twi-ny, this week in new york

Photography Exhibit of the Week


1. Eggleston & Calder at the Whitney

2. Outsider Art Week at museum and Mart

3. Australia wishes New Yorkers a g’day

4. Short-listed Oscar docs in TriBeCa, horror films in Village

5. COIL, Under the Radar, and Culturemart present new avant-garde theater

6. The New York Jewish Film Festival and Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center


8. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Theater, including the Bridge Project at BAM and Rosemary Harris in OSCAR AND THE PINK LADY at FIAF

9. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance, including the Contemporary Dance Showcase at the Japan Society, Cedar Lake’s winter season in Chelsea, Here Comes Trouble in TriBeCa, Dengue Fever at Maxwell’s and the Highline Ballroom, Winter Jazzfest in the West Village, and Animal Collective in the Grand Ballroom

10. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including Susan Mikula at CHC Gallery, Gober and Gonzalez-Torres at Andrea Rosen, and the New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend

11. and twi-ny’s weekly recommended events, including book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, concerts, workshops, and a host of MLK tributes and inauguration viewing parties

Volume 8, Number 32
January 7-21, 2009

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

With the holidays over, instead of tossing out Christmas trees, New Yorkers are encouraged to bring them to any of the dozens of parks around the city participating in Mulchfest on January 10-11 to get them chipped and mulched; you can even bring home the results to recycle and reuse. See below for more info.


Whitney Museum of American Art

745 Madison Ave. at 75th St.

Through January 25

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Admission: $15 (pay-what-you-wish Friday nights from 6:00 — 9:00)



© William Eggleston

Eggleston went to Plains, Georgia, for Election Eve series

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1939 and raised in Sumner, Mississippi, William Eggleston has been taking pictures of America for more than fifty years, starting with a Canon rangefinder in 1957 and a Leica in 1958. Influenced by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans, Eggleston captures moments in real time, photographing random encounters with people, places, and things, finding beauty, tranquillity, and truth, initially in his early black-and-white images. In the mid-1960s, he helped usher color into the world of fine art photography, adjusting blues, greens, reds, and yellows to enhance the emotional power of his pictures. His many series document "nowhere" and "nothing," he has claimed; "I am at war with the obvious," he said in the afterword to THE DEMOCRATIC FOREST. Ah, but he has photographed so much more, presenting a fascinating, unique, and compelling vision of America and, more specifically, his native South: a man eats a hamburger at an outside stand bright with red and white stripes (from the Los Alamos series), shoes rest unevenly beneath a bed (14 Pictures), frozen food fills a refrigerator (Troubled Waters), a Wonder Bread sign rusts in the middle of an otherwise empty landscape (Seven), light falls calmly against a cast-iron kitchen sink (Morals of Vision, or Mississippi Delta), a child’s tricycle looms large in front of two one-story suburban homes (William Eggleston’s Guide), and a highway sign stands in the middle of a vacant street reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting (The Democratic Forest).

For the series Election Eve, Rolling Stone commissioned Eggleston to photograph the town of Plains, Georgia, the night before the 1976 presidential election between incumbent Gerald Ford and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter. Instead of bringing back pictures of a town buzzing with anticipation, Eggleston found peace and quiet in an empty diner, a row of mailboxes, a shady tree, simple but gorgeous works that transcended politics; the magazine never published the series. In many ways, the Plains pictures summarize Eggleston’s view of the world and his innate ability to find magic in the most mundane of objects. The Whitney Web site includes an expansive look at the photographer, including a video interview between filmmaker Douglas Sloan and Eggleston’s son, Winston, as well as an interview between director Michael Almereyda and William Eggleston himself, discussing the Whitney retrospective.

