twi-ny, this week in new york

Midtown Walk of the Week


1. Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Georges Seurat, Martin Puryear, Joan Blondell, Giuseppe De Santis, Lucian Freud, and Pop Burgers in Midtown

2. Water, mythical creatures, marionettes, Belvedere, and Rembrandt uptown

3. The annual Times Arts & Leisure Weekend expands to a full week

4. Otto Preminger, Charlie Chaplin, and Chuck Close at Film Forum


6. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including Alvin Ailey at City Center, European street artists in Chelsea, Adrian Tomine at Giant Robot, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER season 8 in trade paperback, and the Japanese horror novel NOW YOU’RE ONE OF US

7. and twi-ny’s weekly recommended events, including book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, workshops, and lots of holiday and New Year’s Eve programs

Volume 7, Number 29
December 19, 2007 — January 9, 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


The Lever House Art Collection

390 Park Ave. at 54th St.

Through February 9

Admission: free


school slideshow

Lever House owner Aby Rosen paid $10 million for Damien Hirst’s latest site-specific installation, a bizarre school of anatomy located in the lobby gallery that looks out on Park Ave. in Midtown. "School: The Archaeology of Lost Desires, Comprehending Infinity, and the Search for Knowledge," which pays homage to such influential artists as René Magritte, Dan Flavin, Francis Bacon, Joseph Cornell, and Andy Warhol, consists of thirty formaldehyde-filled horizontal tanks on gurneys, arranged in three rows containing the head and body of twenty-nine skinned sheep — all branded with the word "Hirst" — and one complete shark. Each tank is illuminated by fluorescent lighting and has an IV drip going into its preserved body, as if injecting life into its soulless remains. The shark, however, looms ominously in the back, surrounded by a science notebook and various cutting instruments, as if it is responsible for the beheadings. Hirst has said that the shark is a symbol of individuality; it can be seen here also as the black sheep of the school, fighting against conformity. In addition, a small tree rises above it, as if the shark tank is the root of life.


Damien Hirst creates a very different kind of school at Lever House

At the front of the class, a twelve-foot-high vertical tank acts as the professor, with its own professorial hat and cane; at its heart is a dove in a birdcage suspended from the handle of an umbrella and balancing on an empty chair, with two huge flanks of beef on either side and sausage links hovering near the top. The double-sided chalkboard in the back contains a mathematical equation that repeats the word "repeat" and says, "The computer keeps going until it reaches an answer"; at the bottom it fails to give any result to a question about turning one grain of rice into ten million grams, again evoking not only the individual against conformity but even what Rosen paid for the work. Next to the chalkboard, a dunce cap rests on a cage holding two live birds. The room also holds a series of medicine cabinets loaded with prescription drugs, a clock above each case running backward. Meanwhile, just outside on the plaza, Hirst’s dazzling "Virgin Mother" stands in its usual place, her skin torn from one side of her body, almost as if she has given birth to this monstrous scene, which is continually monitored by guards on the lookout for animal activists. The controversial and provocative "School" can also be read as a commentary on American corporate society; just as the teacher and students are all encased in glass, the Lever House gallery itself is a glass-enclosed structure where businesspeople wander through every Monday through Friday, workers on their way to the office much like sheep to the slaughter. (Hirst fans should also check out "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," a re-created version of Hirst’s original 1992 shark in a tank, which is on loan to the Met for three years.)

In the Neighborhood


Lucas offers tourists a new kind of horse and carriage at Central Park entrance


Public Art Fund Projects

Scholars’ Gate at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Fifth Ave. at 60th St.

Through May 1

Admission: free



perceval slideshow

Along with Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas was part of the Young British Artists movement in England in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The YBAs experimented with different materials and media in creating controversial installations that provoked the viewer with their openness and lack of subtlety. (In the spring of 2004, Lucas and Hirst teamed up with Angus Fairhurst for the memorable "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" exhibition at London’s Tate Gallery.) Just a few blocks northwest of Damien Hirst’s "School" at Lever House, Lucas has trotted in "Perceval," a bronze rendering of a Shire horse carrying a cart loaded with two giant marrow squashes made of cement. The work, which weighs five tons and measures seven and a half feet tall and thirteen feet long, immediately refers to the nearby horse-drawn carriages that take visitors through Central Park, but as with most of Lucas’s oeuvre, it is layered with meaning. (Could she be implying that tourists are pod people?) The name itself, "Perceval," which has been memorialized by T. S. Eliot, Richard Wagner, and other writers and composers, conjures one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, who searched for the Holy Grail. (Terry Gilliam modernized the legend in THE FISHER KING, much of which took place in Central Park.) The Shire horse itself, called the Great Horse in medieval times, is still used today in British ceremonies and processions. Thus, there it sits, at a ritzy Central Park entrance laden with tourists, bringing together the past and the present, legend and fact, in confusing and captivating ways. Lucas also is represented at MoMA’s "Multiplex" exhibit by "Oh! Soldier," her 2005 piece made of braces, wire hanger, cast concrete army boots, and nylon stockings.

Photo: John Wronn, Digital Imaging Studio, MoMA

Georges Seurat, "At the Concert Européen," conté crayon and gouache on paper, ca. 1886-88


Museum of Modern Art

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

The International Council of the Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor

Through January 7

Admission: $20 (includes same-day film screening)

Fridays free from 4:00 to 8:00



Despite his short life — he died in 1891 at the age of thirty-one — Georges Seurat left behind a remarkable legacy. One of the first Neo-Impressionists and the inventor of pointillism, Seurat employed a revolutionary use of color in general and light and dark specifically. “Georges Seurat: The Drawings” consists of more than one hundred of the Parisian artist’s drawings, in addition to several dozen oil sketches and paintings. Applying conté crayon to Michallet paper — which has a textured grid pattern — Seurat developed a unique way to create a glowing halo effect he called “irradiation.” He used this method in both portraits and landscapes, differentiating between the clothing in “Woman with Two Little Girls,” allowing the sun to peer through the background of “Along the Path,” and eliciting quiet emotion in “The Artist’s Mother” and “Embroidery (The Artist’s Mother).” The exhibit features a fascinating look into the creation of his masterpiece “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” with more than a dozen conté crayon studies of various characters and a small oil painting of the scene, devoid of people. Seurat’s café-concert drawings and studies for his “Models” series and “Bathing Place, Asnieres” are also examined. Interestingly, some of the studies were done after the paintings were finished, as he continued to experiment with method. Four of Seurat’s sketchbooks are on view as well, digitized so visitors can check out every page.


Martin Puryear, "Ladder for Booker T. Washington," ash and maple, 1996


The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor

Through January 14


When you first walk into MoMA’s Martin Puryear retrospective, you might think you’ve accidentally wandered into the American Folk Art Museum next door. But not only are you in the right place, you are in for a wonderful treat. Organized by John Elderfield, the exhibition consists of nearly four dozen sculptures spread over two floors. Born in Washington, DC, in 1941, Puryear made guitars before diving completely into the art world; that skill is evident in many of the pieces on view. Puryear works primarily with wood, creating offbeat and unusual objects that fall somewhere between abstraction and representational, between conceptual and practical, displaying a deft handmade craftsmanship. As you make your way through the exhibit, get up close and personal with the pieces, looking at them from all sides and angles, marveling at how they are put together, wondering whether some of them are hollow or solid inside or just how Puryear got the wood to bend into certain shapes. Only after that should you read the titles, which will add yet another dimension while increasing the mystery.

A twisted ladder with shrinking rungs reaches up to the heavens — while not touching the ground. Works suggest both surreal animals and poles, chains, levers, and boats. If the huge wheel in “Desire” were to start moving, it would merely travel in circles. The Ring series consists of impossibly rounded pieces of wood, each one different from the next. Wire mesh and tar, seemingly sloppily applied, lay bear certain aspects of the artist’s creative process in such works as “Confessional” and “Maroon,” which offers visitors the opportunity to see if anyone is still inside. “C.F.A.O.” is among Puryear’s most intriguing sculptures, featuring a large face resembling an African mask peering out from the front of dozens of stacked pieces of wood sitting atop a wheelbarrow. Don’t rush through “Martin Puryear”; the more you invest in it, the more you’ll get out of it, but you’ll never be able to put all the pieces together. “I think there are a number of levels at which my work can be dealt with and appreciated,” Puryear said in 1978, as noted in the exhibition’s wall text. “It gives me great pleasure to feel there’s a level that doesn’t require knowledge of, or immersion in, the aesthetic of a specific time and place.” The catalog includes several essays and an interview with the artist that, while fascinating, even further complicate explicit understanding.

Tuesday, January 8 Panel Discussions & Symposia: Martin Puryear, with David Levi-Strauss, Judith Russi Kirshner, and Terry Winters, $5-$10, Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2, 6:30

Collection Roy and Cecily Langdale Davis

Lucian Freud, “Bella,” oil on canvas, 1981


Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor

Through March 10


One of Sigmund Freud’s grandchildren, artist Lucian Freud has been creating his own fascinating world on paper and canvas for more than sixty years. His somewhat disturbing take on reality — and more specifically, the relationship between his paintings and his etchings — is the subject of a tantalizing new exhibit at MoMA. Comprising twenty-one paintings, five drawings, and sixty-eight of the eighty-two etchings he has completed (six from 1946-48 and the rest from 1982 to the present), the show delves into Freud’s technique and his choice of subjects. (There are also three etching plates set up at an angle, displaying how Freud worked on them, as if they were canvases on an easel.) The people who sit for him are primarily friends and family members, including his mother; his daughter, Bella; his lawyer, Lord Arnold Goodman; and his whippet, Pluto. Whereas a beautiful 1981 painting of Bella shows her resting, deep in thought, her arms crossed, with brushstrokes coming and going in all different directions, several 1982 etchings focus on her head, with less detail but a careful linear style that results in just as strong an emotional impact. Another favorite subject, performance artist Leigh Bowery, appears in a stunning group of portraits emphasizing his large physical stature and bald pate, including a gentle 1991 oil painting in which his head is turned awkwardly on his shoulder, and “Reclining Figure,” a 1994 etching and drypoint based on the earlier oils “Leigh on a Green Sofa” and “Leigh in Taffeta Skirt,” yet for the etching, Freud has zoomed in on Bowery’s head and fingers, getting right in the viewer’s face.

In addition to his “Portrait Heads,” the exhibit features many of Freud’s startling “Naked Portraits,” in which men and women open themselves up to the artist, not necessarily posing in the most flattering of positions but giving Freud the opportunity to capture their inner reality, the truth he was after. His most recent pieces, dating from 2005 to 2007, feature dressed men seen from the shoulders up, usually looking straight ahead, uncomfortably; in the 2006 etching “The Painter’s Doctor,” the man gazes downward, as if in shame. Freud spends many months, and sometimes more than a year, on each piece, returning to them again and again, almost as if they are patients of his and he their doctor, attempting to get into their psyche and free their troubled souls. In his earliest etchings, from the 1940s, a bird is trapped in a tiny cage, and a girl hides her face behind a fig leaf; some sixty years later, Freud’s subjects might still be hiding, but are doing so now in plain sight.

Tuesday, January 15 Panel Discussions & Symposia: Lucian Freud, with Robert Hughes, $5-$10, Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2, 6:30


Martin Kipperberg, "Martin, Stand in the Corner and Be Ashamed of Yourself," cast aluminum, clothing, and iron plate, 1990



Along with the exhibits focusing on Georges Seurat, Martin Puryear, and Lucian Freud, there’s much more to see at MoMA; here are just a few of our recommendations: "RAW-WAR" has been extended through March 31 in the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery on the second floor, comprising multimedia works by Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and Jonathan Horowitz. "Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now" is a wide-ranging exhibit in the second-floor Contemporary Galleries, featuring inventive works by Daniel Buren, Elizabeth Murray, Bill Viola, Nancy Spero, Louise Bourgeois, Philip Guston, Lynda Benglis, John Baldessari, and dozens more, divided into three themes: Abstractions, Mutability, and Provocation. And "New Photography 2007" turns its focus on Tanyth Berkeley, Scott McFarland, and Berni Seale through January 1 on the third floor.

