8. Plus Riffs Rants & Raves, including Billy Connolly in FIDO, Adrian Shergolds PIERREPOINT THE LAST HANGMAN, Manoel de Oliveiras BELLE TOUJOURS, Dinosaur Jr. at Irving Plaza, Joan Armatrading at the World Financial Center, Karen Gibson Roc & Fluid at Galapagos, Peaches at the Highline Ballroom, Grinderman at the London Forum, and Koji Suzukis BIRTHDAY
Volume 7, Number 1
June 6-20, 2007
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Site Design/Subway Photo:
Fred Gates Design, New York.
Beth Campbells "Potential Store Fronts," at 125 Maiden Lane through June 24, offers visitors the chance to change when they come back in five minutes
Grand Army Plaza rises near entrance to Prospect Park
Between Ocean Ave. & Flatbush Ave., Prospect Park West, Ft. Hamilton Pkwy, and Eastern Pkwy
When we were babies, our parents would spend weekend afternoons in Prospect Park, pushing us in our strollers, going to the zoo, and riding the carousel. So for our birthday this year, we returned to our homeland, enjoying a fabulous afternoon in one of the citys most beautiful and multidimensional parks. Designed in 1865-66 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Prospect Park was envisioned as an escape from the growing post-Civil War urbanization, a lush respite from the city for all classes, but primarily for the poor. Begin your Brooklyn adventure at Grand Army Plaza, highlighted by Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, designed in 1889 by John H. Duncan based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The sculpture a the top, "The Triumphal Progress of Columbia," as well as the two midway up the arch, "Army: Genius of Patriotism Urging American Soldiers on to Victory" and "Navy: American Sailirs at Sea Urged on by the Genius of Patriotism," were added by Frederick MacMonnies; Thomas Eakins and William ODonovan designed the sculptures of Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln on the inside of the arch. Nearby is the Bailey Fountain, built in 1932 by architect Edgerton Swarthout and sculptor Eugene Savage and named for Brooklyn philanthropist Frank Bailey. Surrounding the arch and the fountain are statues of Generals Governeur Kemble Warren and Henry Warner Slocum, Brooklyn philanthropist Henry W. Maxwell, and Brooklyn gynecologist Alexander Skene.
Meadowport Arch is dark passageway in northwest corner of park
Walk into the park itself through the Eagle Columns, watched over by a statue of park champion and civic leader James Stranahan, the first president of the Prospect Park Commission. At the next intersection, youll come upon Leonard Ursachis "Hiding Place," a temporary installation made of willow branches and stainless-steel mirrors. And then, slowly opening in front of you, will be the nearly one-mile-long Long Meadow, a sloping green wonderland that is home to hundreds of trees, the Picnic House (next to a barbecue area), the Tennis House, and several baseball fields. To the west of Long Meadow is the Garfield Tot Lot, the Bandshell (headquarters of the annual Celebrate Brooklyn! festival), and Litchfield Villa, an Italianate structure built for railroad pioneer Edwin C. Litchfield that actually predates the park by more than ten years and now houses administrative offices (and public rest rooms be sure to push the door hard to get in).
One of the hamadryas baboons in the Prospect Park Zoo
To the east of Long Meadow is the Vale of Cashmere, Nellies Lawn, Battle Pass (scene of a critical battle during the American Revolution), and the Ravine, a spectacular woodland forest that will lead you to Ambergill Falls and peaceful Boulder Bridge. Allow plenty of time to wander aimlessly through the nature trails that make you feel you are in the mountains, far, far away from the city. Continue heading east for the Prospect Park Zoo ($6 adults, $2 kids age three to twelve, 718-399-7339), where you can stick your head in the middle of a prairie dog area, feed alpacas, goats, and sheep, and see such fascinating creatures as red pandas, parma wallabies, hamadryas baboons, a cape rock hyrax, a black lion tamarind, meerkats, Asian small-clawed otters, and poisonous dart frogs as well as Victor Peters 1899 sculpture "Lioness and Cubs." The zoo is part of Childrens Corner, which also includes the restored 1912 carousel ($1.50 per ride, Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon 5:00), originally built for Coney Island, and Lefferts Historic House Museum (free, Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon 5:00, 718-789-2822), where you can walk into a 1783 farmhouse built by Lt. Pieter Lefferts.
The Beaux-Arts Boathouse glitters in the afternoon sun
On sunny days, you can marvel at the reflection of the 1905 Beaux-Arts Boathouse along the Lullwater, either from a cozy viewing platform next to Binnen Falls or from atop Lullwater Bridge. Inside the Boathouse, which was modeled after a sixteenth-century Venice library, is the Audubon Center (free, Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon 5:00, 718-287-3400), where kids can see informative environmental exhibits and, through July 29, "Sticks and Stones," a display by Brooklyn artist Judith Z. Miller of wearable art and intricately designed "sacred staffs" with such names as "Childs Sleep Protector," "Playful Watchful Eye," and "Warriors Bleeding Heart." Dont miss the stunning Camperdown Elm just around the bend, memorialized in verse by Brooklyn poet Marianne Moore.
One of two panthers who guard a west entrance to Prospect Park
Head southeast through Cleft Ridge Span until you reach Concert Grove, which contains busts of composers Carl Maria von Weber, Grieg, Mozart, and Beethoven. Nearby is the Oriental Pavilion and Harrys Wall, named for Harry W. Murphy, one of the founders of the New York Road Runners Club. At Wollman Rink, you can ice skate from late November through March or rent pedal boats from May through October ($15 for one-hour rental, Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon 5:00). On the other side of East Drive is a cool bust of Washington Irving and Imagination Playground, which has some cool things for kids to play on as well as Brooklyn resident Otto Nealss sculpture "Peter and Willie," inspired by characters in Ezra Jack Keatss book PETERS CHAIR. Among other places of interest scattered through Prospect Park are statues of Abraham Lincoln and the Marquis de Lafayette, Lookout Hill, the Maryland Monument, the Nethermead, Dog Beach, Fallkill Falls, the Peristyle, the panther statues guarding the entrance at Third St. & Prospect Park West, the Parade Ground, Drummers Grove, several rustic shelters, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, the Tennis Center, Duck Island, the Pergola, horseback riding beginning at Park Circle ($30 per hour, 718-972-4588), Electric Boat Tours ($5 ages thirteen and up, $3 kids three to twelve, Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon 4:30), the Heart of Brooklyn Trolley (free, weekends & holidays, 12 noon 6:00 pm), and so much more. Of course, you wont be able to cover all of "Brooklyns Jewel" in one day, so keep coming back to check out all of the little treasures and surprises it holds.
The Lullwater is one of many areas to explore in Prospect Park
Below are some of this summers special events, in addition to such regular programs as the Prospect Park Green Team, Introduction to Birdwatching, Nature Crafts, Lullwater Exploration, Sewing Club, Nature Babies, Discover Tours, Games from the Past, Congo Square Drummers & Dancers, Colonial Crafts, East Side Revival Crew, and more.
Saturday, June 9 Fifth annual Cultural Mix, with live entertainment, food, and more, Youth Resource Center at Bowling Green near the Parade Ground, 1:00 6:00 pm
Tuesday, June 12 Tennis Everyone! fundraiser for members of the Prospect Park Alliance, Picnic House, 7:00
Sunday, June 17 Fathers Day in Prospect Park: Discover Tour Hawk Daddies, Audubon Center, 3:00
Sunday, June 17 Fathers Day in Prospect Park: concert and sing-along with Lloyd Miller from the Deedle Deedle Dees and Dutch-style treats, Lefferts Historic House, 3:00
Tuesday, June 19 Metropolitan Opera, Long Meadow near the ball fields, 8:00
Sunday, June 24 Volunteer in Prospect Park: spruce up shrubs and flower beds, meet at Ninth St. & Prospect Park entrance, 10:00 am 2:00 pm
Thursday, June 28 Twilight Tunes, with pianist Helen Sung, Picnic House, free but reservations required, http://www.heartofbrooklyn.org/twilighttunes, 6:00
The bandshell is readied for the coming season
Prospect Park Bandshell
June 14 - August 11
Keep It Great: Give $3 at the Gate
One of the citys best summer festivals is Celebrate Brooklyn!, a multidiscipline collection of live music, dance, and film, all taking place at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Although ostensibly free, people are asked to give three dollars if they can. Among this years performers are the great Richard Thompson Band, the always entertaining Ralph Stanley, a hot night of blues with Bobby "Blue" Bland and Catherine Russell, a tribute to Doc Pomus, and one of our favorite bands, the Hold Steady, the Minneapolis group now based in Brooklyn.
Thursday, June 14 American Roots Series: the Neville Brothers, 8:00 (gala tickets $300 and up for reserved seats, cocktails, dinner, and dancing)
Saturday, June 16 Joan Osborne and the Jazz Passengers: the Supremes Project, 7:30
Thursday, June 21 The Richard Thompson Band and Olabelle, 7:30
Friday, June 22 American Roots Series: Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys and James Reams & the Barnstormers, 7:30
Friday, June 29 Groove Collective, Ravi Coltrane, and Craig Harris, 7:00
Saturday, June 30 Canada in New York: The Stills, Sam Roberts Band, and Malajube, 7:00
Thursday, July 5 Latin Music Series: Issac Delgado, Xiomara Laugart, and Pistolera, 7:30
Friday, July 6 REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony, composed by Philip Miller with additional vocal arrangements by Mduduzi Mofokeng, sung by a special surprise guest, 7:30
Thursday, July 12 Noche Flamenca, Andrew J. Nemr & CPD Plus, and Darrah Carr Dance, 7:30
Friday, July 13 Latin Music Series: Zoé, the Pinker Tones, and Chetes, 7:30
Saturday, July 14 Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra with Mark OConnor and Maya Beiser, 8:00
Sunday, July 15 Frank Londons Yiddish Carnival, 4:00
Thursday, July 19 Music & Movies Series: BLACKMAIL (Alfred Hitchcock, 1929) with Alloy Orchestra and Morley, 7:30
Friday, July 20 Bobby "Blue" Bland and Catherine Russell, 7.30
Saturday, July 21 Hal Willners Doc Pomus Project, featuring Ben E. King, Teddy Thompson, Steven Bernstein, Joel Dorn, Adam Dorn, Peter Guralnick and more, 7:00
Sunday, July 22 Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert: Dan Zanes & Friends, 5:00
Thursday, July 26 Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company, 8:00
Friday, July 27 Music & Movies Series: Laurel & Hardy with the Millennial Territory Orchestra and Ethan Lipton, 7.30pm
Saturday, July 28 Boricua Festival: Tito Rojas, Joe Cuba Sextet, Viento De Agua, David Cedeño, and more, 2:00 - 9:00
Thursday, August 2 Brave New World Repertory Theater: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and Jenny Scheinman, 8:00
Friday, August 3 Lyricist Lounge with KRS-ONE, Ladybug Mecca, Blitz, Beat Entertainment, and Turntable Anihilists, 7.30
Saturday, August 4 Kassav and Bonga, 7:30
Thursday, August 9 The Hold Steady, the Big Sleep, and the Teenage Prayers, 7:00
Friday, August 10 Music & Movies Series: Bollywood in Brooklyn: HUM KISI SE KUM NAHIN (David Dhawan, 1977) and Dj Rekhas Bollywood Disco, 7:30
Saturday, August 11 African Festival: Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars, Sekouba Bambino, Stella Chiweshe, Shiko Mawatu, and Baye Kouyaté et les Tougarakés, 2:00 - 9:00
Auditorium, Second Floor
Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park
Thursday, June 7 A Jazzy Summer Reading: Paquito DRivera, MY SAX LIFE, and Sue Mingus, TONIGHT AT NOON: A LOVE STORY, 7:00
Saturday, June 16 Author Talk: D., GOT, 2:00
Thursday, June 28 Caribbean Dialogue Series: Choices and Challenges of Tourism, 6:30
