsanto, Viva Westi, Lianto Luseno, 2005), 4:00

Saturday, February 16 THE UNFORSEEN (Laura Dunn, 2007), followed by a discussion with Dunn, 7:00

Saturday, February 16 MATCH MADE (Doan Hoang, 2006) and OH, SAIGON (Doan Hoang, 2006), 8:00

Sunday, February 17 AUS DER ZEIT (OUT OF TIME) (Harald Friedl, 2006), 2:00

Sunday, February 17 MISS UNIVERSE 1929 (Peter Forgacs, 2006), 4:00

Sunday, February 17 THE END OF THE NEUBACHER PROJECT (Marcus J Carney, 2007), 6:00

Monday, February 18 ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (Eva Mulvad, Anja Al-Erhayem, 2006), 6:30

Monday, February 18 RUN GRANNY RUN (Marlo Poras, 2007), 8:00

Tuesday, February 19 SHAME (Mohammed Naqui, 2007), 6:00

Tuesday, February 19 FORBIDDEN LIES (Anne Broinowski, 2007), 8:00

Wednesday, February 20 CELLuloid: Cell Phone—Made Documentaries (2004—08), including DARK GLASS by Clio Barnard and TELÉPATTES by Vivian Ostrovsky, followed by a discussion with the artists, 6:30

Thursday, February 21 MECHKAR: THE STORY OF A BULGARIAN BEAR OWNER (Albin Biblom, 2006) and BALKAN RHAPSODIES: ENCOUNTERS, OBSERVATIONS AND AFTERTHOUGHTS ABOUT SERBIA AND KOSOVO (Jeff Silva, 2007), followed by a discussion with Biblom and Silva, 6:00

Thursday, February 21 I AM NOT DEAD (Stuart Urban, 2007), 8:30

Friday, February 22 Joan Churchill: Tribute to a Distinguished Director and Cinematographer: Joan Churchill Compilation Reel 1970—2007, includes excerpts from GIMME SHELTER, PUMPING IRON, DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP & SING, and works in progress, followed by a discussion with Churchill, 6:00

Friday, February 22 JUVENILE LIAISON (Joan Churchill, Nick Broomfield, 1975), followed by a discussion with Churchill, 8:15

Saturday, February 23 PUNISHMENT PARK (Peter Watkins, 1971), followed by a discussion with Churchill, 2:00

Saturday, February 23 SOLDIER GIRLS (Joan Churchill, Nick Broomfield, 1981), followed by a discussion with Churchill, 4:00

Saturday, February 23 AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER (Joan Churchill, Nick Broomfield, 2003), followed by a discussion with Churchill, 6:00

Sunday, February 24 HAIRKUTT (Curtis Elliott, Ben Scholle, 2007), followed by a discussion with Elliott and Scholle, 2:00

Sunday, February 24 CHECKPOINT/PASO (Julia Barco, 2007) and SANTIAGO (João Moreira Salles, 2006) , 5:00

Wednesday, February 27 PRIZE OF THE POLE (Staffan Julen, 2006), followed by a discussion with Elaine Charnov, 6:00

Thursday, February 28 ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (Eva Mulvad, Anja Al-Erhayem, 2006), 6:30

Thursday, February 28 RUN GRANNY RUN (Marlo Poras, 2007), followed by a discussion with Poras and Haddock, 8:00

Thursday, February 28 AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (Davis Guggenheim, 2006), followed by a discussion with Guggenheim, 8:00

Friday, February 29 SHAME (Mohammed Naqui, 2007), 6:00

Friday, February 29 Special Leap Year Film Screening, 8:00

In the Neighborhood


Robert Indiana brings psychedelic love to 55th & Sixth

LOVE by Robert Indiana

Southeast corner of 55th St. & Sixth Ave.

Admission: free


Pop artist and Warhol protege Robert Indiana, who was born Robert Clark but changed his last name to the state where he was born, has work in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and other prestigious locales. His iconic Midtown depiction of the word "Love," which rests on two levels, in red letters with a tilted "O," continues to attract tourist photos and people looking for a place to sit on their lunch hour. Dating from 1966, the statue evokes a "so-what" attitude from many native New Yorkers, but we have always been enamored of the bold splash of color it brings to an otherwise gray corner — big red letters with blue interiors — as well as its brash way of screaming out a word so many people are afraid to say, except perhaps at this time of year, when Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in us all, for completely artificial reasons.


Robert Indiana’s love is not quite so bright on Park Ave.

LOVE WALL by Robert Indiana

Park Ave. meridian at 57th St.

Through February 29

Admission: free


Part of the city’s "Art in the Parks: Celebrating 40 Years," Robert Indiana’s "Love Wall" sits on the Park Ave. meridian at 57th St., its brown color barely there amid Midtown’s gray buildings. Just like its predecessor, the nearby "Love" sculpture on 55th St., the wall is twelve feet high and made of Cor-ten steel. Originally conceived as a painting, "Love Wall," which also dates from 1966, contains four smaller versions of the word "Love," with the same tilted "O," laid on top of each other so the four "O"s come together in the center. While the bright red and blue of the "Love" sculpture is hard to miss, paying tribute to the concept of romance, "Love Wall" is much more complex, a confusing word game that is as twisted as relationships can often get.


William Kentridge, "What Will Come," anamorphic projection, 2007


Marian Goodman Gallery

24 West 57th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves., fourth floor

Closed Sunday and Monday

Through February 16

Admission: free



It’s been quite a decade so far for South African artist William Kentridge. In addition to several solo shows at the Marian Goodman Gallery, one at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, and numerous group exhibitions (at the Guggenheim, the Jewish Museum, MoMA, Galerie St. Etienne, and others), he’s had a fabulous retrospective at the New Museum (2001-2) and a terrific show at the Met (2005), screened his "9 Drawings for Projections" in Prospect Park (2005) and MoMA (2006), presented his stunning multimedia production of Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE at BAM (2007), and is now preparing Shostakovich’s THE NOSE for the Metropolitan Opera House in 2010. In addition, two of his "9 Drawings for Projections" will be part of "The Rest Is Silence," an annual peace concert to be held March 1 at the Great Hall of the Cooper Union.

His latest show at Marian Goodman is centered around "What Will Come," a short film about the 1935 Abyssinian war he made for an Italian exhibition. The black-and-white anamorphic film is projected from above onto a round table with a steel cylinder in the middle. While the image is distorted on the table, it is seen much more clearly on the sides of the cylinder. "Underweysung der Messung" consists of six stereographic gravures in which viewers lean over and look through stereoscopes to see such three-dimensional works as "Melancolia," "Memento Mori," and "Still Life." In the far corner, on facing walls, two reverse drawings of a rhinoceros, based on Dürer, come together in a mirror between them. And in the South Gallery, you can pick up a stereoscope and examine eight cards that contain images created in Kentridge’s studio — complete with Kentridge visible in many of them. This idea of seeing things twice references how we actually see, as images come through our eyes and get filtered through our brain. The exhibit is supplemented with charcoal drawings, bronze statues, watercolors, a tapestry, Aquatints, and more.

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Garden of the Week


Broadway Blueshirts have made this Garden home since 1968


Madison Square Garden (MSG)

WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden (WMT)

Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue between 31st & 33rd Sts.


Madison Square Garden has been our home away from home ever since our father took us to our first hockey game back in the day. As the World's Most Famous Arena, aka Madison Square Garden IV, celebrates its fortieth anniversary on February 11, we're taking a very quick look back. Since our initial trip, we’ve been back hundreds of times to see heavyweight championship fights, the currently woeful Knicks, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the Blueshirts win the Stanley Cup, the Grateful Dead, the circus, Neil Young, the Republican National Convention, Bob Dylan, and myriad other sports events, concerts, and special performances. Somehow we skipped the latest mass wedding ceremony emceed by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. February is just another typical month at the arena run by the clueless Dolan clan, featuring Sesame Street Live, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a concert of love, some country music, professional lacrosse, and the return of the Spice Girls.

Wednesday, February 6 Knicks vs. Indiana, MSG, $10-$3,000, 7:30

Thursday, February 7 Rangers vs. Anaheim, MSG, $40.50-$1,000, 7:00

Thursday, February 7


Monday, February 18 Sesame Street Live "Ready for Action," WMT, $15-$54

Friday, February 8 Knicks vs. San Antonio, MSG, $10-$3,000, 7:30

Saturday, February 9 Concierto Del Amor 2008, with Don Omar, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Frank Reyes, MSG, $59.50-$129.50, 8:00

Sunday, February 10 New York Titans vs. Buffalo Bandits, MSG, $15-$95, 12:30

Dog show is always an annual highlight at the Garden

Monday, February 11


Tuesday, February 12 132nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, MSG, $37.50-$145, 8:30 am

Wednesday, February 13 Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood, MSG, $62.50-$82.50, 7:30

Thursday, February 14 Matchbox Twenty, MSG, $49.50-$79.50, 7:00

Friday, February 15 The Harlem Globetrotters, MSG, $12-$220, 11:00 am & 7:00 pm

Saturday, February16 Rangers vs. Buffalo, MSG, $40.50-$1,000, 1:00

Saturday, February 16 St. John’s Red Storm vs. Villanova, MSG, $24.50-$129.50, 8:00

Monday, February 18 Spice Girls, MSG, $69.50-$149.50, 8:00

Tuesday, February 19 Foo Fighters, MSG, $29.50-$49.50, 7:00

Wednesday, February 20 St. John’s Red Storm vs. Marquette, MSG, $24.50-$129.50, 7:00

Thursday, February 21 Linkin Park, MSG, $30.50-$65.50, 7:00

Friday, February 22 Knicks vs. Toronto, MSG, $10-$3,000, 7:30

Saturday, February 23 Heavyweight Championship Boxing: Klitschko vs. Ibragimov, with John Dudy, Joe Greene, and Peter Quillen also on the card, MSG, $100-$1,000, 7:30

Sunday, February 24 Rangers vs. Florida, MSG, $40.50-$1,000, 7:00

Monday, February 25


Thursday, February 28 Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton, MSG, $64.50-$254.50, 8:00

Tuesday, June 17 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers with special guest Steve Winwood, $59.50-$129.50, 8:00

In the Neighborhood


Horace Greeley surveys the madness around Herald Square


Broadway at Sixth Ave. & 32nd St.

