Brooklyn Exhibit of the Week
6. Plus Riffs Rants & Raves: Film, including THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS, BOMB IT!, and HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY
7. Riffs Rants & Raves: Live Dance & Theater, including Patrick Stewart in MACBETH on Broadway, THE WALWORTH FARCE at St. Anns Warehouse, Akram Khan at City Center, and SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD and ENDGAME at BAM
Volume 7, Number 46
April 16-30, 2008
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Site Design/Subway Photo:
Fred Gates Design, New York.
Takashi Murakamis "Jellyfish Eyes" wallpaper looks back at viewers knowingly
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, fourth floor
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, fifth floor
200 Eastern Parkway
Through July 13 (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
Tickets: $10 (includes all exhibits in museum)
Art, commerce, and Japanese culture and history collide in the brilliantly organized “© Murkami” at the Brooklyn Museum. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has become an international brand, creating, with his large team, collectibles, T-shirts, a children’s book, an animated kids TV series, and even a line of Louis Vuitton bags in fact, right in the middle of the exhibit is an actual LV outlet store. But Murakami’s genius is that he uses commercialism and globalization to comment on commercialism and globalization; his work attempts to tear down what America, specifically, has wrought on the world, particularly post-World War II. This is perhaps most evident in his repeating character known as DOB, who is primarily just a round face with two large ears, resembling an otaku-fied Mickey Mouse. But as cute as DOB can be in a series of lithographs a la Warhol, he can also bare his sharp fangs. Disney’s prince and princess are disturbingly subverted in the bigger-than-life anime sculptures “My Lonesome Cowboy” and “Hiropon,” the former a well-endowed boy playing with a stream of white liquid shooting out of himself, the latter a big-breasted girl lactating profusely, almost as if the secretions are weapons. In a room covered in wallpaper featuring what Murakami calls “jellyfish eyes” stand two more of his recurrent characters, the sweet Kaikai and his not quite as sweet alter ego, the three-eyed, two-fanged Kiki. Their “kawaii” (cuteness) is somewhat offset by the inclusion of one of Murakami’s “Time Bokan” paintings, which depicts a skeletal figure rising from the ground in the shape of a mushroom cloud. (“Time Bokan” was the only piece of his own that Murakami included the exhibition he curated at the Japan Society in 2005, “Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture.”) But in another dazzling room, there is nothing but bright colors and an infectious charm, the wallpaper filled with Murakami’s delightful smiling flowers, with Kakai and Kiki popping right out of the wall in painted canvases.
Takashi Murakami, "Kaikai," 2000
In 2003, Takashi Murakami’s mammoth “Revised Double Helix,” featuring his character Mr. Pointy (Tongari-kun), was displayed in Rockefeller Plaza, with his four little friends, Zoucho-kun, Koumokkun, Jikokkun, and Tamon-kun. A version of them is back at the Brooklyn Museum, right by the front entrance, but whereas Tongari-kun was predominantly white in the 2003 installation, he is now mostly black. One of Murakami’s strangest characters is Inochi, an alien-like boy (or perhaps a victim of the atomic bomb?) who is seen here in a pair of statues, one with a white face, the other brown, as well as in a series of very funny videos in which he has brief adventures in school. Two of Murakami’s most recent pieces are an abrupt change of style, referencing Japanese ukiyo-e prints: two large portraits of a somber man, one with a white face, the other brown, titled “I open wide my eyes but see no scenery. I fix my gaze upon my heart.” And “That I may time transcend, that a universe my heart may unfold.” Everything comes together in the dazzling, disarming large-scale painting “Tan Tan Bo Puking a.k.a. Gero Tan,” a 2002 work that features many of his familiar characters trapped in a Dali-like surreal futuristic landscape that is melting with blood and vomit; be sure to read the accompanying wall text to get the full impact. Spread over two floors and even winding down the stairway, “© Murakami” is a psychedelic trip through the mind of a wildly inventive artist whose work, in many ways, sums up the state of the world today.
Saturday, April 19 Envisioning Japan: Consuming Art in Japan/America: panel discussion with Laura Mueller, Roland Kelts, Scott Rothkopf, and Chad Phillips, moderated by Charles Desmarais, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, free with museum admission, 2:00
Saturday, April 19 Art-Making: Manga Pop-Up Cards, adult workshop with Brooklyn-based artist Lai-Chung Poon, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion, first floor, free with museum admission but registration required at firstname.lastname@example.org, 2:00
Saturday, April 26 From Samurai to Superhero: ROYAL SPACE FORCE: WINGS OF HONNEAMISE (Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987), followed by discussion, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, 1:00
Saturday, April 26 From Samurai to Superhero: DREAMS (Akira Kurosawa, 1990), followed by discussion, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, 3:30
Sunday, April 27 Music Off the Walls: Brooklyn Philharmonic presents "Traversing the Mushroom Kingdom," multimedia performance inspired by the Murakami exhibition, featuring Randall Woolfs "Try to Believe" and a world premiere by Darcy James Argue, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, $15, gallery talk at 1:00, performance at 2:00
Saturday, May 3 First Saturdays, featuring live music, hands-on art, gallery and curator talks, film screenings, and a DJ dance party till 11:00, free admission after 5:00, some events require free tickets available that night
The catalog that accompanies the “© Murakami” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum the show first opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles late last year and travels to the Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt and the Guggenheim in Bilbao next is a fabulous survey of the fascinating career of multidimensional artist, writer, curator, and businessman extraordinaire Takashi Murakami. Essays such as Paul Schimmel’s “Making Murakami,” Mika Yoshitake’s “The Meaning of the Nonsense of Excess,” and Scott Rothkopf’s “Takashi Murakami: Company Man” delve deep into Murakami’s means and methods, putting a spotlight on his “factory” and self-branding as they relate directly to the Japanese postwar era and the growing popularity and commercialization of anime and manga culture. In “Flat Boy vs. Skinny: Takashi Murakami and the Battle for ‘Japan,’” Dick Hebdige references Barthes and Warhol before declaring, “Any engagement with Murakami’s catalogues more profound than a rapid skim is liable to leave the average Western art consumer (at least one old enough to be unaffected by the current Western youth fad for all things otaku) floundering in a sea of unfamiliar signifiers, feeling hooked, intrigued yet vaguely ill-at-ease. . . . The in-your-face hyperbolical nature of Murakami’s fractally tripped-out paintings, psychedelic mushroom installations, hypersexual giant cartoon figures, and kawaii (cute) figurines is at once the bait, the snappy gesture that sets the hook, and the hand that reels us in all of us, otaku initiates and novices alike.”
The first half of the deluxe hardcover includes photos of dozens of works not in the exhibition as well as pieces by Kano Sansetsu, Katsuhiro Otomo, Yoshitomo Nara, Hokusai Katsushika, Jeff Koons, and others, placing Murakami’s oeuvre in a compelling art-historical context. The second half features splendid reproductions of all the works in the show, several in gorgeous foldouts. Art critic Midori Matsui turns to Craig Owens and Walter Benjamin in “Murakami Matrix: Takashi Murakami’s Instrumentalization of Japanese Postmodern Culture,” explaining, “What Murakami perceives to be Japan’s political dependency on the United States, which caused a confusion of national identity, resembles a postcolonial situation. He thought that it could be transcended by dialectically transforming its negative conditions into a creative resource. The absence of an ontological core, a progressive view of history, and professional expertise signs of Japan’s ‘childish’ postmodernity become advantages for a postmodern art that supersedes the humanism and teleology that dominate modern cultural institutions.” The exhibit “© Murakami” can be a fun trip through a childlike (read: infantilized), colorful world, but as the catalog reveals, it is also so much more.
Chazen Museum of Art
Utagawa Toyokuni, "Actors Iwai Kumesaburo I and Ichikawa Yaozo III as Ohan and Choemon," color woodcut, circa 1800
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Robert E. Blum Gallery, first floor
Through June 15
Suggested donation: $8 (does not include Murakami exhibit)
Japanese ukiyo-e prints, or "pictures of the floating world," documented the pleasure quarters of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. These woodblock prints, made strictly for commercial purposes by eager publishers, depicted beautiful women in ornate kimonos, landscapes that often included Mt. Fuji in the background, intimate brothel scenes, kabuki actors in costume, and erotica. More than ninety works are on view at the Brooklyn Museum in "Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900," which focuses on two competing schools. The exhibit includes prints by such artists as Kyosai Kawanabe, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, Toyokuni Utagawa, and Kunichika Toyohara, whose fiery red "The Actor Ichikawa Sadanji as Akiyama Kii no kami" is one of the highlights. Kunisada Utagawa pays tribute to the great Hiroshige Utagawa in the color woodcut "Memorial Portrait of Hiroshige," which also features much text. There are several wonderfully detailed works by Toyoharu Utagawa, particularly "View of a Kabuki Theater," one of his Perspective Pictures that contain remarkable depth. Be sure to save some time for the back room, which discusses the process of creating ukiyo-e prints, perhaps best evident in three states of a process print of the same outdoor scene. Although not as revelatory or expansive as "Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680 1860" at the Asia Society (see below), "Utagawa" is a fine primer for those unfamiliar with this unique Japanese art form.
Ghada Amer, "The New Albers," embroidery and gel medium on canvas, 2002
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, fourth floor
Through October 19
Suggested donation: $8 (does not include Murakami exhibit)
Born in Cairo and now based in Harlem and Paris, Ghada Amer creates provocative works that cleverly examine traditional gender roles, sexuality, politics, and art itself. Although she considers herself a painter, Amer primarily uses thread and gel medium, occasionally incorporating acrylic, on canvases that resemble abstract paintings from a distance but, when seen up close, are something significantly different: striking hand-stitched erotic images made via embroidery, a medium that is considered womens work. Pieces such as "And the Beast," "The New Albers," and "Barbie Loves Ken, Ken Loves Barbie" call into question the very nature of sex and fantasy in a male-dominated art world, taking back control of the depiction of the female form. A Muslim, Amer who contributed "Encyclopedia of Pleasure" to the Brooklyn Museums "Global Feminisms" exhibit in 2007 and "Eight Women in Black and White" to MoMAs 2006 "Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking" brings to life the Arabic words for love, peace, fear, and security in her "Definition" series, embroidering the words on canvas to give them new meaning and to stress their universality. Language also comes into play in "The Reign of Terror," bloodred wallpaper that includes old and new American, French, English, and Arabic definitions of the words "terror" and "terrorism." The exhibition, which is just around the corner from Judy Chicagos "The Dinner Party" in the Sackler Center, also features photographs of public projects Amer staged in Miami, Spain, Paris, and Panama in which she further investigates gender identity, perhaps most ominously in "Today 70% of the Poor in the World Are Women, Barcelona" a massive work whose message can only be fully viewed from high above the city.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hishikawa Moronobu, "Entertainers in a House of Assignation, from the series Aspects of the Yoshiwara (Yoshiwara no tei)," woodcut, 168283
Asia Society and Museum, Starr & Ross Galleries, second floor
725 Park Ave. at 70th St.
Through May 4
Admission: $10 (free Fridays after 6:00)
In celebration of its thirty-fifth anniversary, the Japanese Art Society of America, founded in 1973 as the Ukiyo-e Society of America, has collaborated with the Asia Society on the gorgeous exhibit “Designed for Pleasure: The World of Edo Japan in Prints and Paintings, 1680 – 1860.” Comprising more than 150 woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated books, the display follows the development of ukiyo-e, which means “pictures of the floating world,” as Edo (modern-day Tokyo) transformed into a bustling economic center especially the Yoshiwara pleasure district and slowly opened to the rest of the world. The exhibition is arranged primarily by artist and also looks at the publishers of this commercially viable art form, most prominently Tsutaya Juzaburo. The pieces are simply spectacular. There are wonderful street scenes by Hishikawa Moronobu, the first ukiyo-e master. Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s “Hell Courtesan” features a woman in an ornately designed robe, each section of which relates its own story. Although best known for his wave pictures, Katsushika Hokusai’s “Five Beauties” is a stunning hanging scroll depicting five women arranged vertically.
Collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg
Utagawa Toyoharu, "Spring Concert," two-panel folding screen, ink and color on silk, 1780s
In Utagawa Toyoharu’s “Spring Concert,” a two-panel folding screen depicts a group of courtesans enjoying the warm weather and sweet music. A quartet of color woodcuts by Eishosai Choki shows the changing of the seasons as one woman watches the sun rise, huddles under an umbrella in the snow, and fans herself as a child reaches out to catch fireflies. There are several wonderful color woodcuts by Suzuki Harunobu, including “Lovers Observed,” in which a woman secretly watches as a courtesan caters to a client. Okumura Masanobu’s “Large Perspective Picture of the Kabuki Theater District in Sakaicho and Fukiyacho” is alive with bustling people, Mt. Fuji off in the distance. Katsukawa Shunsho’s rich, colorful hanging scrolls were a favorite of the elite. And many of the pieces also contain poetry, such as “Reclining Courtesan” by Katsuhika Hokusai, Hokusai’s daughter. The splendid catalog features all of the works in the exhibition as well as eight informative essays; there’s also a free cell-phone audio tour you can take as you make your way through the exhibit. “Designed for Pleasure” is now in its second rotation, with dozens of works having been replaced by others, so even if you saw the first half, it’s worth going back for a second viewing.
In addition to "Designed for Pleasure," the Asia Society is also presenting "First Under Heaven: Korean Ceramics from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection" through May 4 and "The Shape of Things: Chinese and Japanese Art from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection" through July 20, and will be hosting the special events listed below.