© Miwa Yanagi, Kyoto
Miwa Yanagi, "Elevator Girl House B4," C-Print on Plexiglas, 1998
Chelsea Art Museum
556 West 22nd St. at Eleventh Ave.
Through August 25
Closed Sunday & Monday
Japanese multimedia artist Miwa Yanagis first American solo exhibition is a tour de force of more than thirty captivating images from three series of works, all of which examine the role and position of women in modern society. In Elevator Girls, Yanagi depicts young Japanese women in identical brightly colored dress, their uniformity blending into stunning architectural landscapes, showing women as both consumer and consumer object. For My Grandmothers, Yanagi interviewed young women and asked them about what they imagined for themselves in fifty years, then created that world, aging the women as they take an active part in their expected, though not necessarily desired, future. And in Fairy Tale, Yanagi re-creates such classic legends as "Rapunzel," "Snow White," and "Little Red Riding Hood" (with a nod to Kiki Smith) in spooky black and white, incorporating violence and mystery while setting the old against the young in creepy tableaux. There are also two video installations; downstairs is "Girls in Her Sand," in which viewers get under a canopy to watch an unseen person watching girls play on a sandy beach, while in the second video, on the main floor and set into a wall, women dressed in white, looking like nurses but actually elevator girls, are caught in an endless cycle of consumerism as they walk in and out of the frame, reflected on all sides to haunting effect.
Federico Uribe brings animals to life using only Puma sneakers
Chelsea Art Museum
556 West 22nd St. at Eleventh Ave.
Through August 18
Closed Sunday & Monday
Born in Colombia and now based in Miami, conceptual artist Federico Uribe has joined forces with Puma for "Human Nature," an enchanting rainforest of plants, insects, and animals, both predator and prey, constructed completely from materials from Puma sneakers, which are made primarily from animal skin thus, in his own words, "reconstructing nature from its own raw materials." By making the animals out of sneakers meant for humans, Uribe equates the two, as if humanity itself were on view as both hunter and target. Using more than 1,700 shoes and 35,000 shoelaces, the installation includes monkeys, an ostrich with its head in the sand, a snake sneaking up on a zebra, a giraffe munching on a plant, an elephant and a rhino surrounded by birds, an aardvark, an alligator and a crocodile, a tortoise, an endearingly cute panda, butterflies, and a panther chewing on a small monkeylike doll, the only creature not made from sneakers although hes dripping red shoelace blood. "We take from life to better our own," Uribe writes in the accompanying pamphlet. "I destroy our earthly possessions to create symbols of life, animals. I cannot give them true life, but I may give them the echo of life, which is as much as art can do." Of course, the pamphlet also features the special brands of Puma sneakers used by Uribe and a list of retailers where you can find them. Fortunately, though, the exhibition does not feel like an elaborate advertisement as much as an entertaining and provocative look at the animal kingdom.
Chelsea Art Museum
Saturday, June 9 Unbound: Music by Tania León, "Singin Sepia" for soprano, clarinet, violin, and piano four-hands; Kati Agócs, "I and Thou" for two cellos; Jennifer Higdon, trio for violin, cello, and piano; composer-in-residence Joan Tower, String Quartet No. 1, "Night Field," and Libby Larsen, trio for violin, cello, and piano, hosted, conceived, and curated by Orchestra of St. Lukes, 2:00 concert, 3:30 composer Q&A "Uncensored," and 4:00 reception
Saturday, June 16 Unleashed: Music by Erin Watson, "Lullaby for Cy Twombly"; Joan la Barbara, "Lalbero dalle foglie azure" for solo oboe and tape; Julia Wolfe,
"Early That Summer" for string quartet; Pamela Z, "Four Movements with Delays"; and
Eve Beglarian, "Cave" for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, keyboard, and tape, hosted, conceived, and curated by Orchestra of St. Lukes, 2:00 concert, 3:30 composer Q&A "Uncensored," and 4:00 "Uncorked" festival reception
Huang Rui breaks down the Communist Manifesto into its basic elements
535 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., third floor
Through June 21
For his debut American solo show, controversial artist and activist Huang Rui has turned to the Chinese translation of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848, literally re-creating the world-changing document letter by letter out of iron typeset. Each of the thirty-nine pages appears in the gallery both as movable type on a stand and printed page framed on the wall. In the far corner are copies of the book as printed by Huang Rui and encased in a deluxe stainless-steel package available in a limited edition. The exhibit is supplemented with a pair of black-and-white paintings that call into question language itself. By reducing the influential manifesto to its bare bones, Huang Rui is removing the history behind it, returning it to its original, visible, purely physical state, freeing it from the bloody consequences that have been left in its wake.
Smiling Chinese warriors line up in Chelsea
511 West 22nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 16
Closed Sunday & Monday
Yue Minjun specializes in sculptures and paintings of widely smiling men based on iconic Chinese artistic and historical images, with the faces based on his own. For his first solo exhibition at Max Protetch in Chelsea, Yue has recontextualized Emperor Qin Shi Huangs famous Terracotta Army in Shaanxi Province, built for the first emperors mausoleum in the third century BCE. "Contemporary Terra Cotta Warriors #10" consists of two rows of dark bronze statues, their hands outstretched and clasped together, their eyes closed, with mouths wide open, as if they are enjoying an extremely pleasurable yawn. Standing with military precision facing 22nd St., they are not exactly the most imposing of armies yet we dont know why they are so content. Are they laughing in the face of modern-day China, with the onset of capitalism? Do they know that their country seems destined to replace the United States as the worlds most wealthy and powerful nation? Or are they mocking the military itself? Regardless of your interpretation, its hard not to be taken in by their infectious smiles and welcoming disposition.
© Martin Klimas
A porcelain figure facing its destruction is captured in a moment of time
547 West 27th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 16
Closed Sunday & Monday
Using a strobe light and one sheet of film, German artist Martin Klimas captures a fragile, ethereal moment in time as delicate, colorful porcelain figures smash to the floor. Prior to being dropped, each figure was a lovely collectible piece of art an elegant pink lady, a master samurai, a ballerina, or a dapper gentleman. A split second after they hit the floor, they will disintegrate into hundreds of bits that cannot be put back together. But at the very moment of impact, they are still recognizable objects, with only certain parts breaking up. It is at that instant that Klimas snaps his photograph, portraying the impermanence of life as well as art while still finding beauty as the end approaches. Be sure to check out the back room, which contains a handful of cool prints, including Polixeni Papapetrous "Hanging Rock 1900 #2" and Alexandre Orions "Metabiotica 3."
© Andreas Gursky
Andreas Gursky, "Kamiokande," C-print mounted on Plexiglas in artists frame, 2007
Matthew Marks Gallery
523 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
522 West 22nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 30
Closed Sunday and Monday
German photographer Andreas Gursky, the subject of a memorable midcareer retrospective at MoMA in 2001, takes large-scale photographs mounted on Plexiglas that play with perspective, seemingly impossible shots that appear to have been digitally created but indeed are the real deal. From a distance, Gurskys photos often look like abstract landscapes and altered realities, but upon closer inspection they turn out to be remarkable images that feature natural repetition, impossible moments in time, featuring stunning light and color. Photos from Pyongyang depict North Koreas Mass Games gymnastics event, bathed in communist red and white. "Kamiokande" at first looks like a fantasy world but is actually an underground observatory in Japan filled with 50,000 tons of water and containing tubes that search for supernovas. And youll be shocked to find out that "Bahrain 1" is a shot of a racetrack in the desert. Gurskys latest series, Boxenstopp (Pit Stop), on view at both Matthew Marks galleries, consists of monumental photographs of pit crews during Formula 1 races, frozen moments that are difficult to believe were not staged.
Andy Goldsworthy, "White Walls," porcelain clay, 2007
528 West 26th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 16
Closed Sunday & Monday
On May 8, Andy Goldsworthys "White Walls" opened to the public at Galerie Lelong, nearly two thousand linear feet of one-inch-thick smooth, white porcelain on the walls of the otherwise empty gallery (save for some permanent columns). The clay will slowly peel off the wall and fall to the floor through June 16, when the installation is scheduled to end. Thus, every day, the gallery will look a little different, as more clay piles up on the floor, exposing more of the original walls, evoking life, death, and rebirth and, because visitors are not allowed to touch the project, humanitys lack of control over its own impending destruction. The gallerys Web site features a brief slide show documenting the installations demise. These themes are also evident in a video in a second space at the gallery, in which a silhouetted figure made out of snow on a rock slowly disappears. For more of Goldsworthys environmental work, check out his "Garden of Stones" project on permanent view at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Mr., "Strawberry Voice," FRP, iron, various materials, 2007
Lehmann Maupin Gallery
540 West 26th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Through June 16
Closed Sunday & Monday
Japanese artist Mr., whose garden gallery welcomed visitors to the superb "Little Boy: The Arts of Japans Exploding Subculture" at the Japan Society in 2005, has filled the Lehmann Maupin gallery with nearly two dozen of his playful paintings and sculptures, a joyful collection of colorful pieces marking his first solo show in New York. Mr.s work focuses on otaku culture, in which (primarily) males are obsessed with such aspects of pop culture as anime, martial arts, manga, video games, and girl singing groups, sometimes bordering on child pornography and other dangerous fetishes. Mrs pieces include the "Penyo-Henyo" Spring Breeze Edition trio "Life," "Snack Time," and "Buddies" large, cartoonish figures made of fiberglass and steel who have enormous heads and fab decorations painted all over their bodies and bases; watercolors of a very short skirted ninja girl; the acrylic on canvas "I know her secret," in which a young girl with blue hair reveals the male genitalia on her redheaded best friend, who is supposedly female; "Faraway dream," another acrylic in which a man in uniform has his hand suspiciously on a young girls shoulder; and "Strawberry Voice," a huge head with all kinds of crazy stuff in her brain. On a recent Saturday afternoon, we were treated to Mr. hanging out in the front space of the gallery, working on various smaller projects and interacting with delighted children.
John Connellys basement features a little multimedia bonus
John Connelly Presents
625 West 27th St. between Eleventh & Twelfth Aves.
Through June 30
Closed Sunday & Monday
The international art collective assume vivid astro focus has turned nearly every part of the John Connelly Presents space into a 3-D world of sculpture and four letter words. Everything is wrapped in psychedelic 3-D wallpaper made up of four-letter words, including bush, bomb, iraq, hope, evil, and love, covering a bench, tools, boxes, shelving, drawers, chairs, crates, buckets, tubes, a ladder, frames, a vacuum, stretchers, and other objects. Stick your head in one of the pieces of cloth dangling from the closed-off center area to watch a live performance inside, featuring music, dance, burlesque, and spoken word from the likes of Vanessa Walters, Barr, Japanther, Tigger, Linda Simpson, and others. Oh, and be prepared youll have to take your shoes off to see the exhibit, and the 3-D glasses are part of a kookie mask youll have to put on. Dont forget to go downstairs to see an installation of pounding music and a series of neon lights that look to be heading straight at you.
