twi-ny, this week in new york

Biennial Exhibit of the Week


1. Contemplating the state of art at the Whitney Biennial

2. Contemplating Munch at MoMA

3. Contemplating Munch at Scandinavia House

4. Contemplating Reverse film at Makor

5. Contemplating the environment on Earth Day

6. Plus Riff’s Rants & Raves, including Robert Wilson’s PEER GYNT at BAM, Caveh Zahedi’s I AM A SEX ADDICT, Julian Jarrold’s KINKY BOOTS, Mary Harron’s THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE, Ning Hao’s MONGOLIAN PING PONG, Paul Weitz’s AMERICAN DREAMZ, Chuck Palahniuk’s CHOKE, Daniel Clowes’s ICE HAVEN, and Willie Nile’s STREETS OF NEW YORK

7. and twi-ny’s weekly recommended events, including book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, workshops, and much more

Volume 5, Number 45
April 12-26, 2006

Send all comments, suggestions, reviews, and questions to Mark Rifkin

If you forward any part of this guide to someone who has not subscribed, please be sure to attach the following line: To subscribe to this list,
which includes e-mail-only bonuses twice a month, please e-mail the administrator at with the word Subscribe in the Subject line. We at twi-ny thank you.

back issues

Site Design/Subway Photo:
Fred Gates Design, New York.

advertise with twi-ny!

advertise with twi-ny!


Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris / Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging

Production still from "A Journey That Wasn’t," Pierre Huyghe, 2005

Twi-ny, This Week In New York


Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Ave. at 75th St.

Through May 28

Closed Monday and Tuesday

Admission: $15 (Fridays from 6:00 to 9:00 pay what you wish)


In 1973, François Truffaut made DAY FOR NIGHT (LA NUIT AMERICAINE), a film about filmmaking whose title referenced the cinematic convention of using special filters to shoot nighttime scenes during the day. For the first time in its history, the Whitney has titled its biannual survey of contemporary American art, calling it "Day for Night," questioning the nature of not only the making of art but the viewing of it as well. Curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne have collected more than two hundred works from more than one hundred artists that are stirring up the usual debate as to what constitutes art, with critics from all sides lambasting their decisions. Yes, there is a lot of lousy art in the seventy-third biennial; fortunately, however, there are also a lot of excellent pieces. Paul Chan’s "1st Light" installation projects images onto the floor and wall of a dimly lit room. On the floor, objects fall through space, from cell phones and poles to station wagons and, ultimately, people, evoking the harrowing memory of the men and women who jumped out of the Twin Towers on September 11; however, the same images are reflected onto the corner wall, where these same figures seem to float toward heaven. In another dark room, Rodney Graham’s "Torqued Chandelier Release" plays, a twisting image of a chandelier speeding up, the large projector standing in the center of the room as if both viewer and creator. On the fifth floor, the Wrong Gallery’s show within a show, "Down by Law," features controversial works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry Clark, Leon Golub, David Wojnarowicz, Andres Serrano, Fred Tomaselli, Raymond Pettibon, Andy Warhol, and others.

Marvelli Gallery, New York

"Untitled (Father & Son)" from "Left Behind" series, Angela Strassheim, 2004

In the Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Gallery on the first floor, Pierre Huyghe’s "A Journey That Wasn’t" combines images from his recent journey to Antarctica with the re-creation of that expedition as part of a multimedia performance held in Central Park last fall. Hana Liden’s "Lake with Fire" presents itself as an ethnographic photograph of an unknown ritual. Tony Conrad pickles strips of film in "(P (RE (SERVE)))," by the second floor bathroom. Reena Spaulings’s "The Hoods" greets you on the fourth floor, an awning that equates art with commerce. Sturtevant’s "Duchamp 1200 Coal Bags" is a room filled with exact copies of such revolutionary Duchamp works as "Bicycle Wheel," "Fountain," and "Nude Descendant un Escalier," further removing art from its genesis. There’s a dark subtext hiding behind Angela Strassheim’s compelling photos in her "Left Behind" series, including one in which a father in white shirt and red tie carefully combs the red hair of his son, also in white shirt and red tie, as seen in a bathroom mirror. Billy Sullivan’s three-walled slide show projects images of a young blonde woman cavorting on a hotel bed by herself, men in somewhat alluring poses, and scenesters partying it up. Nari Ward’s "Glory" is a star-spangled oil-drum coffin beckoning visitors to come inside. Monica Majoli’s watercolor-and-goauche "Hanging Rubbermen" dangle from chains in the sky, part sexual fetish, part torture device.

Rivington Arms, New York

"Lake with Fire," Hanna Liden, 2003

For "JUMP," T. Kelly Mason and Diana Thater filmed teenagers jumping rope to four different versions of Bob Dylan’s "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Marilyn Minter’s large-size enamel-on-metal photorealist canvases subvert magazine glamour spreads. Florian Maier-Achen’s "Untitled (Long Beach)" is a gorgeous futuristic cityscape. Deep Dish Television Network’s "Shocking and Aweful: A Grassroots Response to War and Occupation" in the lower gallery uses Pablo Picasso’s "Guernica" as a backdrop to its highly charged political documentary series, referencing the covering-up of the artwork at the United Nations just before Colin Powell presented "evidence" about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Robert A. Pruitt’s "Throw Back" needs to be resituated so we can see the message on the back of the hooded figure. Lucas DeGiulio’s "Yeast-in-Jar Holograms" are dug into the Whitney’s wall. And Gore Vidal is a hoot as the narrator in Francesco Vezzoli’s faux "Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s ‘Caligula,’" starring, among others, Benicio del Toro, Helen Mirren, and a surprise heroine. On your way out of the Whitney, while you argue with your companion about the relative value — or lack thereof — of what you’ve just seen, stop by the bicycle rack, where Aaron Young’s "IPO (30 Offerings)," is locked up, at least until someone steals it.

(Abrams, March 2006, $50)

Abrams has done a marvelous job with the catalog for this year’s Whitney Biennial, creating a book that in itself is a work of art. In addition to numerous essays by the curators, the museum director, and various critics, several of which will bore the heck out of you, the first part of the catalog features contemporary photographs, artworks, and other newsworthy images that place the last few years in perspective, especially in relation to the Iraq war. Also included — and we’re still not sure why — is Edgar Allan Poe’s complete "The Raven," printed on black sheets. The second half of the book is dedicated to the artists of the biennial; each one gets a one-page bio (except for Miles Davis, who has no bio) and a color plate of one of their pieces on view at the Whitney. There’s also a checklist in the back of every work in the exhibit. But the coup de grace are ninety-nine fold-out four-panel posters, emerging from every other spread, created by nearly every artist in the biennial specifically for the catalog, shown in alphabetical order by artist name. For the project, called "Draw Me a Sheep" (based on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s THE LITTLE PRINCE), the contributors were asked to "crystallize the last two years in one image." The results are as varied and wide-ranging as the biennial itself. Among our favorites are the pages created by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Anne Collier, Jimmie Durham, Pierre Huyghe, Andrew Lampert, Adam McEwen, Marilyn Minter, Todd Norsten, Robert A. Pruitt, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Zoe Strauss, Billy Sullivan, and Chris Vasell.

Karen Gibson Roc performs at the Whitney on April 21


Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Ave. at 75th St.

Free with museum admission unless otherwise noted



through May 24 Coffee Talk, featuring one of the exhibiting Biennial artists, advance registration required

Saturday, April 15 Film and Video: SFC: CALYPSO DREAMS, TASTE OF CHERRY


Thursday, April 20 Seminars with Artists: Liz Larner, $8, 7:00

Friday, April 21 Whitney Live! featuring Karen Gibson Roc and Fluid (The Band), 7:00

Saturday, April 22 Film and Video: Anger/Durham, Bernadette Corporation

Sunday, April 23 Film and Video: Snow, Liotta, Bourque, Battle, Colburn / Gatten, Klahr

Friday, April 28 Initial Public Offerings: New Artists, New Curators, with Carter and Matthew Higgs, 7:00

Saturday, April 29 Tony Conrad, "(P (RE (SERVE)))," live performance, 1:00 — 4:00

Saturday, April 29 Film and Video: Cheatle & Wright / Butler

Sunday, April 30 Film and Video: Taylor Mead

Wednesday, May 3 Seminars with Artists: Mark Bradford, $8, 7:00

Saturday, May 6 Film and Video: Andrew Lampert

Sunday, May 7 Film and Video: Angerame, SFC: OSAMA / Reeves

Tuesday, May 9 Seminars with Artists: Sturtevant, $8, 7:00

Saturday, May 13 Film and Video: Anger/Durham, Bernadette Corporation

Sunday, May 14 Film and Video: Poledna / Williams

Thursday, May 18 Architecture Dialogues: Matthew Coolidge, $8, 7:00

Saturday, May 20 Film and Video: Cameron Jamie

Sunday, May 21 Film and Video: Cameron Jamie

Sunday, May 21 Tony Conrad, "(P (RE (SERVE)))," live performance, 1:00 — 4:00

Saturday, May 27 Film and Video: Cameron Jamie

Sunday, May 28 Film and Video: Cameron Jamie

back to top

Munch Exhibit of the Week I

© 2006 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ARS

Edvard Munch, "The Dance of Life," 1899-1900


Museum of Modern Art, sixth floor

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

Closed Tuesday

Free Fridays from 4:00 to 8:00

Through May 8

Tickets: $20 adults, children sixteen and under free (MoMA AudioGuide free)


Perhaps more so than any other major artist of the last few hundred years, Edvard Munch (1863-1942) is best known for a single image: his iconic nightmare "The Scream," which can be found in museums, on T-shirts, and inflatable versions on businessmen’s desks. The first American retrospective of the Norwegian artist’s work in three decades, "Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul" reveals the inner mind of the genius lurking behind that relentless shriek. The death of his mother when he was five and his sister Sophie when he was barely a teenager (both of whom succumbed to tuberculosis) haunted him throughout his life, resulting in paintings, drawings, etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs immersed in loneliness, tragedy, fear, anxiety, and sadness. The first work on view is "The Dance of Life," the 1900 oil painting that concluded his Frieze of Life series. With the moon glowing on the water in the background (looking like a cross between a dotted i and a ghostly figure), a man in black (Munch) and a woman in red (Tulla Larsen, one of his lovers) dance mournfully in the center of the frame. They are watched on either side by two versions of his first love, Millie Thaulow, to the right in black, to the left in white, as if both devil and angel, whispering not-so-sweet nothings into his ears. Meanwhile, other couples whirl about the green lawn, celebrating their lust. It’s a fabulous way to set the mood for this compelling exhibit.

© 2006 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ARS

Edvard Munch, "Despair," 1892

Munch detailed his sister’s death in numerous works, including the heartbreaking "Death in the Sick Room," in which family members bow their head in prayer, a framed picture of Jesus hanging on the back wall. Illness and death permeate his work. Munch’s titles alone give away his psychological makeup — "Angst," "Despair," "Melancholy," "Weeping Nude" — but the images go far beyond mere words. In "The Storm," a fierce wind whips through the trees as abstract figures hold tight to their heads, desperately fighting for their sanity. A man huddles fetal-like in the lower-left-hand corner of "Ashes," dressed in black, immersed in pain, as a woman stands in the center with her hands on her head, her long red hair flowing over her white dress, unbuttoned to reveal a red undergarment. In "Vampire," the same couple is locked in a sad embrace, the man resignedly allowing the woman to drink from his neck. In the next gallery, the "Ages of Life" triptych of large male nudes brightens things up a bit in sheer color alone. But then Munch places himself both on the cross and among the crowd in "Golgotha."