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Ernie Gehr, "Panoramas of the Moving Image: Mechanical Slides and Dissolving Views from Nineteenth-Century Magic Lantern Shows" (detail), digital video, silent, fifteen-minute loop, 2005


Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters unless otherwise noted

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

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



Whether you’re going downstairs at MoMA to catch one of the ongoing festivals or not, you should take a few minutes to check out "Panoramas of the Moving Image: Mechanical Slides from Nineteenth-century Magic Lantern Shows." Curated by filmmaker Ernie Gehr, the exhibit includes memorabilia, paraphernalia, and a five-screen video installation of original magic lantern slides, with Gehr showing how they actually work.

Wednesday, December 19 Still Moving: KIKI (Clarence Brown, 1926), with organ accompaniment by Ben Model, Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Wednesday, December 19 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — BLONDE CRAZY. (Roy Del Ruth, 1931), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 6:00

Wednesday, December 19 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (Elia Kazan, 1945), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 8:00

Thursday, December 20 Still Moving: KIKI (Clarence Brown, 1926), with organ accompaniment by Ben Model, Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Thursday, December 20 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — BLONDIE JOHNSON (Ray Enright, 1933), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 6:00

Thursday, December 20 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — NIGHTMARE ALLEY (Edmund Goulding, 1947), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 8:00

Friday, December 21 Still Moving: KIKI (Clarence Brown, 1926), with organ accompaniment by Ben Model, Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Friday, December 21 Collaborations in the Collection: GUNGA DIN (George Stevens, 1939), 6:00

Faces Distributing Corp/Photofest

Joan Blondell shows she’s one tough lady at film fest

Friday, December 21 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — FOOTLIGHT PARADE (Lloyd Bacon, 1933), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 6:00

Friday, December 21 Collaborations in the Collection: WUTHERING HEIGHTS (William Wyler, 1939), 8:30

Friday, December 21 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THE BLUE VEIL (Curtis Bernhardt, 1951), introduced by Matthew Kennedy, 8:30

Saturday, December 22 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — BLONDE CRAZY. (Roy Del Ruth, 1931), 2:00

Saturday, December 22 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — BLONDIE JOHNSON (Ray Enright, 1933), 4:00

Sunday, December 23 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — NIGHTMARE ALLEY (Edmund Goulding, 1947), 2:00

Saturday, December 22 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — FOOTLIGHT PARADE (Lloyd Bacon, 1933), 6:00

Saturday, December 22 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — NIGHT NURSE (William A. Wellman, 1931), 8:15

Sunday, December 23 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THE BLUE VEIL (Curtis Bernhardt, 1951), 4:30

Wednesday, December 26 Still Moving: FINDING NEVERLAND (Marc Forster, 2004), Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Wednesday, December 26 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THREE ON A MATCH (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932), 6:00

Wednesday, December 26 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THE KING AND THE CHORUS GIRL (Mervyn LeRoy, 1937), 7:30

Thursday, December 27 Still Moving: FINDING NEVERLAND (Marc Forster, 2004), Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Thursday, December 27 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN (Alexander Hall, 1938), 6:00

Thursday, December 27 Giuseppe De Santis: GIORNI DI GLORIA (DAYS OF GLORY) (Giuseppe De Santis, 1945), 6:00

Thursday, December 27 Giuseppe De Santis: GIORNI D’AMORE (DAYS OF LOVE) (Giuseppe De Santis, 1954), 8:00

Thursday, December 27 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THREE GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (Leigh Jason, 1941), 8:00

Friday, December 28 Still Moving: FINDING NEVERLAND (Marc Forster, 2004), Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Friday, December 28 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — LIZZIE (Hugo Haas, 1957), 6:00

Friday, December 28 Giuseppe De Santis: ROMA ORE 11 (ROME 11 O’CLOCK) (Giuseppe De Santis, 1952), 6:00

Friday, December 28 Giuseppe De Santis: NON C’È PACE TRA GLI ULIVI (NO PEACE UNDER THE OLIVE TREES), (Giuseppe De Santis, 1950), 8:30

Friday, December 28 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN (Alexander Hall, 1938), 8:00

Saturday, December 29 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — NIGHT NURSE (William A. Wellman, 1931), 2:00

Saturday, December 29 Giuseppe De Santis: RISO AMARO (BITTER RICE). (Giuseppe De Santis, 1949), 2:00

Saturday, December 29 Giuseppe De Santis: GIUSEPPE DE SANTIS (Carlo Lizzani, 2007), 4:30

Saturday, December 29 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THREE ON A MATCH (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932), 4:00

Saturday, December 29 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — OPENING NIGHT (John Cassavetes, 1977), 5:30

Sunday, December 30 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — LIZZIE (Hugo Haas, 1957), 2:00

Sunday, December 30 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THREE GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (Leigh Jason, 1941), 4:00

Museum of Modern Art

Giuseppe De Santis is celebrated at MoMA film fest

Sunday, December 30 Giuseppe De Santis: CACCIA TRAGICA (A TRAGIC HUNT) (Giuseppe De Santis, 1946), 4:30

Monday, December 31 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — OPENING NIGHT (John Cassavetes, 1977), 4:30

Monday, December 31 Joan Blondell: The Bombshell from Ninety-first Street — THE KING AND THE CHORUS GIRL (Mervyn LeRoy, 1937), 7:15

Tuesday, January 1 Still Moving: Three Technicolor Popeye Shorts — POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR (Dave Fleischer, 1936), POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS ALI BABA'S FORTY THIEVES (Dave Fleischer, 1937), and ALADDIN AND HIS WONDERFUL LAMP (Dave Fleischer, 1939), 2:00

Tuesday, January 1 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: ELECTION (Alexander Payne, 1999), 3:30

Tuesday, January 1 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: WEDDING PRESENT (Richard Wallace, 1936), 5:00

Wednesday, January 2 Still Moving: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Lou Bunin, 1948), 6:00

Wednesday, January 2 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: NEVER FEAR (THE YOUNG LOVERS) (Ida Lupino, 1950), 6:15

Wednesday, January 2 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: THE INNOCENTS (Jack Clayton, 1961), 8:00

Thursday, January 3 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: MY ARCHITECT (Nathaniel Kahn, 2003), 6:00

Thursday, January 3 Still Moving: WALLACE & GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (Steve Box & Nick Park, 2005), 6:00

Thursday, January 3 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: SONG AND SOLITUDE (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2006), THRENODY (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2003-04), and THE VISITATION (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2002), 8:15

Thursday, January 3 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (John Madden, 1998), 8:30

Friday, January 4 Still Moving: A BUG’S LIFE (John Lasseter, 1998), 6:00

Friday, January 4 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: BIRD (Clint Eastwood, 1988), 7:30

Friday, January 4 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: NECROLOGY (Standish Lawder, 1970) and STEREO (David Cronenberg, 1969), 8:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: WEDDING PRESENT (Richard Wallace, 1936), 2:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: NECROLOGY (Standish Lawder, 1970) and STEREO (David Cronenberg, 1969), 3:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: NEVER FEAR (THE YOUNG LOVERS) (Ida Lupino, 1950), 4:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: SONG AND SOLITUDE (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2006), THRENODY (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2003-04), and THE VISITATION (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2002), 5:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: FAHRENHEIT 451 (François Truffaut, 1966), 6:00

Saturday, January 5 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: THE HIRE: Ambush (John Frankenheimer, 2001), Chosen (Ang Lee, 2001), The Follow (Wong Kar-Wai, 2001), Star (Guy Ritchie, 2001), Powder Keg (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2001), Hostage (John Woo, 2002), Ticker (Joe Carnahan, 2002), and Beat the Devil (Tony Scott, 2002), 7:00


Saturday, January 5, 7:00

Monday, January 7, 8:30


BMW originally made this series to be shown on the Internet, but MoMA will be playing it on the big screen as part of its "Still Moving" program — and boy, do these films move. The short films star Clive Owen as a driver who must make special, dangerous pickups and deliveries, always in a fabulous BMW. The films are directed by John Frankenheimer (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, 1962), Ang Lee (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, 2000), Wong Kar-Wai (CHUNGKING EXPRESS, 1995), Guy Ritchie (SNATCH, 2000), John Woo (HARD BOILED, 1992), Joe Carnahan (NARC, 2002), Tony Scott (THE HUNGER, 1983), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (BABEL, 2006). This might be one big, expensive car commercial, but it’s also a lot of fun to watch.

Sunday, January 6 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: THE INNOCENTS (Jack Clayton, 1961), 2:00

Sunday, January 6 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: ELECTION (Alexander Payne, 1999), 2:30

Sunday, January 6 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Julie Dash, 1991), 4:30

Sunday, January 6 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (John Madden, 1998), 5:00

Monday, January 7 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: FAHRENHEIT 451 (François Truffaut, 1966), 6:00

Monday, January 7 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Julie Dash, 1991), 6:00

Monday, January 7 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: MY ARCHITECT (Nathaniel Kahn, 2003), 8:30

Monday, January 7 Still Moving: Special New Year's Edition, 2008: THE HIRE: Ambush (John Frankenheimer, 2001), Chosen (Ang Lee, 2001), The Follow (Wong Kar-Wai, 2001), Star (Guy Ritchie, 2001), and Powder Keg (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2001), Hostage (John Woo, 2002), Ticker (Joe Carnahan, 2002), and Beat the Devil (Tony Scott, 2002), 8:30

Wednesday, January 9 Still Moving: Three Technicolor Popeye Shorts -- POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR (Dave Fleischer, 1936), POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS ALI BABA'S FORTY THIEVES (Dave Fleischer, 1937), and ALADDIN AND HIS WONDERFUL LAMP (Dave Fleischer, 1939), Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Center, 1:30


PoP Burger has just popped up on 58th Street


14 East 58th St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.



New York City can never have too many good burger joints. Following the success of his first PoP Burger in the Meatpacking District, Roy Liebenthal has just opened his second location, in the heart of Midtown. The new PoP is wedged into a narrow space on East Fifty-eighth St., right next to Bergdorf Goodman and across the street from FAO Schwarz. Whereas the downtown spot is horizontal (with a fancier restaurant in back) and highlights artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Midtown PoP is vertical, comprising three floors (with a bar and lounge on the second floor and a pool table on the third) and celebrating the work of Basquiat’s mentor, Andy Warhol. Although there might be Campbell soup cans lining the walls of the first-floor seating area, there is no soup on the menu, but there are excellent mini-burgers, which come two to an order for five bucks (with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and Pop sauce) and arrive in a box. A side of thick, crispy fries is a must, although they serve onion rings as well. PoP Burger also makes a fine fried shrimp sandwich, the breaded shrimp flattened across a large bun, along with grilled chicken, the Invisible Burger (portobello mushroom, for vegetarians), hot dogs, shakes, cupcakes, chocolate-chip cookies, and a few other items. (In addition, both restaurants have a ritzier dinner menu.) Designed by architect Ali Tayar, the building features a retro facade of rounded windows that gives the appearance of a huge wall of bubble wrap, just ripe for the popping.

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Uptown Walk of the Week


Exhibition clears up all the fog about water


American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West & 79th St.

