twi-ny, this week in new york

Outdoor Exhibit of the Week


1. Koons, Courbet, Poussin, Johns, Friedlander, and Donovan at the Met

2. Blossoming cherries at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

3. Lee Chang-dong at the Asia Society, Jean-Luc Godard at Film Forum

4. World Nomads, John Dubrow, Ben Aronson, and Joe Brainard in Midtown

5. Looking back at 1968 at Lincoln Center

6. Celebrating the festive Upper West Side

7. Riff’s Rants & Raves: twi-ny at tribeca


9. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Theater, including THE WALWORTH FARCE at St. Ann’s, ENDGAME at BAM, the Wiyos at Abrons and Drom, El-P, Dizzee Rascal, and Busdriver at Webster Hall, and the Roots at Radio City

9. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including Clive Barker at Sloan Fine Art, Pangea Day in Madison Square Park, and THE EDUCATION OF HOPEY GLASS

10. and twi-ny’s weekly recommended events, including book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, workshops, and other special events

Volume 7, Number 48
April 30 — May 14, 2008/b>

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

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

back issues

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

advertise with twi-ny!

advertise with twi-ny!



Twi-ny, This Week in New York

Jeff Koons, "Balloon Dog (Yellow)," high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 1994—2000


Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

Through October 26 (closed Monday)

Suggested admission: $20




Jeff Koons has been one of the most controversial figures in contemporary art for the past three decades. He has been criticized for lacking imagination, stealing images, being a self-promoting huckster, and being little more than Andy Warhol / Claes Oldenburg lite. Yet he must be doing something right, as his "Hanging Heart" sculpture sold for $23.6 million at Sotheby’s in November, while his "Diamond (Blue)" went for $11.8 million, both from his Celebration series. Koons now joins an illustrious group of artists whose work has been displayed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including Sol LeWitt, Joel Shapiro, Frank Stella, Cai Cuo-Qiang, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Goldwsorthy, and, appropriately enough, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Koons, whose giant Chia-"Puppy" stood tall in Rockefeller Center in 2000 and who lined up life-size blow-up Incredible Hulk dolls at Lever House in 2006, has chosen to install three more Celebration sculptures, overlooking Central Park in the Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The centerpiece is the wonderful "Balloon Dog (Yellow)," a ten-foot-high, twelve-foot-long stainless-steel version of that classic party favor, a dog made out of twisted balloons. The other two sculptures are not nearly as impressive: "Coloring Book" is based on an image of Piglet from a Winnie-the-Pooh coloring book, with Koons painting well outside the lines, creating an incomprehensible abstract mess, and "Sacred Heart (Red/Gold)" is essentially an enormous wrapped Valentine’s Day candy that Koons has decided also comments on consumer culture, childhood, and the sacred heart of Jesus. Um, no? However, the three large-scale sculptures work well in relationship to one another and the surrounding environs; in each, the other two sculptures are visible in reflection, and visitors can also see themselves repeated over and over again, along with the trees and the New York City skyline. Unfortunately, the Met takes a little air out of "Balloon Dog (Yellow)" and the other two pieces by not allowing any photography, detracting from the overall enjoyment of the installation.

Sunday, May 18 Sunday at the Met: "Jeff Koons on the Roof," lecture by Jeff Koons, free tickets available at the ticket kiosk in the lobby in front of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium starting at 10:00 am the day of the event, lecture in the auditorium at 3:00

Tuesday, May 20


Thursday, May 22 ICONOCLASTS: TOM FORD + JEFF KOONS (Lenard Dorfman, 2005), Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education, 2:00

Courtesy Conseil Investissement Art

Gustave Courbet, "The Desperate Man," oil on canvas, 1844—45


Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Tisch Galleries

Through May 18 (closed Monday)


Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was the bad boy of the mid-nineteenth-century Parisian art world. A masterful painter, he was also a rebel who never met a rule he wouldn’t challenge or break. "When I am no longer controversial I will no longer be important," he wrote in an 1852 letter to his parents. The Met has brought together more than 130 of Courbet’s oil paintings and works on paper, a revelatory look at an artist who invited scandal, especially as he brought realism into genres previously relegated to depicting historical and mythological figures. (In fact, rejected by the 1855 Salon, he created his own one-man show, the Pavilion of Realism, within view of the Salon.) In "Young Ladies of the Village," Courbet had the gall to depict women who were not considered very attractive or even young, with cattle clearly out of scale. The privately commissioned "Sleep" is a gorgeous, erotic work in which two nude women sleep in bed, their bodies sexually intertwined. In "The Meeting, or Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet," Courbet creates an imaginary meeting between him and his patron, Alfred Bruyas, but the artist was criticized for focusing too much on himself in the work. And he was well ahead of his time with the deftly titled "The Origin of the World," a daring close-up of a woman’s nether regions. In addition to marvelous landscapes, Courbet, who was a member of the Paris Commune of 1871, was shortly thereafter imprisoned, and then spent his last few years in exile in Switzerland, also created remarkable self-portraits throughout his life. The most memorable — and one of the most compelling ever produced — is "The Desperate Man," making its U.S. debut in this retrospective. Courbet paints himself staring wild-eyed at the viewer, seemingly pulling his hair out in his frustration with the art world. (We tried so hard not to mention how much the self-portrait looks like cinema rebel and heartthrob Johnny Depp, but in the end we just couldn’t stop ourselves…)

Sunday, May 11 Sunday at the Met — Clothes Make the (Wo)man: The Significance of Dress in the Paintings of Gustave Courbet, with Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 2:00

Sunday, May 11 Sunday at the Met — Questioning Realism: Gustave Courbet and Winslow Homer, with Laurence des Cars, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 2:45

Sunday, May 11 Sunday at the Met — Courbet Now, with Linda Nochlin, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 3:30

Tuesday, May 13 GUSTAVE COURBET: THE PLACE OF DEATH (Alain Jaubert, 1996), Art Study Room, Uris Center for Education, free with museum admission, 2:00

Thursday, May 15 GUSTAVE COURBET: THE PLACE OF DEATH (Alain Jaubert, 1996), Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education, free with museum admission, 2:00

National Museums, Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery.

Nicolas Poussin, "Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion," oil on canvas


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Special Exhibitions Gallery, second floor

Through May 11


"Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions," comprising approximately forty paintings and forty drawings, is a poetic journey through the gorgeous world created on canvas by the justly celebrated and highly influential French painter Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). Poussin did more than just depict scenes from mythology, classical literature, and, in his later years, the Bible; he created a whole new realm of imagination and fantasy. The figures in his works are most often in the foreground of a vast, lush landscape, the tale they are telling only part of the story. In such dramatic canvases as "Landscape with the Ashes of Phocion," "Landscape with Saint Jerome," and the mysterious "Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake," Poussin fills the scene with breathtaking detail, every character as important as every darkening cloud, far-off temple, and shadow of a tree in a lake. Interestingly, Poussin was not a particularly successful draftsman, as a room of drawings reveals, but he was a master at putting oil paint to canvas. The last room of the exhibit is a marvel; just take a seat in the middle and very slowly glance around; you’ll come to think you’re in another time and place. Be sure to pick up the audio guide ($7), which features laudatory analysis by curator Keith Christiansen and resonant readings by outgoing Met director Philippe de Montebello.

© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, SF

Lee Friedlander, "Cherokee Park, Louisville, Kentucky," gelatin silver print, 1994



While the Courbet and Poussin shows might be the blockbusters, there are of course many more exhibits that are worth squeezing in while you make your way through the massive Metropolitan. Run if you must to catch "Jasper Johns: Gray," on view through May 4 in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, collecting more than 120 works that concentrate on Johns’s use of the color gray, including versions of his familiar maps, targets, numbers, and studio scenes. Through May 11 in the Howard Gilman Gallery, contemporary photographer Lee Friedlander leads viewers on "A Ramble in Olmsted Parks," featuring black-and-white photos of unusual landscapes with trees in such Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks as Rockwood in Tarrytown, Cherokee Park and Shawnee Park in Louisville, Lake Park in Milwaukee, World’s End in Massachusetts, the Bayard Cutting Abortetum on Long Island, and New York City’s own Central Park and Morningside Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. For "Tara Donovan at the Met," American artist Tara Donovan lined the walls of the Gioconda and Joseph King Gallery with thousands of tiny silver Mylar loops, giving the walls a fascinating texture evoking water bubbles, topographical maps, and other formations (through June 29). And opening May 7 is a very different kind of show for the Met, "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy," on display through September 1 in the Special Exhibition Galleries.

Thursday, May 1 The Sound of Broadway: GUYS AND DOLLS Meets KISMET, with June LeBell, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, $27, 2:30

Friday, May 2 Richie Havens, with Walter Parks on guitar and Stephanie Winters on cello, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, $45, 7:00

Saturday, May 3 Itzhak Perlman Plays Chamber Music: Works by Bach, Mozart, and Schumann, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, $60, 8:00

Friday, May 9


Sunday, May 11 Sprout Film Festival, featuring shorts, feature films, and documentaries related to the field of developmental disabilities, Uris Center for Education, individual screenings $8, weekend pass $45

Saturday, May 10 SUPERMAN II (Richard Lester, 1980), Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 6:00

Saturday, May 17 BATMAN RETURNS (Tim Burton, 1992), Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 6:00

back to top

Outdoor Celebration of the Week


The cherry blossoms are in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Brooklyn Botanic Garden

900 Washington Ave.

Through May 11

Admission: $8



One of the most beautiful annual events in New York City is the cherry blossom celebration at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. If you hit the timing just right, you’ll be blown away by the gorgeous trees in full bloom. And the weekend of May 3-4 marks the Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival, featuring live music and dance, film screenings, and tea ceremonies throughout the gardens. In addition to the below events, there will be Origami Crane Confections in Magnolia Plaza; workshops in doll making, woodblock printing, and Ikebana flower arranging; a Sakura Tattoo Parlor; book signings, green-tea demonstrations, a bonsai display, garden tours, Japanese food and drink, and much more.