Admission: free



Greeley Square was constructed in 1846, paying tribute to Horace Greeley, who had founded the New York Tribune five years earlier. The triangular park sits amid busy Herald Square — named for the New York Herald, which merged with the Tribune in 1924 — diagonally across from Macy’s and a block east of Madison Square Garden. Greeley (1811-72) was an abolitionist and progressive reformer who fought for workers rights and ran for president as the Liberal Republican and Democratic candidate in 1872, getting trounced by Republican Ulysses S. Grant; Greeley won only six of thirty-seven states and died before the electoral votes were cast. Greeley is most well known for declaring in 1865, "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country," a quote he adapted from an 1851 editorial in the Terre Haute Express by John B. L. Soule. Born in New Hampshire, Greeley is buried in Green-Lawn Cemetery in Brooklyn. At the south end of the small park, Greeley sits in a chair, grasping a newspaper in his right hand, his bald head glittering. Cast in 1890 by sculptor Alexander Doyle, the statue was commissioned by several typographical unions. A second statue of Greeley resides in City Hall Park. The north entrance of Greeley Square is flanked by two bronze birds; just inside the gates is a marble fountain dedicated to "the memory of Jerry McAuliffe" containing a quote from Revelation 21:6: "I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."


Macy’s Herald Square Cellar Kitchen

151 East 34th St. at Broadway

Select days at 1:00 unless otherwise noted

Admission: free



Macy’s celebrates Black History Month and the Chinese Lunar New Year with a series of cooking demonstrations in the Cellar Kitchen, including specialties from Harlem and Chinatown.

Tuesday, February 5 Lindsey Williams, NEOSOUL: THIS AIN’T YA GRANDMA’S COOKBOOK

Thursday, February 7 Kevin Zhang, Gotham Palace

Saturday, February 9 Kwasa Khepera, Eating Gourmet for Fitness

Tuesday, February 12 Jai Jai Greenfield, Harlem Vintage, 6:00

Thursday, February 14 Brooke Alpert, B Nutritious, and Riska Platt, Go Red for Women

Saturday, February 16 Vincent Chirico, 212 Restaurant

Tuesday, February 19 Kevin Walters, Creole Restaurant

Thursday, February 21 Julian Clauss-Ehlers, Cooper Tavern

Tuesday, February 26 Peter Berley, THE MODERN VEGETARIAN KITCHEN

Thursday, February 28 Dave Martin, CRAVE on 42nd

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New York Film Festival of the Week

Henry Fonda and an angry Lee J. Cobb go at it in TWELVE ANGRY MEN


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

February 8-28



No director has ever captured New York quite like Sidney Lumet has. And he’s still doing it in his eighties. Film Forum will be honoring the auteur with three weeks of gritty dramas, mostly set in the Naked City. An actor’s director, Lumet’s films feature flawed, conflicted heroes played by some of the greatest Hollywood stars, including William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Paul Newman, Rod Steiger, Sean Connery, and, most famously, Al Pacino. Although such classics as SERPICO, NETWORK, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, 12 ANGRY MEN, FAIL-SAFE, and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS are here, you should try some of his less-well-known but awesome flicks — Connery is marvelous as an imprisoned soldier in THE HILL and as a master criminal in THE ANDERSON TAPES, BYE BYE BRAVERMAN is a sweet little black comedy, and THE GROUP is a gem of a soap opera.

Friday, February 8


Monday, February 11 NETWORK (Sidney Lumet, 1976)

Monday, February 11 An Evening with Sidney Lumet, with Sidney Lumet in conversation with Foster Hirsch, 7:00

Tuesday, February 12 THE GROUP (Sidney Lumet, 1966), 2:00, 4:50, 7:40

Wednesday, February 13 THE HILL (Sidney Lumet, 1965), 3:10, 7:40, and THE OFFENCE (Sidney Lumet, 1973), 1:00, 5:30, 10:00

THE HILL is one of Lumet’s least-known but best films

Thursday, February 14 THE VERDICT (Sidney Lumet, 1982), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Friday, February 15


Saturday, February 16 THE PAWNBROKER (Sidney Lumet, 1965), 1:00, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45, 10:00

Sunday, February 17


Monday, February 18 12 ANGRY MEN (Sidney Lumet, 1957), 1:30, 5:25, 9:20, and FAIL-SAFE (Sidney Lumet, 1964), 3:20, 7:15

Tuesday, February 19 MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Sidney Lumet, 1974), 1:00, 3:30, 6:00, 8:30

Wednesday, February 20 THE ANDERSON TAPES (Sidney Lumet, 1971), 3:40, 7:40, and THE DEADLY AFFAIR (Sidney Lumet, 1967), 1:30, 5:30, 9:30

Thursday, February 21 THE SEA GULL (Sidney Lumet, 1968), 1:00, 3:40, 6:20, 9:00


Lumet is fresh off 2007 New York Film Festival success

Friday, February 22


Saturday, February 23 SERPICO (Sidney Lumet, 1973), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Sunday, February 24 DOG DAY AFTERNOON (Sidney Lumet, 1975), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30

Monday, February 25 BYE BYE BRAVERMAN (Sidney Lumet, 1968), 3:30, 7:00 (with actress Phyllis Newman), and ONE THIRD OF A NATION (1939, Dudley Murphy), 1:55, 5:20

BYE BYE BRAVERMAN (Sidney Lumet, 1968)

This charming little cult fave — shot by Boris Kaufman, one of Dziga Vertov’s brothers — might seem an odd choice to include in this otherwise high-powered series at the Walter Reade Theater, but it will sneak up on you. Still not available on DVD or video, BYE BYE BRAVERMAN stars George Segal, Jack Warden, Joseph Wiseman, and Sorrell Booke as four friends who pile into a VW on their way to a funeral in New York City; the only problem is that they don’t know which funeral house to go to. Godfrey Cambridge and Alan King show up to add to the fun.

Monday, February 25 NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN (Sidney Lumet, 1997), 8:50

Tuesday, February 26 THE FUGITIVE KIND (Sidney Lumet, 1959), 3:05, 7:30, and A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Sidney Lumet, 1962), 1:00, 5:20, 9:45

Wednesday, February 27 LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Sidney Lumet, 1962), 1:00, 4:15, 7:30

Thursday, February 28 DANIEL (Sidney Lumet, 1983), 1:00, 3:30, 6:00

Thursday, February 28 PRINCE OF THE CITY (Sidney Lumet, 1981), 8:30

Selective Film Festival of the Week

The always magical Jeanne Balibar stars in THE DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS


Walter Reade Theater unless otherwise noted

165 West 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave., Plaza Level

February 14-28



For the eighth year, Film Comment has chosen a group of recent films that were either overlooked in their theatrical release or are yet to find distribution. Things get going with a Valentine's Day screening of George Romero's latest gorefest, DIARY OF THE DEAD, and continues with works from such directors as Jacques Rivette, Olivier Assayas, Wilson Yip, and Fatih Akin before turning to retrospectives of Richard Fleischer and Damon Packard. If you're not familiar with most of the names, that's the point. The Film Society of Lincoln Center is giving cineastes the opportunity to sees some great films from the past year that did not get the attention they deserved.

Thursday, February 14 DIARY OF THE DEAD (George A. Romero, 2007), 10:30

Friday, February 15 Opening Night: THE DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS (Jacques Rivette, 2007), 6:00

Friday, February 15 BOARDING GATE (Olivier Assayas, 2007), 9:45

Saturday, February 16 EX DRUMMER (Koen Mortier, 2007), 10:00

Saturday, February 16 JOY DIVISION (Grant Gee, 2007), 7:30

Saturday, February 16 WOLFSBERGEN (Nanouk Leopold, 2007), 5:30

Sunday, February 17 IMPORT EXPORT (Ulrich Seidl, 2007), 1:30

Sunday, February 17 A WONDERFUL WORLD (Luis Estrada, 2007), 4:15

Sunday, February 17 BEFORE I FORGET (Jacques Nolot, 2007), 6:45

Sunday, February 17 FLASH POINT (Wilson Yip, 2007), 9:00

Monday, February 18 A WONDERFUL WORLD (Luis Estrada, 2007), 1:30

Monday February 18 WOLFSBERGEN (Nanouk Leopold, 2007), 4:00

Monday, February 18 THE BANISHMENT (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2007), 6:00

Monday, February 18 CHOP SHOP (Ramin Bahrani, 2007), 9:00

THE BANISHMENT is based on a short story by William Saroyan

Tuesday, February 19 FLASH POINT (Wilson Yip, 2007), 1:30

Tuesday, February 19 EX DRUMMER (Koen Mortier, 2007), 3:30

Wednesday, February 20 WOLFSBERGEN (Nanouk Leopold, 2007), 1:00

Wednesday, February 20 THE BANISHMENT (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2007), 3:00

Wednesday, February 20 DUST (Hartmut Bitomsky, 2007), 6:15

Wednesday, February 20 IMPORT EXPORT (Ulrich Seidl, 2007), 8:15

Thursday February 21 Spotlight on Richard Fleischer: 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (Richard Fleischer, 1971), 1:00

Thursday, February 21 BEFORE I FORGET (Jacques Nolot, 2007), 3:15

Friday, February 22 A WONDERFUL WORLD (Luis Estrada, 2007), 1:30

Friday, February 22 FLASH POINT (Wilson Yip, 2007), 4:00

Friday, February 22 Mondo Packard: REFLECTIONS OF EVIL (DaMonday Packard, 2002), 6:15

Friday, February 22 FRONTIÈRE(S) (Xavier Gens, 2007), 9:00

Saturday, February 23 Spotlight on Richard Fleischer: MANDINGO (Richard Fleischer, 1975), 2:00

Saturday, February 23 THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Fatih Akin, 2007), 4:30

Saturday, February 23 Retrospective: RUBIN AND ED (Trent Harris, 1992), 7:00

Sunday, February 24 Spotlight on Richard Fleischer: 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (Richard Fleischer, 1971), 1:30

Sunday, February 24 SCHINDLER’S HOUSES (Heinz Emigholz, 2007), 3:45

Sunday, February 24 Mondo Packard: Damon Packard’s Greatest Hits, including


Sunday, February 24 INSIDE (Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo, 2007), 9:00

Monday, February 25 THE BANISHMENT (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2007), 2:00

Monday, February 25 Retrospective: J’ENTENDS PLUS LA GUITARE (Philippe Garrel, 1991), 8:30

Lukas Moodysson will confound audiences again with CONTAINER

Tuesday, February 26 CONTAINER (Lukas Moodysson, 2006), 2:15 and 9:15

Tuesday, February 26 INSIDE (Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo, 2007), 4:00

Wednesday, February 27 FRONTIÈRE(S) (Xavier Gens, 2007), 2:15

Wednesday, February 27 JOY DIVISION (Grant Gee, 2007), 4:30

Wednesday, February 27 INSIDE (Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo, 2007), 6:30

Wednesday, February 27 DARK MATTER (Chen Shi-zheng, 2007), 8:15

Thursday, February 28 DARK MATTER (Chen Shi-zheng, 2007), 1:00

Thursday February 28 Closing Night: WALKER (Alex Cox, 1987), 6:30

Thursday February 28 SEARCHERS 2.0 (Alex Cox, US, 2007), 8:30

In the Neighborhood

Alex Bailey

Alex Bailey, "A Prayer for Future Generations"


Multiple venues




Through February 28 underEXPOSED: Black Women Photographers in America, the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater, free (opening reception February 6 at 6:00)