Through May 6

Timed tickets: $22 adults, $14 children, includes museum admission



While there may be water, water everywhere, most people do not know that less than one percent of the world’s water can actually be used by people. With the growing concern over global warming and climate change, the American Museum of Natural History has chosen an excellent time to delve into the mysteries of water in this engaging interactive exhibition. Divided into such sections as "Life in Water," "Blue Planet," "Not a Drop," and "Restoring Ecosystems," the display features photographs, live fish and models, a nearly fifteen-hundred-year-old section of water pipe, videos, and dioramas to share fascinating facts about one of life’s most critical ingredients. Along the way you’ll learn about how the Texas horned lizard stores water on its back; stand on a scale and find out how much water is inside your body; find out how the need for water has impacted China and its Three Gorges Dam project and the people who live on the Tonle Sap in Cambodia; take an enlightening quiz; delve into the growth of bottled water; and follow the path of New York City water as it gets to your faucet and then goes down the drain. The surface of the remarkable Science on a Sphere, a sixty-eight-inch globe hanging in the middle of one room, morphs into a series of colorful maps and satellite images of Earth that detail the past, present, and future of water.


Science on a Sphere shares colorful facts and figures about water

The exhibit takes you from an aerial view of the planet to the depths of the ocean floor, teaching you about Pearse’s mudskipper, aquifers, water’s effect on specific crops, different types of containers, filtration devices, wind power, play pumps, and waterborne diseases such as cholera. It also takes you back through Mesopotamia while looking at a troubling future for the River Ganges, the Mississippi River Delta, and California’s Mono Lake and its Tufa Towers. There are also plenty of frightening statistics about water; for example, it notes, "Today, more than a billion people still cannot get enough safe drinking water to keep them healthy." Finally, it gives everyone a mission: "Conserve water in your home and fight water pollution!" The aquatic adventure continues in the Water Shop and the Water Café.

Saturday, January 12 Living in America: Rivers of Life, Kaufmann and Linder Theaters, free with museum admission, 12 noon — 5:00 pm

Saturday, January 12 Water Saturday: Water on Mars?, $30 per child with adult, ages four to six at 11:00 am, ages seven to nine at 1:30

Wednesday, January 16 Global Kitchen: Watering Our Breadbasket, with Fred Kirschenmann and Peter Hoffman, Linder Theater, $45, 6:30

Saturday, January 19 Living in America: Rivers of Life, Kaufmann and Linder Theaters, free with museum admission, 12 noon — 5:00 pm

Saturday, January 19 Water Saturday: Hydrology Workshop, $30 per child with adult, ages four to six at 11:00 am, ages seven to nine at 1:30

Saturday, January 26 Living in America: Rivers of Life, Kaufmann and Linder Theaters, free with museum admission, 12 noon — 5:00 pm

Saturday, January 26 Water Saturday: The Properties of Water, $30 per child with adult, ages four to six at 11:00 am, ages seven to nine at 1:30


Diorama displays life on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap

Friday, February 1


Sunday, February 3 International Polar Weekend, with an interactive fair, film screenings, science lectures, and more, Kaufmann and Linder Theaters and Grand Gallery, free with museum admission

Saturday, February 2 Water Saturday: Groundwater and the Water Cycle, $30 per child with adult, ages four to six at 11:00 am, ages seven to nine at 1:30

Tuesday, February 5 Tuesdays in the Dome: Virtual Universe: Water Planets, Hayden Planetarium Space Theater, $15, 6:30

Saturday, February 9 Wild, Wild World: Extreme Living, with Darrel Frost and Chad Peeling, Linder Theater, $8-$10, 12 noon and 2:00

Sunday, February 10 Dr. Nebula’s Laboratory: Water Works, Kaufmann Theater, $8-$10, 2:00

Monday, February 18


Friday, February 22 AMNH Camp: Water, for children entering second or third grade, 9:00 am — 4:00 pm, $425


The Origami Holiday Tree celebrates the season at natural history museum





If you’ve never been to the American Museum of Natural History (shame on you!), be prepared for a daylong treat for the senses. There’s an amazing amount of things to see and do, both in the permanent collection and the special exhibits. Through January 6, "Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids" introduces visitors to such mythological creatures as the kraken, Quetzalcoatl, Mami Wata, Chupacabra, the Greek Sphinx, Yawkyawk, the Garuda, the Yeti, and others, discussing their origins as well as where the myths might have come from, comparing them to actual living animals of the time. This year’s Origami Holiday Tree features cutout paper versions of some of these monsters; it will remain up in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall through January 1. Although it’s hard to find, off in the rarely traveled lobby by the IMAX theater, "Beyond" consists of dozens of fabulous full-color photographs of Venus, Europa, Io, and Mars, compiled and produced by Michael Benson. Unfortunately, some of the wall copy has been disintegrating; the exhibit continues through April 6. The theater is currently home to DINOSAURS ALIVE!, a Gigantic Adventure narrated by Michael Douglas. One of our favorite parts of the museum is the Butterfly Conservatory, which will hold "Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter" through May 26; inside the glassed-in space, butterflies flutter about, landing on your heads and arms, sucking food through their proboscis, and hatching before your very eyes. And the Hayden Planetarium is screening COSMIC COLLISIONS, a stunning 3-D show narrated by Robert Redford that transports audiences into outer space, where they first witness the exciting birth of the moon and go deep inside the sun, watching the development of solar storms.

In the Neighborhood


Frederick Law Olmsted brought cottage to Central Park in 1877


Central Park at 79th St. & the West Drive

Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 am and 12 noon

Saturday and Sunday, 1:00

Tickets: adults $6, children $5, advance reservations required




Instead of heading right into the subway after your visit to the American Museum of Natural History, experience yet more history in Central Park, which is right across the street. Your travels will begin with the Swedish Cottage, where master builder Addis Williams has created brand-new handmade marionettes for the cottage’s current production of PIPPI, adapted by Zakiyyah Alexander from Astrid Lindgren’s original adventures of Pippi Longstocking. It’s worth visiting just to check out the cottage itself. After first seeing the cottage, which was originally built in Sweden, at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, Central Park mastermind Frederick Law Olmsted brought it to New York the following year. It has been hosting the marionette theater troupe since 1939.


Shakespeare Garden was dedicated to the Bard in 1916


Central Park between 79th & 80th Sts. & the West Drive

Admission: free



As far as we can tell, Shakespeare didn’t write any puppet-theater plays, but who knows? Restored and expanded in 1987, the Shakespeare Garden sits on four uphill acres on Vista Rock, right next to the Swedish Cottage. In 1916, upon the three hundredth anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the garden was dedicated to the Bard, whose plays are put on every summer in the nearby Delacorte Theater. As you wind your way through the holly and Eastern hemlocks, you’ll come upon four plaques that include appropriate Shakespeare quotes, including the following one from AS YOU LIKE IT: "Most friendship is feigning, moss loving mere folly. Then heigh-ho the holly! This life is moss jolly."


Belvedere Castle nestles high atop Vista Rock


Central Park

Midpark at 79th St.

Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am — 5:00 pm

Admission: free




Designed as a Victorian folly by Central Park-itect Calvert Vaux in 1872 and incorporating several styles (Gothic, Roman), this splendid castle was named after the Italian word for "beautiful view," belvedere. And indeed, it offers spectacular views of the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, and Turtle Pond. Restored in 1982 and with further work done in 1995, Belvedere Castle, which sits at the top of Vista Rock, is home to the New York Meteorological Observatory, which records the official weather in Central Park, as well as to the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, a haven for park naturalists. The main entrance, which features a mythic creature (dragon) over the doorway, leads to winding stairs that take you to the top of the tower. It is also one of the park’s primary bird-watching facilities.


Admission: free


Thursday, December 20 Stargazing and Storytelling, guided tour of the night sky with members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, bring your own binoculars and telescopes, Belvedere Castle, 212-860-1370, 7:00 — 9:00

Saturday, December 22


Sunday, December 23 Meet Saint Nicholas, Belvedere Castle, 212-860-1370, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

Sunday, December 23 Ornament-making: Christmas crafts workshop with pinecones, Belvedere Castle, 212-860-1370, 2:00 — 4:00

Wednesday, December 26 Kwanzaa Crafts, with storytelling by Mary Ann Napolitano, Chess & Checkers House, midpark at 65th St., 12 noon - 3:00

Thursday, December 27 Hanukkah Crafts, with storytelling by Mary Ann Napolitano, Chess & Checkers House, midpark at 65th St., 12 noon - 3:00

Thursday, December 27 Kinara making, with the Museum for African Art, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the park at 110th St. between Fifth & Lenox Aves., 12 noon - 3:00

Sunday, December 27 Kwanzaa Storytelling, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the park at 110th St. between Fifth & Lenox Aves., 212-860-1370, 6:30

Friday, December 28 Christmas Crafts, with storytelling by Mary Ann Napolitano, Chess & Checkers House, midpark at 65th St.

Sunday, December 30 The Story of Kwanzaa, with the Museum for African Art, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the park at 110th St. between Fifth & Lenox Aves., 212-860-1370, 12 noon

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Marquand Collection

Johannes Vermeer, "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher,"
oil on canvas, ca. 1662


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Special Exhibitions Galleries, second floor

1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.

Through January 6

Closed Monday

Recommended admission: $20



As you continue east through Central Park, you’ll soon find yourself behind the majestic Met. You have only a few weeks left to see "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," which comprises 174 Dutch works, dating from approximately 1600 to 1800, arranged somewhat chronologically in order of their acquisition by the museum. Along with the works of Rembrandt are paintings by Claesz, Weenix, van Goyen, de Hooch, van Ruysdael, Cuyp, Steen, and many others. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mediocre pieces, and the show never develops a flow. At times if feels more like a tribute to the donors — and an invitation for future donations — than a revealing look at the history of Dutch painting. Still, it’s hard to argue too much when you get the opportunity to see such thrilling pieces as Vermeer’s “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher” and “Study of a Young Woman,” a 1660 Rembrandt self-portrait and his 1632 “Man in Oriental Costume (The Noble Slav),” Christoffel van den Berghe’s “A Winter Landscape,” Gerard ter Borch’s “Curiosity,” and Jacob Van Ruisdael’s “Landscape with a Village in the Distance.” We were pleasantly surprised by several canvases by Aert van der Neer (“The Farrier,” “Sports on a Frozen River”), wonderful populated landscape scenes with moonlight peeking through in the distance. And don’t miss Hals’s small portraits of Anna van der Aar and Petrus Scriverius in the reading room.



Of course, there’s an awful lot to see at the Met, and the museum gets particularly crowded around holiday time. But some shows are running only for a few more weeks, so you’ll have to deal with the hordes if you want to see the exhibits. "Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860" runs through December 31; the annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Barocque Crèche, always a treat, is on view in the Medieval Sculpture Hall through January 6; and "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection" is up through February 3, as is "Rumi and the Sufi Tradition." Finally, if you’ve checked out Damien Hirst’s "School of Archaeology" at Lever House (see above), you should also pay a visit to Hirst’s "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," which is on loan to the Met for three years. The tank holds a specially preserved replacement shark, not the one from Hirst’s original 1992 sensation, which has decomposed.

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Arts Festival of the Week

Sidney Lumet, seen above at the 2007 New York Film Festival, will also participate in the New York Times’ Arts & Leisure Week



242 West 41st St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

January 7-13

Tickets: $25


Although several of the below events are already sold out, there might be tickets available at the box office shortly before showtime. Also, visit the above Web site for two-for-one deals for the Joyce, BAM, the Knitting Factory, FIAF, the Cooper-Hewitt, DTW, the Brooklyn Museum, City Center, the Town Hall, Symphony Space, Anthology Film Archives, the American Folk Art Museum, the Asia Society, the Guggenheim, the Rubin, the Met, the Whitney, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Ellis Island, Broadway and off-Broadway shows, and other venues and live performances.