DECA DANCE will look back at career of Ohan Naharin
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
547 West 26th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 7:00
June 7 July 1
For nearly a month, Ohad Naharin, house choreographer for the Batsheva Dance Company, will be presenting DECA DANCE, sort of a greatest-hits package from his twenty-plus-year career, condensed into ninety minutes but with a twist. "DECA DANCE is not a new work," Naharin notes in describing the performance. "It is more about reconstruction: I like to take pieces or sections of existing works and rework it, reorganize it and create the possibility to look at it from a new angle."
Minetta Lane Theatre
18 Minetta Ln.
In honor of what would have been the late Spalding Grays sixty-fifth birthday on June 5 of last year, Kathie Russo began staging readings of the eclectic writer, actor, and monologists work, which included such books as SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA and GRAYS ANATOMY. Now, eight times a week, special guests come to the Minetta Lane Theatre to participate in SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL, directed by Lucy Sexton. Among the stars who have graced the Greenwich Village stage are Josh Lucas, Bruce Vilanch, Estelle Parsons, Richard Kind, Dylan Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Rachel Dratch, Anthony Rapp, Charles Busch, Kathleen Chalfant, Hazelle Goodman, and Whoopi Goldberg. Currently appearing through June 10 is David Boreanaz, followed by Christopher Gorham (UGLY BETTY) June 12-17. Upcoming performers also include Michelle Trachtenberg and Darnell Williams.
This Week in New York has partnered with SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL to offer free tickets to this hit production. To qualify for our ticket giveaway, please e-mail your full name, age, and daytime phone number to email@example.com. Entries must be received by Tuesday, June 19, at 5:00 pm. One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a pair of tickets to the show. Employees of This Week in New York, the Naked Angels Theatre Company, and SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL are ineligible. You must be eighteen years or older to enter. Please note that all information will be kept strictly confidential This Week in New York never shares or sells any personal data whatsoever. Good luck!
MetroTech Commons is home to free summer music festival
Civic Center/Borough Hall area of Downtown Brooklyn
Corner of Flatbush & Myrtle Aves.
BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival: Thursday afternoons, 12:00 - 2:00
"The World Is Round," through September 9
718-636-4100 / 212-980-4575
Built in 1992, MetroTech Center Commons is a small, idyllic pedestrian-only space in the middle of several corporate buildings and Polytechnic University. Part concrete, part grass and trees, the commons is home to the annual summer Brooklyn Academy of Music Rhythm & Blues Festival, free performances on Thursdays at noon; this years lineup includes Ashford & Simpson, Booker T & the MGs with Sharon Jones, and the James Cotton Blues Band, among others. There is also art across the park, sponsored by the Public Art Fund. Permanent art projects includes Tony Matellis "Stray Dog," James Anguss "Basketball Dropped from 35,000 Feet at Moment of Impact," and tom Otternesss "Visionary" as well as the ultracool "Alligator," emerging from a manhole cover to devour a man with a moneybag for a head.
Jacob Dyrenforth, "Stand-Ins for the All-Time Greatest," 2006
Continuing through September 9, "The World Is Round" consists of works by six artists who investigate language and communication in contemporary society. Chris Hanson & Hendrika Sonnenbergs "Soapbox" consists of three soapboxes, one turned on its side, that seems to invite people to get on one and start spouting their ideas, much like famed Speakers Corner in Hyde Park in London. In "4eva," Matt Johnson carves his message in a 450-million-year-old piece of pre-Cambrian granite. Ryan McGinness lines the main walkway with dozens of two-sided bright green wordless signs that are as charming as they are bewildering, taking its title, "Equo no Credite, Teucri," from Virgils THE AENEID. And Jacob Dyrenforth pays tribute to the language of music with "Stand-Ins for the All-Time Greatest," a faux mirrored stage with stringless guitars based on those used by ten of the greatest players of all time, all in white, a fitting tribute to the areas summer concert series.
Thursday, June 7 Ashford & Simpson
Thursday, June 14 Booker T. & The MG's with special guest Sharon Jones
Thursday, June 21 Lizz Wright
Thursday, June 28 Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective
Thursday, July 5 The Mahotella Queens
Thursday, July 12 Robert Glasper
Thursday, July 19 Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra
Thursday, July 26 James Cotton Blues Band and the Carolina Chocolate Drops
Thursday, August 2 Eric Roberson and Chrisette Michele Commons, 12 noon
Thursday, August 9 The Itals
© Edward Burtynsky
Documentary about Edward Burtynsky is filled with unsettling beauty
Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. between Eighth Ave. & Broadway
With news organizations growing ever more partisan or giving up covering hard news in favor of entertainment synergy, one of the last places to learn about what is really going on in our troubled world is through documentary films. Though most documentaries still take a strong point of view, they deal with often controversial topics that are little known to the general public or are misinterpreted or misunderstood by the media. For the eighteenth year, Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have teamed up to bring two weeks of eye-opening shorts and feature-length films from seventeen countries, covering such hard-hitting and important subjects as photographers working during the repressive Pinochet regime in Chile, the violent legacy of towns across the United States driving out African American families, Palestinian leadership in Israeli prisons, a new look at the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Guatemalan prostitutes trying to better their lives by forming a soccer team, as well as global warming, electioneering, the struggle of Iraqi women under U.S. occupation, and the pursuit of war criminals in the former Yugoslavia. Check out a few of these films and help spread the word about what is really going on in the world these days.
Friday, June 15 THE CITY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS (Sebastián Moreno Mardones, 2006), 1:30
Friday, June 15 THE RAILROAD ALL-STARS (Chema Rodriguez, 2006), 4:00
Friday, June 15 STRANGE CULTURE (Lynn Hershman Leeson, 2007), 6:30
Friday, June 15 MON COLONEL (Laurent Herbiet, 2006), 9:00
Saturday, June 16 THE VIOLIN (Francisco Vargas Quevedo, 2006), 1:00
Saturday, June 16 ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (Eva Mulvad, 2006) and SARIS MOTHER (James Longley, 2006), 3:30
Saturday, June 16 MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (Jennifer Baichwal, 2005), 6:15
209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
June 20 July 3
Photographer Edward Burtynsky has been traveling the world with his large-format viewfinder camera, taking remarkable photographs of environmental landscapes undergoing industrial change. Cinematographer Peter Mettler and director Jennifer Baichwal joined Burtynsky on his journey as he documented ships being broken down in Chittagong, Bangladesh; the controversial development of the Three Gorges Dam Project in China, which displaced more than a million people; the uniformity at a factory in Cankun that makes irons and the Deda Chicken Processing Plant in Dehui City; as well as various mines and quarries. Burtynskys photos, which were on view at the Brooklyn Museum in late 2005, are filled with gorgeous colors and a horrible sadness at the lack of humanity they portray. As in the exhibit, the audience is not hit over the head with facts and figures and environmental rhetoric; instead, the pictures pretty much speak for themselves, although Burtynsky does give some limited narration. Baichwal lets the camera linger on its subject, as in the remarkable opening shot, a long, slow pan across a seemingly endless factory. She is also able to get inside the photographs, making them appear to be three-dimensional as she slowly pulls away. The 8:10 screening at Film Forum on June 20 will be followed by a Q&A with Burtynsky and director Baichwal.
Saturday, June 16 New Visions: A Sundance Documentary Film Program "Work-in-Progress" Screening, 8:45
Sunday, June 17 THE VIOLIN (Francisco Vargas Quevedo, 2006), 1:00
Sunday, June 17 EVERYTHINGS COOL (Daniel B. Gold & Judith Helfand, 2006), 3:30
Sunday, June 17 ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (Eva Mulvad, 2006) and SARIS MOTHER (James Longley, 2006), 6:15
Sunday, June 17 THE RAILROAD ALL-STARS (Chema Rodriguez, 2006), 8:45
Monday, June 18 CARLAS LIST (Marcel Schüpbach, 2006), 1:00
Monday, June 18 ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (Eva Mulvad, 2006) and SARIS MOTHER (James Longley, 2006), 4:00
Monday, June 18 THE RAILROAD ALL-STARS (Chema Rodriguez, 2006), 6:30
Monday, June 18 STRANGE CULTURE (Lynn Hershman Leeson, 2007), 9:00
Thomas Jay Ryan and Tilda Swinton star in strange STRANGE CULTURE
STRANGE CULTURE tells the remarkable post-Patriot Act story of Steve Kurtz, a Buffalo artist and professor who the government is treating as a bioterrorist. On May 11, 2004, his wife, Hope, unexpectedly dies. When the medics arrive on the scene, they immediately become suspicious of the chemical elements they find there and notify the FBI. Although theyre actually all legally acquired materials that are part of an environmental art project he was putting together for the Critical Art Ensemble, Kurtz is detained on suspicion of bioterrorism. And, unbelievably, the more he and others explain his situation, the deeper he gets caught up in what could be a high-level corporate conspiracy, not just a whole lot of red tape. Unfortunately, Kurtzs compelling story is told in ridiculous re-creations featuring such stars as Thomas Jay Ryan (as Steve) and Tilda Swinton (as Hope) and other boneheaded scenes in which Ryan (as himself) talks with the real Kurtz about the making of the film. At one point, Swinton has to identify herself as being Tilda, not Hope, and Peter Coyote also introduces himself as being Peter Coyote, not playing one of the characters in the film. Its actually more annoying than confusing. Because the case is ongoing, Kurtz and others cannot publicly discuss many of the details, resulting in director Lynn Hershman Leesons silly attempt to get the story out in this absurd mishmash that plays more like an infomercial than an important documentary work.