Wednesday, April 16 Beyond Sharks Fin and Fortune Cookies: Exciting Journeys in Chinese Gastronomy, discussion and dim sum tasting with Fuchsia Dunlop and Jennifer 8 Lee, $30, 6:30
Thursday, April 17 When Asia Was the World, discussion with Gordon Stewart, Reginald Chua, and Jamie Metzl, $15, 6:30
Thursday, April 17 Gamblers, Gangsters, and Other Anti-Heroes: The Japanese Yakuza Movie -- JINGI NAKI TATAKAI (BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY) (Kinji Fukusaku, 1973), $12, 7:00
Monday, April 21 Meet the Author: Christopher Robbins, APPLES ARE FROM KAZAKHSTAN: THE LAND THAT DISAPPEARED, $20, 6:00
Wednesday, April 23 Gandhi for Todays World: A Discussion with Philip Glass and Vishakha Desai, $15, 6:30
Saturday, May 3 Family Day: Paint the Town Green! featuring arts and crafts and live performances, free with gallery admission, children under sixteen free, 12 noon 3:00
Saturday, May 3 PEN World Voices Festival: Xiaolu Guo, Ma Jian, and Flora Drew, $12, 2:30
Saturday, May 3 Qawwali of Pakistan: Mehr and Sher Ali, NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Pl. at Washington Sq. South, $35, 8:00
Sunday, May 4 Meet the Author: Hao Jiang Tian, "My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met," book discussion and live performance, $12, 6:30
Yukon gold potato gnocchi at Café Boulud
20 East 76th St. at Fifth Ave.
Two-course prix fixe lunch: $32
Three-course prix fixe lunch: $40
Reservations taken up to one month in advance
With its tenth anniversary approaching later this year, master chef Daniel Boulud has just introduced his new team tending the kitchen at Café Boulud, the bistro modeled after his familys neighborhood gathering place in Saint-Pierre de Chandieu, outside Lyon. The new pastry chef is Rafael Haasz, the former pastry sous chef at Daniel who also hails from Lyon, while Minnesota native Gavin Kaysen, a 2008 nominee for the James Beard Foundations Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, has been named executive chef. (Kaysen also represented the United States at the 2007 Bocuse dOr cooking competition in Lyon.) Just as at all his restaurants, the menu at the casual-chic Café Boulud is inspired by Daniels four muses: la tradition (traditional), la saison (seasonal), le potager (vegetarian), and le voyage (world cuisine), each accompanied by a carefully chosen wine. At a recent lunch at the French-American spot, we started with le voyage, flavorful Kona kampachi sashimi with gingered carrot purée, lime gelée avocado, and coriander blossoms. Next was le potager, fabulous Yukon gold potato gnocchi with explosive butter-poached shrimp and baby green asparagus. The main course (la tradition) was a Jamison Farms roasted saddle of spring lamb, served with sugar snap peas, flagolets, tomato confit, and morel jus. And to finish, la saison was a delicate, delicious chocolate-hazelnut bar with Meyer lemon marmalade, rice crispy, and Perrier lemon sorbet. Daniel himself continues to be amazingly busy, preparing to open a Café Boulud in Beijing, hosting the third season of AFTER HOURS WITH DANIEL on MOJO HD, and still watching over Daniel, DB Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud, and Café Boulud in New York City, a Café Boulud in Palm Beach, and Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Las Vegas.
Dan Flavin, "pink out of a corner (to Jasper Johns)," pink fluorescent light, 1963
Zwirner & Wirth
32 East 69th St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.
Through May 3
Closed Monday & Tuesday
Zwirner & Roth has re-created light-sculptor Dan Flavins groundbreaking 1964 exhibition at the Green Gallery, "dan flavin: fluorescent light," featuring seven works composed only of precisely arranged fluorescent lights, the first time Flavin had used nothing but the lighting elements, with no other materials. Upon entering the gallery, visitors will be greeted on their right by "the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Robert Rosenblum)," an eight-foot angled white light that was Flavins first such piece, and, in front of them, "a primary picture," comprising red, yellow, and blue lights forming a rectangle, resembling a frame around a nonexistent painting. In the back room, Flavins first floor piece, "gold, pink and red, red," is immediately on the left. The Donald Judd-like "red and green alternatives (to Sonja)" faces "the nominal three (to William of Ockham)" on the opposite wall; in between them is the leaning "alternate diagonals of March 2, 1964 (to Don Judd)." And in the near corner, off by itself, is "pink out of a corner (to Jasper Johns)." Flavin, who was born in Jamaica, Queens, in 1933 and died in Riverhead, Long Island, in 1996, was a seminal member of the minimalism movement of the 1960s, using commercially available materials to create his art. The Zwirner & Wirth exhibit, which is supplemented with Flavins original pencil studies, captures the artists unique use of light, color, and space, embracing the viewer in its warm glow. Flavins "Untitled (to Don Judd, colorist)" deservedly gets its own room as part of MoMAs "Color Chart" exhibition (see below).
Dan Flavin, "Untitled (to Don Judd, colorist)," detail, 1987
Museum of Modern Art
West 54th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor
Through May 12 (closed Tuesdays)
Admission: $20 (includes same-day film screening)
Fridays free from 4:00 to 8:00
"Color Chart" is more than just a soothing collection of colorful works that brighten even the dankest days of what has been a long, gray winter. In addition, it is an enticing melange of painting, drawing, collage, video, and sculpture built around the concept of artists using commercially available ready-made paint and incorporating the physicality of the familiar color chart into the works themselves. Many of the artists in the exhibition, which focuses on the postwar period beginning in 1950, place actual color charts in their works, or make their own alternate color charts, including Ellsworth Kelly, John Chamberlain, Gerhard Richter, Donald Judd, and Robert Rauschenberg. Whereas most color swatches are rectangular or square, Damien Hirsts spot painting comprises dozens of different-colored circles in uniform alignment. Cory Arcangel takes the use of color to a whole new level in the DVD installation "Colors," in which he plays the 1988 film COLORS, starring Sean Penn and Dennis Hopper, but only one line of pixels at a time, resulting in a blown-up series of color bars accompanied by the regular movie soundtrack. For "ZOBOP!" Jim Lambie laid down 3M vinyl tape, available in ten colors, in carefully constructed right angles on the floor surrounding Rodins Balzac statue. John Baldessari nearly paints himself into several corners in the thirty-minute film "Six Colorful Inside Jobs."
Jim Lambie, "ZOBOP!" vinyl tape on floor, 1999
Byron Kims ongoing "Synecdoche" consists of hundreds of ten-by-eight-inch panels in muted tones, each one representing the actual skin color of a friend or relative who sat for him, organized alphabetically by sitter. Andy Warhol turns the artistic use of color upside down in a pair of "Do It Yourself" canvases, both unfinished but with numbers in the blank areas signifying how to complete it the traditional and simplistic color-by-numbers way. The most striking piece in the exhibit is Dan Flavins "Untitled (to Don Judd, colorist)," which gets its own room; Flavin made five sets of four connected vertical fluorescent lights pink, red, yellow, blue, and green each set topped by a pair of horizontal white lights, resulting in a fascinating experience in which the room virtually serves as a temple of color, even in the way it is reflected on the floor. (See above for information on "Dan Flavin: The 1964 Green Gallery Exhibition," on view at Zwirner & Wirth through May 3.) The accompanying catalog is a gorgeous delight, bursting with, well, color. It includes excellent essays by curator Ann Temkin and Briony Fer and a look at each of the artists in the exhibition, organized by participant. In addition to the aforementioned artists, there are also strong works from Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Jim Dine, Frank Stella, Walid Raad, Jasper Johns (whose "Grays" exhibit runs through May 4 at the Met), Carrie Mae Weems, and others.
"New City," Peter Frankfurt, Imaginary Forces, Greg Lynn, Grey Lynn Form, Alex McDowell, Matter Art and Science, three-dimensional soundscape composition
The International Council of the Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor
Through May 12
MOMAs role as an interpreter of fine design for the masses finds expression in much more than its popular design store. This mind-bending exhibit is one of the museums meatiest offerings in years, both in concept and in sheer physical and visual delight. Its about design about life-changing ideas and the everyday forms they take, but the ideas under examination stem from science and technology at their furthest extremes; in fact, some visitors may well wonder whether theyve wandered into MIT by mistake. Starting from the thesis that contemporary technology has profoundly altered how humans perceive time and space (cell phones, PCs, wireless technologies of all sorts, the Internet), the exhibit "highlights current examples of successful design translations of disruptive scientific and technological innovations," as curator Paola Antonelli notes in the excellent catalog, where she posits the development of an expanded capacity of the human mind not just adaptability but "elasticity. . . . the by-product of adaptability + acceleration." A healthy booster shot on biology, quantum mechanics, physics, and computer science is highly advised beforehand. From examples of biomimetic tech such as "The Eyes of the Skin," in which architects create a skin that "breathes" for a building, and the marvelously beautifully "Lily Impeller," which prevents stagnation of water by using geometries found in natural fluid flow, to explorations of self-replicating technology at the nanotech, subatomic level that may someday allow the growth of extra human organs and new kinds of solar cells, to truly amazing examples of the science of visualization that are light-years beyond any map, to interactive pieces that get everyone on the floor, "Design and the Elastic Mind" may stretch yours beyond its limits.
Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
April 17September 15
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
MoMA focuses in on movie soundtracks in its latest film series, collecting a disparate group of films that have one primary thing in common they all include wonderful jazz scores. Jazz was yet another element that added mood and emotion to the cinematic experience; among the jazz giants contributing to soundtracks were Stan Getz (Arthur Penns MICKEY ONE), Miles Davis (Louis Malles ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS), Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (Martin Ritts PARIS BLUES), Thelonius Monk and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (Roger Vadims DANGEROUS LIAISONS), and John Lewis (Robert Wises ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW. Ellingtons score was virtually a character unto itself in Otto Premingers ANATOMY OF A MURDER. Other musicians represented in this series include Ornette Coleman, Gerry Mulligan, David Amram, Max Roach, Mal Waldron, and Herbie Hancock as well as seminal cinema composers Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Jerry Fielding, and Lalo Schifrin. But whether youre into jazz or not, there are some great films being screened, some of which youve seen and probably didnt even realize had such jazzy scores.
In addition to the screenings inside the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, the surrounding area is filled with original movie posters for some of the films in the series, including THE COOL WORLD and BLOW-UP; a display of soundtrack records; and monitors showing clips and trailers for many of the films the upstairs screen plays the remarkable one-shot opening sequence from TOUCH OF EVIL. Meanwhile, John and Faith Hubleys 1957 gem, ADVENTURES OF AN *, plays in a continuous loop with John Canemakers 1998 short, BRIDGEHAMPTON. For BRIDGEHAMPTON, Canemaker made sketches, pianist Fred Hersch improvised music over them, and then Canemaker finished his paintings, based on his garden, by improvising over Herschs score, a true jazz collaboration; some of the original pastels are on the wall nearby. Also on the wall is a sampling of the Hubleys wonderful storyboards for ADVENTURES OF AN *, paintings that come to life onscreen with trumpter Benny Carters score, accompanied by Lionel Hampton on vibraphone.
Thursday, April 17
Wednesday, April 23 MICKEY ONE (Arthur Penn, 1965) (April 17 7:00 screening introduced by Penn)
Friday, April 18 ASCENSEUR POUR L'ÉCHAFAUD (ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS) (Louis Malle, 1958) and JANINE (Maurice Pialat, 1961), 6:15
courtesy Rialto Pictures
Maurice Ronet sees no way out in Malle noir classic
Louis Malles first feature-length fiction film, following THE SILENT WORLD (made with Jacques Cousteau), is a classic French noir that comes with all the trimmings and can now be seen in an excellent new 35mm print with new subtitles. Jeanne Moreau stars as Florence Carala, who is married to ruthless business tycoon Simon (Jean Wall) but is carrying on an affair with Simons right-hand man, Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet). Julien plans the perfect murder or so he thinks, until he has to go back to retrieve a crucial piece of evidence and gets trapped on the elevator. While he struggles to find a way out and Florence waits for him anxiously at a neighborhood bistro, young couple Louis (Georges Poujouly) and Veronique (Yori Bertin) take off in Juliens convertible and get into some serious trouble of their own. Mistaken identity, cold-blooded killings, jealousy, and one of the greatest film scores ever by Miles Davis, recorded in one overnight session make ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS a splendid debut from one of the worlds finest filmmakers.
Saturday, April 19 PARIS BLUES (Martin Ritt, 1961), 5:00
Saturday, April 19 ANATOMY OF A MURDER (Otto Preminger, 1959), 7:15
Sunday, April 20 ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (Robert Wise, 1959) and TAL FARLOW (Len Lye, 1950s/1980), 4:00
Sunday, April 20 I WANT TO LIVE! (Robert Wise, 1958), 6:00
Monday, April 21 ONNA GA KAIDAN WO AGARU TOKI (A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS) (Mikio Naruse, 1960), 6:15
Wednesday, April 23 PARIS BLUES (Martin Ritt, 1961), 6:15
Thursday, April 24 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Elia Kazan, 1951), 6:00
Thursday, April 24 THE SERVANT (Joseph Losey, 1963), 8:30
Friday, April 25 KURUTTA KAJITSU (CRAZED FRUIT) (Kô Nakahira, 1956), 6:30
Friday, April 25 ONNA GA KAIDAN WO AGARU TOKI (A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS) (Mikio Naruse, 1960), 8:30
Saturday, April 26 THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Otto Preminger, 1955) and THE THREE LITTLE BOPS (Friz Freleng, 1957), 2:30
Saturday, April 26 ANATOMY OF A MURDER (Otto Preminger, 1959), 5:00
Saturday, April 26 THE SERVANT (Joseph Losey, 1963), 8:15
Sunday, April 27 ASCENSEUR POUR L'ÉCHAFAUD (ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS) (Louis Malle, 1958) and JANINE (Maurice Pialat, 1961), 2:30
Sunday, April 27 THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Otto Preminger, 1955) and THE THREE LITTLE BOPS (Friz Freleng, 1957), 4:45
Monday, April 28 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Elia Kazan, 1951), 8:30
Wednesday, April 30 ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (Robert Wise, 1959) and TAL FARLOW (Len Lye 1950s/1980), 8:30
Wednesday, April 30 I WANT TO LIVE! (Robert Wise, 1958), 6:00
Saturday, May 3 LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (DANGEROUS LIAISONS) (Roger Vadim, 1959), 8:00
Sunday, May 4 LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (DANGEROUS LIAISONS) (Roger Vadim, 1959), 5:30
Friday, May 9 OK END HERE (Robert Frank, 1963), PULL MY DAISY (Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie, 1959), and VERTICAL AIR (Robert Fenz, 1996), 6:00
Crazy, man, crazy. Spend half an hour hanging with Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Alice Neel, and Larry Rivers, with music by David Amram and narration by Jack Kerouac. This is a rare chance to see this Beat classic on the big screen.
Friday, May 9
Thursday, May 15 DILEMMA (Henning Carlsen, 1962) and ADVENTURES OF AN * (John and Faith Hubley, 1957)
Saturday, May 10 THE COOL WORLD (Shirley Clarke, 1964), 6:00
Saturday, May 10 THE CONNECTION (Shirley Clarke, 1961) and BRIDGES-GO-ROUND (Shirley Clarke, 1958), 8:15
Sunday, May 11 OK END HERE (Robert Frank, 1963), PULL MY DAISY (Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie, 1959), and VERTICAL AIR (Robert Fenz, 1996), 4:45
Monday, May 12 SWEET LOVE, BITTER (Herbert Danska, 1967), introduced by Danska, 6:15
Wednesday, May 14 HOW TO DRAW A BUNNY (John W. Walter, 2002), introduced by Walter, 6:15
Thursday, May 15 THE CONNECTION (Shirley Clarke, 1961) and BRIDGES-GO-ROUND (Shirley Clarke, 1958), 8:15
Friday, May 16 SWEET LOVE, BITTER (Herbert Danska, 1967), 6:15
Friday, May 16 THE COOL WORLD (Shirley Clarke, 1964), 8:15
Saturday, May 17 HOW TO DRAW A BUNNY (John W. Walter, 2002), 2:30
Saturday, May 17 NÓZ W WODZIE (KNIFE IN THE WATER) (Roman Polanski, 1962) and LE GROS ET LE MAIGRE (THE FAT AND THE LEAN) (Roman Polanski, 1961), 6:00
Saturday, May 17 LE DÉPART (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1967) and SZTANDAR (BANNER) (Miroslaw Kijowicz, 1965), 8:30
Thursday, May 22 LE DÉPART (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1967) and SZTANDAR (BANNER) (Miroslaw Kijowicz, 1965), 6:15
Thursday, May 22 NÓZ W WODZIE (KNIFE IN THE WATER) (Roman Polanski, 1962) and LE GROS ET LE MAIGRE (THE FAT AND THE LEAN) (Roman Polanski, 1961), 8:30
Friday, May 23 BLOW-UP (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) and HERBIE (George Lucas & Paul Holding, 1966), 7:00
Saturday, May 24 BLOW-UP (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) and HERBIE (George Lucas & Paul Holding, 1966), 3:00
Saturday, May 24 SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957), 6:00
Saturday, May 24 TOUCH OF EVIL (Orson Welles, 1958), 8:00
Welles casts himself as the spectacularly dastardly police captain Hank Quinlan, an enormous drunk who has no trouble breaking the rules to get his man, in this potboiler set south of the border. Charlton Heston took a lot of criticism playing Mike Vargas, a Mexican who just married Janet Leigh, who finds herself menaced by a dangerous gang. Meanwhile, a pre-McCloud Dennis Weaver looks the other way. The final scene with Marlene Dietrich is a lu-lu. A lot of hype surrounded this film when it was restored a few years ago; fortunately, the final product lives up to its billing.