Monday, January 7 Jeff Koons: Big Art, Big Ideas, interviewed by Carol Vogel, 6:00

Monday, January 7 Sidney Lumet: "Before the Devil…," with Lumet and cast members interviewed by David Carr, 8:00

Tuesday, January 8 New American Theater: Circle in the Square, with Philip Bosco, Theodore Mann, and Frances Sternhagen, moderated by Patricia Cohen, 6:00

Tuesday, January 8 "Mad Men" and the Sixties, with the cast of MAD MEN, interviewed by Stuart Elliott and Janet Maslin, 8:00

Wednesday, January 9 Modern Dance Master: Mark Morris, interviewed by Daniel J. Wakin, 6:00

Wednesday, January 9 Julian Schnabel: Film, Art, Life, interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg, 8:00

Thursday, January 10 Tom Brokaw: Chronicling Our Times, interviewed by Rick Berke, 6:00

Thursday, January 10 Josh Brolin: Breakthrough Actor, interviewed by Caryn James, 8:00

Friday, January 11 Martha Stewart: Megabrand, interviewed by Kim Severson, 6:00

Friday, January 11 Wynton Marsalis: Music Man, interviewed by John Rockwell, 8:00

Saturday, January 12 Naked Brothers Band: Rock ‘n’ Reality, with Alex and Nat Wolff, interviewed by Jacques Steinberg, 10:00 am

Saturday, January 12 Literary Brooklyn: with Paul Auster, Nicole Krauss, and Rick Moody, interviewed by Bill Goldstein, 12 noon

Saturday, January 12 Edward Albee: A Life in the Theater, 2:00

Saturday, January 12 Indie Music Scene: Feist, interviewed by Jon Pareles, 6:00

Sunday, January 13 Behind the Scenes and On Stage — Talk with Performances by Ashley Brown, Henry Hodges, Lila Coogan, and other cast members of MARY POPPINS and THE LITTLE MERMAID, with Thomas Schumcher, 10:00 am

Sunday, January 13 Jeffrey Toobin: The Future of the Supreme Court, interviewed by Linda Greenhouse, 12 noon

Sunday, January 13 The CIA and U.S. Intelligence, with Bob Drogin, John Gannon, and Leslie Gelb, interviewed by Tim Weiner, 2:00

Sunday, January 13 James Levine: Perpetual Motion Maestro, interviewed by Anthony Tommasini, 4:00

Sunday, January 13 Cornel West: Political Dialogue, interviewed by Frank Rich, 6:00

Sunday, January 13 Screen to Stage: It’s Alive!, with Mel Brooks, Susan Stroman, Roger Bart, and Megan Mullally of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, interviewed by Campbell Robertson, 8:00

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Film Festival of the Week

Courtesy Film Forum

The iconoclastic Otto Preminger is feted at Film Forum


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

January 2-17



Otto Ludwig Preminger was born in 1906 to a well-connected Austrian family. After earning a law degree, he went into the relatively new film industry, becoming both an actor and a director. While today he might be more well known in some circles as Mr. Freeze on the BATMAN television series, he was a hugely influential director and producer who fought with his cast, the Hayes code, and anyone else who stood in the way of his cinematic vision. His nearly fifty-year filmography (he died in 1986) is impressive: LAURA, ANATOMY OF A MURDER, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, CARMEN JONES, ADVISE & CONSENT, and many more, encompassing historical epics, film noir, controversial political thrillers, and raunchy romance. Film Forum will be featuring nearly two dozen of his works, some in brand-new 35mm restorations; several of the screenings will be introduced by Foster Hirsch, author of OTTO PREMINGER: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.

Wednesday, January 2


Thursday, January 3 LAURA (Otto Preminger, 1944), 2:55, 6:30, 10:05, and DAISY KENYON (Otto Preminger, 1947), 1:00, 4:35, 8:10

Friday, January 4


Saturday, January 5 ANATOMY OF A MURDER (Otto Preminger, 1959), 1:30, 4:30, 7:30 (introduced by Foster Hirsch)

Sunday, January 6 ANGEL FACE (Otto Preminger, 1952), 2:50, 6:25, 10:00, and FALLEN ANGEL (Otto Preminger, 1945), 1:00, 4:35, 8:10

Monday, January 7 THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Otto Preminger, 1955), 3:10, 7:20, and THE MOON IS BLUE (Otto Preminger, 1953), 1:15, 5:25, 9:35

Tuesday, January 8 IN HARM’S WAY (Otto Preminger, 1965), 1:00, 4:30, 8:00 (with PATRICIA NEAL AND JILL HAWORTH IN PERSON)

Wednesday, January 9 BONJOUR TRISTESSE (Otto Preminger, 1958), 3:35, 7:30, and SAINT JOAN (Otto Preminger, 1957), 1:30, 5:25, 9:20

Courtesy Film Forum/Photofest

Carol Lynley looks out into the darkness in BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING

Thursday, January 10 BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (Otto Preminger, 1965), 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30 (with Keir Dullea in person), 10:00

Friday, January 11 CARMEN JONES (Otto Preminger, 1954), 1:00, 4:45, 8:30 and RIVER OF NO RETURN (Otto Preminger, 1954), 3:00, 6:45, 10:30

Saturday, January 12 ADVISE & CONSENT (Otto Preminger, 1962) 1:20, 4:00, 6:40, 9:20

Sunday, January 13 EXODUS (Otto Preminger, 1960), 2:00 (introduced by Foster Hirsch and with actress Jill Haworth in-person), 7:00

Monday, January 14 MARGIN FOR ERROR (Otto Preminger, 1943), 3:40, 7:50, IN THE MEANTIME, DARLING (Otto Preminger, 1944), 2:15, 6:25, 10:35, and UNDER YOUR SPELL (Otto Preminger, 1936), 1:00, 5:10, 9:20

Tuesday, January 15 THE FAN (Otto Preminger, 1949), 3:35, 7:30 (introduced by Foster Hirsch), and FOREVER AMBER (Otto Preminger, 1947), 1:00, 5:10, 9:05

Wednesday, January 16 THE FAN (Otto Preminger, 1949), 3:35, and FOREVER AMBER (Otto Preminger, 1947), 1:00, 5:10

Wednesday, January 16 THE CARDINAL (Otto Preminger, 1963), 7:45

Thursday, January 17 WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (Otto Preminger, 1950), 2:50, 6:30, 10:10, and WHIRLPOOL (Otto Preminger, 1949), 1:00, 4:40, 8:20

WHIRLPOOL (Otto Preminger, 1949)


Jersey City’s own Richard Conte, one of the original Ocean’s Eleven, stars in this psychological thriller that has dated a bit but is still a fun film. Gene Tierney is Ann Sutton, the wife of a famous cutting-edge psychoanalyst, who gets caught shoplifting. Terrified of having her husband find out, Ann puts her trust in David Korvo (Jose Ferrer), a shady hypnotist who just might be an expert con man as well. When Ann is found in a room with a dead woman, she is accused of a murder she cannot remember committing — or not committing. Charles Bickford costars as the crusty old cop trying to get to the bottom of things in this compelling piece from Otto Preminger. (Bonus note: Douglas Gordon experimented with dual projections [one in reverse] of WHIRLPOOL as part of his 2006 "Timeline" exhibit at MoMA.)

Courtesy Film Forum/Kino International

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill light up the city in CITY LIGHTS


209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.



Tuesday, December 25


Tuesday, January 1 Repertory: new 35mm print of CITY LIGHTS (Charles Chaplin, 1931)

Wednesday, December 26


Tuesday, January 8 Premiere: CHUCK CLOSE (Marion Cajori, 2008)

In the Thematic Neighborhood


239 Centre St.

Admission: free



Wednesday, January 2


Thursday, January 31 In conjunction with the Preminger festival at Film Forum, Posteritati will be displaying movie posters of many of the great director’s works

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Movies & More

Beautiful Buddhist epic gets hot and heavy

SAMSARA (Pan Nalin, 2001)

Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

December 19-30

Tickets: $12 (includes admission to galleries)

Friday, December 21, 9:30 screening free with $7 minimum at K2 Lounge

212-620-5000 ext 344



Pan Nalin’s Buddhist epic, SAMSARA, is a moving spiritual journey about desire and destiny. After spending three years, three months, and three days alone in a cave on a meditation retreat, Tashi (Shawn Ku), a young monk, returns to his monastery, where he is awarded the prestigious degree of khenpo. But the chaste monk is soon overcome with thoughts of sexual desire, so elder leader Apo (Sherab Sangey) sends him out into the world, where he must choose whether to return to the monastery or make a new life outside of the fold. Tashi likens his quest to that of the Buddha himself, having to experience traditional society in order to renounce it. But when he falls in love with Pema (Christy Chung) and starts becoming a successful farmer, thoughts of wealth, power, jealousy, and infidelity threaten to overwhelm him. Shot in Ladakh, India, at an altitude of fifteen thousand feet, SAMSARA is a lush, gorgeous film featuring remarkable locations and beautiful cinematography by Rali Ralchev. The blue of the sky and the colorful costumes stand in stark contrast to the gray, windswept landscape of dusty plains and bare peaks. Using many nonprofessional actors, Nalin creates an almost documentary-like feel — along with some very hot sex scenes. A film festival hit all over the world, SAMSARA is a stunning achievement, an unforgettable journey of mind and body, of the inner struggle to find one’s place in the world — or to renounce it.

Jack Nicholson goes on quite a ride in THE PASSENGER

THE PASSENGER (PROFESSIONE: REPORTER) (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975)


BAM Rose Cinemas

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

Thursday, December 20, 6:00 & 9:00




Nominated for the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1975, Michelangelo Antonioni’s existential suspense thriller is a fascinating character study of a lost, lonely man. Jack Nicholson stars as Locke, a successful, well-respected journalist who is researching a story on the guerrilla movement in Chad. Life isn’t as fun and exciting as it used to be for him, as witnessed by his utter helplessness after his car gets stuck in the sand. Upon returning to his hotel room, he discovers that his neighbor, Robertson (Chuck Mulvehill), is dead — and he decides to switch places with him, to stop being Locke and instead live a completely different existence. Even when he finds out that Robertson was involved in international espionage and gun running, Locke continues the deception, traveling dangerously through England, Germany, and Spain with a free-spirited young architecture student (Maria Schneider) while his wife (Jenny Runacre) and business associate (Ian Hendry) — and the police — try to find him. THE PASSENGER is marvelously slow-paced, never in a hurry to make no point about just what the point of it all is. Nicholson glides through the film with an unease that is as unnerving as it is intoxicating as he struggles to find his way in life, a cinematic representative of something that is within us all.


Opens Friday, December 21


Oh yes, there will be blood. Tim Burton’s adaptation of the hit Broadway musical SWEENEY TODD is bloody good fun. After being sent to prison for fifteen years by Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), who had designs on his wife (Laura Michelle Kelly), innocent barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns to nineteenth-century London, reborn as Sweeney Todd, now a dark, ominous figure dead set on gaining his dastardly revenge. He gets back his coveted silver razors, which he considers an extension of his arm, and sets up shop in his old place, above the store where Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) sells meat pies crawling with cockroaches. When Todd begins slicing throats with expert precision, Lovett has a novel way of doing away with the bodies — while increasing business. Burton and screenwriter John Logan (THE AVIATOR, THE LAST SAMURAI) have done a terrific job translating the show onto the big screen, as Depp, Bonham Carter, and the rest of the cast — including Sacha Baron Cohen as a magical elixir salesman, Timothy Spall as the judge’s wingman, and Jayne Wisener as Todd’s daughter, who is doomed to marry the judge — do a wonderful job with such Stephen Sondheim songs as “No Place Like London,” “Poor Thing,” “My Friends,” “Pretty Women,” and “Not While I’m Around.” Depp is marvelous as the demon barber of Fleet Street, wearing a fright wig with a shocking streak of white, singing most of his dialogue with a gentle devilishness, enhanced by his haunting, penetrating eyes. The goth opera not only sounds good but looks even better, courtesy of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, production designer Dante Ferretti, and costume designer Colleen Atwood. Burton and Depp, who have previously collaborated on EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, ED WOOD, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and CORPSE BRIDE, have another winner on their hands.