Tuesday, June 19 THE RAILROAD ALL-STARS (Chema Rodriguez, 2006), 1:30
Tuesday, June 19 STRANGE CULTURE (Lynn Hershman Leeson, 2007), 4:00
Tuesday, June 19 CARLAS LIST (Marcel Schüpbach, 2006), with Carla Del Ponte in conversation with Richard Dicker, followed by a reception, 6:30
Tuesday, June 19 THE CITY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS (Sebastián Moreno Mardones, 2006), 9:15
Wednesday, June 20 SUFFERING AND SMILING (Dan Ollman, 2007), 2:00
Wednesday, June 20 THE CITY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS (Sebastián Moreno Mardones, 2006), 4:00
Wednesday, June 20 LUMO (Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt & Nelson Walker III, 2007), 6:30
Thursday, June 21 LUMO (Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt & Nelson Walker III, 2007), 1:30
Thursday, June 21 WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN (Steven Okazaki, 2007), 4:00 & 9:00
Thursday, June 21 BANISHED (Marco Williams, 2006), 6:30
Friday, June 22 COCALERO (Alejandro Landes, 2007), 1:30
Friday, June 22 SUFFERING AND SMILING (Dan Ollman, 2007), 4:00
Friday, June 22 WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN (Steven Okazaki, 2007), 6:30
Friday, June 22 THE CITY OF PHOTOGRAPHERS (Sebastián Moreno Mardones, 2006), 9:00
Saturday, June 23 A LESSON OF BELARUSIAN (Miroslaw Dembinski, 2006), PIZZA SURVEILLANCE FEATURE (Micah Laaker, 2005) and VIRTUAL FREEDOM (Gef Senz & Maung Maung Aye, 2006), 1:30
Saturday, June 23 THE UNFORESEEN (Laura Dunn, 2007), 4:00
Saturday, June 23 COCALERO (Alejandro Landes, 2007), 6:30
Saturday, June 23 SUFFERING AND SMILING (Dan Ollman, 2007), 9:00
Sunday, June 24 SUFFERING AND SMILING (Dan Ollman, 2007), 1:30
Sunday, June 24 LUMO (Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt & Nelson Walker III, 2007), 3:30
Sunday, June 24 THE UNFORESEEN (Laura Dunn, 2007), 6:00
Sunday, June 24 COCALERO (Alejandro Landes, 2007), 8:30
Monday, June 25 THE UNFORESEEN (Laura Dunn, 2007), 1:30
Monday, June 25 A LESSON OF BELARUSIAN (Miroslaw Dembinski, 2006), PIZZA SURVEILLANCE FEATURE (Micah Laaker, 2005) and VIRTUAL FREEDOM (Gef Senz and Maung Maung Aye, 2006), 4:00
Monday, June 25 HOT HOUSE (Shimon Dotan, 2006), 6:30
Monday, June 25 WELL NEVER MEET CHILDHOOD AGAIN (Sam Lawlor & Lindsay Pollock, 2007), 9:00
Tuesday, June 26 HOT HOUSE (Shimon Dotan, 2006), 1:30 & 9:00
Tuesday, June 26 WELL NEVER MEET CHILDHOOD AGAIN (Sam Lawlor & Lindsay Pollock, 2007), 4:00
Tuesday, June 26 A LESSON OF BELARUSIAN (Miroslaw Dembinski, 2006), PIZZA SURVEILLANCE FEATURE (Micah Laaker, 2005) and VIRTUAL FREEDOM (Gef Senz & Maung Maung Aye, 2006), 6:30
Wednesday, June 27 ELECTION DAY (Katy Chevigny, 2007), 1:30 & 6:30
Wednesday, June 27 THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, 2006), 4:00
Brian Steidle is shocked by what he uncovers in Darfur
In 2004, Brian Steidle, a former Marine captain from a patriotic military family, left the corps and was seeking a new challenge. He opted for a high-paying job as an unarmed military observer for the African Union, where he would lead a small team in Darfur in Sudan. Once there, Steidle was shocked by what he saw the systematic genocide of a race of people, an ethnic cleansing of poor, non-Arab tribes that appeared to be supported by the government. Steidle documented chilling events perpetrated by the murderous Janjaweed ("devils on horseback"), on video and in still photographs, filing reports that had little or no effect. Frustrated by the Sudanese government, the UN, and the White House, Steidle ultimately took his case to the American people and still the killings go on. Filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern follow Steidles amazing journey as he travels from Washington, DC, to Rwanda, England, and Chad, desperate to alert the world of this horrific crisis. THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK is an unforgettable tale that captures exactly what the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival is all about.
Wednesday, June 27 WELL NEVER MEET CHILDHOOD AGAIN (Sam Lawlor and Lindsay Pollock, 2007), 9:00
Thursday, June 28 A LESSON OF BELARUSIAN (Miroslaw Dembinski, 2006), PIZZA SURVEILLANCE FEATURE (Micah Laaker, 2005) and VIRTUAL FREEDOM (Gef Senz & Maung Maung Aye, 2006), 1:30
Thursday, June 28 WELL NEVER MEET CHILDHOOD AGAIN (Sam Lawlor and Lindsay Pollock, 2007), 4:00
Thursday, June 28 THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, 2006), 6:30
Thursday, June 28 ELECTION DAY (Katy Chevigny, 2007), 9:00
Takashi Miike cult classic is one of best flicks at fest
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
June 16-July 22
The Museum of the Moving Image has put together a mixed bag of horror films from the 1970s and the last ten years, which have seen remakes of such 1970s classics as THE HILLS HAVE EYES, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, and other beloved, gruesome tales. The series focuses on gory, low-budget bloodfests, so were not sure why A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is included, but heck, well take every chance we can get to see Kubricks violent masterpiece on the big screen. Unfortunately, a lot of the films here just plain suck, but there are also such worthwhile thrillers as CARRIE, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE DEVILS REJECTS, and HOMECOMING, Joe Dantes political nightmare from Showtimes Masters of Horror series. And the low-budget legend himself, Larry Cohen, will be on hand for a screening of ITS ALIVE.
Saturday, June 16 THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE (Adam Simon, 2000), 2:00
Saturday, June 16 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Stanley Kubrick, 1971), 4:00
Saturday, June 16 SAW II (Darren Lynn Bousman, 2005) and LIFE LIKE (Aida Ruilova, 2006), 6:30
Follow-up to impressive first film is a dud
The first SAW was an inventive, gory, eerie thriller with lots of surprises. Unfortunately, the sequel is a repetitive, gory boring continuation, with way too many cliches, uninteresting characters, and a forced story line that tries much too hard. Donnie Wahlberg stars as Detective Eric Mason, a cop questioning his own abilities who suddenly finds himself caught in the web of the Jigsaw killer, who has placed eight people including Masons son, Daniel (Erik Knudsen) in a chamber of horrors. If Mason doesnt play Jigsaws game, his son as well as the other captives (which include Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Beverley Mitchell, and Tim Burd) will die. Shawnee Smith is back as Amanda, the lone survivor of Jigsaws evil doings from the first film, Dina Meyer has an expanded role as the detective profiling the case, and the awesome Tobin Bell returns as the mastermind behind it all. Cowriter-director Darren Lynn Bousmans original script had nothing to do with SAW; cowriter Leigh Whannell, who wrote and starred in last years hit, took Bousmans story and forced it into being a sequel, and it shows. The result is a cardboard creation that is a major disappointment.
Sunday, June 17 THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (Tobe Hooper, 1974), 2:00
Sunday, June 17 Panel discussion: "Considering Horror," with Nathan Lee, Adam Lowenstein, Maitland McDonagh, and Joshua Rothkopf, 4:30
Sunday, June 17 THE DEVILS REJECTS (Rob Zombie, 2005) and BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA (Marv Newland, 1969), 6:30
Sid Haig has another blast as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's impressive sequel
Although writer-director Rob Zombie refuses to call this a sequel to 2003s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE DEVILS REJECTS is a sequel to Zombies 2003 horror hit HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Mad clown Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) is back, as are murderous siblings Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie, Robs wife). Mother Firefly, played by the vixenous Karen Black in the first flick, is here portrayed with delicious delight by Leslie Easterbrook. In this gorefest, Otis and Baby are on the lam from Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe), who is determined to avenge his brothers death; they hole up in a skeevy motel with a quartet of hostages that includes perennial Clint Eastwood bad boy Geoffrey Lewis and THREES COMPANY escapee Priscilla Barnes. Zombie cleverly plays with genre cliches; what you think is going to happen or not happen gets turned upside down, so you never quite know where things are heading (although you can always count on a shot of his wifes butt). Zombie, leader of the heavy metal band White Zombie, injects a wry sense of humor by including such 70s pop music as Elvin Bishops "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," Steely Dans "Reelin in the Years," David Essexs "Rock On," and even Lynryd Skynyrds "Freebird," always at extremely appropriate moments. Add a star if you love films that relish gore; delete two and a half if you cant stand them.
Saturday, June 23 THE HILLS HAVE EYES (Wes Craven, 1977), 2:00
Saturday, June 23 THE HILLS HAVE EYES (Alexandre Aja, 2006), 4:00
Sunday, June 24 THE HOST (Bong Joon-ho, 2006), 2:00
Overrated Korean horror film was a big hit
Several years after the government improperly disposes of chemical waste, a huge monster appears under a bridge on the Han River. The lazy, childlike Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho), who works at his grandfathers ( food stand on the shore that is, when hes not sleeping tries desperately to save his young daughter, Hyun-seo (Ko A-sung), from the creatures grasp, but when the monster runs off with her, Gang-du does everything in his limited power to try to get her back if shes even still alive. He gets help from his well-dressed brother and Olympian archer sister, who are determined to rescue their niece, but the creature has no intentions of just coughing her up. THE HOST wants to be more than just another monster movie, injecting humor and strong family bonds, but it never quite pulls itself together. For every great scene with the creature, theres a silly scene with the family that misses the mark. Still, Song is a hoot to watch, and the special effects folks have created one heck of a cool monster.
Sunday, June 24 THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (Dario Argento, 1970), 4:30
Sunday, June 24 HIGH TENSION (Alexandre Aja, 2003) and THE SCARY MOVIE (Peggy Ahwesh, 1993), 6:30
Saturday, June 30 HOSTEL (Eli Roth, 2005), 12 noon
Saturday, June 30 ITS ALIVE (Larry Cohen, 1974), with Larry Cohen in person, 2:00
Sunday, July 1 RABID (David Cronenberg, 1977), 4:30
Sunday, July 1 BUG (William Friedkin, 2006), 6:30
Saturday, July 7 DAWN OF THE DEAD (Zack Snyder, 2004) and THRILLER (John Landis, 1983), 2:00
Saturday, July 7 DEAD OF NIGHT (DEATHDREAM) (Bob Clark, 1974), 4:30
Saturday, July 7 HOMECOMING (Joe Dante, 2005), 6:30
Sunday, July 8 GEORGE A. ROMEROS MARTIN (George A. Romero, 1977), 4:30
Sunday, July 8 28 WEEKS LATER (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007) see review in Riff's Rants & Raves below, 6:30
Saturday, July 14 RAY HARRYHAUSEN PRESENTS: THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (Marc Lougee, 2006) and HEAD TRAUMA (Lance Weiler, 2006), live multimedia performance by Lance Weiler, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, $18, 6:30
Sunday, July 15 HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (Lucio Fulci, 1979), 2:00
Sunday, July 15 ICHI THE KILLER (Takashi Miike, 2001), 4:00
Takashi Miikes ICHI THE KILLER is a faithful adaptation of Hideo Yamamotos hit manga. When Boss Anjo goes missing while beating the hell out of a prostitute, his gang, led by Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano, star of the beautiful MABOROSI), a multipierced blond sadomasochist, tries to find him by threatening and torturing members of other gangs. As the violence continues to grow including faces torn and sliced off, numerous decapitations, innards splattered on walls and ceilings, body parts cut off, and self-mutilation the killer turns out to be a young man named Ichi (Nao Omori), whose memory of a long-ago brutal rape turns him into a costumed avenger, crying like a baby as he leaves bloody mess after bloody mess on his mission to rid the world of bullies. This psychosexual S&M gorefest, which is certainly not for the squeamish, comes courtesy of the endlessly imaginative Miike, who trained with master filmmaker Shohei Imamura and seems to love really sharp objects. The excellent and brave cast also includes directors Sabu and Shinya Tsukamoto and Hong Kong starlet Alien Sun.
Sunday, July 15 WOLF CREEK (Greg McLean, 2005), 6:30
Saturday, July 21 CARRIE (Brian DePalma, 1976), 2:00
Saturday, July 14 FINAL DESTINATION 3 (James Wong, 2006), 4:30
Saturday, July 14 HALLOWEEN (John Carpenter, 1978) and OUTER SPACE (1999), 6:30
Sunday, July 22 LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (Wes Craven, 1972), followed by a discussion with Amy Villarejo, 4:30
Sunday, July 23 THE DESCENT (Neil Marshall, 2005), 6:30
Shock-horror flick digs itself too deep a hole
Ostensibly a female DELIVERANCE gone underground, Neil Marshalls THE DESCENT is a piss-poor piece of putrefaction. A year after Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) loses her husband and daughter in a terrible car accident, an adventurous group of friends go spelunking in the Appalachians (though the film was actually made in England, at Pinewood Studios). But Juno (Natalie Mendoza) has pulled a fast one; instead of the well-traversed caves they thought they were going to, Juno has taken them to unexplored territory, where lying in wait for them are fast-moving mutant Gollums with hardy appetites. There is actually one genuine scare, but everything else is manipulatively mundane and morbidly mangled. Inexplicably, THE DESCENT was a hit at home, garnering a handful of British film awards and nominations. And what ever became of the childs laughter? This version includes the original British ending, but were not sure we can sit through the whole thing again just to see that.