Friday, February 8 American Songbook: Betty LaVette, the Allen Room, Broadway at 60th St., $35-$70, 8:30

Monday, February 11 Perspectives on African-American Composers: Adolphus Hailstork, panel discussion and live performance with James DePreist, Joseph W. Polisi, and Adolphus Hailstork, the Juilliard School, Morse Hall, 165 West 65th St., free, 5:00

Tuesday, February 12


Sunday, February 17 Freddy Cole and Friends: Manhattan Romance, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Broadway at 60th St., $20-$35, 7:30 & 9:30

Thursday, February 14


Saturday, February 16 Ellington Love Songs, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Rose Theater, Broadway at 60th St., $30-$120, 8:00

Thursday, February 21 WITHIN OUR GATES (Oscar Micheaux, 1920), film screening with live music by Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, followed by the panel discussion "Black Cinema: Past, Present & Future," Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave., by invite only at 212-340-1874 / www.imagenation.us, free, 6:00

Friday, February 22 American Songbook: Jimmy Scott and the Jazz Expressions, the Allen Room, Broadway at 60th St., $35-$70, 8:30

Monday, February 25 Music of Billy Strayhorn, featuring Juilliard Jazz ensembles, the Juilliard School, Morse Hall, 165 West 65th St., free, 8:00

Thursday, February 28 Jazz Talk: An Evening with Randy Weston, moderated by Lewis Porter, Irene Diamond Education Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th St., $10, 7:00

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Valentine’s Day Reminder of the Week


Laurent Richard bridges the chocolate gap at the Ritz-Carlton


The Chocolate Bar 2008

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, Rise, fourteenth floor

2 West St. at Battery Pl.

Friday and Saturday nights through March 1, 6:30, 8:30, and 10:30

Special seatings at 6:30, 8:30, and 10:30 on Tuesday, February 14

Fee: $75, includes tax, tip, and bottomless Champagne

Advance reservations strongly suggested: 917-790-2600


Okay, we weren’t kidding last issue when we told you to make your reservations fast to get a coveted space at pastry chef extraordinaire Laurent Richard’s annual chocolate feast at the Ritz-Carlton, so we’re gonna tell you again. Two years ago, Richard brought the Paris of his youth (he grew up in nearby Maison Lafitte) to the annual February chocolate celebration at the hotel, turning the romantic fourteenth-floor Rise bar into the City of Lights. This year he pays tribute to his current home, New York, with the spectacular "I (Heart) Chocolate." As you walk in, you will stand in awe of a huge model of the Brooklyn Bridge, sculpted in chocolate. (The real Brooklyn Bridge can be seen in the distance as well.) Every day, Richard rides his motorcycle over that historic bridge as he travels from his brownstone in Cobble Hill to the kitchen in the Ritz-Carlton. While little cars travel over the lower level of Richard’s splendid creation (what, no motorcycle?), his best-yet collection of chocolate delights stop traffic on the upper level. Chocolate raspberry sacher is wonderfully tangy. Chocolate Amaretto crème caramel slides lovingly down your throat. Chocolate crème brulée tart breathes life into an increasingly tired dessert. Chocolate banana fondant and marquise and chocolate sabayon and caramelized pineapple martini, served in fancy glasses, are classy and fabulous. Chocolate mango sandwich, lying sideways on two rows of chocolate ganache, features delicate macaroons holding together the fluffy, fruity center.

Ever playful, Richard has created his own marvelous take on the childhood favorite Mallomar. He even did the impossible — despite our avowed fear and hatred of peanut butter, he surprised us with his version of a peanut butter cup, with two solid pieces of dark chocolate and apricot sauce. (We ate it without knowing what it was — and are very glad we did, although it doesn’t change our opinion about peanut butter in general.) In the back, Angela serves toffee chocolate molten cake hot from the oven, topped with banana walnut ice cream. Richard also includes chocolate petit fours (chocolate soft caramels, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate mendiants) situated into a chocolate model of his Brooklyn brownstone. Meanwhile, the bridge is surrounded by three other city icons: the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and Arturo Di Modica’s "Charging Bull," complete with edible $100 bills. (The real Wall Street bull is right around the corner, in Bowling Green.) Richard’s only misstep is a couple of New York Yankees home plates; yo, Laurent, dere from da Bronx!

In the Thematic Neighborhood


There are lots of other cacao options for Valentine's Day that will score more points than the standard Godiva ballotin. Try the Lindt Swiss Tradition de Luxe Assortment (692 Fifth Ave., http://www.lindtusa.com), the Leonidas Dark Chocolate Assortment (485 Madison Ave., http://www.leonidas-chocolate.com), MarieBelle's Valentine¹s Day Love Boxes (484 Broome St., http://www.mariebelle.com), Boxed Bon Bons from the Chocolate Bar (48 Eighth Ave., http://www.chocolatebarnyc.com), Dark Champagne Hearts from Charbonnel et Walker at the chocolate cafe counter on the eighth floor of Saks (611 Fifth Ave., http://www.charbonnel.co.uk); or La Maison du Chocolat's Valentine Day' Trunks (1018 Madison Ave., http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.com). We're also crazy for the amazing truffles inside the handmade, beautifully designed boxes of Joseph Schmidt, available at Macy's Herald Square (151 West 34th St., http://www.josephschmidtconfections.com), the champagne truffes at Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland (620 Fifth Ave., 673 Madison Ave., http://teuscher-newyork.com), and the V-Day specials at Fauchon Paris (442 Park Ave., http://fauchon.com). Sadly, one of our favorite chocolate destinations, Richart Design Et Chocolat (7 East 55th St., http://www.richart-chocolates.com), has closed up shop.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

Vince Vaughn takes comedy show on the road


Opens Friday, February 8


Vince Vaughn seems like a nice guy. He’s been charming and engaging in such films as RUDY, SWINGERS, OLD SCHOOL, and WEDDING CRASHERS. He’s the kind of guy you could imagine hanging out with in a local bar, talking about sports and music. Unfortunately, we get to see a little too much of him in this road comedy that might have worked as an hour-long cable show but drags as a one-hundred-minute theatrical release. Just for the hell of it — there is no real reason or conflict — Vaughn decides to take a comedy revue out on the road, doing thirty shows in thirty nights in thirty cities. He brings along four up-and-coming stand-up comics — Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Maniscalco — and is joined in various towns by Justin Long (DODGEBALL, the Mac guy from the television commercials), Keir O’Donnell (the gay brother in WEDDING CRASHERS), actor-musician Dwight Yoakam, and actor-director Jon Favreau (SWINGERS, ELF). They visit some of the comedians’ families. Vaughn meets one of his heroes, country legend Buck Owens. Vaughn shows clips from old movies, including a "Schoolbreak Special" about steroids in which he starred with Peter (A CHRISTMAS STORY) Billingsley; the two became best friends after that, and Billingsley, now a producer, is part of Vaughn’s crew. The film is sort of like that old addendum to the punch line: I guess you had to be there.

Lamorisse classic has special screening at FIAF

(Albert Lamorisse, 1956)

Tinker Auditorium, French Institute Alliance Française

55 East 59th St. between Park & Madison Aves.

Saturday, February 9, 4:00

Tickets: $5-$10



Lovingly restored by Janus Films in a new 35mm print, Albert Lamorisse’s THE RED BALLOON, which won a Palme d’Or at Cannes and an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, tells the story of a young boy (Pascal Lamorisse, the director’s son) who makes friends with an extraordinary red balloon, which follows him through the streets of Belleville in Paris, waits for him while he is in school, and obeys his every command. But the neighborhood kids are afraid of this stranger and go on a mission to burst the young boy’s bubble. Lamorisse gives life and emotion to the balloon (more than twenty-five thousand were used in the making of the film) in a masterful use of simple special effects well before CGI and other modern technology. THE RED BALLOON features the splendid music of Maurice Leroux and the fine photography of Edmond Séchan. This special CinéKids Screening will be followed by a "Build a Balloon Best Friend" activity for children.

ABSOLUTE WILSON (Katharina Otto, 2006)

The Philoctetes Center

247 East 82nd St.

Saturday, February 9, 2:30

Admission: free




Avant-garde theater genius Robert Wilson opens up about his life and art in ABSOLUTE WILSON, a revealing documentary by Katharina Otto-Bernstein. Wilson, the innovative — and notoriously private — director / designer / choreographer, was born and raised in a segregated, religious community in Waco, Texas, where he suffered though a very complicated childhood with few friends and a serious stuttering problem. He eventually came out to his father — a man who never quite understood or accepted Wilson’s differences in ways that still haunt him today — and moved to New York City, where he became engaged in the radical theater of the 1960s. A master collaborator, over the years he has worked with Philip Glass, David Byrne, Tom Waits, William S. Burroughs, Jessye Norman, Lou Reed, and many others, in such monumental productions as EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH, THE BLACK RIDER, and The CIVIL warS. He has also been drawn to children with mental and physical challenges, resulting in such pieces as the eight-hour DEAFMAN GLANCE with Raymond Andrews and the Broadway flop A LETTER FOR QUEEN VICTORIA with Christopher Knowles.

Among the talking heads sharing their thoughts about Wilson are Byrne, Norman, Glass, Susan Sontag, critics John Simon and John Rockwell, Byrd Hoffman (who runs the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, where Wilson is artistic director), and Harvey Lichtenstein (the former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and namesake of the BAM Harvey Theater). Wilson’s theater is mesmerizing, confounding, mysterious, and always breathtaking — we’ve marveled at THE BLACK RIDER and WOYCECK, both at BAM — but perhaps most remarkable is the work Wilson did helping people in hospitals and mental institutions, inventing unique ways to teach them to communicate. Otto-Bernstein cleverly intercuts Wilson’s stories of his past with scenes from his productions (going back to the very beginning of his career), showing how life imitates art — and vice versa. ABSOLUTE WILSON is a must for Wilson fans — and any fan of art and the creative instinct. This free screening is sponsored by the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and will be followed by an audience discussion.

In Theaters Now

AMERICAN GANGSTER (Ridley Scott, 2007)

Quad Cinema

34 West 13th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.




Based on a true story, Ridley Scott’s AMERICAN GANGSTER follows the path of two very different men during the Vietnam War era. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is a proud, dedicated man from poor southern roots who is determined to become the most respected and loved drug lord of Harlem. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an honest-to-a-fault Jewish cop studying to become a lawyer while failing miserably in his personal life. Cold, calculating, and smooth as silk, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to ensure his absolute success, including shooting another player in the head in plain view on an uptown street. Meanwhile, Roberts becomes a pariah in the corrupt police department when he finds nearly a million dollars in cash and turns it in. As the war escalates in Southeast Asia, Lucas and Roberts are both on a dangerous road that threatens to explode all around them. Filmed in New York City, AMERICAN GANGSTER — featuring an excellent script by Steven Zaillian and intense, superb direction from Ridley Scott — is a compelling thinking man’s mob pic, a worthy successor to (and mash-up of) such genre classics as THE FRENCH CONNECTION, SERPICO, and NEW JACK CITY. The diverse all-star cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, RZA, T.I., Josh Brolin, Carla Gugino, Cuba Gooding Jr., Common, and the great Ruby Dee and Clarence Williams III.