Sunday, May 25 SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957), 2:30
Sunday, May 25 TOUCH OF EVIL (Orson Welles, 1958), 5:00
Wednesday, May 28 THE GAUNTLET (Clint Eastwood, 1977), 6:00
Wednesday, May 28 BULLITT (Peter Yates, 1968), 8:15
Saturday, May 31 BULLITT (Peter Yates, 1968), 4:00
Saturday, May 31 THE GAUNTLET (Clint Eastwood, 1977), 6:45
Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
April 23 May 8
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
One of the leading filmmakers to emerge from the boom in Korean auteurs gaining international attention, former street artist Kim Ki-duk has made fourteen feature films including his 1996 debut, AG-O (CROCODILE), and MoMAs got them all. Kim, who also writes his own screenplays, has a fondness for unusual characters caught in unusual situations, with surprising, unexpected results. In 3-IRON, a young man stays in strangers' houses when the people are away on vacation, cleaning up after himself and pretending he is a member of the family. In SAMARITAN GIRL, a young woman goes to great lengths to honor her dead friend, a prostitute. SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING is a beautiful, meditative study of seclusion involving a precocious child and an old monk.
Wednesday, April 23 SOOM (BREATH) (Kim Ki-duk, 2007), introduced by Kim Ki-Duk, 7:00
Thursday, April 24 BIN-JIP (3-IRON) (Kim Ki-duk, 2004), 6:15
Thursday, April 24 SAMARIA (SAMARITAN GIRL) (Kim Ki-duk, 2004), 8:15
Friday, April 25 BOM YEOREUM GAEUL GYEOUL GEURIGO BOM (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING) (Kim Ki-duk, 2003), 6:15
Friday, April 25 HWAL (THE BOW) (Kim Ki-duk, 2005), 8:30
Saturday, April 26 HWAL (THE BOW) (Kim Ki-duk, 2005), 2:00
On a fishing boat anchored in the middle of the ocean, an old man (Jeon Sung-hwan) lives with a teenage girl (Han Yeo-rum). A gruff, bearded, dour sort, he has been raising the beautiful but silent girl for ten years, planning to marry her when she turns seventeen. Whenever men who come to the boat to fish in peace get fresh with the girl, the old man starts shooting arrows at them to scare them off, with the same bow that he also turns into a musical instrument and plays while sitting on the mast. He also uses the bow to shoot arrows at a Buddhist painting on the side of the boat as the girl swings in front of it, in order to tell the future for his customers. But when the girl takes an immediate liking to a college student (Seo Ji-seok) who wants to show her more of the world, the old man starts worrying that his own future might not include the girl, so he begins taking drastic measures. An official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, THE BOW is another gripping visual poem from Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, director of such moving films as 3-IRON and SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING. Han, who also starred in Kims SAMARITAN GIRL, is mesmerizing as the girl, evoking tender emotion with her body, eyes, and magical lips.
Saturday, April 26 PARAN DAEMUN (BIRDCAGE INN). (Kim Ki-duk, 1998), 4:00
Saturday, April 26 SOOM (BREATH) (Kim Ki-duk, 2007), 6:15
Saturday, April 26 SEOM (THE ISLE) (Kim Ki-duk, 2000), 8:00
Nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, South Korean writer-director Kim Ki-duk’s THE ISLE is a darkly mysterious, deeply beautiful story of love, sex, and obsession. Jung Suh stars as Hee-jin, a dour young woman who runs a small getaway on a secluded lake, where men come to escape from the real world for a while and do some fishing, drinking, and screwing either with the prostitutes that Hee-jin shuttles to the tiny, individual floating units or with Hee-jin herself. Hee-jin, who never speaks during the entire film, goes about her day as matter-of-factly as Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig) does in Chantal Akerman’s 1975 feminist classic, JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES. But as she grows strangely attached to Hyun-shik (Yoo-suk Kim), danger threatens from the murky waters below. THE ISLE is gorgeous to watch, with cinematographer Hwang Seo-shik making the most of the stunning location and Kim’s own glorious art direction and production design, as the colorful units suddenly burst to life with bright greens and yellows amid an otherwise gray, rainy palette. As with Kim’s best films, the pace is slow and alluring, both meditative and elegiac. When the violence comes and come it does, with two scenes in particular as gruesome as anything Takashi Miike has ever done it’s absolutely shocking, yet treated no different from any other scene. THE ISLE is another stunner from one of South Korea’s greatest filmmakers.
Sunday, April 27 BIN-JIP (3-IRON) (Kim Ki-duk, 2004), 2:00
Dont be scared off by the golf-related title; this film festival hit, which really has very little to do with the sport, is a lyrical, poetic, existential romance that is beautifully mysterious and charmingly unique. Jae Hee stars as Tae-suk, a young man who, when finding out that a person or family is away for a few days, moves into their house and quietly goes about his business, cooking, eating, cleaning, sleeping and taking pictures of himself in front of family pictures, as if he has become a part of them. But when he enters the home of Min-kyu (Kwon Hyuk-ho), he eventually discovers that he is not alone. There he meets Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon), a former model who seems desperately unhappy and joins Tae-suk on his neighborhood travels. Along the way, the two never speak, communicating only through gestures. But when they move into a home and find a dead body inside, their peaceful life of solitude quickly goes astray. South Korean writer-director Kim Ki-duk (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING) delves deep inside the human psyche in this stunning work; although the two protagonists dont talk to each other or anyone else, we learn about who they are by how they react in each house, as if every new place is another piece of them. The film does veer off course in the latter sections, although Kim does straighten things out, successfully getting out of the bunker and sinking an eagle on the eighteenth hole.
Sunday, April 27 BOM YEOREUM GAEUL GYEOUL GEURIGO BOM (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING) (Kim Ki-duk, 2003), 4:30
Monday, April 28 SUCHWIIN BULMYEONG (ADDRESS UNKNOWN) (Kim Ki-duk, 2001), 6:00
Wednesday, April 30 SEOM (THE ISLE) (Kim Ki-duk, 2000), 4:30
Thursday, May 1 SHI GAN (TIME) (Kim Ki-duk, 2006), 6:15
See-hee and Ji-woo see things differently in TIME
After two years together, See-hee (Seong Hyeon-ah) thinks that her boyfriend, Ji-woo (Ha Jung-woo), has lost interest in her. She goes crazy jealous whenever he even so much as takes a peek at another woman, embarrassing him in public time and time again. But when she suddenly disappears, he soon realizes that he cant live without her. And he wont necessarily have to; See-hee has taken off to have a plastic surgeon (Kim Sung-min) completely change her face so she can make Ji-woo fall in love with her (now played by Park Ji-yun) all over again, even if he doesnt know who she really is. But it is a lot harder to change ones inner psyche than outward physical appearance. Korean writer-director Kim Ki-duk, who has made such unusual and compelling films as 3-IRON, THE BOW (see DVD review below), and SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER...and SPRING, has crafted yet another fascinating drama that challenges the audience with its unique and unexpected twists and turns, asking intriguing questions rather than doling out simplistic answers. Kim shows the passage of time as a natural enemy to love and romance but one that can be overcome. "Time travels in divers paces with divers persons," Shakespeare wrote in AS YOU LIKE IT. And so it does in this difficult yet memorable film.
Thursday, May 1 HAE ANSEOM (THE COAST GUARD) (Kim Ki-duk, 2002), 8:30
Friday, May 2 SAMARIA (SAMARITAN GIRL) (Kim Ki-duk, 2004), 6:15
Friday, May 2 NABBEUN NAMIA (BAD GUY) (Kim Ki-duk, 2001), 8:30
BAD GUY is Kim Ki-Duk's most lurid work
Kim Ki-duks (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING, 3-IRON) BAD GUY is a preposterous, painfully puerile, and deeply misogynistic movie that is insulting from start to finish. Although its only a hundred minutes long, it feels like a thousand. Won Seo stars as Sun-hwa, a college girl who gets conned by Han-ki (Je-Hyun Cho) into becoming a prostitute to pay off a false debt. He watches her transformation through a two-way mirror while one of his henchmen, Myung-soo (Duk-Moon Choi), thinks he has fallen in love with her himself. Lots of sex and violence ensue, most of which makes no sense and is as unbelievable as the premise. Dont get fooled by the sexy packaging, as the photos on the front and back covers of the DVD are not even from the film, making it look more like a tempting erotic thriller. Plus, they get the title of Kims seasonal breakthrough wrong. Even the Web site is offensive, selling merchandise that promises to make you a "bad guy."
Saturday, May 3 YASAENG DONGMUL BOHOGUYEOG (WILD ANIMALS) (Kim Ki-duk, 1997), 2:00
Saturday, May 3 SHILJE SANGHWANG (REAL FICTION) (Kim Ki-duk, 2000), 4:15
Saturday, May 3 AG-O (CROCODILE) (Kim Ki-duk, 1996), 6:00
Saturday, May 3 SHI GAN (TIME) (Kim Ki-duk, 2006), 8:15
Sunday, May 4 NABBEUN NAMIA (BAD GUY) (Kim Ki-duk, 2001), 1:00
Sunday, May 4 HAE ANSEOM (THE COAST GUARD) (Kim Ki-duk, 2002), 3:00
Sunday, May 4 PARAN DAEMUN (BIRDCAGE INN) (Kim Ki-duk, 1998), 5:00
Wednesday, May 7 SHILJE SANGHWANG (REAL FICTION) (Kim Ki-duk, 2000), 6:15
Wednesday, May 7 AG-O (CROCODILE) (Kim Ki-Duk, 1996), 8:30
Thursday, May 8 YASAENG DONGMUL BOHOGUYEOG (WILD ANIMALS) (Kim Ki-duk, 1997), 6:15
Thursday, May 8 SUCHWIIN BULMYEONG (ADDRESS UNKNOWN) (Kim Ki-duk, 2001), 8:30
When we heard that MoMA was doing the first-ever complete retrospective of the work of the great South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, we were filled with anticipation. Then, when we got our hands on YONGARY, MONSTER FROM THE DEEP, we were even more excited, as we had never even heard of the movie before, and it didn’t seem to be included on MoMA’s schedule. So we eagerly shoved it into the DVD and marveled at how Kim had so successfully re-created the look and feel of low-budget 1950s and 1960s Asian horror films, complete with poorly dubbed dialogue, silly shots, unexplained plot twists and characters, and a general ineptitude that was hysterically funny. In this case, the story involved a Godzilla-like creature decimating Seoul. After watching the film, we decided to do a little research on it and, much to our chagrin, discovered that it is actually a poorly dubbed, generally inept Asian horror film from 1967, made by a man named Kim Ki-duk who is no relation to the modern-day master behind such unique flicks as THE ISLE, SAMARITAN GIRL, TIME, and 3-IRON. We loved YONGARY when we thought it was a brilliant spoof of a low-rent genre, but is it fair now to hate it because it’s just another lousy postwar monster movie?
Jim Dines statues are finally uncovered
Credit Lyonnais Building
1301 Sixth Ave. between 52nd & 53rd Sts.
Standing in front of a nondescript office building (formerly the JCPenney Building), on the left, close to the corner of WC Handys Place, you can see two green headless figures (finally rid of those ugly blue aprons they were wearing while the plaza underwent renovation) standing on a base that is shimmering with water; on the right, closer to 53rd, you can see a third green headless figure, alone. Is this the result of some love triangle gone awry? No, its actually a controversial work, based on the Venus de Milo, by modern master Jim Dine. When the pieces were first installed, they were met with criticism because of their depiction of headless, armless women smack in the middle of a business district, as if the females had no power and deserved no respect. Dines "Red Devil Color Chart No. 1," which consists of two dozen unmixed, commercially available squares of house paint colors, each placed on the chart randomly and identified in a scraggly handwriting with typos, is included in MoMAs current "Color Chart" exhibit, right across the street.
Duponts "anti-self-portraits" seem to morph through Lever House
Lever House Lobby Gallery
390 Park Ave. at 54th St.
Through May 3
Native New Yorker Richard Dupont has filled the Lever House Lobby Gallery with nine cast polyurethane resin versions of his naked self, but with a fascinating twist: Each one appears to be its own reversed funhouse mirror, changing shape as you walk around them. Dupont began with a full body laser scan, then digitally manipulated it to create these surreal figures he calls them "anti-self-portraits" that are impossibly thin from one angle, unusually large-headed from another, and perfectly normal from a third. Its especially fascinating to look at several figures at once; even though they are all cast from the same body image, they are decidedly different. Its also fun watching pedestrians pass by the glass-enclosed space and wonder just what the heck is going on inside.
Murakamis "Oval Buddha" meditates in Midtown
The Sculpture Garden at 590 Atrium
590 Madison Ave. between 56th & 57th Sts.
Open daily 8:00 am 10:00 pm
Through September 7
In conjunction with the Brooklyn Museums "© Murakami" exhibition (see above), Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has installed "Oval Buddha" in the Sculpture Garden at 590 Atrium. The genesis for the eighteen-and-a-half-foot aluminum-and-steel statue, covered in platinum leaf, was a T-shirt commission from Issey Miyake; nine years later, Murakami has reimagined his character, Oval, sitting meditatively atop lotus petals and a fantastical elephant base, his face dotted with the artists iconic jellyfish eyes and sprouting extra mouths and frog limbs. But Oval is not as peaceful as he might seem, as there is a second face on the back of his huge head, filled with sharp teeth and wearing a devilish glare. As with most of Murakamis art, "Oval Buddha" combines Japanese art, history, and folklore with modern-day commercialism and technology, as well as religion, resulting in a dazzling piece of art layered with meaning. A monitor next to the statue goes behind the scenes of the making of "Oval Buddha" and its installation at MOCA as part of the "© Murakami" exhibit.