Grand Central Oyster Bar
Grand Central Terminal, lower level
Scheduled to begin: June 6, 5:01 pm
Every year around late May, we start jonesing for the new Dutch herring from the North Sea to arrive on these shores, served up first at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. The Silver of the Sea is scheduled to show up on June 6, and it should be available for about two weeks after that. The Oyster Bar devotes a small section of the fabled restaurant to the Dutch delicacy, serving the fabulous Hollandse Nieuwe Haring from Scheveningen with chopped egg and diced raw onion, along with genever (Dutch gin) as desired, from a special cart (marked De Haringkoning the Herring King) between 11:30 and 3:00 and again from 5:00 to closing, as long as they dont sell out. After partaking of these slippery delights, head over to Vanderbilt Hall to take in excerpts from classic New York flicks for a very different kind of dinner and a movie.
Grand Central goes to the movies with multimedia display
Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall
East 42nd St. at Park Ave.
Through June 22
Time Warner Cable and Turner Classic Movies pay tribute to New York in the movies with this multimedia display in Vanderbilt Hall that includes film stills, excerpts on flat-screen monitors (dating back to 1896), generic scenic backdrops, quotes, and other cinematic samplings from James Sanderss 2001 book, CELLULOID SKYLINE: NEW YORK AND THE MOVIES (Knopf). Among the topics tackled are "Process and Establishing Footage," "Nighttown: The Dark Side of the City," "Houses of Memory," "Edge of the City: Waterfront and Train Station," and "City of Giants: Skylines of Fantasy," with stills from such New York (and related) classics as DOG DAY AFTERNOON, DO THE RIGHT THING, THE HEIRESS, FAME, TAXI DRIVER, DEATH WISH, THE LANDLORD, THE WIZARD OF OZ, KING KONG (1933), THE CLOCK, and many more. In conjunction with the exhibit, TCM will be airing New York films every Friday night in June, including MOONSTRUCK, GUYS AND DOLLS, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, ON THE WATERFRONT, and ON THE TOWN.
Thursday, June 7 James Sanders, CELLULOID SKYLINE: NEW YORK AND THE MOVIES (Knopf), book signing and talk, Vanderbilt Hall, free, 2:00
Saturday, June 16 T Burr, THE BEST OLD MOVIES FOR FAMILIES (Anchor), screening of shorts followed by discussion and book signing, 2:00
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.
Opens Friday, June 15
Mixing in bits and pieces of THE STEPFORD WIVES, CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, LASSIE, HARRY & THE HENDERSONS, and the cult television series EERIE, INDIANA with elements of Douglas Sirk, George A. Romero, and Mad magazine, Andrew Curries horror comedy FIDO is an entertaining mishmash set in a relatively idyllic 1950s suburbia (where hell is never too far away). On the surface, Bill and Helen Robinson (Dylan Baker and Carrie-Anne Moss) and their son, Timmy (KSun Ray), are the perfect little family except all the other kids in the neighborhood hate Timmy, Bill is carrying a deep, dark secret about his fathers death, and Helen is positively aghast that theyre not keeping up with the Joneses, so she surprises Bill one day with a special present, his very own domesticated zombie (an unrecognizable Billy Connolly). Timmy names the zombie who is completely subservient whenever his electronic collar, courtesy of ZomCon, is working, and becomes voraciously hungry for human flesh when it is not Fido, as if he were a pet dog. While Bill is terrified of Fido and all zombies, Timmy substitutes him as a father figure and Helen becomes oddly attracted to him. But Fido is not like other zombies he appears to be the only walking dead who just might still have his humanity trapped somewhere inside him, trying to get out. The peaceful little town of Willard is watched over by Jonathan Bottoms (Henry Czerny), ZomCons war-crazed head of security who takes pleasure in sending families that break the rules into the Wild Zone. And Tim Blake Nelson is hysterical as a Hefneresque pipe-smoking former ZomCon exec who has a rather special relationship with his own hot-blonde zombie (Sonja Bennett). FIDO is loads of fun, although it cant quite make up its mind who its audience is, switching back and forth between a PG-13 sensibility and an R-rated gorefest.
Things get a little dark for Maria Järvenhelmi and Janne Hyytiäinen in LIGHTS IN THE DUSK
323 Sixth Ave. at Third St.
The final installment in his self-described Loser Trilogy (following DRIFTING CLOUDS and THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST), LIGHTS IN THE DUSK is another existential masterpiece from Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. Janne Hyytiäinen stars as Koistinen, a pathetic little security guard who has pipe dreams of starting his own company. A lonely man with no friends except for Aila (Maria Heiskanen), who runs a late-night hot-dog van and whom he continually shuns Koistinen is easily taken in by Mirja (Maria Järvenhelmi), a romantic interest who has ulterior motives. But no matter how bad things get for Koistinen and they get pretty bad he just wanders his way through it all, preferring to simply accept the consequences, no matter how undeserved, rather than take a more active role in his life. The character has a lot in common with Kati Outinens sad-sack, trampled-upon Iris from Kaurismäkis THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL in fact, Outinen makes a cameo in LIGHTS IN THE DUSK as a cashier at a grocery store.
New Yorker Films © 2006
Michel Piccoli returns as Husson in Oliveiras BELLE TOUJOURS
Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira who next year will turn one hundred revisits Luis Buñuels 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 husbands friend, Henri Husson (Michel Piccoli), discovers her intimate, dangerous secret. Buñuels 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 havent seen BELLE DE JOUR. But even for fans of the masterful original, Oliveiras BELLE TOUJOURS will be a major disappointment.
Timothy Spall prepares for another hanging in PIERREPOINT
Opens June 8
323 Sixth Ave. at Third St.
The great Timothy Spall, a longtime British character actor best known for his work in numerous Mike Leigh films and as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series, gives a sensational, career-defining performance as the title character in Adrian Shergolds outstanding PIERREPOINT THE LAST HANGMAN. Spall plays Albert Pierrepoint, an easygoing deliveryman who decides to follow in his fathers and uncles footsteps and become an executioner. Soon he is being sent to prison after prison to carry out his record-breaking (and unique vertebrae-snapping) hangings, always done with great care and precision and no emotion. But after disposing of Nazi war criminals, he loses his anonymity when the public celebrates his deeds, and his quiet life with his wife, Anne (an excellent Juliet Stevenson), changes forever for both good and bad. Spall is mesmerizing as Pierrepoint, embodying the complex role from his slow walk to his penetrating eyes. Based on a true story, PIERREPOINT is a gripping, intelligent drama about a controversial subject and one mans role in it.
34 West 13th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Paul Verhoeven (TOTAL RECALL, BASIC INSTINCT) returns to his Dutch roots with BLACK BOOK, an epic tale set during the Holocaust. Its 1944, and Rachel Stein (Carice Van Houten) and her family are trying desperately to get out of Holland, which is being taken over by the Gestapo. But after the small boat they are on gets ambushed, with Rachel the only survivor of a brutal massacre, she soon finds herself working for the Dutch resistance, under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers (Derek de Lint). After a successful mission with Hans (Thom Hoffman), Rachel gets assigned a much more dangerous task to get as close as possible to Gestapo commander Ludwig Müntze (Sebastian Koch), no matter what it takes. As she climbs into bed with Müntze, lies, treachery, and betrayal threaten to tear apart the resistance. BLACK BOOK is a big, ambitious film that cant quite live up to its promise; there are just too many plot holes and individual scenes gone wrong. Still, Van Houten and Koch an emerging international star who was so good in THE LIVES OF OTHERS are both compelling in complex roles that outshine the story itself.
42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
BROOKLYN RULES is a tremendously entertaining sleeper about just how far friends will go for each other. In 1974, three kids find a dead body in a car, the driver killed in an apparent mob hit. While one decides to take home the guys cute little dog, another secretly stashes away the mans gun, hinting at things to come. Eleven years later, Michael (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is going to Columbia, dressing like a preppie, and making a play for one of his classmates, Ellen (Mena Suvari), a sophisticated rich chick from Connecticut. Bobby (ENTOURAGEs Jerry Ferrara) is a cheapskate preparing for his post-office exam and considering proposing to his sweetheart, Amy (Monica Keena). And tough-guy Carmine (Scott Caan, channeling his fathers performance as Sonny Corleone in THE GODFATHER) has started doing small jobs for local hood Caesar (the ubiquitous Alec Baldwin), who is tied in to the about-to-explode mob wars involving such central figures as Paul Castellano and John Gotti. Writer Terence Winter, who has won three Emmys for his work on THE SOPRANOS, based the three main characters on his childhood (although most of the plot is fictional); in fact, the real-life Carmine, Chris Caldovino, plays Philly, Caesars right-hand man. Winter has delivered a terrific script that gets everything just right. Director Michael Corrente (FEDERAL HILL) shot the film in a mere twenty-nine days, but theres nothing rushed about it. We have no idea why it took more than four years for the screenplay to get produced and another two and a half years for the film to finally get distributed. The fab soundtrack includes period songs by the Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, a Flock of Seagulls, Billy Idol, Culture Club, and others.
The forces of Light and Darkness battle for the Chalk of Fate in DAY WATCH.
42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
181 Second Ave. at 12th St.
Dazzling special effects and an incomprehensible plot drive Timur Bekmametov's DAY WATCH (DNEVNOI DOZOR), the sequel to his 2004 Russian hit NIGHT WATCH (NOCHNOI DOZOR). In a futuristic world, the forces of Light and Darkness have established a truce, with each keeping a close eye on the other, existing in a kind of alternate universe where they cannot be seen by regular humanity. Konstantin Khabensky is back as Anton Gorodetsky, a Great Other who tipped the balance in the first film. In DAY WATCH, Anton is again caught in the middle, as his son, Yegor (Dima Martynov), joins the dark side, and Svetlana (Maria Poroshina) teams up with Anton to fight for the Light. The longtime truce, ruled over by Zavulon (Victor Verzhbitsky) and Geser (Vladimir Menshov), threatens to erupt as the chase is on for the Chalk of Fate an incredibly silly plot point. At more than two hours, DAY WATCH is much too long and way too confusing, with lots of cool-looking scenes that make no sense. But the film scores again with its fun, inventive use of subtitles incorporated into the action. Add half a star if you liked all three MATRIX movies.
AMC Loews Village 7
Third Ave. at 11th St.
The same team that brilliantly parodied zombie movies in SHAUN OF THE DEAD star and cowriter Simon Pegg and director and cowriter Edgar Wright are back to skewer the buddy-cop genre in the riotously funny HOT FUZZ. Pegg stars as supercop Nicholas Angel, one of Londons Finest, who is exiled to the country because he was outshining the other city officers too much, making them look bad. Relegated to perennial Village of the Year winner Sandford, the by-the-book sergeant listens obediently to his new boss, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent), the leader of a motley crew that wouldnt know a crime if it walked right up to them and chopped off their head. When Angel tries to convince them that a series of gory accidents is actually the evil doing of a serial killer, they instead poke fun at him and ignore his pleas. Meanwhile, Buttermans bungling son, Danny (SHAUNs Nick Frost), stands by his partner, acting as if theyre in POINT BREAK or BAD BOYS II. HOT FUZZ doesnt miss a beat, from the villainous Simon Skinner (former James Bond Timothy Dalton!) to an escaped swan. HOT FUZZ is bloody good fun.
