Exhibition of the Week
7. Riffs Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance, including Paul Weller at the Highline Ballroom, Thank You at the Silent Barn, the Felice Brothers at Maxwells, Cham! Demon-Subjugation Dances all over town, KNAAN at (le) poisson rouge, Im Not Jim at Housing Works, Bloc Party at Roseland, ANTIGONES at the Joyce SoHo, and the Feelies at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and the Bowery Ballroom
Volume 8, Number 15
September 10-24, 2008
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Japanese-born artist Jun Kaneko, who is now based in Nebraska, has lined the Park Ave. meridian between 52nd & 54th Sts. with three large ceramic heads, calmly watching over the traffic as it rushes by; the heads will be on view through October 31
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St.
Through September 28 (closed Thursday)
Admission: $18 (includes audio; pay-what-you-wish Friday 5:45-7:15)
© David Heald
Louise Bourgeois exhibit spirals up the Guggenheim
In Louise Bourgeois’s “Spiral Woman,” a nineteen-inch-long golden bronze sculpture dangles from the ceiling: Ten fat coils, unevenly spiraling down to a pair of arms and legs emerging from the bottom, a black slate disc below it. It is an emotionally powerful piece, working as both a microcosm for the thrilling retrospective of the artist’s vast oeuvre now on view at the spiraling Guggenheim as well as a valuable insight into the her world view, in which humor mixes with pathos, whimsy combines with deep intimacy, with gender almost always at the center. The piece is one of more than 150 works that spiral through the Guggenheim in roughly chronological order, a revealing examination of an uncompromising woman, now ninety-six, who continually challenges her contemporaries, her critics, and, perhaps most of all, herself. “Louise Bourgeois” is a stunning retrospective that includes drawings, paintings, performance art, and complex installations using wood, metal, rubber, glass, latex, fabric, and marble in unique ways. From her early “Femme Maison” ink and pencil drawings, in which Bourgeois depicts women’s bodies emerging from houses (or, as always with Bourgeois, vice versa), to her phallic “Eye to Eye” and “Cumul I” sculptures, to her very personal rooms, which she calls cells, that reflect on her life from childhood to the present, Bourgeois lets viewers into her complex psyche but we can only get so close.
Bourgeois is able to evoke warmth out of the coldest piece of steel or marble, transfer her memories into empty glass, and laugh as people parade around wearing grotesque latex costumes in a bizarre fashion show. Much of her emotion comes from her complicated childhood, in which her father had a mistress who lived with the family, a narrative that haunts many of her figures, both abstract and representational. In fact, she essentially carves up her father and serves him for dinner in “The Destruction of the Father,” while her iconic spiders evoke matriarchal strength. If you get to the Guggenheim by September 12, be sure to go downstairs to the Sackler Center for Arts Education to see “A Life in Pictures,” a display of personal photographs and diaries and Nigel Finch’s 1994 documentary in which Bourgeois talks about her life and art.
Tuesday, September 16 Old-Age Style: Shapes of Anxiety, exhibition tour led by Linda Nochlin, $10, 6:30
Wednesday, September 17 Eye to Eye: artist-led tour with Marina Abramovic, followed by reception, $25, 6:30
Art Kaleidoscope Foundation
Louise Bourgeois shares some of her doubts and fears in new doc.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New Media Theater
Friday, September 26, $15, 6:30
On June 27, a major Louise Bourgeois career retrospective, "A Life in Pictures," opened at the Guggenheim, running through September 28 (see above for more information). Marion Cajori and Amei Wallachs highly entertaining and illuminating LOUISE BOURGEOIS: THE SPIDER, THE MISTRESS AND THE TANGERINE is a great way to prepare for the Guggenheim show. The iconoclastic, eclectic, and rather feisty Bourgeois, who is still working in her mid-90s, is one of the seminal female artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Her intensely personal sculptures hint at childhood traumas, especially relating to the relationship between her father, her mother, and her fathers live-in mistress, in such exciting and mysterious installations as "Red Room," "Cell II," "Precious Liquids," and her ubiquitous "Spiders," brought to life by cinematographers Mead Hunt and Ken Kobland. Cajori and Wallach filmed and interviewed Bourgeois beginning in the artists Brooklyn studio in May 1993 and continuing into 2007, also speaking with her assistants, curators, son, and others who shed light on this fascinating, bigger-than-life figure. The film is divided into three sections "I Do," I Undo," and "I Redo" as the ornery Bourgeois is very careful about not giving away too many of her secrets ("You have to read between the lines when I talk," she tells Wallach), although she does share many of the intimate emotions behind her unique artistic process, discussing the unconscious, memory, and fear. "The purpose of sculpture is self-knowledge," she says at one point. "Im full of doubts." The film will screen at the Guggenheim at 6:30 on September 26, followed by a discussion featuring codirector Wallach with curators Nancy Spector of the Guggenheim and Deborah Wye of MoMA.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Sunday, September 21
Monday, September 22 A Two-Part Affair: Ballet and Modern Meet Uptown, new commission by choreographers Brian Reeder and Pam Tanowitz, with music by Alan Feinberg and panel discussion moderated by Robert Greskovic, 7:30
Recent works are featured in Louis Bourgeois show "Echo"
Cheim & Read
547 West 25th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, September 9
Saturday, November 1 Running concurrently with the splendid retrospective at the Guggenheim, "Echo" features anthropomorphic sculptures and gouache paintings that date from 2007, as Louise Bourgeois continues to explore the central themes in her work
David Lean takes on the sound barrier in THE SOUND BARRIER
209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Beginning his sparkling career as an editor on some two dozen films, including PYGMALION (Anthony Asquith, 1939) and ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1942), Sir David Lean eventually became one of Englands greatest directors, helming massive epics as well as tender romances. Over two glorious weeks, Film Forum will be screening each of his sixteen films, many in new 35mm restorations and as parts of inspired double features, pairing GREAT EXPECTATIONS with OLIVER TWIST, BRIEF ENCOUNTER with BLITHE SPIRIT, and the lesser-known THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS with the lesser-known MADELEINE. The series then finishes off in a big way, with the heavy hitting lineup of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, RYANS DAUGHTER, SUMMERTIME, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, and A PASSAGE TO INDIA, which total more than one thousand exquisite minutes. (Only SUMMERTIME clocks in at less than two hours and forty-one minutes.) There are few directors who can match that group of films, and Lean has eleven Oscar nominations to prove it, with two wins (for directing LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI). Yet Lean had the unique ability to keep things intimate despite the hugeness of it all.