© Yvonne Jacquette
Yvonne Jacquette, "Metropolitan Area Triptych," oil on canvas, 2007
DC Moore Gallery
724 Fifth Ave. between 56th & 57th Sts., eighth floor
Through April 26
Yvonne Jacquettes marvelous show with her late husband, Rudy Burckhardt, "Picturing New York," at the Museum of the City of New York, just closed, but you still have time to see some of her recent work at the DC Moore Gallery on Fifth Ave. in Midtown. Jacquette charters small planes or helicopters to fly her over locations, leading to spectacular aerial views that she translates to canvas in a unique way, creating fantastical landscapes. While the show at MCNY featured only her paintings of New York, this exhibit at DC Moore features pieces created in Augusta, Maine, focusing on the lights below rather than the hurried traffic and the tall skyscrapers of Manhattan.
New York Comic Con looks to pack them in once again
Jacob K. Javits Center
655 West 34th St.
Online registration through 12 midnight April 17: weekend pass $45, day passes $30-$35
Onsite tickets: weekend pass $65, day passes $40-$45
New York Comic Con is back for its third year, and the slate is growing more and more impressive as it does battle with the long-running and highly respected San Diego Comic Con. For three days, people can gallivant with authors, artists, actors, directors, and lots of fans in costumes in this annual event that attracts lovers of comic books, manga, graphic novels, anime, sci-fi and fantasy, cartoons, and other art forms that bring out the kid in all of us. Among the Living Legends being honored this year are Stan Lee, Joe Kubert, and Joe Simon, with Guests of Honor including Orson Scott Card, Mike Mignola, and Mo Willems. The autograph tables, some of which require free tickets in advance, will be filled with the likes of Lou Ferrigno, Danny Simmons, Chip Kidd, and many of the Living Legends and other official guests. We always like making our way through Artist Alley, where you get to meet the creators face-to-face, and if you buy one of their books they often will make a special drawing for you along with their signature; you can find us hanging out by David Mack, Dean Haspiel, Peter David, Greg Pak, and Phil Jimenez, as well as visiting publisher booths to meet and greet Stuart Moore, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jessica Abel, and many others. We’ll also be on the lookout for such Special Guests and Featured Guests as Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Chris Carter, Scott McCloud, Kyle Baker, and Peter David.
Both Harold and Kumar will appear at this year’s New York Comic Con
The Variant Stage will be home to a wide range of special events and programs, including a Hero Initiative Auction, Start Trekkin’, Greek Warriors, NY Jedi, Uncle Shappy, Vampire Cowboys, Dr Sketchy’s, Joe Kubert School Class, Stjepan Sejic, the Gothic & Lolita Bible Fashion Show, a Cosplay and Costume Contest, the New York - Tokyo Fashion Show, the Cuteness Parade!, Fat Momma and Major Victory, Fist-a-Cuffs, The Hero and His/Her Foil, DC vs. Marvel, and the Comic Trivia Challenge. This year’s Comic Con also has lured out a bunch of Hollywood stars, with actors, directors, writers, and producers presenting clips from their upcoming films and then talking about the making of the movie. However, we are extremely disappointed that the event is being held over Passover weekend especially given that a few panels are honoring Jews in comics. Here’s part of their official response: “We certainly intended no disrespect. The unfortunate reality is that these were the only available dates for the space we needed. The good news is that the dates for New York Comic Con 2009 February 6 – 8, 2009 do not conflict with Passover.”
Friday, April 18 Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist, 1E10-1E11, 12 noon
Friday, April 18 A Webcomics Round Table, with Dean Haspiel, Molly Crabapple, Ryan Roman, Leland Purvis, Ulises Farinas, Pedro Camargo, Kevin Colden, Paul Maybury, Simon Fraser, Nikki Cook, Jeff Newelt, Michael Cavallaro, Michel Fiffe, Tim Hamilton, and Jennifer Tong, moderated by Dan Goldman, 1E08, 2:00
Friday, April 18 The Legends Behind the Comic Books, 1E10-1E11, 3:00
Friday, April 18 America: Through the Eyes of the Graphic Novel, with Special Guest Howard Zinn, Jonathan Hennessey, Sid Jacobsen, and Ernie Colon, 1E16, 3:00
Friday, April 18 Weird Tales 85 Years, 85 Storytellers, 1E10-1E11, 4:00
Friday, April 18 Women in Comics, with Gail Simone, Heidi MacDonald, Karen Green, Jennifer Grünwald, Shelly Bond, and Becky Cloonan, moderated by Abby Denson, 1E07, 5:00
Friday, April 18 Lights, Camera, Comics! with Edward Burns, Jimmy Palmotti, Jeff Parker, and other special guests, 1E15, 6:00
Friday, April 18 MoCCA presents Ralph Bakshi Unfiltered, IGN Theater, 6:30
Friday, April 18 20th Century Fox presents: X-FILES 2, with Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, IGN Theater, 7:30
Saturday, April 19 Make Mine Marvel, with editor Nick Lowe, Orson Scott Card, Duane Swierczynski, John Romita Sr., and a special surprise guest, 1E08, 11:00 am
Saturday, April 19 Stan on Stan! with Stan Lee, 1E10-1E11, 11:00 am
Saturday, April 19 Spotlight on Mike Mignola, with Mike Mignola, 1E08, 12 noon
Saturday, April 19 The World of Shannara, with Terry Brooks and Robert Napton, 1E07, 1:00
Saturday, April 19 Universal Studios presents WANTED and HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY, with Mark Millar, Timur Bekmambetov, Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss, IGN Theater, 2:00
Saturday, April 19 Lionsgate Films presents WILL EISNERS THE SPIRIT, with Frank Miller, Eva Mendes, Deborah Del Prete, and Michael Uslan, moderated by Kurt Loder, IGN Theater, 4:15
Saturday, April 19 Adult Swim Presents: Robot Chicken: Star Wars, with Seth Green and Matthew Senrich, 1E07, 5:00
Saturday, April 19 Bill Plympton Goes to the Dark Side, with Bill Plympton and a free drawing for all attendees, 1E16, 7:00
© Glenn Fabry
Poster is one of many Comic Con exclusives
Sunday, April 20 MoCCA Presents Mo Willems Spotlight, 1E09, 11:00 am
Sunday, April 20 Nick Mag Presents . . . Gag Cartoons & Funny Drawings, with Chris Duffy, Karen Sneider, Gary Fields, and Alec Longstreth, 2D02-03, 11:00 am
Sunday, April 20 Amuri in Star Ocean, presented by New York Tokyo, 1E07, 12 noon
Sunday, April 20 New Line Cinema presents HAROLD & KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY, with John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, IGN Theater, 12:30
Sunday, April 20 New Line Cinema presents JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 3D, Brendan Fraser, Eric Brevig, and Charlotte Huggins, IGN Theater, 1:15
Sunday, April 20 The Creation of Toon Books: Beginning Reader Comics, with Françoise Mouly, 1E04, 2:00
Sunday, April 20 Nick Mag Presents 3-D Comic Carousel, with R. Sikoryak, Kim Deitch, Michael Kupperman, Chris Duffy, and Dave Roman, 1E09, 3:00
AMC Village 7, Third Ave, between 12th & 13th Sts.
Pace University, Front St. between Beekman St. & Peck Slip
BMCC TribecaPAC, 199 Chambers St. between Greenwich & West Sts.
Tribeca Cinemas, Varick St. at Laight St.
Village East Cinema, 189 Second Ave.
April 23 - May 4
Hudson Pass $1,100; other packages $64-$75
Individual screening tickets: $15 (matinees and late-night screenings $8)
Originally started to help bolster the downtown economy following 9/11, the Tribeca Film Festival, now in its seventh year, is back with another massive slate of shorts, indie flicks, panel discussions, musical performances, gala premieres, art shows, and lots of special events, with more and more actually held outside Tribeca. Also back is the drive-in, the family street fair, and Sports Day.
Fred Lebows legacy is examined in RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
Sunday, April 27, AMC Village VII Theater 3, 3:30
Sunday, April 27, AMC Village VII Theater 4, 9:00
Thursday, May 1, AMC 19th St. East Theater 2, 6:00
Friday, May 2, Village East Cinema 6, 3:15
Saturday, May 3, AMC 19th St. East Theater 1, 11:30 am
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE tells the remarkable story of Fischl Leibowitz, better known to the world as Fred Lebow. At the age of fourteen, Lebow left his home in Romania and eventually immigrated to the United States. In the late 1960s, he became obsessed with running, at the time a strange form of exercise practiced by very few New Yorkers. But soon Lebow was organizing events such as the Cherry Tree Marathon through the Bronx in 1969 and the Central Park Marathon, leading to the first-ever five-borough New York City Marathon in 1976, a race that many believe helped lead the city through its financial, crime-filled crisis. Through archival footage, news reports, photos, and new interviews with Lebows friends, family, and colleagues, a fascinating picture emerges of a driven visionary who was a masterful manipulator and negotiator, a man ahead of his time with regard to marketing and sponsorship. Among the people who share their memories of Lebow are marathoners Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, and Greta Waitz, former mayor Ed Koch, parks commissioners Henry Stern and Gordon Davis, past presidents and board members of the New York Road Runners Club, and his sister, who makes latkes for filmmaker Judd Ehrlich. Lebow was one of the all-time great New York characters, forever wearing a painters cap and sweatsuit, doing whatever was necessary to get himself and his sport to the next level. The ending is both exhilarating and heartbreaking.
Guy Maddin looks back on his hometown as only he can
Thursday, April 24, Village East Cinema 1, 6:00
Wednesday, April 30, AMC 19th St. East Theater 1, 10:30
Sunday, May 4, Village East Cinema 6, 1:15
Guy Maddin (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, CAREFUL) returns to the Tribeca Film Festival, where his splendid cinematic installation COWARDS BEND THE KNEE was a hit in 2003, with MY WINNIPEG, an insanely brilliant homage to his native city. In MY WINNIPEG, he pays tribute to the long, bizarre history of the title Canadian province, which sits directly in the middle of North America, what Maddin refers to as the "heart of the heart of the continent." Combining archival footage with newly re-created scenes, all of which look like faded newsreels and early, degraded prints, Maddin, in voice-over narration, tells of horses buried in ice with their heads sticking out, the Happyland amusement park, Ledge Man, the Hudsons Bay Company, stampedes, spirit photography and seances, a beauty pageant for men, local scavenger hunts in which the winner gets a ticket out of town, and other strange elements; one of the many joys of the film is not knowing what is exactly true and what is invention, although there is more fact here than you might think. "Everything that happens in this city is a euphemism," Maddin says, just to keep us guessing. He also gets personal in the film, which he calls a "docu-fantasia," with many scenes focusing on his mother or an actress playing his mother. A masterful meditation on memory, MY WINNIPEG is one of Maddins most accomplished, most accessible works, the successor to such classic avant-garde filmmakers as Dali and Bunuel (UN CHIEN ANDALOU), Brakhage (DOG STAR MAN), and Welles (F FOR FAKE). To get a little taste of what Maddin is all about, you can check out many of his short films, including NUDE CABOOSE, FUSEBOY, A TRIP TO THE ORPHANAGE, and SISSY-BOY SLAP-PARTY, on YouTube. Dont worry about feeling like youre "stealing" them by seeing them for free; Maddin put them up there himself.
Emily Mortimer and Chiwetel Ejiofor prepare for battle
Friday, April 25, BMCC Tribeca PAC, 6:30
Sunday, April 27, AMC Village VII Theater 3, 6:30
Chiwetel Ejiofor, one of Americas best and most underrated actors, gives a mesmerizing performance in REDBELT, a rather bizarre offering from David Mamet. Ejiofor stars as Mike Terry, an honest, hardworking master of self-defense who runs a Jiu Jitsu studio in L.A. and lives by a samurai-like code. When a distraught woman, Laura Black (Emily Mortimer), enters the studio on a rainy night and ends up grabbing police officer Joe Collinss (Max Martini) gun and shooting it, shattering the front window, a series of events soon finds Terry in the midst of an elaborate con, a specialty of Mamets. However, lurking in the background as Terry meets a Hollywood action hero (Tim Allen), his right-hand man (Joe Mantegna), and a shady fight promoter (Ricky Jay), is the prospect that Terry might have to participate in a mixed-martial-arts competition in order to solve his personal and financial woes, a low-grade, conventional plot device that is more KARATE KID II, ROCKY V, and BEST OF THE BEST 3 than THE SPANISH PRISONER and HOUSE OF GAMES. Its almost inconceivable that such an accomplished writer and director as Mamet (THINGS CHANGE, HOMICIDE) could use such a ridiculous story line until one discovers that Mamet has been studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for several years now, so he worked his obsession into an otherwise compelling drama. However, REDBELT is still worth watching for Ejiofor, although even he cant save the embarrassing final fifteen minutes.
Errol Morris looks at Abu Ghraib in new documentary
Thursday, April 24, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Opens in theaters Friday, April 25
Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
1866 Broadway at 63rd St.
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.
Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (THE FOG OF WAR, A THIN BLUE LINE) examines the use of still photography as evidence in STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, which focuses in on the recording of the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Morris speaks with five of the seven members of the military who were directly involved (Sabrina Herman, Megan Ambuhl, Lynndie England, Jeremy Sivitz, and Javal Davis Charles Graner and Ivan Frederick were still in prison and not permitted to talk to him) who describe the events surrounding the systematic torture in which prisoners were forced to commit humiliating, degrading acts for what appears to be the pleasure of their captors, who take still photos and video of the events, even including themselves in the images, smiling and pointing. Among the other men and women he speaks with is Brent Pack, the special agent for criminal investigations, who discusses which of the acts constitutes actional abuse and which doesnt, and former brigadier general Janis Karpinski, who was relieved of command and demoted once the events were made public. One of the most fascinating parts of the film are Hermans letters to her domestic partner, containing worries that are not visible as Herman parades around with naked prisoners. But in many ways that gets to the heart of the problem; the photographs show one thing, but the testimony describes circumstances that go outside the frame. It also examines how the responsibility for the abuses did not reach very far up the chain of command. Morris supplements the film with emotionally effective and artistic, if somewhat manipulative, reenactments that heighten the tension.
Squires and Shapiro share a strange friendship in THE WACKNESS
Saturday, April 26, AMC 19th St. East Theater 2, 9:00
Monday, April 28, AMC Village VII Theater 2, 7:00
Thursday, May 1, AMC Village VII Theater 5, 10:30
Winner of the Audience Award for Dramatic Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, THE WACKNESS is a quirky coming-of-age drama set in 1994 New York City, which is quickly being taken over by new mayor Rudy Giuliani’s so-called quality-of-life initiatives. Josh Peck stars as Luke Shapiro, an easygoing loner who sells pot in the parks from a disguised Italian ices cart. He’s just graduated high school, and he’s trying to raise enough money so he can go to college. Luke has a strange relationship with his drug-addled shrink, Jeffrey Squires (a wickedly funny Ben Kingsley), that changes when Luke starts getting a little too friendly with Dr. Squires’s hot stepdaughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Meanwhile, Luke’s father (David Wohl) has lost a large sum of money, leaving the family facing possible eviction. Writer-director Jonathan Levine (ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE), who graduated high school in 1994 himself, sets the film amid the burgeoning world of hip hop, featuring songs by Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., a Tribe Called Quest, and Method Man (who also plays Luke’s supplier) that heavily influenced his own coming of age. In Luke and Dr. Squires, Levine has created a truly odd, engaging couple in this offbeat, surprisingly affecting film.