Also at the Whitney


Alexander Calder’s portraits in space greet visitors to Whitney exhibit


Whitney Museum of American Art

Through February 15


Since 1982, Cirque Calder, Alexander Calder’s fanciful circus, has been on almost constant view at the Whitney, either on the first floor or the mezzanine, but it has never before been seen quite like it is now. An expanded look at Cirque Calder is the centerpiece of the museum’s wonderful exhibit examining the artist known as Sandy’s formative years in Paris, from 1926 to 1933. The revelatory show comprises sketches, drawings, paintings, wire sculpture, newspaper and magazine illustrations, photographs, toys, sketchbooks, stabile abstractions, and more, with supplemental videos displaying how many of the works move. (Be sure to hang around "Half-Circle, Quarter-Circle, and Sphere," which regularly moves into action all by itself.) The exhibit begins with many of Calder’s wire portraits — so-called drawings in space — including depictions of such public figures as Jimmy Durante, Helen Wills, and Calvin Coolidge. A 1928 short silent film shows the "telephone wire sculptor" at work. On a back wall hang all four Josephine Baker wire sculptures, gathered together for the first time. Carefully balanced stabiles dangle from the ceiling or rise from the floor or pedestals, the only colors generally black, white, and red. There are also snapshots of Calder taken by such eminent photographers as Brassaï, André Kertész, and Agnès Varda. At the center of it all is Cirque Calder, including footage of the artist in the midst of a circus performance, which toured around the world; the exhibit even includes the five suitcases he used to transport the myriad objects. Fans of Calder will be absolutely delighted by "The Paris Years," while those for whom the jury is still out on Calder will be very pleasantly surprised.

Friday, January 8 Open Studio: Line Takes Flight, site-specific live performance by clown Colin Gee in conjunction with the exhibition "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933," free with museum admission, 2:00

Sunday, February 1 Whitney Live: Meredith Monk Music @ the Whitney, third-floor galleries, free with museum admission, no advance reservations taken, 2:00

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Art Festival of the Week

© Kiyoko Lerner / Photo by James Prinz

Mary Trent will discuss the work of Henry Darger at this year’s 2009 Outsider Art Fair


The Mart

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

January 6-11

Admission: $20 per day, $30 two-day pass, both include catalog




The term "outsider art" is generally used when discussing self-taught artists who work outside of the conventions of the art world, creating primitive, naïve drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures that can be obsessive and childlike, repetitive and simplistic, fantastical and unusual, with a back story that often includes intense privacy and, in extreme cases, mental illness. Many of these artists become known and their works displayed only very late in their life or even following their death. As part of Outsider Art Week, more than thirty art galleries from the United States, New Zealand, England, the Netherlands, France, and Haiti will be displaying and selling works by dozens of outsider artists at the Outsider Art Fair at the Mart on West 34th St.; see below for the fair’s special events, including programs at the American Folk Art Museum.

Tuesday, January 6


Sunday, January 11 Conversing with Contemporary Art, exhibition tours, American Folk Art Museum, free with museum admission, 1:00

Thursday, January 8 2009 Outsider Art Fair Benefit Preview, the Mart, featuring hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and early purchase opportunities, 6:00 — 9:00

Friday, January 9 Book Signing: Susan Mitchell Crawley, THE TREASURE OF ULYSSES DAVIS: SCULPTURE FROM A SAVANNAH BARBERSHOP, the Mart, free with fair admission, 5:00 — 6:00

Saturday, January 10 Museum Artists at the Fair, the Mart, free with fair admission, 12 noon & 5:00

Saturday, January 10 Book Signing: Brooke Davis Anderson, MARTÍN RAMÍREZ: THE LAST WORKS, the Mart, free with fair admission, 1:00 — 2:00

Saturday, January 10 Uncommon Artists XVII: A Series of Cameo Talks, the Anne Hill Blanchard Symposium, featuring Susan Mitchell Crawley on Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mike Noland and Jeff Way on Ernest "Popeye" Reed, Edward M. Puchner on Henry Speller, and Gary Snyder on Janet Sobel, the Mart, $35, 2:00

Sunday, January 11 Museum Artists at the Fair, the Mart, free with fair admission, 12 noon & 4:00

Sunday, January 11 Nathan Lerner Annual Lecture: Mary Trent, "Missing Girls" in the Art of Henry Darger, the Mart, $15, 2:00

Sunday, January 11 Book Signing: Ann Percy, JAMES CASTLE: A RETROSPECTIVE, the Mart, free with fair admission, 3:00 — 4:00

In the Thematic Neighborhood

© Estate of Martin Ramirez / photo by Ellen McDermott

Martin Ramirez, "Untitled (White Church with Abstract Sides)," paint, crayon, pencil, and collage on found paper, ca. 1960-63


