twi-ny, this week in new york

Art Exhibit of the Week


1. The Frick redecorates for the end of summer

2. Lindsay Anderson and Malcolm McDowell at Lincoln Center, all five boroughs in Central Park

3. Free downtown dance in Lower Manhattan and on Governors Island

4. Battle Week in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn

5. Battling it out at the U.S. Open

6. Korean film in the East Village and Brooklyn


8. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music, including Piñataland, Digital Leather, Howlies, the Insound 20, the Silent Years, and an All Points West wrap-up

9. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including the Vice Photo Show and Seiichi Hayashi’s RED COLORED ELEGY

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

Volume 8, Number 11
August 13-27, 2008

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Twi-ny, This Week in New York


The Frick Collection

1 East 70th St. at Fifth Ave.

Closed Mondays

Admission: $15 (includes ArtPhone audio guide), pay-what-you-wish Sundays 11:00 am — 1:00 pm



The Frick Collection

Hans Holbein the Younger, “Sir Thomas More,” oil on canvas, dated 1527

Although the Frick Collection might not have a blockbuster exhibition this summer, it still offers countless reasons to visit one of New York City’s most cherished institutions. This month, the Living Hall, one of the grandest, most intimate rooms of art you’ll ever see, is being refurbished. From August 12 through August 28, six of its treasures are being moved into the Oval Room, shedding new light on them, both literally and figuratively. Giovanni Bellini’s “St. Francis in the Desert” gets the place of honor, flanked by Titian’s “Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap” and “Pietro Aretino.” El Greco’s marvelous “St. Jerome” hangs alone, while Hans Holbein the Younger’s “Sir Thomas More” and “Thomas Cromwell” are paired together. In their usual spots in the Living Hall, these works have become old friends; the temporary move is like visiting them in their summer home, although the Oval Room is a lot closer than the Hamptons. Holbein’s “Sir Thomas More” is particularly breathtaking in its new surroundings. In the Living Hall, it was high on a wall, behind rope; here it is at eye level, giving viewers the opportunity to be overwhelmed by its every exciting detail, from the gold necklace to the green curtain, from the red sleeves to the mysterious white paper in More’s hand, from the stubble of his beard to his dark, distant gaze. It sent a chill down our spine, but then, as the sun suddenly shone in through the skylight, the painting began to glow, bringing tears to our eyes. A few days later, on our second visit to the painting, the light burst through once again as we stood before the majestic work, this time as a blast of organ music rattled through the Frick, creating yet another epiphany. We can’t wait to see what happens on our next trip there. Experiencing one of the greatest portraits in the history of art up close and personal like this is a revelation.

The Frick Collection

Johannes Vermeer, “Mistress and Maid,” oil on canvas, ca. 1666-67

In 1901, Henry Clay Frick bought Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl Interrupted at Her Music” for $26,000. Ten years later, he purchased the Dutch artist’s “Officer and a Laughing Girl” for more than $225,000. And in 1919, he picked up the Delft master’s “Mistress and Maid” for nearly $300,000, the very last painting Frick bought before his death later that year. For the first time in nearly a decade, the three paintings are hanging together on one wall, side by side by side, across from the stairs that lead up to the magnificent Aeolian Pipe Organ, through November 2, a splendid opportunity to compare their enticing intricacies and stunning lighting. Accompanying the three works is a panel that details Frick’s history as a collector of Vermeer.

Henry Clay Frick Bequest

John Constable, “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Garden,” oil on canvas, 1826

As always, take your time examining the rest of the Frick Collection. Not only did Henry Clay Frick have outstanding taste, he also understood how paintings can best be appreciated. Each of the rooms in the Frick has something unique to offer, including furniture, carpets, sculptures, and clocks in addition to the paintings: Constable’s gorgeous “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Garden,” Goya’s powerful “The Forge,” Renoir’s “Mother and Children,” Severo da Ravenna’s sculpture “Neptune on a Sea-Monster,” Van Dyck’s magisterial portrait of “James, Seventh Earl of Derby, His Lady and Child,” the Boucher Room, the Fragonard Room, the peaceful and delightful Garden Court, the Gainsboroughs, the Turners, the Ingres, and on and on. And finally, the Enamels Room reopened on July 25, featuring a new acquisition, a Maiolica charger with “The Judgment of Paris” on it (after Raphael), made by the Fontana workshop circa 1565.

Sunday, August 17, 24 Gallery Conversations, led by Rika Burnham, free but reservations necessary at galleryconversations@frick.org, 12 noon

Thursday, September 18 Beautiful Vermeer, special symposium with Colin B. Bailey, $100 (advance reservations required), 11:30 am

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Film Festivals of the Week


Lindsay Anderson’s BRITANNIA HOSPITAL is a scream


Walter Reade Theater

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

August 15-21

Tickets: $11



Army cryptographer, film critic, theater director, and one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement in England (which involved social realism), Lindsay Anderson made only seven feature films in his intriguing career, from 1963 to 1987. He is most well known for his Mick Travis trilogy, which starred Malcolm McDowell in IF…, O LUCKY MAN!, and BRITTANIA HOSPITAL; his other works include Richard Harris as a rugby player in THIS SPORTING LIFE, Alan Bates and Brian Cox in IN CELEBRATION, and Lillian Gish and Bette Davis as sisters in THE WHALES OF AUGUST, his final film. The series at Lincoln Center is supplemented by two films by director John Ford, a favorite of Anderson’s; in fact, he wrote the seminal book ABOUT JOHN FORD. "Fighting means commitment, means believing what you say, and saying what you believe," Anderson once wrote. "It will also mean being called sentimental, irresponsible, self-righteous, extremist and out-of-date by those who equate maturity with scepticism (sic), art with amusement, and responsibility with romantic excess. And it must mean a new kind of intellectual and artist, who is not frightened or scornful of his fellows." Anderson’s eclecticism is on view in Mike Kaplan’s documentary, NEVER APOLOGIZE, which runs concurrently with "Revolutionary Romantic." Both Kaplan and McDowell will be present at certain screenings to talk about Anderson’s life and career.

Friday, August 15


Thursday, August 21 NEVER APOLOGIZE (Mike Kaplan, 2007), with star Malcolm McDowell and/or director Mike Kaplan onstage for several screenings

Friday, August 15 IN CELEBRATION (Lindsay Anderson, 1975), 3:45

Friday, August 15 IF…. (Lindsay Anderson, 1968), 9:00

Saturday, August 16 IF…. (Lindsay Anderson, 1968), 4:00

Saturday, August 16 O LUCKY MAN! (Lindsay Anderson, 1973), 8:40

Sunday, August 17 MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (John Ford, 1946), 4:00


After THE SEARCHERS (John Ford, 1956), this is our favorite old-time Western and the best movie ever made about the gunfight at the OK Corral. Henry Fonda stars as Wyatt Earp, who doesn’t really much like the Clantons, headed by Walter Brennan. Victor Mature coughs marvelously into his handkerchief, the lovely Linda Darnell plays a spicy woman named Chihuahua, Fonda dances, and Ward Bond gives yet another excellent supporting performance, as Morgan Earp.

Sunday, August 17 THIS SPORTING LIFE (Lindsay Anderson, 1963), 8:40

Monday, August 18 THE WHALES OF AUGUST (Lindsay Anderson, 1987), 4:00

Monday, August 18 IN CELEBRATION (Lindsay Anderson, 1975), 8:30

Tuesday, August 19 THIS SPORTING LIFE (Lindsay Anderson, 1963), 3:40

Tuesday, August 19 BRITANNIA HOSPITAL (Lindsay Anderson, 1982), 8:45

Wednesday, August 20 BRITANNIA HOSPITAL (Lindsay Anderson, 1982), 1:30

Wednesday, August 20 THE WHALES OF AUGUST (Lindsay Anderson, 1987), introduced by Mike Caplan, 6:30

Thursday, August 21 O LUCKY MAN! (Lindsay Anderson, 1973), 12:30

Thursday, August 21 THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (John Ford, 1945), 6 :00

Robert Walker takes things a bit too far with Farley Granger in Hitchcock classic


Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

Fifth Ave. at 69th St.

Gates at 6:00, screenings at 8:00

Admission: free


Each of this year’s selections for the Central Park Film Festival, which takes place in Rumsey Playfield, features a different borough of the city, covering Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. It’s not the most exciting series of movies — WORKING GIRL (Staten Island) is outdated, MOONSTRUCK (Brooklyn) is overrated, and AUGUST RUSH (Manhattan) is a big bowl of mush — but it does include two must-sees, the hyperactive FRENCH CONNECTION (the Bronx) and the intense, brilliant STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Queens).

Tuesday, August 19 WORKING GIRL (Mike Nichols, 1988)

Wednesday, August 20 THE FRENCH CONNECTION (William Friedkin, 1971)

Thursday, August 21 STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)

Friday, August 22 MOONSTRUCK (Norman Jewison, 1987)

Saturday, August 23 AUGUST RUSH (Kirsten Sheridan, 2007)

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Dance Festival of the Week

Battery Dance Company brings festival to Lower Manhattan and Governors Island


Governors Island

Admission: free

Ferry: free



For the twenty-seventh year, the Battery Dance Company will host the Downtown Dance Festival, featuring free performances by dozens of companies in Battery Park and Chase Plaza, and, for the first time, on Governors Island. Also new this year is a two-day festival of Indian dance, while Everybody Dance NOW! returns, in which spectators are encouraged (at specific times) to come onstage and get down.