© 2006 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ARS

Edvard Munch, "Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed," 1940-42

The exhibit ends with an extraordinary group of six self-portraits all lined up in a row, dating from 1906 to 1942. In the first five works, Munch is in the foreground, usually left of center, by a window. In "Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine," he sits in a restaurant, remembering his father’s death. In "Self-Portrait in Bergen," he looks surprised as life goes on in the small town behind him. In "Self-Portrait: The Night Wanderer," "Self-Portrait by the Window," and "Self-Portrait with Crayon," he has aged significantly, wondering what has become of his life — and his art. Finally, Munch stands up straight in "Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed," placing himself within the scene, rather than in the foreground. To his right is a grandfather clock, to his left a bed, behind him some of his paintings, in front of him a shadow with a cross. It is as if he is accepting his impending death, perhaps even welcoming it. (He completed it in 1942, shortly before he passed away.) Across the gallery, one can still see the 1903 "Self-Portrait in Hell," with a naked Munch immersed in a fiery red canvas. From birth to death, life was not easy for the distraught Munch, as evidenced by this powerful look into his tormented soul.

(Museum of Modern Art, 2006, paperback $40,
hardcover $60)

With insightful writing, carefully chosen subject matter, and detailed notes on nearly every work in the current Munch exhibit at MoMA, the accompanying catalog is a worthy complement to the display itself. Chief curator at large Kynaston McShine sets the stage beautifully, calling Munch "the modern poet and philosopher in painting." Reinhold Heller takes an exhaustive look at what went into the creation of Munch’s most famous image, "The Scream." Patricia G. Bowman examines religion in Munch’s canvases of life and death. Elizabeth Prelinger goes behind the scenes to discuss Munch’s innovative graphic techniques. And Tina Yarborough looks at how Munch himself designed several of his own exhibitions. Those essays are followed by good reproductions of every piece in the exhibit, with interesting notations from Claire Gilman. The catalog concludes with an illustrated chronology, including photos, a selected bibliography, and a useful index.

Related Programs


MoMA Film

Museum of Modern Art

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

Through April 19

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


Wednesday, April 12 FRÖKEN JULIE (MISS JULIE) (Alf Sjöberg, 1951), 6:00

Wednesday, April 12 GANASHATRU (AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE) (Satyajit Ray, 1989), 8:00

Thursday, April 13 Rare documentary footage shot by Edvard Munch (ca. 1927) and SULT (HUNGER) (Henning Carlsen, 1966), 6:00

Thursday, April 13 ANSIGTER (FACES) (Anja Breien, 1971), 8:30

Friday, April 14 PEER GYNT (David Bradley, 1941/1965), 6:00

Friday, April 14 EN FOLKEFIENDE (ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE) (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 2005), 8:00

Saturday, April 15 LE BASSIN DE J. W. (THE HIPS OF J. W.) (João César Monteiro, 1997), 5:00

Saturday, April 15 NORA HELMER (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973), 8:30

Sunday, April 16 PEER GYNT (David Bradley, 1941/1965), 1:00

Sunday, April 16 ANSIGTER (FACES) (Anja Breien, 1971), 3:00

Monday, April 17 GANASHATRU (AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE) (Satyajit Ray, 1989), 6:00

Wednesday, April 19 LE BASSIN DE J. W. (THE HIPS OF J. W.) (João César Monteiro, 1997), 8:15

Also at MoMA


Sculpture Garden offers a splendid respite from busy museum


Museum of Modern Art

Closed in inclement weather

With spring finally upon us and daylight lasting a little longer, make sure to include the lovely Sculpture Garden when you visit MoMA. Designed by Philip Johnson back in 1953 and renovated for the museum’s recent makeover, the garden is a delightful place to take a break from the crowds overwhelming the Munch show. First you’ll have to get past August Rodin’s "Monument to Balzac," which stands guard inside from the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby. Begin your walk counterclockwise, starting with Joan Miro’s "Moonbird" and continuing past David Smith’s "Cubi X" on your right and Alexander Calder’s "Black Widow" and Tony Smith’s "Free Ride" on your left. Next up is Pablo Picasso’s "She-Goat," Raymond Duchamp-Villon’s "The Horse," Picasso’s twisted-pipes "Monument (Construction to Apollinaire)," and, up the steps, Anthony Caro’s very yellow "Midday." Now head back down the other side, where you can walk under Hector Guimard’s "Entrance Gates to Paris Subway," amble up to Henry Moore’s two-piece "Reclining Figure II," contemplate along with Aristide Maillol’s "The Mediterranean," somersault around William Tucker’s "Gymnast 2," hang out with Edgar Degas’s marvelous "The Back" quartet, delight in the bright colors of Ellsworth Kelly’s "Green Blue," stand face-to-face with Jacques Lipchitz’s "Figure," and take a seat in one of Scott Burton’s "Rock Chairs" while watching Maillol’s "The River" dangle over the reflecting pool. After a few more deep breaths, you’ll be ready to go back inside to see the rest of the museum.

Frank Gehry and Edwin Chan, Gehry Partners

Hotel at Marqués de Riscal Winery in Elciego, La Rioja, model


Museum of Modern Art

The International Council Gallery, sixth floor

Through May 1

Spain has seen a remarkable growth in architectural innovation in recent years, and this extraordinary exhibit takes an inside look, through photographs, diagrams, and models, at fifty-three amazing projects that are changing the Spanish landscape. Sharing Tower in Valencia is like a futuristic CD rack. The oddly angled Valleaceron Chapel sits alone in an empty field in Almadenejos, Ciudad Real. Torre Agbar rises in Barcelona like a colorful phallus. The Barajas Airport Terminals in Madrid are wickedly cool, as are wavy Relaxation Park in Torrevieja, Alicante, the metallic House in a Cherry Orchard in Granada, the highly unusual City Square and Mixed Use Development in Barakaldo, Vizcaya, the covered Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, and the ridiculously awesome Metropol Parasol in Sevilla and Hotel Habitat in Barcelona. Check out the little people in La Ciudad del Flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera in Cadiz, try not to get drunk at Frank Gehry and Edwin Chan’s Hotel at Marqués de Riscal Winery in Elciego, La Rioja, and take in a match at the Soccer Stadium in Barakaldo, Vizcayo.

© Shirin Neshat / Photograph: Larry Barns

Shirin Neshat, "The Last Word," 2003


Museum of Modern Art

Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor, and Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor

Through May 22

Nearly three dozen works by seventeen artists question current perceptions of Islamic art, tradition, and identity in this poignant collection, especially given the patriotic fervor that has put the worldwide Islamic community under a microscope. But this inspiring collection of paintings, photographs, video installations, tapestries, and more, steeped in Islamic iconography and by artists with Islamic backgrounds who work primarily in the United States and Europe, is not a political battlefield but rather an eclectic look at the spirituality and humanity of a culture under attack. You’ll be set off-balance as soon as you walk into the third-floor gallery, where the deceptive texture of Shirazeh Houshiary’s "Fine Frenzy" will have you examining it from all angles. Mona Hatoum uses human hair in "Keffieh," while her "Prayer Mat" is made of brass pins and a compass, not a very comfortable situation in which to face Mecca. Shirani Shahbazi re-creates her "[Frau]" C-print in hand-knotted wool on a silk carpet. Shirin Neshat’s "Speechless" incorporates a eulogy to martyrdom on the subject’s face as a gun barrel dangles from her ear like jewelry. Mike Kelley’s untitled silk carpet is not what it seems, mixing symbols from different cultures into a unique handwoven object. Jananne Al-Ani’s two portraits of five of her family members (including herself) are hung opposite each other, the women in slightly different poses and with different parts of their faces covered. And Marjane Satrapi’s "Persepolis" cartoon series is indeed a riff on the Kim Wilde song "Kids in America."


Museum of Modern Art

Drawings Galleries, third floor

Through April 24

The first of a two-part exhibit, "Transforming Chronologies" brings together works of art that are similar in line and form, creating a new way to look at otherwise disparate paintings and drawings. No suppositions are made here; it is not postulated that Patti Smith knew anything about Sigmar Polke or David Moreno when she drew her heads or that Luc Tuymans, while making "A Flemish Intellectual," was familiar with Alberto Giacometti’s "Igor Stravinsky" or Lovis Corinth’s self-portrait. The Department of Drawings has done a wonderful job of teaming up certain works, divided into "Faces," "Movement," and "Tectonics," that seemingly have nothing to do with each other until you look closer; for example, the lines of motion in Léon Bakst’s colorful "Costume for the Ballet ‘The Firebird’" is remarkably similar to the black-and-white pastel and charcoal strokes in Umberto Boccioni’s "Muscular Dynamism." Both protagonists are similarly cross-eyed in Giorgio di Chirico’s "Euripedes" and Polke’s "Physiognomy with Car." Linger near Paul Cézanne’s "House Among Trees" and Barnett Newman’s untitled 1945 watercolor to admire their vertical verisimilitude. Tony Urquhart’s "Summer Forms I" take shape in André Derain’s sparse untitled landscape. The abstract blue protagonist in A.R. (Ralf Winkler) Penck’s 1967 untitled watercolor surges ahead much like the troops do in Diego Rivera’s "May Day, Moscow," while Penck’s seven-part series also is close in form to Theo van Doesburg’s seven-part "Rhythm of a Russian Dance." The trio of figures in Brice Marden’s "Aphrodite Study" are eerily reminiscent of those in Man Ray’s "Promenade." Other groupings creatively match Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Georges Roualt; Hannah Hoch and Marie Laurencin; Robert Rauschenberg and Arnulf Rainer; Rachel Whiteread and Dan Flavin; Bruce Nauman, Philip Guston, and Ferdinand Hodler; and the fabulous quartet of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, and Jean de Segonzac.


MoMA Film

Museum of Modern Art

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

Through April 30

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


With baseball season upon us, MoMA is in the midst of a film series dedicated to America’s national pastime; unfortunately, there are just about as many misses as hits in this mostly predictable collection. Let’s face it: FIELD OF DREAMS is overrated goop, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN is pure dreck, and COBB is just a mess. But EIGHT MEN OUT, BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY, and THE NATURAL form a triple play of extra bases, and THE BINGO LONG TRAVELING ALL-STARS & MOTOR KINGS is just about as much fun as actually going to the park to watch a game.