Robbie (James McAvoy) and Cecilia (Keira Knightley) find the calm before the storm

ATONEMENT (Joe Wright, 2007)


Keira Knightley and James McAvoy star as potential lovers torn apart by a vengeful lie in Joe Wright’s British melodrama ATONEMENT, based on the novel by Ian McEwan. Knightley gives a fine performance as Cecilia, a privileged young woman who lives with her family in their elegant mansion. She is attracted to the handyman’s son, Robbie (McAvoy) — who is also much admired by Cecilia’s thirteen-year-old sister, burgeoning writer Briony (Saoirse Ronan). Jealousy leads the precocious child to doom an innocent man, changing the fortunes of her family forever as WWII approaches. Despite Dario Marianelli’s overly sentimental music, ATONEMENT is a compelling, sweeping epic recalling Merchant-Ivory films as well as MASTERPIECE THEATER and Anthony Minghella’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT. (Minghella actually has a cameo near the end of the film.) Director Wright (THE END, 2005’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE) also pulls off a fascinating twist that calls into question the very nature of truth, as well as forgiveness.

CASSANDRA’S DREAM (Woody Allen, 2007)

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




Woody Allen’s third consecutive film set in London (following the fine MATCH POINT and the disappointing SCOOP) is his best film in more than a decade and his most intricate character study since 1989’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. Ian (Ewan McGregor) and Terry (Colin Farrell) are two very different brothers who are both in desperate need of a quick cash infusion. Ian, the intelligent but ne’er-do-well son, is looking to invest in yet another get-rich-quick scheme, while Terry, a hardworking auto mechanic, has a serious gambling problem exacerbated by his drinking, endangering his future with his caring girlfriend, Kate (Sally Hawkins). The troubled siblings turn to their uncle Howard (the always outstanding Tom Wilkinson), a wealthy plastic surgeon who is willing to help them both out, but at a price neither one might be able to afford. CASSANDRA’S DREAM is a classic Greek tragedy mixed with the suspense of Hitchcock and the guilty conscience of Dostoyevsky as the close brothers search deep inside themselves to see just how far they will go to turn their lives around. Farrell is a revelation as Terry, playing the character with a compelling depth and complexity. Hayley Atwell makes a promising feature-film debut as Angela, an actress — and possible femme fatale — whom Ian falls hard for. Allen’s sharp-as-nails script is enhanced by Philip Glass’s ominous score. Interestingly, CASSANDRA’S DREAM was originally scheduled to be released in December but was moved to January shortly after making no end-of-year critics’ lists and receiving no Golden Globe nominations. It deserves better.

A mysterious monster menaces Manhattan in CLOVERFIELD

CLOVERFIELD (Matt Reeves, 2008)



A surprise going-away party turns into a nightmare in Matt Reeves’s highly anticipated CLOVERFIELD. Michael Stahl-David stars as Rob, a young man who has accepted a promotion that will send him to Japan. Although he is in love with his best friend, Beth (Odette Yustman), he is unable to tell her. But everything changes when the ground starts to shake, buildings begin to collapse, and people are on the run, attempting to escape from an enormous monster on the loose in post 9/11 Manhattan. And when Rob discovers that Beth, who had left the party early, might still be alive, he decides to risk his life and head uptown to save her. He is joined on the dangerous journey by his brother, Jason (Mike Vogel); Jason's girlfriend, Lily (Jessica Lucas); Lily’s friend Marlena (Lizzy Caplan); and Hud (T. J. Miller), who serves as the comic relief. The entire film is seen through the lens of a video camera that Hud was entrusted with at the party, giving the film the feel of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, mixed with such Gotham horror stories as KING KONG, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, and the ridiculous 1998 GODZILLA remake. CLOVERFIELD, which has an ever-widening back story growing online (similar to that of LOST, which is also the creation of J.J. Abrams), doesn’t try to be anything more than it is — a monster movie set in New York City. The creature is kept hidden for most of the film, which doesn’t try to make any grand statements about science, humanity, or, really, anything except true love — and brutal death. And yes, there is a secret message hidden in the brief sound clip at the end of the credits.

Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) face danger in 4 MONTHS

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.


Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1886 Broadway between 62nd & 63rd Sts.




Winner of the Palme D’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS is a harrowing look at personal freedom at the end of the Ceausescu regime in late-’80s Romania. Anamaria Marinca gives a powerful performance as Otilia, a young woman risking her own safety to help her best friend, Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), out of a difficult, dangerous situation. Their lives get even more complicated when they turn to Bebe (Vlad Ivanov) to take care of things. Cinematographer Oleg Mutu, who shot Cristi Puiu’s brilliant THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU, keeps the camera relatively steady for long scenes, without cuts, pans, dollies, or zooms, as the actors walk in and out of view, giving the film a heightened level of believability without looking like a documentary. Set in a restrictive era with a burgeoning black market, 4 MONTHS goes from mystery to psychological drama to thriller with remarkable ease — and the less you know about the plot, the better.

I’M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes, 2007)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.




Todd Haynes’s highly anticipated dramatization of the musical life of Bob Dylan is ambitious, innovative, and, ultimately, overblown and disappointing. Working with Dylan’s permission (though not artistic input), Haynes crafts a nonlinear tale in which six actors play different parts of Dylan’s psyche as the Great White Wonder develops from a humble folksinger to an internationally renowned and revered figure. Dylan is seen as an eleven-year-old black traveling hobo who goes by the name Woody Guthrie (Marcus Carl Franklin); Jack (Christian Bale), a Greenwich Village protest singer who later becomes a pastor; Robbie (Heath Ledger), an actor who has portrayed a Dylan entity and is having marital problems with his wife, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg); Arthur Rimbaud (Ben Whishaw), a staunch defender of poetry and revolution; an old Billy the Kid (Richard Gere), who has settled down peacefully in the small town of Riddle; and Jude Quinn (Cate Blanchett), who is attacked by her audience when she goes electric. Each story line is shot in a different style; for example, Jude’s is influenced by Fellini and the Dylan documentary EAT THIS DOCUMENT!, Robbie’s by Godard, and Billy’s by Peckinpah. Excerpts from Dylan’s own version of his songs are interwoven with interpretations by Tom Verlaine, Yo La Tengo, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Stephen Malkmus, the Hold Steady, Sonic Youth (who do a killer version of the unreleased BASEMENT TAPES-era title track over the closing credits), and many more, with cameos by Kris Kristofferson (as the opening narrator), Richie Havens, Julianne Moore, Kim Gordon, Paul Van Dyck, Michelle Williams, and David Cross (looking ridiculous as Allen Ginsberg). The most successful section by far is Blanchett’s; she takes over the role with relish, and cinematographer Edward Lachman and production designer Judy Becker nail the feel of the mid-’60s energy surrounding Dylan. But the rest of the film is all over the place, a great concept that bit off more than it could chew.

Juno (Ellen Page) and Leah (Olivia Thirlby) are a riot in JUNO

JUNO (Jason Reitman, 2007)


When sixteen-year-old Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) suddenly finds herself pregnant, she has to choose between having an abortion, keeping the baby, or putting it up for adoption. She ultimately decides to have the baby for a wealthy, childless couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), who live in a big, fancy house very different from Juno's. Juno thinks she’ll be able to sail smoothly through her pregnancy and then just pop out the little brat, but she soon learns that everything is not quite as easy as it seems. First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody has created a marvelous character in Juno, a cynical, self-confident teenager who pretty much says whatever’s on her mind. Her dialogue with best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) is an absolute riot of teenspeak. Director Jason Reitman (THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) keeps things moving at a brisk pace, letting Juno run the show. From the opening scene — which features a hysterical turn by Rainn Wilson (THE OFFICE) as a convenience store clerk giving Juno a hard time — to the last, JUNO is a pure joy, led by Page’s brilliant performance as the unforgettable protagonist. With sweet, emotive songs by Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches and a fine supporting cast that includes Michael Cera (SUPERBAD), J. K. Simmons (OZ), and Allison Janney (THE WEST WING), JUNO is one of the best films ever made about the topic of teen pregnancy, and about teen life in general, a moving, funny, and very real portrait of life in modern-day America.

THE KITE RUNNER (Marc Forster, 2007)


Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 surprise bestseller, THE KITE RUNNER, is a modern-day historical epic that follows one man as he attempts to make things right after a ghastly childhood incident that has haunted his every moment. The debut novel is filled with pivotal scenes of brutal emotion and genuine danger as Hosseini stomps on readers’ hearts. In trying to remain faithful to the book, screenwriter David Benioff (THE 25TH HOUR) and director Marc Forster (MONSTER’S BALL, FINDING NEVERLAND) have squeezed too much into their film, resulting in a jumpy narrative that is admirable yet rarely compelling. Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada) and his father, Ali (Nabo Tanha), work for Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) and his father, Baba (Homayoun Ershadi), a respected and successful businessman in Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan are also best friends, particularly bonding over their love of kites, a metaphor for freedom and escape. But after the horrific incident, Amir turns his back on Hassan, and it is only years later, well after the Soviet invasion and Amir’s move to San Francisco, where he has made a new life for himself, that he (now played by Khalid Abdalla) gets the opportunity to redeem himself. Even at two hours, the film feels rushed, and it gets no help from Alberto Iglesias’s mushy score. Perhaps there’ll be a director’s cut available on DVD that will fill in many of the holes and smooth out the story.

MICHAEL CLAYTON (Tony Gilroy, 2007)

Available on DVD February 19


Nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Tony Gilroy), Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkinson), Best Supporting Actress (Tilda Swinton), Best Original Score (James Newton Howard), and Best Original Screenplay (Tony Gilroy), MICHAEL CLAYTON is an intense character study as well as a taut legal thriller. Clooney stars as the title character, a lawyer at a high-powered firm whose job is to fix problems. A divorced father with little or no personal life, Clayton is deep in debt to a loan shark as a result of a failed restaurant venture with one of his brothers. When his best friend, Arthur Edens (Wilkinson), goes off his meds and performs a striptease at a deposition, later declaring that he is Shiva the God of Death, Clayton tries to make things right — but when he discovers that critical information that Arthur has could impact the $6 billion case, his life, or what’s left of it, is suddenly in danger. Swinton is outstanding as his adversary, corporate lawyer Karen Crowder, a nervous, career-driven woman who has to figure out just how far she will go to protect her job. Longtime screenwriter Gilroy (THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, the Bourne Trilogy) makes an outstanding directorial debut with MICHAEL CLAYTON, a brilliant look at a complicated man caught in an impossible situation.