323 Sixth Ave. at Third St.
Milestone Films is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Charles Burnetts low-budget feature-length debut, KILLER OF SHEEP, with a new 35mm restoration with the soundtrack intact; the film has not been available on VHS or DVD for decades because of music rights problems that have finally been cleared, and it has never before been released theatrically. (The soundtrack includes such seminal black artists as Etta James, Dinah Washington, Little Walter, and Paul Robeson.) Shot on weekends for less than $10,000, KILLER OF SHEEP took four years to put together and another four years to get noticed, when it won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival. Reminiscent of the work of Jean Renoir and the Italian neo-Realists, KILLER OF SHEEP is a simple story about a family just trying to get by, struggling to survive in their tough Watts neighborhood in the mid-1970s. The slice-of-life scenes are sometimes very funny, sometimes scary, but always poignant, as Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders) trudges to his dirty job in a slaughterhouse in order to provide for his wife (Kaycee Moore) and children (Jack Drummond and Angela Burnett). Every day he is faced with new choices, from participating in a murder to buying a used car engine, but he takes it all in stride. The motley cast of characters, including Charles Bracy and Eugene Cherry, is primarily made up of nonprofessional actors with a limited range of talent, but that is all part of what makes it all feel so real. KILLER OF SHEEP was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1989, the second year of the program, making it among the first fifty to be selected, in the same group as REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, THE GODFATHER, DUCK SOUP, ALL ABOUT EVE, and ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.
Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
1886 Broadway between 62nd & 63rd Sts.
Winnter of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, THE LIVES OF OTHERS is a tense political thriller set in 1980s East Berlin. Ulriche Mühe gives a mesmerizing performance as Capt. Gerd Wiesler, an expert interrogator for the Stasi, the German Democratic Republics secret police, who keep a close watch on all suspicious activity and to them, everything is suspicious. When powerful culture minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) tells Wieslers nervous yes-man boss, Lt. Col. Anton Grubitz (Ulrich Tukur), to spy on noted playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), Wiesler takes the case, setting up audio surveillance on Dreyman and his actress girlfriend, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). But when the ever-loyal, humorless, always stalwart Wiesler discovers that Hempf ordered the surveillance primarily because he has a thing for Sieland, Wiesler begins to reconsider the case and the ultimate responsibility of the Stasi itself. And the more he learns, the more he understands. THE LIVES OF OTHERS was written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, making an extremely impressive feature-film debut, capturing a precarious, paranoid part of recent German history in which the vast majority of the nation was either being spied on or were informers themselves.
Satoshi Kons animated fantasy is set in a dreamlike future
42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.
Based on the novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, PAPRIKA is an animated, futuristic sci-fi thriller in which reality and dreams merge in clever and confusing ways. The title character is a superhero psychotherapist who can enter peoples dreams by using cutting-edge technology known as the DC MINI, which was invented by Dr. Tokita, a huge man with a baby face and a tremendous appetite. When one of the prototypes is stolen, Paprika, whose alter ego is Dr. Atsuko Chiba of the Foundation for Psychiatric Research, sets out to find the thief, who is using the invaluable and not fully tested and approved equipment for seemingly evil purposes. Other central characters include Torataro Shima, the adorable old chief of the lab; the ruthless, wheelchair-bound foundation chairman, Seijiro Inui; Detective Konakawa, who develops a liking for Paprika; Dr. Osanai, a hunky researcher; and lab assistant Himuro, who has gone missing but can be seen in dreams. Adapted by Satoshi Kon, the director of MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and TOKYO GODFATHERS, and featuring the voices of Megumi Hayashibara, Toru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Toru Furuya, and Akio Ohtsuka, PAPRIKA is an entertaining, if at times hard to follow, anime with lots of cute characters and some very beautiful scenes.
181 Second Ave. at 12th St.
Twenty-eight weeks after the rage virus turned London into a postapocalyptic wasteland, the U.S. army has arrived to help repopulate the decimated city. Among those returning is Don (Robert Carlyle), looking to reunite with his children, Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), after leaving his wife, Alice (Catherine McCormack), behind to suffer at the hands and teeth of flesh-eating zombies. The army, under the command of General Stone (Idris Elba), thinks the virus has been successfully contained, but guess again. When military doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne) discovers that Tammy and Andy¹s blood might hold the key to defeating the virus, she tries desperately to save the kids while all hell breaks loose around them. 28 WEEKS LATER, the sequel to the hugely successful 28 DAYS LATER (Danny Boyle, 2003), is much darker than its predecessor. Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (INTACTO) keeps things moving at a thrilling pace, with some absolutely brilliant, terrifying scenes that expand upon the original rather than merely copying it. Unfortunately, the screenplay, by Fresnadillo and Enrique Lopez Lavigne, asks viewers to take way too many leaps of faith, with gaping plot holes galore that nearly ruin what is otherwise an awesome flick.
Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
1886 Broadway between 62nd & 63rd Sts.
181 Second Ave. at 12th St.
An absolutely delightful, thoroughly charming farce, THE VALET is the best French episode of THREES COMPANY never filmed. (And we mean that in a completely complimentary way.) Written and directed by Francis Veber (LE CHEVRE, LE JAGUAR), THE VALET has a ridiculously silly plot stolen right out of a 1970s sitcom: Accidentally photographed with married billionaire CEO Pierre Levasseur (Daniel Auteuil) and his supermodel girlfriend (Alice Taglioni), hapless valet François (Gad Elmaleh) is paid by Pierre to pretend that he is Elenas real boyfriend in an attempt to dupe the executives determined, suspicious wife, Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas). But Christine is not easily convinced, putting poor François in the middle of a major power play when all he wants is the simple love of his childhood friend, bookstore owner Emilie (Virginie Ledoyen). Got that? Auteuil is appropriately over the top, Scott Thomas is wonderfully ice cold, and Taglioni shows she is more than just a stunning beauty, but the film belongs to Elmaleh, who has the eyes and the demeanor of a young Buster Keaton. THE VALET is as sweetly silly as it is riotously funny.
Graduation beckons for teenage friends in Rockaway
Now available on DVD
Mark Street, assistant professor of film in the Visual Art Department at Fordham University-Lincoln Center, directed, produced, and edited this charming little Tribeca Film Festival entry about three teenage girls from Rockaway getting ready to graduate high school. Vanessa Yuille is outstanding as Merida, a fun-loving, free-spirited young woman who lives for the moment, not yet ready to realize she might never leave her suburban community. Laura Johnson is Kelly, a more reserved pianist who is secretly sleeping with a much older bartender. And Jennifer Brown is Juanita, who has a domineering mother and is still trying to discover her own sexuality. The very close trio drink on the beach, reenact a scene from Chekhovs THREE SISTERS, share their innermost thoughts, and sometimes speak to the camera as they look forward to a last-gasp limo ride that will take them through Times Square. Street alternates from a documentary video style to grainy poetic shots of the Rockaway landscape, from quick flashbacks to longer, improvised scenes, avoiding genre cliches and ending up with a sweet, personal film.
Dinosaur Jr. shines at Irving Plaza show
The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
17 Irving Pl. between 14th & 15th Sts.
Dinosaur Jr.’s June 7 show at Irving Plaza was loud. We mean really loud. At around ten-fifteen, the unlovely J Mascis emerged like, well, a dinosaur, along with baldheaded drummer Murph and shaggy-topped bassist Lou Barlow. Swinging that long, skanky gray hair, Mascis overwhelmed the packed house with monstrous guitar solos, as if his weak vocals were just an excuse to let his ax loose. Founders of the ’90s indie-rock explosion, Dinosaur Jr. is touring behind its first new album with the original lineup in eighteen years, the excellent BEYOND (Fat Posum, May 2007). But while the record includes elements of folk, alterna-country, and power pop, the live show is an exhilarating hardcore / heavy metal hybrid, as Barlow ripped and slashed at his bass, creating giant, gnarly blocks of noise that Mascis’s guitar lines climbed up and over and then took off from. All the while, the light show blasted fast and furious, threatening to give everyone seizures. The setlist was heavy with songs from BEYOND, including opener “Almost Ready,” a fierce “Back to Your Heart,” and a balls-out “Pick Me Up,” although the trio dipped back to 1994 for an awesome “Feel the Pain” and 1987 for killer versions of “Little Fury Things,” “Lose,” and “Raisans.” They even threw in their cover of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” complete with anarchic ending. After about seventy-five frantic minutes, the show was over, and, as we spilled outside, our ears were laden down with an intensely heavy din that blocked out the noisy congestion of a still-vibrant New York City at midnight.
Joan Armatrading rocks World Financial Center Plaza after rains blow away
River to River Festival
World Financial Center Plaza
Tuesday, June 12
Tough New Yorkers weren’t about to let a little rain well, actually, a whole lotta rain keep them from seeing a rare city appearance by British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading. Touring behind her latest album, INTO THE BLUES which she proudly announced had debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart last month Armatrading took the stage at soaking wet World Financial Center Plaza at about seven-thirty on June 12, a half hour late, just as the showers started to fade. By the time she and her band (Scott Firth on bass, Spencer Cozens on keyboards, and Gary Foote on drums and sax) kicked things into gear, there were blue skies, and the dedicated throng was rewarded with songs from throughout Armatrading’s four-decade career, including such new songs as “A Woman in Love,” “Something’s Gotta Blow,” and “My Baby's Gone (Come Back Baby)” as well as such old-timers as “Love and Affection,” “All the Way from America,” and “Tall in the Saddle.” Powered by her deep, expressive voice and solid guitar playing (including electric slide and 12-string acoustic), Armatrading gave off an infectious confidence that was both delightful and engaging, with an added gleam in her eyes that lifted some of the harder blues numbers. With time running out she had to cut some songs because of the venue’s curfew she closed the set with a fab double shot of “Call Me Names (I Love It When)” and “Me Myself I.” Then, for the encore, she asked the adoring crowd whether they preferred to hear “Willow” or “Drop the Pilot,” the latter her breakthrough 1983 MTV hit. She ended up playing them both, of course, the wispy “Willow” soon giving way to the exhilarating pure power pop of “Pilot.”
Galapagos Art Space
70 North Sixth St. between Wythe and Kent
Friday, June 15, 7:30
After twelve years in Williamsburg, Galapagos Art Space will be moving to DUMBO next year, primarily the result of a December 2005 rent increase of ten grand a month. This weekend will feature the last full schedule at the popular Brooklyn spot, followed by a summer of select programs and special events. On Friday night at 7:30, Jamaican-born musician Sparlha Swa and Vancouver-based singer-songwriter GreenTaRA are on the bill, but we’ll be there for the extraordinary Karen Gibson Roc & Fluid. On her 2006 CD/DVD release TRAVELING WITH LIGHT, Gibson Roc prances across the stage barefoot, part poetess, part tigress, groovin’ to the funky soul of her crack band. “We poets / We blow open the doors wide,” she proclaims on “I Don’t Wanna Be a Pop Star,” “letting truth flood onto the pavement / Reminiscing to blasphemies / We dig the cavities / Out of our mental maladies / Waiting for the day / When we can shock humanity / With our instrumental dignity.” Gibson Roc freely speaks what’s on her mind, not afraid to get right to the point. “What is the world coming to / With so few paying attention to the rate of dissension / Labeling with a lack of retention,” she declares, continuing, “You see, these words are the cure for the ill of disease / And this poetess wears truth on her sleeve.” There’s nobody currently doing quite what Gibson Roc does; be prepared for a night of transcendent peace and love, mixed with anger, frustration, and hot riffs.