Wednesday, April 12 FIELD OF DREAMS (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989), 6:00

Thursday, April 13 VIVA BASEBALL (Dan Klores, 2005), introduced by Klores,


Friday, April 14 EIGHT MEN OUT (John Sayles, 1988), 8:30

Saturday, April 15 BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY (John Hancock, 1973), 6:00

Saturday, April 15 BULL DURHAM (Ron Shelton, 1988), 8:30

Sunday, April 16 HEADIN’ HOME (Lawrence Windom, 1920) and THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY (Alfred Green, 1950), 1:00

Sunday, April 16 FIELD OF DREAMS (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989), 5:45

Monday, April 17 EIGHT MEN OUT (John Sayles, 1988), 8:15

Wednesday, April 19 THE BINGO LONG TRAVELING ALL-STARS & MOTOR KINGS (John Badham, 1976), 6:00

Friday, April 21 THE NATURAL (Barry Levinson, 1984), 8:30

Sunday, April 30 A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (Penny Marshall, 1992), 2:00

Sunday, April 30 COBB (Ron Shelton, 1994), 5:00

Sunday, April 23 VIVA BASEBALL (Dan Klores, 2005), 1:00

Wednesday, April 26 THE NATURAL (Barry Levinson, 1984), 8:00


MoMA Film

Museum of Modern Art

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

Through April 30

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



Thursday, April 13 4 Erotic Tales: International Miscellany -- VROOM, VROOOM, VROOOOM (Melvin van Peebles 1994), CLOUD DOOR (Mani Kaul. 1994), THE SUMMER OF MY DEFLOWERING (Susan Streitfeld 2000), and AN EROTIC TALE (Dito Tsintsadze 2002), 8:30

Friday, April 14 SOMMERGAESTE (SUMMER FOLK) (Peter Stein 1975), 6:00

Sunday, April 16 UNKENRUFE (WROZBY KUMAKA/THE CALL OF THE TOAD) (Robert Glinski 2005), 3:30

Saturday, April 15 DER VERLEGER (THE PUBLISHER) (Bernd Bohlich 2001), 1:30

Sunday, April 16 EROTIC TALES: THE WAITING ROOM (Jos Stelling 1995), THE GAS STATION (Jos Stelling 2000), and THE GALLERY (Jos Stelling 2003), 5:45


Part of Regina Ziegler’s ongoing "Erotic Tales" series, Jos Stelling’s THE WAITING ROOM is an absolute treat, as a man (Gene Bervoets) sits in a train station waiting room eyeing all the women, letting his stare linger, raising his eyebrows alluringly, invading their space, with each woman reacting differently. Not a single word is spoken in this vastly entertaining and very clever film.

Monday, April 17 MALOU (Jeanine Meerapfel 1981), 6:00

Thursday, April 20 KORCZAK (Andrzej Wajda 1990), 8:30

Friday, April 21 4 Erotic Tales: International Miscellany -- VROOM, VROOOM, VROOOOM (Melvin van Peebles 1994), CLOUD DOOR (Mani Kaul. 1994), THE SUMMER OF MY DEFLOWERING (Susan Streitfeld 2000), and AN EROTIC TALE (Dito Tsintsadze 2002), 6:00

Sunday, April 23 FABIAN (Wolf Gremm 1978), 4:30

Monday, April 24 SOMMERGAESTE (SUMMER FOLK) (Peter Stein 1975), 8:30

Thursday, April 27 THE RAPOPORTS–OUR THREE LIVES (Sisi Hutetlin and Britta Wauer 2003), 6:15

Thursday, April 27 SOLO FUR KLARINETTE (SOLO FOR CLARINET) (Nico Hoffmann 1998) 8:00

Friday, April 28 DER VERLEGER (THE PUBLISHER) (Bernd Bohlich 2001), 7:00

Saturday, April 29 MALOU (Jeanine Meerapfel 1981),1:00

Sunday, April 30 SOLO FUR KLARINETTE (SOLO FOR CLARINET) (Nico Hoffmann 1998), 4:30


Museum of Modern Art


Monday, April 17 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: On-Site: New Architecture in Spain, with Peter Christensen, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Thursday, April 20 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: On-Site: New Architecture in Spain, with Peter Christensen, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Friday, April 21 Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Jacco Olivier, Founders Room, $10, 6:30

Monday, April 24 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: Rauschenberg’s "Rebus" and the Development of Collage, with Peter Jennifer Farrell, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Wednesday, April 26 Views of Edvard Munch, with Patricia Gray Berman, Richard Brilliant, and Reinhold Heller, Titus 2, $10, 6:00

Thursday, April 27 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: Rauschenberg’s "Rebus" and the Development of Collage, with Peter Jennifer Farrell, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Friday, April 28 World Art / Art World: Changing Perspectives on Modern and Contemporary Art, keynote address by Professor Wu Hung, Titus 2, $10, 6:30

Saturday, April 29 World Art / Art World: Changing Perspectives on Modern and Contemporary Art, Graduate Symposium, Titus 2, $10, 10:00 am — 4:00 pm

Monday, May 1 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: Considering the Collective: Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, and El Lissitzky in Vitebsk, with Jennifer Katanic, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Thursday, May 4 Brown Bag Lunch Lectures: Considering the Collective: Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, and El Lissitzky in Vitebsk, with Jennifer Katanic, Education Classroom B, $5, 12:30

Thursday, May 4 Meditations on Truth, with Shirin Neshat, Walid Raad, and Gavatri Chakravorty Spivak, Titus 2, $10, 6:00

In the Neighborhood


NBA Store

Fifth Ave. at 52nd St.

Through April 20

Admission: free


Monday, April 17 Majestic Athletic Day, featuring Jam Session, NBA Fan Patrol dancers, dueling in-store emcees, and more, 1:00 — 4:00

Tuesday, April 18 Z100 Dance Off, hosted by Greg T., 3:00 — 5:00

Wednesday, April 19 JR. NBA/WNBA Clinic, hosted by Becky Hammon of the New York Liberty, 1:00 — 4:00

Thursday, April 20 Fan Appreciation Day, featuring dueling emcees, contests, and more, 1:00 — 4:00


Midtowners find a little Utopia for lunch


46 West 56th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Entrees: $6.95-$9.95


Late last year, the old Liberty Deli was sold to a new owner, who renovated both the interior and the menu while keeping the same, friendly staff. After visiting MoMA, head a few blocks over to the Utopia Café, where for lunch people line up for one of a half-dozen or so daily Latino specials, choosing among pernil (roast pork), rabo guisado (oxtail stew), bacalao, rudea de pescado frito (fried king fish), churrasco (Romanian steak), ropa vieja (shredded beef), chicharron de pollo (crackling chicken), costillas de cerdo B-B-Q (pork ribs), carne de res guisada (beef stew), carne de cerdo frita (fried pork chunks), and other delights, served with heaping portions of rice and beans, plantains, or grilled vegetables. We’ve had just about every dish — several times — and keep coming back for more. The half-pound burgers are very good as well, but stay away from the Philly cheesesteak, which should be put out of our misery. The great Manny runs the hot food counter; ask him for a taste if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. (Yes, that could be curried goat, stewed pork feet, or tripe.) Ariel mans the sandwich station, where you can get such signature specialties as the Puerto Plata, the Mambo Italiano, and a Cubano panini. And stop by for breakfast too; we highly endorse the mangu con cebolla roja, the unfortunately named but oh-so-good Dominican dish of mashed plantains that is a sweet accompaniment to eggs, Sosua salami, red onions, and white cheese.


Botero’s massive figure hides in Midtown tunnel


Passageway between 56th & 57th Sts. and Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Admission: free

Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose cat sculpture we raved about a few issues back, designed this humongous bronze torso in 1982, part of an edition of three (one of which sold at Sotheby’s in late 2001 for more than four hundred thou). While on your way from the Utopia to the below galleries, instead of taking Fifth or Sixth Ave. north, walk through this passageway, where you’ll come upon Botero’s immense green object. A powerful depiction of a very large, strong woman, the nine-foot-high torso’s head, arms, and legs have been sliced off evenly, leaving a shiny green woman bursting with strength nonetheless, as her belly pushes out fearlessly. It might just be us, but if you stare at it long enough, a face emerges, with the breasts as eyes, the navel as the nose, and the, well, we’ll leave it your imagination what the mouth is. And don’t miss the woman’s amazing behind. Botero’s thick, muscular feminine form dominates the corridor, which is usually filled with people on the go, with no time to stop and check out this beautiful work.

Laurence Miller Gallery

Toshio Shibata, "Otaki Village, Nagano Prefecture," 2005


Laurence Miller Gallery

20 West 57th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves., third floor

Through April 29

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission: free


Toshio Shibata’s recent large-scale photographs of Japanese landscapes where nature and man-made objects attempt to coexist are somewhat reminiscent to the work of Edward Burtynsky, which was on display a few months back at the Brooklyn Museum. But whereas Burtynky’s subjects were doing battle with each other, Shibata’s pieces are trying to live together more harmoniously, with nature trying to reclaim the land. Curvilinear passages are carved into the side of a mountain in "Otaki Village, Saitama Prefecture." Green fields are infiltrated by concrete blocks in "Kiso Village, Nagano Prefecture." Steps lead up a mountain to a temple-like structure in "Naguri Village, Saitama Prefecture." Water pours down and remarkable colors come to light in two photos of "Otaki Village, Nagano Prefecture." A gridlike pattern emerges from "Takane Village, Gifu Prefecture." And a dam calmly spits out water that cuts a gray-white canvas nearly in half. Don’t rush through these exquisite works; take your time and breathe in their gentle beauty. Also on view at the Laurence Miller Gallery through April 29 is a series of seventeen black-and-white photos taken by Joan Colom of Barcelona’s red light district in Raval, secretly capturing prostitutes and their customers.

Susan Sheehan Gallery

Fred Sandback, "Untitled," 1976


Susan Sheehan Gallery

20 West 57th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Through April 22

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission: free


Seventeen works by ten postwar artists line the walls of this small gallery, investigating their use of line in etchings, screenprints, linocuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. Brice Marden’s four "Etchings to Rexroth" are proudly poetic ink-blot studies. Frank Stella’s "Double Gray Scramble" will leave a colorful lasting impression in your mind’s eye. The lines in Fred Sandback’s quartet of images consist of four pairs of straight lines intersecting or just about to meet. Stand back and imagine Willem de Kooning’s "Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krisher" as if it were Japanese calligraphy. The subject in David Hockney’s "Celia-Weary" smiles demurely at the viewer. Louise Bourgeois’s "Feet" dangle ominously, while her "Mosquito" will do its best to avoid either of Vija Celmins’s "Untitled (Web)" pieces. Joan Mitchell’s "Sunflowers IV" are bright and cheerful. And Sol LeWitt’s "Straight Lines in Four Directions & All Their Possible Combinations" can be seen in a multitude of ways, not just as sixteen squares.

back to top

Munch Exhibit of the Week II

© 2006 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ARS

Edvard Munch, "Angst (Anxiety)," 1896, lithograph, painted in color


Scandinavia House

58 Park Ave. at 38th St.

Tuesday — Saturday 12 noon — 6:00

Through May 13

Tickets: $3


Held to coincide with the huge retrospective at MoMA, this small yet fascinating exhibit contains twenty-five etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts by the innovative printmaker. Munch printed nearly 30,000 impressions from approximately 750 subjects, playing with color and surface texture while also cutting wood blocks into individual pieces that could be rearranged in a jigsaw-like manner, resulting in unique depictions of such recurring themes as sickness, loneliness, and death. Compare the swirling lines and reversed images in the "(Angst) Anxiety" painted lithograph and red woodcut, the latter more confining. In "Aske II (Ashes II)," a woman with long hair, most likely Munch’s married lover, Millie Thaulow, holds her hands on her head, the plunging neckline of her white dress opening up to the viewer in front of a dark forest while a man, presumably Munch, huddles in the lower right hand corner, curled up in a black ball, his hands on his head as well, but so much more closed off to the world. The same two lonely people face a green ocean and emptiness in "De Ensomme (The Lonely Ones)."

© 2006 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/ARS

Edvard Munch, "Vampyr II (Vampire II)," 1895-1902, lithograph and woodcut, printed in color

"Madonna" features a scared, skeletal embryonic figure huddled in the lower left hand corner, with the center dominated by a lush, naked woman (perhaps his mother, who died when Munch was five years old) surrounded by long sperm cells. Four versions of "Det syke barn (The Sick Child)" reveal Munch’s obsession with the tragic early death of his sister Sophie, who died nine years after their mother, both from tuberculosis. In a black etching and drypoint of "Kyss (The Kiss)," a naked couple envelops each other in front of a window, as if on a stage; next to it, a woodcut of the same couple takes away all reference to place, leaving the lovers floating on the print. "Melankoli III (Melancholy III)" features a shocking splash of blue as a man contemplates his life near the ocean. Two ghostly figures stare into each other’s eyes in "Tiltrekning I (Attraction I)," their shadows much closer together in the distance. And in the sensual "Vampyr II (Vampire II)," a man in black gives himself to a woman in white as she holds him lovingly while biting into his neck.