Javier Bardem gets an awesome new do for awesome new Coen brothers flick

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)


Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, the Coen brothers’ NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a gripping thriller dominated by the mesmerizing performance of Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh, a psychopathic killer who believes in chance. When Llewelyn Moss (an outstanding Josh Brolin) accidentally stumbles upon the site of a drug deal gone terribly wrong, he walks away with a satchel of cash and the dream of making a better life for him and his wife (Kelly MacDonald). He also knows that there will be a lot of people looking for him — and the two million bucks he has absconded with. On his trail are the Mexican dealers who were ripped off, bounty hunter Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), and the cool, calm Chigurh, who leaves a bloody path of violence in his wake. Meanwhile, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) philosophizes on the sorry state of the modern world as he follows the proceedings with an almost Zen-like precision. Though it struggles to reach its conclusion, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is an intense noir Western, an epic meditation on chance in which the flip of a coin can be the difference between life and a horrible death.


AMC Empire 25

234 West 42nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave.


Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




J. A. Bayona’s directorial debut, THE ORPHANAGE, is a frightening horror flick in the tradition of Alejandro Amenabar’s THE OTHERS and Tobe Hooper’s POLTERGEIST (as well as Robert Wise’s THE HAUNTING, Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING, and even Richard Donner’s THE OMEN), without feeling derivative. Belén Rueda (THE SEA INSIDE) stars as Laura, a woman who, with her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo), and their son, Simon (Roger Princep), moves into an abandoned mansion that previously was as an orphanage. Laura wants to take in some developmentally disabled orphans, but it seems that she and her family are not necessarily alone in the big house. At a party for the reopening of the orphanage, Simon mysteriously disappears, and Laura is determined to find him, no matter who — or what — might be responsible. THE ORPHANAGE, Spain’s official selection for the 2007 Academy Awards, is a scary, edge-of-your-seat frightfest with just the right amount of heart-stopping shocks, courtesy of Bayona, first-time screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez, cinematographer Oscar Faura, and composer Fernando Velazquez. The film also features Geraldine Chaplin as a psychic, Montserrat Carulla as — well, actually, the less you know about the film going in, the better. THE ORPHANAGE is the first film to be presented by Guillermo del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE), who also serves as executive producer.

Marjane Satrapi animates her life for the big screen

PERSEPOLIS (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)


France’s official selection for the 2007 Academy Awards, PERSEPOLIS brings to animated life Marjane Satrapi’s stunning graphic novels. Codirected by Satrapi and comic-book artist Vincent Paronnaud, PERSEPOLIS tells Satrapi’s harrowing life story as she comes of age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Raised in a well-off activist family, she fights against many of the country’s crippling mores and laws, particularly those that treat women as second-class citizens, trapping them in their veils, denying them any kind of individual freedom. But the progressive Satrapi (voiced first by Gabrielle Lopes, then Chiara Mastroianni) continually gets into trouble as she speaks her mind, experiments with sex, and refuses to play by her country’s repressive rules. Satrapi and Paronnaud do an outstanding job of adapting the books’ black-and-white panels for the big screen, maintaining her unique style and emotional breadth. The first part of the film is excellent as the precocious teenager who talks to God learns about life in some very harsh ways. Unfortunately, the second half gets bogged down in Satrapi’s failures as an adult, focusing too much on her myriad personal problems and taking away the bigger picture that made the first part so entertaining as well as educational. Still, it’s a story worth telling, and well worth seeing. (Interestingly, since the film, which is in French, is subtitled in English, the audience ends up reading it similarly to the way they read the graphic novel.) The closing-night selection of the 2007 New York Film Festival, PERSEPOLIS also features the voices of Catherine Deneuve as Marjane’s mother, Danielle Darrieux as her grandmother, Simon Akbarian as her father, and François Jerosme as her radical uncle Anouche.

Han Sanming tries to fill in biggest hole in his life in Jia Zhangke film

STILL LIFE (SANXIA HAOREN) (Jia Zhangke, 2006)

Village East

181 Second Ave. at 12th St.




Sixth Generation Chinese film director Jia Zhangke won the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival for STILL LIFE, his beautiful, elegiac, documentary-like examination of displaced family. Jia sets his film around the ongoing, controversial Three Gorges Dam project, which has forced millions of residents from their homes. Han Sanming, a miner from Shanxi, arrives in the former town of Fengjie, looking for the daughter he hasn’t seen in sixteen years, since she was a baby. Meanwhile, a young nurse, Shen Hong, is seeking out her husband, a construction executive whom she hasn’t heard from in two years. Using nonprofessional actors, Jia (PLATFORM, THE WORLD) tells their heartbreaking stories virtually in slow motion, with many scenes driven by Han’s tired eyes, featuring little or no dialogue. He gets a job helping tear down buildings, in direct contrast to his desire to rebuild his relationship with his long-lost family. Jia’s gentle camera reveals how China, in its quest for modernization and financial power, has left behind so many of its people, the heart and soul of the land that has literally been torn out from under them. STILL LIFE is a small gem.



Oh yes, there will be blood. Tim Burton’s adaptation of the hit Broadway musical SWEENEY TODD is bloody good fun. After being sent to prison for fifteen years by Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), who had designs on his wife (Laura Michelle Kelly), innocent barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns to nineteenth-century London, reborn as Sweeney Todd, now a dark, ominous figure dead set on gaining his dastardly revenge. He gets back his coveted silver razors, which he considers an extension of his arm, and sets up shop in his old place, above the store where Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) sells meat pies crawling with cockroaches. When Todd begins slicing throats with expert precision, Lovett has a novel way of doing away with the bodies — while increasing business. Burton and screenwriter John Logan (THE AVIATOR, THE LAST SAMURAI) have done a terrific job translating the show onto the big screen, as Depp, Bonham Carter, and the rest of the cast — including Sacha Baron Cohen as a magical elixir salesman, Timothy Spall as the judge’s wingman, and Jayne Wisener as Todd’s daughter, who is doomed to marry the judge — do a wonderful job with such Stephen Sondheim songs as "No Place Like London," "Poor Thing," "My Friends," "Pretty Women," and "Not While I’m Around." Depp is marvelous as the demon barber of Fleet Street, wearing a fright wig with a shocking streak of white, singing most of his dialogue with a gentle devilishness, enhanced by his haunting, penetrating eyes. The goth opera not only sounds good but looks even better, courtesy of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, production designer Dante Ferretti, and costume designer Colleen Atwood. Burton and Depp, who have previously collaborated on EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, ED WOOD, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and CORPSE BRIDE, have another winner on their hands.

Daniel Day-Lewis searches for oil in THERE WILL BE BLOOD

THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)


Daniel Day-Lewis gives a spectacular performance as an independent oil man in Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Day-Lewis, in remarkable voice, absolutely embodies Daniel Plainview, a determined, desperate man digging for black gold in turn-of-the-century California. His first strike comes at a heavy price as he loses one of his men in a tragic accident, so he adopts the worker’s infant son, raising H.W. (Dillon Freasier) as his own. The growth of his company leads him to Little Boston, a small town that has oil just seeping out of its pores. But after not allowing Paul Sunday (Paul Dano), the charismatic preacher who runs the local Church of the Third Revelation, to say a prayer over the community’s first derrick, Plainview begins his descent into hell. Using Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel OIL! as a starting point (and employing echoes of Orson Welles’s CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS in addition to the obvious reference, George Stevens’s classic 1956 oil flick GIANT), writer-director Anderson (BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA) has created a thrilling epic about greed, power, and corruption as well as jealousy, murder, and, above all, family, where oil gushes out of the ground with fire and brimstone. Robert Elswit’s beautiful cinematography is so gritty and realistic, audiences will be reaching for their faces to wipe the oil and blood off. The piercing, classically based score, composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, builds to a mind-blowing crescendo by the end of the film — a finale that is likely to be much talked about and widely criticized. Filmed in the same location — Marfa, Texas — where GIANT was set, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is an unforgettable journey into the dark heart of one man’s soul.

U2 explodes off the screen in 3-D concert flick

U2 3D (Catherine Owens & Mark Pellington, 2008)

AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13

1998 Broadway at 68th St.



When we caught U2’s Vertigo Tour at the Garden in June 2006, we were up in the rafters, looking down at tiny dots that just happened to be drummer Larry Mullen Jr., bass player Adam Clayton, guitarist the Edge, and singer Bono. But now the World’s Most Important Band is front and center for everyone to see in U2 3D, the first-ever full-length film shot in Digital 3-D, directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington. Using as many as eighteen specially equipped digital cameras and recording decks, Owens, who has been U2’s visual content director since ZooTV, captures the Irish band during stadium shows in South America and Mexico, focusing on the March 1-2 concerts at Estadio la Plata in Buenos Aires. The new technology, previously used for sporting events, has a fascinating layered effect that sucks in viewers — yes, who are wearing special glasses (not unlike the specs Bono used to wear as the Fly) — placing them right in the middle of the action as the band powers through an exultant setlist that, if not quite ideal, includes "Vertigo," "New Year’s Day," and "Pride (In the Name of Love)." You can’t help but reach out for Bono as he seemingly jumps out of the screen while singing "Touch me" during "Beautiful Day," and then you’ll swear he’s reaching out only to you when he stares into the camera during "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and promises to "wipe your tears away." And when tens of thousands of fans all bop up and down in unison to "Where the Streets Have No Name," forming a propulsive wave, you’ll feel a rush beneath your seat that moves up into your gut. Owens and Pellington (ARLINGTON ROAD) incorporate the band’s hypertextual stage show into the new format, as digitized figures, words, symbols, and letters from the large screens behind the band seem to float right in front of your face. The concert footage is supplemented with extreme close-ups shot onstage without an audience, and the energy level severely drops at these times, although Mullen’s drum kit looks amazing in 3-D. As straight-ahead concert movies go, U2 3D is among the best ever made, a unique theatrical experience that will blow you away.

André Téchiné returns to 1980s France in THE WITNESSES

THE WITNESSES (LES TÉMOINS) (André Téchiné, 2007)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.