Skiing doc takes viewers through some very dangerous turns

STEEP (Mark Obenhaus, 2007)

Angelika Film Center

Opens Friday, December 21


Mark Obenhaus’s STEEP is a breathtaking examination of the extreme sport of adventure skiing. Not content with ski-resort trails, adventure skiiers take helicopters to remote locations, then get their thrills mastering mountains that might never have been skiied on before. These extreme athletes know that their life could end around any turn — but they’re willing to risk it all for that great run. And in this case, one of the primary subjects in the film does just that. Obenhaus follows around such danger-seekers as Andrew Mclean, Doug Coombs, Ingrid Backstrom, and Seth Morrison — who found a way to actually ski off cliffs and survive — as they ski down frighteningly steep mountains in Alaska, Wyoming, Canada, France, and Iceland. Obenhaus also talks to such legends as Anselme Baud and Bill Briggs, the pioneers of the sport. While the actual runs are not as intensely filmed as Warren Miller’s classic skiing documentaries, STEEP goes much deeper into the mind-set of these men and women who defy the boundaries of nature by attempting the seemingly impossible.

Marjane Satrapi animates her life for the big screen

PERSEPOLIS (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)

Opens Tuesday, December 25


France’s official selection for the 2007 Academy Awards, PERSEPOLIS brings to animated life Marjane Satrapi’s stunning graphic novels. Codirected by Satrapi and comic-book artist Vincent Paronnaud, PERSEPOLIS tells Satrapi’s harrowing life story as she comes of age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Raised in a well-off activist family, she fights against many of the country’s crippling mores and laws, particularly those that treat women as second-class citizens, trapping them in their veils, denying them any kind of individual freedom. But the progressive Satrapi (voiced first by Gabrielle Lopes, then Chiara Mastroianni) continually gets into trouble as she speaks her mind, experiments with sex, and refuses to play by her country’s repressive rules. Satrapi and Paronnaud do an outstanding job of adapting the books’ black-and-white panels for the big screen, maintaining her unique style and emotional breadth. The first part of the film is excellent as the precocious teenager who talks to God learns about life in some very harsh ways. Unfortunately, the second half gets bogged down in Satrapi’s failures as an adult, focusing too much on her myriad personal problems and taking away the bigger picture that made the first part so entertaining as well as educational. Still, it’s a story worth telling, and well worth seeing. (Interestingly, since the film, which is in French, is subtitled in English, the audience ends up reading it similarly to the way they read the graphic novel.) The closing-night selection of the 2007 New York Film Festival, PERSEPOLIS also features the voices of Catherine Deneuve as Marjane’s mother, Danielle Darrieux as her grandmother, Simon Akbarian as her father, and François Jerosme as her radical uncle Anouche.

by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, October 2007, $24.95)


In 1979, the Islamic Revolution took place in Iran, resulting in the Shah’s exile and myriad cultural changes in the Middle East nation. Marjane Satrapi, who was ten at the time, tells the story from her point of view in two parts, PERSEPOLIS: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD (2003) and PERSEPOLIS 2: THE STORY OF A RETURN (2004), a moving, entertaining, and deeply affecting pair of graphic-novel memoirs now available together in a movie tie-in trade paperback. Using black-and-white panels with basic drawing techniques, Satrapi writes about her relatively well-off family, many of whom were sent to jail for their political beliefs. But much of what is happening is a game to the young girl, who is proud that her uncle was in prison longer than a friend of her’s father was, or she plays around with the scarf that is supposed to cover most of her head and face, all the while talking to God and believing she is some kind of prophet. As the years pass, she starts getting into American culture and music (Iron Maiden and Kim Wylde!), but she also learns the meaning of sacrifice and martyrdom. She winds up studying in Europe and getting married, but everything she does is weighed down by the repressive Iranian society, especially the archaic laws regarding women. Originally written in French and translated into English, the PERSEPOLIS books tell a fascinating, important story seldom heard in the States. Fans of Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME will especially love it. Satrapi has also codirected a film version with Vincent Paronnaud, which was the closing-night selection of the 2007 New York Film Festival and opens in New York on December 25.

Daniel Day-Lewis searches for oil in THERE WILL BE BLOOD

THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

Opens Wednesday, December 26


Daniel Day-Lewis gives a spectacular performance as an independent oil man in Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Day-Lewis, in remarkable voice, absolutely embodies Daniel Plainview, a determined, desperate man digging for black gold in turn-of-the-century California. His first strike comes at a heavy price as he loses one of his men in a tragic accident, so he adopts the worker’s infant son, raising H.W. (Dillon Freasier) as his own. The growth of his company leads him to Little Boston, a small town that has oil just seeping out of its pores. But after not allowing Paul Sunday (Paul Dano), the charismatic preacher who runs the local Church of the Third Revelation, to say a prayer over the community’s first derrick, Plainview begins his descent into hell. Using Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel OIL! as a starting point (and employing echoes of Orson Welles’s CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS in addition to the obvious reference, George Stevens’s classic 1956 oil flick GIANT), writer-director Anderson (BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA) has created a thrilling epic about greed, power, and corruption as well as jealousy, murder, and, above all, family, where oil gushes out of the ground with fire and brimstone. Robert Elswit’s beautiful cinematography is so gritty and realistic, audiences will be reaching for their faces to wipe the oil and blood off. The piercing, classically based score, composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, builds to a mind-blowing crescendo by the end of the film — a finale that is likely to be much talked about and widely criticized. Filmed in the same location — Marfa, Texas — where GIANT was set, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is an unforgettable journey into the dark heart of one man’s soul.

Dark mysteries abound in haunted-house horror flick


Opens Friday, December 28


J. A. Bayona’s directorial debut, THE ORPHANAGE, is a frightening horror flick in the tradition of Alejandro Amenabar’s THE OTHERS and Tobe Hooper’s POLTERGEIST (as well as Robert Wise’s THE HAUNTING, Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING, and even Richard Donner’s THE OMEN), without feeling derivative. Belén Rueda (THE SEA INSIDE) stars as Laura, a woman who, with her husband, Carlos (Fernando Cayo), and their son, Simon (Roger Princep), moves into an abandoned mansion that previously was as an orphanage. Laura wants to take in some developmentally disabled orphans, but it seems that she and her family are not necessarily alone in the big house. At a party for the reopening of the orphanage, Simon mysteriously disappears, and Laura is determined to find him, no matter who — or what — might be responsible. THE ORPHANAGE, Spain’s official selection for the 2007 Academy Awards, is a scary, edge-of-your-seat frightfest with just the right amount of heart-stopping shocks, courtesy of Bayona, first-time screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez, cinematographer Oscar Faura, and composer Fernando Velazquez. The film also features Geraldine Chaplin as a psychic, Montserrat Carulla as — well, actually, the less you know about the film going in, the better. THE ORPHANAGE is the first film to be presented by Guillermo del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE), who also serves as executive producer.

THE KILLING OF JOHN LENNON (Andrew Piddington, 2007)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at Third St.

January 2-15




Andrew Piddington’s lurid re-creation of the assassination of John Lennon follows killer Mark David Chapman before, during, and after the infamous event of December 8, 1980. Using Chapman’s own words as well as those of friends, relatives, and witnesses taken from books, interviews, court transcripts, and other sources, Piddington (SHUTTLECOCK, THE FALL) attempts to go inside the assassin’s head as Chapman decides to murder the former Beatle because he is a phony, as described by Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Although Piddington claims that he stuck to the truth, the film feels “phony” in its own way, not the least because it was shot on location in modern-day Decatur, Georgia (where Chapman was born and raised), Honolulu, Hawaii (where he lived with his wife), and New York City — with only certain things re-created to look like they did in 1980. For example, one trip through Times Square in a checker cab (with its “Taxi” light on although the meter is running) passes by several stores that were not there in 1980, and the absurdity increases when the hack tells Chapman, as they proceed south, that they are almost at the Dakota, which is on Seventy-second St. And to make matters worse (and still less believable), the film includes no music by the Beatles or John Lennon. In his feature-film debut, Jonas Ball is awkward and uncomfortable as Chapman, and at nearly two hours, the movie is way too long.

In Theaters Now

AMERICAN GANGSTER (Ridley Scott, 2007)


Based on a true story, Ridley Scott’s AMERICAN GANGSTER follows the path of two very different men during the Vietnam War era. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is a proud, dedicated man from poor southern roots who is determined to become the most respected and loved drug lord of Harlem. Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is an honest-to-a-fault Jewish cop studying to become a lawyer while failing miserably in his personal life. Cold, calculating, and smooth as silk, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to ensure his absolute success, including shooting another player in the head in plain view on an uptown street. Meanwhile, Roberts becomes a pariah in the corrupt police department when he finds nearly a million dollars in cash and turns it in. As the war escalates in Southeast Asia, Lucas and Roberts are both on a dangerous road that threatens to explode all around them. Filmed in New York City, AMERICAN GANGSTER — featuring an excellent script by Steven Zaillian and intense, superb direction from Ridley Scott — is a compelling thinking man’s mob pic, a worthy successor to (and mash-up of) such genre classics as THE FRENCH CONNECTION, SERPICO, and NEW JACK CITY. The diverse all-star cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, RZA, T.I., Josh Brolin, Carla Gugino, Cuba Gooding Jr., Common, and the great Ruby Dee and Clarence Williams III.

Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman have some family problems in Lumet flick

(Sidney Lumet, 2007)


Sidney Lumet (DOG DAY AFTERNOON, NETWORK) spins an intriguing web of mystery and severe family dysfunction in BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD. Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hank (Ethan Hawke) are very different brothers who are both in desperate financial straits. Andy, a real estate exec, has a serious drug problem and a fading marriage to his sexy but bored young wife (Marisa Tomei), while ne’er-do-well Hank can’t afford the monthly child-support payments to his ex-wife (Aleksa Palladino) and daughter (Amy Ryan). Andy convinces Hank to knock off their parents’ (Albert Finney and Rosemary Harris) jewelry store, but when things go horribly wrong, everyone involved is forced to face some very difficult situations, leading to a harrowing climax. Seymour and Hawke are both excellent, the former cool, calm, and collected, the latter scattershot and impulsive. Tomei gives one of her finest performances as the woman sleeping with both brothers. Lumet tells the story through a series of flashbacks from various characters’ point of view, with fascinating overlaps – although a bit overused – that offer different perspectives on critical scenes. Adapted from a script by playwright Kelly Masterson – whom Lumet has never met or even spoken with – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (the title comes from an Irish toast that begins, "May you be in heaven half and hour…") is a thrilling modern noir that is from one of the masters of melodrama.


Quad Cinema

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




Wes Anderson takes viewers on a wild ride through India aboard THE DARJEELING LIMITED in this black comedy that opens the New York Film Festival. Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody), and Jack (cowriter Jason Schwartzman) are brothers who have not seen each other since their father’s funeral a year before, after which their mother disappeared. Having recently survived a terrible accident, Francis — looking ridiculous with his face and head wrapped in bandages — convinces them to go on a spiritual quest together to reestablish their relationship and help them better understand life. Peter and Jack very hesitantly decide to go along on what turns out to be a series of madcap adventures involving bathroom sex, bloody noses, jealousy, praying, cigarettes galore, running after trains, and savory snacks. Anderson (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, RUSHMORE) injects his unique brand of humor on the action, ranging from the offbeat to the sensitive to the absurd as the brothers bond and battle in a search for themselves and what’s left of their family, set to a score adapted from the films of Satyajit Ray and Merchant-Ivory. The film features cameos by Bill Murray, Natalie Portman, Barbet Schroeder, and Anjelica Huston; check the Web site to watch the very entertaining related short “Hotel Chevalier.”