Marcus Samuelsson runs outpost at Scandinavia House


Scandinavia House

58 Park Ave. between 37th & 38th Sts.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


One of the many reasons why we love Scandinavia House is that you can do it all right there in its headquarters on Park Ave.: see a gallery show, eat good food, and then go to the movies. Scandinavia House scored a major coup when they got the terrific Midtown restaurant Aquavit to run the café. We have been a fan of Marcus Samuelsson’s splendid cuisine for a bunch of years now, and we’re glad to slip into this small, inexpensive outpost every chance we get, because Aquavit itself is too pricey to go to all the time. Everything on the café menu is under ten bucks, including Swedish meatballs, the fab herring plate, the excellent grilled shrimp sandwich, and the smorgasbord, which are actually worth a trip on their own. And you must try the Sweedie, made with dark chocolate, coconut, and soft meringue, a bargain at only two bucks. Also available are such Scandinavian treats as Swedish fish, Panda licorice, Daim chocolate, Fazermints, and Freia Dronning Sjokolade.


Scandinavia House

58 Park Ave. at 38th St.


Wednesday, April 12 YOUNG ANDERSEN (UNGE ANDERSEN) (Rumle Hammerich, 2005), $8, 6:30

Saturday, April 15 YOUNG ANDERSEN (UNGE ANDERSEN) (Rumle Hammerich, 2005), $8, 3:00

Wednesday, April 19 OVERCOMING (Tómas Gislason, 2005), $8, 6:30

Thursday, April 20 Munch, Sex, and Modernity, with Dr. Patricia G. Berman, $10, 6:30

Friday, April 21 Magnus Martensson & Friends: Music and Comedy, with pianist/composer Nils Vigeland, $10, 5:30 reception, 6:00 performance

Saturday, April 22 Viking Seafarers: The First Europeans to Journey to America, ages five and older, $6, 1:00

Saturday, April 22 OVERCOMING (Tómas Gislason, 2005), $8, 3:00

Wednesday, April 26 UNO (Aksel Hennie & John Andreas Andersen, 2004), $8, 6:30

Thursday, April 27 H.E. Dag Hammarskjold: A Tribute in Words & Music, with Per Tengstrand and Jan Eliasson, $20, 7:30

Saturday, April 29 UNO (Aksel Hennie & John Andreas Andersen, 2004), $8, 3:00

Wednesday, May 3 MY JEALOUS BARBER (MIN MISUNNELIGE FRISOR) (Annette Sjursen, 2004), $8, 6:30

Saturday May 6 MY JEALOUS BARBER (MIN MISUNNELIGE FRISOR) (Annette Sjursen, 2004), $8, 3:00

Wednesday, May 10 TOO MUCH NORWAY (ALT FOR NORGE) (Rune Denstad Langlo & Sigve Endresen, 2005), $8, 6:30

Saturday, May 13 TOO MUCH NORWAY (ALT FOR NORGE) (Rune Denstad Langlo & Sigve Endresen, 2005), $8, 3:00


What is it? We have no idea.


For more than twenty years, Toynbee Tiles have been showing up on streets throughout the country, leaving their confusing, confounding messages deep in the asphalt. Most likely named after British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), who wrote the mammoth series A STUDY OF HISTORY, the tiles can be found in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Boston, Atlantic City, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Detroit as well as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. Toynbee, whose uncle Arnold was a prominent social reformer, once wisely stated, "To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization." Whoever is making these tiles not only has a lot of leisure time on their hands but is fearful of what is becoming of civilization. This specific plaque, near Scandinavia House, announces, "Idea: Movie 2001 Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter." In the lower right hand corner, in a red bar, it demands, "You must make club tile!!" The plaque also features a pair of legs in high heels and some faded instructions at the top. Nearly all of the tiles refer to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and sending the dead to Jupiter, where they can be resurrected. (Jupiter figures prominently in the sequel book and movie, 2010.) Ray Bradbury enters the picture as well; his short story "The Toynbee Convector" deals with time travel and also probably influenced the mysterious tile man. There are several Web sites devoted to Toynbee Tiles, trying to get to the bottom of it all. Even the New York Times couldn’t find the perpetrator / mastermind behind this bizarre obsession.

back to top

Film Festival of the Week

Rob Zombie readies a shot in THE DEVIL’S REJECTS



Steinhardt Building

35 West 67th St. between Amsterdam & Columbus Aves.

April 22-30


"Reverse Shot" is a quarterly journal that calls itself "the new magazine of film culture." Their eclectic taste in film will be on display at Makor, where this weeklong festival will highlight works by Rob Zombie, Claire Denis, Rodrigo García, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Neil Jordan.

Saturday, April 22 Rob Zombie Double Feature: HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (Rob Zombie, 2000) and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (Rob Zombie, 2005), followed by Q&A with actor Ken Foree, $20, 8:00

THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (Rob Zombie, 2005)

Although writer-director Rob Zombie refuses to call this a sequel to 2003’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS is a sequel to Zombie’s 2003 horror hit HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Mad clown Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) is back, as are murderous siblings Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife). Mother Firefly, played by the vixenous Karen Black in the first flick, is here portrayed with delicious delight by Leslie Easterbrook. In this gorefest, Otis and Baby are on the lam from Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), who is determined to avenge his brother’s death; they hole up in a skeevy motel with a quartet of hostages that includes perennial Clint Eastwood bad boy Geoffrey Lewis and THREE’S COMPANY escapee Priscilla Barnes. Zombie cleverly plays with genre cliches; what you think is going to happen — or not happen — gets turned upside down, so you never quite know where things are heading (although you can always count on a shot of his wife’s butt). Zombie, leader of the heavy metal band White Zombie, injects a wry sense of humor by including such ’70s pop music as Elvin Bishop’s "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," Steely Dan’s "Reelin’ in the Years," David Essex’s "Rock On," and even Lynryd Skynyrd’s "Freebird," always at extremely appropriate moments. Add a star if you love films that relish gore; delete two and a half if you can’t stand them.

Monday, April 24 NINE LIVES (Rodrigo Garcia, 2005), followed by discussion, $9, 7:30

NINE LIVES (Rodrigo García, 2005)

Writer/director Rodrigo García, who has storytelling in his genes (his father is Gabriel García Marquez), tells the intimate tales of nine women facing crises, jumping out of the gate with the two best stories, about a prisoner (Elpidia Carrillo as "Sandra") just trying to survive behind bars and a pregnant woman (Oscar-nominated Robin Wright Penn as "Diana" in a spectacular performance) who bumps into an old boyfriend (Jason Isaacs) in a suburban supermarket. The segments, which are all shot in one continuous take and are somewhat interrelated, are hit or miss after that, with Holly Hunter ("Sonia") doing a good job, "Amy Brenneman ("Lorna") being appropriately awkward, and Kathy Baker ("Camille") excelling as a woman facing breast cancer, but Lisa Gay Hamilton ("Holly") weighs down her cliched role, Sissy Spacek’s ("Ruth") story meanders too much, "Samantha" (Amanda Seyfreid) is perfectly mediocre, and Glenn Close’s "Maggie" barely misses the mark. Among the men in these women’s lives are Aidan Quinn, Miguel Sandoval, Joe Mantegna, and Ian McShane. Close, Baker, Sandoval, Hunter, and Brenneman also appeared in García’s THINGS YOU CAN TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER, a somewhat more successful collection of interrelated short films.

Tuesday, April 25 JUNEBUG (Phil Morrison, 2005), followed by Q&A with the director, $15, 7:30

Wednesday, April 26 MILLENNIUM MAMBO (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001), $9, 7:30

(Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)

Hou Hsiao-hsien (THE PUPPETMASTER, FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI) is a Taiwanese director who, though considered one of the great international filmmakers, has not crossed over into any kind of popular success here in the States, and MILLENNIUM MAMBO is not likely to change that. Winner of the Technical Grand Prize at Cannes and a Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival, the film tells the story of Vicky (Shu Qi), a young clubgoing woman who likes hanging out with her friends, drinking, and smoking an endless supply of cigarettes. Although she lives with Hao-Hao (Tuan Chun-Hao), she starts a possibly sexless relationship with older businessman Jack (Kao Jack). The opening segment, with Vicky walking in slow motion across a partially covered walkway, is simply gorgeous. In fact, the film looks and sounds beautiful, with bursts of color and a thumping techno soundtrack, but the lack of a central plot gets in the way, though it’s still a visually and aurally breathtaking work, enhanced by Hou’s long takes with a stagnant camera and Lee Pingping’s remarkable photography.

Thursday, April 27 THE INTRUDER (Claire Denis, 2005), $9, 7:30

Saturday, April 29 Neil Jordan Double Feature: BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (Neil Jordan, 2005) and THE BUTCHER BOY (Neil Jordan, 1997), $15, 8:00

Also at Makor

Saturday, April 15 BALLETS RUSSES (Dayna Goldfine & Daniel Geller, 2005), $9, 8:00

Sunday, April 16 ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (Terry Zwigoff, 2006), followed by a conversation with Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes, $25, 7:30

Saturday, April 22 Yosi Piamenta & the Heavenly James Band, $15, 8:00

Tuesday, April 25 Under the Radar: Ned Massey, Little Toby Walker, and Rachael Sage, hosted by John Platt, $10, 8:00

back to top

Environmental Event of the Week


Multiple venues

Admission: free unless otherwise noted


Through April 22 Earth Day 2006 Photo Contest, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy, open to professionals and amateurs

Friday, April 14


Saturday, April 15 EarthFair, featuring such exhibitors as 3Rliving, Bike New York, Commuterlink, Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Environmental Advocates of New York, Google Earth, GreenHomeNYC, NYSkies, Sambazon, Sweet Leaf Stevia, Trike Taxi, and more, inside Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall

Monday, April 17


Sunday, April 23 Giant Earth Images, Grand Central Terminal, main concourse, 10:00 am — 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 22 New York City Soil & Water Conservation District Storm Drain Marking, limited space, RSVP to ASAP, Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City

Friday, April 21


Saturday, April 22 EarthFair, featuring such exhibitors as Biofuels Education Coalition, BioPerformance, Clif Bar, Farm Sanctuary, Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products, Hazon, Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, NYC Audubon, Rainforest Alliance, Rock the Earth, Sahaja Yoga, Vegetarian Times, and more, outside Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St.