Saturday August 16 Eidolon Ballet, Yaa Samar! Dance Theater, Battery Dance Company, Rainey Welch, Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory of New York, Lydia Johnson Dance, Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Lane & Co., Vissi Dance Theater, Governors Island, 1:00 — 5:00

Sunday August 17 Dances by Isadora, Genesis Dance Company, xodus dance collective, Dance China NY, Ballet Noir, Sachiyo Ito, I —danse, Naomi Goldberg Haas/Dances for a Variable Population, Spinnin Ronin, Martial Arts Dance Theater, isadoraNOW, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Governors Island, 1:00 — 5:00

Monday, August 18


Tuesday, August 19 Curated by the Indo-American Arts Council as part of the Erasing Boarders Festival of Indian Dance, featuring classical and contemporary works, including "Bharatanatyam," "Kathak, Kuchipudi," and "Odissi," Chase Plaza, Nassau St. & Pine St., 12 noon

Wednesday August 20 Lydia Johnson Dance, I —danse, Battleworks Dance Company, Riedel Dance Theater, Undertoe Dance Project, Naomi Goldberg Haas/Dances for a Variable Population, Chase Plaza, Nassau St. & Pine St., 12 noon

Thursday August 21 Ballet Noir, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Battery Dance Company, Naganuma Dance, Chase Plaza, Nassau St. & Pine St., 12 noon

Friday, August 22 BODYART, Eidolon Ballet, Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Axis Danz, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Chase Plaza, Nassau St. & Pine St., 12 noon

Saturday, August 23 Lane & Co., Genesis Dance Company, Riedel Dance Theater, BODYART, Naganuma Dance, Dances by Isadora, Vissi Dance Theater, Yaa Samar! Dance Theater, Dance China NY, the Lawn at Battery Park, 1:00 — 4:00

Sunday, August 24 Figures in Flight Dance Company, Battleworks, Axis Danz, Dancewave’s Kids Company, xodus dance collective, Spinnin Ronin, Martial Arts Dance Theater, Kotchegna, isadoraNOW, Undertoe Dance Project, Battery Dance Company, the Lawn at Battery Park, 1:00 — 4:00

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Historical Event of the Week

Collection of Fraunces Tavern Museum

Henry Hintermeister, "Retreat to Victory," 1961


Multiple locations including the Old Stone House Historic Interpretive Center, J.J. Byrne Park (OSH)

Fifth Ave between Third & Fourth Sts., Brooklyn




Well, so maybe it’s a little longer than a week, but you’ll find out more than you ever thought you could about the Battle of Brooklyn by attending one or more of these events celebrating the 232nd anniversary of the historic fight, including cemetery walking tours, battle reenactments, book readings, lectures, memorial ceremonies, and more in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.

Thursday, August 14 Opera on Tap Presents a Tribute to Walt Whitman, OSH, 7:00

Friday, August 15 Reading of the Declaration of Independence, Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., 212-825-6888, 12:30 pm

Saturday, August 16 Maryland 400 Remembrance Ceremony, Michael A. Rawley American Legion Post, Eighth St. between Third & Fourth Aves., 10:00 am

Saturday, August 16 Battle Days Opening Reception, OSH, 12 noon

Saturday, August 16 Piñataland, OSH, 7:00

Tuesday, August 19 National Park Service Ranger Michael Callahan, "The King’s Men: The British Army Fights the Battle of Brooklyn," Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St., free with museum admission of $4, 212-425-1778, 12:30 pm

Thursday, August 21 William J. Parry, "The Strange Case of ‘Baron’ Herman Zedwitz: Genius, Traitor of Madman?" Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St., $6 (includes museum admission and refreshments), 212-425-1778, 6:30 pm


Historic Green-Wood Cemetery (HGWC)

25th St. at Fifth Ave., Brooklyn



Sunday, August 24 The Battle of Brooklyn: 232 Years Later — a Trolley Tour, with Barnet Schecter, including Battle Hill, the Delaware monument, and soldiers’ graves, $20, reservations required, 10:00 am

Sunday, August 24 Irish War Hero Tribute, honoring George Washington’s Irish Generals, The Bold Fenian Men/The Civil War, Irish Korean War Memorial, Matilda Tone, with John Gallagher and Charles Higgins, free, 10:00 am

Sunday, August 24 Battle of Brooklyn Reenactment, Green-Wood’s Meadow and the surrounding area near main entrance, free, 12:30

Sunday, August 24 Annual Battle of Brooklyn Parade,, main gate to Battle Hill, led by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, free, 1:30

Sunday, August 24 Battle of Brooklyn Commemorative Ceremony, Battle Hill, free, 2:00

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Sports Event of the Week


The 2008 U.S. Open gets under way this month


Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

August 25 through September 7

Tickets: $22-$680





Defending U.S. Open champion Roger Federer better watch out, because there’s a new number one in town. Rafael Nadal, who has won four consecutive French Opens (defeating Federer in the last three finals), finally beat Federer on the grass at Wimbledon earlier this summer, and now he is seeking to capture his third straight Grand Slam tournament, on the hard surface of the courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where Federer has reigned since 2004. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Justine Henin, who last year defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals, has retired at the age of twenty-five, so this year’s number one is French Open victor Ana Ivanovic. Both the men’s and women’s champion will take home at least $1.5 million in prize money this year. Don’t just concentrate on the big-time matches; be sure to walk around and check out the action on the smaller courts, where you can get much closer to the game. And here’s a little trick that we’ll continue to point out every year: If you get day tickets, you can stick around and watch all of the night events as well except for those in the main stadium. If all the relatively decent-priced tickets are already gone, you can always catch some great tennis at the annual qualifying tournament, which runs August 19-22 and is free; among those who got their start here were Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian, and Anna Kournikova.

Tuesday, August 19


Friday, August 22 U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, featuring 128 men and 128 women fighting for the final 32 entries, free, 10:00 am

Saturday, August 23 Arthur Ashe Kids Day, with performances by Demi Lovato, Colby O’Donis, Menudo, and Push Play and special appearances by Andy Roddick, Ana Ivanovic, James Blake, and Roger Federer, hosted by Susie Castillo and Quddus, $10-$35, 9:30 am — 4:00 pm

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Asian Film Festival of the Week

Kim Myung-min and Son Ye-jin star in Lee Sang-gi’s OPEN CITY


Cinema Village

22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.

212-759-7525 / 212-924-3363




In recent years, Korean films have been gaining an international audience and growing reputation through the works of such directors as Kim Ki-duk, Lee Byung-hun, Im Kwon-taek, Park Chan-wook, and Hong Sang-soo. Once again the Korea Society will be bringing the latest batch of breakout films to New York, with screenings at Cinema Village in Manhattan and BAM in Brooklyn, as well as two special events, one at the TimesCenter and the other at the Korea Society on Third Ave. This year’s lineup includes fourteen full-length films and a host of shorts, representing such genres as horror, comic-book adaptation, gangster flicks, sports, romance, martial arts, historical epic, family drama, and adventure that, surprisingly, do not feature any of the better-known actors and directors, making for an intriguing festival. There will also be a four-film retrospective of the work of Korea’s "national actor," Ahn Sung-ki, who will on hand for a Q&A and a special discussion and reception.

Thursday, August 21 Opening Reception: HWANG JIN YI (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), with special guests director Chang Youn-hyun and star Yoo Ji-tae, theTimesCenter, 242 West 41st St., $30-$35, reception 6:00, screening 7:30

Friday, August 22 WITH A GIRL OF BLACK SOIL (Jeon Soo-il, 2007), followed by a Q&A with Jeon, 5:30

Friday, August 22 Non—competition Short Films, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, 7:40

Friday, August 22 OPEN CITY (Lee Sang-gi, 2008), 9:40

Saturday, August 23 HELLCATS (Kwon Chil-in, 2008), 12:50

Saturday, August 23 GOING BY THE BOOK (La Hee-chan, 2007), 3:00

Saturday, August 23 MY FATHER (Hwang Dong-hyuk, 2007), 5:00

Saturday, August 23 HWANG JIN YI (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), followed by a Q&A with Chang, 7:10

Saturday, August 23 EPITAPH (Jeong Bum-sik and Jeong Sik, 2007), 9:50

Sunday, August 24 VIRGIN SNOW (Han Sang-hee, 2008), 12:10

Sunday, August 24 SPARE (Lee Seong-han, 2008), 2:10

Sunday, August 24 FOREVER THE MOMENT (Lim Soon-rye, 2008), 3:50

Sunday, August 24 MAY 18 (Kim Ji-hoon, 2007), 6:40

Sunday, August 24 A LOVE (Kwak Kyung-taek, 2007), 9:10

Things get mighty creepy in Jeong Bum-sik and Jeong Sik’s EPITAPH

Monday, August 25 GOING BY THE BOOK (La Hee-chan, 2007), 5:00

Monday, August 25 NOWHERE TO HIDE (Lee Myung-se, 1999), 7:00

Monday, August 25 OUR JOYFUL YOUNG DAYS (Bae Chang-ho, 1987), 9:10

Monday, August 25 LE GRAND CHEF (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), 6:30

Monday, August 25 SPARE (Lee Seong-han, 2008), 8:40

Tuesday, August 26 HELLCATS (Kwon Chil-in, 2008), 4:30

Tuesday, August 26 RADIO STAR (Lee Jun-ik, 2006), followed by a Q&A with star Ahn Sung-ki, 6:40

Tuesday, August 26 MUSA: THE WARRIOR (Kim Sung-ki, 2001), 9:00

Tuesday, August 26 OPEN CITY (Lee Sang-gi, 2008), 6:30

Tuesday, August 26 VIRGIN SNOW (Han Sang-hee, 2008), 8:40

Wednesday, August 27 A LOVE (Kwak Kyung-taek, 2007), 5:00

Wednesday, August 27 A Korean Actor on the World Stage: A Discussion with Ahn Sung-ki, moderated by Hyangsoon Yi and followed by a reception, Korea Society, 950 Third Ave. at 57th St., $15, 6:30

Wednesday, August 27 FOREVER THE MOMENT (Lim Soon-rye, 2008), 7:00

Wednesday, August 27 ONCE UPON A TIME IN COREA (Jeong yong-gi, 2008), 9:20

Thursday, August 28 LE GRAND CHEF (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), 5:20

Thursday, August 28 Cinema Korea: The Past, Present, and Future of Korean Films, with director Christine Choy and assistant professors Jung-Bong Choi and Jina Kim, Korea Society, 950 Third Ave. at 57th St., $15, registration and reception 5:30, screening of CINEMA KOREA (Christine Choy, 2008) 6:00, presentation and Q&A 7:00

Thursday, August 28 Short Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, 7:30

Thursday, August 28 Short Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, 9:00

Lee Jun-ki and Miyazaki Aoi contemplate love in Han Sang-hee’s VIRGIN SNOW



BAM Rose Cinemas

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

August 29-31

212-759-7525 / 718-636-4100


After eight days at Cinema Village in Manhattan, the New York Korean Film Festival continues at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Friday, August 29 ONCE UPON A TIME IN COREA (Jeong yong-gi, 2008), 7:00

Friday, August 29 MY FATHER (Hwang Dong-hyuk, 2007), 9:30

Saturday, August 30 GOING BY THE BOOK (La Hee-chan, 2007), 4:00

Saturday, August 30 LE GRAND CHEF (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), 6:30