Charles Bronson stands tall in classic Western
Wednesday, April 30, MoMA, 7:00
One of the grandest Westerns ever made, this masterpiece features an all-star cast that includes Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards, Woody Strode, Keenan Wynn, Lionel Stander, and Jack Elam, all enhanced by Ennio Morricones epic score and Tonino delli Collis never-ending extreme close-ups. (The opening shot of a fly crawling over Elams grimy face is unforgettable.) Fonda was never more evil, and Bronson was perhaps never more likable. The film is a huge step above most of Leones Spaghetti Westerns, partially because of the cast, but also because of the script help he got from Italian horrormeister Dario Argento and iconic filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci. Tribeca is presenting this special screening in honor of the films fortieth anniversary.
Friday, May 2, Pace, 9:00
Saturday, May 3, Village East Cinema 1, 11:00: Special Event Screening: EMPIRE II (Amos Poe, 2007)
Nick Lowe will kick off Tribeca ASCAP Music Lounge
285 West Broadway
Admission: free for festival badge holders only
Tuesday, April 29 Nick Lowe, 3:00; Brett Dennen, 3:40; Chris Thile, 4:20; Regina Spektor, 5:00; Ingrid Michaelson, 5:40
Wednesday, April 30 Jon Foreman, 3:00; Lizz Wright, 3:30; Chris Thile, 4:20;
Thursday, May 1 Small Mercies, 3:00; Jack Savoretti, 3:40; Jessie Baylin, 4:20; Augustana, 5:00; Sia, 5:40
Friday, May 2 Meaghan Smith, 3:00; Rachael Yamagata, 3:40; Joseph Arthur, 4:20; Sixpence None the Richer, 5:00
Lou Reed will talk about BERLIN on May 4
BMCC TribecaPAC, 199 Chambers St. between Greenwich & West Sts.
Directors Guild Theater, 110 West 57th St.
Pace University, 3 Spruce St.
Kellen Auditorium at the New School, 65 Fifth Ave.
Thursday, April 24 Conversations in Cinema: STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (Errol Morris, 2008), screening followed by Errol Morris in conversation with Anthony Swofford, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Friday, April 25 Click to View: The Future of New Media, with Isabella Rossellini and Gaurav Dhillon, moderated by Georg Szalai, Tribeca Cinemas, Theater 2, 5:00
Saturday, April 26 Tribeca Talks Industry: Shane Meadows, hosted by Skillset, with Shane Meadows and Paul Fraser, moderated by Anthony Kaufman, Kellen Auditorium at the New School, 3:00
Saturday, April 26 Behind the Screens: LAKE CITY, screening followed by conversation with Sissy Spacek, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Sunday, April 27 Conversations in Cinema: 2001: A Space Odyssey - Ahead of Its Time, screening followed by a panel discussion with Buzz Aldrin and Ann Druyan, Pace, 3:00
Sunday April 27 Behind the Screens: UNDER OUR SKIN (Andy Abrahams Wilson, 2008), with Andy Abrahams Wilson, Dr. Richard Horowitz, and Amy Tan, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Monday, April 28 Tribeca Talks: Mike Figgis, hosted by Skillset, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Tuesday, April 29 Pangea Day, TED & Tribeca, with Christiane Amanpour and Jehane Noujaim, moderated by Chris Anderson, Directors Guild Theater, 7:00
Thursday, May 1 Tribeca Talks Industry: Reuse, Remix & Renew Film tools for the 21st century, with Eric Steuer, Paul "DJ Spooky" Miller, Himanshu Singh, and Tiffany Shlain, Kellen Auditorium, 5:00
Thursday, May 1 Conversations in Cinema: 90 MILES THE DOCUMENTARY (Emilio Estefan, 2008), screening followed by discussion with Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Nelson Gonzalez, Johnny Pacheco, and La India, BMCC, 6:00
Thursday, May 1 Behind the Screens: CONFESSIONSOFA EX-DOOFUS-ITCHYFOOTED, with Melvin Van Peebles, Directors Guild Theater, 6:30
Saturday, May 3 Injecting the American Dream, with Christopher Bell, Victor Conte, and others, moderated by Shaun Assael. Pace, 5:00
Sunday, May 4 Conversations in Cinema: Celebrating BERLIN, screening of LOU REEDS BERLIN (Julian Schnabel, 2008), followed by a conversation with Lou Reed and Lisa Robinson, Directors Guild Theater, 7:00
World Financial Center Plaza
225 Vesey St. at West & Liberty Sts.
Doors open at 6:30, programs at 7:30, screenings at 8:00
Thursday, April 24 Thriller Night: THRILLER & THE MAKING OF THRILLER, with John Landis, a zombie disco, a Michael Jackson look-alike contest, and face-painting
Friday, April 25 MEERKAT MANOR: THE STORY BEGINS, with a Meerkat personality test, Meerkat Manor trivia, and a Meerkat dance-off challenge
Saturday, April 26 Winner of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Fans Favorite Football Flick, with WE ARE MARSHALL currently running away with it
Apple Store SoHo
103 Prince St. at Greene St.
April 25 - May 4
Friday, April 25 Clive Owen, 6:30
Saturday, April 26 Tony Gilroy, 6:30; Amy Poehler, 8:00
Sunday, April 27 Guy Maddin, 5:30
Monday, April 28 Morgan Spurlock, 6:30
Tuesday, April 29 Tom Kalin, 6:30; Isabella Rossellini, 8:00
Wednesday, April 30 Greg Mottola, 6:30
Thursday, May 1 Harmony Korine, 6:30
Friday, May 2 Adam Yauch, 6:30
Saturday, May 3 Paul Haggis, 6:30
Sunday, May 4 Matthew Modine, 5:30
Fair: Greenwich St. between Hubert & Duane Sts.
Screenings: Tribeca Film Center, 375 Greenwich St.
Saturday, May 3 Annual street festival with live music and dance, stilt walkers, face painters, arts and crafts, storytellers, a reading tent, kite flying, a Bubble Garden, Chess in Schools, local food vendors and merchants, including performances from LEGALLY BLONDE and XANADU, Victorian Gardens Amusement Park, New American Youth Ballet, the PS 150 TLC Singers, and free family-friendly film screenings, 10:00 am 6:00 pm
North Moore St. between Greenwich & West Sts.
Saturday, May 3 Street fair featuring two short tennis courts, a quick-serve cage, a slapshot area, a three-point shooting contest, a quarterback challenge, and more, with the Rangers Road Tour, the Knicks Groove Truck, Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets Flight Crew, Mr. Met, and other special events and live performances, 10:00 am 6:00 pm
Bernaducci Meisel Gallery
Stephen Hannock, "Maternal Nocturne: Clearing Storm," polished oil on envelope over Chuck Close daguerreotype, 2007
The New School Kellen Gallery
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Ave.
April 23 May 1
The actual awards that the Tribeca Film Festival hands out are individually commissioned from New York-based artists. The awards will be on display at the New School until they are handed out at the end of the festival. This years group were designed by John Alexander, Ross Bleckner, Francesco Clemente, Renee Cox, Brandon dLeo, Donna Ferrato, Ralph Gibson, Don Gummer, Stephen Hannock, Ryan McGinness, Clifford Ross, Timothy White, and O Zhang.
The Hold Steady headline a special show at Tribeca
125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.
Friday, May 2 The Hold Steady, the Virgins, Republic Tigers, Bad Veins
© David Lyle
David Lyle, "Are We There Yet," oil on panel, 2008
Canal St. to Murray St., Washington St. to Lafayette St.
Nearly one hundred TriBeCa artists open up their studios for this twelfth annual self-guided tour, including receptions, slide shows, window displays, and childrens activities. The above Web site includes sample pieces by each participant as well as an artist statement so you can whittle down the choices based on your specific interests. Among the participants are Elena Ab, B. Amore, Miyako Aoki, CJ Collins, Jinsey Dauk, Murray Hidary, Jennifer Kotter, Artem Mirolevich, Alkan Nallbani, Salvador Oliveros, and Sophie Sejourne. There are also special exhibitions at the Synagogue for the Arts (49 White St.), which will feature a group show of the participating artists; Art Gotham (192 Sixth Ave. between Spring & Prince Sts.); Franklin Station Restaurant (222 West Broadway at Franklin St.); and the NY Law School Windows (Worth St. at Church St,).
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
200 Hudson St.
LMCC Studios, fourth floor (LMCC)
92YTribeca, ground floor (92Y)
Admission: free but online registration required
Friday, April 25 Opening reception, LMCC, 6:00 8:00
Saturday, April 26 Open Texts: Fiction, Poetry, and Performance, 2:00 4:00
Saturday, April 26 Moving Pictures: screenings by Workspace artists, 92Y, 5:00 7:00
Saturday, April 26
Sunday, April 27 Open studios featuring the twenty artists in residence who are part of the LMCCs Workspace program, LMCC, 1:00 6:00
Documentary follows the Derby Trail to the Run for the Roses
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Opens Friday, April 18
Brad and John Hennegan take viewers behind the scenes in THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY, a fascinating look at six sets of trainers and horses as they head out on the Derby Trail, on a path to qualify for the 2006 Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. Every year forty thousand Thoroughbreds are born; of those, twenty-three thousand become racehorses, but only twenty get to compete as three-year-olds in the Kentucky Derby. The Hennegan brothers follow former equestrian champion Michael Martz as he trains Barbaro in Florida; Kiaran McLaughlin, who has MS, as he prepares Jazil in Dubai; Dale Romans working with Sharp Humor in Kentucky; trainer Bob Holthus and groom Chuck Chambers with Lawyer Ron in Arkansas; wheelchair-bound Dan Hendricks readying Brother Derek in California; and assistant trainer Frank Amonte Jr. prepping Achilles of Troy in New York. The Hennegans focus on the hopes and dreams of these men and their families as they go through stakes races, deal with the press and the horses owners, work on strategy with the jockeys, and basically open up their whole lives for the camera. A selection of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY is a thrilling inside look at the glory and tragedy of the sport of kings, a treat for both racing fans and those who know nothing about the sport.
Jet Li and Jackie Chan finally unite
in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM
Opens Friday, April 18
In the most exciting first-time movie pairing since Al Pacino and Robert De Niro appeared together in Michael Manns less-than-sizzling HEAT in 1995, martial arts masters Jackie Chan and Jet Li team up in Rob Minkoffs THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, with much hotter results. Based on the famous Chinese legend of the Monkey King, the film opens in modern-day South Boston, where martial arts fan Jason Tripitikas (Michael Angarano) is the new kid in town, getting pushed around by local bullies. But when the tough kids try to rob a local pawnshop, Jason grabs a legendary staff and suddenly gets sent back to ancient China, where the Jade War Lord (Collin Chou) has imprisoned the Monkey King in stone and is terrorizing the population. Jason is soon joined by drunken immortal Lu Yan (Chan), the meditative Silent Monk (Li), and vengeance-seeking Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei) as they head to Five Elements Mountain to return the staff to its rightful owner and meet their destiny. Their journey takes them through the Bamboo Forest, a field of cherry blossoms, hundreds of warriors, and white-haired demoness Ni Chang (Li Bingbing), with Lu Yan and Silent Monk trying their best to train Jason so he is prepared to fight the Jade War Lord at the end of their quest. Minkoff takes a huge step up into live-action drama after directing such Disney fare as STUART LITTLE, THE LION KING, and THE HAUNTED MANSION; THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM is still family-friendly, but kung fu fans wont be disappointed, as Minkoff has brought along famed cinematographer Peter Pau (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) and fight choreographer extraordinaire Yuen Wo Ping (the MATRIX trilogy, KILL BILL). Its all sort of THE WIZARD OF OZ meets TIME BANDITS meets THE KARATE KID meets KILL BILL, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Jason Segel wrote and stars in vastly overrated "romantic disaster comedy"
Opens Friday, April 18
Jason Segel, the twenty-first-century Judge Reinhold, wrote and stars in FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, the latest in the successful string of comedies from producer Judd Apatow, which include THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, and SUPERBAD. In this self-described "romantic disaster comedy," Segel stars as Peter, a television-series composer whose big dream is to stage a Dracula musical with puppets. When his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), the star of the TV show CRIME SCENE: SCENE OF THE CRIME, suddenly breaks up with him, he goes on a downward spiral of cheap sex and depression. His stepbrother, Brian (SNLs Bill Hader), convinces him to get away and go on vacation, but when Peter heads off to Hawaii, he immediately discovers that Sarah is staying at the same resort, with her new sex toy, indie pop star Aldous Snow (British comedian Russell Brand). While exploring a friendship with hotel worker Rachel (Mila Kunis), Peter cant get him mind off Sarah, following her around like a pathetic little puppy dog. Segel is likable enough, and there are a bunch of legitimately laugh-out-loud moments, but the film ultimately fails because of sloppy direction by first-timer Nicholas Stoller (hey, get that boom mic out of the shot!), terrible editing and continuity, cliches galore, silly subplots and minor characters, and way too many frontal nude shots of Segel. (Once was plenty, thank you very much.)
Filmmaker goes in search of ruling class
BAMcinematek / BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.
Thursday, April 24 at 4:30, 6:50 (followed by a Q&A with the director), 9:30
Described by debut director John Kirby as the “world’s first dramatic documentary musical,” THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS, which screened at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, is a very funny and extremely fascinating search for America’s ruling class. Former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham creates two very different Yale graduates one from a wealthy background who is considering entering the maelstrom by going after the money at Goldman Sachs, the other from a poor family who decides to work as a waiter as he tries to get his writing career off the ground and introduces them to all the right people to help determine if a ruling class exists and, if so, just what the heck it is and what the requirements are to sign on. Along the way advice is offered by a slew of guests, including Walter Cronkite, Bill Bradley, Pete Seeger, Barbara Ehrenreich, Vartan Gregorian, Robert Altman, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., James Baker, Kurt Vonnegut, William Howard Taft IV, Hodding Carter, Larry Summers, Mike Medavoy, and many others, not all of whom seem to know about the premise.
Kenor & Kode bomb away in beautiful Barcelona
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Opens Friday, April 25
Jon Reiss’s BOMB IT!, which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, is a broad survey of the who, what, where, when, and why of graffiti. Beginning with Cornbread, who got things started in Philly in 1967, the documentary traces the development of street art in New York City, then heads to Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Capetown, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, and L.A., speaking with such legendary writers, artists, bombers, and taggers as Tracy 168, Lady Pink, Mickey, Taki 183, Chino, Tribe, Revs, Ron English, and many others. Reiss also gives a wee bit of time to community activists, local business owners, police, and city officials who have a different take on graffiti. Reiss examines the never-ending debate over whether graf is vandalism, rebellion, art, “all-out destruction,” “urban intervention,” “visual pollution,” “typographic terrorism,” or the unstoppable expression of youth culture. The writers, some of whom keep their faces hidden, argue that graffiti is all about taking back public space, from buses to billboards and buildings to subway trains, asserting one’s identity and fighting the power; while one bomber states, “I tag, therefore I am,” another states that “art must serve a social cause.”