Saturday, May 3 Taiko Drumming: Soh Daiko, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 12 noon

Saturday, May 3 Nihon Buyo Classical & Ryukyu Buyo: Okinawan Dance, Sachiyo Ito & Company with the Sonny Ochiai Quartet, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 1:15

Saturday, May 3 DJ Saiko Mikan, Osborne Garden, 1:30 — 3:30

Saturday, May 3 Mask-Battles for the Truth: A Samurai Drama, with Samurai Sword Soul, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 2:15

Saturday, May 3 Hanagasa Odori (Flower Hat Dance) Procession, Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, Lily Pool Terrace, 2:30

Saturday, May 3 Love etc., J-Pop Ballads, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 3:15

Saturday, May 3 Butoh Dance, Dean Street FOO Dance, Meadow, 3:30

Saturday, May 3 Koto and Shakuhachi Flute Concert, Kyo-Shin-An Dojo with Yoko Reikno Kimura, Alfred T. White Memorial Amphitheater, 3:30

Saturday, May 3 DJ Hayden Honey, spinning Shibuya-kei, Osborne Garden 3:30—5:30

Saturday, May 3 Imperial Court Music Concert, the Tenri Gagaku Society of New York, Auditorium, 4:00

Saturday, May 3 ZAN, J-Pop from Tokyo, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 4:00

Spinnin Ronin Martial Arts Dance Theater will spin at festival

Saturday, May 3 The Legend of Ninja Kotaro, Ninja Cosplay Spectacle, Spinnin Ronin Martial Arts Dance Theater, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 5:15

Sunday, May 4 Kyoto Kimono Fashion Show, Sakura Productions, Auditorium, 10:00

Sunday, May 4 Documentary Film Screening: HANNARI: GEISHA MODERN (Miyuki Sohara 2007), followed by a Q&A, Auditorium, 10:30

Sunday, May 4 Taiko Drumming, Taiko Masala, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 12 noon

Sunday, May 4 Children's Taiko Drumming Recital, Genki Daiko Team, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 12:45

Sunday, May 4 1:15—2:00 Nihon Buyo Classical & Ryukyu Buyo

Okinawan Dance, Sachiyo Ito & Company with the Sonny Ochiai Quartet, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 1:15

Sunday, May 4 Traditional Tea Ceremony, Urasenke Chanoyu Center, Alfred T. White Memorial Amphitheater, 1:30

Sunday, May 4 DJ Jaiko Suzuki spinning ’70s and ’80s Japanese pop & rock, Osborne Garden 1:30—3:30

Sunday, May 4 Meet the Artist — Cherry Blossom Visions: David Wander, Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery, 2:00 & 3:00

Sunday, May 4 Koto & Shamisen Concert, Masayo Ishigure & the Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 2:15

Sunday, May 4 Minbu Folk Dance, Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 3:30

Sunday, May 4 Butoh Dance, Dean Street FOO Dance, Meadow, 3:30

Sunday, May 4 Koto and Shakuhachi Flute Concert, Kyo-Shin-An Dojo with Yoko Reikno Kimura, Alfred T. White Memorial Amphitheater, 3:30

Sunday, May 4 DJ 2Thirteen spinning anime-themed J-pop & J-rock, Osborne Garden 3:30—5:30

Sunday, May 4 Mask-Battles for the Truth: A Samurai Drama, Samurai Sword Soul, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 4:15

Sunday, May 4 Gaijin a Go-Go, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 5:15

In the Neighborhood


Jikokkun sulks in front of Tongari-kun at Brooklyn Museum


Brooklyn Museum of Art

200 Eastern Parkway

Admission: free after 5:00 pm (some events require free tickets available that night)



After spending Saturday outside at the beautiful Brooklyn Botanical Garden enjoying the blossoming of the cherry trees, head next door to check out some more Japanese art and culture at the monthly free First Saturdays program at the Brooklyn Museum. In addition to the below events, you’ll have access to "© Murakami" and "Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900." Check out our April 16 issue for our take on those exhibits.

Saturday, May 3 Music: the Han-nya Teikoku Trio and Sizzle Ohtaka, Hall of the Americas, 5:00 — 7:00

Saturday, May 3 Performance/Talk: ON Megumi Akiyoshi, "vending machine," performance piece, 6:00

Saturday, May 3 Film: MILLENNIUM ACTRESS (Satoshi Kon, 2001), Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, free tickets required, 6:30

Saturday, May 3 Hands-On Art: calligraphy, Education Division, free tickets required, 6:30-8:30

Saturday, May 3 Curator Talk: Joan Cummins, "Utagawa: Master of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900," free tickets required, 7:00

Saturday, May 3 Young Voices Talk: student guides lead "Looking at Art" tour, 7:30

Saturday, May 3 Young Voices Talk: student guides lead "Utagawa: Master of the Japanese Print, 1770-1900," 8:00

Saturday, May 3 Film: UTAMARO AND HIS FIVE WOMEN (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1947), Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, free tickets required, 8:30

Saturday, May 3 Music: pianist Toru Dodo, Hall of the Americas, 9:00 — 11:00

Saturday, May 3 Dance Party: DJ Twix, 9:00 — 11:00

In the Thematic Neighborhood


Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery

Through May 24

Closed Sunday & Monday

Admission: free



Often called the Warhol of Japan, Takashi Murakami integrates postwar pop culture into his work, not only commenting on consumerism but becoming a brand himself. Michelle Rosenfeld has brought the two artists together for this dual exhibition, "Andy Warhol: Soup Boxes from the 1980’s" and "Takashi Murakami: Paintings 1998-2003," featuring Warhol’s co-opting of the familiar Campbell’s soup logo and Murakami’s design for Louis Vuitton, as well as paintings of some of his other stable of fantasy characters.

back to top

Asian Film Festival of the Week


Lee Chang-dong returns to NYC for retrospective


Asia Society and Museum

725 Park Ave. at 70th St.

May 5-12

Tickets: $10



Lee Chang-dong studied theater before becoming a teacher, novelist, screenwriter, and, ultimately, director, as well as South Korea’s minister of culture. Now fifty-four, he has written and directed a mere four films and written three other screenplays in his fourteen years in the business. He uses his diverse background to great effect in his films, creating complicated characters immersed in a changing Korean society. All four of his directorial efforts have earned prizes and awards at prestigious festivals around the world, including at Venice, Karlovy Vary, Vancouver, and Rotterdam. The Asia Society will be hosting screenings of those four works over eight days, beginning with 2002’s OASIS and 2007’s SECRET SUNSHINE, both of which will be followed by a discussion with Lee. Moon So-ri, one of the stars of OASIS and PEPPERMINT CANDY, will also be on hand for the OASIS postscreening Q&A.

Monday, May 5 OASIS (Lee Chang-dong, 2002), followed by a discussion with Lee Chang-dong and Moon So-ri, 7:00

Wednesday, May 7 SECRET SUNSHINE (Lee Chang-dong, 2007), followed by a Q&A, 7:00

Jeon Do-yeon is remarkable battling immeasurable grief in SECRET SUNSHINE

SECRET SUNSHINE (MIRYANG) (Lee Chang-dong, 2007)


Lee Chang-dong’s fourth film — and his first since 2002’s OH AH SHISOO (OASIS) — is a harrowing examination of immeasurable grief. After losing her husband, Lee Shin-ae (Jeon Do-yeon) decides to move with her young son, Jun (Seon Jeong-yeob), to Miryang, her late husband’s hometown. Miryang, which means "secret sunshine," is a typical South Korean small town, where everyone knows everybody. Restarting her life, Shin-ae gets help from Kim Jong-chan (Song Kang-ho), a local mechanic who takes an immediate liking to her. But Shin-ae is more concerned with settling down with her son and giving piano lessons. When a horrific tragedy strikes, she begins to unravel, refusing help from anyone until she turns to religion, but even that does not save her from her ever-darkening sadness. Jeon gives a remarkable, devastating performance, holding nothing back as she fights for her sanity. Song, best known for his starring role in THE HOST, is charming as Jong-chan, a friendly man who is a little too simple to understand the depth of what is happening to Shin-ae. Don’t let the nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time scare you away; SECRET SUNSHINE is an extraordinary film that does not feel nearly that long.

Thursday, May 8 PEPPERMINT CANDY (Lee Chang-dong, 2000), 7:00

Monday May 12 GREEN FISH (Lee Chang-dong, 1997), 7:00

GREEN FISH (Lee Chang-dong, 1997)

Lee Chang-dong’s debut film is a family drama wrapped up in a gangster picture. Having completed his military term of service, Makdong (Han Suk-kyu) is taking the train back home when he saves a young woman, Mi-ae (Shim Hye-jin), from three men, who proceed to beat him up. After visiting with his family in their modest rural abode, Makdong heads to the big city, Seoul, where he finds Mi-ae, who turns out to be the girlfriend of a small-time mob boss, Bae Tae-kon (Moon Sung-keun), who is strangely terrified of another mob boss, Kim Yang-gil (Myung Kae-nam), who has just gotten out of prison and wants to take over. As Makdong, who has quite a violent streak, gains Bae’s trust and rises in the organization, he is faced with a series of choices that put his life at risk. There’s not a whole lot that’s new in GREEN FISH — the gang Makdong has fallen in with is like a second family, with everyone referring to each other as "brother"; Mi-ae is the standard abused moll / hooker who falls for the protagonist; and Makdong’s main rival in the gang, Pan-su (THE HOST’s Song Kang-ho), is a big, doofy dude who doubles as comic relief — yet Makdong is a fascinating character, his motives hard to figure out, his actions often surprising and unexpected. And although the film is beautifully shot by cinematographer Yoo Young-kil, you’ll be distracted by the poorly translated subtitles, which are about the worst we’ve ever seen.

French Film Festival of the Week


Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are electrifying in Godard’s BREATHLESS


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

May 2 — June 5



No other director in the history of cinema had a ten-year period quite like revolutionary New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard had between 1959 and 1969. Seminal film after seminal film challenged the past, present, and future of celluloid, seventeen of which comprise this exhilarating five-week series at Film Forum. (Although cases can be made for such master filmmakers as F. W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Akira Kurosawa, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, and Yasujiro Ozu, among others, only George Cukor and John Ford came close to Godard’s, dare we say, breathless output and consistent high quality.) Taking on war, social upheaval, sex, art, marriage, crime, intellectualism, politics, music, traffic, and the cinema itself (both the idea and the physical constructs), Godard displayed an eclectic, often infuriating, and always fascinating world view, and these 1960s films get right to the heart of his genius.

Friday, May 2


Monday, May 5 BREATHLESS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1959), 8:30 show on May 2 introduced by Agnés B.

Monday, May 5 LE PETIT SOLDAT (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960) and CHARLOTTE ET SON JULES (Jean-Luc Godard, 1958), 7:30, 9:40

Tuesday, May 6


Wednesday, May 7 TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966), 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30

Thursday, May 8


Saturday, May 10 PIERROT LE FOU (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965), 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40

Anna Karina and Jean-Claude Brialy kick up their heels in A WOMAN IS A WOMAN

Sunday, May 11


Tuesday, May 13 A WOMAN IS A WOMAN (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)

Tuesday, May 13 LES CARABINIERS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963) and UNE HISTOIRE D’EAU (Jean-Luc Godard, 1958), 8:00, 10:05

Wednesday, May 14


Friday, May 16 LA CHINOISE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967), 7:30 show on May 14 introduced by Richard Brody, author of EVERYTHING IS CINEMA: THE WORKING LIFE OF JEAN-LUC GODARD

Thursday, May 15 UN FILM COMME LES AUTRES (Jean-Luc Godard, 1968), 9:30

Saturday, May 17


Monday, May 19 WEEKEND (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)

Monday, May 19 A MARRIED WOMAN (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964), 7:30, 9:40

Tuesday, May 20 LE GAI SAVOIR (Jean-Luc Godard, 1969), 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30

Wednesday, May 21 ALPHAVILLE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) and CHARLOTTE ET VÉRONIQUE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1958), 1:00, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45, 10:00

Thursday, May 22 MADE IN U.S.A. (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966), 7:30, 9:30

Thursday, May 22


Saturday, May 24 BAND OF OUTSIDERS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)

BANDE A PART (BAND OF OUTSIDERS) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)

When a pair of disaffected Parisians, Arthur (Claude Brasseur) and Franz (Sami Frey), meet an adorable young woman, Odile (Anna Karina), in English class, they decide to team up and steal a ton of money from a man living in Odile’s aunt’s house. As they meander through the streets of cinematographer Raoul Coutard’s black-and-white Paris, they talk about English and wealth, dance in a cafe while director Jean-Luc Godard breaks in with voice-over narration about their character, run through the Louvre in record time, and pause for a near-moment of pure silence. Godard throws in plenty of commentary on politics, the cinema, and the bourgeoisie in the midst of some genuinely funny scenes. BAND OF OUTSIDERS is no ordinary heist movie; based on Dolores Hitchens’s novel FOOL’S GOLD, it is the story of three offbeat individuals who just happen to decide to attempt a robbery while living their strange existence, as if they were outside from the rest of the world. The trio of ne’er-do-wells might remind Jim Jarmusch fans of the main threesome from STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984), except Godard’s characters are more aggressively persistent.

