twi-ny, this week in new york

Chelsea Art Walk of the Week


1. Strolling through Chelsea art

2. New York architecture opens its doors

3. The anime fest returns to the Javits

4. The New York Film Festival turns forty-six

5. Tropfest, the New York Surf Film Festival, the Coney Island Film Festival, the New York-Tokyo Film Grand Prix, and the tenth annual Turkish Film Festival

6. Plus Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film, including a contest to win Lou Reed’s BERLIN on DVD, CHOKE, BALLAST at Film Forum, and CONTESTED STREETS at the New York Transit Museum

7. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance, including Steve Earle at Judson Church, David Doobinin at Joe’s Pub, A QUARRELING PAIR at BAM, Takka Takka at the Mercury Lounge, the Virgins and Crooked Fingers at Webster Hall, and Thee Oh Sees at Death by Audio

8. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including Art Under the Bridge in Dumbo, the New Yorker Festival, Daniel Domig at Jane Kim/ Thrust Projects, and Haruki Murakami’s WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING

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

Volume 8, Number 17
September 24 — October 8, 2008

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

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Twi-ny, This Week in New York

Danielle Julian-Norton, "Ambrosia," twenty thousand bars of soap, 2008


Reeves Contemporary

535 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through October 4 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



Ohio artist Danielle Julian-Norton has created a breathtaking sensory experience for visitors in "Ambrosia," at Reeves Contemporary through October 4. Visitors stepping out of the elevator will first come upon "Treading and Transport," in which three levels of dozens of small boatlike objects, made out of rice, hang from the ceiling and cast dazzling shadows on the wall and floor. Reminiscent of the work of Cai Guo-Qiang, whose recent retrospective filled the Guggenheim, "Treading and Transport" combines form and content in unusual ways, as mysterious as it is captivating. Behind that is "Ambrosia," a curving walkway made out of twenty thousand bars of soap. As you make your way through it, it is difficult not to recall Richard Serra’s arced steel installations that recently adorned MoMA — except Julian-Norton’s smells a lot better. Finally, there is "Breathe," a short passage through vertical white hangings composed of white rice, evoking Japanese handscrolls made of rice paper. Julian-Norton, who earned her master’s at Notre Dame and currently teaches at her undergraduate alma mater, the Columbus College of Art and Design, has taken a pair of international staples, rice and soap, and created a unique installation that is not only beautifully rendered but also calls to mind hunger and cleanliness, two things that too many people around the world are forced to do without.

© Emily Eveleth

Emily Eveleth, "Holding," oil on canvas, 2008



535 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through October 11 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



For the past several years, Connecticut native Emily Eveleth’s work has focused on a rather curious object: the jelly doughnut. In both small paintings and large-scale pieces, Eveleth brings to life an ordinary, everyday object, filling it with bittersweet emotion, from sheer pleasure to endless pain. The twelve paintings now on view at Danese can be experienced on several different levels. First and foremost, they are splendid depictions of the jelly doughnut itself; Eveleth gets the color and shading just right, her careful brushstrokes providing texture as well. But the pieces, which bear such titles as "Arsenal," "Holding," "Proposition," "Unintended Consequences," and "Baldfaced Lie," also evoke erotic desire and loneliness, love and death, with oozing jelly representing sexual juices or dripping blood. But however you look at them, it is almost impossible not to be charmed by their basic beauty, a wonderful display of technique that will make you hungry for more.

© Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld, "March 13, 2006, the East Meadows, Northampton, Massachusetts," negative: 2006; print: 2008, digital C-print


Luhring Augustine

531 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through October 4 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



In the fall 2005 exhibit "Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America," New York native Joel Sternfeld traveled the country taking pictures of past and current sites in which people formed unique communities of environmental sustainability. In his "On This Site" series, he took photos of locations where tragedies occurred. In "When It Changed," he documented the people attending a UN conference on climate change in 2005. And since 2000 he has been taking photographs of the High Line, the abandoned rail line that is currently being turned into a public park. Now Sternfeld has turned his camera on central Massachusetts, on the same area depicted by Thomas Cole in his 1836 painting "The Oxbow," in which the ominous clouds of progress threaten an otherwise peaceful landscape. Sternfeld’s thirteen large-scale prints follow the East Meadows of Northampton from July 19, 2005, through November 17, 2007, as spring turns to summer, and fall leads to winter. But the photos are not laid out chronologically; instead, they hang randomly, allowing the viewer to wonder where each fits in along nature’s time line. Like Cole’s painting, the majority of Sternfeld’s photos feature a central perspective — a winding pathway, a patch of snow, a single tree — encouraging people to enter these places that might never be seen the same way again.


Vik Muniz describes process behind his latest work


Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

530 West 22nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through October 11 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



For his 2006 show at Sikkema Jenkins, "Pictures of Junk," Brazilian artist Vik Muniz re-created famous paintings out of discarded objects and then photographed them from up high, resulting in very different views from up close and afar. For his latest exhibit, "Verso," Muniz, who lives and works in New York, returns to classic paintings, but this time turns them around — literally. Working with MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Muniz photographed the backs of such iconic masterpieces as van Gogh’s "Starry Night," Hopper’s "Nighthawks," Matisse’s "Red Studio," and Picasso’s "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon," then re-created them in actual size, including every dent, scratch, label, and other markings. Thus, when visitors first enter the space, it appears that they have walked into a show that is still being set up, not realizing that they are in a room occupied, sort of, by some of the world’s most famous paintings. It’s a disconcerting image initially, but be sure to look closely at each piece; you’ll feel like you’re in the presence of greatness, even if the front of the canvases are actually blank — and you’ll learn a little something of the history of each of these works, being allowed to see a part of them that is never otherwise visible to the public. As Muniz told twi-ny at the gallery, in a hundred years, the front of the actual paintings will be the same, but his re-creations of their backs will be out-of-date as the real pieces get banged around and marked up further while traveling the world or being held in storage.


Controversial artist Andres Serrano fills Chelsea with shit in latest exhibit


Yvon Lambert

530 West 21st St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Through October 4 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free




There is no denying that native New Yorker Andres Serrano invites controversy. His photograph "Piss Christ" sent shock waves around the world in 1987, and last year vandals destroyed several works in his "History of Sex" display at Sweden’s Kulturen Gallery, video of which could be seen on YouTube. For his latest show at Yvon Lambert (at both the Chelsea and Paris locations), Serrano has taken large-scale photographs of actual feces, bathing them in gorgeous light and color and titling them with a wicked sense of humor. "Holy Shit" features the excrement of a man of the cloth. "Dog Shit" comes from a canine, while "Jaguar Shit" was evacuated by a jaguar. "Hieronymus Bosch Shit" looks like a character from a Hieronymus Bosch painting. "Self-Portrait" is, well, Serrano’s own pinched loaf. And he readies his critics by calling other works "Bull Shit," "Evil Shit," "Bad Shit," and "Stupid Shit," daring them to write about the show — and use the actual names. Meanwhile, in the corner of the gallery that leads to Yvon Lambert’s offices, a sign says "Private," adding unintentional irony to the show, which depicts perhaps the most private of activities and makes it public on a grand scale. Although it’s nearly impossible to look at the photos without considering the subject matter, they actually are quite beautiful in their own right. I guess one could say there’s some really good shit in Chelsea these days.


Folkert de Jong’s "The Shooting . . ." gets up close and personal


James Cohan Gallery

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

Through October 4 (closed Sunday & Monday)

Admission: free



In case you’re getting tired and in need of a little refreshment, you might be easily tricked into going into the ShanghART Supermarket on 26th St., but it’s actually Xu Zhen’s re-creation of a Shanghai grocery store, down to every last detail. The store is stocked with all kinds of items — but the packaging only; it’s all empty inside. But that doesn’t mean they’re not for sale; you can buy whatever you want, at whatever the going rate is in China. Even if you don’t take home a souvenir, the exhibit wonderfully snarls at consumer culture, the preponderance of Chinese products available in America, and the abject subjectivity of the art market. In February 2007, Folkert de Jong’s grotesque figures took on war in "Gott Mit Uns (In God We Trust)" at Lever House. At James Cohan he has installed "The Shooting . . . at Watou; 1st July 2006," as his trademark figures, including one enormous, very cool dude, evoke Goya’s "El dos de mayo de 1808." And in the back room, Martha Colburn’s rapid-fire video, "Myth Labs," plays continuously.


One of Joseph Beuys’s oaks was turned into a rest stop recently


DIA Center for the Arts

Long-term installation



Shortly after his death, influential artist Joseph Beuys, one of the founders of the Green Party, was honored by the Dia Center of the Arts, which in 1986 planted eighteen trees (gingko, linden, bradford pear, sycamore, and oak) and stone columns alternating down 22nd, adding more ten years later, extending onto Eleventh Ave. Beuys said about the project, which began in Germany, "I believe that planting these oaks is necessary not only in biospheric terms, that is to say, in the context of matter and ecology, but in that it will raise ecological consciousness -- raise it increasingly, in the course of the years to come, because we shall never stop planting. Thus, ‘7000 Oaks’ is a sculpture referring to peoples‚ lives, to their everyday work. That is my concept, which I call the extended concept or art of the social sculpture." That concept was extended even further on a recent early September afternoon, when we watched a car pull up on the Eleventh Ave. sidewalk, followed by a woman and her young son exiting the vehicle and walking over to one of the stone sculptures (perhaps thinking it was a fire hydrant?), where the wee lad attempted, unsuccessfully as it turned out, to wee on it. As the mother pushed the child back into the car, the parents were clearly annoyed that he was unable to complete the dirty deed. And no, it was not Andres Serrano’s family, as far as we could tell.


Midori Harima puts the final touches on "Negativescape" at Honey Space


Multiple venues

Closed Sunday & Monday

Admission: free


In addition to the above, there is of course lots more to see in Chelsea. Through October 11, Midori Harima’s "Negativescape" will be on view at Honey Space (148 Eleventh Ave., http://www.honey-space.com). At Tony Shafrazi (544 West 26th St., http://www.tonyshafrazigallery.com), David LaChapelle’s "Auguries of Innocence" mixed-media works will pop out of the wall through October 24. There’s still time to catch Louise Bourgeois at Cheim & Read (547 West 25th St., http://www.cheimread.com), even if you missed her marvelous Guggenheim retrospective; "Echo" will be up through November 1. Two wonderful sculptures, one painting, and twenty charcoal drawings by Tony Smith comprise, oddly enough, "Tony Smith: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing," through October 25 at Matthew Marks (523 West 24th St., http://www.matthewmarks.com). Diana Al-Hadid’s "Reverse Collider" takes on astrophysics and language at Perry Rubenstein through October 9 (527 West 23rd St. & 535 West 24th St., http://www.perryrubenstein.com). And through October 11, SIMPSONS voice and Spinal Tap legend Harry Shearer focuses on the political pundits in "The Silent Echo Chamber" in the back room of Susan Inglett (522 West 24th St., http://inglettgallery.com). Images from several of these shows can be found below, scattered throughout twi-ny's listings section.


Aperture Gallery

547 West 27th St., fourth floor between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Admission: free



Tuesday, September 30 Panel discussion with Cara Philips, Amy Elkins, Elinor Carucci, and Robin Schwartz, moderated by Laurel Ptak, 6:30


Chelsea Art Museum

556 West 22nd St. at 11th Ave.

Tickets: $10-$15



Saturday, October 4, 11, 18 First of three concerts held in conjunction with the exhibit "Notations 21" (opening October 4) celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the publication of John Cage’s highly influential book NOTATIONS; participants throughout October will include Joan La Barbara, Daniel Goode, Stuart Saunders Smith, Bill Hellermann, Halim El-Dabh, Ellen Burr, and Malcolm Goldstein, 2:00

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Architectural Festival of the Week


South Side of Ellis Island is one of many fascinating free tours


Various venues in all five boroughs

October 4-5

Admission: free, but reservations required for some sites



One of our favorite weekends of the last six years has been openhousenewyork, in which dozens and dozens of city institutions and landmarks open their doors for free, giving rare peaks and special tours of what goes on inside their hallowed halls. In the past, we have explored the South Side of Ellis Island, wandered around the New York City Marble Cemetery and the nearby New York Marble Cemetery, traveled across the High Line, ventured into the Grand Lodge of Masons, climbed to the very top of the Sailors and Soldiers Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza, listened to a fascinating lecture inside the Chrysler Building, walked around Washington Irving High School, and checked out other great places of interest. In addition, many arts institutions not only give tours of their buildings but also offer free admission to their exhibits. While some of the tours require advance booking, most are first come, first served, so be prepared for long lines — more than two hundred thousand people are expected to participate this year. We strongly suggest that wherever you go, be sure to have some backups in the same neighborhood to maximize your time — and so you’re likely to see something if your first choice is already full.