431 West 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Wednesday, June 20, 10:00
Even though Peaches is nearly forty, her super-raunched-up, gritty electroclash and rock-rap strikes some as juvenile, some as repulsive, and some as hilarious with an edge. Clearly what Peaches teaches isn’t to everyone’s taste; still, her live shows are very well regarded, and her Highline Ballroom appearance promises to be a sweaty, sexed-up, in-your-face four-letter-word fest, probably with a bunch of strange special guests and lots of 808 drum machines. Don’t expect a polished, perfectly choreographed stage show, but don’t expect to get your mind expanded, either. Maybe some of your orifices, tho’.
"Ive got to get up to get down and start all over again / Head on down to the basement and shout / Kick those white mice and black dogs out!" Nick Cave growls defiantly at the start of "Get It On," the first of eleven garage-band blues numbers on Grindermans eponymous debut album, songs that separate the men from the boys and the men from the women. For this raunchy trek, Cave, playing guitar and keyboards, brings along three of his Bad Seeds Martyn Casey on bass, Jim Sclavunos on drums and percussion, and Warren Ellis on violin, electric bouzouki, viola, and guitar. Cave has created yet another eclectic group of bizarre characters, including the fabulous Depth Charge Ethel, Electric Alice, and the grinderman himself, who exists to sharpen knives "in the silver rain / in the pale moonlight." As with most of Caves work, GRINDERMAN is darkly funny, with strange phrases and crazy metaphors; on "When My Love Comes Down," he sings, "Your mouth is a hologram made of spiders bones." On "Get It On," a man with green flippers crawls out of the ooze, defies evolution, and drinks panther piss. On "Go Tell the Women," Cave declares, "We are scientists / We do genetics / We leave religion / To the psychos and fanatics," of which there are plenty to be found here. And on "No Pussy Blues," the singer tries and tries, but he just cant get any: "I bought her a dozen snow white doves / I did her dishes in rubber gloves / I called her honey bee, I called her love / But she just still didnt want to." GRINDERMAN drips with desperation, longing, and intimate crisis, dirty blues set for ramming speed. Currently, Grindermans only planned gig is a June 20 show at the Forum in London. Heres hoping theres lots more. [ed. note: Just after posting this review, we were contacted by the record label and told some great news Grinderman will be playing New York City on July 24, opening up for the White Stripes at Madison Square Garden.]
Asian horror flicks keep gaining in popularity in the U.S. market, both the originals as well as the (mostly tepid) Hollywood remakes. One of the masters of Asian horror, Koji Suzuki, has written such made-for-the-movies thrillers as the Ring series (THE RING, SPIRAL, and LOOP) and DARK WATER, and he returns to the Ring universe with Birthday The new book, which features a psychedelic cover design with a clear acetate dust jacket, consists of three tales that essentially serve as a prequel to THE RING, all involving the mysterious Sadako Yamamura. In "Coffin in the Sky," a pregnant woman about to give birth is trapped in an unknown location, trying desperately to figure out who she is and what is happening to her. In the awesome "Lemon Heart," Toyama, a sound engineer, is haunted by a terrifying moment that occurred nearly twenty-five years before. And in "Happy Birthday," Reiko Sugiura is shocked to find out that her lover might hold the key to ending a killer virus that is threatening two worlds. Suzuki has a flair for cinematic descriptions that leap off the page, resulting in gripping stories that just might give you nightmares.
All contents copyright 2007 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.
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West 103rd St. & Central Park West
Thursday through Sunday nights at 7:00 through June 24
Admission: free, but voluntary donations accepted after show
Through Sunday, June 24 New York Classical Theatres production of LOVES LABOURS LOST, directed by Stephen Burdman
131 West Third St.
Tickets: $35 table, $20 bar
Tuesday, June 5
Sunday, June 10 John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, and Larry Goldings, 8:00 & 10:30
Midpark at 80th St.
Admission: free (two tickets per person available day of show)
Tuesday, June 5
Sunday, July 8 Shakespeare classic directed by Michael Greif and starring Oscar Isaac, Lauren Ambrose, and Camryn Mannheim, 8:00
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Celeste Bartos Forum
Fifth Ave. at 42nd St.
Wednesday, June 6 A limited number of tickets go on sale for the June 27 event "The Twentieth Century on Trial: In Conversation with Andrew OHagan," 7:00
The Great Hall at the Cooper Union
7 East Seventh St. at Third Ave.
Wednesday, June 6 The Struggle for "Humanitarian Space," lecture by Scott Anderson with aid workers from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, reception at 6:00, lecture at 7:00
Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City (RP) / World Financial Center Plaza (WFC)
Wagner Park in Battery Park City (WP)/ Historic Battery Park Lawn (BPL)
Music at Castle Clinton, in Battery Park (CC) / South Street Seaport, Pier 17 (SSS)
Zuccotti Park (ZP) / Governors Island (GI)
Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University (MSC)
Wednesday, June 6 Puerto Rican Power, WP, 7:00
Tuesday, June 12 Joan Armatrading, WFC, 7:00
Wednesday, June 13 Booker T. & the MGs, with Sharon Jones, RP, 7:00
Tuesday, June 19 John Sayles presents the Honeydripper Allstar Band, WFC, 7:00
Bryant Park Reading Room
42nd St. side of Bryant Park between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Wednesdays at 12:30 through September 11
Wednesday, June 6 Josh Kilmer-Purcell, I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS, Carole Radziwell, WHAT REMAINS: A MEMOIR OF FATE, FRIENDSHIP, AND LOVE, Kevin Sessums, MISSISSIPPI SISSY, and Danielle Trussoni, FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH, hosted by Stephanie Klein, STRAIGHT UP AND DIRTY
Wednesday, June 13 Mystery Writers Panel Discussion: Mary Jane Clark, WHEN DAY BREAKS, Linda Fairstein, BAD BLOOD: A NOVEL, and Jacqueline Winspear, MESSENGER OF TRUTH, hosted by Catherine Crier
Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park / Brooklyn Bridge Park
Party tickets: $20-$250
After-party dinner tickets: $500
Thursday, June 7 Annual fundraiser, featuring live music by Binky Griptite and the Melomatics (party) and Fisherman Tiki Trio (after-party dinner), honoring Mark Baker, Shirley McRae, Martin Connor, and Joan Millman, with silent and live auctions and more, party at 6:00, after-party dinner at Tobacco Warehouse at 8:30
Dahesh Museum of Art
580 Madison Ave. at 57th St.
Thursday, June 7 Free admission to galleries from 6:00 to 9:00, including "Napoleon on the Nile: Soldiers, Artists, and the Rediscovery of Egypt," with tours at 7:15 and 8:15
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St.
Thursday, June 7 Reading of play excerpts followed by discussion with Linda Chapman, Martin E. Segal Theatre, 6:30
The New School
66 West 12th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Thursday, June 7 An Evening with John Pilger and Amy Goodman, 7:00
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
237 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Thursday, June 7 Longtime folk-jazz favorite tours in support of his brand-new downloadable cyber-album of special-guest duets (including Brian Setzer, Rickie Liee Jones, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffet, Tom Waits, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Gibby Haynes, and Jack Sheldon), 8:00
St. Anns Warehouse
38 Water St. between Main & Dock Sts.
Thursday, June 7 Fifth annual fashion festival to help end homelessness in Brooklyn, featuring nine hot fashion designers and honorees BFC Partners, Charles J. Hynes, and Danny Simmons, 6:00 cocktail reception and silent auction, 7:00 fashion show
187th St. between Arthur Ave. & Cambreleng Ave.
Thursday, June 7
Sunday, June 17 The 101st annual street fair, with rides, food, vendors, special masses, and more
Bayard & Mulberry Sts.
These free evenings begin at 7:00 with tai chi, roving puppets, and interactive projects, with live music at 7:45 and films at sundown.
Thursday, June 7 Distant Kingdoms: Music from China: excerpt from Cantonese opera THE JADE BRACELET, followed by CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (Zhang Yimou, 2006), 7:00
Thursday, June 14 Asian Fusion Invasian: Hua Hua Zhang Visual Expressions, contemporary East/West puppetry, followed by KUNG FU HUSTLE (Stephen Chow, 2004), 7:00
St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery
131 East Tenth St. at Second Ave.
Admission: $5 plus two cans of food (benefiting AIDS Service Center NYC) or $10
Friday, June 8 Some People I Know, featuring Rebecca Brooks and Jamm Leary, Rebecca Davis, Laurel Dugan, Chase Granoff, and Diane Madden
Saturday, June 9 Force Majeure: New Dance from San Francisco, with Mary Armentrout, Keith Hennessy, Kathleen Hermesdorf accompanied by Albert Matthias, Eric Kupers / Dandelion Dancetheater, Paige Sorville, and Scott Wells
Sunday, June 10 Dancing Three Blocks North: Tisch Dancers at Danspace, curated by Gina Gibney
Riverside Church, Riverside Theatre
490 Riverside Dr. between 120th St & 122nd Sts.
Friday, June 8 Artz, Roots, Rhythm, with Dorothy Maynard Singers, Reggie Workman Jazz Ensemble, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Girl Spirit, and Robin Williams Dancers, 7:00
Saturday, June 9 South African Cultural Village, with song and drumming workshop, storytelling by Ntsiki Longwood Kebane, Zulu and boot dance classes, craft workshops, food, fashion display, and juxtapower performance, 12 noon 6:00
Sunday, June 10 Salute to the Family, paying tribute to the work of Agenda for Children Tomorrow, featuring performances by Ebony Ecumenical Men Ensemble, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre, Batoto Yetu, and Eric Reed, followed by a buffet reception, 2:00
Friday, June 15 Forces of Nature perform "Terrestrial Woods," "Ancestral Earths," "Rhythm Tree," and "From the Mud Below," 7:00
Saturday, June 16 Caribbean & Carnival Workshops, including carnival headdress and beading at 12 noon, Afro-Caribbean dance at 1:00, drum, percussion, and steel pan at 2:00 & 3:00, stilt-walking at 4:00, and storytelling at 5:00, followed by a Something Positive performance by Chutney Dance at 6:00
Sunday, June 17 The Reign of the Puppet Master, an original musical by Dr. Glory Van Scott, performed by Dr. Glorys Youth Theatre, 2:00
Bryant Park Upper Terrace
42nd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Fridays through August 24 at 7:00 am
Friday, June 8 Robin Thicke
Friday, June 15 Brad Paisley
Central Park (enter at Fifth Ave. & 69th St.)
Admission: free unless otherwise noted
Friday, June 8 Opening night benefit: Joss Stone, Common, Ryan Shaw, $37.50-$40, 6:30
Friday, June 15 Cassandra Wilson, Olu Dara, 7:00
Saturday, June 16 Television, Apples in Stereo, Dragons of Zynth, 3:00
Sunday, June 17 Tiken Jah Fakoly, Idan Raichel Project, DJ Kadafi, 3:00
Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.