Sunday, May 25


Tuesday, May 27 MASCULINE FEMININE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966), 3:15 show on May 25 introduced by Richard Brody, author of EVERYTHING IS CINEMA: THE WORKING LIFE OF JEAN-LUC GODARD

Tuesday, May 27 SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (Jean-Luc Godard, 1968), 7:35, 9:40

Wednesday, May 28


Thursday, May 29 CONTEMPT (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)

Friday, May 30


Thursday, June 5 VIVRE SA VIE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962), 1:00, 2:45, 4:30, 6:15, 8:00, 9:45

back to top

International Multimedia Festival of the Week

Taye Diggs stars in Zola Maseko’s 2004 film, DRUM


French Institute Alliance Française

Florence Gould Hall (FGH)

Tinker Auditorium (TA)

Le Skyroom (LS)

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

May 1-27

Tickets: $12-$25



The first in what promises to be an annual series, World Nomads, presented by the French Institute Alliance Française, is a month-long celebration of global culture, with the inaugural fest focusing on modern-day Africa. Panel discussions, films, dance programs, and concerts will bring the continent to Midtown in a multimedia journey. German-born, Paris-trained, and now New York-based singer Ayo, whose father is Nigerian and mother Romani, will appropriately get things going with songs from her debut album, JOYFUL, while a tribute to recently deceased cinema giant Ousmane Sembène, featuring a screening of the Senegalese director’s first film, 1963’s BOROM SARRET, with live musical accompaniment by DJ Spooky, closes the festival on May 27. We’re particularly looking forward to what should be a fascinating collaboration between NYC choreographer Reggie Wilson and Congolese choreographer Andréya Ouamba on May 9-10, part of 651Arts’ Mississippi Delta Heritage Project.

Thursday, May 1 Music: Ayo, FGH, $25, 8:00

Saturday, May 3 Talks: African Wars, with Nuruddin Farah, Abdourahman Waberi, and Chenjerai Hove in conversation with Violaine Huisman, TA, $12, 3:00

Saturday, May 3 Talks: Writing Out Loud, LS, with Pam Muñoz Ryan and Fatou Diome, $12, 5:00

Tuesday, May 6 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: BUUD YAM (Gaston J-M Kaboré, 1997), FGH, $10, 12:30 & 7:00

Tuesday, May 6 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: SARROUNIA (Med Hondo, 1986), FGH, $10, 4:00 & 9:00

Reggie Wilson & Andréya Ouamba collaborate at FIAF

Friday May 9


Saturday, May 10 Dance: Reggie Wilson & Andréya Ouamba present "Kwenda Vutuka (Coming and Going)," featuring Wilson’s "Untitled" and "Introduction," Ouamba’s "Improvisé II, and the collaborative work in progress "The Good Dance," FGH, $25, 8:00

Tuesday, May 13 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: MUNA MOTO (Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa, 1974), FGH, $10, 12:30 & 7:00

Tuesday, May 13 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: ALI ZAOUA (Nabil Ayouch, 2004), FGH, $10, 4:00 & 9:00

Wednesday, May 14 Talks: Claude Grunitzky on Transculturalism, LS, $12, 7:00

Tuesday, May 20 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: BAARA (Souleymane Cissé, 1978), FGH, $10, 12:30 & 7:00

Tuesday, May 20 CinémaTuesdays — African Cinema: DRUM (Zola Maseko, 2004), FGH, $10, 4:00 & 9:00

Tuesday, May 27 African Cinema: Homage to Ousmane Sembène, featuring DJ Spooky, FGH, $15, 7:00

Also at FIAF

© Peter Knapp

Peter Knapp, "La main de Gilberte," detail


FIAF Gallery

22 East 60th St.

May 8 - June 4 (closed Monday)

Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am — 6:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am — 5:00 pm


Although not part of the World Nomads program, this free exhibit features the work of Swiss-born fashion photographer Peter Knapp, the artistic director of Elle magazine from 1960 to 1964 and 1974 to 1978. Knapp, who studied as a painter, took a unique approach to photographing figures from the world of modeling, experimenting in unusual and intriguing ways.

In the Neighborhood

© John Dubrow

John Dubrow, "Self-Portrait," oil on linen, 2007


Lori Bookstein Fine Art

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

Through May 24

Closed Sunday & Monday

Admission: free




Standing in front of John Dubrow’s 2007 self-portrait, we were taken in by the energy emanating from his stare as he stands in his studio, a brush in one hand, a cloth in the other, as if we had suddenly and unexpectedly walked in on him in a private moment. While not photo-realistic, the figure on the canvas seemed to breathe right in front of us, coming to life; then, as our absorption continued, a man in the gallery walked past us one way, then the other, pausing as we did a double take: It was Dubrow himself, as if he had just emerged from his studio into the Lori Bookstein Fine Art gallery. He was there preparing for a poetry reading by a friend of his, but this experience heightened our attraction to his work. In each piece — including abstract city landscapes and intimate portraits — Dubrow displays his exceptional brushstroke and command of the canvas, hinting at untold stories looming just outside the frame, almost cinematic in conception. However, Dubrow paints directly on the canvas, not working off of photographs. Among his subjects in the current exhibit are French historian Marc Fumaroli, who wrote the catalog essay for Dubrow’s first show at Lori Bookstein, in 2005, and Bookstein herself, who is captured sitting at the far end of a sofa, turned slightly to face the viewer, her hands clasped, her left leg forward. Even the anonymous, mostly faceless figures on benches in "Composition (Midday)" and the barely-there people on the grass in "Central Park II" invite deep reflection. This collection of paintings, dating from 2006 to 2008, reveal Dubrow to be one of our most accomplished contemporary painters.

© Ben Aronson

Ben Aronson, "Urban Reflections," oil on panel, 2008


Tibor de Nagy Gallery

724 Fifth Ave. between 56th & 57th Sts.

Through May 17

Admission: free



Ben Aronson’s "Urban Reflections" exhibit in the main room at Tibor de Nagy is an excellent companion show to John Dubrow’s at Lori Bookstein. Both artists were born in 1958 in Massachusetts, currently live and work in New York City, and employ outstanding painterly discipline. But whereas Dubrow’s canvases are more abstract, Aronson’s, drawn from photographs, are more realistic in nature, though not purely representational. Primarily comprising oil-on-panel cityscapes of Manhattan and Paris, "Urban Currents" features exquisite brushwork and a wonderful sense of lighting as Aronson captures cars and people in motion. In "Conference," three faceless men in white shirts and dark ties talk while crossing an intersection, sunlight gleaming in the background, the horizontal crosswalk lines peeking out from below. Both "Urban Reflections" and "57th and 5th" are street scenes right near the gallery itself, as if placing you inside and outside at the same time. A trio of Aronson’s Nighthawks series are interiors bathed in a deep red. Stand in the middle of the gallery and you’ll feel as if you’re at a crosswalk yourself, the swirl of city life all around you.

© Joe Brainard

Joe Brainard, "If Nancy Was an Ashtray," mixed media, 1972

In the small back room of Tibor de Nagy, more than two dozen of Joe Brainard’s pop-art renderings of Ernie Bushmiller’s classic cartoon character, Nancy, line the walls, celebrating the publication of THE NANCY BOOK (Siglio, April 2008, $39.50). Brainard (1942-94) took Nancy out of her safe, natural world, which she inhabits with the likes of Sluggo, Rollo, and Fritzi Ritz, and set her in a very different universe, commenting on iconography, mass media, pop culture, and art itself. (Nancy was previously co-opted by Andy Warhol in 1961.) The result is such hysterical pieces as "If Nancy Made Blue Movies," "If Nancy Was André Breton at Eighteen Months," "If Nancy Was a Painting by de Kooning," and "If Nancy Was a Boy," complete with sex, nudity, cigarettes, and other elements that would never have been allowed in an old-fashioned, conventional daily newspaper cartoon. The exhibit also includes "Nancy Diptych," a colorful painting that depicts a happy, straightforward Nancy, leaning on a table, smiling across at her alter ego, a twisted reverse image with a fried egg thrown against the wall and graffiti behind her.

back to top

Political Film Festival of the Week

Koch Lorber Films

Jean-Luc Godard’s LA CHINOISE gets philosophical


Walter Reade Theater

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

April 29 — May 14



Nineteen sixty-eight was one of the most critical years of the twentieth century: Prague Spring exploded in Czechoslovakia, ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN debuted on television, the Tet Offensive ambushed American troops in Vietnam, student protests erupted in Paris, both Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated, HAIR opened on Broadway, the Chicago Eight were arrested after protesting outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and Richard M. Nixon was elected president of the United States. For two weeks, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be putting that era in perspective with screenings of works made at that time, as well as movies made later that were influenced by that pivotal period. The series includes documentaries, newsreels, psychedelic stories with hippie soundtracks, antiwar dramas, and banned anarchic cinema, featuring such internationally renowned directors as Emile de Antonio, Philippe Garrel, Michelangelo Antonioni, Sidney Lumet, Chris Marker, and Brian De Palma.

Tuesday, April 29 REGULAR LOVERS / LES AMANTS RÉGULIERS (Philippe Garrel, 2005), 2:00

Wednesday, April 30 MILESTONES (Robert Kramer & John Douglas, 1975), 1:00


Wednesday, April 30 Films from Newsreel, Part One, 1968, 6:45

Thursday, May 1 Films from Newsreel, Part Two, 1968-71, 6:15

Thursday, May 1 MILESTONES (Robert Kramer & John Douglas, 1975), 8:15

Friday, May 2 MAYDAYS / GRANDS SOIRS ET PETITS MATINS (William Klein, 1968-78), 1:00

Friday, May 2 ZABRISKIE POINT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970), 3:15

MGM / The Kobal Collection

Antonioni flick is a product of its time

ZABRISKIE POINT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)

Michelangelo Antonioni’s foray into 1960s American hippie culture is an annoying failure from start to finish (even if it is pretty to look at); although the film runs less that two hours, it feels like forever. Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin star as — well, you won’t really care who they are or what they are doing, although it has something to do with radicalism, activism, and ennui. Sam Shepard had a hand in the screenplay, only the second script he contributed to; fortunately, he’d get better. Look for Harrison Ford in a tiny role, and U2 fans will get a kick out of seeing the location that served as the cover image for THE JOSHUA TREE. The only redeeming aspect of the film is the soundtrack, which features lots of early Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. Zabriskie Point is the lowest point in the Western hemisphere; it’s also one of the lowest points of Antonioni’s eclectic career.