Both downtown marble cemeteries will be open for OHNY

One of the best parts of openhousenewyork is that New Yorkers get to check out places they might have heard about or passed by but have never actually been in — or maybe never even heard of. We recommend going on adventures to such locations as Weeksville, the Park Slope Row House, Richmond Hill, Snug Harbor, Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Alice Austen House, Governor’s Island, the brand-new Museum of Arts & Design, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, as well as lots of other churches, synagogues, museums, galleries, architect offices, parks, markets, memorials, monuments, arts centers, schools, and botanical gardens. There will also be site-specific installations and performances, studio visits, and other special events — as of Friday, all of the below tours are still available — so keep checking the official site to reserve your spot.

Saturday, October 4 Flushing Meadows Corona Park by Trolley, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12 noon, and 1:00

Saturday, October 4 Chelsea Project Walk, featuring three public art installations by Anthony Goicolea, Tony Oursler, and Nicola Verlato, 4:00 & 6:00

Saturday, October 4 Downtown, Where All the Lights Are Bright! featuring four illuminated talks with lighting designers at an Elevated Acre at 55 Water St. at 7:00, 7WTC at 7:30, and the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway Entrance at 8:00, the U.S. Custom House at 8:30

Saturday, October 4


Sunday, October 5 Ellis Island’s South Side and Ferry Building, 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30

Saturday, October 4


Sunday, October 5 Artists in Place, walking tour featuring artists standing by their site-specific installations and discussing their inspirations, Lower Manhattan, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

Sunday, October 5 Eldridge Street Synagogue, preservation roundtable, 12 noon

Sunday, October 5 Artists in Place: Westbeth Tour, with Gerry Gurland, Joan Beard, and Jack Dowling, 2:00

Sunday, October 5 Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 2:00

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Multimedia Festival of the Week


Jacob Javits Convention Center

Eleventh Ave. between 34th & 39th Sts.

Admission: $14 adults, $4 children twelve and under




The second New York Anime Festival comes to the Javits for a weekend of the best of Japanese pop culture in art, music, gaming, and film. This year’s guests of honor include Yoshitaka Amano, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Masaharu Morimoto, and Rie Tanaka, with such featured guests as Pierre Bernard, Byakokan Dojo, Abby Denson, Disorganization XIII, Peter Fernandez, Ryu Moto, Jamie McGonnigal, Ichigo Pantsu, Misako Rocks!, Timothy Sullivan, Veronica Taylor, Uncle Yo, and other artists, writers, dancers, actors, editors, and executives. There will be lots of opportunities to get autographs, but be aware that some require advance (free) ticketing. Among this year’s myriad anime and live-action screenings are NARUTO: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, DEATH NOTE, EXCALIBUR ZERO, ROYAL SPACE FORCE: WINGS OF HONNEAMISE, MACHINE GIRL, BLOODHOUND: VAMPIRE GIGOLO, GURREN LAGANN, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, IRRESPONSIBLE CAPTAIN TYLOR, BOKUSATSU TENSHI DOKURO-CHAN, SWORD OF THE STRANGER, DENSHA OTOKO: TRAIN MAN, CATBLUE DYNAMITE, and GHOST SLAYER AYASHI.

There will also be panel discussions on such popular series as Bandai and Mobile Suit Gundam, urban sake, cosplay, adult manga and anime, yaoi, Gurren Lagann, anime in China, and plushies as well as a light saber choreography tournament, fan fiction, live-action role playing, and a charity auction. mc chris will be all over the festival, playing a concert Friday night at 8:30, signing autographs on Friday at 3:00 and Sunday at 11:00, and participating in a fan Q&A on Saturday at 4:00. Below are only some of the many highlights.

Friday, September 26 Opening Ceremonies, Anime News Network Theater 1A12, 1:00

Friday, September 26 Avatar: The Last Airbender — The Fan's Point of View, Anime Fandom Panel Room 1A14, 1:45

Friday, September 26 Ichigo Pantsu (ichiP!), Akihabara Stage across from 1A12, 2:00

AZUMI (Ryuhei Kitamura, 2003)

Live-Action Screening Room 1A22

Friday, September 26, 1:45


In nineteenth-century Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate wants to bring peace to the land — by sending highly trained assassins to kill their archenemies before they can lead attacks. Master Gessai (Yoshio Harada) has been training his small elite force since they were young orphans, and the time has come for them to defend their nation. But first, to prove their dedication to the mission, they must each take the life of one of their own. Only after doing so can Azumi (Aya Ueto), Hyuga (Kenji Kohashi), Nagara (Yuma Ishigaki), and Ukiha (Hiroki Narimiya) enter a world they know little about, killing machines who leave rivers of blood in their wake as they go after three wicked warlords. Although it is based on the comic book series by Yu Koyama, AZUMI feels more like a video-game-turned-movie, mixing silly soap opera with mechanical, uninvolving fight scenes, lacking emotional depth, and using special effects for the sake of using special effects instead of doing so to propel the story. Azumi is no Black Mamba (Uma Thurman from the KILL BILL flicks), and the white-clad flower fiend Bijomaru (Joe Odagiri) is completely out of place here. AZUMI is minor league all the way.

Friday, September 26 Pirates vs. Ninjas Dance-Off, with DJ Nachtinis, hosted by Darkkyo, Akihabara Stage across from 1A12, 3:30

Friday, September 26 mc chris, advance tickets needed, Anime News Network Theater 1A12, 8:30

Friday, September 26 Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Pop Culture Panel Room 1A21, 4:00

Friday, September 26 Hideyuki Kikuchi, creator of Vampire D, Manga Panel Room 1A24, 5:30

Friday, September 26 Vertical, Inc., Manga Panel Room 1A24, 6:45

Saturday, September 27 Peter Fernandez and Corinne Orr, voices of Speed Racer and Trixie, Pop Culture Panel Room 1A21, 11:00 am

Saturday, September 27 HAPPYFUNSMILE, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 11:30 am

Saturday, September 27 Uncle Yo: Otaku, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 1:00

Saturday, September 27 Love Etc., Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 2:30

Saturday, September 27 Voltaire, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 4:00

Saturday, September 27 Voice Actors and the City, with Rachael Lillis, Jamie McGonnigal, Veronica Taylor, and Tom Wayland, Pop Culture Panel Room 1A21, 4:00

Saturday, September 27 Opening Kata from SHOGUN MACBETH, by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 5:30

Saturday, September 27 Misako Rocks! Manga Panel Room 1A24, 5:30

Saturday, September 27 World Cosplay Summit Masquerade, Anime News Network Theater 1A12, 7:00 — 10:00

Saturday, September 27 The Green Light Anti-Zombie Squad, Pop Culture Panel Room 1A21, 7:45

Sunday, September 28 Rie Tanaka, Anime Panel Room 1A06, 11:00 am

Sunday, September 28 Dance workshop with Ichigo Pantsu (ichiP!), 11:30 am

Sunday, September 28 Samurai Sword Soul, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 1:00

Sunday, September 28 Introduction to the Japanese Language, featuring five individual twenty-five-minute classes, Workshop Room 1A17, 1:15 - 4:00

Sunday, September 28 Color Me Perfect: Prismacolor Workshop with Lindsey Henninger (aka ElvesAteMyRamen), Anime Fandom Panel Room 1A14, 1:45

Sunday, September 28 Byakokan Dojo, sword cutting demonstration, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 2:30

Sunday, September 28 Closing Ceremonies and After-Party, Akihabara Stage Across from 1A12, 4:00

KAMIKAZE GIRLS will be one of many cool screenings at anime fest

KAMIKAZE GIRLS (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2005)

Live-Action Screening Room 1A22

Saturday, September 27, 11:15 am


Testuya Nakashima’s fresh, frenetic KAMIKAZE GIRLS is the otaku version of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMÉLIE POULAIN, a fast-paced and very funny story about two very different teenagers who become best friends against all logic. J-Pop star Kyoko Fukada stars as Momoko, a seventeen-year-old loner obsessed with all things rococo; dressed in white frilly clothing and always carrying a parasol, she daydreams of living in the eighteenth century. (By the way, the store where Komoko shops, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, is based on a real establishment.) Anna Tsuchiya plays Ichigo, a tough-talking member of an all-girl biker gang who loves the designer knockoffs Momoko is selling. Hiroyuki Miyasako is Momoko’s lame onetime yakuza father, Ryoko Shinohara is her self-indulged mother, and Kirin Kiki is a riot as her one-eyed fly-catching granny. Best Hair in Show goes to Sadawo Abe as the Unicorn. KAMIKAZE GIRLS, a film-festival fave that garnered several Yokohama Movie Awards, is a silly, campy, and charming delight. The screening will be introduced by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright.

echostream will be among the bands playing anime festival showcase at Knitting Factory


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Tickets: $18



Saturday, September 27 Special New York Anime Festival concert, with BakuBeni, echostream, Falsies on Heat, Love Etc., MiniRex, Notorious MSG, Quaff, Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, and Voltaire, 6:30

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Film Festival of the Week


Ziegfeld Theatre unless otherwise noted

141 West 54th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

Tickets: $16-$40 ($16 unless otherwise noted)



The forty-sixth annual New York Film Festival is, as usual, an eclectic collection of American and foreign films from longtime regulars as well as a host of newcomers. Laurent Cantet’s THE CLASS opens the festival, with Clint Eastwood’s CHANGELING the Centerpiece and Darren Aronofsky’s THE WRESTLER the Closing Night selection. We’re glad to see Jia Zhangke back again with 24 CITY, Wong Kar-wai revisiting the old days with ASHES OF TIME REDUX, Steven Soderbergh returning with CHE, Jerzy Skolimowski’s highly anticipated FOUR NIGHTS WITH ANNA, Mike Leigh’s HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, Agnès Jaoui’s LET IT RAIN, and Hong Sang-soo’s NIGHT AND DAY. J-horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes the cut with TOKYO SONATA, visual artist Steve McQueen brings along his Cannes hit, HUNGER, and Matteo Garrone takes on the mob in GOMORRAH. This year’s Spotlight Retrospective focuses on Max Ophuls’s classic LOLA MONTÈS, while Views from the Avant-Garde features works by Ken Jacobs, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, and Josef von Sternberg. Zhangke, Aronofsky, and Arnaud Desplechin (A CHRISTMAS TALE) will participate in film dialogues, and the sidebar looks at the career of Nagisa Oshima. Because of all the construction around Lincoln Center, the majority of films will be screened at the Ziegfeld Theater, giving it a different kind of grand feel.