Saturday, August 30 EPITAPH (Jeong Bum-sik and Jeong Sik, 2007), 9:15

Sunday, August 31 WITH A GIRL OF BLACK SOIL (Jeon Soo-il, 2007), 4:00

Sunday, August 31 HWANG JIN YI (Chang Youn-hyun, 2007), 6:30

Sunday, August 31 MAY 18 (Kim Ji-hoon, 2007), 9:15

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. get down and dirty in TROPIC THUNDER

TROPIC THUNDER (Ben Stiller, 2008)

Opens Wednesday, August 13


Director and star Ben Stiller takes on Oliver Stone (PLATOON), Francis Ford Coppola (APOCALYPSE NOW), Michael Cimino (THE DEER HUNTER), Stanley Kubrick (FULL METAL JACKET), Sylvester Stallone (FIRST BLOOD), and just about everyone else who has ever made a movie about the Vietnam war in the hysterical spoof TROPIC THUNDER. Stiller, who also is one of the writers and producers, plays Tugg Speedman, a onetime huge action star whose career is in the toilet, especially after his disastrous attempt to win an Oscar by going "full retard" in SIMPLE JACK. His castmates on the film within a film include Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), who has made a fortune making flatulence flicks and wants to be respected as a real actor; Oscar-winning Method actor Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), who has undergone a controversial procedure to darken his skin so he can play a black soldier; hip-hop star Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), who never misses a chance to hype his bootylicious thirst quencher; and Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel), a young actor who is just happy to be in the movie, which is based on a book written by gruff and grizzled Vietnam vet John "Four Leaf" Tayback (Nick Nolte). When troubles on the set threaten to end production, director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) takes the four leads into the jungle, where he hopes for a more realistic feel. But soon the troops, with their prop rifles and hand grenades, are battling a very real drug cartel with very real weapons.

TROPIC THUNDER is a multilayered farce that is fresh and funny from start to finish. In fact, it begins with a riotous series of pseudo-commercials and previews that introduce the main characters. TROPIC THUNDER is a smart send-up of all aspects of the entertainment industry — featuring a surprise appearance by one of Hollywood’s top stars giving what might be his most memorable performance ever as an insanely powerful foul-mouthed studio head with no morals.

Trevor Matthews is on the hunt in MONSTER SLAYER


The Two Boots Pioneer Theater

155 East Third St. at Ave. A

August 15-21

Tickets: $10




As a young boy, Jack Brooks witnessed his family being murdered by a strange forest creature as he ran and hid. Haunted by nightmares, the grown-up Jack (Trevor Matthews), now a plumber who takes night courses, has serious problems with anger management and rage. When his teacher, professor Crowley (Robert Englund), asks him to fix his pipes, Jack unknowingly releases a long-dormant evil that soon takes over Crowley and starts turning people into killer mutants. And so Jack must decide whether to face his deepest, darkest fears and fight back or run away again. JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER is a fun little horror comedy, even though it too often feels like a mediocre episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER mixed with TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE. Director and cowriter Jon Knautz keeps things appropriately cheesy, especially the special effects.

ZDF / Maria Anna Tappeiner

Richard Serra gets serious in front of "The Matter of Time" in Bilbao

(Maria Anna Tappeiner, 2005)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

August 20 - September 2



In June 2005, Richard Serra’s permanent installation, "The Matter of Time," opened at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, comprising seven monumental works of curved steel. Each set was made of multiple concave and convex pieces that form twisting walkways, the outside as fascinating as the inside. (New Yorkers got a chance to see a similar installation last summer as part of MoMA’s "Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years.") In THINKING ON YOUR FEET, director Maria Anna Tappeiner puts Serra front and center, as the influential, controversial artist takes viewers on a private tour of the making of the Bilbao exhibit, from the model process to the forging of the steel to the extremely delicate installation. Serra, who oversees every last detail, then walks through the work, as that experience is the key to its success or failure. A conceptual theorist, Serra discusses form and shape, process and activity, gravitational vectors and topological surface, and time and space, often pulling out his ever-present notebook to outline what he is referring to. All of this is somewhat interesting if you’ve experienced firsthand Serra’s exciting creations; if you haven’t, it comes out as a lot of sophisticated art and engineering talk that you might or might not care much about. By having no narrator and letting Serra run the show, Tappeiner loses control of the film, which plays more like a public television program than a feature-length documentary. We learn little about Serra’s life outside the exhibition — he has been a major figure in the art world for five decades — although it is fun to learn that one of his early assistants was Philip Glass. Add half a star if you loved the MoMA exhibition as much as we did.

Scarlett Johansson is romanced by Javier Bardem in Barcelona


Opens Friday, August 15


After a trio of films made in England (the justly celebrated MATCH POINT, the disappointing SCOOP, and the underappreciated CASSANDRA’S DREAM), Woody Allen heads to Spain, setting his latest adult romantic comedy in the gorgeous city of Barcelona. The very serious Vicky (Rebecca Hall, channeling Mia Farrow) and the flirtatious free spirit Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are best friends spending the summer at a villa owned by Judy (Patricia Clarkson) and Mark (Kevin Dunn). Vicky is about to get married to the very responsible and successful Doug (Chris Messina), while Cristina is just looking to have a wild time. When hot artist Juan Antonio (a gentle Javier Bardem) invites Vicky and Cristina to join him for wine and sex in Oviedo, Vicky thinks he is a pig, while Cristina wants to take him up on his offer. Further complicating the situation is Juan Antonio’s homicidal, suicidal ex-wife, Maria Elena (an inspired Penelope Cruz), who forces herself back into his life. VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA features one of Allen’s best scripts in years. Hall, a young British actress who primarily works on stage and television, is captivating as Vicky; cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe’s camera falls in love with her charming face the moment it first lays eyes on her. Bardem and Cruz inject fire and ice into this complex relationship drama, which examines the nature of love in intelligent and intriguing ways. In addition to filming at such sites as Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and La Pedrera, Allen infuses the proceedings with a soundtrack of delightful Spanish music, structured around Gulia y Los Tellanini’s "Barcelona."

Things heat up in disappointing killer car race flick

DEATH RACE (Paul W. S. Anderson, 2008)

Opens Friday, August 22


In 1975, director Paul Bartel and producer Roger Corman teamed up to make the fun camp cult classic DEATH RACE 2000, billed as a “cross country road wreck” and starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. Now Paul W. S.Anderson — definitely not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson (BOOGIE NIGHTS, THERE WILL BE BLOOD) or Wes Anderson (RUSHMORE, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) — adds to his not-so-stellar resume (MORTAL KOMBAT, EVENT HORIZON, RESIDENT EVIL) with DEATH RACE, a macho remake that takes itself way too seriously. (Or considering Paul W. S. Anderson’s history, maybe it’s more of a big-screen version of the controversial DEATH RACE video game that followed the release of the original flick.) After being framed for the murder of his wife, Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) is sent to Terminal Island Prison, where death-row inmates participate in violent car races in which anything goes — and five victories earns freedom. Of course, the losers end up dead, being ripped apart in brutal crashes. The prison’s evil warden (yes, Joan Allen, we’re sorry to say) forces Jensen, a former racing champion, to take over the role of Frankenstein, a masked driver who is one victory away from winning his freedom. But “Machine Gun” Joe (Tyrese Gibson) is determined to defeat Frankie and get out first, as the world watches on pay-per-view. Even with a remarkably stupid and foul line uttered by Allen — which elicited gales of laughter at the screening we saw and is repeated at the end of the closing credits — DEATH RACE has no sense of humor whatsoever. It really is more like watching a video game than a movie, the same things happening over and over again, with no plot or character development. Even Ian McShane is wasted as Ames’s chief mechanic. Someone should just flip the switch on this DEATH RACE and put it out of its — and our — misery.

In Theaters Now

Sam and Gustavo share wine and more in BOTTLE SHOCK

BOTTLE SHOCK (Randall Miller, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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




In order to boost his failing business, snobby Brit Steven Spurrier (a delightful Alan Rickman) — whose only patron in his fancy Paris wine shop appears to be the garish American expatriate Maurice Cantavale (Dennis Farina), who never pays for his drinks — thinks up a tasting competition pitting the French wines he loves against the upstart vintages coming out of the Napa Valley. Spurrier heads to California to choose which wines to bring back to Paris for the event, but he is shocked to discover that some of the wineries are actually making wines that are more than palatable. He is especially intrigued by Chateau Montelena, run by the obstinate Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his son, Bo (Chris Pine). Jim is a bitter perfectionist whose dedication comes with a chip on his shoulder that sabotages his chances for success and alienates the ones he loves, including his hippie surfer-dude son. Based on a true story, BOTTLE SHOCK is an enticing blend of Jonathan Nossiter’s 2005 documentary, MONDOVINO, and Alexander Payne’s 2004 hit SIDEWAYS. The complicated relationship between father and son lies at the heart of the story, and it rings true — at least partly because the real-life Jim and Bo served as consultants on the film. The supporting cast includes the always excellent Freddy Rodriguez as Gustavo Brambila, who works for Jim but dreams of making his own wine, and Rachael Taylor as Sam, a beautiful young intern who interests both Bo and Gustavo (and is one of the only major characters that were invented for the film). Featuring period music by the Doobie Brothers and other ’70s bands, BOTTLE SHOCK is delightful from the very start, both sweet and spicy on the palate, with a charming finish that lingers on the tongue and in the heart.

Heath Ledger is a scary scream in THE DARK KNIGHT

THE DARK KNIGHT (Christopher Nolan, 2008)


Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to his 2005 hit BATMAN BEGINS is one of the most brilliant superhero films ever made. Christian Bale is back as billionaire bachelor Bruce Wayne, who spends his evenings fighting crime in Gotham City, which is under siege, victim to a brutal crime spree led by the vicious Joker (Heath Ledger in a massive, spectacular performance). As the madman with the wild hair and evil clown face starts knocking off public officials, mob bosses, ordinary citizens, and even his own minions, Wayne is also beset by the blossoming relationship between Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhall), the woman he loves and who knows his secret, and the new DA, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who has come into his high-profile job with both arms swinging, determined to make Gotham City safe. The Bat-Man is joined once again by his faithful butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), Wayne Industries exec Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and police lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman); the film also features Anthony Michael Hall as a television talk-show host who finds himself in danger, Eric Roberts as a smooth-talking gangster, and Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow in a brief cameo. THE DARK KNIGHT is a carefully constructed tale of good and evil, love and death, and everything in between, working as both a thrilling action movie as well as a psychoanalytic examination of what lurks deep in the soul. Although there are special effects aplenty, it is primarily a very intimate, personal film about one man’s tortured existence. In the summer of the high-octane superhero flick (IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, HELLBOY II, HANCOCK), THE DARK KNIGHT towers above them all.