Saturday, May 3 LA CHINOISE (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967), 6:00

Saturday, May 3 REGULAR LOVERS / LES AMANTS RÉGULIERS (Philippe Garrel, 2005), 8:00

Sunday, May 4 KING: A FILMED RECORD . . . MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS (Sidney Lumet & Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1970), with producer Richard Kaplan in person, 1:00

Sunday, May 4 IN THE YEAR OF THE PIG (Emile de Antonio, 1969), 4:45

Sunday, May 4 ZABRISKIE POINT (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970), 6:50

Sunday, May 4 BLOW FOR BLOW / COUP POUR COUP (Marin Karmitz, 1971), 9:00

Monday, May 5 BLOW FOR BLOW / COUP POUR COUP (Marin Karmitz, 1971), 2:00

Monday, May 5 LES LIP — L’IMAGINATION AU POUVOIR (Christian Rouaud, 2007), 4:00

Monday, May 5 REMONSTRANCE / MOTFORESTILLING (Erik Løchen, 1972), introduced by Joachim Trier, 9:10

Tuesday, May 6 THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE /A SÍPOLÓ MACSKAKÖ (Gyula Gazdag, 1971), 2:00

Tuesday, May 6 THE WAR AT HOME (Glenn Silber & Barry Alexander Brown, 1979), introduced by Barry Alexander Brown, 4:00 and 9:00

Wednesday, May 7 ’68 on Film: 1968, 2:00 and 6:30

Wednesday, May 7 REMONSTRANCE / MOTFORESTILLING (Erik Løchen, 1972), introduced by Joachim Trier, 4:30

Wednesday, May 7 THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE /A SÍPOLÓ MACSKAKÖ (Gyula Gazdag, 1971), 9:00



New Yorker Films

Jean-Marie Straub’s THE BRIDEGROOM is a classic of the era

Thursday, May 8 A TIME TO STIR (Paul Cronin, 2008), 8:30

Friday, May 9 KING: A FILMED RECORD . . . MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS (Sidney Lumet & Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1970), with producer Richard Kaplan in person, 1:00

Friday, May 9 MEDIUM COOL (Haskell Wexler, 1969), introduced by Verna Bloom, 4:45

Friday, May 9 WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM /WR: MISTERIJE ORGANIZMA (Dusan Makavejev, 1971), 7:00

Friday, May 9 Reflections from the Avant-Garde: T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (Paul Sharits, 1968), RAT LIFE AND DIET IN NORTH AMERICA (Joyce Weiland, 1968), and QUICK BILLY (Bruce Baillie, 1971), 8:45

Saturday, May 10 DIONYSUS IN ’69 (Brian De Palma & Richard Schechner, 1970), with Richard Schechner in person, 6:00




Sunday, May 11 MAYDAYS / GRANDS SOIRS ET PETITS MATINS (William Klein, 1968-78), 8:00

Monday, May 12 WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM /WR: MISTERIJE ORGANIZMA (Dusan Makavejev, 1971), 2:20


Monday, May 12 MEDIUM COOL (Haskell Wexler, 1969), introduced by Verna Bloom, 6:15

Monday, May 12 JONAH WHO WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000 / JONAS QUI AURA 25 ANS EN L’AN 2000 (Alain Tanner, 1976), 8:30

Tuesday, May 13 JONAH WHO WILL BE 25 IN THE YEAR 2000 / JONAS QUI AURA 25 ANS EN L’AN 2000 (Alain Tanner, 1976), 2:00

Tuesday, May 13 Reflections from the Avant-Garde: T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (Paul Sharits, 1968), RAT LIFE AND DIET IN NORTH AMERICA (Joyce Weiland, 1968), and QUICK BILLY (Bruce Baillie, 1971), 4:15

Tuesday, May 13 LES LIP — L’IMAGINATION AU POUVOIR (Christian Rouaud, 2007), 6:00

Tuesday, May 13 GRIN WITHOUT A CAT / LE FOND DE L’AIR EST ROUGE (Chris Marker, 1978/1993), 8:15

Wednesday, May 14 GRIN WITHOUT A CAT / LE FOND DE L’AIR EST ROUGE (Chris Marker, 1978/1993), 2:00


The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

40 Lincoln Center Plaza

Closed Sunday

Admission: free




Saturday, May 10 An Afternoon with Charles Strouse: lecture-and performance, free, 3:00

Through June 14 Writing to Character: Songwriters & the Tony Awards, Vincent Astor Gallery

Through June 28 New York Story: Jerome Robbins and His World, Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery


Meet under the Jazz at Lincoln Center marquee, Broadway at 60th St.

First & third Sundays through October

Admission: free



Sunday, May 4, 18 Ninety-minute guided walking tour of the Lincoln Square area, wth possible stops at the Time Warner Center, Lincoln Center, the Museum of Biblical Art, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the Juilliard School, Fordham University, and Central Park, 2:00


Borders Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center

Broadway at 60th St.

Admission: free



Saturday, May 3 Garrison Starr, THE GIRL THAT KILLED SEPTEMBER, live performance and CD signing, 2:00

Tuesday, May 6 Jim Nantz, ALWAYS BY MY SIDE, 7:00

Thursday, May 8 Alix Strauss and contributing editors, HAVE I GOT A GUY FOR YOU: WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN MOM FIXES YOU UP, 7:00

Thursday, May 15 Gene Hackman and Daniel Lenihan, ESCAPE FROM ANDERSONVILLE: A NOVEL OF THE CIVIL WAR, 7:00

back to top

Upper West Side Festival of the Week

Community comes together at annual festival


Symphony Space (SS), 2537 Broadway at West 95th St.

The JCC in Manhattan (JCC), 344 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (CC), 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.

Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), Dizzy’s Club, Broadway at 60th St.

New-York Historical Society (NYHS), 170 Central Park West at 77th St.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center (MKH), 129 West 67th St. at Broadway



The Upper West Fest is back for its third year, highlighting the many cultural institutions in the community during what should be two hectic weeks. Below are only some of the myriad events being held at such locations as Symphony Space, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the New-York Historical Society, the JCC in Manhattan, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Central Park, and other venues.

Saturday, May 3


Sunday, May 18 "Life on the Street" art exhibit, West Side Arts Coalition, Broadway Mall Community Center, 96th St. & Broadway, free

Sunday, May 4 Summer on the Hudson @ Riverside Park South: Irish Arts Center New York City Irish Dance Festival, free, 1:00 — 8:00

Sunday, May 4 Kids Create — Russell Moore, Child Inventor, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave., free with museum admission, 3:00 & 4:00

Sunday, May 4 Bucky Pizzarelli: A Benefit Concert with and for the Bergen Youth Orchestra’s Symphony, SS, $25-$55, 4:00

Sunday, May 4 BELLE DE JOUR (Luis Buñuel, 1967), SS, $11, 4:00

Sunday, May 4 BELLE TOUJOURS (Manoel de Oliveira, 2006), SS, $11, 6:30

BELLE TOUJOURS (Manoel de Oliveira, 2006)

Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira revisits Luis Buñuel’s 1967 classic, BELLE DE JOUR, in this ill-conceived homage/sequel. Forty years ago, Catherine Deneuve starred as Séverine, a married woman who becomes a prostitute at a high-class brothel during the day, but her life changes when her husband’s friend, Henri Husson (Michel Piccoli), discovers her intimate, dangerous secret. Buñuel’s film was a sensation, and it still holds up well today, a mix of sadomasochism and tender love. Oliveira picks up the story thirty-eight years later, as Husson (Piccoli reprising his original role) spots Séverine (now played by Bulle Ogier) at a concert and tries to speak with her, but she avoids him, clearly trying to evade her past. Husson, a gentle, elegant, unassuming old man whose hand shakes expectantly every time a bottle of whiskey is nearby, searches the streets of Paris for her, determined not to give up until he finds Séverine again so he can share with her yet another secret. Even at less than seventy minutes, BELLE TOUJOURS, though wonderfully acted by the two stars, is too long, a slight work that wears on the patience, especially of those who haven’t seen BELLE DE JOUR. But even for fans of the masterful original, Oliveira’s BELLE TOUJOURS will be a major disappointment.

Sunday, May 4 Spring Recital Series: Orlay Alonso, CC, free, 2:00

Sunday, May 4 Upper West Fest Kickoff: Broadway Street Fair, with live music and dance, including Arturo O’Farrill of the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Ballet Hispanico School Ensemble, TetraWind, and Darrah Carr Dance, 95th St. & Broadway, free, 1:00 — 8:00

Monday, May 5 Meet the Authors: New York Writers Workshop teachers Richard Goodman, Alix Strauss, Charles Salzberg and Allison Estes, JCC, free, 7:00

Tuesday, May 6 SALACH SHABATI (Ephrayim Kishon, 1964), JCC, $10, 6:00

Tuesday, May 6 HASHOTER AZULAY (AZULAY THE POLICEMAN) (Ephrayim Kishon, 1971), JCC, $10, 8:00

Tuesday, May 6


Sunday, May 11 Joe Lovano Nonet: Streams of Expression, with Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Ralph Lalama, tenor saxophone; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Barry Ries, trumpet; Steve Slagle, alto saxophone; Larry Farrell, trombone; Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone; James Weidman, piano; Cameron Brown, bass; and Lewis Nash, drums, JALC, $20-$35 plus $5-$10 minimum

Wednesday, May 7 Eudora Welty: A Tribute in Stories, with Ann Patchett and others, Symphony Space, $26-$30, 7:30

Wednesday, May 7 MIVTZA YONATAN (OPERATION THUNDERBOLT) (Menachem Golan, 1978), JCC, $10, 7:30

Thursday, May 8 Israel-In-Short 2008: Yom Ha’atzmaut Film Marathon, JCC, $10, 7:30

Thursday, May 8 New Sounds Live: Phillip Bimstein and Nico Muhly, MKH, $30-$35, 3:00

Thursday, May 8


Friday, May 9 American Repertory Ballet presents: Sinatra, Shadows and Stars, SS, $20-$40, 8:00

Junior Ensemble member of Ballet Hispanico dances at last year’s fest

Saturday, May 10 "Mamitas Day" Open House Celebration, with arts & crafts, workshops, creative movement classes, and more, Ballet Hispanico, 167 West 89th St., free, 1:00 — 5:00

Saturday, May 10 KAZABLAN! (Menachem Golan, 1974), JCC, $10, 8:30

Saturday, May 10 May Bird Walks, with Alan Messer leading the group through Central Park’s Ramble, NYHS, $15, 9:00

Sunday, May 11 A Clearing in the Forest: Indigenous Body Painting, with Brazilian artist Alcinda Saphira, the Great Hill, Central Park, enter at 106th St. & Central Park West, 1:00

Sunday, May 11 Spring Recital Series: Brittany Palmer, Soprano, CC, free, 3:00

Sunday, May 11 HAKAYITZ SHEL AVIYA (THE SUMMER OF AVIYA) (Eli Cohen, 1989), JCC, $10, 3:00

Sunday, May 11 CLARA HAKDOSHA (SAINT CLARA (Ari Folman & Uri Sivan, 1996), JCC, $10, 5:00

Monday, May 12 Digital Follies, SS, $25-$30, 6:30 & 8:30

Monday, May 12 UPSTARTS! Special Monday Presentation: Jeremy Pelt Quintet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, featuring Jeremy Pelt, trumpet & flugelhorn; Stacy Dillard, tenor saxophone; Danny Grissett, piano; Dwayne Burno, bass; and Darrell Green, drums, JALC, $20-$35 plus $5-$10 minimum, 7:30 & 9:30

Tuesday, May 13 Tuesday Matinees: Stephen Beus, piano: works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Liszt, MKH, $14, 9:00 am

Tuesday, May 13 The Constitution and the Court in 2008, debate moderated by Benno C. Schmidt Jr., NYHS, $15, 6:30

Tuesday, May 13 Harlem Meer Social Hour — Urucureá Basket Weaving with Amazônia Brazil, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park, 100th St. between Lenox & Fifth Aves., free, 6:30

Tuesday, May 13


Sunday, May 18 Celebrating Ellington: Juilliard Jazz Orchestra Conducted by Gerard Wilson, JALC, $20-$35 plus $5-$10 minimum

Wednesday, May 14 Thalia Book Club: The Autobiographer of a Biographer, with James Atlas (Saul Bellow), Edmund Morris (Theodore Roosevelt), and Stacy Schiff (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), SS, $21-$25, 7:30

back to top

Riff’s Rants & Raves: twi-ny at tribeca


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.

Through May 4

Individual screening tickets: $15 (matinees and late-night screenings $8)



The Tribeca Film Festival heats up in its second week, with more special events, live music, panel discussions, and screenings. This year’s program was slimmed down to 120 feature films, a significant improvement over past years, when there were just too many movies — and too many lousy movies. There are also fewer events in TriBeCa proper, with nothing at the usual headquarters, the Regal Battery Park megaplex. Instead, most of the screenings are taking place in the East Village, with virtually everything below Fourteenth St., so at least it’s still a Lower Manhattan gathering. Also coming up is the popular street fair, sports day, and a wickedly cool concert at Webster Hall featuring one of the best bar bands around, the Hold Steady.