Friday, September 26 Opening Night: THE CLASS (ENTRE LES MURS) (Laurent Cantet, 2008), Avery Fisher Hall, $20-$40, 8:00

Friday, September 26 Opening Night: THE CLASS (ENTRE LES MURS) (Laurent Cantet, 2008), Ziegfeld Theatre, $35-$40, 9:00

Saturday, September 27 HUNGER (Steve McQueen, 2008), 12 noon

Saturday, September 27 24 CITY (ER SHI SI CHENG JI) (Jia Zhangke, 2008), 3:00

Saturday, September 27 HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008), 6:15

Simon Mein/ Courtesy of Miramax Films

Sally Hawkins is absolutely delightful in Mike Leigh’s latest

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008)

Saturday, September 27, 6:15

Sunday, September 28, 12 noon


Writer-director Mike Leigh (SECRETS & LIES, NAKED, TOPSY-TURVY) has made the most charming film of his career with HAPPY-GO-LUCKY. Sally Hawkins gives a career-making performance as Poppy, the most delightful film character since Audrey Tatou’s Amélie (in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 French comedy LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMÉLIE POULAIN). Poppy is a primary school teacher who has an endearing, seemingly limitless love of life; she talks playfully with strangers in bookstores, teases her sister (Kate O’Flynn) and best friend (Alexis Zegerman) with the sweetest of smirks, takes a flamenco lesson on a whim with a colleague, and, when her bicycle is stolen, simply starts taking driving lessons. However, her driving instructor, Scott (Eddie Marsan of the recently underappreciated SIXTY SIX), is a tense, angry man with endless chips on his shoulder, trying to sour Poppy at every turn. But Poppy is no mere coquettish ingenue; when she senses a problem with one of her students, she is quick get to the bottom of the situation, with the appropriate serious demeanor. As with most Leigh films, much of the dialogue is improvised (following long rehearsal periods), adding to its freshness. But also as with most Leigh films, there are dramatic turning points, but even those can’t wipe away Poppy’s — or the audience’s — endless smile.

Saturday, September 27 WENDY AND LUCY (Kelly Reichardt, 2008) preceded by CRY ME A RIVER (Jia Zhangke, 2008), 9:30

Sunday, September 28 HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008), 12 noon

Sunday, September 28 WENDY AND LUCY (Kelly Reichardt, 2008) preceded by CRY ME A RIVER (Jia Zhangke, 2008), 3:15

Sunday, September 28 HUNGER (Steve McQueen, 2008), 6:15

Sunday, September 28 I’M GONNA EXPLODE (VOY A EXPLOTAR) (Gerardo Naranjo, 2008) preceded by THIS IS HER (Katie Wolfe, 2008), 9:00

Monday, September 29 I’M GONNA EXPLODE (VOY A EXPLOTAR) (Gerardo Naranjo, 2008) preceded by THIS IS HER (Katie Wolfe, 2008), 6:00

Canana / Film Society of Lincoln Center

Roman and Maru try to cast aside their childhood in Mexican flick

(I’M GONNA EXPLODE) (Gerardo Naranjo, 2008)

Sunday, September 28, 9:00

Monday, September 29, 6:00


VOY A EXPLOTAR (I’M GONNA EXPLODE) follows the exploits of two troubled teens who make a dramatic escape from their lives but get caught in the unknown world that exists between childhood and adulthood. Roman (Juan Pablo de Santiago) comes from a dysfunctional family, including his remarried politician father (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) who has little time for his shenanigans, which are essentially a desperate cry for attention. Maru (Maria Deschamps) is disconnected from the real world, waking up in a pickup truck strewn with empty bottles, having no idea what she did the night before with the boy by her side — and maybe not even caring all that much. She longingly writes in her diary, desperate for something new. Kindred spirits, Roman and Maru run away together, sending their parents and the local police into a frenzy — but they are clueless that the kids have actually merely set up camp on Roman’s father’s roof, living like a married couple, drinking, arguing, and doing other things married people do. But Roman also has a gun with him, adding an element of danger lurking around every corner. Written and directed by Gerardo Naranjo (DRAMA/MEX), VOY A EXPLOTAR is a challenging, often funny, and at times extremely uncomfortable film that never settles for the easy way out.

Monday, September 29 TONY MANERO (Pablo Larrain, 2008) preceded by LOVE YOU MORE (Sam Taylor-Wood, 2007), 9:15

Tuesday, September 30 TONY MANERO (Pablo Larrain, 2008) preceded by LOVE YOU MORE (Sam Taylor-Wood, 2007), 6:00

Tuesday, September 30 THE NORTHERN LAND (A CORTE DO NORTE) (João Botelho, Portugal, 2008) preceded by SURPRISE! (Fabrice Maruca, France, 2007), 9:15

Wednesday, October 1 SUMMER HOURS (L’HEURE D’ÉTÉ (Olivier Assayas, 2008) preceded by RALPH (Alex Winckler, 2008), 6:00

Wednesday, October 1 WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Ari Folman, 2008) preceded by I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCING (Joachim Dollhopf & Evi Goldbrunner, 2008), 9:15

Thursday, October 2 WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Ari Folman, 2008) preceded by I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCING (Joachim Dollhopf & Evi Goldbrunner, 2008), 6:00

Thursday, October 2 SUMMER HOURS (L’HEURE D’ÉTÉ (Olivier Assayas, 2008) preceded by RALPH (Alex Winckler, 2008), 9:00

Friday, October 3 GOMORRAH (GOMORRA) (Matteo Garrone, 2008), 6:00

Friday, October 3 FOUR NIGHTS WITH ANNA (CZTERY NOCE Z ANNA) (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2008) preceded by PAL SECAM (Dmitry Povolotsky, 2008), 9:30

Saturday, October 4 Spotlight Retrospective: LOLA MONTÈS (Max Ophuls, 1955), 11:15 am

Saturday, October 4 NIGHT AND DAY (BAM GUAN NAT) (Hong Sangsoo, 2008), 2:30

Eunmi YOO / Courtesy of bom Film Productions

Eunhye Park and Youngho Kim talk about love and art in Sangsoo’s NIGHT AND DAY

NIGHT AND DAY (BAM GUAN NAT) (Hong Sangsoo, 2008)

Saturday, October 4, 2:30


Korean writer-director Hong Sangsoo returns to the New York Film Festival for the fifth time with NIGHT AND DAY (BAM GUAN NAT), a character-driven tale about displacement and loneliness. Youngho Kim stars as Sungam, a married painter in his forties who flees South Korea for France after having been turned in for smoking marijuana with U.S. tourists. A fish out of water in Paris, he settles into a Korean neighborhood, spending most of his time with two young art students, Yujeong (Eunhye Park) and Hyunju (Minjeong Seo). He also meets an old girlfriend, Minsun, (Youjin Kim), who is still attracted to him. And every night he calls his wife, Sungin (Sujung Hwang), wondering when he’ll be able to return home. Hong (WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN, TALE OF CINEMA) tells the story in a diary-like manner, with interstitials acting like calendar pages. Sometimes a day can be filled with talk of art, a party, and a chance encounter, while others can consist of a brief, random event with no real bearing on the plot, reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch’s STRANGER THAN PARADISE, just without the existential cynicism and dark humor. As with 2006’s WOMAN ON THE BEACH, Hong lets NIGHT AND DAY go on too long (it clocks in at 141 minutes), with too many inconsequential (even if entertaining) vignettes, but it’s so much fun watching Youngho’s compelling performance that you just might not care about the length.

Saturday, October 4 ASHES OF TIME REDUX (Wong Kar-wai, 2008) preceded by DUST (Baker Smith, 2008), Ziegfeld Theatre, $16-$20, 6:15

Lau Wai Keung and Chan Yuen Kai © 1994, 2008 Block 2 Pictures

Tony Leung Ka Fai loses his past in restored Wong Kar Wai period pic

ASHES OF TIME REDUX (Wong Kar Wai, 2008)

Saturday, October 4, 6:15

Saturday, October 4, Walter Reade Theater, 12 midnight


Nearly fifteen years ago, writer-director Wong Kar Wai’s ASHES OF TIME was released, a thinking man’s martial arts epic inspired by Jin Yong’s THE EAGLE-SHOOTING HEROES novels. With numerous versions in circulation and the original negatives in disrepair, Wong (CHUNGKING EXPRESS, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) decided to painstakingly reedit and restore the film, renaming it ASHES OF TIME REDUX. The plot–which is still as confusing as ever — revolves around Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung), a loner who lives in the desert, where people come to him when they need someone taken care of. Every year he is visited by Huang Yaoshi (Tony Leung Ka Fai), who keeps him informed of the world outside jianghu — especially about his lost love (Maggie Cheung). Meanwhile, Murong Yang (Brigitte Lin) has demanded that Ouyang kill Huang for having jilted his sister, Murong Yin (also played by Lin), who in turn hires Ouyang to kill Yang. There’s also a blind swordsman (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), a peasant girl with a basket of eggs (Charlie Young), a poor, rogue swordsman (Jacky Cheung), and a bottle of magic wine that can erase memories. Or something like that. But what’s most impressive about ASHES OF TIME REDUX is Christopher Doyle’s thrilling, swirling cinematography, which sweeps the audience into the film, and Wu Tong’s rearranged score, based on the original music by Frankie Chan and Roel A. Garcia and featuring soaring cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma.

Saturday, October 4 Centerpiece: CHANGELING (Clint Eastwood, 2008) preceded by WAIT FOR ME (Ross Kauffman, 2008), $35-$40, 9:15

Saturday, October 4 ASHES OF TIME REDUX (Wong Kar-wai, 2008) preceded by DUST (Baker Smith, 2008), Walter Reade Theater, 12 midnight

Sunday, October 5 Centerpiece: CHANGELING (Clint Eastwood, 2008) preceded by WAIT FOR ME (Ross Kauffman, 2008), $35-$40, 11:15am

Sunday, October 5 FOUR NIGHTS WITH ANNA (CZTERY NOCE Z ANNA) (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2008) preceded by PAL SECAM (Dmitry Povolotsky, 2008), 3:00

Sunday, October 5 THE WINDMILL MOVIE (Alexander Olch, 2008) preceded by QUARRY (Richard P. Rogers, 1970), 6:00

Sunday, October 5 THE NORTHERN LAND (A CORTE DO NORTE) (João Botelho, Portugal, 2008) preceded by SURPRISE! (Fabrice Maruca, France, 2007), 6:45

Sunday, October 5 GOMORRAH (GOMORRA) (Matteo Garrone, 2008), 9:00

Monday, October 6 AFTERSCHOOL (Antonio Campos, 2008), 6:00

Monday, October 6 THE HEADLESS WOMAN (LA MUJER SIN CABEZA) (Lucrecia Martel, 2008 preceded by I HEAR YOUR SCREAM (AHENDU NDE SAPUKAI) (Pablo Lamar, 2008), 9:15

Tuesday, October 7 CHE (Steven Soderbergh, 2008), $20-$25, 6:00

Wednesday, October 8 THE HEADLESS WOMAN (LA MUJER SIN CABEZA) (Lucrecia Martel, 2008 preceded by I HEAR YOUR SCREAM (AHENDU NDE SAPUKAI) (Pablo Lamar, 2008), 6:00

Wednesday, October 8 AFTERSCHOOL (Antonio Campos, 2008), 9:00

Thursday, October 9 TOKYO SONATA (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008) preceded by LOVE IS DEAD (Eric Capitaine, 2007), 6:00

Thursday, October 9 TULPAN (Sergey Dvortsevoy, 2008) preceded by DEWENETI (Dyana Gaye, 2007), 9:00

Friday, October 10 A CHRISTMAS TALE (UN CONTE DE NOËL) (Arnaud Desplechin, 2008), 6:00

Friday, October 10 LET IT RAIN (PARLEZ-MOI DE LA PLUIE) (Agnès Jaoui, 2008) preceded by UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOUR (Ernst Weber and Pasha Shapiro, 2007), 9:45

Saturday, October 11 A CHRISTMAS TALE (UN CONTE DE NOËL) (Arnaud Desplechin, 2008), 11:15 am

Saturday, October 11 CHOUGA (SHUGA) (Darezhan Omirbaev, France/Kazakhstan, 2007) preceded by GAUGE (Alistair Banks Griffin, 2008), 3:00

Saturday, October 11 TULPAN (Sergey Dvortsevoy, 2008) preceded by DEWENETI (Dyana Gaye, 2007), 6:00

Saturday, October 11 TOKYO SONATA (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008) preceded by LOVE IS DEAD (Eric Capitaine, 2007), 9:15

Sunday, October 12 LET IT RAIN (PARLEZ-MOI DE LA PLUIE) (Agnès Jaoui, 2008) preceded by UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOUR (Ernst Weber and Pasha Shapiro, 2007), 11:15am

Sunday, October 12 BULLET IN THE HEAD (TIRO EN LA CABEZA) (Jaime Rosales, 2008), 2:30

Sunday, October 12 SERBIS (Brillante Mendoza, 2008) preceded by MAYBE TOMORROW (Guilhem Amesland, 2008), 5:15

Sunday, October 12 Closing Night: THE WRESTLER (Darren Aronofsky, 2008) preceded by SECURITY (Lars Henning, 2007), Avery Fisher Hall, $20-$40 reserved, 8:30


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

Tickets: $16 unless otherwise noted (unreserved seating)



In addition to the regular screenings, there will be a handful of special events at the New York Film Festival, all being held at the Walter Read Theater.