American Folk Art Museum

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

Closed Monday

Through September 21

Admission: $9



Outsider Art Week is presented by the American Folk Art Museum, which will be holding daily tours, "Conversing with Contemporary Art," at 1:00 from January 6 to 11. In 2007, the Midtown museum held a retrospective of outsider artist Martín Ramírez, a Mexican railroad worker who became homeless during the Great Depression and ended up spending thirty-two years in a mental institution, diagnosed as a catatonic schizophrenic. At the time, we called the exhibition "compelling," writing, "The drawings themselves are sometimes mesmerizing, occasionally enchanting, almost always curious, but mostly repetitive. Often childlike in nature and with a hint of ancient cave paintings, the nearly one hundred works on display, spread throughout several floors of the museum, are remarkable for Ramírez’s use of line." "The Last Works" (through April 12) is more of a supplement to the previous exhibit than one that can stand on its own, consisting of twenty-five works discovered during the course of the previous show, examining many of the same themes, including trains and tunnels, horseback riders, and fanciful animals and religious figures. Also at the museum, "The Seduction of Light: Ammi Phillips / Mark Rothko Compositions in Pink, Green, and Red" runs through March 29 and "Up Close: Henry Darger" runs through September.

Friday, January 9 Free Music Fridays: Nana Schwartzlose, Natalie Gelman, and the Loom, 5:30 — 7:30

Israel Litwack, "Waterfall, White Mountains, N.H.," oil on canvas, 1951


Galerie St. Etienne

24 West 57th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves., eighth floor

Tuesday — Saturday, January 7 - March 14

Admission: free



In conjunction with Outsider Art Week, Galerie St. Etienne is opening "They Taught Themselves," an exhibition highlighting the work of fifteen of the artists discussed in Sidney Janis’s pivotal 1942 book, THEY TAUGHT THEMSELVES: AMERICAN PRIMITIVE PAINTERS OF THE 20th CENTURY. The display of more than fifty paintings focuses on the period between WWI and WWII, when outsider art began to flourish. Comprising oil paintings from private collections, the Met, the Whitney, MoMA, Carroll Janis, and the gallery’s own holdings, the exhibit features canvases by seminal outsider artists Morris Hirshfield, John Kane, Grandma Moses, Joseph Pickett, and Horace Pippin as well as William Doriani, Lawrence Lebduska, Henry Church, and others.

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International Celebration of the Week

Courtesy Robert Steele Gallery

Alick Tipoti, "Gubau Goeyga," linocut print, on display at the Robert Steele Gallery


Multiple locations


Following a week of special events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Australia Week moves east to New York City, where representatives from the commonwealth — a former penal colony that gained its independence from Great Britain on January 1, 1901 — will highlight food, fashion, art, theater, music, and more. In addition to the below programs, there will also be several industry-only events, including a black-tie gala, a fashion showroom, and a business symposium. And throughout the month of January, several Food Emporium stores in Manhattan will be featuring special products from the world’s smallest continent.

Through Saturday, January 31 Australian Graphic Design Association: 2008 Biennial National Awards Exhibition, AIGA Mezzanine Gallery, 164 Fifth Ave., Monday- Friday 11:00 am — 5:00 pm, free

Thursday, January 8


Sunday, January 25 YANAGAI! YANAGAI! Australian Aboriginal Theatre Initiative, La Mama E.T.C., 74A East Fourth St., Thursday — Sunday, $18

Thursday, January 15


February 8 RIDE: Outhouse Theatre, 59E59 St. Theaters, Tuesday — Sunday, $15-$25


Those with a sweet tooth can check out ice cream, sorbet, chocolates, and even waffles at Australian Homemade at 115 St. Marks Pl.

Monday, January 19


February 28 Gaigai Ika Woeybadh Yatharewmka: Legends Through the Past Featuring Alick Tipoti and Dennis Nona, Robert Steele Gallery, 511 West 25th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., Tuesday — Saturday, free

Tuesday, January 20 Australia Plays Broadway, featuring Olivia Newton-John, Lior, Gabriella Cilmi, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Ursula Yovich, twin cellists Pei-Jee & Pei-Sian Ng, Simon Tedeschi, David Campbell and Jimmy Barnes, Simon Burke and Alex Lewis, and others, Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium, $70-$120, 8:00

Friday, January 23


Thursday, January 29 Lisa Fox Presents Nomad Two Days, weeklong multimedia exhibit and special events including lectures, Australian snacks, book launch, a live auction, live music, and more, Donna Karan’s Stephan Weiss Studio, 711 Greenwich St.