Father and son have relationship problems in BART GOT A ROOM

BART GOT A ROOM (Brian Hecker, 2008)

Wednesday, April 30, BMCC Tribeca PAC, 9:30

Saturday, May 3, AMC Village VII 1, 5:00


Brian Hecker, an American Film Institute MFA grad whose thesis film, FAMILY ATTRACTION, was a big success ten years ago, makes his feature-film writing and directing debut with the mediocre comedy BART GOT A ROOM. Danny Stein (Steven Kaplan) is desperate to get a date for the prom, especially after finding out that the school nerd, Bart (Chad Jamian Williams), not only has a date but also has a hotel room for the night. Saving his longtime best friend, Camille (Alia Shawkat), for his last chance, Danny tries a series of girls, none of whom works out. Meanwhile, as Danny mourns his loneliness and is terrified of going to the prom alone, his divorced parents, Ernie (William H. Macy) and Beth (Cheryl Hines) — both of whom have awesome hairstyles, the best thing about the movie — are trying to get on with their own separate lives, with Beth dating the happy-go-lucky Bob (Jon Polito) while Ernie turns to the Internet for romance. BART GOT A ROOM is filled with lackluster characters, lackluster plot twists, and lackluster jokes — basically, it’s a lackluster film that never really gets going and ends rather ludicrously.

Guy Maddin looks back on his hometown as only he can

MY WINNIPEG (Guy Maddin, 2007)

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 Hudson’s 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 Maddin’s 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. Don’t worry about feeling like you’re "stealing" them by seeing them for free; Maddin put them up there himself.

Fred Lebow’s legacy is examined in RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE (Judd Ehrlich, 2008)

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 Lebow’s 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 painter’s cap and sweatsuit, doing whatever was necessary to get himself and his sport to the next level. The ending is both exhilarating and heartbreaking.

Squires and Shapiro share a strange friendship in THE WACKNESS

THE WACKNESS (Jonathan Levine, 2008)

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.

Chazz Palminteri and Christine Lahti star bring YONKERS to Tribeca

YONKERS JOE (Robert Celestino, 2008)

Friday, May 2, AMC Village VII Theater, 10:30 am

Saturday, May 3, AMC Village VII Theater, 10:30 am

Robert Celestino’s directorial debut is a heartfelt drama bedeviled by rookie mistakes — the boom mic is prominent in at least two scenes, the continuity is subpar (keep an eye on that bread basket), and the dialogue synching is simply awful. Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri stars as Yonkers Joe, a low-level con artist who is a sleight-of-hand master at cards and dice. Among his cohorts are his girlfriend, Janice (Oscar nominee Lahti), and Stanley (Oscar nominee Michael Lerner), an expert at making duplicate dice and decks that mimic the real thing. When Joe’s son, Joe Jr. (Tom Guiry), who has Down Syndrome, turns twenty-one and is forced to leave the institution where he’s been living, Joe is at a loss at what to do. He doesn’t want to take care of Joe Jr. himself — his son has special needs and a violent temper — and Joe can’t afford to put him in an expensive group home. So he plans to pull off a big con in a Vegas casino — one that could destroy his relationship with Janice, ruin Joe Jr.’s future, and land Joe in jail. The film, which was also written by Celestino, is nearly redeemed by a fine performance by Lahti and a good ending, but that’s not quite enough to save it.

Charles Bronson stands tall in classic Western

Special Event Screening: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (Sergio Leone, 1968)

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 Morricone’s epic score and Tonino delli Colli’s never-ending extreme close-ups. (The opening shot of a fly crawling over Elam’s 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 Leone’s 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 film’s fortieth anniversary.

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.

Tickets: $25


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 REED’S BERLIN (Julian Schnabel, 2008), followed by a conversation with Lou Reed and Lisa Robinson, Directors Guild Theater, 7:00

BERLIN (Julian Schnabel, 2008)


The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival came to a close on May 4 with a special star-studded screening of Lou Reed’s BERLIN at the Directors Guild Theater on West 57th St. In December 2006, Reed resurrected his 1973 masterwork, BERLIN, a deeply dark and personal song cycle that was a critical and commercial flop upon its initial release but has grown in stature over the years. (As Reed sings on the album’s closer, “Sad Song”: “Just goes to show how wrong you can be.”) The superbly staged adaptation, directed by Academy Award nominee Julian Schnabel, took place at Brooklyn’s intimate St. Ann’s Warehouse, featuring Rob Wasserman and longtime Reed sideman Fernando Saunders on bass, Tony “Thunder” Smith on drums, Rupert Christie on keyboards, and guitarist extraordinaire Steve Hunter, reunited with Lou for the first time in three decades. The band is joined onstage by backup singers Sharon Jones and Antony, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and a seven-piece orchestra (including cello, viola, flute, trumpet, clarinet, and flugel). Amid dreamlike video montages shot by Schnabel’s daughter, Lola, depicting Emmanuelle Seigner as the main character in BERLIN, as well as experimental imagery by Alejandro Garmendia, Reed tells the impossibly bleak story of Caroline, a young mother whose life crashes and burns in a dangerously divided and debauched Germany. “It was very nice / It was paradise,” Reed sings on the opening title track, but it’s all downhill from there.


Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel talk about BERLIN at Tribeca Film Festival

With Brecht/Weill-like panache, Reed winds through such memorable songs as “Caroline Says (I),” “Men of Good Fortune,” “How Do You Think It Feels,” and “The Kids,” which all sound remarkably relevant today. Using five cameras, Schnabel and cinematographer Ellen Kuras capture Reed’s stunning performance of material he has never played live before, enhanced by Jennifer Tipton’s excellent lighting and Frank Golchert’s outstanding sound design. Although he starts out very seriously, Reed soon loosens up, at times becoming a fan himself, smiling and laughing while trading searing solos with Hunter or watching Antony nail a high note. Reed doesn’t merely re-create the album; he expands on it with improvised sections that add power and emotion. After more than three decades, BERLIN is finally getting its due. Following the screening, Reed and Schnabel participated in a Q&A with journalist Lisa Robinson in which they discussed the project in depth. Reed will be taking the live show to Europe, with no plans for a return U.S. engagement, which is a shame; he said there just is not enough interest in the States. We’d love for him to bring it back to New York, at least, because our LP, bought in the 1970s, is filled with just too many scratches now. But in the meantime, we’re glad to have this wonderful document of one of the most underappreciated albums of the rock era.


Apple Store SoHo

103 Prince St. at Greene St.

April 25 - May 4

Admission: free



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.

Admission: free


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.

Admission: free


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


The Hold Steady headline a special show at Tribeca


Webster Hall

125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.

Tickets: $15



Friday, May 2 The Hold Steady, the Virgins, Republic Tigers, Bad Veins

back to top

Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

IRON MAN (Jon Favreau, 2008)

Opens Friday, May 2


Robert Downey Jr. stars as a different kind of superhero in Jon Favreau’s grand retelling of the comic-book hero Iron Man. Tony Stark is a glitzy scientific genius whose rock-star life is filled with beautiful women, fancy parties, and a gorgeous cliff-side Hollywood home. Keeping things barely in perspective is his devoted personal assistant, Pepper Potts (an excellent Gwyneth Paltrow). As the head of Stark Industries — along with his late father’s former partner, Obadiah Stane (a villainously bearded and bald Jeff Bridges) — Tony uses cutting-edge technology to make and market weapons of mass destruction. On a business deal in Afghanistan to show off his latest creation, his convoy is blown up and he is taken hostage by terrorists, who demand that he build a missile for them right then and there. But instead he makes himself an iron suit to help him escape — and having seen how his own weapons have been used against him and America, has a change of heart about the future of his business, which doesn’t make Obadiah very happy. Unlike most superheroes, Stark has no innate super powers; he is merely a deeply conflicted man in a really cool metal suit. Favreau lets the character’s troubled soul and uneasy heart — which is kept pumping by a special magnet protecting it from shrapnel — not special effects, drive the film. Look for Iron Man creator and Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo, and be sure to stick around till the end of the credits for a special little bonus.

Emily Mortimer and Chiwetel Ejiofor prepare for battle

REDBELT (David Mamet, 2008)

Opens Friday, May 2


Chiwetel Ejiofor, one of America’s 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 Collins’s (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 Mamet’s. 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. It’s 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, fresh off its screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival, is still worth watching for Ejiofor, although even he can’t save the embarrassing final fifteen minutes.

Charming British flick channels Richard Crenna and Sylvester Stallone

SON OF RAMBOW (Garth Jennings, 2008)

Opens Friday, May 2

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1866 Broadway at 63rd St.


Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.





Garth Jennings has followed up his extremely quirky 2005 adaptation of Douglas Adams’s THE HITCHHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY with the charming and engaging — and plenty quirky — SON OF RAMBOW. Bill Milner stars as Will Proudfoot, a young boy whose family is part of the Brethren, a religious group that shuns much of the modern world. Will is not allowed to watch movies or television, including educational films in class, and he is not permitted to have friends outside the group. However, he secretly uses his Bible as a sketchbook for his wildly creative illustrations and stories. After getting into a tussle with tough kid Lee Carter (Will Poulter), Will is forced by Lee to help him make a homemade version of FIRST BLOOD that he wants to submit to a TV contest. Will’s life changes dramatically when he watches the Sylvester Stallone film; not only does he fall in love with the character, but he writes his own sequel, the misspelled SON OF RAMBOW, and is soon recruiting more and more kids to participate in the movie, including the ultra-cool androgynous French exchange student Didier Revol (Jules Sitruck). But as the production grows in scope — and gets out of control — his budding friendship with Lee becomes seriously compromised. SON OF RAMBOW is a feel-good British comedy that is as much about the cinema as childhood itself, a parable about independence, interdependence, and, above all, family, of all kinds. Jennings, who gives short shrift to the beliefs of the Brethren but otherwise gets things right, sets the films in the 1980s, before technology turned everyone into a potential auteur, and includes classic period-defining songs by the Cure, Gary Neumann, Depeche Mode, and others.

BATTLE FOR HADITHA (Nick Broomfield, 2008)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

May 7-20




Documentarian Nick Broomfield (AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER, KURT & COURTNEY) takes viewers behind the scenes of a tragic situation in Iraq in BATTLE FOR HADITHA, dramatizing the events before, during, and after a November 2005 massacre of two dozen Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines. Using eyewitness accounts and former Marines as actors, Broomfield reenacts the brutal tale in his second narrative feature (following 2006’s GHOSTS, which was also based on a true story), reminiscent of Gilles Pontecorvo’s classic THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS. The film follows a pair of Iraqis who feel they have no choice but to become terrorists; a young family trying to steer clear of all possible danger zones; and a Marine battalion that is tired and on edge. Although Broomfield and his crew conducted extensive interviews to get as close to the truth as possible, BATTLE FOR HADITHA ultimately falls flat, feeling more like a by-the-numbers cable-TV dramatization than an involving feature film. The characters — on all sides of the conflict — are cardboard cut-outs, and the imagined dialogue is stiff and obvious. There’s a story to be told about the Haditha tragedy, but this is not it. The 8:00 screening on May 7 will be followed by a Q&A with Broomfield and former U.S. Marine Elliot Ruiz, who is one of the stars of the film.