Anne Hathaway & Steve Carell get smart — and plenty stupid — in slapstick flick

GET SMART (Peter Segal, 2008)

Regal E-Walk 13

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


From 1965 to 1970, the television series GET SMART, created by Buck Henry and Mel Brooks, parodied the cold-war-era secret-agent genre exemplified by James Bond and Inspector Clouseau on the big screen and THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. on the small screen. The slapstick comedy starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86, a bumbling spy who always managed to get his man and save the world, with the help of his ultra-capable, ultra-cool partner, Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon). Director Peter Segal, who has helmed such loser sequels and remakes as THE LONGEST YARD, NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT, and NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, does significantly better with this updated version of GET SMART, primarily because Steve Carell does such a good job reimagining the title character instead of merely impersonating Adams. Carell’s Smart is a detail-oriented analyst who dreams of becoming a field agent, and he finally gets his chance when nearly every other CONTROL agent is either killed or compromised. Working with the Chief (an aggressively funny Alan Arkin), the perfect Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson), and the gorgeous Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway, holding her own surprisingly well), Smart has to infiltrate KAOS in order to prevent Siegfried (a wasted Terence Stamp) and his right-hand man, Shtarker (BORAT’s Ken Davitian), from detonating a nuclear bomb. But the absurd plot is not the point here; instead, it’s the stupidly fun interplay between the main characters. True, many of the jokes fall flat, the handful of attempts at seriousness are lame, and some of the smaller characters are just too silly and overused (including Masi Oka and Nate Torrence as juvenile weapons experts and David Koechner as a totally wrong Larabee), but Carell keeps things going with his deadpan charm. Segal’s smartest decision might have been to allow his cast to ad lib, resulting in a bunch of laugh-out-loud moments, while bringing back such familiar items as the Cone of Silence and most of the classic tag lines (what, no “and loving it”?). The film also features cameos by series cocreator Leonard Stern, Bill Murray as Agent 13, and, most importantly, the original Siegfried, Bernie Kopell.

Ron Perlman is back to save the world as Mike Mignola’s oddball hero

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (Guillermo del Toro, 2008)

Regal E-Walk 13

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


Guillermo del Toro’s sequel to his 2004 comic-book adventure begins with Professor Broom (John Hurt) reading a bedtime story to his “son,” the young Hellboy (Montse Ribé), but it’s really more of a warning. Years later, the fairy tale comes to life as Hellboy (Ron Perlman), a cigar-chomping, Baby Ruth-loving, wryly sarcastic superhero, battles Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), who is determined to reclaim his underworld throne and raise the unstoppable Golden Army in a bid to end humankind. Hellboy is once again joined by his girlfriend, fireball Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), alien fish stick Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, who also plays several other costumed characters), and the nervous head of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor). But the government, concerned about Hellboy’s refusal to follow orders, has sent him a new team leader, by-the-book gasbag Johann Kraus (played by John Alexander, voiced by FAMILY GUY creator Seth McFarlane). Despite some lapses in the plot — which borrows elements from STAR WARS, STAR TREK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and even SHREK — HELLBOY II is actually better than the original, with more humor and, indeed, more tenderness. It also features the best use of a Barry Manilow song ever. And Perlman is a riot every step of the way.

Meryl Streep jumps for joy as Broadway fave hits the big screen



Writer Catherine Johnson and director Phyllida Lloyd bring their Broadway smash, MAMMA MIA!, to the big screen, placing it firmly on the strong shoulders of Meryl Streep, who sings and dances away with the movie. Preparing for her wedding to Sky (Dominic Cooper), Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds her mother, Donna’s (Streep), diary, detailing three brief romances she had the summer Sophie was conceived. Determined to find out which one is her true father and have him walk her down the aisle, Sophie secretly invites the three men — the rugged adventurer Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), the handsome architect Sam (Pierce Brosnan), and the goofy banker Harry (Colin Firth) — to the festivities, being held at the villa Donna runs on a small, beautiful Greek island. But when Donna suddenly comes upon her former lovers together in the goat house, she freaks out, demanding they leave immediately, despite Sophie’s insistence that they stay for the wedding. In the meantime, Donna has reunited with her former backup singers, thrice-married debutante Tanya (Christine Baranski) and plucky cookbook author Rosie (Julie Walters), who talk about the good times as well as the bad.

As the wedding approaches, all of the main characters reexamine their lives and reconsider their future, singing and dancing their way through such classic ABBA songs as “The Name of the Game,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Super Trouper,” and “When All Is Said and Done.” Inspired by Melvin Frank’s 1968 film BUONA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL, which starred Gina Lollabridgida as the mother and Phil Silvers, Peter Lawford, and Telly Savalas as her three former lovers, MAMMA MIA! is campy fun, primarily when Streep is on-screen. The subplots range from lame to predictable, and some of the bigger numbers, including “Voulez Vous,” fall flat on their face, but Streep always brings the film back to life, whether she’s bouncing on a bed during “Dancing Queen,” standing on a mountain, looking out on the horizon while belting out “The Winner Takes It All,” or holding back laughter as Brosnan does his best with “SOS.” But be warned — love it or hate it, your head will be filled with ABBA songs for days to come. (And yes, those two guys are exactly who you think they are, ABBA cofounders Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, in small cameos.)

MAN ON WIRE (James Marsh, 2008)

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance, Edinburgh, and Los Angeles Film Festivals, MAN ON WIRE is a thrilling examination of Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk on a wire connecting the two towers of the World Trade Center. Using archival footage, home movies, still photos, black-and-white re-creations, and new interviews with all the primary characters, director James Marsh (THE KING, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP) sets up MAN ON WIRE like a heist film as Petit and his cohorts discuss the detailed planning that went into the remarkable event, including getting the wires and cable to the top of the South Tower and hiding under a tarp as a security guard has a smoke right next to them. Petit, who had previously — and illegally — traversed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, had become immediately obsessed with the Twin Towers as soon as he learned they were being built; Marsh intercuts scenes of the construction of the WTC as Petit puts together the seemingly impossible caper, leading to his August 7, 1974, walk between the two towers, more than a quarter mile above the ground. Petit has a relationship with the World Trade Center unlike anyone else’s; interestingly, Marsh and Petit do not so much as even hint at the destruction of the towers on September 11, 2001, a questionable decision that leaves a gap in the film. (They could have at least mentioned it in the end captions.) Still, MAN ON WIRE is an exhilarating documentary; even though you know that Petit survives, you’ll be breathless as he balances high above Lower Manhattan, one tiny step from death.

Sergei Bodrov’s biopic follows life of the man who would be Genghis Khan

MONGOL (Sergei Bodrov, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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





The story of Genghis Khan has been told several times on the big and small screen — Omar Sharif played the Mongolian warrior in 1965, John Wayne ridiculously had the lead role in Dick Powell’s 1956 film THE CONQUEROR, and there also have been Japanese, Chinese, and British versions — but Russian director Sergei Bodrov (PRISONER OF THE MOUNTAINS) takes a whole new approach in the gripping historical and romantic epic MONGOL. Set in the late twelfth century and shot on location in China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, MONGOL follows the life of young Temudgin from the age of nine as he grows into one of the fiercest fighters the world has ever known. Although the film features exciting, bloody battle scenes, at its heart it’s a moving character study of Temudgin, based on Lev Gumilev’s 1990s book THE LEGEND OF THE BLACK ARROW. Played as a child by Odnyam Odsuren and an adult by Japanese star Tadanobu Asano (ICHII THE KILLER, LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE), Temudgin is a brutal but highly principled leader with an undying love for his strong wife, Borte (the stunning Khulan Chuluun in her film debut), and his family as well as a deep connection with his blood brother, Jamukha (Chinese actor Honglei Sun), later to become his mortal enemy. Set to Tuomas Kantelinen’s sweeping score and throat singing by Mongolian folk group Altan Urag, MONGOL is a lush, beautiful, and surprisingly personal film.

The girls are back in town and on the big screen

SEX AND THE CITY (Michael Patrick King, 2008)

Regal E-Walk 13

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


From 1998 to 2004, SEX AND THE CITY was a mainstay on HBO, following the life and loves of Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), and Carrie Bradshaw as they traipsed about Manhattan in designer duds and really expensive shoes, dining and dishing at all the right places. The chic chicks have now reunited in the highly anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning cable series, picking up four years later, with Miranda having troubles with Steve (David Eigenberg) while they raise Brady (Joseph Pupo) out in Brooklyn, Samantha struggling to continue a monogamous relationship with hulky model and actor Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) in Hollywood, Charlotte loving her life with husband Harry (Evan Handler) and their adopted daughter, Lily (Alexandra and Parker Fong), and Carrie finally deciding to move in with — and marry — Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Written and directed by Michael Patrick King, an executive producer and writer on the original series, the movie hiccups its way through nearly two and a half hours of predictable story lines and frustrating plot twists — albeit with some very tender moments — trying too hard to please fans of the show as well as newcomers to this silly, superficial world. But it’s still fun to see the girls back together — with Carrie facing forty and Samantha heading toward fifty — even if the film feels more like two episodes strung together than the cinematic extravaganza it wants to be.

Squires and Shapiro share a strange friendship in THE WACKNESS

THE WACKNESS (Jonathan Levine, 2008)

Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.