The most fascinating aspect of BOMB IT! and one that hasn’t been effectively dealt with in previous films on the subject is the inherent cultural differences behind graffiti around the world. For example, in London, it’s focusing on the battle over the privatization of public space in the face of the pervasive surveillance cameras that track citizens’ every move; in Sao Paulo, it brings to life the daily struggle just to survive; in Berlin, it still has to do with the freedom that came with the tearing down of the wall; in Tokyo, it centers on government control and Japan’s long-term isolationist policies; and in L.A., it’s about deeply superficial anarchy. Reiss shows us numerous artists at work all over the world, often under cover of night, describing in detail the creation of their tags and pieces. There’s also a brief look at graffiti’s growing impact on consumer culture and expansion into art galleries; in fact, in the past few years, such BOMB IT! participants as Obey Giant creator Shepard Fairey, French stencilist Blek Le Rat, Brazilian underground artist Zezao, and the amazing Os Gemeos twins have either been involved in gallery shows or presented officially commissioned murals in New York City (and Zephyr designed the interstitial month identifiers in Jonathan Levine’s THE WACKNESS, a hit at this year’s Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals and no relation to the Jonathan LeVine gallery in Chelsea that specializes in displaying street art). “A lot of the work does lose its power and its potency when it’s just not illegal,” England’s Arofish explains. While it’s impossible for any one film, in ninety-three minutes, to exhaustively cover every element of the history and future of graffiti and graffiti culture, BOMB IT! does an excellent job of breaking well beneath the surface of this controversial public form of expression.
Harold and Kumar are back for more fun in ESCAPE
Opens Friday, April 25
Overflowing with more toilet humor than you can shake a plunger, HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY is the very funny follow-up to the unforgettable HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who wrote the original as well, the sequel lets viewers know just what they’re in for right from the very start; the first few minutes which take place immediately after Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have fed their crave at White Castle and are preparing to go to Amsterdam so Harold can declare his love for Maria (Paula Garces) include no-holds-barred aural and visual jokes about flatulence, pubic hair, and self-pleasure, setting the stage for a naughty road movie that quickly lands the pair in Guantanamo Bay when a frightened airline passenger mistakes Kumar’s homemade smokeless bong for a bomb. Former DAILY SHOW correspondent Rob Corddry is a riot as the inept racist deputy chief of Homeland Security, determined to track down the alleged terrorists, who encounter the Ku Klux Klan, a bizarre southern family, a Texas whorehouse, and, once again, the great Neil Patrick Harris along the way. Also back are Goldstein (David Krumholtz) and Rosenberg (Eddie Kaye Thomas), with LAW AND ORDER: SVU’s Christopher Meloni, who made a bizarre cameo as Freakshow in the original, now doing a bizarre cameo as a KKK grand wizard in the new film. Penn gets to show his romantic chops as well this time, as Kumar tries to deal with the frustration of his first love, Vanessa (Danneel Harris), getting married to super-Republican douchebag Colton (Eric Winter). Even when it crosses the bounds of extremely bad taste and utterly ridiculous silliness, HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY somehow always manages to bring itself back and make you laugh your head off. Stick around for the end of the credits for a little bonus.
Harold and Kumar try to satisfy the crave in raunchy comedy
Available on DVD
Harold (John Cho) is a hardworking Asian who is taken advantage of by the men in his office, forced to do their work and have no fun. Kumar (Kal Penn) comes from a family of doctors and is expected to do the same. But all Kumar likes to do is get blasted on beer and pot and chase girls. So one night he convinces Harold that they have to go to White Castle to fill their craving for major munchies. Unfortunately, the nearest White Castle branch is no more, so they go on a rowdy all-night adventure in search of the next WC, in Cherry Hill, and on the way they get sidetracked by college parties, strange bathroom incidents, the ugliest man in the world, a team of extreme idiots, cops with attitude, and Doogie Howser. We hated ourselves for laughing so much at all the toilet humor, but we understand this movie way too much.
Film festival favorite flies into New York City on April 4
323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.
4 West 58th St. at Fifth Ave.
Commissioned by the Musee d'Orsay and inspired by Adam Gopniks book PARIS TO THE MOON and Albert Lamorisses childrens classic THE RED BALLOON, director Hou Hsiao Hsien creates a wonderfully gentle, beautifully peaceful work in FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON. Mimicking the Taiwanese Hou making a film in Paris, Song Fang stars as Song, a Taiwanese film student who arrives in Paris to be a nanny to Simon (Simon Iteanu), whose mother, Suzanne (a blonde Juliette Binoche), runs a local puppet theater which is currently putting on a version of the Chinese story of Zhang Yu, in French. Song goes everywhere with her video camera, recording whatever she sees. Meanwhile, a mysterious red balloon follows Simon through the city. (In THE RED BALLOON, its reversed, as a young boy runs after the balloon.) There is no real plot but merely daily life, sort of Truffaut meets Ozu as Song makes pancakes, Suzanne gets involved in a rent dispute, and Simon practices the piano. The film is all about place and character, not about narrative; in fact, all of the dialogue is improvised. Lovingly shot by Mark Lee Ping Bing, FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON is a sweet, tender film.
Partners Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen collaborate on JELLYFISH
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Short-story writer and children’s book author Etgar Keret and playwright and kids’ book writer Shira Geffen, who are life partners, have teamed up for their feature-film directorial debut, JELLYFISH (MEDUZOT), a small, charming Israeli film that won the Camera D’Or at Cannes. Written by Geffen, the story follows three women dealing with family problems that threaten to leave them lost and lonely. After her boyfriend dumps her, Batya (Sarah Adler) heads off to her job working for a wedding caterer, where she is surrounded by happy people celebrating a marriage while she contemplates her own bleak future. But her life changes when she is sitting on the beach and a silent young girl (Nikol Leidman) comes walking out of the ocean and approaches her. When a policeman says that no one has reported the girl missing or is looking for her, Batya decides to take care of the child herself, perhaps as a reaction to the offhanded way in which her own wealthy, successful mother treats her. Meanwhile, Keren (Noa Knoller), who broke her leg at her wedding reception after being trapped in the bathroom, has to spend her honeymoon in a local seaside hotel instead of jetting off to the Caribbean; her unhappiness is soon magnified when she suspects her husband (Gera Sandler) might have eyes for an older woman who is staying alone in the deluxe penthouse suite. And Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre) is a Filipino guest worker who has come to Israel to make money to send back to her son in the Philippines, but because she cannot speak Hebrew, it is difficult for her to communicate with anyone, especially one old woman (Zharira Charifai) she has been hired to care for. Like the multiple-character drama BABEL, Keret and Geffen’s film focuses on complex family relationship and the challenges of interpersonal communication, with water whether it’s the leak in Batya’s ceiling, the ocean rumbling outside Keren’s hotel room, the sea the young girl mysteriously emerges from, or the large expanse that separates Joy from her family serving as a metaphor for both life and death, joy and sorrow. This sweet, painful, and somewhat surreal examination of four generations of women might be set in Tel Aviv, but its themes are universal.
George Clooney and John Krasinski go after the pigskin in LEATHERHEADS
Not even George Clooney’s considerable charm can save this mess of a movie. Clooney, who also directed the film, stars as Dodge Connelly, an aging professional football player trying to save the future of the laughingstock of a league as one team after another goes bankrupt in 1925. But Dodge finds his meal ticket in Carter Rutherford (THE OFFICE’s John Krasinski), a Princeton star and supposed war hero who has captivated the country. Meanwhile, hotshot reporter Lexie Littleton (Renée Zellweger) has been assigned to cook Carter’s goose, which becomes more difficult when she becomes attracted to him and to Dodge as well. Clooney, who scored touchdowns with the first two features he directed, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (2002) and GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. (2005), turns the ball over way too much in LEATHERHEADS, a well-meaning but misguided homage to 1920s madcap farce, screwball romantic comedy, newspaper drama, and classic sports films. The fumbling script was written by Duncan Brantley and longtime Sports Illustrated scribe Rick Reilly. LEATHERHEADS is no HORSE FEATHERS (Norman Z. McLeod, 1932); while the Marx Brothers’ romp was so crazy it worked, LEATHERHEADS tries for a more realistic feel, making the ridiculous final play in the big game all the more unbelievable and absurd. However, the film does consistently score with Randy Newman’s jazzy ragtime score; Newman also makes a cameo as the piano player in the bar-fight scene.
Marjane Satrapi animates her life for the big screen
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Frances official selection for the 2007 Academy Awards, PERSEPOLIS brings to animated life Marjane Satrapis stunning graphic novels. Codirected by Satrapi and comic-book artist Vincent Paronnaud, PERSEPOLIS tells Satrapis harrowing life story as she comes of age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Raised in a well-off activist family, she fights against many of the countrys crippling mores and laws, particularly those that treat women as second-class citizens, trapping them in their veils, denying them any kind of individual freedom. But the progressive Satrapi (voiced first by Gabrielle Lopes, then Chiara Mastroianni) continually gets into trouble as she speaks her mind, experiments with sex, and refuses to play by her countrys repressive rules. Satrapi and Paronnaud do an outstanding job of adapting the books black-and-white panels for the big screen, maintaining her unique style and emotional breadth. The first part of the film is excellent as the precocious teenager who talks to God learns about life in some very harsh ways. Unfortunately, the second half gets bogged down in Satrapis failures as an adult, focusing too much on her myriad personal problems and taking away the bigger picture that made the first part so entertaining as well as educational. Still, its a story worth telling, and well worth seeing. (Interestingly, since the film, which is in French, is subtitled in English, the audience ends up reading it similarly to the way they read the graphic novel.) The closing-night selection of the 2007 New York Film Festival, PERSEPOLIS also features the voices of Catherine Deneuve as Marjanes mother, Danielle Darrieux as her grandmother, Simon Akbarian as her father, and François Jerosme as her radical uncle Anouche.
People flipped for PLANET B-BOY at TriBeCa last year
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.
In the mid-1980s, b-boy culture exploded, with breakdancing, an outgrowth of hip-hop and graffiti, surging through New York City and then around the world as a way for the young generation to express themselves. Director Benson Lee traces the roots of this phenomenon from 1983s FLASHDANCE to the present day, when international competitions, leading up to the Battle of the Year, are held across the globe. Lee follows such crews as Koreas Gamblerz and Last for One, Japans Ichigeki, Frances Phase T, and Americas Knucklehead Zoo as they prepare for the 2005 event. Lil Kev, B-Boy Joe, Katsu, Taiyo, Fonzie, and others describe what dancing means to them and show off lots of unbelievable moves, including head spins that will leave you dizzy with excitement and exhaustion. Several of the dancers are also interviewed with family members, talking about how dancing and the b-boy life impact their relationship with their parents. The film was a major part of the 2007 TriBeca Film Festival, with several special events and appearances built around it.
Brittany Snow’s prom night is a disaster, just like the remake
Hollywood continues to mine the depths of Jamie Lee Curtis’s 1978-81 scream-queen-era back catalog with PROM NIGHT, following poorly regarded remakes of John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN and THE FOG. (TERROR TRAIN is up next and no, we’re not kidding.) PROM NIGHT is a ludicrous, inept reworking of Paul Lynch’s so-so original, removing the motivation and the grizzly one-upmanship killings in favor of stereotypical character development and increasingly unlikely scenarios. There are so many holes and suspensions of disbelief in J. S. Cardone’s script that you could repeatedly twist a large, serrated knife through it, and director Nelson McCormick, long relegated to television series duty, uses every convoluted and clichéd trick in the fright-night book there are lots of shots of mirrors, doorways, baths, and closets as well as plenty of fake shocks and misleading dream sequences. The only things missing are unnecessarily nudity-filled shower and sex scenes.
Angela Bassett is transcendent in latest Tyler Perry flick
Regal E-Walk 13
247 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
AMC MAGIC JOHNSON HARLEM 9
2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd. & 124th St.
Angela Bassett gives a terrific performance as a struggling single mother in MEET THE BROWNS, the latest film from Tyler Perry’s growing media franchise, which includes books, TV shows, plays, CDs, and such critic-proof hits as MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION and DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN. Bassett stars as Brenda, a gorgeous woman with three children, from three different men, trying to get by in the Chicago projects. After the plant where she works shuts down and moves to Mexico, Bassett doesn’t have enough money to pay any of her bills. But when a letter and bus tickets arrive inviting her to a small Georgia town for the funeral of her father, whom she never knew, she decides to head down south with her kids to meet the rest of her family. And what a family it is, including the overly dramatic diva Vera (Jenifer Lewis) and the ridiculously wacky Leroy (David Mann). Although Perry takes a major step up in quality in the first half of the movie, he takes a big step back in the second half, once again relying on his regular cast of characters, who are way too over the top as usual, detracting from the honest, compelling narrative of Brenda’s quest. And the resolution of the subplot involving a talent scout (a stiff but cute Rick Fox) and Brenda’s son, Michael (Lance Gross), a high school basketball star, is utterly absurd and patently false. Perry even forces Madea into the action, albeit in a thankfully very brief way. Still, Bassett lights up the screen every time she appears, giving a performance reminiscent of Diahann Carroll’s breakthrough role for black women in CLAUDINE (John Berry, 1974). Add a star if you can’t get enough of Perry’s HOUSE OF PAYNE.
POTUS gets shot over and over again in VANTAGE POINT
Regal E-Walk 13
247 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Director Pete Travis and screenwriter Barry L. Levy make their feature-film debuts with VANTAGE POINT, an overly ambitious yet somewhat entertaining story of a presidential assassination attempt told from multiple points of view. As the movie begins, Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) is in a mobile television control room, directing her network’s live coverage of President Ashton’s (William Hurt) announcement of a major global anti-terrorism summit in Salamanca, Spain. As he takes the podium, he is struck by two bullets. In the ensuing madness, one bomb goes off in the distance, then the entire platform blows up in a massive, bloody explosion. The film then rewinds back to a few seconds before noon, and we see the same events, this time following a different character. Thus, the characters and the plot unfold as each segment adds a few more details, sort of like GROUNDHOG DAY meets RASHOMON meets JFK meets 24. The film follows Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), a Secret Service agent who had a nervous breakdown after taking a bullet for the president the previous year; Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), a tourist obsessed with capturing everything he sees on video; POTUS (President of the United States); and even the terrorists. There are too many rewinds with too many teases of what is to come, and the final chase scene requires ridiculous suspensions of disbelief around every corner. But if you can get past the movie’s primary gimmick, it still packs enough tension to make it a worthwhile popcorn muncher.
John Kani and Winston Ntshona reprise original roles in South African play
Brooklyn Academy of Music
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton Street between Ashland Pl. & Rockwell Pl.