John Leguizamo and Katherine Waterston play a dangerous game in THE BABYSITTERS

THE BABYSITTERS (David Ross, 2007)

Opens Friday, May 9

Quiet and shy and living with OCD, sixteen-year-old Shirley (Katherine Waterston) takes a job babysitting for the Beltrans, Michael (John Leguizamo) and Gail (Cynthia Nixon), to raise some extra cash and to have time to study away from home. After her first night, Michael stops off at a diner while driving her home, and there is an instant attraction between the two. While Gail is waiting for Michael to grow up, he can be his true self with Shirley, whom he pays well for the additional time and closeness. Soon Shirley has become a teen pimp, hiring out her friends to go the extra distance with the fathers of the kids they are babysitting, taking her cut of the action while participating on occasion as well. But when one of her girls tries to go out on her own, trouble ensues and Shirley's world is threatening to unravel in a very dangerous way. First-time writer-director David Ross carefully walks that thin line between middle-age sex fantasy and touching coming-of-age, deftly steering clear of exploitation, helped by a raw, believable performance by Waterston (although we're not sure how happy dad Sam is with the very hot nude scene between his daughter and Leguizamo). The supporting cast includes Lauren Birkell, Louise Krause, and Halley Wegryn Gross as some of the teen call girls and Andy Comeau, Ethan Phillips, and Jay Patterson as some of the dirty middle-aged men.

Tim Robbins turns into the Rectifier in Bean sleeper

NOISE (Henry Bean, 2007)

Opens Friday, May 9

AMC Empire 25

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


AMC Loews Village 7

66 Third Ave. at Eleventh St.

Henry Bean, who made a strong impact with his directorial debut, 2001’s THE BELIEVER, won’t be making quite so much noise with his second film, NOISE, but it’s still an intriguing little film. Real-life New Yorker Tim Robbins stars as David Owen, a man being slowly driven crazy by the noise of the city — especially the never-ending, all-night wailing of car alarms. After the police and the courts offer no help, Owen turns himself into the Rectifier, a vigilante superhero who stalks the darkness smashing windows and disabling alarms. He becomes so obsessed with his mission that he is willing to risk jail time, his job, and his relationship with his wife, Helen (Bridget Moynahan), and their daughter, Chris (Gabreille Brennan), in order to try to bring peace and quiet into his daily existence. Meanwhile, he’s being hunted by the cynical mayor (William Hurt) and his chief of staff (William Baldwin) and is joined by one of his victims, Ekaterina (Margarita Levieva). Robbins carries the film on his lofty shoulders by virtue of his infectiously boyish charm, following through on something so many people have dreamed about doing. Although the plot gets shaky as David walks the fine line between fighting the system and playing within it, NOISE is still a satisfying sleeper from a talented writer/director/producer who really needs to make more films.

SPEED RACER (the Wachowski Brothers, 2008)

Opens Friday, May 9


In 1967-68, fifty-two episodes of a poorly dubbed Japanese animated television series aired in the U.S., following the exploits of a skilled young racecar driver and his family. Forty years later, the Wachowski Brothers (THE MATRIX trilogy, BOUND) have reinvented that low-budget cult classic, SPEED RACER, as a visually spectacular, coldly dispassionate movie that’s almost always set to overload. Mixing live action with cutting-edge CGI technology, Larry and Andy Wachowski bring to life Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch), Trixie (Christina Ricci), Pops Racer (John Goodman), Mom Racer (Susan Sarandon), Sparky (Kick Gurry), Spritle (Paulie Litt), and Chim-Chim the chimpanzee in a highly stylized candy-colored world. Shortly after Speed starts displaying his remarkable talent driving the Mach 5, mega-tycoon Royalton (Roger Allam), who runs a powerful global corporation, wants Speed to race for him, but Speed decides to remain with his down-to-earth mom-and-pop team, enraging Royalton, who promises to ruin the entire Racer family. Shady back-room dealings and race fixing come to light as Speed considers participating in the dangerous race that killed his older brother, Rex, and just might force him to join sides with two of his toughest competitors, Taejo Togokahn (Korean pop star Rain) and the masked Racer X (Matthew Fox). The film works best when it focuses on the changing relationships within the family as Speed grows up; unfortunately, the Wachowskis spend way too much time showing off their own technological prowess. It is often difficult to figure out what is going on in the racing scenes (which take place across futuristic Matchbox-like courses), and parents will have difficulty explaining to their children what happens to the many drivers whose cars get blown up. And at more than two hours, the movie is at least a half hour too long. The original SPEED RACER series worked because of its charming simplicity; the Wachowski Brothers have taken it through the matrix and ended up with one seemingly endless left turn.

Brilliant doc looks at Israeli evacuation of the Gaza strip

UNSETTLED (Adam Hootnick, 2007)

Two Boots Pioneer Theater

155 East Third St. at Ave. A

Opens Friday, May 9




A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Adam Hootnick wrote, edited, produced, photographed (with Mickey Elkeles), and directed the gripping documentary UNSETTLED, a remarkable debut. In 1967, following the Six Day War, Israelis began settling the Gaza strip, a twenty-five-mile stretch of land along the Mediterranean. In 2005, as a peace measure, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to withdraw from Gaza, where 8,500 Israelis lived among 1.3 million Palestinians. But the controversial concession deeply divided the nation; half the Jews left, but the other half remained, refusing to believe that the Israeli army would forcibly remove them from their homes. With remarkable access and a brave impartiality, Hootnick follows a group of twentysomethings representing all sides of the situation: Lior and Meir are lifeguards at Gaza’s Palm Beach who’d rather be surfing than fighting; Neta, an aspiring filmmaker, is documenting the events herself and defending her family’s right to remain in Gaza; Ye’ela, who lost her sister to a Palestinian suicide bombing nearly a decade before, is part of an activist movement favoring the withdrawal to prevent more unnecessary violence; and Yuval and Tamar are morally torn soldiers heading into Gaza to evict fellow Israelis who have refused to leave. Hootnick brilliantly captures the complicated layers of the bitter dispute that set Jew against Jew, letting the story tell itself. Beautifully filmed and seamlessly edited, UNSETTLED, which features music from Hasidic reggae/rap star Matisyahu, is a powerful, unsettling examination of family and home and the struggle for peace in the Mideast, especially relevant as New York City immerses itself this month in the celebration of Israel’s sixtieth anniversary as a Jewish state.

In Theaters Now

Film festival favorite flies into New York City on April 4

FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON (Hou Hsiao Hsien, 2007)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.



Commissioned by the Musee d'Orsay and inspired by Adam Gopnik’s book PARIS TO THE MOON and Albert Lamorisse’s children’s 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, it’s 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.

Jet Li and Jackie Chan finally unite



In the most exciting first-time movie pairing since Al Pacino and Robert De Niro appeared together in Michael Mann’s less-than-sizzling HEAT in 1995, martial arts masters Jackie Chan and Jet Li team up in Rob Minkoff’s 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 won’t 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). It’s 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"

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (Nicholas Stoller, 2008)


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 (SNL’s 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 can’t 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.)

Harold and Kumar are back for more fun in ESCAPE



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.

Partners Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen collaborate on JELLYFISH

JELLYFISH (MEDUZOT) (Shira Geffen & Etgar Keret, 2007)

Cinema Village

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.

Brittany Snow’s prom night is a disaster, just like the remake

PROM NIGHT (Nelson McCormick, 2008)

Regal E-Walk 13

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


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.

Errol Morris looks at Abu Ghraib in new documentary


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 doesn’t, 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 Herman’s 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.

POTUS gets shot over and over again in VANTAGE POINT

VANTAGE POINT (Pete Travis, 2008)

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.

back to top

Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Theater

THE WALWORTH FARCE gets fast and furious at St. Ann’s


St. Ann’s Warehouse

38 Water St.

Through May 4 (April 17 performance reviewed)

Tickets: $37.50-$47.50



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.


Brooklyn Academy of Music

BAM Harvey Theater

651 Fulton Street between Ashland Pl. & Rockwell Pl.

Through May 18

Tickets: $25-$75



To kick off the spring season, BAM presented Samuel Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS, starring Fiona Shaw and directed by Deborah Warner. With the season winding down, Beckett is back with ENDGAME. ENDGAME is known not only for being one of the Irish dramaturg’s most important plays but also for one particular bit of staging: Two of the characters, Nell and Nagg, spend the entire play in garbage cans. In BAM’s excellent new production, the cans are small but the talent huge: The two actors in the bins are Elaine Stritch and Alvin Epstein, the blind man immobilized in the wheelchair is John Turturro, and the barely mobile, limping servant, penned in by the semicircular, dungeonlike walls, is Max Casella. Beckett’s play is about limits, restriction, lessening, diminishing — the existential meaninglessness hurtling toward the inevitable extinction that awaits all. The characters head toward death, the world outside the dungeon windows heads toward featureless decay, and the language heads toward endless circles of repetition, then circles around itself again and again. Despite the characters’ highly restricted movement and impending demise, Beckett’s opaque, repetitive, maddeningly absurd, and carefully constructed play allows for some pretty big acting.

Turturro plays the blind and talkative Hamm with powerful flavor, delivering the character’s numerous soliloquys with verve, variety, and force, while Epstein, who has nothing to work with but his marvelous face and pale, limp, spidery fingers, makes the nightgowned old Nagg a compelling presence. (Epstein was a notable Hamm in his youth, the original one in the first New York City production.) Stritch’s Nell is simultaneously pathetic, sharp, and funny, a worthy partner for Epstein’s Nagg. But it is the master-servant, love-hate, sadist-masochist relationship of Hamm and Clov that is the play’s core, and Casella and Turturro deliver a rousing interpretation. The production carefully follows Beckett’s text and staging, but the emotional punch of mysterious dialogue such as “He’s crying,” “That means he’s living!” and “Something is taking its course” comes from Andrei Belgrader’s fine direction and the actors’ outstanding skills. Funny? Yes. Sad? Yes, Confusing? Yes. Is that life, or is that just Beckett? Both.

The Wiyos will do the two-step at Abrons and Drom


Abrons Arts Center, Henry Street Settlement

466 Grand St. at Pitt St., 212-598-0400

Friday, May 2, free, 8:00

Drom, 85 Ave. A between Fifth & Sixth Sts., 212-777-1157

Sunday, May 4, $15, 3:00




The Wiyos are an infectious Brooklyn-based traditional folk outfit that plays self-described “vaudevillian ragtime blues, hillbilly swing, and old-time country.” Featuring Joseph “joebass” DeJarnette on upright bass and vocals, Parrish Ellis on resonator and archtop guitars, banjo-uke, guitjo, and vocals, and Michael Farkas on lead vocals, washboard, harmonica, and kazoo — and occasionally joined by erstwhile Hunger Mountain Boy Teddy Weber on steel guitar — the Wiyos provide a vast musical history of America in their extremely entertaining live shows. Their recently released third album is a mix of period songs as well as originals, recorded live in three days, with no overdubs, including such gems as “Hudson Valley Line,” “Caught Us Doing It,” and Blind Willie McTell’s “Dying Crapshooter Blues.” Their live shows are good-time, old-fashioned fun, led by Farkas’s remarkable voice. On Friday, May 2, the Wiyos will be playing at Drom with the Luminescent Orchestrii and Feloche, while on Sunday at 3:00 they’ll be headlining a free all-ages gig at the Abrons Arts Center as part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert series.