Winner of the Audience Award for Dramatic Film at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, THE WACKNESS is a quirky coming-of-age drama set in 1994 New York City, which is quickly being taken over by new mayor Rudy Giuliani’s so-called quality-of-life initiatives. Josh Peck stars as Luke Shapiro, an easygoing loner who sells pot in the parks from a disguised Italian ices cart. He’s just graduated high school, and he’s trying to raise enough money so he can go to college. Luke has a strange relationship with his drug-addled shrink, Jeffrey Squires (a wickedly funny Ben Kingsley), that changes when Luke starts getting a little too friendly with Dr. Squires’s hot stepdaughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Meanwhile, Luke’s father (David Wohl) has lost a large sum of money, leaving the family facing possible eviction. Writer-director Jonathan Levine (ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE), who graduated high school in 1994 himself, sets the film amid the burgeoning world of hip hop, featuring songs by Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., a Tribe Called Quest, and Method Man (who also plays Luke’s supplier) that heavily influenced his own coming of age. In Luke and Dr. Squires, Levine has created a truly odd, engaging couple in this offbeat, surprisingly affecting film.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music

Piñataland celebrates release of latest record with three area appearances


Saturday, August 16, Old Stone House, J.J. Byrne Park, Fifth Ave between Third & Fourth Sts., Brooklyn

Sunday, August 17, Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St. between Houston & Stanton Sts., 212-477-4155, 7:00

Wednesday, August 20, Bryant Park Word for Word, with writer Samantha Hunt, free, 12:30





Brooklyn’s Piñataland continues its musical exploration of the history of America on SONGS FOR THE FORGOTTEN FUTURE VOL. 2 (Mekkatone, August 26, 2008), consisting of eight songs that take listeners on an adventure from 1846 to 2012, featuring based-on-fact tales of "Yankee Leaper" Sam Patch, riverboat man John Banvard, the murderous Lafferty brothers, an Icelandic boy’s attempt to get his father’s bones back from the American Museum of Natural History, and a trip to Mars. (Well, maybe that one is not so historically accurate.) The brainchild of singer and guitarist Doug Stone and David Wechsler, who plays accordion and piano and sings as well, Piñataland, which also includes drummer Bill Gerstel and vocalist Robin Aigner, mixes eclectic instrumentation into its rootsy storytelling on such songs as "The Fall of Sam Patch," "The Ballad of John Banvard," and "Dream of the New Mary." Piñataland will be celebrating the release of their new CD with shows at the Old Stone House and Rockwood Music Hall, followed by an appearance with author Samantha Hunt in Bryant Park.

Shawn Foree forays into New York
for pair of fierce shows


Friday, August 15, Silent Barn, 9-15 Wyckoff Ave, at Weirfield, Ridgewood

Sunday, August 17, Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow St. between Stanton & Rivington Sts., 212-253-0036, $7




Shawn Foree melds techno-synth pop, industrial noise, ’80s New Wave dance beats, and screaming punk on his latest record as Digital Leather, SORCERER (Goner, July 2008). The disc, which was mastered my Jay Reatard, consists of a group of songs recorded by Foree in his bedroom in Arizona (with Devon Disaster contributing vocals to "You Will Fail"), while the second batch comes from a live performance at Gonerfest 2 in Memphis in 2006. A droning buzz and ’80s synth beats battle each other in the album’s opener, "Simulator," on which Foree asks in a cold, deep voice, "Hey there, Mr. Happy / What’cha smiling about?" A flowing synth beat drives Foree’s cover of the Urinals’ "Hologram," with a middle section dominated by screeching white noise until the vocals and drums kick back in. "At a time like this I could use a new battery," Foree declares on "Styrofoam," and he uses all the power he can muster on the furious sonic blast of "Scar Me" and "Plane." Although the record features Foree and Rusty Rousseau on synthesizers, Steve Sleaze on guitar, and Ryan Wong on drums, the live band is made up of Isaac Reyes on guitar, Sean Ruse on drums, Jason Baker on keyboards, and Foree on synths and vocals. Digital Leather will be bringing its aggressive sound to Silent Barn in Queens on August 15 with Fiasco, Future Islands, and EAR PWR and to Cake Shop on August 17 with Golden Triangle.

Howlies howl into city with preview EP


Monday, August 18, Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston St. at Ave. A, 212-260-4700, $10

Wednesday, August 20, Union Pool, 484 Union Ave. at Meeker Ave., 718-609-0484




Atlanta, home of the amazing Black Lips, has also given birth to another frantic band, Howlies, who will be playing two shows in New York as they prepare for the fall release of their debut CD, TRIPPIN’ WITH HOWLIES, which was produced by Kim Fowley primarily because his name looks like it rhymes with the group’s. (No, actually because he has produced such acts as the Runaways, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, and Warren Zevon.) Howlies have just made available a single/EP that contains "Sea Level" and "Dirty Woman," which will both appear on the upcoming full-length disc, as well as the B side "Baby Shakes (Acoustic Version)," displaying a loose, infectious sound that incorporates 1960s surf music with garage punk. These guys are so new, they don’t even have a Wikipedia entry, so catch them now and write one yourself. On August 18, they’ll be playing at the Mercury Lounge at 8:00, with Paper Route (7:00), the Black Hollies (9:00), and Royal Chains (10:00). On August 20, they’ll be at Brooklyn’s Union Pool with the Gang and the Muslims.


Fontana’s Bar

105 Eldridge St. between Broome & Grand Sts.

Thursday, August 21, free, 7:00 - 10:00




One of our favorite places to buy actual, physical CDs is from Insound, which operates much like one of those old, friendly record stores that are getting harder and harder to find these days. Insound has commissioned artist Jason Munn, of the collective the Small Stakes, to design T-shirts ($20) and hoodies ($35) for each of the bands in the Insound 20, the company’s current fave groups. The limited-edition merch, which also includes a signed and numbered poster ($40), highlights such great acts as the Hold Steady, the National, the New Pornographers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Grizzly Bear, Calexico, Peter Bjorn & John, the Decemberists, She & Him, and others. On August 21, Insound will be at Fontana’s, displaying all the designs, with one hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of a twenty-first T-shirt and poster, which feature all twenty bands on them, benefiting 826NYC, a nonprofit "dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write." A DJ will be spinning songs chosen by the bands in the Insound 20 — oh, and did we mention that there's free beer and tequila in addition to no cover charge?

The Silent Years will take theme album to Piano’s on August 23



158 Ludlow St. between Stanton & Rivington Sts.

Saturday, August 23, $10, 10:00




Originally a group of childhood friends that released the well-received EP STAND STILL LIKE A HUMMINGBIRD and an eponymously titled debut full-length CD, the Silent Years have been almost completely revamped, with only founding members Josh Epstein and Pat Michalak still around, teaming with former Rescue mates Cassandra Verras, Mike Majewski, and Ryan Clancy, along with guitarist Fabian Halabou. The band is now on tour supporting their concept album, THE GLOBE (First Date, August 26, 2008, available on iTunes now), inspired by husband-and-wife Ray and Charles Eames’s famous nine-minute documentary, POWERS OF TEN, which Epstein remembers seeing in science class. The film starts by focusing in on a single man and pulling back until it reaches the edge of the known universe before coming back down to earth and zooming deep inside the man’s hand. Epstein leads the band on investigations of the highly personal to the universally significant through ethereal pop, an easygoing theatricality, vibrant tempo changes, and philosophical lyrics, perhaps best exemplified by the one-two-three punch of "The World’s Worst Birthday Gift," "Aging Gracefully," and "The Axiom." In "Black Hole," Epstein sings, "There is a black hole at the center of the universe / Its gravity is strong and it’s pulling everybody back in / But we’re trying to escape / Trying to escape inevitability." The Silent Years will be bringing their new show to Piano’s on August 23, where they will be playing at 10:00, along with Photon Band (8:00), New Radiant King (9:00), Yndi Halda (11:00), and Caspian (12 midnight).


Emily Haines and Metric dazzled festgoers at All Points West


Liberty State Park, Jersey City

August 8-10

Tickets: $89



all points west slideshow

Tennessee has Bonnaroo, California has Coachella, Chicago has Lollapalooza — and now we have All Points West, a three-day festival of music and art held out in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Each day — we attended the Saturday show — featured fifteen or sixteen bands playing on three stages, spread out just enough so the sound didn’t crash into each other but close enough that fans could easily make it from one show to another in a matter of minutes. The extremely well run fest — almost too well run; security was so tight they took our single slice of whole-wheat pita bread away from us before they would let us in (no outside food is allowed in, you see) — only got overcrowded during Radiohead’s two-hour gig. All of the other bands played to relatively comfortable crowds, although things got denser as the day moved into night and more and more people showed up for the main acts. But latecomers did themselves a disservice, missing out on great early sets by the likes of Nicole Atkins and the Sea (who kicked ass on Patti Smith’s “Pissing in a River”), the Virgins, Chromeo, African rapper K’NAAN, the Felice Brothers (whose “Rockefeller Druglaw Blues” was one of the day’s many highlights), and the Black Angels (whose mix of trippy psychedelia with biker garage rock ignited the audience). The Roots almost tore down the Bullet stage, playing a fierce set culminating in a long, wicked guitar solo by “Captain” Kirk Douglas.


The Roots played a fierce set at APW

In addition to the live music and CD-signing booths, there were several site-specific interactive art installations, including Christopher Janney’s “Sonic Forest” and Gerard Minakawa’s “Bamboo DNA,” and lots of porta-potties. There was also a water station so concertgoers only had to buy an initial drink, then could keep refilling it with water for free to save money and cut down on plastic use. Saturday ended with a thrilling set by Radiohead, whose dazzling light and video show helped even those in the far, far back have a damn fine time. Friday’s bands included Girl Talk, Andrew Bird, Duffy, and Radiohead also, with Sunday offering the Secret Machines, Cat Power, Amadou & Mariam, and headliner Jack Johnson, among others. While getting to the festival was relatively easy, though way too expensive — a short ferry trip cost as much as thirty bucks round trip if you didn’t buy tickets in advance — heading back was a nightmare, since everyone left at pretty much the same time, forcing thousands of people to be jammed together on a narrow walkway for more than an hour, creeping forward in what could have turned out to be a very dangerous situation. Next year — and we do so hope there is a next year — fest organizers need to think this out better; otherwise, we recommend trying your luck with New Jersey light transit.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature

Photo by Maggie Lee

Vice photo show celebrates latest special issue


Vice Gallery

99 N. 10th Street, between Berry and Wythe

Tues - Fri 3pm - 7pm

Saturdays 12pm - 6pm

Admission: free


Vice Records, home to such great bands as Black Lips, Chromeo, and King Khan and the Shrines, also publishes books (like the recent TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL by Peter Beste) and magazines and runs an online television show. In celebration of its brand-new photo issue, Vice will be featuring the work of more than a dozen photographers in its temporary Brooklyn gallery, beneath its actual offices. In addition to photos by Roe Ethridge, Jerry Hsu, Jens Mollenvanger, Patrick O'Dell, Chris Shonting, and others, Tim Barber is curating a special section called "Riddles." CDs, records, prints, books, and more will be available for purchase, but copies of the magazine are free.