If André Téchiné (CHANGING TIMES) had made his latest relationship drama, THE WITNESSES, around the time it is set — 1983-84 — perhaps it would have been more interesting. Or at least it would have been more relevant. Instead, it offers little new on the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. Emmanuelle Béart (8 WOMEN, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) stars as Sarah, a successful children’s book author who discovers, after having her first child, that she really isn’t cut out to be a mother. Sarah’s best friend, Adrien (Michel Blanc), is a middle-aged gay man who falls in love with young Manu (Johan Libéreau), who insists on a platonic relationship, with Adrien becoming more of a father figure. After meeting Sarah’s husband, Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), Manu starts a torrid affair with him, keeping it a secret from both Adrien and Sarah, even though Sarah and Mehdi, a lieutenant on the vice squad, have a somewhat open marriage. When Manu comes down with a mysterious illness, things grow more complex and serious. Despite a fine performance by Béart, who lights up the screen every time she appears, the film mostly goes nowhere — or at least nowhere the audience hasn’t been before.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance

Chunky Move gets funky with innovative lighting at the Kitchen


The Kitchen

512 West 19th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

February 7-10

Tickets: $10




Chunky Move’s GLOW, at the Kitchen through February 10, is a visual and physical wonder. For thirty minutes, the spectacular Kristy Ayre (who alternates performances with Sara Black) slides and slithers, twists and turns, shakes and shudders, and creeps and crawls across a white rectangular floor in the middle of the tiny theater, surrounded by the audience on four sides. She contorts and distorts her body as Nick Roux operates a series of light projections onto Ayre and the floor, which has been specially equipped with a motion-detection system so that the light reacts to the moves of the dancer. Over a subtle electronic score by Luke Smiles, Ayre is both trapped by the light and enraptured by it. She often curls up in a fetal position before spreading out to either fight the light or revel in it, making guttural sounds while creating spectacular visual images, flipping and scissoring her body with astonishing precision, power, and control. One moment she is trying to push her way out of a quadrangle that keeps her enclosed; at another she leaves a dark cloud behind as that soul-like object attempts to return to her body; and at a third, she’s a human Spirograph, curves of light swirling around her. The choreography, by the Australian company’s artistic director, Gideon Obarzanek, is tense and captivating all on its own, even without interactive software creator Frieder Weiss’s cutting-edge lighting design. What could have been gimmicky is instead revelatory, a breathless, virtuosic half hour that investigates the essence of the organic form. (Be sure to get to the Kitchen early to check out Mai-Thu Perret’s intriguing multimedia exhibition, “An Evening of the Book and Other Stories,” in the upstairs gallery.)

Dollar Store works hard for their money on new record


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Friday, February 8, $10




Dollar Store’s second album, MONEY MUSIC (Bloodshot, August 2007), is a fast-paced, hard-driving romp through alt country with elements of classic rock, pop, and punk. Guitarist Tex Schmidt (the Roughnecks), bassist Alan Doughty (the Waco Brothers), singer Deano Schlabowske (Wreck), and drummer Joe Camirillo (Hushdrops), who has recovered from a serious car accident, have a good ol’ time with a dozen original tunes that aren’t afraid to show their influences. The second song, "Scrap Truck," steals the bass and guitar riffs from the Beatles’ "I’ve Got a Feeling" as Schlabowske sings about going through life picking up scraps. "Twisting in the Wind" opens with playful 1960s keyboards. "Company Town" recalls the breakneck speed of the Replacements, while the impressive "Star" kicks things off with a little "Psychotic Reaction." But Dollar Store is no mere retro act; that is only a small part of the fun as they tear through songs about "the poor and unknown," from the gorgeous guitar lines of "Work = Reward" and "One Red Cent, One Thin Dime" to the big sound of "Dying Light." And the band is as tight as an interstate trucker’s Wrangler jeans. "Make it howl," Schlabowske sings on the title track before howling himself. Check ’em out at the Knitting Factory on February 8, where they’ll play that money music and howl all night long.

Taj Mahal celebrates forty years
with benefit show in Brooklyn


Brooklyn Museum, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

200 Eastern Parkway

Saturday, February 9, 8:00

Tickets: $15-$50; Meet the Artist $150




In celebration of Black History Month, Taj Mahal will be performing a special benefit concert at the Brooklyn Museum for the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music. The legendary bluesman will be reunited with Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart, Joe Daley, and Earl McIntyre, the horn section — including tubas! — that backed him on of his legendary 1971 Fillmore East Real Thing concert, as well as Buddy Williams, Earl Gardner, Victor See Yuen, John di Martino, Ron Jackson, and Jerome Harris. Born in Harlem and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the sixty-five-year-old Taj Mahal (originally known as Henry St. Claire Fredericks) is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the release of his first record, his eponymous debut on Columbia. "I walk with the energy of music every day. I don’t have to turn it on to hear it play," he has said. "In the end, ultimately the music plays you, you don’t play the music." For more than 110 years, the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music has been "promoting individual and community growth through music and is committed to making music accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels." Taj always puts on quite a show, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to see him play one more time with the Tuba Band.

Ronald K. Brown will present NYC premiere at the Joyce


Joyce Theater

175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.

February 12-17

Tickets: $25-$38



Ronald K. Brown brought his Brooklyn-based Evidence dance company to the Joyce for its annual season in Chelsea, featuring two different programs. On February 14, they performed the second program, consisting of three pieces from its repertory. Melding styles from West Africa, the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora, Brown creates a celebration of community onstage, choreographing conversations among his dancers highlighted by rich emotion and deep spirituality, with an underlying sociopolitical bent. His dancers rarely touch; there are no lifts, throws, slides, or carries. They communicate with individual movements that are almost never in complete unison. Often a dancer or two will come to a stop and watch the other performers, even talking to each other until they jump back into the action. The evening began with COME YE (2003), set to the music of Nina Simone and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Shani Nwando Ikerioha Collins (SNIC) was particularly impressive in the six-dancer piece, her natural movements filled with passion. After a brief intermission, the troupe returned for TRUTH DON DIE (2006), which included a warm solo by Clarice Young and music by Wunmi, Fred Hammond, Me Shell Ndegeocello, and Fela's son, Femi Kuti. Brown joined the company (associate artistic director Arcell Cabuag, SNIC, Khetanya Henderson, Otis Donovan Herring, Juel D. Lane, Tiffany Quinn, Keon Thoulouis, and Young) in the wide-ranging piece about a traveling evangelist. The night concluded with the sensational UPSIDE DOWN (1998), a thrilling party with music by Oumou Sangare and Fela Kuti as well as a live performance by a fancifully costumed Wunmi and two drummers. Part of the longer DESTINY, the piece begins and ends with Cabuag, who spent much of the night running across the stage with a controlled, confident abandon, being lifted by the other dancers, serving as pallbearers. The first program is the New York premiere of the evening-length ONE SHOT, inspired by the life and career of artist and photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris.

© [Zøgma]

[Zøgma] jumps into the Harkness Dance Festival with RAPAILLÉ


February 13 — March 16

Ailey Citigroup Theater at the Joan Weill Center for Dance

405 West 55th St. at Ninth Ave.

Wednesday — Saturday 8:00, Sunday 2:00

Tickets: $20



The fourteenth annual festival sponsored by the 92nd Street Y features dance performances from five international companies, this year moved to the Ailey Citigroup Theater just outside of Hell’s Kitchen.

Wednesday, February 13


Sunday, February 17 Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug: PICNIC

Wednesday, February 20


Sunday, February 24 [Zøgma]: RAPAILLÉ

Wednesday, February 27


Sunday, March 2 Nathantrice/RITUALS Dance Theater

Wednesday, March 5


Sunday, March 9 Out of Israel: LeeSaar/The Company & Netta Yerushalmy

Wednesday, March 12


Sunday, March 16 Brian Brooks Moving Company: HAPPY LUCKY SUN

Drew King

Local boys the Bravery comes to Terminal 5, with Switches and Your Vegas


Terminal 5

610 West 56th St. at Eleventh Ave.

Thursday, February 21, $25, 8:00




The Bravery shoot for some lofty answers on their second album, THE SUN AND THE MOON (May 2007, Island). “What does it mean to exist?” lead singer and songwriter Sam Endicott asks on “This Is Not the End.” “Is nothing sacred, is nothing saved?” he ponders on “Split Me Wide Open.” And on the opening song, the ridiculously catchy “Believe,” he wonders, “Something’s always coming, you can hear it in the ground / It swells into the air with a rising rising sound / And never comes but shakes the boards and rattles all the doors / What are we waiting for?” The band shakes and rattles on the disc, which features Brit pop and techno as well as a healthy dose of punk. The album is littered with references to death, poison, twisted ropes, liars, fear, false prophets, knives and razors blades, and tragedy and torment, set in a world where time is running out and love is a fistful of sand that falls apart and fades away. “All these precious moments you promised me would come in time / So where was I when I missed mine,” Endicott sings amid the heavy ’80s sound of “Time Won’t Let Me Go.” While the Bravery might have previously been known mostly for their silly battle with the Killers, they now have come into their own, with guitarists Endicott and Michael Zakarin, bassist Mike H, keyboardist John Conway, and Anthony Burulcich on drums finding their voice. The album was recorded in Atlanta and New York City by producer Brendan O’Brien (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine); on March 18, the band will release THE SUN AND THE MOON COMPLETE, a two-CD set that contains the original album on one disc (the Sun) and reworkings of the same songs on a second disc (the Moon). Originally started by Endicott and Conway, the band struck it big in England before taking off in the States. They’ll be bringing their new songs, as well as such techno-heavy hits as “An Honest Mistake,” “Unconditional,” and “Fearless” from their 2005 debut album, to Terminal 5 on February 21, headlining a gig that also includes Switches and Your Vegas.


The Big Sleep headlines the Mercury on February 21


Mercury Lounge

217 East Houston St. at Ave. A

Thursday, February 21, $10-$12, 7:30




The Big Sleep in Prospect Park

Last August, we saw the Big Sleep put on a great show at the Prospect Park Bandshell as part of Celebrate Brooklyn!, opening up for the Hold Steady. With Sonya on bass and keyboards, Danny on guitar and keyboards, and Gabe on drums (found through an ad on Craig’s List), the trio puts out a loud, thrilling sound, with guitar screeching over deep, darkly disguised melodies. Though primarily playing instrumentals, occasionally Sonya or Danny will sing, but their strength lies in their propulsive power; it’s a shock that it’s only three people making this beautiful noise. Live, Danny turns into a whirling dervish, twisting around and covering his face with his long hair as he tears apart his six-string. The Brooklyn-based band is just releasing its second record, SLEEP FOREVER (French Kiss, February 19, 2008), featuring a dozen gems. After teasing us with a slow intro, the band dives into its heavy sound on the instrumentals “Slow Race” and “The Big Guns.” “Bad Blood” features the first lyrics on the album, as Sonya sings, “I feel afraid / Am I really afraid? / Or was I made to feel this way?” Danny takes over lead vocals on the massive “Pinkies.” “Tigers in Our Hearts” simply explodes out of the gates, while “So Long” features perhaps their sweetest melody. On the last song, the title track, Danny sings, “We’ve got our work cut out for us / There’s no place left for us to go.” Actually, there are lots of places for them to go, including SXSW, while touring behind the excellent SLEEP FOREVER. They’ll be keeping the crowd up late at the Mercury Lounge with a record release party on February 21; they go on at 10:30, following Sian Alice Group (9:30), Priestbird (8:30), and Heavy Creatures (7:30).