Lyra seeks the truth about intercision and dust in THE GOLDEN COMPASS

THE GOLDEN COMPASS (Chris Weitz, 2007)


Based on the fabulous first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, THE GOLDEN COMPASS is an engaging fantasy that for the most part gets thing right but, unfortunately, tries too hard to please younger audiences. Dakota Blue Richards makes her big-screen debut as Lyra, a young girl who might be the only person who can save this alternate universe from the clutches of the evil Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) and the Magisterium, who just might be responsible for the growing number of missing children. Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon (voiced by Freddie Highmore), who represents her soul, go off on a wild journey in which they meet cowboy adventurer Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott), former ice-bear king Iorek Byrnison (voiced by Ian McKellen), sexy witch Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green), and other fascinating characters as they try to find the kidnapped children and discover the mystery behind “dust.” The all-star cast also features Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel, Tom Courtenay as Farder Coram, Kristin Scott Thomas as Stelmaria, Derek Jacobi as the magisterial emissary, Kathy Bates voicing Scoresby’s daemon, Hester, and Ian McShane as the voice of Ragnar, who does battle with Iorek in the film’s most breathtaking sequence. Although fans of the book series — which in many ways can be considered the “anti-Narnia” — should be satisfied, the plot does jump around a bit, and the ending is sickly sweet and disappointing in laying the groundwork for the sequel, THE SUBTLE KNIFE, which is being scripted but has not been officially announced just yet.

Robert Neville (Will Smith) and Sam fight for survival in I AM LEGEND update

I AM LEGEND (Francis Lawrence, 2007)


Director Francis Lawrence’s modern-day update of Richard Matheson’s classic 1954 novel, I AM LEGEND, is a tense, nonstop thriller, liberally adapted by screenwriters Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman. While the book was a claustrophobic masterpiece, the film opens things up dramatically, with Robert Neville (Will Smith), the last survivor of a supposed cancer cure that turned into a deadly virus, riding the streets of New York City every day in a fancy car with his dog, Sam. In addition to hunting wild game that leaps through Midtown, Neville, an army scientist who is still searching for an antidote in his makeshift basement laboratory, kills cells of infected vampiric beings that have more in common with the violent creatures of 28 DAYS LATER than the slow-moving zombies of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Every night Neville barricades himself and Sam into their apartment overlooking Washington Square Park and dreams of the events that brought him to this point, centered on his desperate attempt to save his wife (Salli Richardson) and daughter (Willow Smith, Will’s real-life daughter). I AM LEGEND was actually filmed in New York, with pivotal scenes shot in and around Madison Square Park, Grand Central Terminal, the South Street Seaport, and a barren Park Ave., lending it a stark, frightening reality. Smith excels as Neville, his eyes quickly shifting from hope to disappointment, from promise to pain, and Lawrence (CONSTANTINE) does a marvelous job of translating the book’s inner monologue into a postapocalyptic visual nightmare.

I’M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes, 2007)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.




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

Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada stars as Hassan in film adaptation that doesn’t quite fly

THE KITE RUNNER (Marc Forster, 2007)


Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 surprise bestseller, THE KITE RUNNER, is a modern-day historical epic that follows one man as he attempts to make things right after a ghastly childhood incident that has haunted his every moment. The debut novel is filled with pivotal scenes of brutal emotion and genuine danger as Hosseini stomps on readers’ hearts. In trying to remain faithful to the book, screenwriter David Benioff (THE 25TH HOUR) and director Marc Forster (MONSTER’S BALL, FINDING NEVERLAND) have squeezed too much into their film, resulting in a jumpy narrative that is admirable yet rarely compelling. Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada) and his father, Ali (Nabo Tanha), work for Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) and his father, Baba (Homayoun Ershadi), a respected and successful businessman in Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan are also best friends, particularly bonding over their love of kites, a metaphor for freedom and escape. But after the horrific incident, Amir turns his back on Hassan, and it is only years later, well after the Soviet invasion and Amir’s move to San Francisco, where he has made a new life for himself, that he (now played by Khalid Abdalla) gets the opportunity to redeem himself. Even at two hours, the film feels rushed, and it gets no help from Alberto Iglesias’s mushy score. Perhaps there’ll be a director’s cut available on DVD that will fill in many of the holes and smooth out the story.

Javier Bardem gets an awesome new do for awesome new Coen brothers flick

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)


Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, the Coen brothers’ NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a gripping thriller dominated by the mesmerizing performance of Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh, a psychopathic killer who believes in chance. When Llewelyn Moss (an outstanding Josh Brolin) accidentally stumbles upon the site of a drug deal gone terribly wrong, he walks away with a satchel of cash and the dream of making a better life for him and his wife (Kelly MacDonald). He also knows that there will be a lot of people looking for him — and the two million bucks he has absconded with. On his trail are the Mexican dealers who were ripped off, bounty hunter Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), and the cool, calm Chigurh, who leaves a bloody path of violence in his wake. Meanwhile, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) philosophizes on the sorry state of the modern world as he follows the proceedings with an almost Zen-like precision. Though it struggles to reach its conclusion, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is an intense noir Western, an epic meditation on chance in which the flip of a coin can be the difference between life and a horrible death.


Cinema Village

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




On a summer day in 1966, Danny Williams borrowed his mother’s car and drove to a cliff overlooking the sea. He was never seen or heard from again, his body never found. Williams’s niece, Esther Robinson, reveals many of the mysteries behind Williams’s life and apparent death in A WALK INTO THE SEA, a compelling debut that won the New York Loves Film Award at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and was named Best Documentary at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. Robinson, who was aware that her uncle had some connection to Andy Warhol’s Factory, quickly discovered that Williams was the creative genius behind the Velvet Underground’s groundbreaking Exploding Plastic Inevitable light show, was one of Warhol’s lovers, and, perhaps most remarkable, had made some twenty experimental silent films that had only recently been found by then-MoMA archivist and curator Callie Angell. To learn more about her uncle, Robinson goes back to the source, speaking with such Factory regulars as Brigid Berlin, John Cale, Danny Fields, Gerard Malanga, Chuck Wein, Billy Name, Ron Nameth, and others, each of whom has their own very different memories of Williams.

She also speaks with her grandmother, Williams’s mother, at length, as well as Williams’s brother, David. Paul Morrissey, Warhol’s chief filmmaker and the director of such Factory favorites as CHELSEA GIRLS, FLESH, and TRASH, claims to barely remember Williams, but it soon becomes clear that he had reason to be extremely jealous of the young man who had stolen Andy’s heart — and was given Andy’s Bolex camera to use. Robinson cleverly cuts between new interviews and remarkable old footage of that person, shot by her uncle, which has never before been shown publicly. Not only does Robinson discover intimate things about her own family but also about Warhol’s Factory family, showing Warhol to be a manipulative user who cared only about himself. A WALK INTO THE SEA is a fascinating examination of a much-written-about time seen in a new light, a documentary that will appeal to Factory fans as well as those who have no idea who Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey, et al., are.


Cinema Village

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

January 5, 11:30 pm

Tickets: $10




Saturday, January 5 Special presentation of never-before-seen films by Danny Williams, including FACTORY FILM, which is silent, and HAROLD STEVENSON parts 1 & 2, which will be accompanied by an original score played live by composers T. Griffin and Catherine McRae of the Quavers, 11:30 pm


Francis Ford Coppola arrives for YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH premiere at the Paris Theater

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007)


Francis Ford Coppola’s first film in ten years is a complex mix of diverse elements and cinematic styles that begins promisingly but eventually wilts, like even the reddest rose. Tim Roth stars as Dominic Matei, an aging Romanian linguistics professor who has decided that he is ready to die now that he realizes he will never accomplish his life’s work — discovering the origination of language. But when he’s struck by lightning, he turns into a man half his age, given a second chance not only at his research but at romance, as he meets the apparent reincarnation of his one great love, first known as Laura but now Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara). After another lightning storm, Veronica begins speaking in ancient tongues, propelling Dominic’s work — but at a terrible price. Based on a novella by Mircea Eliade, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH eventually succumbs to its very lofty ambitions. Drawing from such auteurs as Truffaut, Godard, and Resnais (and owing a debt of gratitude to Raoul Ruiz’s TIME REGAINED and Dennis Potter’s THE SINGING DETECTIVE), Coppola has made an admirable low-budget film, examining the ravages of time, but the indie production is not, alas, his fountain of youth. He throws in the kitchen sink — magical realism, film noir, fantasy, WWII espionage, doppelgangers, melodrama, erotic thriller — but he weaves in too many paths that never meet. In the press booklet, Coppola compares YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH to THE TWILIGHT ZONE; indeed, the film, his first since 1997’s THE RAINMAKER, would have made a great episode of the Rod Serling omnibus series, but as a feature work it meanders too much to satisfy its two-hour length.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature

Alvin Ailey takes over City Center for its annual
month-long season


New York City Center

130 West 56th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

Through December 31

Tickets: $25-$160




Alvin Ailey’s traditional end-of-season stay at City Center features two world premieres (Camille A. Brown’s “The Groove to Nobody’s Business” and Frederick Earl Mosley’s “Saddle Up!”), two company premieres (Maurice Béjart’s “Firebird” and Robert Battle’s “Unfold”), and three new productions (Alvin Ailey’s “Flowers,” set to the music of Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, and Blind Faith; Ailey’s “Reflections in D,” with music by Duke Ellington; and Talley Beatty’s “The Road of the Phoebe Snow,” featuring the jazz sounds of Ellington and Billy Strayhorn). The repertory also includes Ulysses Dove’s “Episodes,” Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section,” Judith Jamison’s “Reminiscin’,” Hans van Manen’s “Solo,” such Ailey classics as “Pas de Duke,” and, of course, “Revelations.” On December 18, associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya was honored for his thirty-five years with the company. And every Saturday matinee is followed by “Meet the Dancers,” a free Q&A between the audience and the dancers.

The December 7 performance began with Ailey’s exhilarating “Night Creature,” as the company, led by the extraordinary Alicia J. Graf, adapted classical movement in flowy, flashy costumes, celebrating 1920s New York City nightlife to the sounds of Duke Ellington. Next was Elisa Monte’s brilliant 1979 piece, “Treading,” an achingly sensual and downright hot pas de deux with Linda Celeste Sims and Clifton Brown heating up the stage to the electronic sounds of Steve Reich’s “Eighteen Musicians.” Enhanced by Beverly Emmons’s appropriately sultry lighting, Sims and Brown performed slow, controlled moves of breathtaking power and precision that left us shaking our head in amazement.

Camille A. Brown’s “The Groove to Nobody’s Business” takes Ailey dancers down into the subway

Camille A. Brown’s brand-new “The Groove to Nobody’s Business” followed the first intermission. Energizing and entertaining, Brown’s three-part piece takes place in the New York City subway system, as a group of strangers wait for the train to arrive. As Ray Charles sings “Lonely Avenue” and “What’d I Say,” the would-be straphangers, dressed like everyday urbanites, interact by pushing one another, laughing together, and angrily watching trains pass by, with Matthew Rushing’s character quickly showing annoyance at the entire situation. Things don’t necessarily get better even when they finally board the train, to new compositions by Brandon McCune. The piece is marked by angular, energetic moves, as limbs extend out in all directions and dancers burst into herky-jerky walks and exaggerated postures. “Groove” is followed by Ulysses Dove’s inventive “Urban Folk Dance,” in which two couples (Roxanne Lyst, Vernard J. Gilmore, Rosalyn Deshauteurs, and Abdur-Rahim Jackson) express frustrations with their lives in a sort-of dance-off held in their side-by-side apartments, incorporating chairs and tables into their routine.