RED COLORED ELEGY by Seiichi Hayashi
(Drawn & Quarterly, July 2008, $24.95)



The Japanese storytelling form known as manga, which means “whimsical pictures,” can take a little while to get used to for new readers. Seiichi Hayashi’s 1970-71 series, RED COLORED ELEGY (SEKISHOKU EREJII), is a particularly difficult work, yet repeated visits are highly rewarding. Hayashi was an underground comics writer and later filmmaker and commercial artist, born in Manchuria the year the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Powstwar angst and the counterculture movement infuse his every stroke, utilizing his varied skills to great effect in RED COLORED ELEGY, a relationship story about Ichiro, who is desperate to make a living writing comics, and his girlfriend, Sachiko, who loves him but is frustrated by his continuing ennui. Hayashi constantly changes styles, with some pages echoing Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts and others more modern, evoking the pop culture of the late ’60s. His expert use of line is often dazzling, combining with pages and pages of little or no dialogue to tell the story in a confusing but compelling abstract manner. Although one can race through the book’s 240 pages in a matter of moments, readers would miss the wonderful subtlety and powerful emotions that come through while lingering on certain drawings — from faceless minor characters to two naked bodies wrapped up as one, from flies buzzing around a swinging lamp to a glass shattering in the darkness. After reading it through the first time, it’s possible to then open it up to any point and marvel at its many small joys.

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


The New York International Fringe Festival

Multiple venues

Tickets: $15



Through August 24 The twelfth annual Fringe Festival features nearly two hundred shows being performed at nineteen downtown venues. In addition to the shows listed below, there are also works dealing with Britney Spears, racism, Anna Nicole Smith, slavery, Sylvia Plath, feminism, Hamlet, Jane Austen’s diary, hunger, Jacqueline Susann, Chinese history, Peter Pan’s sisters, military torture, poo, the Beatles, Dorothy Parker, Arnold Schoenberg, Shakespeare, politics, WWII, murder mysteries, Tom Petty and Brett Favre, the Middle East, Perez Hilton, Martha Graham, a lesbian bath house (with Harry Shearer!), celebrity gossip (written by a Daily News gossip columnist), and lots of love, sex, and death. This year’s festival also plays host to free workshops, specially priced kids’ shows and teen nights with talk-backs, free outdoor teasers with excerpts from some of the productions, a colossal collaborative collage, and a variety show power hour with Minimum Wage.


Riverbank State Park Amphitheatre

145th St. & Riverside Dr.

Thursday through Sunday nights at 8:00

Admission: free



Through Sunday, August 24 Pulse Ensemble Theatre’s Summer Shakespeare production of TWELFTH NIGHT, directed by Alexa Kelly


The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park

Thursday through Sunday nights at 8:00

Admission: free


Through Sunday, August 31 Gorilla Rep presents an uncut production of HAMLET, with no intermission, that will move through various parts of Fort Tryon Park


Bryant Park Reading Room

Midpark on north side

Wednesdays at 12:30 through August 20

Admission: free


Wednesday, August 13 Tommy Chong, CHEECH & CHONG: THE UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY, hosted by Josh Gilbert


Through August 24

Admission: free



Wednesday, August 13 Keep a Light in the Window: An Homage to Joel Dorn, with Dr. John, Roberta Flack, Les McCann, Mocean Worker, Jane Monheit, David "Fathead" Newman, Janis Siegel, Bandshell, 7:00

Thursday, August 14 Fernando Otero, Ahn Trio, East Village Opera Company, Bandshell, 7:00

Friday, August 15 Wordless Music, with Beata Viscera, Rhys Chatham, and Manuel Gottsching with the Joshua Light Show, Bandshell, 7:00

Saturday, August 16 Damrosch Park Family Day – Puppet Pageant: Evangeline, Evil, and Dancing in the Street, 2:00; Doug Elkins & Friends, 3:00

Saturday, August 16 Stepping with Step Afrika! Fraulein Maria, Bandshell, 4:30

Saturday, August 16 Step Afrika!, with Doug Elkins & Friends: Fraulein Maria, Bandshell, 7:00

Sunday, August 17 Ologundê, Bonga & the Vodou Drums of Haiti, Kotchegna Dance Company, Bandshell, 2:00

Sunday, August 17 Heritage Sunday: 93rd Birthday Tribute to Graciela, with Jose Alberto "el Canario" y su Orquesta, with special guests, Xiomara Laugart and David Oquendo, Orlando "Puntilla" Rios y Nueva Generación, and a special appearance by Graciela Perez-Grillo, Bandshell, 7:30

Wednesday, August 20 Extra Golden, Mahmoud Ahmed and Alèmayèhu Eshèté with the Either/Orchestra, Gétatchèw Mèkurya with the Ex, Bandshell, 6:00

Thursday, August 21 Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely with Bernice Johnson Reagon, David Dorfman Dance: Underground, Bandshell, 7:00

Friday, August 22 Spam Allstars – Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown, with Fred Ross and Wunmi, vocals; Charles McNeil, alto sax; Reggie Ward, guitar; Peter Madsen, keys; Eric Herman, bass; and John Mader, drums; and special guests Cheikh Lô and Vieux Farka Touré, Bandshell, 7:00

Saturday, August 23 25th Annual Roots of American Music Festival: Battle of the Brass, with the Pinettes Brass Band and the Hot 8 Brass Band, South Plaza, 4:00

Saturday, August 23 25th Annual Roots of American Music Festival, with Hot 8 Brass Band featuring Shamarr Allen, Betty Harris with the Marc Stone All Star Band, the Campbell Brothers’ Sacred Funk featuring Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Horns, John Boutté and Hot Calas, and Irma Thomas and the Professionals, 5:00 — 10:00

Sunday, August 24 25th Annual Roots of American Music Festival: Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Alabama Slim, Adolphus Bell, Dr. G. B. Burt, Capt. Luke, Boo Hanks, Macavine Hayes and Big Ron Hunter, the Knitters: John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Dave Alvin, DJ Bonebrake, Jonny Ray Bartel, Haden Family Singers Labor of Love featuring Charlie Haden, Ruth Cameron, Petra, Tanya, Rachel and Josh Haden, with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton, Dan Tyminski, and special guests Patti Smith and her band, Bandshell, 6:00 — 10:00


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

Through September 11



Over the course of five glorious, shadowy weeks, Film Forum will be screening some of the greatest French crime thrillers ever made, featuring well-known works as well as little-seen gems in exciting pairings. Among the auteurs represented in the series are Godard, Truffaut, Bresson, Dassin, Malle, Melville, Clouzot, Tavernier, Becker, Duvivier, and Chabrol, a virtual who’s who of French cinema from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Wednesday, August 13


Thursday, August 14 PURPLE NOON (René Clément, 1960) and LA PISCINE (Jacques Deray, 1969)

Thursday, August 14 LES TONTONS FLINGEURS (Georges Lautner, 1963)

Friday, August 15


Saturday, August 16 LE CERCLE ROUGE (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970)

Sunday, August 17


Monday, August 18 TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI (Jacques Becker, 1954) and BOB LE FLAMBEUR (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1955)

Monday, August 18 RIPTIDE (Yves Allégret, 1949) and WE ARE ALL MURDERERS (André Cayatte, 1952)

Tuesday, August 19 LA CÉRÉMONIE (Claude Chabrol, 1995) and MURDEROUS MAIDS (Jean-Pierre Denis, 2000)

Wednesday, August 20 PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson, 1959) and A MAN ESCAPED (Robert Bresson, 1956)

Thursday, August 21 LA VÉRITÉ (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1960)

Friday, August 22


Saturday, August 23 PIERROT LE FOU (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) and MISSISSIPPI MERMAID (François Truffaut, 1969)

Sunday, August 24


Monday, August 25 LE DOULOS (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962) and CLASSE TOUS RISQUES (Claude Sautet, 1960)

Monday, August 25 COUP DE TORCHON (Bertrand Tavernier, 1981)

Tuesday, August 26 THE CLOCKMAKER (Bertrand Tavernier, 1974) and GARDE À VUE (Claude Miller, 1981)

(Bertrand Tavernier, 1973)

Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Bertrand Tavernier’s first feature-length film is a quiet, introspective triumph from start to finish. Philippe Noiret stars as Michel Descombes, a widowed clockmaker who is told by a police inspector (Jean Rochefort) that his son, Antoine (Jacques Denis), has killed a man and is on the run with Liliane (Christine Pascal). A despondent Michel struggles to understand what led his son to commit such a crime, examining deep inside himself in the process. The many scenes that center on the clockmaker and the inspector discussing life in general terms are simply wonderful, except when the cop talks about the movies, which takes the audience out of the film. (For some unknown reason, mention is even made of LA GRANDE BOUFFE, Noiret’s previous film.) Tavernier’s subtle storytelling style leads Noiret to give one of the greatest understated performances you’ll ever see.

Wednesday, August 27 LES DIABOLIQUES (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955) and EYES WITHOUT A FACE (Georges Franju, 1960)

Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret discuss murder in LES DIABOLIQUES

(Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)

Henri-Georges Clouzot’s LES DIABOLIQUES is a masterpiece of suspense, a psychological thriller that never lets up. This intense noir stars Vera Clouzot as Christina Delassalle, the mousy owner of a private school for boys run by her nasty, sadistic husband, Michel (Paul Meurisse), who is having an affair with teacher Nicole Horner (Simone Signoret). Nicole conspires with Vera to murder Michel and dump his body in a pool, and the plan works, if not exactly perfectly. Shortly after that, a young student claims to have seen the headmaster alive, frightening Christina and forcing Nicole to — well, we’ve already said too much. As the end credits say, "Don’t be devils. Don’t ruin the interest your friends could take in this film. Don’t tell them what you saw." LES DIABOLIQUES is based on the novel CELLE QUI N’ETAIT PAS (THE WOMAN WHO WAS NO MORE) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, who also wrote D’ENTRE LES MORTS (THE LIVING AND THE DEAD), which was turned into the Alfred Hitchcock classic VERTIGO. Sadly, Vera Clouzot, wife of director Henri-Georges, died five years after LES DIABOLIQUES came out, at the age of forty-six, of a heart condition.