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art, Literature & Theater


The Foundry Theatre

Multiple locations

Tickets: $15



Saturday, February 9


Sunday, March 16 New site-specific play written by Aaron Landsman and directed by Melanie Joseph, taking place in two dozen homes across the city

Manuel Harlan

Chichester Festival Theatre brings Patrick Stewart and MACBETH to Brooklyn


BAM Harvey Theater

651 Fulton Street between Ashland Pl. & Rockwell Pl.

Tickets: $30-$90



Tuesday, February 12


Saturday, March 22 Patrick Stewart stars in the Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s MACBETH, directed by Rupert Goold

Another "Novel" by Chris Elliott (Weinstein Books, November 2007, $23.95)


We have to preface this review by unashamedly pointing out that we absolutely adore Chris Elliott. From his early days as the Guy Under the Seats on LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN to one of our favorite sitcoms of all time, the misunderstood and almost completely forgotten GET A LIFE, we’ve been laughing our little heads off at the crazy antics of the perpetually balding son of deadpan comic Bob Elliott, of Bob & Ray fame. Fortunately, Chris’s follow-up to 2005’s THE SHROUD OF THE THWACKER is another idiotic literary adventure, this time up Mount Everest in a wacky parody of Jon Krakauer’s INTO THIN AIR. Elliott and a crew of Mountain Maniacs are heading up Chomolungma to find the remains of his great-uncle Percy, who perished in the Himalayas in 1924, along with the mysterious Golden Rhombus. Chris is joined on the treacherous journey by Lauren Bacall, Tony Danza, Kirsten Dunst, Wendell Pierce, Martin Sheen, Michael Moore (who is filming it all), untrustworthy bounty hunter Duncan Carter, the CIA, sherpas both living and dead, sex-starved Yetis, a Texan wearing only a Speedo, an aging blind Russian skiier, spies for the Dalai Lama, and other bizarre characters. Elliott’s childish, absurdist humor isn’t for everyone, but it makes us wet ourselves. He even pays a strange visit to Sir Edmund Hillary; understandably, the great mountaineer died shortly after the book came out. (We kid you not; the book was released in November, and the world-famous adventurer passed away less than two months later.)

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twi-ny top two dozen (or so) weekly reminders & special events


Joyce Theater

175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.

Tickets: $25-$35



Tuesday, February 5


Sunday, February 10 Trisha Brown presents the fourth in her series of collaborations with Robert Rauschenberg, FORAY FORET, performed for the first time since the early 1990s; her latest piece, I LOVE MY ROBOTS, with music by Laurie Anderson and visual design by Kenjiro Okazaki; and 1994’s solo IF YOU COULDN’T SEE ME


Performance Space 122

150 First Ave. at East Ninth St.

Tickets: $10-$20



Tuesday, February 5


Sunday, February 10 World premiere of dance piece for six women by New York-based Deganit Shemy and Company


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.

February 1-10



Wednesday, February 6 The Films of Olivier Assayas: LES DESTINÉES SENTIMENTALES (Olivier Assayas, 2000), 7:00

Thursday, February 7 The Films of Olivier Assayas: COLD WATER (Olivier Assayas, 1994), 7:00

Thursday, February 7 The Films of Olivier Assayas: DEMONLOVER (Olivier Assayas, 2002), 9:00

Friday, February 8 The Films of Olivier Assayas: CLEAN (Olivier Assayas, 2004), 7:00

Friday. February 8 The Films of Charles Burnett: KILLER OF SHEEP (Charles Burnett, 1977), 7:15

Friday. February 8 The Films of Charles Burnett: TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (Charles Burnett, 1990), 9:15

Friday, February 8 The Films of Olivier Assayas: COLD WATER (Olivier Assayas, 1994), 9:30

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Charles Burnett: WARMING BY THE DEVIL’S FIRE (Charles Burnett, 2003), 4:00

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Olivier Assayas: LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER (Olivier Assayas, 1998), 4:30

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Charles Burnett: MY BROTHER’S WEDDING (Charles Burnett, 1983), 6:00

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Olivier Assayas: DEMONLOVER (Olivier Assayas, 2002), 7:00

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Charles Burnett: THE GLASS SHIELD (Charles Burnett, 1994), 8:30

Saturday, February 9 The Films of Olivier Assayas: IRMA VEP (Olivier Assayas, 1996), 9:30

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Charles Burnett: KILLER OF SHEEP (Charles Burnett, 1977), 4:30

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Olivier Assayas: HHH: A PORTRAIT OF HOU HSIAO-HSIEN (Olivier Assayas, 1997), 5:00

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Charles Burnett: TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (Charles Burnett, 1990), 6:30

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Olivier Assayas: CLEAN (Olivier Assayas, 2004), 7:00

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Charles Burnett: NAT TURNER: A TROUBLESOME PROPERTY (Charles Burnett, 2003), 8:30

Sunday, February 10 The Films of Olivier Assayas: COLD WATER (Olivier Assayas, 1994), 9:15

Monday, February 11 The Films of Charles Burnett: THE GLASS SHIELD (Charles Burnett, 1994), 7:00

Monday, February 11 The Films of Charles Burnett: MY BROTHER’S WEDDING (Charles Burnett, 1983), 9:15

Tuesday, February 12 The Films of Charles Burnett: NAT TURNER: A TROUBLESOME PROPERTY (Charles Burnett, 2003), 7:00

Tuesday, February 12 The Films of Charles Burnett: WARMING BY THE DEVIL’S FIRE (Charles Burnett, 2003), 9:00

Wednesday, February 13 The Films of Charles Burnett: MY BROTHER’S WEDDING (Charles Burnett, 1983), 7:00

Wednesday, February 13 The Films of Charles Burnett: TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (Charles Burnett, 1990), 9:15

Thursday, February 14 The Films of Charles Burnett: KILLER OF SHEEP (Charles Burnett, 1977), 7:00

Thursday, February 14 The Films of Charles Burnett: NAT TURNER: A TROUBLESOME PROPERTY (Charles Burnett, 2003), 9:00

Friday. February 15 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: A DRIFTING LIFE (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1996), 6:30

Friday. February 15 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: MURMUR OF YOUTH (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1997), 9:15

Saturday, February 16 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: SWEET DEGENERATION (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1998), 4:30

Saturday, February 16 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: MARCH OF HAPPINESS (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1999), 7:00

Saturday, February 16 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: BETELNUT BEAUTY (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2001), 9:15

Sunday, February 17 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: ROBINSON’S CRUSOE (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2002), 4:30

Sunday, February 17 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: THE MOON ALSO RISES (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2005), 6:30

Sunday, February 17 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: A DRIFTING LIFE (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1996), 9:00

Monday, February 18 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: MURMUR OF YOUTH (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1997), 7:00

Monday, February 18 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: SWEET DEGENERATION (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1998), 9:15

Tuesday, February 19 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: BETELNUT BEAUTY (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2001), 7:00

Tuesday, February 19 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: MARCH OF HAPPINESS (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1999), 9:15

Wednesday, February 20 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: A DRIFTING LIFE (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1996), 7:00

Wednesday, February 20 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: MURMUR OF YOUTH (Lin Cheng-sheng, 1997), 9:30

Thursday, February 21 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: ROBINSON’S CRUSOE (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2002), 7:00

Thursday, February 21 The Films of Lin Cheng-sheng: THE MOON ALSO RISES (Lin Cheng-sheng, 2005), 9:00


Scandinavia House

58 Park Ave. at 38th St.

Tickets: $25



Thursday, February 7 Grieg & Chopin, 7:30


The Gallery at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center

Tickets: $50 (includes one-year membership to Central Park Conservancy)



Thursday, February 7 Annual Winter Social, featuring specialty tapas and wine, sponsored by the Junior Advisory Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, 7:30 — 9:30


Chatham Square, intersection of Bowery, Mott, and East Broadway, and surrounding streets

Admission: free




Thursday, February 7 New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival, featuring local politicians, Lion, Dragon, and Unicorn dancers, traditional and contemporary performances, more than 600,000 rounds of firecrackers set off in one five-minute period, and hundreds of thousands of spectators and celebrants, Chatham Square, 11:00 am — 3:00 pm

Sunday, February 10 Ninth annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival, featuring floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dancers marching through local stores to bring good luck in the new year, antique cars, beauty queens, Asian musical performers, magicians and acrobats, and hundreds of thousands of attendees, parade begins at 1:00, cultural festival follows until 5:00


National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts

1083 Fifth Ave. between 89th & 90th Sts.

Admission: $5 (includes entry to exhibits at National Academy)




Friday, February 8 Critics James Gardner, Linda Nochlin, and Robert Storr will review current exhibitions by Ellen Berkenblit at Anton Kern, Chris Martin at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Jane Freilicher at Tibor de Nagy, Katy Grannan at Greenberg Van Doren, and William Kentridge at Marian Goodman, moderated by David Cohen, 6:45


Japan Society

333 East 47th St. at First Ave.

Tickets: $32



Friday, February 8


Saturday, February 9 Fresh Interpretations of All-Time Japanese Favorites, by Tokyo-born piano prodigy Akiko Yano, now based in New York City, with Cliff Almond on drums and Chris Minh Doky on bass, 7:30


Theater for the New City

155 First Ave. at Tenth St.

Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00; Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00

Tickets: $10 (children under twelve accompanied by a ticket-bearing adult $1.00 for 2:00 matinees)



Friday, February 8


Sunday, February 17 Thirty-third annual event featuring the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, with all proceeds benefiting the Native American scholarship fund


IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.

Friday - Sundays at 11:00 am through March 30



Friday, February 8


Sunday, February 10 HUMAIN TROP HUMAIN (Louis Malle, 1974) and VIVE LE TOUR (Louis Malle, 1962)

Friday, February 15


Sunday, February 18 ATLANTIC CITY (Louis Malle, 1980)


Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Avenue at 75th St.

Admission: $8



Friday, February 8 Dan Deacon, free with museum admission, 7:00

Friday, February 15 Composers’ Showcase: Nick Didkovsky, free with museum admission, 7:00


Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

Tickets: $15

212-620-5000 ext 344


Saturday, February 9 The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with Dr. Ramon Prats and Kevin R. Nelson, 4:00


Tenri Cultural Institute

43A West 13th St.

Tickets: $15



Saturday, February 9 The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) presents George Crumb’s "Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land" and Arnold Schoenberg’s String Trio, Op. 45 and "Pierrot Lunaire," with Bo Chang, mezzo-soprano; Steve Beck, piano; Gilad Harel, clarinet; Alexandra Sopp, flute; Yuki Numata, violin, viola; artistic director Clarice Jensen, cello; Caleb Burhans, violin; and Nadia Sirota, viola, conducted by Jared Soldiviero, 8:00


Museum of the Moving Image

35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria

Through February 24

Tickets: $10 (includes museum admission)



Saturday, February 9 SEAS BENEATH (John Ford, 1931), 2:30

Saturday, February 9 FOUR MEN AND A PRAYER (John Ford, 1938), 5:00

Sunday, February 10 WHEN WILLIE COMES MARCHING HOME (John Ford, 1950), 5:00

Saturday, February 16 TOBACCO ROAD (John Ford, 1941), 2:30

Saturday, February 16 MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (John Ford, 1946), 5:00

Sunday, February 17 MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (John Ford, 1946), 5:00

Sunday, February 17 THE GRAPES OF WRATH (John Ford, 1940), 2:00


Merchant’s House Museum

29 East Fourth St. between Lafayette St. and the Bowery

Admission: $15 (RSVP required)



Saturday, February 9 Afternoon Tea & Tour — Flowers & Fans: Old Fashioned Languages of Love, $40, 1:00 & 3:00

Wednesday, February 13 THE HEIRESS (William Wyler, 1949), introduced by Anthony Bellov, $25, 7:00


Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St.