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13 GREAT EXPECTATIONS (David Lean, 1946), 1:00, 5:25, 9:50, and OLIVER TWIST (David Lean, 1948), 3:15, 7:40
Sunday, September 14
Monday, September 15 BRIEF ENCOUNTER (David Lean, 1945), 2:50, 6:20, 9:50, and BLITHE SPIRIT (David Lean, 1945), 1:00, 4:30, 8:00
Tuesday, September 16 THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS (David Lean, 1949), 3:40, 7:35, and MADELEINE (David Lean, 1950), 1:30, 5:25, 9:20
Wednesday, September 17 HOBSONS CHOICE (David Lean, 1954), 1:15, 5:30, 9:45, and THE SOUND BARRIER (David Lean, 1952), 3:20, 7:35
Thursday, September 18 IN WHICH WE SERVE (Noël Coward & David Lean, 1942), 1:00, 5:15, 9:30, and THIS HAPPY BREED (David Lean, 1944), 3:10, 7:25
Friday, September 19
Saturday, September 20 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (David Lean, 1962), 2:00, 7:00
Sunday, September 21 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (David Lean, 1957), 1:30, 4:30, 7:30
Monday, September 22 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (David Lean, 1957), 1:30, 4:30
Monday, September 22 RYANS DAUGHTER (David Lean, 1970), 7:30
Tuesday, September 23 SUMMERTIME (David Lean, 1955), 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30
Wednesday, September 17 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (David Lean, 1965), 2:00, 7:00
Thursday, September 25 A PASSAGE TO INDIA (David Lean, 1984), 1:00, 4:20, 7:40
Paul Muni introduces his little friend in original SCARFACE
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.
American director Howard Hawks used his diverse background he studied mechanical engineering at Cornell, served in the army air force in WWI, and was a professional race-car driver and aviator to create a wide-ranging resume of outstanding films. Among his best-known work is TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, BRINGING UP BABY, SCARFACE, HIS GIRL FRIDAY, BALL OF FIRE, and SERGEANT YORK, all of which are part of BAMcinemateks celebration of his career, screening fourteen of his more than forty films. (The series skips such fare as RED RIVER, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, and RIO BRAVO.) Equally adept at screwball comedies, gangster tales, war films, and Westerns, Hawks worked with all of the greats, from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck, from Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe to John Wayne and Gary Cooper. His multi-genre output as well as being nominated only once for an Oscar, for SERGEANT YORK might be why he is not as well known today as he deserves to be. (He did receive an honorary Academy Award in 1975, two years before his death at the age of eighty-one.)
Monday, September 15 TWENTIETH CENTURY (Howard Hawks, 1934), 6:50, 9:15
Tuesday, September 16 THE CRIMINAL CODE (Howard Hawks, 1931), 6:50, 9:15
Wednesday, September 17 TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (Howard Hawks, 1944), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Thursday, September 18 BRINGING UP BABY (Howard Hawks, 1938), 6:50, 9:15
Friday, September 19 SCARFACE (Howard Hawks, 1932), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Saturday, September 20 HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks, 1940), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Sunday, September 21 BALL OF FIRE (Howard Hawks, 1947), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Tuesday, September 23 THE ROAD TO GLORY (Howard Hawks, 1936) and TIGER SHARK (Howard Hawks, 1932), 7:00
Wednesday, September 24 A SONG IS BORN (Howard Hawks, 1948), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Thursday, September 25 I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (Howard Hawks, 1949), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Friday, September 26 ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (Howard Hawks, 1939), 3:00, 6:00, 9:00
Saturday, September 27 THE BIG SLEEP (Howard Hawks, 1946), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50
Sunday, September 28 MONKEY BUSINESS (Howard Hawks, 1952) 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15
Monday, September 29 THE BIG SKY (Howard Hawks, 1952), 6:00, 9:00
Tuesday, September 30 SERGEANT YORK (Howard Hawks, 1941), 6:00, 9:00
Garth Fagan is among the many companies falling for dance at City Center
West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
City Centers annual Fall for Dance Festival offers dance lovers and newbies a terrific chance to see multiple companies performing in one show for a mere ten bucks. This years slate includes such faves as Shen Wei Dance Arts, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Garth Fagan Dance, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Tickets went on sale Sunday morning, so dont hesitate or youll get shut out of this splendid opportunity to catch up on what is happening in the world of dance.
Wednesday, September 17
Thursday, September 18 Shen Wei Dance Arts, Pichet Klunchun Dance Company, Keigwin + Company, the National Ballet of Canada, 8:00
Friday, September 19 Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, Louise Lecavalier, Ayodele Casel, Sarah Savelli & Dancers, 8:00
Saturday, September 20, 8:00
Sunday, September 21, 3:00 [bjm_danse], Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Madhavi Mudgal, Sheron Wray, Hofesh Schechter Company
Tuesday, September 23
Wednesday, September 24 BeijingDance / LDTX, Houston Ballet, Richard Siegal / the Bakery, Fang-Yi Sheu, the Gentlemen of Halau Na Kamalei, 8:00
Thursday, September 25 The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Talia Paz, the Lombard Twins, Kate Weare Company, Garth Fagan Dance, 8:00
Friday, September 26
Saturday, September 27 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza, Artistic Director Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor Dance Company, 8:00
Details have just been announced for 2008 fest
Every year the New Yorker Festival pairs writers, artists, architects, chefs, musicians, cartoonists, and others in unique discussions and performances that drive the literati and glitterati wild, offering many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see major celebrities in intimate conversation. In past years participants have included Steve Martin, Randy Newman, Paul Goldberger, Edward Norton, Milos Forman, E .L. Doctorow, Seymour Hersh, Cat Power, Edwidge Danticat, Roz Chast, Calvin Trillin, Annie Proulx, and so many more. In addition to the below highlights, there will be book signings by Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, Paul Theroux, Susan Orlean, Roddy Doyle, and others.
Friday, October 3 Writing About Home, with Sana Krasikov, Yiyun Li, and Manil Suri, moderated by Cressida Leyshon, Acura Stage at Cedar Lake Theatre, $25, 7:00
Friday, October 3 The American Dream, with T. Coraghessan Boyle, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jhumpa Lahiri, moderated by Leo Carey, Angel Orensanz Foundation, $25, 7:00
Friday, October 3 Where I Come From, with Sherman Alexie, Shalom Auslander, and Junot Díaz, moderated by Carin Besser, Angel Orensanz Foundation, $25, 9:30
Saturday, October 4 Panels: Political Humor, with Samantha Bee, Andy Borowitz, James Downey, Todd Hanson, and Allison Silverman, moderated by Susan Morrison, Cathedral NYC, $25, 4:00
Saturday, October 4 Early Shift: Guillermo del Toro talks with Daniel Zalewski, Directors Guild of America, $35, 7:30
Saturday, October 4 Worst Nightmares Part 1: Horror Movies, with Wes Craven and Hideo Nakata, moderated by Ben Greenman, IFC Center, $35, 7:30
Sunday, October 5 About Town: Morning at the Frick, with Peter Schjeldahl, Frick Collection, $65, 10:00 am
Sunday, October 5 About Town: Inside the Artists Studio John Currin Talks with Calvin Tomkins, $80, 11:00 am
Sunday, October 5 New Yorker Talks: Salman Rushdie, "The Composite Artist: The Emperor Akbar and the Making of the Hamzanama," Ailey Citigroup Theater, Joan Weill Center for Dance, $25, 4:00
Sunday, October 5 Master Classes: Humor Writing, with Ian Frazier and Mark Singer, Festival HQ, Metropolitan Pavilion, $35, 1:00
© Marie Losier and Bernard Yenelouis
Marie Losiers multimedia installation is on view at Luxe Gallery
French Institute Alliance Française
Le Skyroom / FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th St. between Park & Madison Aves.
Tinker Auditorium / Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Park & Madison Aves.