Saturday, September 27 Film Criticism in Crisis? panel discussion with Jonathan Rosenbaum, Emmanuel Burdeau, Kent Jones, David Hudson, and Pablo Suarez, followed by a reception, 1:00

Friday, October 3 IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI (Guy Debord, 1978), followed by a discussion with Olivier Assayas, Greil Marcus, and Jean-Pierre Gorin, 6:30

Monday, October 6 THE LAST COMMAND (Josef von Sternberg, 1928), featuring a new score performed live by the Alloy Orchestra, Walter Reade Theater, $16 at 6:00, $20 at 8:30

Friday, October 10 PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (Albert Lewin, 1951), restored version, introduced by Martin Scorsese, $6:15

Saturday, October 11 THE DAY SHALL DAWN (JAGO HUA SAVERA) (A. J. Kardar, 1959), 6:30

Sunday, October 12 IT’S HARD BEING LOVED BY JERKS (C’EST DUR D’ETRE AIMÉ PAR DES CONS) (Daniel Leconte, 2008), followed by a panel discussion with Daniel Leconte; Carol Becker, Marshall Cohen, and others, 1:00


Jia Zhangke will participate in special dialogue at New York Film Festival


Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

Rose Building, tenth floor

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

Tickets: $16 (unreserved seating)


Sunday, September 28 Jia Zhangke with Scott Foundas, 4:00

Sunday, October 5 Wong Kar-wai with J. Hoberman, 4:00

Saturday, October 11 Darren Aronofsky with Richard Peña, 1:30

Saturday, October 11 Arnaud Desplechin with Kent Jones, 4:30


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

Tickets: $11 (unreserved seating)


Saturday, October 4 The Warmth of the Sun: DOVE COUP (Ben Rivers, 2008), WHISPERS (Ernie Gehr, 2008), LES CHAISES (Vincent Grenier, 2008), OBAR (Taylor Dunne, 2008), AFTER WRITING (Mary Helena Clark, 2007), ORIGINS OF THE SPECIES (Ben Rivers, 2008), FILM FOR INVISIBLE INK, CASE NO. 142 ABBREVIATION FOR DEAD WINTER [DIMINISHED BY 1,794] (David Gatten, 2008), ELEMENTs (Julie Murray, 2008), FALSE FRIENDS (Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2007), HOLD ME NOW (Michael Robinson, 2008), AND THE SUNDAY, FLOWERS (Mary Helena Clark, 2008), and FALSE AGING (Lewis Klahr, 2008), 12 noon

Saturday, October 4 ABERRATION OF STARLIGHT (Andrew Norren, 2008),

Saturday, October 4 WINTER (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2008) and SARABANDE (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2008), 6:30


Saturday, October 4 Bruce Conner Tribute: A MOVIE (Bruce Conner, 1958), THE WHITE ROSE (Bruce Conner, 1967), BREAKAWAY (Bruce Conner, 1966), VIVIAN (Bruce Conner, 1964), TEN SECOND FILM (Bruce Conner, 1965), REPORT (Bruce Conner, 1967), LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS (Bruce Conner, 1996), TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (Bruce Conner, 1977), VALSE TRISTE (Bruce Conner, 1979), and EASTER MORNING (Bruce Conner, 2008), 8:45

Sunday, October 5 Time of the Signs: 1859 (Fred Worden, 2008), TRAIN OF THOUGHT (Jim Jennings, 2008), NEW YORK LANTERN (Ernie Gehr, 2008), AFTER MARKS (Fern Silva, 2008), NOVEL CITY (Leslie Thornton, 2008), TRYPPS #5 (DUBAI) (Ben Russell, 2008), TODAY! (excerpts #28, #19) (Jessie Stead & David Gatten, 2008), AH LIBERTY! (Ben Rivers, 2008), 12 noon

Sunday, October 5 Craig Baldwin: THE DIPTHERIANS EPISODE TWO: THE RHYTHM THAT FORGETS ITSELF (Lewis Klahr, 2008), TATTOO STEP (Michael Maryniuk, 2008), and MOCK UP ON MU (Craig Baldwin, 2008), 3:00

Sunday, October 5 still wave: AMERICA IS WAITING (Bruce Conner, 1982), DIG (Robert Todd, 2007), RIGHT (Scott Stark, 2008), 16-18-4 (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2008), THE ACROBAT (Chris Kennedy, 2007), NIGHTPARKING (Gretchen Skogerson, 2008), THE SCENIC ROUTE (Ken Jacobs, 2008), PHANTOGRAM (Kerry Laitala, 2008), WHEN WORLDS COLLUDE (Fred Worden, 2008), HORIZONTAL BOUNDARIES (Pat O’Neill, 2008), 6:00

Sunday, October 5 James Benning: RR (James Benning, 2007), 9:00

Cinematheque Ontario / Film Society of Lincoln Center

Nagisa Oshima’s BOY (SHONEN) screens at sidebar on October 9


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

September 27 — October 13

Tickets: $11 (unreserved seating)

Series pass: $40


More than two dozen of Nagisa Oshima’s films will make up a sidebar to the New York Film Festival, celebrating the work of the great Japanese auteur who was never afraid to challenge authority, test the conventions of cinema, and experiment with different methods to tell his compelling tales. Oshima shocked the world with the ultra-erotic 1976 smash IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES, then surprised everyone with the award-winning TABOO in 1999, which he made following a stroke. He has not written or directed a film since. This sidebar is a rare opportunity to see nearly every film the iconoclastic director has made in his fifty-year career.

Saturday, September 27 CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH (NAKED YOUTH) (SEISHUN ZANKOKU MONOGATARI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 11:00 am

Saturday, September 27 A TOWN OF LOVE AND HOPE (AI TO KIBO NO MACHI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1959) and DIARY OF A YUNBOGI BOY (YUNBOGI NO NIKKI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1965), 3:00

Saturday, September 27 NIGHT AND FOG IN JAPAN (NIHON NO YORU TO KIRI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 4:45

Saturday, September 27 DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF (SHINJUKU DOROBO NIKKI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1968), 7:00

Saturday, September 27 PLEASURES OF THE FLESH (ETSURAKU) (Nagisa Oshima, 1965), 9:00

Saturday, September 27 IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (AI NO CORRIDA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1976), 12 midnight

Sunday, September 28 THE MAN WHO LEFT HIS WILL ON FILM, (HE DIED AFTER THE WAR) (TOKYO SENSO SENGO HIWA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1970), 12:30

Sunday, September 28 THE SUN’S BURIAL, AKA TOMB OF THE SUNDAY, (TAIYO NO HAKABA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 2:30

Sunday, September 28 EMPIRE OF PASSION (AI NO BOREI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1978), 4:30

Sunday, September 28 MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (SENJÔ NO MERÎ KURISUMASU) (Nagisa Oshima, 1983), 6:45

Sunday, September 28 TABOO (GOHATTO) (Nagisa Oshima, 1999), 9:15

Monday, September 29 A TOWN OF LOVE AND HOPE (AI TO KIBO NO MACHI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1959) and DIARY OF A YUNBOGI BOY (YUNBOGI NO NIKKI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1965), 4:30 & 8:15

Monday, September 29 CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH (NAKED YOUTH) (SEISHUN ZANKOKU MONOGATARI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 6:15

Tuesday, September 30 THE SUN’S BURIAL, AKA TOMB OF THE SUNDAY, (TAIYO NO HAKABA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 4:30

Tuesday, September 30 THE CATCH (SHIIKU) (Nagisa Oshima, 1961), 6:20

Tuesday, September 30 NIGHT AND FOG IN JAPAN (NIHON NO YORU TO KIRI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), 8:30

Wednesday, October 1 Panel Discussion: The Place of Oshima, with Annette Michelson, David Desser, and Aaron Gerow, free but advance tickets required, 6:30



Thursday, October 2 PLEASURES OF THE FLESH (ETSURAKU) (Nagisa Oshima, 1965), 6:30

Thursday, October 2 BAND OF NINJA (NINJA BUGEI-CHO) (Nagisa Oshima, 1967), 8:40


Friday, October 3 IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (AI NO CORRIDA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1976), 10:00

Tuesday, October 7 SING A SONG OF SEX (A TREATISE ON JAPANESE BAWDY SONGS) (NIHON SHUNKA-KÔ) (Nagisa Oshima, 1967), 4:30

Tuesday, October 7 VIOLENCE AT NOON (HAKUCHU NO TORIMA) (Nagisa Oshima, 1966), 6:40


Wednesday, October 8 DEATH BY HANGING (KOSHIKEI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1968), 4:30

Wednesday, October 8 DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF (SHINJUKU DOROBO NIKKI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1968), 7:00

Wednesday, October 8 SING A SONG OF SEX (A TREATISE ON JAPANESE BAWDY SONGS) (NIHON SHUNKA-KÔ) (Nagisa Oshima, 1967), 9:00

Thursday, October 9 DEAR SUMMER SISTER (NATSU NO IMOTO) (Nagisa Oshima, 1972), 4:30

Thursday, October 9 BOY (SHONEN) (Nagisa Oshima, 1969), 6:30



Friday, October 10 KYOTO, MY MOTHER’S PLACE) (Nagisa Oshima, 1991) and 100 YEARS OF JAPANESE CINEMA (Nagisa Oshima, 1994), 3:45

Friday, October 10 MAX MON AMOUR (Nagisa Oshima, 1986), 9:00

Saturday, October 11 DEATH BY HANGING (KOSHIKEI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1968), 4:00

Saturday, October 11 MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (SENJÔ NO MERÎ KURISUMASU) (Nagisa Oshima, 1983), 9:00


Sunday, October 12 THE CEREMONY (GISHIKI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1971), 6:30

Sunday, October 12 DEAR SUMMER SISTER (NATSU NO IMOTO) (Nagisa Oshima, 1972), 9:00

Monday, October 13 TABOO (GOHATTO) (Nagisa Oshima, 1999), 2:00 & 8:45

Monday, October 13 KYOTO, MY MOTHER’S PLACE) (Nagisa Oshima, 1991) and 100 YEARS OF JAPANESE CINEMA (Nagisa Oshima, 1994), 4:00

Monday, October 13 EMPIRE OF PASSION (AI NO BOREI) (Nagisa Oshima, 1978), 6:30


Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery

Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

Open daily 1:30 — 6:00 pm through October 12

Admission: free


Running concurrently with the New York Film Festival, "Brief Histories Of… and Correspondence Course(s)" features photo essays by Mark Rappaport in which he takes frames from a wide variety of films and reassembles them into different, creative narratives.

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Not the New York Film Festival
Film Festivals of the Week

Tropfest packed ’em in in ’07


World Financial Center Plaza, Battery Park City, Vesey St. entrance

Friday, September 26, free, 5:00



Thousands of film fans will crowd into World Financial Plaza to check out some of the latest, greatest, and most bizarre shorts from around the world in this annual event. The entertainment begins at 5:00, including a live performance by Tamarama Band, with the screening starting at 8:00. Among those on hand to introduce the films and give out awards will be author Malcolm Gladwell, actor Billy Crudup, and Tropfest founder John Polson (director of such films as HIDE AND SEEK and SWIMFAN).


Tribeca Cinemas

54 Varick St. at Laight St.

September 26-28

Tickets: $15 unless otherwise noted



Summer might be over, but the New York Surf Film Festival takes people back to the beach with more than two dozen surf-oriented shorts, documentaries, and feature films, set in the oceans of Hawaii, Australia, California, Liberia, Peru, New York, and other locales. But all is not fun and games, as several films incorporate poignant narratives about war into their stories. Below are only a few of the highlights.