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Mini-Film Festivals of the Week

MAN ON WIRE is on the short list for a Best Documentary Oscar nod


Tribeca Cinemas

54 Varick St. at Laight St.

January 8 & 10



Over the course of two days, Tribeca Cinemas will be screening six of the fifteen documentaries currently under consideration for the 2008 Best Documentary Oscar, examining such issues as the civil war in Liberia, the death penalty in Texas, the brutal murder of a nun in Brazil, environmentalism in South Central Los Angeles, the growing national debt, and one man’s determination to walk a very fine line between the Twin Towers. The filmmakers will be present at each screening, which will be followed by Q&A sessions moderated by such documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (JESUS CAMP), Alex Gibney (ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM), and Marshall Curry (STREET FIGHT). Past prizewinners include Gibney’s TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE in 2007, Davis Guggenheim’s AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH in 2006, Luc Jacquet’s MARCH OF THE PENGUINS in 2005, Ross Kaufmann and Zana Briski’s BORN INTO BROTHELS in 2004, Errol Morris’s THE FOG OF WAR in 2003, and Michael Moore’s BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE in 2002. Among the other nine titles on the current short list are Morris’s STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, Werner Herzog’s ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, Ellen Kuras’s THE BETRAYAL, and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s TROUBLE THE WATER.

Thursday January 8 MAN ON WIRE (James Marsh, 2008),6:00

Thursday January 8 PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL (Gini Reticker, 2008), 8:00

Saturday January 10 AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (Peter Gilbert and Steve James, 2008), 3:00

AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (Steve James & Peter Gilbert, 2008)


For more than fifteen years, Pastor Carroll Pickett served as death-row chaplain for nearly one hundred inmates at the Walls prison in Huntsville, Texas. The soft-spoken man of God would spend the last eighteen hours of each condemned man’s life with him, offering prayer, confession, and, in some cases, a hand to hold. Documentarians Steve James and Peter Gilbert, who teamed up on the Oscar-nominated HOOP DREAMS in 1994, follow Pickett as he tells his compelling story with deep emotion and remarkable insight. We see Pickett as he listens to old cassettes he recorded after each execution, talking about his own complicated feelings about his job — something he never shared with his family or parish. He discusses how his personal thoughts about capital punishment changed after the 1989 execution of Carlos De Luna, a young man who claimed he was innocent — and Pickett believed him but never spoke out for him. The film often switches to investigative reporters Steve Mills and Maury Possley of the Chicago Tribune as they research a story about De Luna’s innocence, speaking primarily with one of his sisters, Rose Rhoton, who is ashamed that she didn’t do more to save her brother’s life. But what is clear is that such miscarriages of justice are not any one person’s fault but the result of a severely broken system. James and Gilbert stay out of the way of the story; they do not hit viewers over the head with facts and numbers, they include no third-person narration or random talking heads, and they avoid the expected confrontations over this extremely controversial issue. Even Leo Sidran’s score is even-handed and sensitive. AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR is a fascinating examination of the death penalty, seen through the eyes of someone who has experienced it in a very personal, powerful way.

Saturday January 10 THEY KILLED SISTER DOROTHY (Daniel Junge, 2008), 5:00

Saturday January 10 THE GARDEN (Scott Hamilton Kennedy, 2008), 7:00

Saturday January 10 I.O.U.S.A. (Patrick Creadon, 2008), 9:00

Sean Ellis’s THE BROKEN is one of eight horror flicks at third annual fest


AMC Loews Village VII

66 Third Ave. at Eleventh St.

January 9-15




After Dark is presenting its third annual Horrorfest, featuring eight scary films that deal with cannibalism, doppelgangers, time travel, brainwashing, serial killers, and other creepy, murderous elements. As with most horror film festivals, it’s hit or miss; the first two years didn’t exactly pack a wallop, although we liked UNEARTHED from last year’s festival, and 2006’s THE ABANDONED actually got a real release in theaters. This year’s lineup includes THE BROKEN (Sean Ellis, 2008), SLAUGHTER (Stewart Hopewell, 2009), PERKINS 14 (Craig Singer, 2009), BUTTERFLY EFFECT: REVELATION (Seth Grossman, 2009), FROM WITHIN (Phedon Papamichael, 2008), DYING BREED (Jody Dwyer, 2008), AUTOPSY (Adam Gierasch, 2009), and VOICES (Ki-hwan Oh, 2009).