September 16 October 5
Tickets: free - $25
The French Institute Alliance Françaises annual Crossing the Line is a multimedia wonder of live performances, art exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, lectures, music, dance, and theater. This years bill, which spreads out to DTW, Brooklyn, and the Lower East Side in addition to the four venues at FIAF in Midtown, includes a number of free events as well as ticketed shows that usually go for twenty-five bucks. Among the highlights are the films of Marie Losier, the Bad Plus teaming up with Benoît Delbecq, a collaboration between director Rachid Ouramdane and choreographer Pascal Rambert, and Catherine Baÿs Snow White Project, which will be popping up all over the city.
Wednesday, September 10 Crossing the Line Prelude: The Last Performance (a lecture), Jérôme Bel, $25, Le Skyroom, 7:30
Beginning Tuesday, September 16 The Snow White Project, by Catherine Baÿ, site-specific installations at various times and locations, free
Tuesday, September 16
Sunday, October 4 Alloy, multimedia exhibit by Virginie Yassef, Tuesday Saturday, FIAF gallery, free, 11:00 am 5:00/6:00 pm
Thursday, September 18
Saturday, September 20 U.S. premiere of Arthur Nauzyciel innovative version of Samuel Becketts THE IMAGE, Le Skyroom, $25, 7:00
Saturday, September 20 Public Discussion: Why Do Politicians Need Artists? with Ralph Lemon, Julia Mandle, and Arthur Nauzyciel, moderated by André Lepecki, Tinker Auditorium, free but advance reservations required at email@example.com or 646-388-6681, 4:00
Saturday, September 20 The Bad Plus and Benoît Delbecq, Florence Gould Hall, $25, 8:30
Tuesday, September 23 Marie Losiers Film Portraits, followed by a Q&A with subject Tony Conrad, Florence Gould Hall, $10, 7:00
Sunday, September 7
Wednesday, October 8 Outtakes, multimedia exhibition by Marie Losier, Luxe Gallery, 53 Stanton St. between Forsyth & Eldridge Sts., free, Wednesday Sunday 11:00 am 6:00 pm
Tuesday, September 23
Sunday, October 5 Thinking of Each Other Like Good Friends Would, specially commissioned video by Ivana Müller, Dance Theater Workshop lobby, free
Wednesday, September 24
Friday, September 26 U.S. premiere of While We Were Holding It Together by Ivana Müller, Florence Gould Hall, $25, 8:00
Thursday, September 25
Saturday, September 27 U.S. premiere of Christian Rizzos "100% Polyester" and "Fantômes et vanités n. 4," CPR-Center for Performance Research @ Greenbelt, 361 Manhattan Ave., Unit 1 at Jackson Ave., Brooklyn, free but reservations required at firstname.lastname@example.org, 12 noon 9:00 pm
© Pierre Coulibeuf
Marina Abramovic is trapped in Pierre Coulibeufs BALKAN BAROQUE
Thursday, September 25
Saturday, September 27 U.S. premiere of "I-Fang Lin / Christian Rizzo," CPR-Center for Performance Research @ Greenbelt, 361 Manhattan Ave., Unit 1 at Jackson Ave., Brooklyn, free but reservations required at email@example.com, 7:30
Saturday, September 27
Sunday, September 28 Food Futures, with Julie Andrieu, Wylie Dufresne, and David Zuddas, two-day forum, Le Skyroom, $25 for one day, $40 for both, 4:00
Tuesday, September 30 Screenings of LOVE NEUTRAL (Pierre Coulibeuf, 2005) and BALKAN BAROQUE (Pierre Coulibeuf, 1999), followed by a Q&A with Pierre Coulibeuf, Tinker Auditorium, $10, 7:00
Wednesday, October 1 U.S. premiere of ELDORADO / PRELJOCAJ: CREATION and SONNTAGS ABSCHIED (Oliver Assayas, 2008), Tinker Auditorium, $10, 7:00
Thursday, October 2
Saturday, October 4 U.S. premiere of cellist Sonia Wieder-Athertons "At the Beginning, Monteverdi," Le Skyroom, $25, 8:00
Friday, October 3
Saturday, October 4 U.S. premiere of DIPTYQUE, by director Rachid Ouramdane and choreographer Pascal Rambert, featuring Ouramdanes A STANDING BOY at 7:30 and Ramberts WITH MY OWN HANDS at 9:00, Performance Space 122, 150 First Ave. between Ninth & Tenth Sts., $25 for one show, $35 for both
The Paris Theatre turns sixty on September 13
4 West 58th St. at Fifth Ave.
Saturday, September 13, $11
Keeping the French theme going, we recommend the Paris Theatres sixtieth anniversary, when ticket holders for screenings of A SECRET (Claude Miller, 2008) on September 13 will receive free popcorn and soda and will be eligible for special prizes. Those who bring proof that they were born on September 13, 1948 the day Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon at the elegant movie houses opening will get a free one-year pass to the Paris. In addition, Philippe Grimbert, author of the novel that A SECRET was based on, will be on hand for a Q&A following the 4:45 screening. If youve never been to the Paris, its a must, one of the last of the old-time movie palaces still screening films in Manhattan.
PoP Burger recently popped up on 58th St.
14 East 58th St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.
New York City can never have too many good burger joints. Following the success of his first PoP Burger in the Meatpacking District, Roy Liebenthal recently opened his second location, in the heart of Midtown. The new PoP is wedged into a narrow space on East Fifty-eighth St., right next to Bergdorf Goodman and across the street from FAO Schwarz and around the corner from FIAF. Whereas the downtown spot is horizontal (with a fancier restaurant in back) and highlights artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Midtown PoP is vertical, comprising three floors (with a bar and lounge on the second floor and a pool table on the third) and celebrating the work of Basquiat’s mentor, Andy Warhol. Although there might be Campbell soup cans lining the walls of the first-floor seating area, there is no soup on the menu, but there are very good mini-burgers, which come two to an order for five bucks (with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and Pop sauce) and arrive in a box. A side of thick, crispy French fries (there’s that French theme again) is a must, although they serve onion rings as well. PoP Burger also makes a fine fried shrimp sandwich, the breaded shrimp flattened across a large bun, along with grilled chicken, the Invisible Burger (portobello mushroom, for vegetarians), hot dogs, shakes, cupcakes, chocolate-chip cookies, and a few other items. (In addition, both restaurants have a ritzier dinner menu.) Designed by architect Ali Tayar, the building features a retro facade of rounded windows that gives the appearance of a huge wall of bubble wrap, just ripe for the popping.
Film Forum has an offer that film lovers wont be able to refuse
209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
September 12 October 2
Perhaps the best two-part film ever made, THE GODFATHER (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) and THE GODFATHER, PART II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) have been carefully restored frame by frame, overseen by cowriter-director Francis Ford Coppola and master cinematographer Gordon Willis. In the first film, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), assisted by sons Fredo (John Cazale) and Sonny (James Caan) and consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), is battling other families over control of New York City, leading to a series of double crosses and bloodbaths. But the heart of the story is son Michaels (Al Pacino) steadfast refusal to become part of the mob, a desire that is turned on its head by the end of the film. Part II looks back at Vito Andolinis (Robert De Niro) arrival in America and how he rose to become the Godfather while, at the same time, detailing the familys growing interest in Cuba, moving between past and present with breathtaking beauty. The cast of both films also includes Abe Vigoda, Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Richard Conte, and many more. Both films won the Oscar for Best Picture; if youve never seen them on the big screen, well, its like youve never really seen them. From September 26 through October 2, the films will be shown back to back; although a separate admission is required for each film, its a rare chance to spend more than six hours with this fabulously dysfunctional family.