Radio City Music Hall

1260 Sixth Ave. at 50th St.

Friday, May 9, $55.50-$80.50, 8:00



Touring behind their tenth album, RISING DOWN (Def Jam, April 29, 2008), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, Kamal Gray, Frank Knuckles, Kirk “Captain Kirk” Douglas, and Owen Biddle, better known as the Roots, come to Radio City for a show that figures to be politically charged. (They’ve also added Tuba Gooding Jr., who plays, well, the tuba.) The Roots recently tore it up on THE COLBERT REPORT, playing a searing instrumental version of the National Anthem in their hometown, Philadelphia, right before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. (They also work the Star-Spangled Banner music into their killer rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.”) The new release features instrumentals, discussion “pow wows,” and guest appearances by Mos Def, Saigon, Malik B., Talib Kweli, Common, and others. They drop the N-bomb all over the place as they rip through such songs as “75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction),” “Unwritten,” and “Rising Up,” making no apologies for their views on crime, the environment, drugs, surveillance, war, corporate radio, addiction, and everyday survival during the Bush years. In fact, on “I Will Not Apologize,” featuring Porn and Dice Raw, they proclaim, “Never was I into chasing trouble / I was followed by it / Facing trouble with no alibi / I had to swallow pride / vilified, victimized, penalized, criticized.” And as always, they rap about the City of Brotherly Love: “And we represent illadel / where they still rebellin’,” they declare on the album’s standout track, “Get Busy,” with help from Dice Raw and Peedi Peedi. The April 29 release date is no accident; it’s the sixteenth anniversary of the Rodney King beating at the hands of L.A. cops. Their U.S. tour brings them to Radio City on May 9, where they’ll be opening for Erykah Badu; on June 7, they’ll host the Roots Picnic at Festival Pier in Philly, and then they’ll be back in the area on August 8 as part of the All Points West Festival at Jersey’s Liberty State Park.


Webster Hall

125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.

Saturday, May 10, $20, 6:00



If you care about what¹s next, don’t sleep on this blockbuster lineup May 10 at Webster Hall. Main opener Dizzee Rascal burst out of the UK grime scene in 2003 with his first album, BOY IN DA CORNER. His highly individual style, featuring jagged beats, mindbendingly swift and lethal wordplay, and an accent straight out of London’s East End projects, threw a refreshing dollop of hard-edged grime right smack at the increasingly stagnant same-old same-old US hip-hop scene. Dizzee’s first single, released on XL in the UK and influential indie label Matador here, “Fix Up, Look Sharp,” was featured on the influential MTV 2005 Shortlist and in Dave LaChapelle’s film RISE. With that kind of buzz, plus massive sellout summer raves around the UK ever since, you’d think someone stateside would be listening to this still only twenty-two-year-old genius. His third album, MATHS + ENGLISH, is finally receiving a delayed release here (April 29), and after moving from Matador to the widely respected Def Jux label, Dizzee is set to get the attention he deserves. Following tantalizingly brief appearances on the indie circuit at this year’s SXSW and the PLUG awards, Dizzee’s high-energy live show is gonna bring out the crowds at Webster Hall; get there early and get in close.

Featured act El-P, short for El Producto, was the DJ for the highly influential and short-lived NYC hip-hop act Company Flow. His signature style combines dissonant minor chords, grinding machine sounds, and vocal transformations that are like a trip through the NYC subway system. His first solo album, FANTASTIC DAMAGE, was an instant underground classic of strangely accented beat cycles and jarring musical fragments, anchored by guest rappers from the soon-to-form Definitive Jux label. Jazz excursions on the less well received album BLUE WATER still have a menacing character, especially “Get Your Hand Off My Shoulder, Pig.” El-P continues to produce and remix some of the most innovative hip-hop acts around, including Aesop Rock, CAGE, the Perceptionists, and Hangar 18, and is an executive producer at Def Jux, where he helped sign Dizzee and remixed the MATHS + ENGLISH single “Where’s Da G’s.” Opening the night is Busdriver; when we saw him last year, we called him a “hyper-collegiate rapper with rapid-fire delivery and a great, muscular, wound-up body, which he put to good use in service to the lyrics. He just about exploded onstage, rockin¹ the place but hard.”

back to top

Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature

Sloan Fine Art

Clive Barker, "Midnight Meat Train 8," acrylic and oil pastel on paper, 2007


Sloan Fine Art

128 Rivington St.

Through May 10

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Admission: free




The dark, rich imagination of filmmaker, novelist, and painter Clive Barker is on display on the Lower East Side, featuring conceptual works created for THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, director Ryuhei Kitamura’s film based on Barker’s short story. Barker (HELLRAISER, CANDYMAN, NIGHT BREED) uses acrylic and oil pastel on paper in developing his collection of bizarre characters, including the Grandfather, City Father, and the Butcher, figures bathed in blood and evil. Also on view are such evocative oil-on-canvas paintings as "Despair," "The Tower Burn," and "The Lightning Tree." And we love the untitled ink-on-paper drawingof a man leaning over to kiss a naked woman’s feet.


Visitors can prepare for Pangea Day by watching films in tiny theater


Madison Square Park

23rd to 25th Sts. between Madison Ave. & Broadway

Admission: free



The World’s Smallest Movie Theater, lined top to bottom in cheery red plush drapery, packs six full-size comfy seats and a decent-size plasma screen into an approximately eight-foot-by-eight-foot cube, wherein one will watch four short films by British video artists who were given such briefs as “film a random act of kindness.” Located in Madison Square Park, the theater is cute, all around, from the films to the setting. While the Brit word “briefs” is not meant to evoke “shorts” or undies, it’s a sharp reminder of the peculiarly non-American flavor of this effort, a run-up to Pangea Day, Saturday, May 10, when Nokia users around the world will link up with six cities in a massive interweb art/marketing event.

(Fantagraphics, April 2008, $19.99)


Los Bros Hernandez began writing the seminal underground comic Love & Rockets back in 1981, following the daily life of a diverse group of Latino characters. In addition to writing together, Gilbert and Jaime write individual stories based on characters each created; Fantagraphics has just released the twenty-fourth book in the series, in which Jaime follows Esperanza Leticia “Hopey” Glass as she becomes a teacher’s assistant, Ray Dominguez as he pursues Vivian “Frogmouth” Solis, and other adventures featuring Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarillo, the greasy Doyle Blackburn, and the athletic Angel of Tarzana. Jaime’s slice-of-life stories, centering on relationships, both sexual and otherwise, are compelling and realistic, with uncomplicated drawings that get to the heart of the characters’ emotions. And no matter your gender, it won’t take you long to fall in love with Hopey.

All contents copyright 2008 by Mark Rifkin and twi-ny. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. Please note that events, dates, and prices are subject to change.

Send all comments, suggestions, reviews, and questions to mark.rifkin@twi-ny.com.

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

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

back to top

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


Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

36 Battery Pl.

Tickets: $45-$75




Through Friday, May 9 A New Musical About Shlomo Carlebach, starring Josie de Guzman, James Judy, Paul Jackel, Thursday Farrar, Lauren Weisman, and David Rossmer as Shlomo


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

Through September 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



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 1960) (Roger Vadim, 1959), 8:00

Sunday, May 4 LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (DANGEROUS LIAISONS 1960) (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

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


MoMA Film

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



Wednesday, April 30 SEOM (THE ISLE) (Kim Ki-Duk, 2000), 4:30

Thursday, May 1 SHI GAN (TIME) (Kim Ki-Duk, 2006), 6:15

TIME (Kim Ki-duk, 2006)


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 can’t live without her. And he won’t 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 doesn’t know who she really is. But it is a lot harder to change one’s 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 (Kim Ki-Duk, 2001)


Kim Ki-Duk’s (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 it’s 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. Don’t 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 Kim’s 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


Hiro Ballroom / Maritime Hotel

363 West 16th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: $20



Thursday, May 1 Enon, Men, Women & Children, Blonde Acid Cult, 9:00


Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

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

Tickets: $10



Thursday, May 1


Saturday, May 3 An installation performance merging dancer and audience amidst a setting of mystery and imagination, choreographed by Benoit-Swan Pouffer with photography by Francois Rousseau, 8:00 & 9:00


Merce Cunningham Studio

55 Bethune St., eleventh floor, between Washington St. & the West Side Highway

Tickets: $20



Thursday, May 1


Sunday, May 4 Evening-length multimedia piece featuring concept, choreography, and direction by Regina Nejman, with dancers Amy Adams, George Hirsch, Kristin Licata, Mary Madsen, Regina Nejman, and John Zullo, original music by Mio Morales, lighting and set design by Mark T. Simpson, costumes by Erin Murphy, and film and photo by Alan McInthyre Smith


Theater for the New City, Johnson Theater

155 First Ave. near Tenth St.

Tickets: $15-$20



Thursday, May 1


Sunday, May 4 World premiere pieces by Laura Ward / Octavia Cup Dance Theatre, choreography and concept by Laura Ward, music by Fa Ventilato and Bingo Palace, guest choreography by Georgina Aragon, and dancers Georgina Aragon, Lisa Benke, Carissa Cordes, Heather Garbrandt, Jai Sugrim, Jaime Thompson, and Laura Ward


Whitney Museum of American Art

745 Madison Ave. at 75th St.



Thursday, May 1 Seminars with Artists: Alice Könitz, $8, 7:00

Friday, May 2 Open Studio, Afternoons With Artists: Phoebe Washburn, free tickets available in advance, 2:00

Wednesday, May 7 Seminars with Artists: Daniel Joseph Martinez, $8, 7:00

Friday, May 9 Open Studio, Afternoons with Artists: Adam Putnam, free tickets available in advance, 2:00

Friday, May 9 Whitney Live: Gang Gang Dance, pay-what-you-wish, 6:00

Tuesday, May 13 Seminars with Artists: James Welling and Walead Beshty, $8, 7:00


Bronx Museum of the Arts

1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St.

Admission: free

RSVP for program: 718-681-6000 ext102


Friday, May 2 First Fridays, featuring live music by the Bangers and Dragons of Zynth, 6:00 — 10:00 (galleries open 12 noon — 8:00 pm, including "Making It Together: Women’s Collaborative Art + Community")


K2 Lounge

Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

Free admission to galleries from 7:00 to 10:00

212-620-5000 ext 344


Friday May 2 Book launch: BEYOND THE GREAT WALL: RECIPES AND TRAVELS IN THE OTHER CHINA by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, happy hour and tastings at 6:00

Friday May 2 Naked Soul: Nellie McKay, $40-$457:00

Friday May 2 Gallery talk: Simon Winchester, 7:15

Friday May 2 CabaretCinema: LA CITé DES ENFANTS PERDUES (THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1995), introduced by Matthew Diffee, free with $7 bar minimum, 9:30


Japan Society

333 East 47th St. at First Ave.

Monthly Fridays through May 2008

Tickets: $12



Friday May 2 ROUGHNECK (ARAKURE), (Yasuharu Hasebe, 1969), 7:30


Brooklyn Academy of Music

Howard Gilman Opera House

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

Tickets: $10-$60



Friday May 2 Brooklyn Philharmonic presents world premiere choreography for Stravinsky’s PULCINELLA, featuring Complexions Contemporary Ballet, in addition to Zerbinetta’s Aria from Strauss’s ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, Kabalevsky’s Suite for Small Orchestra from THE COMEDIANS, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s HISSY FITS set to the music of Bach, conducted by Scott Yoo, followed by a discussion with Brooklyn Philharmonic artistic adviser Evans Mirageas, 7:30


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St.

Admission: $25 (includes admission to galleries)



Friday, May 2 Obey Giant mastermind Shepard Fairey rocks the Guggenheim with DJ sets, a cash bar, and dancing, 9:00 pm — 1:00 am


Times Square

Seventh Ave. between 47th & 48th Sts., 7:00 am

Central Park, East Meadow, 10:00


Saturday, May 3 Eleventh annual 5K run/walk and health expo raising funds and awareness of women’s cancers, with thousands of survivors and their friends, families, and supporters walking or running from Times Square to Central Park, with registration and gift-bag pickup at 7:00 am, celebrity opening ceremonies at 8:15, official start at 9:15, and finish-line festivities at 10:00


Pier 46 / Hudson River Park

Tickets: $25 adults, $15 children, $75 families of four or more

First Candle: 800-221-7437


Saturday, May 3 5K family fun walk and rock n’ family party to raise funds and awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the Luke Edward Becton Memorial Fund, with live music from Mr. Ray, Princess Katie & Racer Steve, and Dre Towey, food and beverages, family-friendly games, and more, walk at 9:30 am, party at 11:00 am


Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth St.