In 1972, South Africans Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona debuted their new play, SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD, in Capetown, starring Kani and Ntshona. After touring England and America, Kani and Ntshona brought the play back to South Africa and were soon arrested and put in solitary confinement because of the work, which criticizes the government and apartheid. In 2006, South Africa's Baxter Theatre Centre revived the play, with Kani and Ntshona, friends since high school in 1962, reprising their original roles. The play, which remains surprising relevant today despite the end of apartheid in 1989, opens with a long, thrilling monologue by Kani as an old man named Styles, describing the day at the Ford plant, where he worked as an abused assembly-line drone, when Henry Ford II came to visit, leading him to quit in disgust and try to live his dream to become a photographer. As a professional photographer, he could record the real story of his people, giving everyone their own identity. When a man named Robert (Ntshona) arrives to have his picture taken so he can send it to his wife and kids, the play heads into flashback, as Buntu (Kani) tries to explain to Sizwe Banzi (Ntshona), who is looking to earn money in Port Elizabeth to help his family in King William's Town, that because of a certain stamp in his passbook, Banzi cannot find work and must return home. But after a night of drinking, they come upon a situation that could alter both their futures. Highlighting the absurdity of the government in its treatment of blacks, the play focuses on the identity crisis experienced by so many citizens who were just seeking a better life. The revival, directed by Aubrey Sekhbi, engages the audience both figuratively and literally Styles pulls two members of the audience onstage and involves them in the action and subtly makes its points about individuality and freedom. Kani and Ntshona, who shared a Best Actor Tony in 1975 for their roles in SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD and their follow-up, THE ISLAND, have just announced that they will never perform SIZWE BANZI again after its current run at BAM, which continues through April 19. Similarly, they put on the final performances of 1973's THE ISLAND at BAM in 2003. SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD is a stirring play; don't miss this last chance to see it with two of its remarkable creators. (In addition, the WorkShop Theater Company is staging THE ISLAND for free April 14-18, daily at 3:00, at the Jewel Box at 312 West 36th St., 212-695-4173 ext4#.)
Chichester Theatre Festival brings reimagined MACBETH to Broadway
149 West 45th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Through May 24; February 28 BAM performance reviewed
Director Rupert Goold reimagines William Shakespeare’s MACBETH, about a stalwart soldier who goes power crazy after receiving a telling prophecy from three witches, as a cold war nightmare in the current staging the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway, following a successful run at BAM. The Chichester Theatre Festival’s highly praised multimedia production of the infamously difficult play stars Patrick Stewart, who delivers a steady performance with intriguing nuances, alongside Kate Fleetwood as a much younger Lady Macbeth. The bleak stage is devoid of color, and the white wall along the back, upon which videos are projected, effectively fences the characters in. Anthony Ward’s stage design also includes a working sink at the front and a sliding-gate elevator in the back, from which smoke drifts nonstop, as if it were ferrying its passengers in and out of hell and between realms. This bloody MACBETH is bold, boisterous, and very loud. The combination of Lorna Heavey’s video projections (which depict Fascist rallies and frightening static), Howard Harrison’s lighting, and Adam Cork’s sound are most effective in scenes with the three wickedly delicious witches (Sophie Hunter, Polly Frame, and Niamh McGrady), who appear as wartime nurses, household servants, and morgue attendants. In the end, though, the acting is swallowed up by the fabulously inventive staging, rendering this MACBETH without the emotional power it so desperately needs. Stewart is a solid if unspectacular and unconventional Macbeth, giving noogies, poking playfully at ties, and pointing with pickles and he seems to make one helluva killer ham sandwich. The cast also features Paul Shelley as Duncan, Martin Turner as Banquo, Michael Feast as Macduff, and Suzanne Burden as Lady Macduff. While this MACBETH might not be for purists, it’s still an engaging night at the theater.
THE WALWORTH FARCE gets fast and furious at St. Anns
St. Anns Warehouse
38 Water St.
April 15 - May 4 (April 17 performance reviewed)
Galway’s first professional theater company (founded in 1975), Druid has previously brought to the States such well-regarded productions as Martin McDonagh’s Tony-winning THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE and DruidSynge, performed at the Lincoln Center Festival. They now are back with the American premiere of Enda Walsh’s frantic THE WALWORTH FARCE, a wild and woolly tale in which the past haunts an Irish family living in South London. Every day, Dinny (Dennis Conway) and his two sons, Blake (Garrett Lombard) and Sean (Tadhg Murphy), frenetically reenact events that resulted in their leaving their home in Cork City. In this play within a play, Dinny leads his two boys through a story about a brain surgeon, a pair of coffins, and a large inheritance. Each of the sons takes on multiple roles in the faux drama, making insanely hysterical flash costume changes, with Blake playing all the female characters. But the story must be retold properly; if even the smallest thing is not right, Dinny goes mad, terrorizing his sons especially Sean, who has had the gall to speak with someone outside of their small flat. And when this woman, Hayley (Mercy Ojelade), who works at the market where Sean buys the props for the play every morning, suddenly shows up at the door, the precise, psychotic, carefully protected world Dinny has created threatens to implode. A hit at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, THE WALWORTH FARCE is a raucous romp through the dysfunctional life of one oddball family, serving as a metaphor for Ireland itself, a country obsessed with reimagined stories about the past. Mikel Murfi’s direction keeps the action fast and furious as the characters make their way through Sabine Dargent’s appropriately ratty and claustrophobic set. It takes a bit to figure out just what is going on, but once it gets rolling, you’ll be hooked.
Akram Khan will perform two works at City Center
NY City Center
West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Sts.
Direct from Sadlers Wells, London, the Akram Khan Company will be presenting two evening-length U.S. premieres at City Center. On April 23 and 26, they will perform ZERO DEGREES, choreographed by Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and featuring set design by award-winning artist Antony Gormley, with a score by Nitin Sawhney. On April 23 and 27 they will perform the new BAHOK, choreographed by Khan and scored by Sawhney and featuring additional dancers from the National Ballet of China.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton Street between Ashland Pl. & Rockwell Pl.
April 25 May 18
To kick off the spring season, BAM presented Samuel Becketts HAPPY DAYS, starring Fiona Shaw and directed by Deborah Warner. With the season winding down, Beckett is back with ENDGAME, featuring an outstanding cast: Max Casella, Alvin Epstein, Elaine Stritch, and John Turturro. The Classic Stage Company production is directed by Andrei Belgrader, with set design by Anita Stewart, costumes by Candice Donnelly, and lighting by Michael Chybowski. There will be a BAMdialogue (free for ticket holders) following the May 1 performance, with the director and cast, moderated by Classic Stage artistic director Brian Kulick.
Julie Saul Gallery
Maira Kalman, "Cheeseburger Deluxe" and "Grilled Cheese," gouache on paper, 2007
291 Church St. between Walker & White Sts.
Tuesday Saturday 11:00 am 6:00 pm
Through May 10
Organized by Dave Eggers, "Lots of Things Like This" consists of works that contain an image, text, and humor, collecting pieces by a wide ranges of artists, musicians, and writers, ranging from Jean-Michel Basquiat to R. Crumb, Marcel Duchamp to Shepard Fairey, Philip Guston to Shel Silverstein, from Henry Darger to Kurt Vonnegut, and from Francisco Goya to Leonard Cohen. Eggers, who curated the exhibit with Jesse Nathan and Jordan Bass, writes, "What is the line between a doodle, a cartoon, a gag, a work of fine art, and will there ever be a time when someone doesnt insist on writing a similar kind of silly and rhetorical sentence in an art catalog?"
Michel Tremblay is one of the many participants in literary fest
April 29 May 4
Free - $30
More than seventy-five events and hundreds of writers are scheduled to participate in the fourth annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. PEN is dedicated to human rights, free speech, and socially conscious writings as one section of its charter notes, “PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and among all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in their country or their community.” This year’s theme is “Public Lives / Private Lives,” as a distinguished group of artists get together to discuss how the lines between what is public and what is private are continually changing through such technological advancements as the Internet and as countries clamp down on security and dissent in the age of terrorism. Among the myriad participants at various panel discussions, readings, conversations, and performances many of which are free and most of which are twelve bucks or less are Peter Carey, Umberto Eco, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Giorno, Yael Hedaya, Colum McCann, Michael Ondaatje, Mario Vargas Llosa, Catherine Millet, Kristin Ómarsdóttir, Fatou Diome, Annie Proulx, and Peter Sis, hailing from all over the world, including Zimbabwe, Latvia, Servia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, South Africa, and Iceland. Below is only a handful of the more than seventy-five literary events.
Tuesday, April 29 The Rattapallax/PEN World Voices Literary Film Feast, with Antonello Faretta and John Giorno; introduced by Ram Devineni, Goethe-Institut, 1014 Fifth Ave., 6:00
Tuesday, April 29 An Evening with Michel Tremblay, interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel, the Americas Society, 680 Park Ave., 7:00
Tuesday, April 29 Crisis Darfur: A Conversation with Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Lévy, moderated by Dinaw Mengestu, Florence Gould Hall, the French Institute Alliance Française: 55 East 59th St., $15, 8:00
Wednesday, April 30 Five Years of the PEN Translation Fund: A Celebration, with Esther Allen, Barbara Epler, Edwin Frank, Wen Huang, Sarah Khalili, Idra Novey, Christopher Southward, Eliot Weinberger, and others, Segal Theater, CUNY Graduate Center: 365 Fifth Ave., 1:00
Wednesday, April 30 Rewriting Family, with Ana Castillo, György Dragomán, Yael Hedaya, and P.F. Thomese, moderated by Stacey DErasmo, Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby St., 7:00
Wednesday, April 30 Readings: Public Lives/Private Lives, with Coral Bracho, Peter Esterhazy, Rian Malan, Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Annie Proulx, Evelyn Schlag, and A.B. Yehoshua, introduced by Salman Rushdie, the Town Hall, 123 West 43rd St., $15, 8:00
Thursday, May 1 IN TREATMENT: A Literary Conversation, with Arnon Grunberg & Yael Hedaya, the Mercantile Library, 17 East 47th St., 1:00
Thursday, May 1 Inside Out: The Public and Private Lives of Children, with Sharon G. Flake, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Jutta Richter, and Peter Sis, moderated by Elizabeth Levy, Auditorium, 557 Broadway, 6:00
Thursday, May 1 The Moth: Award-Winning Storytelling, with Andy Borowitz, Ana Castillo, Rian Malan, Annie Proulx, and Gonçalo M. Tavares, the Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., $30, 7:00
Friday, May 2 Reading the World, with Peter Carey, Halfdan Freihow, Janet Malcolm, and Francesc Serés, introduced by Rachel Donadio, Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave., 1:00
Friday, May 2 Readings from Around the Globe, with Ana Castillo, Daniel Kehlmann, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, and Nina Revoyr, Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 East 52nd St., 1:30
Friday, May 2 The Three Musketeers Reunited: Umberto Eco, Salman Rushdie and Mario Vargas Llosa, 92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., $20, 7:30
Friday, May 2 WRISTCUTTERS: A Film Screening and Q&A with Etgar Keret, Instituto Cervantes, 211215 East 49th St., 8:00
Saturday, May 3 Conversation: Ian McEwan & Steven Pinker, Gilder Lehrman Hall, the Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., $15, 2:00
Saturday, May 3 Learning to Speak, with Halfdan Freihow, Xiaolu Guo, Jean Hatzfeld, and Carme Riera, moderated by Sam Tanenhaus, Tinker Auditorium, the French Institute, Alliance Française, 55 East 59th St., $12, 5:00
Saturday, May 3 A Believer Nighttime Event, with Halfdan Freihow, John Wesley Harding, Christian Jungersen, Jo Nesbø, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, and Vladimir, hosted by Michael Ian Black, Tishman Auditorium, the New School, 66 West 12th St., 6:00
Saturday, May 3 The PEN Cabaret, with John Wesley Harding, Aleksandar Hemon, Bill T. Jones, Bea Palya, Erika Stucky, and special guests, Webster Hall, 125 East 11th St., $30, 8:00
Sunday, May 4 Adventures in the Skin Trade: A Conversation with Colum McCann & Michael Ondaatje, the New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum, Fifth Ave. & 42nd St., $15, 12 noon
Sunday, May 4 Conversation: Péter Esterházy and Wayne Koestenbaum, introduced by Morgan Meis, the New York Public Library, South Court Auditorium, Fifth Ave & 42nd St., $15, 12 noon
Sunday, May 4 Conversation: Jeffrey Eugenides and Daniel Kehlmann, the New York Public Library, South Court Auditorium, Fifth Ave & 42nd St., $15, 2:00
Sunday, May 4 Books That Changed My Life, with Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, Phillipe Grimbert, Catherine Millet, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Annie Proulx, moderated by Paul Holdengräber, the New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum, Fifth Ave. & 42nd St., $15, 4:00
Austin Grossman combines his experience as a video-game consultant and English literature studies in his first novel, the superhero story SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE. The fun tale is told by alternating narrators: Fatale, a young woman who suffered a terrible accident and was rebuilt as a powerful cyborg, and Doctor Impossible, a supergenius set on once again trying to take over the world. Fatale is in the midst of being accepted into the Champions, which includes such superheroes as the beautiful Damsel, the mysterious Mister Mystic, the fairy Elphin, the formerly autistic Blackwolf, and the untrustworthy Lily. When the supposedly indestructible CoreFire goes missing, the Champions are determined to find him, suspecting the insane Doctor Impossible, who recently escaped from prison. Like the animated hit THE INVINCIBLES, Grossman plays with genre conventions as he delves into the psyche of one unsure hero and one dastardly villain through such playfully cliched chapters as "Foiled Again," "Riddle Me This," "Superfriends," "Maybe We Are Not So Different, You and I," and "And Now for Those Meddling Children." Grossmans writing can be a bit stilted at times, but he hits all the right notes; just like a good episode of BATMAN, hell have you cheering for the villain in the first half, then the heroes in the second.
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Grand Central Terminal
Through Tuesday, April 22 Giant Earth Images, with quotes, photos, messages, and special images projected in Grand Central Terminal, 10:00 am 8:00 pm
Friday, April 18
Saturday, April 19 EarthFair, featuring live music, art, organic food, and booths sponsored by earth-friendly businesses
209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Through May 1
Wednesday, April 16 SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957, Alexander Mackendrick), 1:20, 5:15, 9:10, and THE BIG KNIFE (1955, Robert Aldrich), 3:10, 7:05
Thursday, April 17 THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968, Norman Jewison), 1:00, 5:10, 9:20, and TOPKAPI (1964, Jules Dassin), 2:55, 7:05
We're suckers for heist films. Just give us THE HOT ROCK (Peter Yates, 1972), THE ANDERSON TAPES (Sidney Lumet, 1972), THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (John Huston, 1950), KELLY'S HEROES (Brian G. Hutton, 1970), THE KILLING (Stanley Kubrick, 1956) heck, even THE BRINKS JOB (William Friedkin, 1978) and we'll settle in for a great coupla hours. But the king of them all just might be Jules Dassin's ultrahip TOPKAPI, about a group of multicultural thieves who plan to steal the world's most priceless emerald from a bejeweled dagger in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The movie is worth seeing just for Ms. Mercouri herself, who opens the film by talking right to us, luring us in with her alluring sex appeal and endless charm. And oh, those clothes, especially the emerald green outfit with her nails painted to match. Maximilian Schell, Peter Ustinov, Robert Morley, and others join in for the elaborate plan that has been ripped off in so many movies ever since. And we were happy to see that they really got things right, shooting on location in Turkey, because weve been to Topkapi Palace, and the Topkapi dagger is indeed breathtaking. We deleted a quarter star because some of the scenes with Ustinov are a bit long and awkward, but the rest is simply marvelous. Woody Allen bonus: Harback, one of the cops chasing after the gang, is played by Titos Vandis, who was in love with a sheep in EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK (Woody Allen, 1972), ending up battling Gene Wilder for Daisys heart.