Friday, September 26 PEEL: THE PERU PROJECT (Thomas Joseph Barrack III & Wes Brown, 2006), preceded by a tribute to Bud Browne, 7:30

Friday, September 26 MUSICA SURFICA (Mick Sowry), preceded by THE GHOSTS ARE CALLING (Andrew Kidman, 2007), 9:30

Saturday, September 27 ONE WINTER STORY (Sally Lundburg & Elizabeth Pepin), preceded by SURF NOIR (Suyen Mosely) and COMMUNE (Matt Wesson), 6:00

Saturday, September 27 BUSTSIN DOWN THE DOOR (Jeremy Gosch), preceded by RUNMAN’S THE BRUCE MOVIE (Ray Kleiman Jr.), BLOOD FAMILY SURF, and LAPSED CATHOLICS (Todd Stewart), 8:30

Sunday, September 28 BETWEEN THE LINES (Scott Bass), 2:00

Sunday, September 28 BIG WEDNESDAY (John Milius, 1978), $20, 3:45

Coney Island Film Festival will include annual screening of THE WARRIORS


Sideshows by the Seashore, 3006 West Twelfth St.

Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Ave.

September 26-28

Tickets: $6 (most individual screenings) - $45 (full festival pass)


Now in its eighth year, the Coney Island Film Festival celebrates, well, Coney Island with an offbeat collection of flicks that involve the endangered community, as redevelopment threatens such places as Sideshows by the Seashore and the Coney Island Museum, where the screenings will take place. Below are only some of the highlights; the rest of the bizarre slate includes such must-sees as PUMPKIN HELL, THE WALKING CORPSE, EAT ME, SEXY CLOWN BITCH, SODOM BY THE SEA, and, we kid you not, ABRACADAVER!

Friday, September 26 Opening Night Screening: DOWN THE HATCH: THE LIFE TEACHINGS OF JOHN "RED" STUART (Andrew David Watson) and SIDESHOW STILL ALIVE (Juan C. Lopez), screening $6, screening and after-party $25, 7:30

Saturday, September 27 LUCKY DAYS (Tony Torn & Angelica Torn), 3:00

Saturday, September 27 Special Screening: THE WARRIORS (Walter Hill, 1979), sideshows, $10, 10:30

THE WARRIORS (Walter Hill, 1979)


At a huge gang meeting in the Bronx (actually shot in Riverside Park), the Warriors are wrongly accused of having killed Cyrus (Roger Hill), an outspoken leader trying to band all the warring factions together to form one huge force that can take over the New York City borough by borough. The Warriors then must make it back to their home turf, Coney Island, with every gang in New York lying in wait for them to pass through their territory. This iconic New York City gang movie is based on Sol Yurick’s novel, which in turn is loosely based on Xenophon’s ANABASIS, which told of the ancient Greeks’ retreat from Persia. Michael Beck stars as Swan, who becomes the de-facto leader of the Warriors after Cleon (Dorsey Wright) gets taken down early. Battling Swan for control is Ajax (SEX AND THE CITY’s James Remar) and tough-talking Mercy (TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT’s Deborah Van Valkenburgh). Serving as a Greek chorus is Lynne (LAW & ORDER) Thigpen as a radio DJ, and, yes, that young woman out too late in Central Park is eventual Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl. Among the cartoony gangs of New York who try to stop the Warriors are the roller-skating Punks, the pathetic Orphans, the militaristic Gramercy Riffs, the all-girl Lizzies, the ragtag Rogues, and the inimitable Baseball Furies. Another main character is the New York City subway system.

Sunday, September 28 ATTACKAZOIDS! (Brian Lonano), TREK 183 (Alain Alfaro), and SHORE THING (Anthony Lovari), $6, 5:00


NYU Cantor Center, 36 East Eighth St.

Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St. at Laight St.

Anthology Archives. 32 Second St. at Second Ave.

Tickets: $10


For several years, New York-Tokyo has been bringing the best of Japanese cinema and gaming to the city, holding special events that fill up quickly. They have now expanded into their first full-fledged film festival, consisting of an exciting slate of flicks voted on by the public. The result is a wide-ranging group of works, from romantic comedies to dark drama, from anime to horror, that show off the best of what is coming out of Japan, many having their North American premiere. We are particularly excited about Jun Kawaguchi’s 77BOADRUM, a documentary about the Boredoms’ free outdoor performance in Brooklyn Bridge Park consisting of seventy-seven drummers playing for seventy-seven minutes on July 7, 2007; we were on the Williamsburg waterfront this summer for the follow-up, eighty-eight drummers playing for eighty-eight minutes on August 8, 2008, and it was simply amazing. Several of the screenings will have the directors present — and superstar actor-model Shogen will be at Anthology Film Archives for BLOODY SNAKE UNDER THE SUN.

Sunday, September 28 CORAZON DE MELON (Makoto Tanaka), Cantor, 6:00

Tuesday, October 7 ASYL — PARK AND LOVE HOTEL (Izuru Kumasaka), with an appearance by Kumasaka, Tribeca, 7:00

Wednesday, October 8 THE CHASING WORLD (Issey Shibata), Tribeca, 7:00

Thursday, October 9 DEATH OF DOMOMATA (Shutaro Oku), Tribeca, 7:00

Sunday, October 12 GENIUS PARTY (multiple directors), Anthology, 2:00

Monday, October 13 77BOADRUM (Jun Kawaguchi), Anthology, 7:00 & 9:15 (director present at 9:15 screening)

Tuesday, October 14 BLOODY SNAKE UNDER THE SUN (Yu Nakai), with an appearance by actor Shogen, Anthology, 7:00

Thursday, October 16 KAMACHOP (Anji Matsumoto), with an appearance by Matsumoto, Tribeca, 7:00


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.

October 3 — 11

Tickets: $12



The New York Turkish Film Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year with an impressive slate of movies that show off the best of Turkish cinema. In the past few years, Turkey has experienced some breakout directors, including Fatih Akin (HEAD-ON), Ferzan Özpetek (LE FATE IGNORANIT), and Nuri Bilge Ceylan (who just won the Best Director award at Cannes for THREE MONKEYS). Akin will be represented this year with his highly praised THE EDGE OF HEAVEN; other highlights include the restored version of Erden Kiral’s previously banned 1979 ON FERTILE LANDS, Baris Pirhasan’s ADAM AND THE DEVIL, which was named Best Film at the 2007 International Istanbul Film Festival, Dervis Zaim’s WAITING FOR HEAVEN, which has won awards for its special effects, art direction, and music, and Semih Kaplanoglu’s EGG, which concludes his dramatic trilogy begun with HONEY and MILK.

Friday, October 3 Classic Turkish Cinema: BEREKETLI TOPRAKLAR ÜZERINDE (ON FERTILE LANDS) (Erden Kiral, 1979) and SARDUNYA (GERANIUM) (Mustafa Emin Büyükcoskun, 2008), 7:30

Saturday, October 4 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: ADEMIN TRENLERI (ADAM AND THE DEVIL) (Baris Pirhasan, 2007) and AYAK ALTINDA (DOWNSTAIRS) (M. Cem Öztüfekçi, 2008), 5:00

Saturday, October 4 Debut Films: BEYAZ MELEK (WHITE ANGEL) (Mahsun, Kirmizigül, 2007) and YOLDAKI KEDI (THE CAT ON THE ROAD) (Can Kýlcýoglu, 2007), 7:30

Sunday, October 5 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: MUTLULUK (BLISS) (Abdullah Oguz, 2007) and UNUS MUNDUS (Senem Tüzen, 2007), 5:00

Talat Bulut, Murat Han, Ozgu Namal travel across murky waters in BLISS

MUTLULUK (BLISS) (Abdullah Oguz, 2007)

Abdullah Oguz’s MUTLULUK (BLISS) is a harrowing tale of misguided family honor and tradition. Ozgu Namal gives a rich, deep performance as Meryem, a seventeen-year-old who is discovered half-naked by a lake. It is assumed that she has just lost her virginity, dishonoring her family ­— it doesn’t matter whether through love or by rape — so tradition demands that she be killed, a deed assigned to her cousin, Cemal (Murat Han). But Cemal ultimately cannot pull the trigger, and the two of them run away, soon finding escape aboard a boat piloted by Irfan Kurudal (Talat Bulut), a college professor enjoying the freedom of the sea. Meanwhile, Meryem’s family is trying to track her and Cemal down ­— and kill them both. Based on the novel by Zulfu Livaneli, MUTLULUK (BLISS) is a tense thriller with strong emotional power, pitting long-standing tradition against the modern-day world.

Sunday, October 5 Directors Abroad: YASAMIN KIYISINDA (AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE) (THE EDGE OF HEAVEN) (Fatih Akin, 2007) and YABAN (FREMD) (Hakan Savas Mican, 2007), 7:30

Monday, October 6 Debut Films: MUNFERIT (MURKY WATERS) (Dersu Yavuz Altun, 2008) and BIR CINAYETIN IKI ÖYKÜSÜ (TWO STORIES OF A MURDER) (Mehmet Aslan, 2007), 7:30

Aylin (Idil Firat) goes to great lengths to protect her family in MURKY WATERS

MÜNFERIT (MURKY WATERS) (Dersu Yavuz Altun, 2008)


After years in television, Dersu Yavuz Altun makes a fine directorial debut with the modern noir thriller MÜNFERIT (MURKY WATERS). After her husband (Ali Erkazan) hits two children in a drunk driving accident, Aylin (Idil Firat) decides to protect her family by helping cover it up. She looks into moving to a new town, but on the way there she meets a man (Mahir Ipek) who soon uncovers her secret and blackmails her —­ as he is blackmailing many other women in this dark, dirty place that would feel at home in a Nicholas Ray film gone off the deep end. The film is told from Aylin’s point of view as she is interrogated by the authorities, but Altun skillfully weaves the story, inspired by three actual incidents, between past and present, slowly revealing facts that heighten the tension. Ipek makes for a fine villain, hateful and disgusting, though the film does get too lurid at times.

Tuesday, October 7 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: KABADAYI (LOVE AND HONOR) (Ömer Vargi, 2007) and BIR KELEK ETKISI (CATERPILAR EFFECT) (Eray Mert, 2007), 7:30

Wednesday, October 8 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: ULAK (THE MESSENGER) (Çagan Irmak, 2008) and BURGER RÜYALARI (BURGER DREAMS) (Muhittin Bilginer, 2007), 7:30

Friday, October 9 Without Borders: AKAMAS (Panicos Chrysanthou, 2006) and YOKUS (THE SLOPE) (Mehmet Can Mertoglu, 2008), 7:30

Friday, October 10 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: ARA (Ümit Ünal, 2007), 7:00

Friday, October 10 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: RIZA (Tayfun Pirselimoglu, 2007), 9:00

Saturday, October 11 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: CENNETI BEKLERKEN (WAITING FOR HEAVEN) (Dervis Zaim, 2006) and SAAT KAÇ? (WHAT TIME IT IS?) (Faysal Soysal, 2008), 5:00

Saturday, October 11 Contemporary Turkish Cinema: YUMURTA (EGG) (Semih Kaplanoglu, 2007) and GÜVERCIN TAKLASI (PIGEON TUMBLE) (Seyfettin Tokmak, 2008), 7:30

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

Lou Reed’s BERLIN is now available on DVD

BERLIN (Julian Schnabel, 2008)

Now available on DVD from the Miriam Collection, $24.95


In December 2006, Reed resurrected his 1973 masterwork, BERLIN, a deeply dark and personal song cycle that was a critical and commercial flop upon its initial release but has grown in stature over the years. (As Reed sings on the album’s closer, “Sad Song”: “Just goes to show how wrong you can be.”) The superbly staged adaptation, directed by Academy Award nominee Julian Schnabel, took place at Brooklyn’s intimate St. Ann’s Warehouse, featuring Rob Wasserman and longtime Reed sideman Fernando Saunders on bass, Tony “Thunder” Smith on drums, Rupert Christie on keyboards, and guitarist extraordinaire Steve Hunter, reunited with Lou for the first time in three decades. The band is joined onstage by backup singers Sharon Jones and Antony, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and a seven-piece orchestra (including cello, viola, flute, trumpet, clarinet, and flugel). Amid dreamlike video montages shot by Schnabel’s daughter, Lola, depicting Emmanuelle Seigner as the main character in BERLIN, as well as experimental imagery by Alejandro Garmendia, Reed tells the impossibly bleak story of Caroline, a young mother whose life crashes and burns in a dangerously divided and debauched Germany. “It was very nice / It was paradise,” Reed sings on the opening title track, but it’s all downhill from there. The DVD includes a brief and ridiculously uninformative excerpt from Reed and Schnabel’s appearance on Elvis Costello’s SPECTACLE talk show, the theatrical trailer, and a too-short documentary, BERLIN IN EUROPE, that shows the band in Italy and France. Even though the extras are nothing to be proud of, the film itself, which can be accessed on the DVD song by song, is outstanding.


Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel discuss BERLIN at 2008 Tribeca Film Festival

BONUS CONTEST: BERLIN is a song cycle that details a woman’s life as it falls apart in the German city. In 1989, Reed released another song cycle set in a major world city, much closer to home. What was the name of that album? Send your response to contest@twi-ny.com by Tuesday, October 7, at 12 noon to be eligible to win a copy of BERLIN on DVD, courtesy of the Weinstein Co. One winner will be selected at random; all entrants must be at least eighteen years of age. Employees of the Weinstein Co. and This Week in New York are ineligible. Good luck!

Sam Rockwell finds a new way to earn a living in CHOKE

CHOKE (Clark Gregg, 2008)

Opens Friday, September 26


Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for its ensemble cast, Clark Gregg’s CHOKE is a daring adaptation of the bizarre novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Sam Rockwell stars as Victor Mancini, a sex addict who has dropped out of med school to support his ailing mother (Anjelica Huston), who is wasting away in a psychiatric ward. Victor spends his days working as an Irish indentured servant at a Colonial village with his best friend, Denny (an excellent Brad William Henke), where both men get in trouble regularly for going out of character, constantly harassed by their boss, Charlie (played by Gregg). Victor earns additional cash by pretending to choke in restaurants, being saved by specially chosen marks who then feel responsible for his life and intermittently send him money like he is now party of their family. Victor also attends sex-addict meetings helmed by Phil (Joel Grey), where he often ends up on the bathroom floor with his sponsee, Nico (Paz de la Huerta). But when Victor meets his mother’s doctor, Paige Marshall (Kelly McDonald), his parts start experiencing a problem heretofore unknown to him, leading him to cast doubts on his very existence — as does a secret that his mother reveals after all these years. The film is even more scattershot than the book, which was pretty strange and scattershot to begin with. But Gregg, making his directorial debut (he has previously written WHAT LIES BENEATH and plays Richard Campbell on THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE), understands the complicated material, even though it takes him a while to get going. (And couldn’t he have gotten rid of those shots with the boom mic?) But stick with it; the final fifteen minutes or so are absolutely thrilling, as all that pent-up stuff inside Victor comes shooting out.

CHOKE by Chuck Palahniuk (Anchor, August 2008, $14.95)



Chuck Palahniuk has a rather unique way of looking at the world. In such novels as DIARY, FIGHT CLUB, and HAUNTED, he has dared to go where few writers have gone before. A kind of Henry Miller meets Charles Bukowski for the twenty-first century, Palahniuk, who has a growing cult audience that worships his every move, has a bizarre, bleak, very funny style that changes with every book. CHOKE is told from the point of view of one Victor Mancini, a sex addict who works in a colonial village, is watching his ailing mother fade away in a nursing home, and likes to pretend he’s choking in restaurants in order to make heroes of perfect strangers — who save him and then send him money as if he’s now part of their family. His best friend, Denny, is a pathetic self-abuser who wheels rocks around in a baby carriage, and the only woman he seemingly doesn’t want, Dr. Paige Marshall, has a very odd plan to keep Victor’s mother alive. Palahniuk shifts between Victor’s troubled present with his troubled past, in which his deeply disturbed mother regularly steals him away from foster parents, teaches him how to recognize hidden danger signs, and keeps him on the run from the law. CHOKE is a biting satire about sex and death, about birth and rebirth, that will make you twist and cringe as much as you laugh out loud.

Lol Crawley

Lawrence’s (Micheal J. Smith Sr.) small world gets turned upside down in BALLAST

BALLAST (Lance Hammer, 2008)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

October 1-14




Filmed on location in the Mississippi Delta with nonprofessional actors, BALLAST is a mesmerizing, unforgettable tale of family and survival. After his brother commits suicide, Lawrence (Micheal J. Smith Sr.) gives up on life, just sitting in front of the television, staring blankly at the screen, paying no attention to his dog or a neighbor (Johnny McPhail) offering help. Marlee (Tarra Riggs) is a single mother working a demeaning job while trying to keep her twelve-year-old son, James (Jimmyron Ross), out of trouble. But James has dropped out of school, instead spending his days smoking crack he thinks he is getting for free from a local dealer. But when the dealer ultimately starts asking for the money he’s owed, James gets his hand on a gun, desperate for cash. The interconnected lives of the three protagonists are slowly revealed in haunting scenes that linger in the mind. Masterfully directed by Lance Hammer, BALLAST is a powerful condemnation of modern-day poverty in America without being preachy or political. All but one member of the cast lives in the townships where the film was shot, most of the dialogue is improvised, and Hammer uses only natural light and sound to tell this tragic tale, adding to the film’s overwhelming sense of desperation and realism.

Doc at Transit Museum examines alternative forms of transportation in the city


New York Transit Museum

130 Livingston St.

Thursday, October 2, free, 6:00




Stefan Schaefer’s hour-long documentary, CONTESTED STREETS: BREAKING NEW YORK CITY GRIDLOCK, seeks to take the streets back for the people. Using archival footage, the film begins with a history of city streets and the communities that grew up around them, especially on the Lower East Side, showing how things changed from horse-driven carts and carriages through the development of the automobile. In the battle between man vs. machine, the car won, championed by the likes of highway guru Robert Moses. Schaefer then goes across the pond, examining successful and innovative new methods of transportation alternatives in Copenhagen, Paris, and London, which favor pedestrians, bicycles, and public buses without negatively impacting business and industry. The film certainly has an agenda — all of the talking heads want to see the same changes made, with no one speaking for the other side — but it is difficult to dispute their claims, particularly with regard to safety and the environment. On October 2, the New York Transit Museum will be screening the film for free, followed by a discussion led by Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives. The museum will continue to screen the film Tuesday through Sunday throughout the month of October, free with museum admission of $5 adults, 43 children three to seventeen and adults sixty-two and older.

In Theaters Now

John Malkovich is a foul-mouthed riot in Coen brothers’ latest

BURN AFTER READING (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2008)


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.


Film Forum has an offer that film lovers won’t be able to refuse


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

Through 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 Michael’s (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 Andolini’s (Robert De Niro) arrival in America and how he rose to become the Godfather while, at the same time, detailing the family’s 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 you’ve never seen them on the big screen, well, it’s like you’ve 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, it’s a rare chance to spend more than six hours with this fabulously dysfunctional family.

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.

Things heat up in disappointing killer car race flick

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

AMC Empire 25

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



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.


AMC Empire 25

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



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)

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1866 Broadway at 63rd St.


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.

Father and daughter experience troubled times in TOWELHEAD

TOWELHEAD (Alan Ball, 2008)

AMC Empire 25

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


Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer 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 Gail’s 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 woman’s sexual awakening in a world of racism and bigotry. Even knowing that Bashil was eighteen when the film was made doesn’t make the more graphic scenes, especially with Eckhart, easy to watch, and although that’s probably part of the point, it still feels overly lurid and emotionally manipulative. Enter at your own risk.

Don Cheadle is abandoned by a bad script in second half of TRAITOR

TRAITOR (Jeffrey Nachmanoff, 2008)

AMC Empire 25

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



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

TROPIC THUNDER (Ben Stiller, 2008)


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.



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."

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 & Dance


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.

Dave Doobinin will be at Joe’s Pub’s for record release party


Joe’s Pub

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

Friday, September 26, $12, 9:30



Coney Island native Dave Doobinin will take part in Joe’s Pub’s tenth anniversary season with a show featuring songs from his brand-new release, THE BIRTH OF WONDER. Recorded live in DUMBO, the album includes such tunes as the dreamy “Faraway” and the Beatles-esque “Mind Down Here.” The singer-songwriter’s sound is fleshed out by Chris Foley on guitar, Miko on keyboards, Brad Gunyon and Jules Radino on drums, Brandon Wilde on bass, and Briana Winter and Kat Hayman on sweet harmonies. It should all make for an intimate yet celebratory show at Joe’s.

Paul B. Goode

Bill T. Jones reinterprets Jane Bowles at Next Wave Festival


Next Wave Festival

Brooklyn Academy of Music Howard Gilman Opera House

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

September 30 — October 4

Tickets: $20-$55



Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary season, Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company opened BAM’s Next Wave Festival with the spirited A QUARRELING PAIR, a playful multimedia vaudeville show that uses Jane Bowles’s odd two-woman puppet play about isolation and loneliness as its jumping-off point. Emceed by Christopher William Antonio Lancaster, who also leads the live band, the show features burlesque, video, R&B, modern dance, poetry, interrupting cell phones, and more, with the play at its center, as Miss Harriet (Tracy Ann Johnson) and Miss Rhoda (Shayla-Vie Jenkins) have a strange argument about milk and the outside world from behind a screen, the two women seen in silhouette reminiscent of the cutout work of Kara Walker. Some set pieces are more successful than others, lapsing into repetition in the latter parts (and technical snafus on October 2 rendered I-Ling Liu’s horse song inaudible), but several sections are simply glorious, including a stunning dance set to a beautiful version of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” Erick Montes takes a star turn as a drag diva overperforming “History Repeating,” Asli Bulbul has a surprise up her sleeve in “Asli Boom Boom,” and Antonio Brown and Paul Matteson have a ball as “Two Fearsome Gentlemen,” in addition to evocative video projections by associate art director Janet Wong. A mixed bag of mostly entertaining nuttiness, A QUARRELING PAIR is a lot of old-fashioned fun.


Gabe Levine will lead Takka Takka into the Mercury Lounge


Mercury Lounge

217 East Houston St. at Ave. A

Saturday, September 27, $10, 8:00




Hometown boys Takka Takka, who were named after the Roy Lichtenstein 1962 panel that declares, “The exhausted soldiers, sleepless for five and six days at a time, always hungry for decent chow, suffering from the tropical fungus infections, kept fighting!” will be migrating to the Mercury Lounge for a show in support of their latest record, MIGRATION (Ernest Jenning, July 2008), which was produced by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Sean Greenhalgh and features appearances by the National’s Bryan Devendorf, Lee Sargent of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Olga Bell of Bell, and Charles Burst. A thinking person’s band, Takka Takka fills the CD with spacy, ethereal soundscapes (the brief “[The Optimists Were Right]” and the even briefer “The Optimists Were Wrong”), catchy pop (“The Takers”), and even a little funk (“Homebreaker”). “Sometimes this record is about existing in a place you don’t belong. Conversely, it is about where you came from and how you got there,” singer Gabe Levine notes on the band’s MySpace page. Levine, guitarists Rene Planchon and Drew Thurlow, bassist Grady Jurrens, and drummer Conrad Doucette will be on the bill with Brooklyn’s Oxford Collapse (who recently released the much-talked-about BITS on Sub Pop), Grandma’s Boy, and Liquor Store.