Most of the performances at City Center close with the spectacular three-part “Revelations,” in which the company brings the African American experience to life through glorious sections set to some of Ailey’s favorite spirituals he heard as a child, including “I Been ’Buked,” “Fix Me Jesus,” and “Wade in the Water,” before exploding in the all-out finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.” Jamar Roberts, Zach Law Ingram, and Malik Le Nost were particularly impressive dancing to the electrifying “Sinner Man,” while company veteran Rushing handled the beautiful “I Wanna Be Ready” solo. “Revelations” might be nearly fifty years old (it premiered in 1960), but the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater still performs it with an engaging freshness and vibrancy that delighted the rockin’, hand-clapping audience.


Blek le Rat takes it to the walls of Chelsea gallery


Jonathan LeVine Gallery

529 West 20th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.

Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Through December 29

Admission: free



Jonathan LeVine has brought six of Europe’s best-known street artists — Blek le Rat, Blu, Bo130, D*Face, Microbo, and Space Invader — to Chelsea for this fun exhibit of works on canvas and site-specific installations. While not quite as exciting as the gallery’s outstanding show in early 2007 of Brazilian street art, "Ruas de São Paulo," this survey still includes some cool work. Blu’s China ink on paper drawings manage to be both grisly and charming, an odd mix of Bill Plympton and George Grosz. D*Face defaces Marilyn, Che, and Winston Churchill as well as bills from America and Britain. Space Invader gets playful, stickering a fire extinguisher and creating three-dimensional landscapes with his trademark figures made out of Rubik’s Cube pieces. And Blek le Rat adds various creatures, including rats and sheep, to the gallery walls.


Giant Robot Gallery

437 East Ninth St. between First Ave. & Ave. A

Through January 9

Admission: free




In 1991, teenager Adrian Tomine began Optic Nerve, a semi-autobiographical comic book series that looks at everyday life for Asian Americans with humor and poignancy. Drawn & Quarterly has compiled the story of Ben Tanaka, which was told across three issues of Optic Nerve, into Tomine’s first hardcover, the marvelous SHORTCOMINGS (Drawn & Quarterly, October 2007, $19.95). Ben is a cynical thirty-year-old movie-theater manager who whines and complains about everything. When his girlfriend, Miko Hayashi, goes off to New York for an internship with the Asian-American Independent Film Institute, Ben, whose family is from Japan, starts reexamining his pitiful life, deciding whether to act on his desire to date younger Caucasian women and getting into heavy philosophical discussions with his best friend, Alice Kim, the Korean king of the lesbos at Mills College. Tomine is a master of the genre, employing a careful mix of art and dialogue that blends seamlessly, never overlapping needlessly or repetitively. In one scene, when Ben goes to church with Alice and meets her parents, Tomine shifts between English and Korean, cleverly displaying the subtle racism that exists not only between Caucasians and Asians but between Korean, Chinese, and Japanese Americans. In another, after Ben drives Miko to the airport, his impending loneliness is shown in a dozen dark, wordless panels filled with emotion.

© Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine, "E 9 St.," from Giant Robot magazine

In celebration of the book, Giant Robot is hosting an exhibition of Tomine’s work through January 9. "Shortcomings and Goings" consists of more than two dozen pieces, about half of which are panels from SHORTCOMINGS accompanied by Tomine’s original pencil studies. It’s a revealing look into Tomine’s method, especially a few fascinating changes that occurred between drawing and inking. For example, in one study, a couple is shown lying naked in bed together. However, in the final published panel, four bare feet peek out from under the covers at the end of the bed, a much more powerful and understated way to make a critical point in the story. The show is supplemented with other works from the New Yorker, Optic Nerve, Luna, Private Stash, and Giant Robot magazine, including the riotous "The Donger and Me," about actor Gedde Watanabe playing the Asian fool in such movies as SIXTEEN CANDLES.

(Dark Horse, October 2007, $15.95)


If you’re like us, you’ve been in serious Buffy withdrawal since the final episode of its seven-year run aired on May 20, 2003. Well, creator Joss Whedon has once again brought Buffy back to life, in a series of comic books that comprise season #8. Written by Whedon and illustrated in full color by Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens, and Dave Stewart, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE LONG WAY HOME picks up right where the last episode left off, reuniting Buffy, Xander, Willow, and a rather large Dawn. There are now eighteen hundred slayers around the globe, including three versions of Buffy herself, with Giles keeping an eye on them. The Scoobies take on horrible monsters, evil magic, and familiar old villains with their trademark humor as the witch Amy seeks her revenge on them. Also back are confusing plot lines that are even harder to follow in comic book form. The trade paperback collects the first five comic books; if you can’t wait for the next compilation, volumes six through nine are now available individually, for $2.99 each, with number 10 scheduled for a January 2 release.

by Asa Nonami (Vertical, December 2007, $14.95)


Shortly after marrying Kazuhito, Noriko is hanging laundry in the yard when a stranger approaches her and says, "I want you to listen to me. It’s something you have to hear — something you must know." Noriko never does find out what the strange man has to tell her, but when he and his family later die in an explosion and fire, she starts becoming suspicious of her new family. Soon she’s spying on mysterious meetings in the middle of the night, wondering about the odd plants in the greenhouse, and fearing for her own sanity — and safety — as Great Granny, the rather close siblings Ayano and Takeharu, the knife-wielding Takeo, Kazuhito, and the rest of the Shito family behave extremely bizarrely, as if they’re hiding a deep, dark secret despite denying it all and continually referring to Noriko as their "treasure." The only person she can trust is her friend Tomomi, but their relationship quickly strains under the pressure that is overwhelming Noriko. And as the truth starts coming out… Novelist Asa Nonami’s second book to be translated into English, NOW YOU’RE ONE OF US is a taut psychological thriller, a wonderfully paced Japanese ROSEMARY’S BABY that moves deftly between family drama and impending horror. You’ll never look at your in-laws the same way again.

All contents copyright 2007 by Mark Rifkin and twi-ny. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. Please note that events, dates, and prices are subject to change.

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


The Morgan Library & Museum

225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.

Closed Mondays

Through January 6, 2007

Admission: $12



Through January 6 Charles Dickens’s CHRISTMAS CAROL


Jazz at Lincoln Center

Rose Theater (RT), Allen Room (AR), Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (DC)

Broadway at 60th St.



Tuesday, December 18


Monday, December 24 Featuring vocalist Ann Hampton Calloway, pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Victor Lewis, DC, $30-$35 cover, $10 table minimum, $5 bar minimum, reservations at 212-258-9595, 7:30, 9:30, 11:30


Beacon Theatre

Tickets: $48-$200



Tuesday, December 18


Wednesday, December 26 Fifth annual celebration of Chinese culture, presented by New Tang Dynasty Television, featuring live music and dance, acrobatics, and much more, including dancer and choreographer Vina Lee, artistic gymnast Michelle Ren, dancers Xuejun Wang, Jason Shi, Cecilia Xiong, and Alina Wang, pianist Peijong Hsieh, tenor Guimin Guan, cellist and conductor Rutang Chen, musician Xiaochun Qi, violinist Chia-Chi Lin, and others


St. Bartholomew’s Church

109 East 50th St. at Park Ave.



Tuesday, December 18 A Joyous Christmas Concert, with the St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, Festival Brass, and more, $15-$35, 7:30

Thursday, December 20 Baroque Noels, with harpsichordist Anthony Newman and flutist Eugenia Zukerman: Works by Daquin, Balbastre, Handel, and Bach, $15-$20, 7:30

Sunday, December 23 Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Parts I-III, with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and New York Baroque Soloists, $15-$35, 3:00

Saturday, December 29 Angels & Shepherds: Baroque Christmas Pastorales, with ARTEK, $20-$40

Sunday, December 30 Family Concert: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, with Ned Hollinshead Sieverts, Barbara Hollinshead, and others, $20-$40, 3:00

Monday, December 31 Bachworks: The Brandenburg Concerti, with Anthony Newman and the BachWorks orchestra, $20-$100, 8:00

Monday, December 31 A Concert to Ring in the New Year, with William Trafka: Works by Bach, Cook, Buxtehude, Elgar, and Copland, free, 11:00


World Financial Center Winter Garden

225 Vesey St.

Admission: free



Tuesday, December 18 Creative Outlet — Dance Theatre of Brooklyn: ’Tis the Season to Celebrate Kwanzaa, 12:30

Friday, December 21 In the House of ETHEL: Solstice, featuring ETHEL, guest pianists Stephen Gosling, Raja Rahman, Rob Schwimmer, and Kathleen Supové, 12:30 & 7:00


Highline Ballroom

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

Tickets: $35



Wednesday, December 19 A benefit concert for SaveDarfur.org, with Teddy Thompson, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Kamila Thompson, Jenni Muldaur, Sonya Kitchell, Neal Casal, Tift Merritt , Christina Courtin, and surprise guests, 8:00


Dance Theater Workshop

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

Tickets: $20



Wednesday, December 19


Saturday, December 22 Full Circle: Innaviews, with Kwikstep and Rokafella

Tuesday, January 4


Wednesday, January 5 Fresh Tracks: DTW’s forty-second year of presenting new dance and performance pieces features works by emerging artists Maggie Bennett, Milka Djordjevich, Doorknob Company, Dynasty Handbag, Otto Ramstad, and Rebecca Serrell


Destination Maternity

575 Madison Ave. at 57th St.

Third Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm

Admission: free





The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza

17 Irving Pl. between 14th & 15th Sts.

Tickets: $42.50-$47.50




Thursday, December 20


Friday, December 21 Dee Snider and the boys are back to rock out this holiday season with songs from last year’s Christmas album, which includes "Silver Bells," "Deck the Halls," "White Christmas," "The Christmas Song," and, of course, "Heavy Metal Christmas," 8:00


Church of St. Luke in the Fields

487 Hudson St. south of Christopher St.



Friday, December 21 Caroling through the neighborhood with the West Village Chorale, followed by refreshments in the Church of St. Luke in the Fields cafeteria, 6:45


Blender Theater at Gramercy

127 East 23rd St. at Lexington Ave.

Tickets: $25-$35


Friday, December 21 Cabaret-style musical performance, 8:00



Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House Café

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

No cover, no minimum



Friday, December 21 Special evening of Middle Eastern / North African dance and music with Tamar Raqs, Raqs Sharqi Goddesses Mariyah and Marcella, and Djinn, 9:00


Joe’s Pub

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

Tickets: $15



Sunday, December 23 Sweet and Sour Songs of the Season, with Deidre Rodman and the Alphabet Lounge Band and special guests the Lascivious Biddies, 9:30


Highline Ballroom

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

Tickets: $17-$20



Sunday, December 23 With Dave Attell, the LeeVees, Todd Barry, and Rachel Feinstein, 8:00


92nd St. Y

1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.

Tickets: $45-$65



Monday, December 24 David Broza with Cyro Baptista, Julio Fernandez, and Jay Beckenstein, 8:00


Brooklyn Southpaw

125 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn

Tickets: $10



Monday, December 24 Chinese food, drink specials, movie time, after-party, and more, hosted by DJ Rheka and JDUB Records, 9:00


The Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St.

Free with museum admission



Tuesday, December 25 All-day celebration featuring drop-in art workshop, live performances by Metropolitan Klezmer, and family gallery guides, for ages three and up, 11:30 am — 4:00 pm


Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

36 Battery Pl.

Tickets: $20-$35



Monday, December 25 Annual performance starring Joshua Nelson & His Kosher Gospel Choir, 1:00 & 3:30


JCC in Manhattan

334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.