Friday, April 21 Musical Performance: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 12 noon

Friday, April 21 Musical Performance: Umphreys Mcgee, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 1:00

Friday, April 21 Musical Performance: Martin Sexton, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 5:00

Friday, April 21 Musical Performance: The Mutaytor with Mickey Hart and Baaba Maal, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 6:00

Saturday, April 22 Musical Performance: Constant Wonder, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 11:00 am

Saturday, April 22 Musical Performance: Jonah Smith, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 12 noon

Saturday, April 22 Musical Performance: Assembly of Dust, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 1:00

Saturday, April 22 Musical Performance: Ben Taylor, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 2:00

Saturday, April 22 Musical Performance: Dresden Dolls, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Ave. & 42nd St., 4:00

Saturday, April 22 Earth Day Fair in Central Park, featuring family planting projects at Rumsey Playfield, rock climbing demonstrations at the North Meadow Recreation Center, and CITY THAT DRINKS THE MOUNTAIN SKY puppet show, scavenger hunt, storytelling, guided walking tours, arts and crafts, games, food, valet bike parking, Earthy Day Labyrinth, and more at the Bandshell, midpark at 72nd St., 11:00 am — 4:00 pm

Sunday, April 23 Manhattan Electronics Recycling, Union Square Park North Plaza, 9:00 am — 3:00 pm

Thursday, April 27 The 2006 Mack Lipkin Man and Nature Series Lecture: Biodiversity and the Evolutionary Roots of Beauty, with Gordon Orians, American Museum of Natural History, reservations recommended, 212-769-5200,, 7:00

Saturday, April 29 March for Peace, Justice, and Democracy, route to be determined, 12 noon

Related Events


Multiple venues

Thursday, April 20


Sunday, April 23 Special film screenings and live music, including Angelique Kidjo, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Dweezil Zappa, Great Big Sea, Guster, Joe Satriani, Little Feat, McCoy Tyner, Mike Doughty, moe., Murray Hill, the New York Philharmonic, Nouvelle Vague, Peter Frampton, the Rhythm Devils with Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, Richie Havens, Savion Glover, Steve Kimock Band, Toots and the Maytals, Zen Tricksters, and more, at such venues as B.B. King’s, the Bitter End, the Blue Note, the Bowery Ballroom, the Canal Room, CBGB, the Cutting Room, Irving Plaza, the Jewish Museum, Lincoln Center, Makor, the Mercury Lounge, SOBs, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Village Vanguard, and many others


Walter Reade Theater

165 West 65th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway


Partnering with the High School for Environmental Studies, cable personality Pamela Peeters has organized the Sustainable Planet Film Festival, focusing on sustainable development to maintain and protect our global society.

Thursday, April 20 THIRST (Deborah Kaufman & Alan Snitow, 2004), THE HOLE IN THE WALL (Rory O’Connor), THE TRUE COST OF FOOD (the Sierra Club), TWO WEEKS IN JOHANNESURG (Daniel D. Jones), ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY (Rory O’Connor), and FLOATING ISLAND (Minetta Lane & Whitney Museum), 1:00

back to top

Riff’s Rants & Raves

Lesley Leslie-Spinks

Robert Wilson’s PEER GYNT comes to BAM


Brooklyn Academy of Music

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

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

Tickets: $25-$80


As part of Ibsen Year 2006, a celebration of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen upon the centennial of his death, BAM has brought Robert Wilson’s lavish staging of PEER GYNT to Brooklyn for five special shows. Wilson, the genius designer behind such innovative productions as THE BLACK RIDER, WOYCZEK, and EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH (as well as the dreadful POEtry), has created spectacular visuals for Ibsen’s seldom-performed drama in verse, but the existential nature of the story gets way out of control, especially in the second act, resulting in four lengthy hours that feel like six. The stunning lighting, mesmerizing color design, and terrific music by Michael Galasso (Edvard Grieg contributed a brief score to the original production in 1876) can’t overcome the difficulties inherent in the play. In the first act, Peer Gynt is a fun and fancy-free ne’er-do-well (Henrik Rafaelsen) who prances about the stage with his mother (Wenche Medboe) and his true love, Solveig (Kjersti Sandal). But in the second act, Gynt (played successively by Rafaelsen, Endre Hellestveit, and Sverre Bentzen) is suddenly a wealthy businessman who made his fortune in morally questionable ways and ends up taking a hard look at his life and legacy in scenes that just keep coming and coming. Another major problem is that if you’re sitting in the center of the orchestra, the surtitles are broadcast so high above the stage that your eyes will have trouble going between the translated dialogue and the actual scenes below. Also, some of the annoying sound effects seem to be there just to keep you awake. Ultimately, Wilson’s PEER GYNT is lovely to look at and listen to but just too much of a good thing.

I AM A SEX ADDICT (Caveh Zahedi, 2005)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at Waverly Pl.

Opens Wednesday, April 12

Tickets: $10.75


Indie filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (A LITTLE STIFF, I DON’T HATE LAS VEGAS ANYMORE, IN THE BATHTUB OF THE WORLD) chronicles his sexual addiction in this oddball low-budget docudrama that is as fun as it is embarrassing. Zahedi plays himself as he re-creates pivotal scenes from his life, focusing on his relationships with Caroline (Rebecca Lord), Christa (Emily Morse), and Devin (Amanda Henderson) — each of which was troubled in different ways by his compulsion to visit street prostitutes. Zahedi regularly turns to the camera and addresses the audience (breaking time and space), shows actual footage of the real women, and gets way too personal by reenacting sex scenes that are humorous at first but eventually get to be too much information. Silly animation by Bob Sabiston and songs by Jonathan Richman keep things playful, there’s plenty of female nudity, and the acting is so convincing you’ll wonder at times which parts are the real thing.

A Northamptonshire shoe plant is turned upside down in BOOTS

KINKY BOOTS (Julian Jarrold, 2005)

Opens Friday, April 14

Inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS, the opening-night film of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is a charming tale that will pull you in even though you know exactly where it is going every step of the way. Cowritten and produced by the same team that made the sweet CALENDAR GIRLS (Nigel Cole, 2003) and directed by British television veteran Julian Jarrold, KINKY BOOTS stars Joel Edgerton as Charlie Price, a fourth-generation Northamptonshire shoe scion who desperately wants to leave his boring hometown and get away from the family business but is dragged back in when his much-loved father suddenly dies. Charlie soon discovers that the company is not as liquid as he thought, so he considers shutting the plant down until he and one of his employees, Lauren (Sarah Jane Potts), hatch a crazy plan to design a line of shoes for drag queens, helped by an oversized black diva, Lola (Chiwetel Ojiofor), who is somewhat out of place in this quiet, very white, very conservative little shire. Even the songs are predictable ("Whatever Lola Wants," "It’s a Man’s, Man’s Man’s World," "These Boots Are Made for Walkin’"), but Ejiofor is so fabulous that you’ll find yourself dancing in your seat. If you visit the British Web site for the film, you can check out a bunch of celebrity-designed Kinky Boots that were auctioned for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, including exciting footwear from Claudia Schiffer, Joan Collins, Elle Macpherson, John himself, Cher, and Sting & Trudie.

Gretchen Mol channels Bettie Page in biopic


Opens Friday, April 14

According to Mary Harron’s (AMERICAN PSYCHO, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL) biopic, Bettie (or Betty) Page was a relatively shallow, not-too-bright woman who never thought that posing in fetishistic black outfits (and in the nude) for men’s specialty magazines was contrary to her deep beliefs in Jesus and the Bible. Unfortunately, the movie is pretty much the same — shallow and not too bright, and one of the least involving stories we’ve seen in a long time, especially for a title subject whom we used to have an interest in. The Page depicted here is a simpleton who trusts the world so much she’ll go dancing with anyone — never imagining the man might be expecting, or demanding, a lot more. There are not-too-subtle hints about Page’s childhood, but the film focuses on her many posing sessions, which get tiresome quickly. Harron and company have managed to make the story of pin-up legend Bettie Page downright boring. Even if it’s all true — and that’s hard to tell, because Page to this day is still notoriously private — that doesn’t mean it’s a story worth telling on the big screen. It’s a plain vanilla movie about a plain vanilla woman who, for a few years in the 1950s, set the hearts of many a men aflutter.

Bilike (Hurichabilike) scans the beautiful landscape in MONGOLIAN PING PONG


ImaginAsian Theater

239 East 59th St. at Second Ave.

April 21-27

Tickets: $9


Set in the wide-open steppes of Inner Mongolia, MONGOLIAN PING PONG is a charming tale of a nomadic sheep-herding family facing modernization and change. Hurichabilike stars as six-year-old Bilike, a curious young boy who one day finds a Ping-Pong ball floating on a small river. He takes it to his grandmother (Badema), who tells him it’s a glowing pearl. As he shows off his treasure to his best friends, Dawa (Dawa) and Erguotou (Geliban), none of them knows what it really is. But soon the boys discover that it is the National Ball of China, and thinking that they have that very ball itself, the one and only, they decide to cross the Gobi Desert to return it to Beijing. All the while, Qiasang, Bilike’s father (Yidexinnaribu), tries to get a television set to work in the middle of nowhere and seeks to upgrade his motorized equipment; Bilike’s sister (Wurina) dreams of performing in a traveling dance troupe; and Siriguleng (Jinlaowu) keeps driving up in his van with interesting items from the big city. Reminiscent of THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY (Jamie Uys, 1980) — except not nearly as frantic and with a much more contemplative mood — MONGOLIAN PING PONG, beautifully shot by Du Jie, is an endearing tale of kids being kids and how new things bring about important change, both within and without, even in a land that has changed little in the last thousand years.

The tension mounts in AMERICAN DREAMZ

AMERICAN DREAMZ (Paul Weitz, 2006)

Opens Friday, April 21

Paul Weitz (AMERICAN PIE, ABOUT A BOY) takes on AMERICAN IDOL in this disappointing look at fame, fortune, and foreign policy. Mandy Moore is actually quite good as Sally Kendoo, an all-American white trash girl who will do whatever it takes to win on a reality talent show hosted by the dapper Martin Tweed (the dapper Hugh Grant), a man incapable of caring about anyone other than himself. Sally’s main competition is Omer (Sam Golzari), a lame song-and-dance man who is unwittingly part of a secret terrorist mission. AMERICAN PIE vet Chris Klein plays William Williams, Sally’s wounded boyfriend whom she strings along to garner more votes, prompted by her unscrupulous agent (Seth Meyers). Meanwhile, the president (Dennis Quaid, looking suspiciously Bush-like) is in a state of depression after winning a second term, so his vice president (Willem Dafoe, looking suspiciously Cheney-like) decides the best way to get him out of his funk is for the prez to be a guest judge on AMERICAN DREAMZ. If you’re thinking, "Huh?" welcome to the club. We have to admit that there are some very funny bits in this silly film, but it falls apart faster than a bad SNL skit. And we could have used a lot more of the rappin’ Hasid, Sholem Glickstein (Adam Busch), who seems lost in the film; we’re guessing we could find his missing back story on the cutting-room floor. Somewhat surprisingly, Moore’s standout performance gives it all more value than it really deserves. SOUTH PARK fans should look for Trey Parker as a rockin’ DREAMZ contestant.

BRICK (Rian Johnson, 2005)

Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.

Now playing

Tickets: $10.75


Rian Johnson’s directorial debut is an outrageously entertaining low-budget teen noir shot in a mere twenty days in and around his hometown of San Clemente, California. THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Brendan, a high school loner who speaks in dialogue torn from the pages of Hammett and Chandler, mixed in with a little Jim Rockford and the Coen brothers. The bespectacled Brendan pines for his ex-girlfriend, Emily (LOST’s Emilie de Ravin), whose mysterious exploits get him mixed up with some pretty strange characters, including Dode (Noah Segan), a neo-punk who hangs out by parking-lot Dumpsters; Tugger (Noah Fleiss), the fast-driving muscle for the local drug dealer; Kara (Meagan Good), the classic femme fatale; Brad (Brian White), the tough-talking but not very smart jock; Assistant Vice President Trueman (SHAFT’s Richard Roundtree), who is willing to bend the rules only so far; and the Pin (Lukas Haas), the goth drug kingpin who holds meetings in his kitchen while his mother (Reedy Gibbs) serves milk and cookies. And like every good detective, Brendan, who doesn’t seem to mind taking hard shots to the face, has his sidekick, the Brain (Matt O’Leary), who helps him navigate through the complex plot. But this is no mere parody or BUGSY SIEGEL wannabe; BRICK might be set in high school, but the stakes are much higher, which Johnson lets us know from the very beginning, as Brendan stands over a dead body. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival, BRICK, financed primarily by Johnson’s relatives, is an indie delight.