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Theater Festivals of the Week

Ella Hickson’s EIGHT was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival


Performance Space 122

150 First Ave. at Ninth St.

January 6-13

Tickets: $20, COIL Pass $60



P.S. 122 will present twelve shows over eight days featuring offbeat productions, including Joseph Silovsky’s JESTER OF TONGA, Lewis Forever’s FREAK THE ROOM, Temporary Distortion’s WELCOME TO NOWHERE (BULLET HOLE ROAD), the Shalimar’s TRASH WARFARE, LeeSaar’s GEISHA, the BodyCartography Project’s HOLIDAY HOUSE, Palissimo’s BLIND SPOT, Reid Farrington’s THE PASSION PROJECT, and the TEAM’s ARCHITECTING. Three of the shows, Peter Pan’s THE CRUMB TRAIL (January 15-17), Okwui Okpokwasili’s PENT UP: A REVENGE DANCE (February 10-22), and Ella Hickson/Tantrum Productions’ EIGHT (January 14-25), have already been extended in this promising series.

Sadari Movement Laboratory puts a new twist on Woyzeck story


The Public Theater and other venues

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

January 7-18

Tickets: $15



The Public Theater will once again be home base for Under the Radar, "a festival tracking new theater." Among the highlights at this year’s event is Sadari Movement Laboratory’s Korean version of WOYZECK, featuring music by Astor Piazzolla, at the Public; two avant-garde one-acts by Lee Breuer, PATAPHYSICS PENNYEACH and SUMMA DRAMATICA, at Mabou Mines Studio; Tim Crouch’s hour-long two-person play about love and art, ENGLAND, at the Chelsea Art Museum, during which the audience stands for about half the show; Lemon Andersen’s hip-hop coming-of-age story COUNTY OF KINGS: THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE at the Public; the one-night-only (January 9) multimedia punk-opera extravaganza ADDICTED TO BAD IDEAS: PETER LORRE’S 20th CENTURY, at Webster Hall; and, perhaps most intriguing, Rimini Protokoll’s CALL CUTTA IN A BOX, in which audience members each get an individual experience via computer at the Goethe-Institut (extended through February 27).

Courtesy HERE Arts Center

Yoav Gal’s videOpera MOSHEH plays January 21-23


HERE Arts Center

145 Sixth Ave. at Dominick St.

January 7 — February 4

Tickets: $15-$20, festival pass $35



Billed as an "Annual Festival of Hybrid Performances," Culturemart features seventeen multimedia works and works in progress by HERE’s resident artists, a melange of dance, theater, opera, video, live music, and much more, several of which will be followed by the Meet the Culturemart Composers discussion series. Johari Mayfield riffs on the Venus Hottentot in VENUS RIFF. Geoff Sobelle, Trey Lyford, and Steve Cuiffo turn to magic for AMAZINGLAND. Erin Off and Rima Fond make over Federico Garcia Lorca with puppets in DON CRISTOBAL, BILLY-CLUB MAN. Barbara Weichmann and Jeffrey Mousseau tell scary stories for the younger set in AUNT LEAF. And Sheila Callaghan and Daniella Topol will present an excerpt from their six-hour epic, WATER (OR THE SECRET LIFE OF OBJECTS). In addition, Culturemart has teamed up with Under the Radar to present Corey Dargel’s REMOVABLE PARTS, a musical about love and amputation, and Ray Lee’s SIREN, an electronic examination of light, sound, and movement.