Thee Oh Sees should provide awesome vistas in Brooklyn


Saturday, September 27, Awesome Vistas Festival, the Yard, 388-400 Carroll St., 1:00 - 9:00

Sunday, September 28, Death by Audio, 49 South Second St. between Wythe & Kent, 8:00




A true DIY dude, John Dwyer is the lead singer and guitarist of San Francisco psychedelic garage rock band Thee Oh Sees. Dwyer, vocalist Brigid Dawson, guitarist Petey Dammit, and drummer Mike Shoun will be in town for a couple of shows in support of their latest disc, the stellar THE MASTER’S BEDROOM IS WORTH SPENDING THE NIGHT IN (Tomlab, April 2008), which feels like a Nuggets-era soundtrack to a movie that was never made. Thee Oh Sees (a continually changing riff on the OC, Orange County) play it fast and loose, with lots of groovy guitar breaks and high-pitched singing. The album kicks off with “Block of Ice,” a driving mix of Jefferson Airplane filtered through the B-52s. “Quadrospazzed” is filled with fuzzy distortion, while “You Will See This Dog Before You Die” gets downright spacey. Around the middle of the album, things slow down a bit with the appropriately moody “Graveyard Drug Party.” And “Adult Acid” actually has a countryish beat. It all makes for a helluva good time. Thee Oh Sees will be part of the Awesome Vistas Festival on September 27 at the Yard in Brooklyn, where a bunch of bands, primarily from the Bay Area, will be celebrating Chris Johanson’s “Totalities” installation at Deitch Projects on Wooster St. The next night the group will be at Death by Audio with Sic Alps, Ty Segall, Skeletons, Psychothriller, and Zs, several of whom are also part of Awesome Vistas.


The Virgins played a stellar set at the inaugural APW festival


Webster Hall

125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.

Wednesday, October 1, $20, 8:00



Local heroes the Virgins, who scored a coup last year by having a bunch of songs on an episode of GOSSIP GIRL, lit up the All Points West festival this past summer with a solid set of indie pop from their eponymously titled debut album, released by Atlantic in June. Consisting of Donald Cumming, Wade Oates, Nick Zarin-Ackerman, Erik Ratensperger, and Paul Vassallo (Cumming and Oates famously met while modeling for a Ryan McGinley photo shoot), the Virgins will be bringing such tunes as “She’s Expensive,” “Murder,” “Rich Girls,” and “Fernando Pando” to Webster Hall, where they’ll be playing with Black Kids and Magic Wands.

Crooked Fingers goes for all or nothing at Webster Hall


Webster Hall

125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.

October 6-7, $25, 7:00



Former Archer of Loaf Erich Bachmann is taking an unusual route with the new Crooked Fingers album, FORFEIT/FORTUNE (Red Pig/Constant Artists, October 7), making it available online, both as a digital download and special deluxe packages with such extras as a DVD, a bonus track, and a T-shirt, and through a small, select group of twenty indie retailers. The band’s first full release in three years (Bachmann did put out a solo album, TO THE RACES, in 2006), FORFEIT/FORTUNE finds Bachmann experimenting with a bigger sound, horns and strings, and lots of sweet harmonies, from the infectious opening track, “What Never Comes,” through the album closer, “Your Control,” a country-pop duet with Neko Case. In between is the mysterious “Luisa’s Bones,” the Mexican partying of “Phony Revolutions,” the melancholy pining of “Let’s Not Pretend (to Be New Men),” the anthemic “Cannibals,” and the appropriately sinister “Sinisteria.” In the Springsteeen-esque “Modern Dislocations,” Bachmann even flirts with his sound-alike, Neil Diamond. (Bachmann has in the past covered the Boss’s “The River” and Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”) Also helping out on the record, which was produced by Mark Nevers, Alex McManus, and Bachmann, are Silver Jews drummer Brian Kotzur and DeVotchKa violinist Tom Hagerman. Crooked Fingers will be playing October 6 & 7 at Webster Hall, on a bill with Okkervil River and Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature



September 26-28

Admission: free


The twelfth Art Under the Bridge Festival, presented by the Dumbo Arts Center, will feature open studios, site-specific installations, live performances, video projections, and more all over the neighborhood, both indoors and outdoors. Below are only some of the recommended highlights.

Saturday, September 27, 12 noon — 8:00


Sunday, September 28, 12 noon — 6:00 Smack Mellon Open Studios, featuring work by Chitra Ganesh, Wayne Hodge, Jennie C. Jones, Carlos Motta, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and Emcee C.M., Master of None, with an artists’ reception Saturday 5:00 — 8:00, 92 Plymouth St.

© Daniel Domig

Daniel Domig creates new way to display paintings


Jane Kim/ Thrust Projects

114 Bowery between Grand and Hester Sts., third floor

Wednesday through Sunday 12 noon — 6:00

Admission: free



Through October 12 Vienna-based artist Daniel Domig’s second solo exhibition is a fascinating installation of paintings within a wooden structure, examining both the way art and paintings are created as well as how they are viewed

Sana Krasikov will appear at festival


Multiple venues

October 3-5

Tickets: free - $80 (most events $25-$35)


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 Artist’s 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

by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, July 2008, $21.00)

New Yorker Festival

Saturday, October 4, book signing, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves., 1:00

Sunday, October 5, In Conversation with Deborah Treisman, Directors Guild of America, $25, 4:00


Since 1982, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, author of such splendid novels as THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE, NORWEGIAN WOOD, KAFKA ON THE SHORE, and BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN, has been running. In order to keep himself in physical and mental shape as he writes his books, he tries to run at least one hour a day, six days a week, for a total of about 156 miles every month. We know this because he tells us, in great, very specific detail. He might have started running to prevent a midlife paunch, but he has graduated to competing in marathons, triathlons, and even an ultramarathon, in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Japan, Boston, New York, and Greece. But as the title, adapted from Raymond Carver, declares, this is not a book about running. "Instead," Murakami writes, "this is a book in which I’ve gathered my thoughts about what running has meant to me as a person. Just a book in which I ponder various things and think out loud."

Much more breezy memoir than self-help manual, WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING offers a fascinating glimpse inside the mind of one of the world’s finest novelists, although he never ventures too deep. He doesn’t go back to his childhood, examine his relationship with his wife and family, or analyze why he does the things he does and writes the things he writes. But that doesn’t make it any less revealing; although readers will feel like they know Murakami better after finishing the book, they really haven’t learned very much about his life, outside of a few facts here and there and a brief discussion of his days running a jazz bar. Yet his immense skill as a writer makes WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING a must-read for runners and writers — as well as those who don’t run and don’t write. "For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself," Murakami explains. "The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be." Readers of this beautifully written slim tome are sure to feel elevated themselves — even if they’ve never heard of Murakami and absolutely despise running. Murakami will be in town for the New Yorker Festival, holding a book signing on October 4 at 1:00 and being interviewed by Deborah Treisman on October 5 at 4:00.

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

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

Tactical Ice Cream Unit will dish out the goods at armory


Park Ave. Armory

643 Park Ave. at 66th St.

Through September 27, 12 noon — 10:00 pm

Admission: free


"Democracy in America: The National Campaign" has traveled across the country, tracking the art world’s 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.

Wednesday, September 24 Ethics in the Art World, with Brian Holmes, Karen Finley, and GuerillaGirlsBroadBand, 7:00

Thursday, September 25 Open Rant Night, 7:00

Friday, September 26 Cultural Production + Neoliberal Capital, with Pia Lindman (12 noon - 3:00) and live music from So So Glos, Nutria and Taigaa!(6:30 - 10:00)

Saturday, September 27 GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand (1:00 - 3:00), Pia Lindman (3:00 - 6:00), and speeches by Camilo Mejía, David Harvey, W.A.G.E., and Yes Men, 6:00 - 9:00


"Iridescent Sun" is made of products that are part of Japan exhibition


Felissimo Design House

10 West 56th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Monday through Saturday 11:00 am — 6:00 pm through November 1

Admission: free




Felissimo Design House has turned itself over to Japan© in New York, filling its floors with "cool," "cute," "clever," and "creative" home, office, school, fashion, and beauty products from more than seventy Japanese companies, including Sunayama, Kakukei, Nishimura, Shuwa, Otake Sangyo, and Hachiman-Kasei. Everything except what’s on the first floor is available only to the wholesale market, so if you don’t have your own store, you won’t be able to bring home any of the colorful bags, toothbrushes, rice cookers, coffeemakers, chairs, storage units, towels, tools, brushes, sandals, stickers, toys, etc., but it’s still a fun visit. Every week there’s a new theme as the products roll in and out; through September 27, it’s Notes from Japan: The New Stationery, followed by I Love Kawaii (September 29), Secrets of Japanese Beauty (October 6), the Smart Japanese Kitchen (October 13), Taste of Japan (October 20), and the Cherry Tree Auction (October 27). Be sure to check out the "Iridescent Sun" sculpture in the back of the first floor, a hanging ball made from products that are in the exhibition.


Martin E. Segal Theatre

Graduate Center / CUNY

365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St.

Admission: free


Wednesday, September 24


Saturday, September 27 Contemporary and cutting-edge theater including the Air Band, Big Dance Theater, the Builders Association, Raul Vincent Enriquez, FLUXCONCERT, Richard Foreman, Moving Theater, Joyce Cho, Jenny Schwartz, Temporary Distortion, Spotlight Poland, and much more


Diana Al-Hadid’s "Reverse Collider" includes this black hole at Perry Rubenstein through October 9


The Duke on 42nd St.

229 West 42nd St.

Tickets: $25




Wednesday, September 24


Sunday, September 28 Jane Comfort and Company celebrates its thirtieth anniversary season with production directed by Jane Comfort, with text by comfort, music by Joan La Barbara, dramaturgy by Jim Lewis, video design by Jung-Eun Kim, and performed by Jessica Anthony, Leslie Cuyjet, Sean Donovan, Olase Freeman, Lisa Niedermeyer, Peter Sciscioli, and Ellen Smith


MoMA Film

Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

September 24—29

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



Wednesday, September 24


Monday, September 29 STELLET LICHT (SILENT LIGHT) (Carlos Reygadas, 2008)

Wednesday, September 24 MAX (Carlos Reygadas, 1999) and JAPON (Carols Reygadas, 2002), 8:30

Friday, September 26 ORDET (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1954-44), 8:30

Saturday, September 27 MAX (Carlos Reygadas, 1999) and JAPON (Carols Reygadas, 2002), 4:30

Saturday, September 27


Sunday, September 28 ADULTE (Carlos Reygadas, 1998) and BATALLA EN EL CIELO (BATTLE IN HEAVEN) (Carlos Reygadas, 2005), 7:00

Tartan Films

Marcos Hernandez and Anapola Mushkadiz share an unusual relationship

(Carlos Reygadas, 2005)



Mexican auteur Carlos Reygadas follows up his international critical success JAPON with this unusual, unique, controversial drama, which was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes. Marcos Hernandez, who has spent twenty-five years at the Ministry of Culture, where, among other things, he was the driver for Reygadas’s father and their family, stars as Marcos, a driver for a general and his nineteen-year-old daughter, Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz). Marcos keeps Ana’s secret that she works in a brothel (as a form of rebellion), so Marcos shares a secret of his own with Ana, with whom he has a special relationship: That he and his wife (Berta Ruiz) had kidnapped a baby for some money, but the baby has died. Ultimately, Marcos seeks redemption for his many sins, but in the meantime, he moves slowly through his strange world, barely speaking, as if he is in his own reality. The plot is secondary to the compelling — some would say dull and boring — atmosphere Reygadas has created. The movie opens with a graphic sex act, shown in great detail, and includes several other sex scenes as well, and they are far from pornographic (although at least some of them are very real). They contain a significant amount of nudity, and, since Marcos and his wife are both rather obese, the explicit scenes are not necessarily pleasant to watch. To heighten the realism, not only has Reygadas hired nonprofessional actors, but the scenes he shoots on the streets of Mexico City and in the subways are not blocked-off sets; he places his characters in the midst of actual crowds. Although it turns lurid in the end — with a violent act so debasing and unnecessary that it nearly brings down the whole film — BATTLE IN HEAVEN is a very different kind of movie, one that is certainly not for everyone.