John Malkovich is a foul-mouthed riot in Coen brothers’ latest
Opens Friday, September 12
After delighting audiences with such outstanding indie fare as BLOOD SIMPLE (1984), FARGO (1996), and O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000), brothers Joel and Ethan Coen hit a midcareer slump with the mediocre THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (2001), the much-maligned INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003), and the just plain awful remake of THE LADYKILLERS (2004). It was three years before they released their next film, the Oscar-winning monster hit NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Now they have toned things down again with the slight but entertaining BURN AFTER READING. John Malkovich is hysterical as Osborne Cox, an angry, bitter, foul-mouthed CIA agent who loses his job and decides to write a tell-all memoir, which bizarrely ends up in the hands of a pair of bumbling idiots, Chad Feldheimer (an extremely funny Brad Pitt) and Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand). Linda really wants to get a whole bunch of plastic surgery done, so she plans on squeezing a lot of money out of old Mr. Cox, who has no patience for anyone other than himself. Throw in a cold-as-ice wife (Tilda Swinton), a philandering G-man (George Clooney), a Russian ambassador named after Severn Darden’s character in THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST, and some shocking violence and well, we’ve told you too much already. BURN AFTER READING might not be grade-A Coen brothers, but it’s still a worthwhile endeavor from two of America’s most ingenious filmmakers.
Father and daughter experience troubled times in TOWELHEAD
Opens Friday, September 12
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.
Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
1866 Broadway at 63rd St.
Alan Ball, who won an Oscar for his AMERICAN BEAUTY (Sam Mendes, 1999) screenplay and also created the unconventional hit HBO show SIX FEET UNDER (for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe) and the brand-new TRUE BLOOD, makes his feature-length directorial debut with the controversial TOWELHEAD. Summer Bishil stars as Jasira Maroun, a thirteen-year-old girl who is quickly becoming aware of her sexuality, angering her divorced parents, Gail (Maria Bello) and Rifat (Peter Macdissi). After Gails boyfriend, Barry (Chris Messina), grows a little too close to Jasira, Gail sends her to live with her father in a tight-knit middle-class Houston community. But her father, a Lebanese American with instant contempt for just about everyone he meets, tries to control every aspect of her life, straining their relationship. As Jasira develops an interest in fellow high school student Thomas (Eugene Jones), neighbor Travis Vuoso (Aaron Echkart), a reservist waiting to be called to Iraq (during the first Gulf war), takes an unsavory interest in her. In the middle literally, as their house lies right in between those of the Marouns and Vuosos are Melina and Gil Hines (Toni Collette and Matt Letscher), who get an inkling of what is going on and reach out to help and protect Jasira from both Travis and Rifat. Based on the highly praised novel by Alica Erian, TOWELHEAD is an intimate, uncomfortable portrait of a young womans sexual awakening in a world of racism and bigotry. Even knowing that Bashil was eighteen when the film was made doesnt make the more graphic scenes, especially with Eckhart, easy to watch, and although thats probably part of the point, it still feels overly lurid and emotionally manipulative. Enter at your own risk.
Heath Ledger is a scary scream in THE DARK KNIGHT
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.
Things heat up in disappointing killer car race flick
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.
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.)
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.
Hideaki Ito stars as the Man with No Name in Miike spoof/homage
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.
Takashi Miike, best known for such grisly films as AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER, and the DEAD OR ALIVE series, joins forces with Quentin Tarantino in this riotous spoof of spaghetti Westerns. Based on Sergio Corbuccis 1966 flick DJANGO and with lots of Sergio Leone sprinkled in (especially A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS), SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO follows the battle between the white Genji clan, led by Yoshitsune (Yusuke Iseya), and the red Heike clan, headed by Kiyomori (Koichi Sato). Caught in the middle is Shizuka, the Temptress (Yoshino Kimura), and the newly arrived Gunslinger (Hideaki Ito), who believes he can at last find the long-rumored treasure in the town of Yuda, which just might be in Nevada. Tarantino plays a strange gunman who is telling the tale as he sits in a hysterically fake set and is trying to enjoy a rare egg. The entire movie is filmed in English, with the majority of the actors speaking their lines phonetically, emphasizing the wrong words, resulting in yet more laughter. And veteran actress Kaori Momoi is a hoot as Bloody Benton.
Don Cheadle is abandoned by a bad script in second half of TRAITOR
Opens Wednesday, August 27
The first half of TRAITOR is a taut, gripping thriller in which the mysterious Samir Horn (Don Cheadle), an English-speaking Muslim born in Darfur, is selling explosives to terrorists and soon becomes part of a cell planning a major attack in the United States. FBI agents Roy Clayton (Guy Pearce) and Max Archer (Neal McDonough) are hot on his trail, trying to track the elusive Horn down before he can cause any more damage and kill yet more innocent people. But then the plot takes a not-unexpected but highly lamentable turn, and the movie, directed by first-timer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, heads downhill fast as it reaches its ridiculous and laughable ending. Produced by David Hoberman, Cheadle, and actor / writer / comedian Steve Martin, TRAITOR betrays the audience; it had the potential to be something challenging and unusual, but instead it is just the same old, same old.
Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. get down and dirty in TROPIC THUNDER
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 Hollywoods top stars giving what might be his most memorable performance ever as an insanely powerful foul-mouthed studio head with no morals.
Scarlett Johansson is romanced by Javier Bardem in Barcelona
After a trio of films made in England (the justly celebrated MATCH POINT, the disappointing SCOOP, and the underappreciated CASSANDRAS 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 Antonios homicidal, suicidal ex-wife, Maria Elena (an inspired Penelope Cruz), who forces herself back into his life. VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA features one of Allens best scripts in years. Hall, a young British actress who primarily works on stage and television, is captivating as Vicky; cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobes 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 Gaudis Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and La Pedrera, Allen infuses the proceedings with a soundtrack of delightful Spanish music, structured around Gulia y Los Tellaninis "Barcelona."
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.
The Modfather brings brings class and style to the city for two shows
Wednesday, September 10, Nokia Theatre, 1515 Broadway, $55, 8:00
Thursday, September 11, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves., $55, 8:00
On September 11, a very hot Paul Weller played a smokin’ two-hour set at the cozy Highline Ballroom. Weller went on about 9:35, after a delightful set by the Rifles a peppy indie-rock Brit band well worth checking out at the Mercury Lounge on September 19 and played till 11:30, with two encores, the first of which included his massive hit “That’s Entertainment,” but no “Town Called Malice,” alas. Most of the forty-something crowd recognized the material from Weller’s post-1995 solo career, but a whole lot weren’t prepared for how heavy the guitars were there were some long, searing solos in there, real hardcore stuff. He hit the title track from the brand-new 22 DREAMS early on, sat down at the keyboards for a bit, but it was the jaw-dropping guitar rock of “All I Want to Do,” “Sea Spray,” and “Come on Let’s Go,” in particular, that stood out. And yes, Liam and Noel Gallagher and Gem showed up. Liam jumped onstage, mutter-shouting something somewhat unintelligible, while Noel looked cool and furtive in the audience; meanwhile, Gem joined in on guitar for a song. Weller got ever more intense and twitchy as the night went on, lighting cig after cig, angrily gesturing to roadies constantly re: bringing his mic up, etc., making funny little rocker head moves and dance flails that were a little kooky and cranky but all part of his brilliance. And despite all that smoking, he still has that incredible voice.