Socrates Sculpture Park

Broadway at Vernon Blvd.

Wednesday nights at 7:00 through August 20

Admission: free



Wednesday, August 13 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963), with live music by Le Nozze di Carlo and Italian cuisine from Manetta’s

Wednesday, August 20 DUCK SEASON (TEMPORADA DE PATOS)(Fernando Eimbcke, 2005), with live music by Bachelor Sound Machín and Mexican cuisine from Mojave

Flama and Moko have no idea what they’re in for in DUCK SEASON

DUCK SEASON (TEMPORADA DE PATOS)(Fernando Eimbcke, 2005)


Mexican writer-director Fernando Eimbcke hits the bull’s-eye with his simply charming feature directorial debut, DUCK SEASON. Winner of eleven Ariel Awards and eight Mayahuel Awards in Mexico, DUCK SEASON is about the pure pleasures of being a kid, before the onset of adolescence and adulthood. After his mother goes away for the afternoon, fourteen-year-old Flama (Daniel Miranda) and his best friend, Moko (Diego Catano), think they have the apartment all to themselves for a day of bad food and Halo. When Ulises (Enrique Arreloa), the pizza delivery guy, shows up eleven seconds late, they refuse to pay him — so he refuses to leave. As the three go through a different kind of Mexican standoff, sixteen-year-old neighbor Rita (Danny Perea) stops by to borrow the oven to bake a cake. The lives of these four unique and very entertaining characters come together in weird and wonderful ways over the course of a bizarre and hysterically funny day. Eimbcke and cinematographer Alexis Zabe shoot the film in cool black and white, rarely moving the camera during long takes that fade out much like Jim Jarmusch’s STRANGER THAN PARADISE. The film starts out slow, but once it gets going, it’s a riot. And don’t leave before the credits end or you’ll miss a brief bit that offers necessary closure.


Pier 54, Hudson River at Fourteenth St.

Wednesdays around dusk July 9 — August 20

Admission: free


Wednesday, August 13 ROCK STAR (Stephen Herek, 2001)

Wednesday, August 20 THE BLUES BROTHERS (John Landis, 1980)


North Churchyard, Trinity Church

Broadway at Wall St.

Wednesdays in August at 1:30

Admission & lemonade: free



Wednesday, August 13 Agua Clara

Wednesday, August 20 The Booglerizers

Wednesday, August 27 Mecca Bodega


Tompkins Square Park

Between Seventh & Tenth Sts. and Aves. A & B

Alternate Wednesdays, gates open at 6:00, films begin at sundown

Admission: free


Wednesday, August 13 THE GRADUATE (Mike Nichols, 1968)

Wednesday, August 27 STAND BY ME (Rob Reiner, 1984)


Bryant Park Stage

Thursdays at 12:30 pm through August 14

Admission: free




Military Island

Broadway & Seventh Ave. between 43rd & 44th Sts.

Admission: free


Thursday, August 14 In celebration of the end of WWII, couples are invited to kiss in Times Square, re-creating the famous 1945 kiss between a sailor and a nurse, honoring peace, love, and hope, 1:00


El Museo del Barrio Teatro Heckscher

1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th St.

Thursday nights at 7:00

Admission: free



Thursday, August 14 Summer Nights at El Museo: Latin Nights Concert Series (Noches Latinas) -- Noche de Trios, with Junior Gonzalez y su Trio Los Borincanos and Eddie Alicea y su Trio de Epoca, Heckscher Theater, 7:00


Pier 54, Hudson River Park at Horatio St.

Admission: free


Thursday, August 14 Blonde Redhead, 7:00


Rumsey Playfield

Central Park (enter at Fifth Ave. & 69th St.)

Admission: free unless otherwise noted



Thursday, August 14 Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos, 7:00

Friday, August 15 Bajofondo, 7:00

Saturday, August 16 Battles, Black Dice, 3:00

Sunday, August 17 Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Menahan Street Band, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, 3:00


Brooklyn Bridge Park at Empire-Fulton State Park

1 Main St. at Water St.

Thursday nights at sunset, preceded by music by live DJs at 6:00

Admission: free



Thursday, August 14 CABARET (Bob Fosse, 1972)

Thursday, August 21 BEING THERE (Hal Ashby, 1979)


Dance Theater Workshop, third floor terrace

219 West 19th St.

Thursday nights in August at 9:00

Admission: free, coolers and cushions encouraged


Thursday, August 14 THE JERK (Carl Reiner, 1979)

Thursday, August 21 LABYRINTH (Jim Henson, 1986)


River to River Festival

Pier 17, South Street Seaport

Admission: free


Friday, August 15 Dirty Projectors with White Williams, 7:00


CityParks Foundation, multiple venues

All performances at 8:00

Admission: free



Friday, August 15


Saturday, August 16 Production of Tony-nominated musical by Melvin Van Peebles, St. Mary’s Park, the Bronx


Theater for the New City

Multiple locations

August 2 — September 14

Admission: free



The Theater for the New City’s Street Theater Company goes on the road with Crystal Field’s new musical IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID! OR THE TURNING POINT, performing the show outdoors in parks and playgrounds through September 14.

Friday, August 15 Coney Island Boardwalk at West Tenth St., 8:00

Saturday, August 16 St. Mary,s Park, 147th St. & St. Ann’s Ave., 2:00

Sunday, August 17 Central Park Bandshell, 72nd St. Crosswalk, 2:00

Saturday, August 23 Prospect Park Concert Grove, 2:00

Sunday, August 24 Travers Park, 34th Ave. between 77th & 78th Sts., 2:00


Queens Museum of Art

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Friday nights at 6:30 through August 24

Admission: free for outdoor events; $5 suggested donation for museum, which is open until 8:00



Friday, August 15 India — Dance: Singh and Dance; Music: DJ Rekha with live dhol drumming and a Bhangra instructor; Film: THE NAMESAKE (Mira Nair, 2006)

Friday, August 22 Mexico — Dance: Laura Peterson Choreography and Anthony Whitehurst; Music: Mariachi Oro de Mexico; Film: UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA) (Patricia Riggen, 2007)


Pier 46, Hudson River Park at Christopher St.

Fridays around dusk through August 22

Admission: free


Friday, August 15 Fifth annual showing of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Mel Stuart, 1971)

Friday, August 22 SHREK (Andrew Adamson, 2001)


K2 Lounge

Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

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

212-620-5000 ext 344


Friday, August 15 Harlem in the Himalayas: the Theo Croker Quartet featuring Benny Powell and Winard Harper, $18-$20, 7:00

Friday, August 15 CabaretCinema: What Price Paradise? GANDAHAR (René Laloux, 1988), introduced by Bill Plympton and Signe Baumane, free with $7 bar minimum, 9:30

Friday, August 22 Harlem in the Himalayas: Sip Plus Two, $18-$20, 7:00

Friday, August 22 CabaretCinema: What Price Paradise? BARAKA: A WORLD BEYOND WORDS (Ron Fricke, 1992), free with $7 bar minimum, 9:30


West 135th St. from Malcolm X Blvd. to St. Nicholas Ave.

Admission: free



Saturday, August 16 Outdoor festival featuring vendors, food, games, live music, dance, and more, 11:00 am — 7:00 pm, with the N.Y. City Children’s Festival (11:00 am — 6:00 pm), Dancing in the Street (3:00 — 6:00), "The Quiet Storm," concert honoring Teddy Pendergrass with Chuck Jackson and other R&B singers (6:00 — 8:00)


St. Nicholas Park

135th Street & St. Nicholas Park on the great lawn

Through August 18

Music begins at 6:00, screenings at sundown

Admission: free


Saturday, August 16 SICKO (Michael Moore, 2007), with music by DJ OhSoKool and a health fair

Sunday, August 17 LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT (Thomas Gibson, 2004), with music spun by the Legendary Chris Washington

Monday, August 18 BE KIND REWIND (Michel Gondry, 2008), with music spun by DJ Spinna

Gondry’s latest is another strangely entertaining tale

BE KIND, REWIND (Michel Gondry, 2008)


When old man Fletcher (Danny Glover) takes off for a week, leaving Mike (Mos Def) in charge of his soon-to-be-demolished video store called Be Kind Rewind (they don’t have any DVDs or recent movies), his most important rule is to “Keep Jerry Out.” Jerry (Jack Black) is a crazy conspiracy theorist who covers himself in metal to ward off alien rays. After a botched attack on the local power plant, Jerry becomes a walking magnet (a laugh-out-loud hysterical scene) and unknowingly erases all the videos in the store. Taking a page from the Little Rascals plots when Spanky and Alfalfa would suddenly put on a show for some local cause, Mike and Jerry recruit Alma (Melonie Diaz) as they proceed on their very strange attempts at Sweding — making their own versions of such films as GHOSTBUSTERS, RUSH HOUR 2, and ROBOCOP and renting them as if they were the real thing. Following the brilliant ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and the extremely strange THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, writer-director Michel Gondry has fashioned a really stupid movie that has an overabundance of heart and charm. Glover and Mos Def are soft and gentle in this Capra-esque comedy, offsetting Black’s hyperactivity. Every time you’re ready to write the film off as being just too silly and ridiculous, something comes along to make you double over in laughter.



BAM Rose Cinemas

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

August 1—21



Saturday, August 16 BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (Paul Mazursky, 1969), 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Sunday, August 17 CALIFORNIA SPLIT (Robert Altman, 1974), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Monday, August 18 I LOVE MY WIFE (Mel Stuart, 1970), 6:50, 9:15

Tuesday, August 19 GETTING STRAIGHT (Richard Rush, 1970), 7:00, 9:30

Wednesday, August 20 HARRY AND WALTER GO TO NEW YORK (Mark Rydell, 1976), 9:15

Thursday, August 21 THE TOUCH (BERÖRINGEN) (Ingmar Bergman, 1971), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

August 2—28

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



Saturday, August 16 BARTON FINK (Joel Coen, 1991), 2:00

Saturday, August 16 THE HUDSUCKER PROXY (Joel Coen, 1994), 4:30

Saturday, August 16 FARGO (Joel Coen, 1996), 7:00

Sunday, August 17 THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Joel Coen, 1998), 2:00

The Dude chills out with some friends in THE BIG LEBOWSKI

THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Joel Coen, 1998)

Jeff Bridges is awesome as the Dude, a laid-back cool cat who gets sucked into a noirish plot of jealousy, murder, money, mistaken identity, and messy carpets. Julianne Moore is excellent as free spirit Maude, Tara Reid struts her stuff as Bunny, and Peter Stormare, Flea, and Torsten Voges are a riot as a trio of nihilists. Also on hand are Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Huddleston, Aimee Mann, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, David Thewlis, Sam Elliott, Ben Gazzara, Jon Polito, and other crazy characters, but the film really belongs to the Dude and his fellow bowlers Jesus Quintana (John Turturro, who is so dirty he is completely cut out of the television version), Donny (Steve Buscemi), and Walter (John Goodman), who refuses to roll on Shabbos. This is another offbeat great one from the Coen brothers.