Artists on Art: free
Harlem in the Himalayas: $15-$20, 7:00
CabaretCinema: $7 food/drink minimum, 7:00
212-620-5000 ext 344
Friday, June 8 Harlem in the Himalayas: Eddie Bert Trio
Friday, June 8 CabaretCinema Artists Choice: MIRACOLO A MILANO (Vittorio De Sica, 1951), 9:30
Friday, June 15 Harlem in the Himalayas: Billy Bang
Friday, June 15 Artists on Art: Lewis deSoto, 7:30
Friday, June 15 CabaretCinema Artists Choice: LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG (THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG) (Jacques Demy, 1964), 9:30
Live music: 8:00
Film screening: 9:00
Tickets: $8 at the door, $5 online
Friday, June 8 Opening Night, short films, Open Road Rooftop Project, 350 Grand St. at Essex St., Lower East Side
Friday, June 15 NEW YORK NON-FICTION, Open Road Rooftop Project, 350 Grand St. at Essex St., Lower East Side
Saturday, June 16 Industriance: Disaster Management, short films, the Old American Can Factory, 232 Third St. at Third Ave., Gowanus
65 Jumel Terr. between 160th & 162nd Sts.
Advance reservations requested: 212-923-8008
Saturday, June 9 The spring season ends with Brooklyn Baroque: Works by Telemann, Boismortier, and others, followed by a reception, 3:00
Madison Square Garden
Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue between 31st & 33rd Sts.
Saturday, June 9 Henry Cotto battles Zab Judah for the welterweight championship of the world, 7:00
F.I.T. Haft Theater
West 27th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Tickets: $25-$29 adults, $12 children ten and under
Saturday, June 9 Featuring dance, drum, and music, including such styles as belly dance, Brazilian, Flamenco, Capoeira, Dunham, hip-hop, African, Haitan, Cuban, and salsa, honoring Lezly Ziering, Marie Basse, Mikerline, Azza, and Luam, 7:00
Hiro Ballroom / Maritime Hotel
363 West 16th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.
Admission: $25 minimum
RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 9 Fundraiser for Barack Obama, featuring the one and only Rich Medina on the ones & twos, with all proceeds going to Obama for America, 10:00 pm 4:00 am
Madison Square Park
Intersection of 23rd St., Broadway & Fifth Ave.
June 9-10, 12 noon - 6:00 pm
Admission: free; plates: $7
'Cue Seminars: free - $26
General Bubba FastPass: $100
Once again, last year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park had ridiculously long lines even the express lines for those who bought the Bubba FastPass were no picnic in the park. The best way to approach the food at this event is to go with a group and split up, sending everyone onto different lines and then meeting up somewhere in the park in about an hour or so to eat together and try a little bit of everything. This year’s lineup includes Garry Roark from Ubon’s Championship Choice in Yazoo, MS; Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, IL; Jimmy Hagwood from Black Jack BBQ in Charleston, SC; annual favorites Bryan Bracewell from Southside Market & BBQ in Elgin, TX, and Mike Mills from the 17th Street Bar & Grill in Memphis, TN; Joe Duncan from Baker’s Ribs in Texas; and local boys John Stage from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, John Wheeler from Rack & Soul, and Kenny Callaghan from Blue Smoke. There’s also live music from the Budos Band, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Binky Griptite, Naomi Davis & the Gospel Queens, and the incomparable James "Blood" Ulmer (Saturday at 4:45), among others, as well as seminars with the likes of Jane and Michael Stern, Danny Meyer, Peter Kaminsky and Joan Nathan, and Ed Levine and Jeffrey Steingarten. Just be prepared for a hot, sweaty day of waiting on line for average-to-small-size portions of good barbecue that is unlikely to blow you away.
Atlantic Ave. from downtown Brooklyn to Brooklyn Heights
Saturday, June 9
Sunday, June 10 Fourth annual open studios weekend, with more than 125 artists participating, in addition to workshops, live music, film screenings, readings, artist talks, demonstrations, public performances, and more, 1:00 6:00
Hudson River Park, Pier 46 (across from Charles St.)
Sunday, June 10 Celebrating Life Beyond Cancer, with a 5K run starting at 9:00 am and a 5K walk starting at 9:30, benefiting Memorial Sloan-Ketterings Cancer Survivorship Program, and a post-race party featuring a performance by Gavin DeGraw, 10:00 am 2:00 pm
The Noguchi Museum
32-37 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City
Second Sunday of each month at 3:00
Free with museum admission of $10
Sunday, June 10 Kioku Group presents traditional Asian music with contemporary techniques, including one piece composed specifically for the Noguchi Museum Sculpture Garden
Madison Square Garden
Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue between 31st & 33rd Sts.
Sunday, June 10 Tickets are still available for the 2007 Tony Awards, black tie only, 7:00
Queens Museum of Art
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Mondays at 2:00 through June 18
Free with $5 suggested donation for museum
Monday, June 11 Whistle-Blowers: HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (Preston Sturges, 1944)
Monday, June 18 Whistle-Blowers: THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (Arthur Hiller, 1964)
Fifth Ave. between 82nd & 105th Sts.
Admission: free, 6:00 9:00 pm
Tuesday, June 12 The twenty-ninth annual event features free admission to nine institutions on Upper Fifth Ave. the Goethe-Institut, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, the National Academy, the Guggenheim, the Neue, the Met, and El Museo del Barrio with art and music filling twenty-three car-free blocks, including performances by Son de Madre and the Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble, Sonido Isleño, Paul Labarbera and Rockbeat Music Group, Metropolitan Klezmer, Hayes Greenfield Duo, the Danny Petrow Band, Melange, and Sanda & the Hats in addition to face painting, magic, balloons, jugglers, model drawing, workshops, and more
The forty-first season of Met Opera in the Parks features Hei-Kyung Hong, Mary Dunleavy, Roberto Aronica, Dwayne Croft, Jeff Mattsey, and Andrew Gangestad in LA BOHÈME, conducted by Gareth Morrell, and Katie van Kooten, Kate Lindsey, David Pomeroy, Hung Yun, and James Morris in FAUST, conducted by Maurizio Benini.
Tuesday, June 12 Puccinis LA BOHÈME, Central Park Great Lawn, 8:00
Wednesday, June 13 Gounods FAUST, Central Park Great Lawn, 8:00
Friday, June 15 Puccinis LA BOHÈME, Pelham Bay Park, 8:00
Saturday, June 16 Gounods FAUST, Snug Harbor, 8:00
Tuesday, June 19 Gounods FAUST, Prospect Park, 8:00
Wednesday, June 20 Puccinis LA BOHÈME, Cunningham Park, 8:00
Friday, June 22 Gounods FAUST, Brookdale Park, 8:00
Saturday, June 23 Puccinis LA BOHEME, Buccleuch Park, 8:00
The Flea Theater
41 White St. between Broadway & Church St.
Tickets: $20 (opening-night benefit $175-$250)
Wednesday, June 13
Sunday, June 17 World premieres of HEAVY LIGHT and THE TITLE COMES LAST
Metropolitan Pavilion / Altman Building
125 West 18th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Admission: $15 per day (fathers free on June 17 with children)
Wednesday, June 13 Private preview benefiting AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, $50 in advance ($80 per couple), $75 ($125 per couple) at the door, 6:00 9:00
Thursday, June 14
Sunday, June 17 Annual art fair with more than eighty galleries from the United States, England, Canada, France, Australia, and Mexico selling works of art from $100 to $1,000, art workshops, sculpture and printmaking demonstrations, and a lecture series sponsored by the School of Visual Arts ("First Steps: Beginning and Developing Your Collection" and "The Paper Chase: Collecting, Owning and Preserving Works on Paper," Saturday and Sunday at 2:00)
Pier A Park at First & Sinatra Dr., Hoboken
June & July, around 9:00
August & September, between 8:00 & 8:30
Blankets & low lawn chairs encouraged
Wednesday, June 13 THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (David Frankel, 2006)
Wednesday, June 20 AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (Davis Guggenheim, 2006)
Fulton Ferry Landing under the Brooklyn Bridge
Thursday, June 14 Jazz Night with Jeff Newells New-Trad Octet, featuring songs from its new CD, BROWNSTONE, 8:00
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
Tickets: $20 per three-hour segment, $25 full day
Saturday, June 16 Annual celebration of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedaluss wanderings through Dublin on June 16, 1904, with readings and performances throughout the day, including Adam Harvey performing selections from FINNEGANS WAKE, the American premiere of Paul Muldoon and Daron Hagens opera, THE ANTIENT CONCERT, and Fionnula Flanagan channeling Molly Bloom, 12 noon 12 midnight
Fulton St. & Stuyvesant Ave.
Sunday, June 17 Forty-ninth annual art fair, featuring work from more than seventy members of one of the oldest black artist collectives in the world (also on June 24 & 30 and July 1 & 4), 12 noon - 6:00
Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave. below Eighth St. by Garibaldi statue
Rain space: NYUs Frederick Loewe Theater, 35 West Fourth St.
Tuesday nights through August 1 at 8:00
Sunday, June 17 Many Miles to Go, with the Rishell / Raines Trio saluting such onetime Square regulars as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, and others, 3:00
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Inside Central Park at 110th St. & Lenox Ave.
Through September 30
Sundays at 4:00
Sunday, June 17 Los Soneros de Oriente, 4:00
425 Lafayette St. between East Fourth St. & Astor Pl.
Sunday, June 17 Award-winning actress and singer Mare Winningham features songs from her latest album, REFUGE ROCK SUBLIME, 9:30
239 West 52nd St. 239 West 52nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave.
Sunday, June 17 Annual strip-a-thon to raise money for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, with Broadway dancers taking it off, 9:30 pm & 12 midnight
Sixth Ave. from 40th to 42nd Sts.
Monday nights through August 20
Lawn opens at 5:00 pm for blankets and picnicking
Films begin at dusk (between 8:00 & 9:00 pm)
Monday, June 18 ANNIE HALL (Woody Allen, 1977)
Guero Lounge, downstairs at Julep
9 Ave. A between East Houston & First Sts.
Monday, June 18 New stand-up comedy show hosted by Emily Epstein and featuring Todd Levin, Baron Vaughn, Ophira Eisenberg, Elon James White, and Leo Allen, 8:00
425 Lafayette St. between East Fourth St. & Astor Pl.
Tuesday, June 19 Eclectic musician Heather Greene performs songs from her album FIVE DOLLAR DRESS and more, with the Tosca String Quartet, 9:30; "Ive never played with a full quartet before," Greene writes on her MySpace page, "but these women are beautiful, talented, fun, and good friends this should outweigh any nervousness I have"
Lincoln Center, Josie Robertson Plaza
June 19 July 21
Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted
Preshow dance lessons at 6:30 pm
Single tickets: $15
Six-night pass: $78
Season pass: $225
Tuesday, June 19 Big Band Tuesday: Swing THE COUNT MEETS THE DUKE with George Gee & His Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra and David Berger & the Sultans of Swing,
Wednesday, June 20 Charanga Soleil (Cuban salsa, rumba-soukous, compas)
Eldridge Street Synagogue
12 Eldridge St. between Canal & Division Sts.
Wednesday, June 20 Sam Albert lectures on the history and architecture of Budapests Dohány Street Synagogue, with Jacob Shulman-Ment and Skye Steele playing selections by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, 3:00