The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
17 Irving Pl. between 14th & 15th Sts.
Friday, September 12, $25, 9:00
Brooklyn-born GZA, also known as the Genius, is a solo artist and member of the highly influential hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, with RZA and Method Man. Even though he has a new album out, PRO TOOLS, GZA will be playing his classic 1995 rap record, LIQUID SWORDS, at Irving Plaza, which features such songs as "Duel of the Iron Mic," "Cold World," "Shadowboxin," and "I Gotcha Back," with sampling from the Ohio Players, Three Dog Night, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and a heavy dose of SHOGUN ASSASSIN, the 1980 film based on the epic manga series LONE WOLF AND CUB.
Thank You will give thanks at the Silent Barn on September 13
Silent Barn, 9-15 Wyckoff Ave. at Weirfield, Ridgewood
Saturday, September 13
Baltimores Thank You comes to Brooklyn behind their highly praised sophomore disc, TERRIBLE TWO (Thrill Jockey, June 2008), which consists of five tracks totaling about thirty-six minutes, each one turning and twisting in and out of itself, creating appealing and intriguing sonic landscapes. Ranging in length from 4:51 ("Embryo Imbroglio") to 9:15 (the title track), the songs give a new take on electronica punk, with no straightforward lyrics in favor of background groans, drones, cries, and whispers, driven by drums, organ, and guitar, featuring Jeffrey McGrath, Michael Bouyoucas, and Elke Wardlaw (Wardlaw has since left the band; Emmanuel Nicolaidis is now playing drums on the road). Theyll be at Brooklyns Silent Barn on September 13 with Le Rug and TRTL Soup; if you miss them this time around, you can catch them October 17 at (le) poisson rouge, where theyll be on a bill with Beach House, WZT Hearts, and Lexie Mountain Boys.
The Felice Brothers recently brought their rootsy sound to All Points West Festival
Maxwells, 1039 Washington St., Hoboken
Saturday, September 13, $15, 9:30
Americana roots band the Felice Brothers, who hail from upstate New York in the Catskills, were one of the many highlights at last months All Points West Festival in Liberty State Park, playing a solid set of country folk music featuring songs from their self-titled American debut album, released in March. But they really brought the house down with the powerful "Rockefeller Druglaw Blues," a tale from their 2007 import, TONIGHT AT THE ARIZONA. Although you might have seen Ian, Simone, and James Felice playing in the subways in years past, theyre now firmly aboveground, headlining a show at Maxwells with the ubiquitous AA Bondy on September 13.
In conjunction with the opening of "The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan" at the Rubin Museum on September 19, thirteen monks from the monastery fortress of Trongsa in central Bhutan will perform ritual demon-subjugation dances all around town, all for free. The schedule is listed below.
Saturday, September 13 Fulton Ferry Landing Pier, Brooklyn, 4:00
Sunday, September 14 Unisphere, Flushing Meadow Corona Park, 2:00
Monday, September 15 Foley Square, 12:30
Monday, September 15 South Street Seaport, Pier 17 & South St., 4:00
Tuesday, September 16 Columbia University, Low Library Plaza, 116th St. on Broadway or Amsterdam Ave., 12:30
Tuesday, September 16 New York Public Library, Fifth Ave. at 42nd St., 4:00
Wednesday, September 17 Brooklyn Borough Hall, 12:30
Thursday, September 18 Columbus Park, Mulberry St. between Bayard & Worth Sts., 1:00
Friday, September 19 Battery Gardens Plaza, Battery Park, 12:30
Friday, September 19 Castle Clinton, Battery Park, 3:00
Friday, September 19 Battery Pl. sidewalk at Greenwich St., 5:00
Friday, September 19 Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria, Queens, 9:30
Saturday, September 20 Merchant’s Gate, Central Park, Columbus Circle, 1:00
Saturday, September 20 Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Queens, 5:30
Sunday, September 21 Liberty Island, Flag Pole Plaza, 11:00 am
KNAAN raps through hot set at APW
(le) poisson rouge
150 Bleecker St.
Thursday, September 18, 8:00
Born in Somalia and now based in Toronto and L.A., KNAAN is touring behind THE DUSTY FOOT PHILOSOPHER (Interdependent Media, May 2008), two discs that bring his unique experience to light on such tracks at "Soobax," "If Rap Gets Jealous," and "Whats Hardcore?" Hes also featuring tracks from the upcoming TROUBADOUR, which he told the Saturday crowd at last months All Points West Festival was supposed to come out in September "but it wont because I havent finished it." The new album was recorded at Bob Marleys old house in Jamaica, where KNAAN said he felt an amazing spiritual vibe, which also can be used to describe his live show. The socially conscious hip-hop rapper, who learned English and modern American music by listening to albums by the likes of Nas and Eric B. and Rakim, as well as Marley and Tracy Chapman, played such new songs as "I Come Prepared" and "Take a Minute," punctuated by some crazy street sounds and whooping sirens courtesy of DJ One Tyme, who used to spin behind reggae/dancehall fave Elephant Man. KNAANs stage presence is remarkably relaxed, direct, and intimate, his lyrics fierce, poetic, and intricate and be prepared for him to make sure you sing along. Hell be headlining at (le) poisson rouge on September 15, with Sudanese singer-songwriter Alsarah opening up.
Im Not Jim celebrates debut CD at Housing Works
Housing Works Used Book Café
126 Crosby St. between Houston & Prince Sts.
Thursday, September 18, free, 7:00
When longtime Silos fan Jonathan Lethem sent Silos cofounder Water Salas-Humanas a few of his books, he never dreamed that he would end up collaborating with the guitarist on a full album. The result is the vastly entertaining YOU ARE ALL MY PEOPLE (Bloodshot, September 2008), by the new "supergroup" known as Im Not Jim, which also includes remix masters the Elegant Too (Chris Maxwell and Phil Hernandez). Salas-Humanas and Lethem, the author of MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN and THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, write smart, punchy tunes, from the infectious folk jangler "Mr. October" to the pseudo White Album outtake "After Mild Winter," from the pure pop of "Amanda Morning" to the soaring chorus of "Uncomplicated." The disc also features a trio of strange, humorous story-songs that are part Tom Waits, part Jack Kerouac, part Henny Youngman There are numerous baseball references sprinkled throughout the record, including Reggie Jackson hitting his five hundredth home run in "Mr. October" and pitchers walking off the mound forever: "The umpires an elm tree / with a strike zone as big as your mind," Salas sings in "The Pitchers Gave Up," which evokes classic antiwar ballads, while in "Meter Running in a Crashed Cab" he sings, "The ump cried out / Youre still at the plate / "Youre taking up space / And youre temping fate." Im Not Jim will be celebrating the release of YOU ARE ALL MY PEOPLE with a special performance by the Silos and a reading by Lethem at Housing Works on September 18.
239 West 52nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave.
Thursday, September 18, free but RSVP required, 7:15
Hot off the surprise advance digital release of their brand-new album, INTIMACY (Wichita/Atlantic, CD available October 28, 2008), featuring such songs as “Talons,” “One Month Off,” “Trojan Horse,” and “Signs,” London’s Bloc Party is playing a surprise free show at Roseland on September 18. For insider access, log on to the above Web site to RSVP for this very special event. We’ve seen Bloc Party live, and they throw one helluva bumping, thumping, grinding dance party, with plenty of hot lights and funky grooves. Space is limited, so move now to experience BP for yourself. And check out the above video to get in the mood...