(Jeff Feuerzeig, 2005)

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.

Now playing

Tickets: $10.75


Jeff Feuerzeig’s THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON is a sad portrait of fame and folly. The mesmerizing documentary examines the life and career of Daniel Johnston, an outsider artist and musician who has a ravenous underground following. From the time he was a kid, Johnston was obsessed with recording his existence, making deeply personal audiocassettes and inventive Super-8 films, many of which Feuerzeig includes here, revealing Johnston’s curious, unique past. In the mid-1980s, Johnston recorded a pair of homemade tapes, SONGS OF PAIN and MORE SONGS OF PAIN, that detailed his unrequited love for an acquaintance of his named Laurie. His music quickly developed a cult audience, landing him on MTV and at the prestigious SXSW festival while gaining such fans as Kurt Cobain, Matt Groening, Sonic Youth, and the Butthole Surfers. All the while, he created comic-book-style paintings and drawings that began to be shown in galleries. But as Feuerzeig’s amazing mix of archival footage, home movies, and new interviews reveals, Johnston is also a manic depressive with severe mental problems who cannot survive on his own. Now in his mid-forties, he still lives with his Christian fundamentalist parents, seemingly as childlike as ever, unable to understand the realities of his situation. While many people consider him a genius — at the beginning of the film, he is introduced at a live gig as the greatest songwriter in the world, and his art is part of the current Whitney Biennial — it’s also easy to think that he’s being celebrated for all the wrong reasons and that this worship is doing him — and us — more harm than good. Favorite scene: Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes talking about Johnston while sitting in a dentist’s chair getting his teeth drilled.

TIBET: A BUDDHIST TRILOGY (Graham Coleman, 1979 & 2005)

Quad Cinema

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

Through April 13

Tickets: $9.50

In 1979, when TIBET: A BUDDHIST TRILOGY was first released, not much was known about the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhists. Since then, the Dalai Lama has become a more familiar public figure (he’ll be at the Beacon Theater September 23-25 teaching about "The Blade Wheel of Mind Transformation"), and more of the world recognizes China’s invasion of Tibet in 1959, which forced the Dalai Lama and his people into exile, and the continuing oppression of Tibetan culture by the Chinese. The first part of the film, "The Dalai Lama, the Monasteries and the People," follows the leader, also known as Tenzin Gyatso, as he blesses his community, prays, and talks about how best to deal with the future, stressing human kindness and compassion for all sentient beings, including their so-called enemies. There are also engaging scenes of monks debating such concepts as stealing and the nature of being. Part II, which was shown separately from the other two sections back in 1979, goes inside monastic life. In "Radiating the Fruit of Truth," director Graham Coleman is given extraordinary access as the lamas of the Phulwary Sakya Monastery in Nepal perform the ritual "A Beautiful Ornament," which includes the building of a colorful cosmogram and the playing of unique instruments, all in worship of the female deity Tara. Part III, and the most powerful, is "The Fields of the Senses," detailing the cremation ceremony of a village elder in Ladakh, with contemplations of life, death, and existence. Much of TIBET: A BUDDHIST TRILOGY features gentle narration or subtitled explanations of what is happening onscreen, not always direct translations of what is being heard. Themes such as compassion, goodness, delusion, attachment, sentience, mind and body, form and emptiness, and impermanence are continually contemplated, with Coleman’s camera matching the slow, easy pace of the Buddhist rituals. This ethnographic study of the Tibetan people, complete with fascinating iconography and, thankfully, no talking heads, has been digitally restored and reedited into a single, 134-minute marvel. It’s almost impossible to watch A BUDDHIST TRILOGY and not come away reconsidering your own impermanence.

ATL (Chris Robinson, 2006)

In theaters now

Loosely based on the real-life experiences of TLC’s Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and music producer / film composer Dallas Austin, ATL is a silly , derivative, cliché-ridden drama of teenagers growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in urban Atlanta. Rapper T.I. stars as Rashad, a cool cat who spends Sunday nights — we kid you not — roller skating with his crew: younger brother Ant (Evan Ross, son of Diana), who is enticed by fancy cars and drug money; Esquire (Jackie Long), who needs a letter of recommendation to get accepted to an Ivy League school; Teddy (Jason Weaver), who works at Eddy’s Gold Teeth; and Brooklyn (Al Be Daniels from DEF POETRY JAM), a gentle giant who can’t hold down a fast-food job. Among the myriad stereotypes are John Garnett (Keith David), a wealthy black man unwilling to admit his ghetto past; Uncle George (Mykelti Williamson), a janitor who ends up being a wise philosopher; New-New (Lauren London), a street-talking hottie who likes Rashad but has a deep, dark secret; and Marcus (OutKast’s Big Boi), the local drug dealer who likes to start them young. Directed by music video veteran Chris Robinson, ATL has a good heart and good music, but T.I.’s acting is wooden, the story line is obvious, and the roller-skating scenes — well, the word "ludicrous" comes to mind. (Ludacris himself raps the opening number, with help from Ray Charles.) The story is credited to Antwone Fisher, who wrote the sleeper hit ANTWONE FISHER (Denzel Washington, 2002), based on his own life.

ADAM & STEVE (Craig Chester, 2005)

Quad Cinema

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

Through April 13

Craig Chester’s film-festival veteran, ADAM & STEVE, is a jaw-droppingly inept romantic comedy about two men who are supposedly meant to be together, although it’s impossible to tell why from this malodorous mess. Indie actor Chester (SWOON, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY) wrote, directed, and stars in the film as Adam Bernstein, a Long Island Jew with a cursed family. As a goth teen in 1987, he goes to Danceteria with his fat, disgusting best friend, Rhonda (Parker Posey) and immediately falls for Steve Hicks (Malcolm Gets), a Dazzle Dancer with big hair and lots of coke. But just as they’re about to get in bed together, Steve can’t stop himself from, well, let’s just say he loses control of his bowels, forcing Adam to lose control of his lunch. (The woman sitting next to us lost control of her patience, as she got up and walked out right then and there.) Seventeen years later, Adam is a birding guide in Central Park, Steve is a psychiatrist, and Rhonda is a woefully unfunny stand-up comic who insists on still doing fat jokes even though she’s now thin as a rail. As Adam and Steve start dating — including participating in some gay cowboy dancing that would make Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal shudder — they have no idea that they were the ones who met back on that crazy day in 1987 that changed each of their lives forever. Chester attempts to mix broad comedy with tender moments, spoofing numerous genres while trying to create a poignant love story — and even playing the 9/11 card — but too many of the scenes come off like TV skits gone wrong. (In fact, SNL’s Chris Kattan is on board, playing Steve’s slimy roommate.) We added half a star because some of the sight gags involving Adam’s family (father Paul Sand, mother Julie Hagerty, sister Kristen Schaal) actually made us laugh intermittently.

LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN (Paul McGuigan, 2006)

In theaters now'263'

Poor Slevin (Josh Hartnett). He shows up in New York City to visit his friend Nick Fisher and instead finds himself in one big, dangerous mess. First he gets mugged on the street. Then he gets mistaken for his childhood friend, who owes some very powerful people a whole lotta money. And his only way out seems to be to do some dirty little favors for the Boss (Morgan Freeman) and the Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley), two rival gang leaders hidden away across the street from each other in their well-protected, fortresslike ivory towers in the Village. Thrown into the mix is loopy neighbor Lindsey (Lucy Liu, who will annoy the hell out of you at the start but whom you’ll eventually warm up to), professional hit man Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis), and determined detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci). Written by first-time screenwriter Jason Smilovic (KAREN SISCO), who uses way too many silly TV and movie references, and directed with style by Paul McGuigan (GANGSTER NO. 1), LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN is a very clever caper film that throws in an unfair red herring or two — and has one completely manipulative moment that nearly blows the whole deal — but has enough cool twists and turns to keep you guessing through the awesome conclusion. Shot in Toronto and New York and also featuring bits by Danny Aiello and Robert Forster, the oddly named LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN is a two-and-a-half-star movie with a four-star ending.

FRIENDS WITH MONEY (Nicole Holofcener, 2006)

In theaters now

Nicole Holofcener’s third film, following 1996’s WALKING AND TALKING and 2002’s LOVELY AND AMAZING, both indie faves, is a very adult look at life, love, and loot in Los Angeles as four friends try to figure out where they are — and where they’re going. Christine (Catherine Keener) is working on a screenplay with her husband, David (Jason Isaacs), and building an extension to their house, but they have stopped connecting. Jane (Frances McDormand) is a successful clothing designer who starts having ugly public outbursts and whose husband, Aaron (Simon McBurney), might be gay. Franny (Joan Cusack) is ultrarich, donating two million dollars to one of her children’s schools more or less on a whim, and has a wonderful relationship with her caring husband, Matt (Greg Germann). And the youngest of the quartet, Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), is a misguided pothead working as a maid who calls her married ex-lover every night just to hear his voice, then hangs up. In all three of her films, Holofcener has shown she can write with a deft touch, creating unique situations dealt with intelligently; unfortunately, in this case, there isn’t a likable major character in the movie, so while you’ll respect what she’s trying to do, you really won’t care all that much. Of course, we’re not women in our mid-forties reexamining the state of our being, so some of you might find FRIENDS WITH MONEY a lot more relevant and entertaining than we did. However, you’ll all love Rickie Lee Jones’s original music.

INSIDE MAN (Spike Lee, 2006)

In theaters now

Spike Lee goes for the big time with this studio heist film that wants to be DOG DAY AFTERNOON (Sidney Lumet, 1975) mixed with QUICK CHANGE (Howard Franklin, 1990) but falls well short of both. Written by first-timer Russell Gewirtz, INSIDE MAN looks great — it’s probably Lee’s most accomplished film from a technical standpoint — but it has huge, embarrassing plot holes you could drive several Brinks trucks through. Lee veteran Denzel Washington stars as Keith Frazier, a detective who, despite being under investigation regarding some missing drug money, gets assigned to a bank robbery case with his partner, Bill Mitchell (Chiwetel Ejiofor). They need to work together with one of New York’s Finest (Willem Dafoe) in handling a hostage situation at a Lower Manhattan bank that has been taken over by Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) and his small crew of masked painters. That part of the film works fine, but the subplot involving Jodie Foster as a high-powered woman hired to do a special task by bank CEO Christopher Plummer is completely unnecessary, and the nonlinear storytelling device Lee employs needlessly obfuscates things. And you don’t have to look too hard to find a bit of anti-Semitism yet again in a Lee film. INSIDE MAN could have been a great caper movie, but instead it’s a mediocre triviality.