Monday, September 29 ORDET (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1954-44), 6:00


Louis Bourgeois’s "Echo" continues at Cheim & Read through November 1



85 Ave. A between Fifth & Sixth Sts.

Tickets: $13-$16 unless otherwise noted



Wednesday, September 24 Baba Zula and belly dancer Lale Sayoko, $20-$25, 9:00

Thursday, September 25 NY Gypsy All-Stars and Balval, 9:00

Friday, September 26 Mames Babaganoush, Eastern Blok, and DJ Dunkelbunt, 9:00

Saturday, September 27 Zlatne Uste Brass Band with belly dancers Dalia Carella and Bhavani Lee and DJs Nohmada, 9:00

Sunday, September 28 Dotschy Reinhardt and Sanda Weigl, 8:00

Tuesday, September 30 Viva Patshiva and Alessandra Belloni & I Giullari Di Piazza, 8:00

Wednesday, October 1 Watcha Clan, Ansambl Mastika, and DJ Derek Beres, 9:00

Thursday, October 2 Romski Boji and Cintron Brothers, 9:00

Friday, October 3 Frank London, Red Baraat Festival, and DJ Joro-Boro, 9:00


New Museum of Contemporary Art

235 Bowery at Prince St.

Free with museum admission but tickets required



Thursday, September 25


Saturday, September 27 Public Seminar 8: Rirkit Tiravanija, details to come, 7:30


Ailey Citigroup Theater

405 West 55th St. at Ninth Ave.

Tickets: $15-$20



Thursday, September 25


Saturday, September 27 Via Dance Collaborative celebrates its fifth anniversary with a new evening-length piece inspired by the work of Surrealist painter Rene Magritte, choreographed by Adrienne Westwood, with projections by Adam Larsen, costumes by Renee Kurz, lighting by Carrie Wood, and special guest dancer Daniel Charon, 8:00


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, September 26 Harlem in the Himalayas: David Ornette Cherry with Ensemble for Improvisors, $18-$20, 7:00

Friday, September 26 Booksigning: MANTRA by Chef Jehangir Mehta, with tastings in the K2 Lounge, free, 8:00

Friday, September 26 CabaretCinema — The Proverbial Pictureshow: BIG NIGHT (Stanley Tucci & Campbell Scott, 1996), introduced by Chef Jehangir Mehta, free with $7 bar minimum, 9:30


The New School, John Tishman Auditorium

66 West 12th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Admission: free but advance registration required at lolitaconference@newschool.edu



Saturday, September 27 All-day symposium including panel discussions, lectures, and a screening of LOLITA (Stanley Kubrick, 1962), with Ellen Pifer, Nina Khrushcheva, Fred Hills, Laura Frost, Dominic Pettman, Leland de la Durantaye, Ron Rosenbaum, and Lila Azam Zanganeh, 10:00 am — 10:00 pm


Housing Works Used Book Café

126 Crosby St. between Houston & Prince Sts.

Admission: free



Saturday, September 27 Fourth annual outdoor event, featuring more than ten thousand books, CDs, DVDs, and other items for a buck apiece, with a food court selling dishes and drinks from Noho Star, Nolita House, Sixpoints Craft Ales, and Puck Fair and $20 all-you-can-stuff bags of clothing and accessories, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Brooklyn Botanic Garden

1000 Washington Ave.

Free with garden admission of $8



Saturday, September 27 Annual celebration of the chile pepper, with lots of spicy food, gardening tips, demonstrations, workshops, and live performances by the Sesame Flyers Steel Pan Orchestra, Sauce Boss, Falu, Semilla, the Rak Rum Thai Dancers, and a family concert with Pete Seeger, Tao Rodríguez Seeger, and Guy Davis, 12 noon - 6:00 pm


Harry Shearer’s "Silent Echo Chamber" runs through October 11 at Susan Inglett Gallery


Ulysses’: A Folk House

58 Stone St.

Admission: free


Saturday, September 27 Annual oyster festival in the Stone Street Historical District, with freshly shucked oysters, pints of Guinness, and live performances by Dan Donnelly, Milo Z, Shilelagh Law, Screaming Orphans, and Mr. North, 12 noon - all night


FDR State Park

2957 Crompond R., Yorktown Heights

Admission: $10 adults, $6 children



Saturday, September 27


Sunday, September 28 Annual festival featuring live song and dance, arts & crafts, food, birds of prey, jewelry, and more, 11:00 am — 7:00 pm


Madison Square Park

Broadway & Madison Ave. and Twenty-third & Twenty-fifth Sts.

Saturday afternoons through October 4

Admission: free



Saturday, September 27 Hungrytown and Peter Mulvey, 3:00

Saturday, October 4 Sally Spring and Amy Speace and the Tearjerks, 3:00


Washington St. between First & Seventh Sts.

Admission: free



Sunday, September 28 Fifteenth annual street festival featuring arts & crafts, a children’s area with petting zoo, food from local restaurants, live performances by Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las, Amy Speace, Mere, Icewagon Flu, Sexpod, Frankie Morales, Philadelphia Funk Authority, Fuzzy Lemons, the Bill Owens Five, and more, 11:00 am — 6:00 pm


Multiple locations

Cost: bibimbap $7, lunch $15, dinner $15 or $25


Monday, September 29


Saturday, October 4 Nineteen Korean restaurants in Manhattan will be serving specially priced lunches and dinners and bibimbap, including Dok Suni, Jeollado, Korea Palace, Persimmon, WonJo, and Woo Chon


Joyce SoHo

155 Mercer St. between Houston & Prince Sts.

Tickets: $20



Tuesday, September 30


Sunday, October 5 A LIGHT CONVERSATION, Joyce commission teaming choreographers Wally Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos, with lighting by Roderick Murray, 8:00


City Center

West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

October 1-5

Tickets: $30-$110



Wednesday, October 1 POLYPHONIA, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, 7:00

Thursday, October 2 New Molnar, choreographed by Emily Molnar, 8:00

Friday, October 3 New Wheeldon, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, 8:00

Saturday, October 4 FOOLS’ PARADISE, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, 2:00

Saturday, October 4 SHUTTERS SHUT, choreographed by Lightfoot Leon, and THE DREAM PAS DE DEUX, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, 8:00

Sunday, October 5 MONOTONES II, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, and New Wheeldon, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, 3:00


Multiple venues

718-931-9500 ext33


Wednesday, October 1


Sunday, October 12 Twelve days of cultural events, including the Bronx Hispanic Festival, the Bronx Biennial Exhibition, the Bronx Culture Trolley (October 1), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (October 2-4), the Viva Bronx Festival (October 5), and BomPlenazo 2008 (October 6-12)


92nd St. Y

1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.



Thursday, October 2 Special educational session, free, 4:00

Thursday, October 2 VIP tribute celebrating Elie Wiesel's eightieth birthday, featuring Barbara Walters, Theodore Bikel, Arthur Gelb, and others, with a Q&A with Wiesel, $40, 8:00


David LaChapelle’s "Auguries of Innocence" runs through October 24 at Tony Shafrazi Gallery


Harlem Stage Gatehouse

Aaron Davis Hall

150 Convent Ave. at West 135th St.

Tickets: $30

212-281-9240 ext19


Thursday, October 2 Celebration of Thelonius Monk with live performances by pianist Jason Moran, Logan Richardson, Ralph Alessi, Tarus Mateen, and Nasheet Watis, video excerpts by David Dempewolf, and a preperformance talk with Glenn Ligon and George E. Lewis, 7:30


Housing Works Used Book Café

126 Crosby St. between Houston & Prince Sts.

Admission: free



Thursday, October 2 The Junior League Band with Erik Lawrence and the Jones Street Boys, 8:00


BAMcinematek, BAM Rose Cinemas

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

October 3-21



Friday, October 3


Thursday, October 9 SIX IN PARIS (PARIS VU PAR) (Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Jean Douchet, Jean-Daniel Pollet, and Jean Rouch, 1965)

Wednesday, October 8 MORE (Barbet Schroeder, 1969), 6:50

Friday, October 10 TERROR’S ADVOCATE (Barbet Schroeder, 2007), 6:15, 9:00

Saturday, October 11 BARFLY (Barbet Schroeder, 1987), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Sunday, October 12 MAÎTRESSE (Barbet Schroeder, 1976), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Monday, October 13 THE GIRL FROM MONCEAU BAKERY (LA BOULANGÈRE DE MONCEAU) (Eric Rohmer, 1963) and SUZANNE’S CAREER (LA CARRIÈRE DE SUZANNE) (Eric Rohmer, 1976), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Tuesday, October 14 BEFORE AND AFTER (Barbet Schroeder, 1996), 4:30, 9:30

Tuesday, October 14 REVERSAL OF FORTUNE (Barbet Schroeder, 1990), introduced by producer Ed Pressman, 6:50

Wednesday, October 15 THE VALLEY (LA VALLÉE) (Barbet Schroeder, 1972), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Thursday, October 16 CHINESE ROULETTE (R.W. Fassbinder, 1976), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Friday, October 17 INJU, THE BEAST IN THE SHADOW (Barbet Schroeder, 2008), followed by a Q&A with Barbet Schroeder, 7:30

Saturday, October 18 GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA (Barbet Schroeder, 1974), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Sunday, October 19 KOKO, THE TALKING GORILLA (Barbet Schroeder, 1978), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Monday, October 20 OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS (Barbet Schroeder, 2000), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Tuesday, October 21 MURDER BY NUMBERS (Barbet Schroeder, 2002), 4:30, 9:15

Tuesday, October 21 SINGLE WHITE FEMALE (Barbet Schroeder, 1992), 6:50


Brooklyn Museum of Art

200 Eastern Parkway

Free after 5:00 (*requires advance free tickets available a few hours before showtime)



*Saturday, October 4 Performance: Kate Bornstein, "On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us," followed by discussion, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, fourth floor, 6:00

Saturday, October 4 Music: Rude Mechanical Orchestra, public plaza, 5:00 — 7:00

Saturday, October 4 Music: Mark Yodice, Opsvik & Jennings, Christy & Emily, and Brazz Tree, Hall of the Americas, 6:00 — 9:00

*Saturday, October 4 Dance: Brian Brooks Moving Company and Creative Outlet Dance Theater, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, 6:30

*Saturday, October 4 Artist Talk: Gilbert and George lead tour of their new exhibit, Rotunda Gallery, fifth floor, 7:00

*Saturday, October 4 Film: 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE (Michael Winterbottom, 2002), Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, third floor, 8:30

Saturday, October 4 Dance Party, the Rubin Pavillion, first floor, with DJ Andrew Andrew, 9:00 — 11:00

Saturday, October 4 Special Salsa Dance Party, Beaux-Arts Court, third floor, with Trombori, 9:00 — 11:00


The Delancey

168 Delancey St. between Clinton & Attorney Sts.




Saturday, October 4 Herman the Great (8:00), audn (9:00), the Soundscapes (10:00), beat radio (11:00), and Quiet Loudly (12 midnight)


Atlantic Ave. between Hicks St. & Fourth Ave.

Admission: free


Sunday, October 5 Thirty-fourth annual street festival, featuring live music, children’s activities, food from local restaurants, vendors, belly-dancing, and more, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Boerum Pl. between State St. & Atlantic Ave.

Admission: free




Sunday, October 5 Fifteenth annual celebration, featuring vehicles, guided tours, workshops for children, free admission to the museum, and more, as part of the Atlantic Antic festival, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Highline Ballroom

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

Tickets: $50



Monday, October 6 Third annual event featuring live performances by Debbie Harry, Lissy Trullie, Jesse Malin, Goonsquad, Bloody Social, Earl Greyhound, and Adam Green, with DJs Moby and J.D. Samson, hosted by Adam Horovitz and Gina Gershon, sponsored by Rational Animal and the ASPCA, with proceeds benefiting ten animal rescue groups working with the Mayor’s Alliance, 7:00


Gallagher’s Steak House

228 West 52nd St.

Fee: $24 (includes tax and tip)

212-245-5336 ext208



Tuesday, October 7 Sports dinner for those sixty and older, with special guests Rod Gilbert, Vic Hadfield, Ron Greschner, and speaker Ed Koch

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