ANTIGONE goes Butoh at Joyce SoHo
155 Mercer St. between Houston & Prince Sts.
Thursday, September 18
Sunday, September 21 Brooklyns Butoh Dance Company performs reimagined Greek myth, resetting it amid Colombias political upheavals, choreographed and danced by Ximena Garnica, with video by Shige Moriya, sound by Roland Toledo, and direction by Juan Merchan
The Feelies surprise reunion continues at two area shows
Saturday, September 20, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North Sixth St. between Wythe & Kent, $25, 9:00
Sunday, September 21, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., $25, 9:00
New Jersey band the Feelies formed in 1976, dispatching feel-good guitar pop on such seminal records as CRAZY RHYTHMS and ONLY LIFE. They appeared as the high school reunion band in SOMETHING WILD (Jonathan Demme, 1985) but broke up in 1991, following a disappointing tour. (The band was never much for live performances.) But this summer, after a seventeen-year hiatus, they reunited at the request of Thurston Moore, who wanted them to play the free July 4 show in Battery Park with Sonic Youth. After two warm-up gigs, Bill Million, Glen Mercer, Dave Weckerman, Brenda Sauter, and Stanley Demeski hit the downtown outdoor stage, sounding as fresh as ever, running through a thirteen-song set of old nuggets as well as brand-new tunes, including "Fa Cé-La" and "Raised Eyebrows" from CRAZY RHYTHMS, "On the Roof" and "The High Road" from THE GOOD EARTH, "Higher Ground" and "Away" from ONLY LIFE, "Doin It Again" from TIME FOR A WITNESS, and, as a surprise, the new songs "Nobody Knows" and "The Time Is Right," perhaps beckoning a new era of Feelies classics. Theyre currently on a very abbreviated tour, stopping at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 20 and the Bowery Ballroom on September 21 before heading up to Massachusetts for two shows. Psychedelic garage popsters the Shrubs, who have played with Mercer, will open both NYC shows.
Steve Earle brings WASHINGTON SQUARE SERENADE to Washington Square
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
September 22, 23, 25, 26, $50, 7:00
Hardcore troubadour Steve Earle, whose music is sort of a mix of the social activism of Billy Bragg, the bravura storytelling style of Bruce Springsteen, and the spirit and soul of Townes Van Zandt, will be playing four acoustic shows in five nights at Judson Church on Washington Square South, which is fitting, as his latest CD is WASHINGTON SQUARE SERENADE. His wife, Allison Moorer, will open the shows; most likely, they will also play with each other during each set.
Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza
Court St. & Joralemon St.
Sunday, September 14 All-day celebration with readings, signings, panel discussions, children’s area, live performances, and much more, with such featured authors as Jimmy Breslin, Joan Didion, Jonathan Franzen, Pete Hamill, Pico Iyer, Chuck Klosterman, Jonathan Lethem, Leonard Lopate, Phillip Lopate, Patrick McGrath, Terry McMillan, Walter Mosley, Richard Price, Adrian Tomine, Naomi Wolf, Gail Carson Levine, Jane O’Connor, Jon Scieszka, Jacqueline Woodson, and many more, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Albrecht Dürer, "Melencolia I," engraving, 1514
Museum of Biblical Art
1865 Broadway at 61st St.
Tuesday Sunday, 10:00 am 6:00 or 8:00 pm
Through September 21
Recommended admission: $7
Born in Nuremberg in 1471, Albrecht Dürer was one of the greatest artists of the late fifteenth / early sixteenth centuries, combining Renaissance aspects with Gothic elements to create a vast oeuvre of breathtaking work. More than one hundred of his engravings and woodcuts are on view at the Museum of Biblical Art in a fascinating exhibition focusing on but not restricted to his religious imagery. Divided chronologically into sections such as “The Apocalypse and Early Visual Influences” and “Genre, Morality, and Mythical Scenes,” the exhibit displays Dürer’s remarkable talent in such pieces as “The Expulsion from Paradise,” “The Birth of Christ,” and his famous 1515 woodcut “The Rhinoceros.”
In “Dancing Peasant Couple,” a woman looks slyly at the viewer as a man celebrates, the two standing back to back; it is nearly impossible to tell whose feet are whose. In “The Prodigal Son,” a man returns to his village, kneeling on the ground, surrounded by hungry animals. “The Passion of Jesus Christ” is dense with angels, peasants, and mourners as well as a skull and bones in the foreground and the sun and the moon in opposite top corners, a whirlwind of activity and emotion surrounding Christ on the cross. Dürer’s exquisite skill is also evident in such triumphs as “Erasmus of Rotterdam,” everywhere you look a wonder to behold, from the drapery of the Roman Catholic reformer’s coat to his craggy face. Dürer, who served as court artist to Emperor Maximillian, also executed numerous series, including the wonderful “Engraved Passion,” seven of which are on view here. Be sure to pick up a magnifying glass at the front desk so you can see every last detail.
4-40 44th Dr. on the East River, Long Island City
Through October 18
Based in New York City, Swoon has spent much of the last six years making wheatpaste cutouts that she puts up throughout Chelsea and around the world. Her recent collaboration with Tennessee Jane Watson, "Portrait of Silvia Elena," invited viewers underground to see a memorial to one of hundreds of women and girls who have gone missing in Juarez, Mexico. For her latest piece, Swoon and a group of friends built seven boats out of found materials and sailed them from upstate Troy, pulling into the dock at Deitchs Long Island City space on September 7, where it will remain through October 18. Deitch will celebrate the works arrival with three consecutive nights of parties, September 11-13, featuring live music by Dark Dark Dark.
Tactical Ice Cream Unit will converge at parks and armory
Park Ave. Armory
643 Park Ave. at 66th St.
September 21-27, 12 noon 10:00 pm
"Democracy in America: The National Campaign" has traveled across the country, tracking the art worlds relationship with politics and vice versa through town meetings, exhibitions, site-specific installations, and other events and happenings. Sponsored by Creative Time, the journey ends at the Park Ave. Armory, where more than fifty artists and collectives will display works and hold live performances in a burst of community activism, including Chitra Ganesh + Mariam Ghani, Jon Kessler, Rodney McMillian, Steve Powers, Martha Rosler, and Chu Yun, the Yes Men, Reverend Billy, Karen Finley, Pia Lindman, and others. Prior to that, two interactive projects, the Center for Tactical Magics "Tactical Ice Cream Unit" and Valerie Tevere & Angel Nevarezs "Another Protest Song," will make their way into Prospect Park on September 13 and Flushing Meadows Corona Park on September 14 before heading to the armory.
Live from the NYPL: Paul Auster in Conversation with Céline Curiol
Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Celeste Bartos Forum
Fifth Ave. & 42nd St.