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (Jason Reitman, 2006)

In theaters now

Jason Reitman, the son of producer/director Ivan Reitman (STRIPES, GHOST BUSTERS, DAVE), makes his sparkling feature-film debut with the brilliant THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, a devilishly delightful black comedy based on the novel by acerbic wit Christopher Buckley. Aaron Eckhart gives a riotous performance as Nick Naylor, a fast-talking, handsome, smarmy lobbyist for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, a Big Tobacco laboratory that, remarkably, cannot find a link between cigarettes and health risks. A master of spin, Naylor seems to even believe himself when he tells a young boy dying of cancer that he’s better off smoking. As a grandstanding senator (William H. Macy) plans congressional hearings on the evils of tobacco — especially on teenagers — Naylor is being groomed as the industry’s savior by his high-strung boss (J.K. Simmons) and the Captain (Robert Duvall) while trying to establish a meaningful relationship with his son (the suddenly ubiquitous Cameron Bright). The fine ensemble also features Katie Holmes as a hot young reporter who’ll go to virtually any length to get a story; Sam Elliott as the Marlboro Man, who is dying of lung cancer; Rob Lowe as a Zen-like Hollywood agent who is considering Naylor’s idea of making cigarette smoking cool in the movies again; and Dennis Miller and Joan Lunden as themselves, adding a bit of reality to the hysterical situation, which might not be as far off from the truth as we might think. Among the funniest scenes in this wicked film are Naylor’s weekly meetings with the M.O.D. Squad (the Merchants of Death), as the lobbyists for the alcohol (Maria Bello), tobacco (Eckhart), and firearms (David Koechner) industries playfully call themselves. The film is produced by David O. Sacks, who amassed his fortune when he sold his Internet baby, PayPal, to eBay in 2002 and headed straight for Hollywood. (Sacks also makes a cameo as an oil lobbyist.)

TSOTSI (Gavin Hood, 2005)

Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.

Now playing

Tickets: $10.75


Every once in a while, a surprise movie comes along that just blows you away; TSOTSI is that kind of film. Based on the only novel by South African playwright and activist Athol Fugard, TSOTSI is set in the dangerous ghetto world on the outskirts of Johannesberg, where poverty goes hand in hand with violence. Presley Chweneyagae is simply remarkable as Tsotsi (South African for "thug" or "gangster"), the leader of a small group of hoods who pull off petty crimes — until they fatally stab a man on the subway, sending them into a dark and deadly tailspin. When Tsotsi shoots a woman and steals her car, he finds that there’s a baby in the backseat; he considers returning it or leaving it by the side of the road, but he instead brings it home, where he decides to take care of it himself — with the help of beautiful single mother Miriam (Terry Pheto). The baby triggers Tsotsi’s memories of his own horrific childhood, which writer-director Gavin Hood shows in brief but powerful flashbacks. Tsotsi struggles to keep the baby a secret from his cohorts, much the same as he tries to keep his past secret from everyone. But things soon come to a head, and Tsotsi must decide whether to reach inside his conscience — or for his gun. Chweneyagae dominates the screen from the very first moment, his intense stare filled with anger and hate, one of the most frightening you’ll ever see. Fortunately, Hood avoids any moments of sappy sentimentality or overemotional clichés, so you never know what’s going to happen next. The pulsing soundtrack of South African kwaito music comes from "Zola" Bonginkosi Dlamini, who also plays Fela. Reminiscent of such harrowing films about troubled children as PIXOTE (Hector Babenco, 1981) and CITY OF GOD (Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund, 2002), TSOTSI is a devastating, unforgettable story that will drive itself deep into your heart and soul. Don’t miss it.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK: CHOKE (Anchor, 2002, $13.95)

Chuck Palahniuk has a rather unique way of looking at the world. In such novels as DIARY, FIGHT CLUB, and HAUNTED, he has dared to go where few writers have gone before. A kind of Henry Miller meets Charles Bukowski for the twenty-first century, Palahniuk, who has a growing cult audience that worships his every move, has a bizarre, bleak, very funny style that changes with every book. CHOKE is told from the point of view of one Victor Mancini, a sex addict who works in a colonial village, is watching his ailing mother fade away in a nursing home, and likes to pretend he’s choking in restaurants in order to make heroes of perfect strangers -- who save him and then send him money as if he’s now part of their family. His best friend, Denny, is a pathetic self-abuser who wheels rocks around in a baby carriage, and the only woman he seemingly doesn’t want, Dr. Paige Marshall, has a very odd plan to keep Victor’s mother alive. Palahniuk shifts between Victor’s troubled present with his troubled past, in which his deeply disturbed mother regularly steals him away from foster parents, teaches him how to recognize hidden danger signs, and keeps him on the run from the law. CHOKE is a biting satire about sex and death, about birth and rebirth, that will make you twist and cringe as much as you laugh out loud.

DANIEL CLOWES: ICE HAVEN (Pantheon, 2005, $18.95)

Described by author/artist Daniel Clowes as a "narraglyphic picto-assemblage," ICE HAVEN is a hysterical tale set in a rather bizarre Midwest town filled with odd, offbeat characters trapped in mundane, ridiculous situations. Narrator Random Wilder is a would-be poet laureate whose complex work is ignored while the pablum spewing out of his matronly neighbor, Mrs. Wentz, is celebrated. Mrs. Wentz’s granddaughter, Vida, who worships Mr. Wilder, starts up a weekly zine that nobody reads. When creepy young David Goldberg goes missing, his classmate Charles thinks that wacko kid Carmichael, who is obsessed with Leopold and Loeb, might have killed him. Violet Vanderplatz wishes for dreamy hunk Penrod to spirit her away to their own love nest. Mr. and Mrs. Ames, who were called in to solve the Goldberg case, are not exactly Nick and Nora Charles. And Harry Naybors is a comic book critic (and Clowes alter ego) who hates the term "graphic novel" and believes that comics "more closely replicates the true nature of human consciousness and the struggle between private self-definition and corporeal ‘reality.’" Previously published by Fantagraphics in EIGHTBALL #22, ICE HAVEN is a hoot, a great way to prepare for the film version of ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, another Clowes EIGHTBALL veteran, being directed by Terry GHOST WORLD Zwigoff and opening next month. (See above for the special April 16 screening of ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL at Makor, which will be followed by a conversation between Zwigoff and Clowes.)

Willie Nile swings his guitar through the streets of New York


The Living Room

154 Ludlow St. between Stanton & Rivington Sts.

Wednesday, April 26


The more you listen to Willie Nile’s brand-new record, STREETS OF NEW YORK, the more you’ll think you’ve heard it all before. And you have. The Buffalo-raised Nile, who made a bit of a splash in the early 1980s with such songs as "Golden Down," doesn’t just pay homage to his influences on these fourteen tracks; he outright steals from them, but that’s part of the fun. "Welcome to My Head" opens with a Beatles-esque melody and then asks us to make ourselves at home in his head, which is filled with (familiar) music, of course. "You can tempt the devil / You can dream out loud," he sings. Nile dreams out loud throughout this disc. The gorgeous "Back Home" is a rewrite of Bob Dylan’s "I Want You," complete with Nile doing his best Dylan vocal impression. (He throws in a bit of Tom Petty as well in the bridge.) "Lonesome Dark-Eyed Beauty" mixes Dylan’s "Forever Young" with Bruce Springsteen’s "For You" and "Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart." We could be wrong, but we think we hear the Pogues, Paul Westerberg, U2, the Waterboys, Elvis Costello, Fatboy Slim, and, dare we say it, REO Speedwagon on other songs. And instead of "borrowing" from the Clash, Nile tears through a dead-on version of the British unk band’s cover of Eddy Grant’s "Police on My Back." Nile also knows his way around (what we think are) his own infectious pop hooks, which pop up in such charmers as "Best Friends Money Can Buy" and "Whole World with You." The album closes with the moving title track, which features a piano line straight out of Springsteen’s "The Promise." Interestingly, the album is being marketed as a musician’s favorite, receiving accolades from the likes of Bono, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Graham Parker, Ian Hunter, and Little Steven. You can see it all for yourself at the Living Room on April 26, when Nile and his band get to show what they’re made of.

All contents copyright 2006 by Mark Rifkin and twi-ny. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. Please note that events, dates, and prices are subject to change.

Send all comments, suggestions, reviews, and questions to

Please note that some e-mail clients may wrap links, so be sure to enter them fully into your browser.

To subscribe to this list, please e-mail the administrator at with the word Subscribe in the Subject line; be sure to ask for back issues, which are free as well. To unsubscribe from this list, please think it over twice before e-mailing the same address. Please let us know what you didn't like about this forum and we'll do our best to correct it in the future -- if we agree with you. If you would like to see something covered in a future issue, please let us know. Without you, there is no need for us to exist.

back to top

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


Get ready for big crowds at Macy’s


Macy’s Herald Square

151 East 34th St. at Broadway

Admission: free


Through April 23 Annual Macy’s Flower Show celebrating the coming of spring, including the Orchid Garden on 8 and the Bouquet of the Day and Kosta Boda’s Yellow Garden in the Center Aisle, Main Floor

Friday, April 14 Making Flowers Last! with Carena Rojas, Seminar in Fine China on 8, 1:00

Wednesday, April 19 Making Flowers Last! with Ritsuko Daye Deura, Seminar in Fine China on 8, 1:00

Friday, April 21 Making Flowers Last! with Lois Bender, Fine China on 8, 1:00


Joyce Theater

175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.

February 7-12

Tickets: $25 adults, $15 kids

212-242-0800 / 212-465-7468

Through April 16 Traveling dance troupe of twenty children from Uganda between the ages of eight and eighteen perform to raise funds and awareness for health crises in Uganda


The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

566 La Guardia Pl.

Through April 15

Tickets: $25


Wednesday, April 12 Beyond Basic: Art of Rhyme / Spoken Word, $7, 3:00

Thursday, April 13 Deep*NYC: An Evening of Music, Fashion, and Video, with DJ Rob Swift, Dujeous, Rogue State, BI-Trip & Takahiro, Akim Funk Buddhan and the Urbanites, and more, $15, 7:00

Saturday, April 15 The Coup, $25, 10:00


Red Lion

151 Bleecker St. between Thompson St. & La Guardia Pl.

Admission: free


Thursday, April 13 Three sets of acoustic music, including surprise guests, 7:00


Jacob Javits Convention Center

Eleventh Ave. between 34th & 39th Sts.