Tickets: $9

Reservations required: 212-534-1672 ext3395


Sunday, February 10 Three different programs of five films each by Rudy Burckhardt, introduced by Phillip Lopate at 11:00 am, Deborah Solomon at 1:00, and Jacob Burckhardt at 3:00


Noguchi Museum

9-01 33rd Rd. at Vernon Blvd.

Free with museum admission of $10

718-204-7088 ext209


Sunday, February 10 Special performance by experimental percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra, 3:00


The Frick Collection

1 East 70th St. at Fifth Ave.

Tickets: $25



Sunday, February 10 Trio Wanderer makes its New York debut: Mendelssohn, Opus 66; Liszt, Tristia; Ravel, Trio in A, 5:00


Dance Theater Workshop

219 West 19th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Tickets: $20



Monday, February 11


Tuesday, February 12 French choreographers Emmanuelle Huynh, Laurent Pichaud, and Sylvain Prunenec and American ex-pat Jennifer Lacey perform solo interpretations of Deboray Hay’s ROOM, with special rules from Hay; Huynh and Lacey dance on February 11 and Pichaud and Prunened on February 12, 7:30


B.B. King Blues Club

237 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Tickets: $35



Tuesday, February 12 An evening of classics from the King of Rock n’ Soul, plus songs from his upcoming record, 8:00


Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

36 Battery Pl.

Tickets: $20



Wednesday, February 13 World premiere opera by Bradley Detrick commemorating the sixty-fifth anniversary of the rescue of Danish Jews and the forty-fifth anniversary of Thanks to Scandinavia, with remarks by Danish consul general Torben Gettermann, 6:30


Carnegie Hall

154 West 57th St. at Seventh Ave.

Tickets: $30-$85



Wednesday, February 13 With Ray Davies, Sufjan Stevens, Philip Glass, Tom Verlaine, Nawang Khechog, Marisa Monte, and others, 7:30


Joe’s Pub

425 Lafayette St. between East Fourth St. & Astor Pl.

Tickets: $15



Wednesday, February 13 Pre-Valentine’s Day celebration with Lucy Wainwright Roche, 9:30


The Reprise Room at Dillons Lounge

245 West 54th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway

Tickets: $15 (food and drink minimum $15)

Special Valentine’s Day menu inspired by the show created by Chef Vikas Khanna.


Wednesday, February 13


Thursday, February 14 Show written and performed by comedian and former stripper Lisa Faith Phillips, with original music and musical direction by Ellen Mandel and a menu by chef Vikas Khanna inspired by the show, 8:00


Japan Society

333 East 47th St. at First Ave.

Tickets: $15



Wednesday, February 13 Part 1: Chambara Action & Adventure, 7:00

Thursday, February 14 Part 2: Horror & Comedy, 7:00

Friday, February 15 Part 3: Propaganda, 7:00

Saturday, February 16 Part 4: Music & Dance, 5:00

Saturday, February 16 Special Screening: OROCHI (Buntaro Futagawa, 1925), with live benshi performance in English, 7:30


The Great Hall at the Cooper Union

7 East Seventh St. at Third Ave.

Admission: free



Thursday, February 14 The Felman Lectures presents a talk by Claude Engle, 6:30


BAMcinematek / BAM Rose Cinemas

30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.

Tickets: $63 (includes film, dinner, tax, and tip)



Thursday, February 14 HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks, 1940), with dinner at the BAMcafé, 6:30 & 8:30


French Institute Alliance Française

Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th St. between Park & Madison Aves.

Admission: $35



Thursday, February 14 Music, dancing, and activities with Les Chauds Lapins and DJ Le Grand JB, wine, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres, 21 or older, 7:00


Galapagos Art Space (front room and back room)

70 North Sixth St. between Wythe and Kent, Williamsburg

Tickets: $20 (first 300 buyers get a vintage Valentine at the door, limited number of early-bird $15 tickets available with code TWIN)





Thursday, February 14 Fifth annual Valentine’s Day party hosted by Gemini & Scorpio, celebrating the entirety of the twentieth century, featuring free Charleston and Lindy dance class at 7:30, followed by toast and live performances starting at 8:30, including silent films with a live score by Sxip Shirey, hot jazz from Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra, dreamy standards from Nat & Kat Duo, glorious burlesque from Molly Crabapple & Veronica Varlow, Angela Harriell’s Love Show Dancers, the Gong Show, electro-karaoke laptop mayhem from Project Jenny and Project Jan, future space music with beatboxing, Theremin, and bicycle wheel from Adam Matta, time-traveling beats with DJ Dhundee, Vintage DJ, Zemi17, and Moldover, and more, continuing to 4:00 am


The Grand Harmony Palace

98 Mott St.



Thursday, February 14 The eighty-first annual Golden Gloves continues with a special Valentine’s night in Chinatown, 7:30


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Tickets: $20




Thursday, February 14 Diamanda Galás presents her annual tribute to romance in a night or tragic and homicidal love songs, including "Down So Low," "Long Black Veil," "O Death," "Burning Hell," "I Put A Spell on You," "Imitation of Life," "Padam Padam," and more, 7:30 & 10:30


Highline Ballroom

431 West 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.

Tickets: $25, with $10 minimum at tables



Thursday, February 14 Syd Straw presents a special Valentine’s Day show, with Christine "the Beehive" Ohlman opening, 8:00


The Cutting Room

19 West 24th St. between Broadway & Sixth Ave.

Tickets: $15-$20





Thursday, February 14 Childhood friends David Saw and Ben Taylor (son of Carly Simon and James Taylor) will perform together at this special acoustic show, 10:00


The Puck Building

295 Houston St. at Lafayette St.

Admission: $15 (includes catalog), three-day pass $40, children under sixteen free with adult



Thursday, February 14


Sunday, February 17 More than three dozen galleries from around the world will be exhibiting and selling paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, mixed-media works, and more in this twelfth annual show


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

2 East 92nd St. at Fifth Ave.

Tickets: $10

Registration: 212-849-8380


Friday, February 15 Fernando and Humberto Campana in conversation with curatorial director Cara McCarty, Roberto Stern of H. Stern, and Guiliana Michelotti of Edra, followed by a viewing of the new exhibition "Campana Brothers Select: Works from the Permanent Collection," 6:30


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Tickets: $25-$35



Friday, February 15 Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, 8:00


Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Avenue at 75th St.

Admission: pay-what-you-wish



Friday, February 15 Senior curatorial assistant Tina Kukielski and artist Beth Campbell discuss Campbell’s site-specific installation "Following Room," 8:00


The Forms played last summer at South Street Seaport


Union Hall

702 Union St. at Fifth Ave.

Tickets: $10-$12



Friday, February 15 The Forms headline, with Pattern Is Movement, 8:00


Sullivan Hall

214 Sullivan St. between Bleecker & West Third Sts.

Admission: $10




Friday, February 15 One of our favorite duos, Ming Dynasty (Eric Miranda and Ming Chan), will play a special post-Valentine’s show at 10:30 at the old Lion’s Den, preceded by Karl F Kling at 9:30


Brooklyn Academy of Music

Howard Gilman Opera House (HG) / BAMcafé

30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.

February 15-23



Friday, February 15 Soulive with Noble Society, HG, $20-$25, 8:00

Friday, February 15 Black Rock Coalition: Power Douglas with Dragons of Zynth and Tunde Adebimpe & Kyp Malone, BAMcafé, free, 10:00 pm — 2:00 am

Saturday, February 16 Citizen Cope with Len Xiang, HG, $20-$25, 8:00

Saturday, February 16 JellyNYC: White Rabbits with Miss Fairchild and EFFI BRIEST, BAMcafé, free, 10:00 pm - 2:00 am


IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.

Friday - Sundays at 12 midnight through March 22



Friday, February 15


Sunday, February 17 FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (Amy Heckerling, 1982)

Friday, February 22


Saturday, February 23 RISKY BUSINESS (Paul Brickman, 1983)


Eldridge Street Synagogue

12 Eldridge St. between Canal & Division Sts.

Admission: free

212-219-0888 ext308


Sunday, February 17 Lost and Found Music Series, with cantor Sam Weiss, violinist Steven Greenman, and tsimbl player Pete Rushefsky playing old and new pieces rooted in the cantorial and klezmer traditions, 3:00


Beacon Theatre

2124 Broadway at 74th St.

Tickets: $45-$79



Sunday, February 17 Featuring the Stylistics, the Emotions, the Delfonics, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, and more, 3:00 & 8:00


Brooklyn Southpaw

125 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn

Suggested donation: $20




Sunday, February 17 Musical salute and silent auction honoring the recently deceased guitarist, featuring performances by the Silos, Jack Grace Band, Tandy, a Don Piper Situation, Feathermerchants, Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies, Chris Mills, Chip Robinson, Syd Straw, Lenny Kaye, Demolition String Band, Mary Lee Kortes, and many more, 3:00 - 11:00


School of Visual Arts, third-floor amphitheater

209 East 23rd St. between Second & Third Aves.

Admission: free



Tuesday, February 19 Panel discussion on art related to the Iraq war, with Steve Mumford, Brian Palmer, Aaron Hughes, Ryan Roa, and Michael Fay, moderated by Leonard Lopate, 7:00


Blue Note

131 West Third St.

Tickets: table $35, bar $20



Tuesday, February 19


Sunday, February 24 Eighty-seven-year-old trumpet master Clark Terry brings his big band to the Blue Note, 8:00 & 10:30


Nashville punks ride into town for two hot shows


Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston St. at Ave. A

Tickets: $25


Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., Hoboken

Tickets: $10





Wednesday, February 20, Mercury Lounge


Thursday, February 21, Maxwell’s Nashville’s Be Your Own Pet headlines two area gigs


Carnegie Hall

Weill Recital Hall

881 Seventh Ave. at 57th St.

Tickets: $20-$35




Thursday, February 21 Music of the Spheres Society presents works by Miklos Rozsa, Rudolf Friml, Igor Stravinsky, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Hanns Eisler, Erich Korngold, and Arnold Schoenberg/Anton Webern made after leaving their homeland and coming to Hollywood, featuring Stephanie Chase and Erin Keefe on violin, Bion Tsang on cello, Jon Manasse on clarinet, Elizabeth Mann on flute, and John Novacek on piano, 8:00

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