Friday, April 18
Saturday, April 19 A HARD DAYS NIGHT (1964, Richard Lester), 2:40, 6:00, 9:20, and THE KNACK, AND HOW TO GET IT (1965, Richard Lester), 1:00, 4:20, 7:40
Sunday, April 20 SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959, Billy Wilder), 1:30, 5:15, 9:00, and THE GENERAL (1927, Buster Keaton), with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, 3:45, 7:30
Monday, April 21 SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959, Billy Wilder), 1:30, and THE GENERAL (1927, Buster Keaton), with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, 3:45
Monday, April 21 WAY DOWN EAST (1920, D. W. Griffith), 5:30, 9:00, and STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928, Charles Reisner), with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, 7:30
Tuesday, April 22 COMING HOME (1978, Hal Ashby), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00 (introduced by producer Jerome Hellman), 9:30
Wednesday, April 23 MARTY (1955, Delbert Mann), 3:45, 7:45, and A THOUSAND CLOWNS (1965, Fred Coe), 1:30, 5:30, 9:30
Thursday, April 24 TOM JONES (1963, Tony Richardson), 1:00, 5:20, 9:40, and THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920, Fred Niblo), with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, 3:25, 7:45
Friday, April 25 LAST TANGO IN PARIS (1973, Bernardo Bertolucci), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30
Saturday, April 26 KISS ME DEADLY (1955, Robert Aldrich), 2:30, 6:00, 9:30, and 99 RIVER STREET (1953, Phil Karlson), 1:00, 4:30, 8:00
Sunday, April 27 WOMEN IN LOVE (1969, Ken Russell), 3:05, 7:35, and SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY (1971, John Schlesinger), 1:00, 5:30, 10:00
Monday, April 28 SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY (1971, John Schlesinger), 1:00, and WOMEN IN LOVE (1969, Ken Russell), 3:05
Monday, April 28 SPARROWS (1926, William Beaudine), with live piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, 7:10, and MY BEST GIRL (1927, Sam Taylor), 5:30, 9:00
Tuesday, April 29 THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, John Sturges), 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30
Wednesday, April 30 THE LONG GOODBYE (1973, Robert Altman), 3:15, 7:35 (introduced by Jim Bouton), and THIEVES LIKE US (1974, Robert Altman), 1:00, 5:20, 9:40
This is one odd detective story. King of the 70s Elliott Gould stars as a mumbling Philip Marlowe who reluctantly becomes enmeshed in a murder case involving a friend of his played by former Yankee pitcher and BALL FOUR author Jim Bouton. Marlowe lives next door to a harem of naked brownie-loving women, and he spends most of his time worrying about his cat. In fact, the opening fifteen minutes, in which he has to go out in the middle of the night to get cat food and then trick his cat, is absolutely priceless, the best cat story line we have ever seen in a motion picture. The detective stuff plays second fiddle to director Robert Altmans 70s mood piece, which is fun to watch even at its most baffling and senseless. Bouton will be on hand to introduce the 7:35 screening at Film Forum.
Thursday, May 1 CITY LIGHTS (1931, Charles Chaplin), 1:00, 4:40, 8:20, and MODERN TIMES (1936 Charles Chaplin), 2:50, 6:30, 10:10
The Players Theatre
115 MacDougal St. at Minetta Ln.
Wednesday, April 16 W.A.R.: Comic monologues featuring "five sexy Latinas" (Julia Ahumada Grob, Veronica Moya, Iris Silverio, Milteri Tucker, and Silvia Tovar) talking about love and sex, written by the cast and Halley Bondy and directed by Robert Dominguez, 8:00
Wednesday, April 23 M.A.R.: Comic monologues featuring "five studly Latinos" (Alex Vallecillo-Bone, Antonio M. Lopez, Marcel Puissant, Andres Rodriguez, and Patrick Alverado Stephenson) talking about love and sex, written by the cast and Halley Bondy and directed by Robert Dominguez, 8:00
The Theater at Madison Square Garden
31st to 33rd Sts. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Thursday, April 17
Friday, April 18 After months of fights all over the city, its time for the two-night finale as men and women battle it out for the distinction of forever being known as a Golden Gloves champion, 7:30
Whitney Museum of American Art
745 Madison Ave. at 75th St.
Thursday, April 17 Seminars with Artists: Olivier Mosset, Amy Granat and Drew Heitzler, $8, 7:00
Friday, April 18 Open Studio, Afternoons with Artists: Carol Bove, free tickets available in advance, 2:00
Friday, April 18 Whitney Live: DJ Olive and Marina Rosenfeld, pay-what-you-wish, 6:00
Friday, April 25 Open Studio, Afternoons with Artists: Gretchen Skogerson, free tickets available in advance, 2:00
Friday, April 25 Seminars with Artists, Multiple Edition: Eduardo Sarabia, free tickets available in advance, 7:00
Carolines on Broadway
1626 Broadway at 50th St.
Thursday, April 17
Sunday, April 20 Riotous comedian from the Opie & Anthony Show, costar on the hysterical LUCKY LOUIE series, and author of the hilarious memoir HAPPY ENDINGS: THE TALES OF A MEATY-BREASTED ZILCH plays six shows at Carolines
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.
Through April 13
Admission: $12 (free Fridays 7:00 9:00
Thursday, April 17 Stravinskys Songs, featuring soprano Tony Arnold and tenor Peter Tantsits and conducted by Steven Osgood, $45, 7:30
Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St.
RSVP for program: 718-681-6000 ext102
Friday, April 18 The Bronx Museum celebrates the art and music of Cuba, including live music by Grupo Habana Tres, DJ Cato aka Congrí, and a screening of HAVANA KIDZ II (Alberto Gonzalez, 2008), 6:00 10:00 (galleries open 12 noon 8:00 pm, including "Making It Together: Womens Collaborative Art + Community")
B.B. King Blues Club
237 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Tickets: $30 - $35
Saturday, April 19 Blues queen Oleta Adams, whose hits include "Rhythm of Life," "My Heart Wont Lie," and "I Just Had to Hear Your Voice," will be playing this show rescheduled from a canceled December 22 concert, 7:30
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Enter at 72nd St. & Fifth Ave.
Sunday, April 20 Central Park celebrates Earth Day with live performances by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the Bacon Brothers, Vusi Mahlasela, and Vienna Teng, wildlife activities with Urban Park Rangers, tree tours with Josh Galiley, a vegetable garden workshop, recycled musical instrument making, organic snacks, free valet bike parking, and a green mural by Paul and Mark Kostabi, 12 noon 4:00
St. Pauls Chapel
Broadway at Fulton St.
Sunday, April 20 Music and vocal director Chapman Roberts presents songs from THE WIZARD OF OZ and THE WIZ, featuring Ted Levy, Jacob Peacock, the Trinity Choristers, and a special appearance by Geoffrey Holder, 2:00
Between Ocean Ave. & Flatbush Ave., Prospect Park West, Ft. Hamilton Pkwy, and Eastern Pkwy
Monday, April 21
Sunday, April 27 Daily arts & crafts and Discover Tours
Tuesday, April 22 Earth Day Pledge, 1:00 4:00
Wednesday, April 23 Film Screening: the BBCs PLANET EARTH: SEASONAL FORESTS, 4:00
Thursday, April 24 Arbor Day Celebration: Childrens Story Time, 2:00, followed by a tree walk, 3:00
Saturday, April 26 BEarthDay Bash, celebrating the birthdays of John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmsted, and James T. Stranahan, with crafts, a nature walk, and an artists reception
Sunday, April 27 Bicycle Tune-Up Center, 100 4:00; Think Locally! 2:00 3:00; and Discover Tour: Get Inspired! Get Motivated!, 3:00
833 Broadway at Thirteenth St., third floor
RSVP: 212-674-7437 or email@example.com
Tuesday, April 22 Art party honoring Mother Earth: build and paint a birdhouse, participate in an Action Painting of the Living Canvas, walk through the Meditation Labyrinth, and stop by the Magic Garden, with snacks, drinks, and music, 6:00
Dance Theater Workshop
219 West 19th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Tuesday, April 22
Saturday, April 26 The Seán Curran Company presents ARIA/APOLOGY, the New York premiere of FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE, and the work-in-progress FIRE WEATHER (including a preshow coffee and conversation with Valerie Gladstone on April 22 at 6:30 and a postshow conversation with Heidi Latzky on April 23), 7:30
French Institute Alliance Française
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th St. between Park & Madison Aves.
Tuesday, April 22 JEAN RENOIR, THE BOSS (Jacques Rivette, 1966), 12:30 & 7:00
Tuesday, April 22 THE PHOTOS OF ALIX (Jean Eustache, 1980) and THE PIG (Jean Eustache & Jean-Michel Barjol, 1970), 4:00 & 9:00
Tuesday, April 29 THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE (LA MAMAN ET LA PUTAIN) (Jean Eustache, 1973), 12:30 & 7:00 (7:00 screening in Tinker Auditorium)
Jean-Pierre Léaud gives a bravura performance in Jean Eustache's New Wave classic about love and sex in Paris following the May 1968 cultural revolution. Léaud stars as Alexandre, a jobless, dour flaneur who rambles on endlessly about politics, cinema, music, literature, sex, womens lib, and lemonade while living with current lover Marie (Bernadette Lafont), obsessing over former lover Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), and starting an affair with new lover Veronika (Françoise Lebrun), a quiet nurse with a rather open sexual nature. The film's three-and-a-half-hour length will actually fly by as you become immersed in the complex characters, the fascinating dialogue, and the excellent acting. Much of the movie consists of long takes in which Alexandre shares his warped view of life and art in small, enclosed spaces, the static camera focusing either on him or his companion.
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. & Broadway
Wednesday, April 23 All-star jazz lineup including Jon Faddis, Ralph Lalama, the New York Improv Collective (featuring Ray Vega, Rob Derke, Ted Rosenthal, Carlo DeRosa, and Quincy Davis), the Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble, and the Central Connecticut University Jazz Ensemble, 8:00
The Cosmopolitan Club
122 East 66th St.
Thursday, April 24 Art critic Jerry Saltz, "Overplayed, Just Getting Started, or Out of Gas: An Art Critic Looks at Where Art Is, What the Market Is Doing to It, and How Art Is and Is Not Fighting Back," sponsored by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 6:00
122 East 83rd St.
Tickets: $25 (business attire required)
RSVP by April 23: 212-465-3184, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 24 Lecture with Frances Carlisle, Esq., with a cocktail reception, sponsored by the Metropolitan Dog Club, 6:30
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
899 Tenth Ave. between 58th & 59th Sts.
Thursday, April 24
Saturday, April 26 Rebecca Kelly Balley presents three premieres: ADIRONDAK ELEMENTAL: AIR, EARTH, WATERS; LONG TIME PASSING; and WRITING IN WATER, as well as 1989s TEAR OF THE CLOUDS, 8:00
155 Mercer St. between Houston & Prince Sts.
Thursday, April 24
Sunday, April 27 Tony nominee and former ABT dancer John Selya makes his choreographic debut with the Joyce commission LA VOIX, based on Jean Cocteaus play LA VOIX HUMANE, featuring collaborator Karine Plantadit and dancer Rika Okamoto, 8:00
253 West 125th St. between Adam Clayton Powell & Frederick Douglass Blvds.
Friday, April 25
Saturday, April 26 Somi & Chanda Rules "Listening to Roots and Voicing Branches, 7:30
Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
Saturday, April 26 Sixteen New York-based female choreographers will present pieces featuring a multitude of styles in a four-hour marathon, including Camille A. Brown, Molissa Fenley (who will present "Lava Field" at 9:00), and Kate Mehan & Lynn Peterson / SYREN Modern Dance, 7:00
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 Seventh Ave. in Brooklyn
Saturday, April 26 The Steve Wilson Quartet, featuring Steve Wilson on sax, Adam Cruz on drums, Bruce Barth on piano, and Corcoran Holt on bass, 8:00
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Sixth Ave. at 50th St.
Saturday, April 25
Sunday, April 26 Come watch the Jets, Giants, and rest of the NFL put their future on the line as they wheel and deal to make their choices at the annual NFL draft
Union Square Park South Plaza
Sunday, April 27 Third annual event cohosted by the National Gardening Association, featuring gardening and cooking demonstrations, food tastings, tree plantings, container gardening, a kids performance tent, family activities, Horse of Course mounted police, prizes, and more, 10:00 am 5:00 pm
Socrates Sculpture Park
Broadway at Vernon Blvd.
Sunday, April 27 The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park team up for a special kite-flying workshop reusing plastic bags (feel free to bring your own plastic bags), for children of all ages, 11:00 am 2:00 pm
New-York Historical Society
2 West 77th St. at Central Park West
Sunday, April 27 Roach Teams: Stan & Ollie, Anita & Marion, featuring FROM SOUP TO NUTS (1928), THEIR PURPLE MOMENT (1928), FEED EM AND WEEP (1928), and A PAIR OF TIGHTS (1929), featuring live piano accompaniment by Ben Model and an introduction and Q&A with Bruce Lawton and Steve Massa, 2:00
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall
1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.
Sunday, April 27 Comedian Richard Lewis sits down with Keith Olbermann to discuss his life and career, including Lewiss recent bout with drug and alcohol abuse, 7:30
547 West 27th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., fourth floor
Tuesday, April 29 Michal Chelbin, STRANGELY FAMILIAR: ACROBATS, ATHLETES, AND OTHER TRAVELING TROUPE, followed by a book-release reception, 6:30
Wednesday, April 30 Edgar Martins, TOPOLOGIES (Aperture, May 2008), 6:30
The New School, John Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Wednesday, April 30 Paul Chan, MUSICAL, 6:30
180 Seventh Ave. between First & Second Sts., Park Slope
Wednesday, April 30 A Down-to-Earth Evening of Lecture and Discussion, featuring Alex and Andy Postman on "Healthy Child / Health World: Cleaning Your Home Greenly," Claudia Joseph on "Square-Inch Organic Gardening: Gorgeous Yields in Small Spaces," and Katie Mosher-Smith and Helen Forgione on "We All Live Downstream," 7:00