Admission: $14 adults, $4 children twelve and under


Friday, April 14


Sunday, April 23 The 106th anniversary of one of the country’s biggest auto shows, featuring such new cars as the Jaguar XK rear; such concept cars as the Aston Martin Rapide; such alternative fuel vehicles as the GMC Sierra Hybrid; and such international beauties as the Honda HSC Concept, as well as the below special events

Saturday, April 14 2006 NYIAS Opening Day Ceremonies, featuring U.S. Lawnmower Racing Association race, Inner Roadway, 9:00 am

Saturday, April 14 Funkmaster Flex, Ford exhibit, level three, 2:00 — 5:00

Wednesday, April 19 Cousin Brucie live talk show, Sirius booth, Crystal Palace, 5:00 — 6:00

Wednesday, April 19 Wiseguy live talk show, Sirius booth, Crystal Palace, 6:00 — 9:00

Thursday, April 20 Hispanic Day, featuring Mariachi Real De Mexico, Lopez, Raices, Ray Rivera "Salsa con Clase," Noztra, Rafy Santos, Ricky Castro, Michael Stuart, and comedian Ruperto Vanderpool, speciality display tent


April 25 — May 7

Tickets: $12

Tribeca Talks: $20


Single tickets for the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival for more than 250 films are now on sale. Keep watching for updates on the Tribeca Talks Panel Series, the Family Festival, and our recommendations from this year’s crop. Among the things we’re looking forward to are John Malkovich as Stanley Kubrick in COLOUR ME KUBRICK, Guy Pearce in FIRST SNOW, Sigourney Weaver in SNOW CAKE and THE TV SET, THE ARCHITECT with Anthony LaPaglia and Isabella Rossellini, Isabelle Huppert in Claude Chabrol’s COMEDY OF POWER, Laura Linney in DRIVING LESSONS, Laurence Fishburne and Ryan Phillippe in FIVE FINGERS, Edward Burns’s THE GROOMSMEN, Jeff Garlin’s I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH, Rosie Perez in JUST LIKE THE SON, Chris Marker’s THE CASE OF THE GRINNING CAT, Matthew Modine and Gina Gershon in KETTLE OF FISH, Ralph Fiennes in LAND OF THE BLIND, Ray Liotta in COMEBACK SEASON and LOCAL COLOR, Richard E. Grant’s WAH-WAH, John Travolta and Salma Hayek in LONELY HEARTS, Jeff Goldblum in MINI’S FIRST TIME and PITTSBURGH, and Guy Maddin’s MY DAD IS 100 YEARS OLD, as well as documentaries about the Pixies, Al Franken, Frank Gehry, Dorothy Day, Toots Shorr, Nam June Paik, the Wu-Tang Clan, Will Shortz, Robert Frank, HEDWIG, Jack Smith, the Gates, Jonestown, the New York Cosmos, and Golden Gate Bridge suicides. This year’s panel discussions include T-Bone Burnett, Harold Ramis (Toga, Toga, Toga! What the Industry Learned at Faber College), Steven Soderbergh (Downloading at a Screen Near You), Rosie Perez and Mia Maestro (Adalante Mujeres: Latina Women at the Helm), and Michael McKean, Lewis Lapham, Jeff Goldblum, and Bob Balaban (Professional Amateurs: Mocking the Truth). (Above: scene from DEAR FATHER, QUIET, WE’RE SHOOTING…)

Available Now Special festival passes, including the Family Film Pass ($60 adults, $30 children fourteen and under), the Daytimer Pass ($150), and the Hudson Pass ($1,000)

Saturday, April 15 Single tickets available to general public


Museum of American Finance

28 Broadway

Admission: $2 adults, kids free


Saturday, April 15 Celebrate Tax Day, featuring counterfeiting demonstrations with Secret Service agents and more, 10:00 am — 4:00 pm


Central Park

Naumburg Bandshell and Mall Concert Ground

Midpark between 66th & 72nd Sts.

Admission: free

Saturday, April 15 Featuring special entertainment and activities for children, 11:00 am — 3:00 pm


Dahesh Museum of Art

580 Madison Ave. at 57th St.

Select Saturdays at 1:00

Free with museum admission


Saturday, April 15 Walt Simonson, slide presentation and guided tour


Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Long Island University, Brooklyn campus

One University Pl.

Tickets: $55-$100


Saturday, April 15 Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium, featuring Dave Valentin, Hilton Ruiz, Giovanni Hidalgo, Papo Vazquez, Randy Brecker, Sherman Irby, John Benitez, Dafnis Prieto, and Anthony Carrillo, 7:30


Brooklyn Children’s Museum

145 Brooklyn Ave. at St. Marks Ave.

Free with museum admission of $4

718-735-4400 ext110

Saturday, April 15 Eggstravaganza, featuring Ukrainian Psanka eggs, arts and crafts, and more, ages six and up, 3:00

Sunday, April 16 Symbols of Spring and the Seder, ages six and up, 3:00

Sunday, April 22 Planet Brooklyn: Honor the Earth, featuring science and cultural activities, arts and crafts, storytelling, live music, and more, all ages, 1:00


BAM Rose Cinemas

Brooklyn Academy of Music

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

April 5-25

Tickets: $10


Saturday, April 15 Village Voice — Best Films of 2005: THE WAYWARD CLOUD (TIAN BIAN YI DUO YUN) (Tsai Ming-liang, 2005), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Monday, April 17 It Happened in Brooklyn: IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN (Richard Whorf, 1947), introduced by John Manbeck and Robert Singer and followed by Q&A, 6:50

Tuesday, April 18 Shelley Winters vs. the Water: LOLITA (Stanley Kubrick, 1960), 6:00 & 9:00

Wednesday, April 19 Cinema Tropical: TORO NEGRO (BLACK BULL) (Pedro González Rubio & Carlos Armella, 2005), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Thursday, April 20 Cinemachat with Elliott Stein: THE OFFENCE (Sidney Lumet, 1973), followed by a Cinemachat with Stein and Lumet, 7:00

Friday, April 21 Village Voice — Best Films of 2005: CAFÉ LUMIERE (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2004), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Saturday, April 22 Village Voice — Best Films of 2005: THREE TIMES (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005), 7:00

Monday, April 24 It Happened in Brooklyn: THE FRENCH CONNECTION (William Friedkin, 1971), introduced by John Manbeck and Pete Hamill and followed by Q&A, 6:50

Tuesday, April 25 Shelley Winters vs. the Water: THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (Ronald Neame, 1972), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15


Fifth Ave. from 49th to 57th Sts.

Admission: free

Sunday, April 16 Marchers will be decked out in their spring finery, with viewing platforms in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 10:00 am — 4:00 pm


Tavern on the Green

Central Park West at 67th St.

Contest admission: free

Three-course meal: $109 Crystal Room, $69 general seating, children under twelve half price


Sunday, April 16 Competitors go for more than $5,000 in prizes in the following categories: Most Beautiful Easter Bonnet, Most Original Bonnet, Silliest Hat, Haughtiest Hat, Best in Show, Loveliest Little Lady Hat, Best Boy Bonnet, Best Pampered Pet Bonnet, Cutest Canine Cap, Kitschiest Kitty Bonnet, and more, along with twenty-eight-pound bunnies, crafts tables, and live music and magic, 12:30 — 4:00 pm


New York Aquarium

Surf Ave. & West Eighth St.

Free with general admission of $12 adults, $8 children two to twelve


Sunday, April 16 Shark-a-Rama!

Saturday, April 22


Sunday, April 23 Earth Day Weekend: Wonders of Water

Through April 23 Wyland Clean Water Tour, 10:30


Multiple venues

Treatments: $50

Reservations required


Monday, April 17


Sunday, April 23 More than seventy-five spas are offering special treatments for $50, including microdermabrasion at Nickel Spa for Men, laser hair removal at Wellpath, coconut milk pedicure with warm cream hand treatment at Allure, anti-aging facial at Body by Brooklyn, Brazilian wax at Completely Bare, Swedish massage at Eden, sugar plum soufflé hydrating facial hand and foot massage, sauna, steam, and Jacuzzi at Essential Therapy, fusion manicure and pedicure at Exhale, mango/ginger brown sugar scrub with Vichy shower at Finesse, plantogen manuka honey facial at Glow, Quigong deep tissue massage at Graceful Services, citrus crystal scrub at Oasis, reiki with ear candling at Satori Holistic Center, reflexology at Serenity, anti-oxidant spring facial peel at Smooth Synergy, rescue breathe massage at Spa Hydra, and more


French Institute Alliance Française

Florence Gould Hall

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

Tickets: $9


Tuesday, April 18 New York premiere of LES RENDEZ-VOUS d’ANNA (THE MEETINGS OF ANNA) (Chantal Akerman, 1978), 12:30, 4:00, 7:00

Tuesday, April 25 NEWS FROM HOME (Chantal Akerman, 1977), 12:30 & 6:30

Tuesday, April 25 DEMAIN ON DÉMÉNAGE (TOMORROW WE MOVE) (Chantal Akerman, 2004), 3:30 & 9:00


Backdrop NYC

NYC-TV Channel 25

Cablevision Channel 22

Wednesday, April 19, 9:00


Sunday, April 23, 8:00 Screening of Phil Roc’s short film about August, Max, and Coney Island, which previously has been shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Coney Island Film Festival, among others


30 Rockefeller Center, lower level

49th & 50th Sts. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Admission: orchid exhibits $5, sales area free

212-332-6577 / 212-632-3975

Thursday, April 20


Sunday, April 23 Twenty-sixth annual event, featuring more than forty vendors from all over the country as well as Taiwan and South America


American Museum of the Moving Image

35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria

Free with museum admission of $8.50


Thursday, April 20 Voices Behind the Scenes: The Art of Voice-Overm with Don LaFontaine, Steve Zirnkilton, Joe Cipriani, Fred Collins, Janice Pendarvis, Les Marshak, Valerie Smaldone, Rodd Houston, Bill Ratner, Dave Fennoy, Stephen Newman, Cedering Fox, and Yolanda Hancock, hosted by Alan Kalter, $24, 7:00

Friday, April 21 Independence World Cinema Showcase: BLACK (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2005), 7:30

Saturday, April 22 Digital Media Events: Father of the Home Video Game, Ralph Baer in conversation with Carl Goodman, followed by a reception, 2:00

Saturday, April 22 Digital Media Events: Game Design: Forward into the Past, panel discussion with Eugene Jarvis, Greg Costikyan, and Eric Zimmerman, moderated by Keith Feinstein, 4:00

Saturday, April 22 Havana Film Festival in New York: GUANTANAMERA (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1995), with Mirta Ibarra, 6:30

Sunday, April 23 Fist and Sword: Martial Arts Film Classics — PEKING OPERA BLUES (Tsui Hark, 1986), 1:30

Sunday, April 23 Digital Media Events: Video Blog Explosion, panel discussion with Andrew Michael Baron, Amanda Congdon, Ravi Jain, and Jakob Lodwick, 4:00

Sunday, April 23 Havana Film Festival in New York: MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968), with novelist Edmundo Desnoes, 7:30


Washington Irving High School

40 Irving Pl. at 16th St.


Saturday, April 22 Richard Stoltzman, clarinet, with Peter John Stoltzman, piano: Works by Debussy, Poulenc, Bernstein, Copland, and Piazzolla, $9


Staten Island Zoo

614 Broadway

Admission: $7 adults, $4 children three to fourteen


Saturday, April 22 Third annual event, featuring arts & crafts, face painting, live music, animal demonstrations, rides, displays, and more, 10:00 am — 4:00 pm


Mott, Mulberry, Baxter, Bayard, Pell, Doyers, and Mosco Sts.

Cost: $1-$2 per plate


Saturday, April 22 More than fifty restaurants, tea shops, bakeries, and specialty stores will be offering tasting plates, including Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Korean, and Vietnamese delicacies, in addition to a fortune cookie writing contest, lion dancing, children’s activities, and more, 1:00 — 6:00


New York Cares

Multiple locations


Saturday, April 22 Twelfth annual volunteer event in which teams clean, paint, and revitalize parks and community spaces, 9:30 am — 3:00 pm


Brooklyn Academy of Music

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House

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

Tickets: $20-$60


Saturday, April 22 Featuring the Brooklyn Philharmonic performing works by Bernstein, Gershwin, Brel, Monot, Eisler, Heiner Goebbels, Copland, Gruber, Weill, Piazzola, Chava Alverstein, Ute Lemper, and Kander / Ebb, 8:00


Staten Island Museum

75 Stuyvesant Pl.

Admission: free


Saturday, April 22 Annual family education festival, 1:00 - 4:30


The New School

Tishman Auditorium

66 West 12th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Tickets: $20 full day


Saturday, April 22


Sunday, April 23 Two days of screenings of documentaries dealing with United Nations Millennium Development Goals, 12 noon — 6:00


Center for Jewish History

Forchheimer Auditorium

15 West 16th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.


Sunday, April 23 Symposium with Professor Donald Webber, Professor Joyce Antler, Marla Brettschneider, Dr. Ari Y. Kelman, Aviva Kempner, and David Zurawik, followed by reception, $8, reservations required, 12 noon — 5:00

back to top