Tickets: $7 per film



Tuesday, December 25 THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Rob Reiner, 1987), 4:00, and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (Rob Reiner, 1989), 6:30, with Chinese food buffet dinner served in between, $15 for buffet dinner — advance registration required


The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza

17 Irving Pl. between 14th & 15th Sts.

Tickets: $



Wednesday, December 26 Annual event hosted by Hatebreed, with Agnostic Front, God Forbid, Necro, Shai Hulud, At All Costs, Only Hell Remains, Thy Will Be Done, and Fatality, 4:00


Blue Note

131 West Third St.

Tickets: table $50, bar $35

NYE: table $95, bat $60



Wednesday, December 26


Monday, December 31 Chick Corea (piano, keys, snyths), Victor Wooten (electric bass), Frank Gambale (guitar), Eric Marienthal (alto saxophone), Dave Weckl (drums)



204 Varick St. at West Houston St.

Admission: free - $15



Friday, December 28 Featuring Zon del Barrio, Fania All-Star, Yomo Toro, and Sammy Ayala, first two hundred people receive a free Fania music compilation, 8:00 & 10:00


The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza

17 Irving Pl. between 14th & 15th Sts.

Tickets: $37-$43.50



Friday, December 28


Saturday, December 29 David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain continue their tour behind ONE DAY IT WILL PLEASE US TO REMEMBER EVEN THIS, with the great Detroit Cobras opening up, 8:00


Jacob Javits Convention Center

35th St. & 11th Ave.

Admission: adults $17, children six to eleven $6, five and under free




Friday, December 28


Sunday, December 30 Twenty-seventh annual event, featuring the world’s fastest motorcycles, a Suzuki giveaway, Big Twin Customs, Motocross America "The Tour," ATV/Outdoor showcase, Motocross America, Sportbike Customs, the BOSS Freestyle Stunt Show, and more


Apollo Theater

253 West 125th St. between Adam Clayton Powell & Frederick Douglass Blvds.



Friday, December 28 The Apollo Family Series presents its second annual Kwanzaa celebration regeneration night, with Forces of Nature Dance Theater presenting "American Griot: The Journey of an African American Family," with Hazelle Goodman, Ebony Jo-Ann, and others, $12, 7:30

Saturday, December 29 The Throwback Comes to Harlem, with Big Daddy Kane, Jeff Redd, Das EFX, Brand Nubian, Dana Dane, CL-Smooth, Soul 4 Real, and Christopher Williams, with DJ Mister Cee, $40-$65, 8:00

Monday, December 31 A New Year’s Extravaganza, featuring the Cab Calloway Orchestra & Felix Hernandez’ Rhythm Revue Dance Party, with attendees able to dance on the Apollo stage, $122, 10:00 pm — 2:00 am


Beacon Theater

2124 Broadway at 74th St.

Tickets: $81-$428




Friday, December 28


Monday, December 31 Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Danny Louis, Andy Hess, and Allen Woody will jam their way through three year-end shows


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Tickets: $12-$15



Saturday, December 29 Featuring Ten Year Vamp, John McGrew & the Sit Backs, Sonny Marvello, Maslow, the Johnny Strange, Future in Plastics, and the Serpenteens and an after-party with Sunshine Flipside, 7:00


Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery at Bleecker St.

Tickets: $15



Saturday, December 29 A holiday celebration with Evie Ivy, Christine Timm, Bob Quatrone, Iris N. Schwartz, Jean Lehrman, David McConeghey, and others presenting dance, poetry, song, belly dancing, tap dancing, and more, 7:30


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St. at Bowery

Tickets: $40 December 30 (8:00), $55 December 31 (9:00)




Saturday, December 29


Monday, December 31 Rock poetess Patti Smith and her band return for a trio of holiday shows, with opening act Alejandro Escovedo


Jacob Javits Convention Center

35th St. & 11th Ave.

Admission: adults $15, children thirteen through fifteen $8, two-day tickets $25




Saturday, December 29


Sunday, January 6 The 103rd year of the world’s first boat show features the Discover Boating Village, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Seminars, the Miss GEICO Race Boat, the Power Boat Docking Challenge, the Fetch-n-Fish Tank, the Bassmeister, the Coconut Climb, new products, giveaways, book signings, interactive games, and more


The Fortune Academy

630 Riverside Dr. at 140th St.

Tickets: $35

http:// www.fortunesociety.org

Sunday, December 30 Christine Ebersole and Bill Stritch, 4:00


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Tickets: $15-$40




Sunday, December 30 Theatrical production choreographed by Pape N’Diaye of the National Ballet of Senegal and master African and American dance teachers, 8:30


Broadway & Seventh Ave. from 43rd to 50-something St.

Admission: free, but you must get there early and follow the strict rules



Monday, December 31 If you really want to do this, make sure to check out the above Web site for the myriad rules and regulations


OM Yoga

826 Broadway at 13th St., sixth floor

Admission: $40



Monday, December 31 Vinyasa yoga and meditation class with Cindy Lee and treats, open to all levels, preregistration required, 5:30 — 8:30


The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.

Admission: free, but some prepaid reserved seats available



Tuesday, December 31 Opera star Lauren Flanigan, conductor Glen Barton Cortese, and more, hosted by Harry Smith and originally conceived by Leonard Bernstein, 7:00



343 West 14th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: early show $30 show only, $90 dinner and show; late show $75 show only, $135 dinner and show



Monday, December 31 With Christian Finnegan, Greer Barnes, Kevin Brennan, and more, 7:30 & 10:30


Symphony Space Peter Jay Sharp Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Tickets: $60-$80




Monday, December 31 Annual Gilbert & Sullivan celebration featuring audience requests, parodies, and more, 8:00


Mercury Lounge

217 East Houston St. at Ave. A

Tickets: $25



Monday, December 31 Celebrate with Earl Greyhound, the Big Sleep, the London Souls, and Larune, 8:00


Galapagos Art Space

70 North Sixth St. between Wythe and Kent, Williamsburg

Tickets: $25-$75



Monday, December 31 A fabulous, glamtastic, all-star burlesque, champagne-soaked rock n’ roll discoteque New Year’s Eve for the ages, with Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Little Brooklyn, Dr. Lukki, Nasty Canasta, Jonnie Porkpie, Miss Saturn, DJ Boy Racer, and more, 8:00


B.B. King Blues Club

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

Tickets: $50-$75



Monday, December 31 Dickey Betts & Great Southern, 8:00


Lexington Avenue at 92nd St.

Kaufmann Concert Hall

Tickets: $55-$75


Monday, December 31 Los Angeles Guitar Quartet: Works by Rossini, Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Jobim, Powell, Pascoal, Villa-Lobos, and Bellinati, 8:00


Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom

311 West 34th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: $35



Monday, December 31 The Dresden Dolls, Luminescent Orchestrii, Meow Meow, the Cangelosi Cards, and more, 8:30


Magnetic Field

97 Atlantic Ave. between Hicks & Henry Sts.

Tickets: $20



Monday, December 31 The Fleshtones, the Black Hollies, and DJ Phast Phreddie, 9:00


Madison Square Garden

31st to 33rd Sts. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Tickets: $49.50-$129.50




Monday, December 31 Comedian tours behind his latest CD, CHEESE AND CRACKERS: THE GREATEST BITS, with opening act Jill Scott, 9:00


Music Hall of Williamsburg

66 North Sixth St.

Tickets: $30



Monday, December 31 Mr. Brownstone presents its Guns n’ Roses tribute, 9:00


Terminal 5

610 West 56th St.

Tickets: $45-$55



Monday, December 31 Gypsy punk cabaret with Gogol Bordello, 9:00


Blender Theater at Gramercy

127 East 23rd St. at Lexington Ave.

Tickets: $60-$65



Monday, December 31 Ring in the New Year with G. Love and Special Sauce, 9:00


Radio City Music Hall

1260 Sixth Ave. at 50th St.

Tickets: $52.50



Monday, December 31 Vinnie Amico, Rob Derhak, Chuck Garvey, Jim Loughlin, and Al Schnier jam into the New Year, 9:00


Hammerstein Ballroom

311 West 34th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: $99.99-$150




Monday, December 31 Bring in the new year with Scott Weiland, Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and David Kushner, 9:15


Laughing Lotus Yoga Center

59 West 19th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves., third floor

Admission: $35



Monday, December 31 Favorite tunes, favorite poses, cake, a sparkling toast, and the joy of breath and movement, with Edward, 10:00 pm - 12 midnight


Central Park

Naumburg Bandshell and Mall Concert Ground

Midpark from 66th to 72nd Sts.,

Registration: $35-$45



Monday, December 31 DJ music and dancing, 10:00; costume parade and contest, 11:00; Grucci fireworks countdown and four-mile race, 12 midnight



419 West 13th St. between Ninth Ave. and Washington

Admission: $25-$100



Monday, December 31 Three hours of open bar, hot dogs and pretzels, and music by DJ My Cousin Roy, DJ Spun, Liv Spencer from Still Going, and Lee Douglas, 10:00 pm — 1:00 am



1039 Washington St., Hoboken

Tickets: $20



Monday, December 31 Dean & Britta, with opening band American Watercolor Movement, 10:00


Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza

Flatbush Ave., Eastern Parkway, and Prospect Park West



Monday, December 31 Twenty-sixth annual fireworks show presented by the Zambelli Fireworks Manufacturing Company, free, 12 midnight


Mercury Lounge

217 East Houston St. at Ave. A

Tickets: $15



Monday, December 31 Late-night celebration featuring the Virgins and A.R.E. Weapons, 2:00 am


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St. at Bowery

Tickets: $30




Monday, December 31 The wild antics of Les Savy Fav, led by Tim Harrington, will be on view at this very late New Year’s Eve show, 2:00 am


St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery

Second Ave. and Tenth St.

Admission: $12-$16



Tuesday, January 1 Thirty-fourth annual event, with Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, Shanxing Wang, Susie Timmons, Eliot Katz, Maggie Dubris, Emily XYZ, Elliott Sharp, Paolo Javier, Eileen Myles, John Giorno, Steve Earle, Lenny Kaye, Wayne Koestenbaum, Merry Fortune, Jackie Sheeler, Penny Arcade, John S. Hall, Maggie Estep, Miles Champion, Citizen Reno, Dael Orlandersmith, Hal Sirowitz, Judith Malina, Philip Glass, Taylor Mead, Lee Eric Bogosian, Mónica de la Torre, and dozens more, 2:00


Abrons Arts Center

Henry Street Settlement

466 Grand St. at Pitt St.

Tickts: $15



Friday, January 4 Double bill: Swedish composer and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and drummer Rashied Ali, 8:00

Saturday, January 5 Dave Douglas and his ensemble celebrate the music of Randy Weston, 8:00


Museum of the Moving Image

35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria

November 17 - December 2

Tickets: $10 (includes museum admission)



Saturday, January 5 HARD EIGHT (aka SYDNEY) (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1996), 2:00

Saturday, January 5 BOOGIE NIGHTS (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997), 4:00

Sunday, January 6 PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002), 3:00

Sunday, January 6 MAGNOLIA (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999), 6:00 FIRST


Brooklyn Museum of Art

200 Eastern Parkway

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



Saturday, January 5 Film (CAN YOU HEAR ME? [Lilly Rivlin, 2006], CHILDREN OF HEAVEN [Majid Majidi, 1999]), gallery and artist talks, live music (Ayyoub), spoken word (Suheir Hammad), art workshops, and a waltz party with members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Bassam Saba’s ensemble, 5:00 — 11:00


Scandinavia House

58 Park Ave. at 38th St.

January 7-11

Tickets: $10



Monday, January 7 Iceland: JAR CITY (M‡RIN) (Baltasar Kormákur, 2006), 6:30

Tuesday, January 8 Norway: GONE WITH THE WOMAN (TATT AV KVINNEN) (Petter Næss, 2007), 6:30

Wednesday, January 9 Finland: A MAN’S JOB (MIEHEN TYÖ) (Aleksi Salmenperä. 2006), with Aleksi Salmenperä producer Tero Kaukomaa; and actor Tommi Korpela present, 6:30

Thursday, January 10 Sweden: YOU, THE LIVING (DU LEVANDE) (Roy Andersson, 2007), 6:30

Friday, January 11 Denmark: THE ART OF CRYING (KUNSTEN AT GRÆDE I KOR) (Peter Schønau Fog, 2006), 6:30

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