Wednesday, September 24, $15, 7:00
Last year we called Brooklyn-based author Paul Austers TRAVELS IN THE SCRIPTORIUM "a slim, Kafka-esque novel about memory and writing . . . an enjoyable trifle, an existential, self-indulgent tale." Auster has followed that up with MAN IN THE DARK, a slim, Kafka-esque novel about memory and writing that is a somewhat more enjoyable trifle but still an existential, self-indulgent tale. Septuagenarian book critic and recent widower August Brill is convalescing in Vermont after a car accident, living with his daughter, Miriam, and granddaughter, Katya. An insomniac, he creates a fantasy world late at night as he tries to get to sleep, an alternate universe in which a man he calls Owen Brick suddenly finds himself in the midst of a civil war that broke out in America after the 2000 presidential election. Brick is soon ordered to commit a crime that challenges the very nature of his being, setting off on an existential journey that sometimes feels like a nightmare. Meanwhile, Brill interprets classic films with his granddaughter, herself a victim of a devastating loss, but while Brill is heading to the end of his life, Katya needs to find a new beginning. The story within a story is an absolute marvel, some of Austers finest writing, but he meanders a bit too much in the present-day sections, taking too many pages to describe films by Yashiro Ozu, Jean Renoir, Vittorio De Sica, and Satyajit Ray, and the ending is clunky and sentimental. On September 24, Auster will be in conversation with Céline Curiol, author of VOICE OVER, as part of the New York Public Librarys Live from the NYPL series.
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Through September 15 Fifth anniversary of celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, featuring Mexican Restaurant Week, live music and dance, panel discussions, a street festival, readings, short films, and more, including "The Other Lado" photo exhibit at King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center of NYU, September 10-15, free; 5X5: New Mexican Short Films at the School of Visual Arts on September 12, free, 7:00; DaPuntoBeat at Joes Pub on September 13, $12, 7:30; and "Available Space:danscores by Ofelia Loret de Mola" in City Hall Park September 13-15, 8:00
Maria Judices short PALM TREES DOWN 3rd ST. screens at fest
AMC Theaters, 34th St.
Panel tickets: $20
All Access Passes: $400-$500
Wednesday, September 10
Sunday, September 14 Five days of feature films, documentaries, shorts, panel discussions, after-parties, and more, including screenings of ADJUST YOUR COLOR: THE TRUTH OF PETEY GREENE (Loren Mendell), BALLAST (Lance Hammer), PHANTOM PUNCH (Robert Townsend), SISTERS KEEPER (Kent Faulcon, 2007), STILL TRIPPIN (Leslie Small), TWO TURNTABLES & A MICROPHONE (Guy Logan & Stephon Watford), WHITE LIES BLACK SHEEP (James Spooner), and WU: THE STORY OF THE WU-TANG CLAN (Gerald Barclay)
Brooklyn Bridge Park at Empire-Fulton State Park
1 Main St. at Water St.
Thursday, September 11 Annual free outdoor performance by Silver Brown Dance Co. at the cove in commemoration of the 9/11 tragedy, 7:00
Dance New Amsterdam
280 Broadway (Chambers St. entrance across from City Hall), second floor
Thursday, September 11
Sunday, September 14 Five performances featuring work by forty-six choreographers, including Murray Louis, Bill Evans, Anna Sokolow, Kun-Yang Lin, Rebecca Rice, Roman Baca, Natasa Trifan, and many others
New Museum of Contemporary Art
235 Bowery at Prince St.
Free with museum admission but tickets required
Thursday, September 11
Saturday, September 13 Public Seminar 7: Paul Chan, WAITING FOR GODOT in New Orleans, an Illustrated Lecture, 7:30
Thursday, September 25
Saturday, September 27 Public Seminar 8: Rirkit Tiravanija, details to come, 7:30
333 East 47th St. between First and Second Aves.
Friday, September 12 Japanese graphic artist Tadanori Yokoo in a dialogue moderated by Eric C. Shiner, focusing on his work process and creativity on the event of the opening of his latest solo exhibit (running September 11 October 18 at the Friedman Benda Gallery at 515 West 26th St.), 6:30
The Great Hall at the Cooper Union
7 East Seventh St. at Astor Pl.
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13 Two-day symposium in conjunction with the Whitney exhibition "Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe," including a keynote roundtable on Friday night at 7:00, "On Architecture, Design, and Science" panel discussion Saturday at 10:00 am, and "On Influence and Contemporary Art" panel discussion Saturday at 1:00 pm
Day venue: Coney Island Astroland Park
Night venue: Penn Plaza Pavilion at 33rd St. & Seventh Ave.
Weekend pass: $80
Friday, September 12
Sunday, September 14 New Yorks Electronic Music + Innovation Festival, featuring dozens of electronic musicians, including Alexi Delano, AlkaRex, Audiofly, Audion, Dilo, Gurtz, M.A.N.D.Y., Memek, Richie Hawtin, Seph, and many others, in addition to an exhibition curated by Magnus Bischofberger and Jasmin Ruiz Blasco
New World Stages
340 West 50th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.
Friday, September 12
Wednesday, September 17 Including sneak peeks, world premieres, pilots, labs, happy hours, panel discussions, and more, featuring looks at such shows as LIFE ON MARS, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN, and many others
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.
Friday and Saturday nights at midnight
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13 SPIRITED AWAY (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
Friday, September 19
Saturday, September 20 THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (Ryuhei Kitamura, 2008)
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
Saturday, September 13
Sunday, September 21 Cham! Ritual Dances of Bhutan, multiple locations and times, free
Friday, September 19 Harlem in the Himalayas: Cindy Blackman, $18-$20, 7:00
Friday, September 19 BookLaunch: BHUTAN by Lehka Singh, free, 7:00
Friday, September 19 CabaretCinema The Proverbial Pictureshow: THARCHIN, THE LIBERATED (Rinchen Namgay, 2007), free with $7 bar minimum, 9:30
Madison Square Park
Broadway & Madison Ave. and Twenty-third & Twenty-fifth Sts.
Saturday afternoons through October 4
Saturday, September 13 Joe Jencks with Pat Wictor, and Eilen Jewell
Saturday, September 20 Were About 9 and Joe Crookston, 4:00
Orchard St. between Broome & Grand Sts.
Sunday, September 14 Eighth annual NYC International Pickle Day, featuring lots of pickled items, a performance by Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, demonstrations, childrens activities, book signings, live music, and more, 11:00 am 4:30 pm
Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St.
Sunday, September 14 Outdoor street festival celebrating opening of new exhibit, "Street Art Street Life," with live performances, family activities, food, art, and more, 12 noon 6:00 pm
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center / MoMA
22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave., Long Island City
Free with museum admission of $5
Sunday, September 14 Performance by HUUTAJAT, the Finnish group that appears in the documentary SCREAMING MEN, which is part of the Arctic Hysteria exhibition, 2:00
The Times Center
242 West 41 Street, Manhattan
Monday, September 15 Celebration of "The Living Room Candidate" online exhibition, with Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and James Downey, 7:00
92nd St. Y
1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.
Monday, September 15 Celebration of Maurice Sendaks eightieth birthday, with Tony Kushner, Meryl Streep, James Gandolfini, Dave Eggers, Spike Jonze, Linda Emond, Catherine Keener, Anika Noni Rose, Stephen Greenblatt, and others, 8:00
Monday, September 15
Sunday, October 5 Fifth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, featuring more than thirty productions and more than fifty concerts, including Jim J. Bullock in THE FANCY BOYS FOLLIES, Matt Cavanaugh in PROSPECT CONCERT, Cady Huffman in WOOD, and shows composed by Jill Sobule (PROZAK AND THE PLATYPUS) and George Clinton (THAT OTHER WOMANS CHILD); this years theme is "Its not a revival its a revolution"
Fulton Fish Market, Pier 17, South Street Seaport
Tuesday, September 16 Martha Wainwright pays tribute to legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf, 10:00
The Eldridge Street Project
Eldridge St. between Canal & Division Sts.