Sunday, August 17 THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (Joel Coen, 2001), 4:30

Sunday, August 17 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 2007), 7:00

Friday, August 22 BLOOD SIMPLE (Joel Coen, 1984), 4:30

Friday, August 22 RAISING ARIZONA (Joel Coen, 1987), 6:30

Friday, August 22 MILLER’S CROSSING (Joel Coen, 1990), 8:30

Monday, August 25 BARTON FINK (Joel Coen, 1991), 6:00

Monday, August 25 THE HUDSUCKER PROXY (Joel Coen, 1994), 8:30

Wednesday, August 27 FARGO (Joel Coen, 1996), 6:00

Wednesday, August 27 THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Joel Coen, 1998), 8:00

Thursday, August 28 THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (Joel Coen, 2001), 6:00

Thursday, August 28 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 2007), 8:30


Lafayette St. & Park Ave. from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park

Saturday, August 16 & 23, free, 7:00 am - 1:00 pm


New Yorkers take back the streets at this exciting festival as much of Park Ave. is closed to vehicular traffic for six wonderful hours on successive Saturday mornings. Pedestrians and bicyclists can breathe in the splendor of one of the world's most famous thoroughfares virtually unimpeded, with street fairs and live music and theater along the way, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park toward Harlem. There's an Arts & Culture Rest Stop on 51st St., a Health & Fitness Rest Stop on 24th St., and an Underground Rest Stop on Cleveland Pl. between Spring and Kenmare, with exercise and dance classes, games, tours, bike seminars, and other activities spread around the route. Enjoy this luxury while you can! (Many thanks to Carol Binkowski for the above video!)


P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center / MoMA

22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave., Long Island City

Saturdays from 3:00 to 9:00 July 5 - September 6

Admission: $10, includes admission to art galleries 2:00 to 9:00



Public Farm One slideshow

Saturday, August 16 Environ hosts Kelley Polar Quartet, Metro Area, and Tony Conrad

Saturday, August 23 Fimic & Artists’ Association of Finland hosts DJ Poodlecannon, Jimi Tenor, Op:L Bastards, and guest DJs


Water Taxi Beach

Second St. & Borden Ave., Long Island City

Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am

Cover charge: $3 (twenty-one and over only)


All shows will feature residents Justin Carter, Probus, and the Brothers’ Brothers in addition to the below special guests.

Saturday, August 16 My Cousin Roy

Saturday, August 23 Efdemin


B.B. King Blues Club

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

Tickets: $12-$17



Sunday, August 17 Seventh annual event, hosted by Cathy Cervenka and featuring live performances by Militia, Felicia Collins, Patti Rothberg, Hot Sausage, the Dazzle Dancers, Corn Mo, Tess the Young Diva, and many more, with prizes for the best Madonna look-alikes and sing-alikes, 8:00


Section Nine at the Pavilion

Pelham Bay Park at City Island Rd.

Sundays at 12 noon through September 1

Admission: free


Sunday, August 17 Foodbase/ Rainbow Stores "Summer Spectacular"

Sunday, August 24 "El Dia de la Charanga," with Eddy Zevrigon y la Orquesta Broadway, Alex Diaz y Charanga Con Sabor, Chikamelia, Jason Cerda, Jann y Marco


McCarren Park Pool

Lorimer St. between Driggs & Bayard Aves.

Admission: free


Sunday, August 17 Aesop Rock, Panther, 2:00

Sunday, August 24 Yo La Tengo, Titus Andronicus, Ebony Bones, 2:00


Bryant Park

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)

Admission: free



Monday, August 18 SUPERMAN (Richard Donner, 1978)


Ra Ra Riot was a hit at this summer’s Siren Festival in Coney Island


Virgin MegaStore Union Square

52 East 14th St. at Broadway

Admission: free




Tuesday, August 19 If you buy a copy of Ra Ra Riot’s THE RHUMB LINE (Barsuk, August 2008) at the Virgin MegaStore in Union Square starting at 9:00 am, you’ll get a wristband that entitles you to see the band’s in-store appearance at the store’s café at 7:00, followed by a CD signing, but space is limited


McCarren Park Pool

Lorimer St. between Driggs & Bayard Aves.

Tuesdays through August 26

Gates at 5:30, live music at 7:00, screening at 9:00

Admission: free




Tuesday, August 19 VELVET GOLDMINE (Todd Haynes, 1998), preceded by NYC Soundtracks Live at 5:00 and Shannon Corey at 7:00

Tuesday, August 26 RUSHMORE (Wes Anderson, 1998), preceded by live performances by Hologram / Treasure and the King Left


55 Water St. at Old Slip

Films begin at sundown between 8:00 & 9:00

Admission: free



Tuesday, August 19 Movie Nights on the Elevated Acre: EVERYWHERE AT ONCE (Alan Berliner, 1985), CITY EDITION (Alan Berliner, 1980), and KILLER’S KISS (Stanley Kubrick, 1955), featuring a conversation with Alan Berliner, the Elevated Acre, 55 Water St., films begin at sundown between 8:00 & 9:00

Tuesday, August 26 Movie Nights on the Elevated Acre: A GIRL LIKE ME (Kiri Davis, 2005), SLIP OF THE TONGUE (Karen Lum, 2005), and IMITATION OF LIFE (Douglas Sirk, 1959), the Elevated Acre, 55 Water St., films begin at sundown between 8:00 & 9:00


Brooklyn Masonic Temple

317 Clermont Ave. at Lafayette Ave.

Tickets: $36-$40


Thursday, August 21 Suzanne Vega, plus Christina Courtin, 8:00


Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Admission: free



Thursday, August 21 Mike Clifford, 9:30

Friday, August 22 Sarah Smith and Gilad Cohen, 9:30


City Hall Park

Across from J&R at Park Row

Admission: free



Thursday, August 21 Solange, Michelle Williams, Terrence Howard, 5:00

Friday, August 22 Aaron Parks, Esperanza Spalding, Caribbean Jazz Project featuring Dave Samuels, 5:00

Saturday, August 23 Joe, Nicole Henry, Jo De La Rosa, Naturally 7, Ashanti, 1:00


Meet at 38-38 43rd St. unless otherwise noted

Admission: free



Flux Factory might have closed its space in Long Island City, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking their art on the road. Throughout the summer, they will be offering free bus tours on which a licensed driver and an artist-guide will decide where you will be going and for how long, from a few hours to maybe a few days. Although you won’t know in advance where your trip will be taking you, they will tell you the length (and what to bring) so you don’t feel suddenly kidnapped for a surprise long weekend. Space is limited, so sign up quickly and take a chance on what could be one of the coolest art projects of the season.

Saturday, August 23 Miss Rockaway Armada


Islands lead singer Nicholas Thorburn bleeds for his art at recent Siren Festival


Solar One, Stuyvesant Cove Park

23rd St. & the East River

Tickets: $25 (includes free beer!)





Saturday, August 23 Sponsored by New York magazine, this year’s food and music festival includes a full set by Islands, who put on a great show at this summer’s Siren Festival in Coney Island, as well as an appearance by Top Chef contestant Chris "CJ" Jacobson, with Indie Rock Karaoke, free beer, a cook-off, live comedy, and lots of BBQ, 1:00 — 5:00


Admission: free


Saturday, August 23 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival: Hank Jones, Vanessa Rubin, Rashied Ali, and Robert Glasper, Marcus Garvey Park, 124th St. & Mt. Morris Park, 3:00

Sunday, August 24 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival: Randy Weston, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, Eric Lewis, and Gretchen Parlato, Tompkins Square Park, 3:00


Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. from 127th to 116th Sts.

Admission: free


Sunday, August 24 Annual parade and street festival, with live music and dance, art and design, fashion, food, and more, 12 noon — 7:00 pm


Hudson River Park

Pier 54, Hudson River at Fourteenth St.

Sunday, August 24, free, 2:00 — 9:00

Admission: free



The ninth annual Blues and BBQ Festival in Hudson River Park features barbecue from local restaurants, including twi-ny fave Mara’s Homemade, with blues performances all day long.

Sunday, August 24 Juke Joint Duo: Cedric Burnside and Lightin’ Malcolm, 2:30; Larry Garner, 3:45; Sugar Blue, 5:00; Alexis P. Suter Band, 6:15; Eugene Hideaway Bridges, 7:30



Fulton Fish Market, Pier 17, South Street Seaport

Tickets: $20



Sunday, August 24 A Musical Tribute to Abbie Hoffman, with Steve Molitz, Jon Gutwillig, Michael Travis and Jason Hann, DJ Logic, and special guests, 10:00



BAM Rose Cinemas

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

August 25—27

Tickets: $11



Monday, August 25 HELL AND HIGH WATER (Samuel Fuller, 1954), 6:50, 9:15

Tuesday, August 26 NIGHT AND THE CITY (Jules Dassin, 1950), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Wednesday, August 27 THE STREET WITH NO NAME (William Keighley, 1948), 6:50 (followed by a Cinemachat with Elliott Stein), 9:30


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St. at Bowery

Tickets: $20



Tuesday, August 26 Benefit with acoustic Nada Surf, Dean & Britta, Richard Buckner, Sam Champion, Simone White, and Luke Rathborne, 7:00


Robbers played a special show this summer at art closing



105 Eldridge St. between Broome & Grand Sts.

Admission: $7




Thursday, August 28 Robbers on High Street brings its playful brand of indie pop to Fontana’s Bar, with Radio 4 and the Subjects, 9:00


Parts played a hot set at Siren Festival this summer


Market Hotel

957 Broadway at Myrtle Ave.




Saturday, August 30 After a successful gig at the Siren Festival in Coney Island, Parts and Labor takes the stage at the Market Hotel, playing with Aa, 8:00

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