Tickets: $250 for two people



Saturday, May 3 Watch the race with food, cocktails, live music, a raffle, a silent auction, and more, with each $250 ticket guaranteeing guests will take home a work of art determined by a random drawing; among the participating artists are Vito Acconci, Jane Dickson, Ellen Harvey, Tom Otterness, Joan Snyder, Eve Sussman, Mark di Suvero, Mark Dean Veca, Virginia Poundstone, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Bryony Romer, and dozens more, 4:00


The Town Hall

123 West 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. & Broadway

Tickets: $35-$40



Saturday, May 3 Nuyorican Poets Café Third Millennium Celebration, with La Bruja, Sandra María Esteves, Reg E Gaines, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Tato Laviera, Mariposa, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Nancy Mercado, Kirk Nugent, Willie Perdomo, Ishmael Reed, Ntozake Shange, Quincy Troupe, and Yerba Buena, hosted by Rosie Perez and Flaco Navaha, 8:00


Joe’s Pub

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

Tickets: $20





Saturday, May 3 Originally from Chicago, this New York-based eight-piece band, consisting only of brass instruments and drums, includes seven of jazz trumpeter and former Sun Ra Arkestra member Kelan Phil Cohran’s sons, 11:30 pm


IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.

Tickets: $11.50 adults, $8 children




Saturday, May 3


Sunday, May 4 Special retrospective screening of TRON (Steven Lisberger 1982), 11:00 am


Washington St. between First & Seventh Sts.

Admission: free



Sunday, May 4 Fourteenth annual event, featuring three hundred artists and crafters, food, kids stuff, live performances by Micky Dolenz, the Sensational Soul Cruisers, the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, the Fave, Elizabeth Withers, Kate Jacobs, the Fuzzy Lemons, Star Fish, and more, 11:00 am — 6:00 pm


St. Paul’s Chapel

Broadway at Fulton St.

Suggested donation: $2



Monday, May 5 A Special Cinco de Mayo Celebration, 1:00


P.S. 107, John W. Kimball School

1301 Eighth Ave. between 13th & 14th Sts., Brooklyn

Tickets: $15, all proceeds go toward building and stocking a library for the school




Tuesday, May 6 Fundraiser for PS 107’s fourth-floor library, starring DAILY SHOW correspondent and PC portrayer John Hodgman reading from his latest book, MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE, along with Darin Strauss, MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU, and comic Patrick Borelli, 7:30


The Town Hall

123 West 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. & Broadway

Tickets: $35



Tuesday, May 6


Wednesday, May 7 Flight of the Conchords, featuring New Zealanders Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, 8:00


Blue Note

131 West Third St.

Tickets: table $40, bar $25



Tuesday, May 6


Monday, May 11 Seventy-seven-year-old jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal plays with his trio, 8:00 & 10:30


Bronx Museum of the Arts

1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St.

Admission: free

718-681-6000 ext102


Wednesday, May 7 Book signing with artist and activist Jamel Shabazz, BACK IN THE DAYS, A TIME BEFORE CRACK, and SECONDS OF MY LIFE, 5:30


The Morgan Library & Museum

225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.

Tickets: $40



Wednesday, May 7


Thursday, May 8 St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble Series: Couperin, Pieces on Forme du Concert for Cello and String Quartet; Loeffler, Two Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola, and Piano; Fauré, Piano Quartet no. 1 in C Minor, op. 15, 7:30


Abrons Arts Center, Henry Street Settlement

466 Grand St. at Pitt St.

Tickets: $30-$70



Wednesday, May 7


Saturday, May 10 Classic story retold by Gotham Chamber Orchestra, featuring the music of Monteverdi, Haydn, and Schoenberg, with Armitage Gone! Dance and scenic design by Vera Lutter


Dance Theater Workshop

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

Tickets: $25



Thursday, May 8


Saturday, May 10 French born choreographer and dancer Rachid Ouramdane presents the U.S. premier of the solo piece FAR…, with music by Alexander Meyer, video projections by Aldo Lee, and lighting design by Pierre Leblanc


Pomegranate Gallery

133 Greene St.

Tickets: 412-$18



Thursday, May 8


Sunday, May 11 KDNY presents the world premiere of NAVIGATING THE HALLWAY, featuring choreography by Kathleen Dyer, guest choreography by Joy Kelman and Edisa Weeks, music by PJ Merola, and lighting by Dans Maree Sheehan,


Times Center

242 West 41st St.

Tickets: $15



Friday, May 9 Conversation and clips with Michel Gondry installation artist and director of such films as ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, BE KIND REWIND, and DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY, presented by the Museum of the Moving Image, 7:00


Highline Ballroom

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

Tickets: $20-$25



Friday, May 9 Eighteenth annual tribute to Stevie Nicks, with Joey Arias, the Ho-Hos, Sherry Vine, Billy O, Sweetie, Belladonna, Gypsy Wild and Jazmen Flowers, Miss Guy, D.D. Sparks, the Divine Grace, Prel, Charlene Coran, Jessica Rabbit, Amber Ray Domination, Absinthe and Vangeline Domination, Miss Kelly Webb, Paige Stevenson, Mistress Formika, Adam Joseph, And Our Lady J, with All-Stevie DJs Craig Spencer and Poison Eve, DJ Joel, and Sammy Jo, with Enchantresses of Ceremony Chi Chi Valenti and Hattie Hathaway, 9:00


Multiple venues in DUMBO

Tickets: $10-$15



Friday, May 9


Sunday, May 11 Sixth annual juried exhibit of contemporary furnishings made in Brooklyn, at St. Ann's Warehouse, Smack Mellon, Dumbo Arts Center, and BD+ in the Tobacco Warehouse at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park


BAMcinematek / BAM Rose Cinemas

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

May 9-20



Friday, May 9 KEN PARK (Larry Clark & Ed Lachman, 2002), followed by a *Q&A with Ed Lachman, 7:00

Saturday, May 10 I'M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes, 2007), 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

I’M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes, 2007)


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

Sunday, May 11 TRUE STORIES (David Byrne, 1986), 3:00, 8:15, followed by a Q&A with Ed Lachman and David Byrne

Monday, May 12 LESS THAN ZERO (Marek Kanievska, 1987), 6:50, 9:15

Wednesday, May 14 DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (Susan Seidelman, 1985), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Thursday, May 15 IMPORT/EXPORT (Ulrich Seidl, 2007), 6:00, 9:00

Friday, May 16 HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK... (Werner Herzog 1976) and SONGS FOR DRELLA (Ed Lachman, 1990), 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Saturday, May 17 FAR FROM HEAVEN (Todd Haynes, 2002), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Todd Haynes creates a Douglas Sirk-like community in FAR FROM HEAVEN

FAR FROM HEAVEN (Todd Haynes, 2002)


Douglas Sirk and Thomas Mann would be proud. Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore is amazing as 1950s housewife Cathy Whitaker, who thinks she has the perfect idyllic suburban life — until she discovers that her husband (Dennis Quaid) has a secret that dare not speak its name. Mr. & Mrs. Magnatech they are not after all. When she starts getting all chummy with the black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), people start talking, of course. Part IMITATION OF LIFE (Douglas Sirk, 1959), part DEATH IN VENICE (Luchino Visconti, 1971), and oh so original, Todd Haynes’s awesome achievement will have you believing you’re watching a film made in the 1950s, propelled by Elmer Bernstein’s excellent music, Edward Lachman’s remarkable photography, and Mark Friedberg’s terrific production design.

Sunday, May 18 THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (Sofia Coppola, 1999), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Monday, May 19 BLANK GENERATION (Ulli Lommel, 1980), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Tuesday, May 20 LIGHT SLEEPER (Paul Schrader ,1991), 4:30, 6:50, 9:30


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Admission: free



Saturday, May 10 The New York premiere of Pete Malinverni’s THE GOOD SHEPHERD, performed by the Soul Voices Gospel Ensemble and the Purchase Jazz Orchestra, 1:30

Saturday, May 10 Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra with guest artist Ray Santos present the New York premiere of Santos’s "The Palladium Suite," directed by Ray Vega, 2:45

Sunday, May 11 Purchase Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tania León: Works by Ginastera ("Dances from Estancia"), Revueltas ("Sensemaya"), Duke Ellington ("Black, Brown & Beige"), and Tania León ("Ácana"), 6:00

Sunday, May 11 Purchase Dance Corps presents he New York premiere of a commissioned new work by Kevin Wynn, set to the music of Tania León, plus excerpts from Dianne McIntyre’s "Lyric Fire" and Bill T. Jones’s "D’Man in the Waters," 8:30


The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization

Havemeyer St. between Grand St. & Metropolitan Ave.

Admission: free




Saturday, May 10 Fourth annual street fair, with contests, tricks, and all kinds of bicycles, 12 noon — 6:00


Bryant Park

Sixth Ave. between 40th & 42nd Sts.

Admission: free


Saturday, May 10 Kick-Off Event, featuring authors, illustrators, and childen’s favorite characters, 12 noon — 5:00


B.B. King Blues Club

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

Tickets: $30




Saturday, May 10 Veteran political satirist plays two very special shows, 7:30 & 10:00


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St. at Bowery

Tickets: $18



Saturday, May 10


Sunday, May 11 British Sea Power, the Rosebuds, Jeffrey Lewis, 8:00


Historic Green-Wood Cemetery

25th St. at Fifth Ave., Brooklyn



Sunday, May 11 Special Mother’s Day Azaleas & Dogwood Trolley Tour of Historic Green-Wood Cemetery led by Art Presson and Jeff Richman, meet at the Victorian Chapel, $20, 12:30

Sunday, May 11 Free Mother’s Day concert by the ISO Symphony of the nonprofit Inter School Orchestras of New York, featuring works by Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Franz Lehár, and Johann Strauss Senior and Junior, conducted by music director Jonathan Strasser, on the steps of the Historic Chapel, 2:30


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Tickets: $8-$10



Sunday, May 11 Martin Bisi, Bill Laswell, John Zorn, The Homosexuals, Susu, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, 7:00


92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall

1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.

Tickets: $30



Monday, May 12 Leonard Lopate interviews William Shatner about his life, career, and new memoir, UP TILL NOW: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, followed by a book signing, 7:30


Kanbar Institute of Film and Television

Tisch School of the Arts

721 Broadway at Waverly Pl., fourth floor, south elevators

Admission: free



Monday, May 12


Tuesday, May 13 Exhibition of innovative student works, from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, featuring innovative experimentation in interactive sight, sound, and technology, 5:00 — 9:00 pm


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

Tickets: $10, 212-708-9400


Tuesday, May 13 Part of the Modern Poets series, with readings and commentary by Svetlana Boym, Ethan Hawke, Ron Padgett, Francine du Plessix Gray, and actor, playwright, and Sam Shepard, introduced by Michael Almereyda, followed by a screening of THE LADY AND THE HOOLIGAN (Vladimir Mayakovsky, 1918), with live piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 6:30


The Kitchen

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

Tickets: $5



Tuesday, May 13 Featuring presentations by Sue de Beer, Matthew Higgs, and Matthew Ronay, followed by a Q&A with the artists moderated by curator Rachel Greene,7:00


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St. at Bowery

Tickets: $15



Thursday, May 15 Bonde do Role, the Death Set, Gang, 8:00



98-104 Meserole Ave. at Manhattan Ave.

Tickets: $20



Thursday, May 15 Suicide, Aa (aka Big A little a), Child Abuse, 8:00

back to top