Wednesday, September 17 Reminisces of onetime Eldridge St. resident Eddie Cantor and live performances by Mickey Freeman, Joe Franklin, Janet Gari, Brian Gari, and others, 7:00
Whitney Museum of American Art
745 Madison Ave. at 75th St.
Free with museum admission
Wednesday, September 17
Sunday, September 21 THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Robert Wise, 1965)
Friday, September 19 THE PAWNBROKER (Sidney Lumet, 1964), 4:00
Friday, September 19 MUD HONEY (Russ Meyer, 1965), 7:00
Sunday, September 21 SCENES FROM ALLENS LAST THREE DAYS ON EARTH AS A SPIRIT (Jonas Mekas, 1997), 3:00
Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
11 West 53rd St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
September 17 October 19
Tickets: $10, in person only, may be applied to museum admission within thirty days, same-day screenings free with museum admission, available at Film and Media Desk
Old New York is on view in these ten films set in the City that Never Sleeps, dating from 1920 to 1931. Along with the great backdrops that use New York as another character, you get to see John Barrymore as both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Marion Davies in Robert Vignolas 1921 ENCHANTMENT, Lillian Gish in D. W. Griffiths 1920 WAY DOWN EAST, and Rudolph Valentino in Sidney Olcotts 1924 MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE.
Wednesday, September 17 THE GREEN GODDESS (Sidney Olcott, 1923), 6:00
Wednesday, September 17 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (John Robertson, 1920), 8:30
Thursday, September 18 LOVE EM AND LEAVE EM (Frank Tuttle, 1926), 6:15
Thursday, September 18 ENCHANTMENT (Robert Vignola, 1921), 8:15
Friday, September 19 WHILE NEW YORK SLEEPS (Charles Brabin, 1920), 6:15
Friday, September 19 THE LETTER (Jean De Limur & Monta Bell, 1929), 8:15
Saturday, September 20 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (John Robertson, 1920), 6:15
Saturday, September 20 THE GREEN GODDESS (Sidney Olcott,1923), 8:15
Sunday, September 21 WAY DOWN EAST (D. W. Griffith, 1920), with musical accompaniment by Joanna Seaton (vocals) and Donald Sosin (synthesizer), 2:00
Sunday, September 21 THE STRUGGLE (D. W. Griffith, 1931), 5:00
Wednesday, September 24 LOVE EM AND LEAVE EM (Frank Tuttle, 1926), 6:45
Thursday, September 25 JANICE MEREDITH (E. Mason Hopper, 1924), 6:00
Friday, September 26 ENCHANTMENT (Robert Vignola, 1921), 8:30
Saturday, September 27 MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE (Sidney Olcott, 1924), 1:00
Saturday, September 27 WHILE NEW YORK SLEEPS (Charles Brabin, 1920), 3:00
Saturday, September 27 THE STRUGGLE (D. W. Griffith, 1931), 6:00
Sunday, September 28 THE LETTER (Jean De Limur & Monta Bell, 1929), 2:00
Monday, September 29 MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE (Sidney Olcott, 1924), 1:00, 6:00
Monday, September 29 JANICE MEREDITH (E. Mason Hopper, 1924), 8:00
217 East Houston St. at Ave. A
Thursday, September 18 Hailing from Los Angeles and Boston, the Major Labels play melodic pop about melodic pop, with a late-era Beatles-esque sound; Bleu, Ducky Carlisle, and Mike Viola will be celebrating the release of their debut disc, AQUAVIA, at Mercury Lounge, sharing a bill with Dragonette and Oppenheimer, 11:30
431 West 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Thursday, September 18 Featuring Balkan Beat Box, 9:00
181 Second Ave. at Twelfth St.
Thursday, September 18
Thursday, September 25 Eight days of indie films, music, panels, and more, featuring a special appearance by Dick Van Dyke
450 West 37th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Friday, September 19 U.S. premiere of Martin Matalons score to Fritz Langs METROPOLIS, with talk by Matalon at 7:00, concert with film projection at 8:00, followed by reception
Southwest corner of Beekman & Front Sts.
Friday, September 19 A special jazz evening to benefit MTP/Montauk Theatre Productions, with the Jimmie Divine Trio, 8:00
158 Ludlow St. between Stanton & Rivington Sts.
Friday, September 19 Brooklyn band tours behind RISE AND SHINE (10:00), on a bill with Hambone Jenne (8:00), the Basement Band (9:00), Pale Numbus (11:00), and C.C.R.R. (12 midnight)
Zach Feuer Gallery
530 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday Saturday 10:00 am 6:00 pm through October 4
Saturday, September 20 Artist talk with Phoebe Washburn, 2:00
Ghada Amer, "The New Albers," embroidery and gel medium on canvas, 2002
Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Free with museum admission
Saturday, September 20 Artist talk, moderated by Laurie Ann Farrell, 2:00
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
September 20 November 2
Saturday, September 20 Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours, with special guest Herman Olivera, 8:00
Central Park, Naumburg Bandshell
Sunday, September 21 More than three dozen exhibitors, including publishers, agents, editors, and writers, will be selling books and conducting signings all day
9-01 33rd Rd. at Vernon Blvd.
Free with museum admission of $10
Sunday, September 21 Music in the Galleries: Ralph Samuelson, shakuhachi, with Masayo Ishigure, koto, 3:00
47 Bond St. between Lafayette St. & Bowery
Tasting tickets: $20 per plate, wine and prosecco $10, beer $8
Monday, September 22 Fifth annual Il Buco Outdoor Pig and Apple Festival commemorating the Autumnal Equinox, including whole slow roasted two-hundred-pound Ossabaw pig; porchetta panini on ciabatta with mostarrda; house-made apple and peperoncino sausage; panazanella, wild arugula with lemon, red onion, and pecorino; apple ricotta fritters with saba; and house-made lemonade and iced tea, prepared by chef Ignacio Mattos, 1:00 6:00 outdoors, 6:00 12 midnight indoors
The New School
Wollman Hall, Lang Building, Fifth Floor
66 West 12th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Monday, September 22 Panel discussion on the centennial of the birth of M.F.K. Fisher, with Amanda Hesser, Judith Jones, and Joan Reardon, moderated by Andrew F. Smith, 6:00
217 East Houston St. at Ave. A
Tuesday, September 23 Japanese musician Shugo Tokumaru, who recently released the album EXIT, will be making his New York City debut playing a special one-night-only show at 10:30 with Jon Natchez and Perrin Cloutier of Beirut, Bryan Devendorf of the National, and Bang on a Can’s Lawson White of So Percussion, with NY’s Twi the Humble Feather (no relation to twi-ny) opening up at 9:30
Hard Rock Café
Wednesday, September 24 Third annual charity event kicking off month-long initiative benefiting Cancer and Careers, with Joe DUrso& Stone Caravan, Christine Martucci Band, and Jarerd Matthews, open bar, food, and more, 6:30 11:00