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Film Festival of the Week

Film Society of Lincoln Center / the Jewish Museum

EMOTIONAL ARITHMETIC features star-studded cast


Walter Reade Theater (unless otherwise noted)

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

January 14-29




The eighteenth annual New York Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum, once again takes audiences on a trip around the world, examining the state of Jews and the Jewish diaspora in thirty-two films from fifteen countries, including France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands in addition to Israel and America. Things get under way on January 14 with the New York premiere of Michal Goldman’s AT HOME IN UTOPIA, a documentary detailing the birth of the United Workers Cooperative Colony in the Bronx, and Joseph Burstyn’s 1935 short YOSL CUTLER AND HIS PUPPETS, and close on January 28-29 with the world premiere of WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON, a documentary that looks at Evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists and their belief that Jerusalem will be the site of the coming Apocalypse.

The life and career of Solomon Mikhoels is honored in a sidebar that features the 1925 silent film JEWISH LUCK and the 1932 restored THE RETURN OF NATHAN BECKER. Don’t be lured in by the star power of Paolo Barzman’s dreadful EMOTIONAL ARITHMETIC, a 2007 Canadian movie, released as AUTUMN HEARTS on DVD, about a reunion of WWII transit camp survivors, with a cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Roy Dupuis, and Gabriel Byrne. Among the other subjects tackled in this wide-ranging collection of films are Jews who have disappeared in Argentina, a rabbi who became a Muslim scholar, a psychologist handling patients in northern Gaza, and several heart-tugging family and romance dramas, with special screenings at the Jewish Museum, the JCC in Manhattan, and the new 92Y Tribeca in addition to the main slate at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, January 14 AT HOME IN UTOPIA (Michal Goldman, 2008) and YOSL CUTLER AND HIS PUPPETS (YOSL KOTLER UN ZAYNE MARIONETEN) (Joseph Burstyn, 1935), 1:30 & 6:15

Wednesday, January 14 EMOTIONAL ARITHMETIC (Paolo Barzman, 2007), 3:30

Wednesday, January 14 TWO LIVES PLUS ONE (DEUX VIES... PLUS UNE) (Idit Cebula, 2007), 8:30

Thursday, January 15 EMOTIONAL ARITHMETIC (Paolo Barzman, 2007), 1:00 & 6:00

Thursday, January 15 FACING THE WIND (MARGISH ET HARUACH) (Gilad Reshef, 2006) and MY FATHER’S PALESTINIAN SLAVE (MIN PAPPAS PALESTINSKA SLAV) (Uri Appenzeller & Nathanel Goldman Amirav, 2007), 3:15 & 8:15

Saturday, January 17 TWO LIVES PLUS ONE (DEUX VIES... PLUS UNE) (Idit Cebula, 2007), 6:30

Saturday, January 17 WEEKEND IN GALILEE (SOF SHAVUA BAGALIL) (Moshe Mizrahi, 2007), 9:00

Sunday, January 18 JEWISH LUCK (YEVREISKOYE SCHASTYE) (MENAKHEM MENDL) (Alexander Granovsky, 1925), with live piano accompaniment, 1:00

Sunday, January 18 MAX MINSKY AND ME (MAX MINSKY UND ICH) (Anna Justice, 2007), 3:30

Sunday, January 18 OUR DISAPPEARED (NUESTROS DESAPARECIDOS) (Juan Mandelbaum, 2008), 6:00

Monday, January 19 THE JESTER (DER PURIMSHPILER) (Joseph Green & Jan Nowina-Przybylski, 1937), 1:00


Monday, January 19 MAX MINSKY AND ME (MAX MINSKY UND ICH) (Anna Justice, 2007), 6:00

Monday, January 19 A REFUSENIK’S MOTHER (IMA SHEL SHIMRI) (Ori Ben Dov, 2008) and YIDESHE MAMA (Fima Shlick and Gennady Kuchuk, 2008), 8:30

Tuesday, January 20 EMPTY NEST (EL NIDO VACÍO) (Daniel Burman, 2008), 1:30 & 6:00

EMPTY NEST (EL NIDO VACIO) (Daniel Burman, 2008)

Tuesday, January 20, 1:30 & 6:00

Wednesday, January 21, 8:30


Writer-director Daniel Burman makes his third visit to the New York Jewish Film Festival (following 2002’s WAITING FOR THE MESSIAH and 2005’s LOST EMBRACE) with EMPTY NEST, a drama about a successful Argentine writer who starts examining his life when he suddenly suspects his wife might be having an affair and his daughter is out on an overnight date. Oscar Martinez is wonderfully moody as Leonardo, a solace-loving author who has no time for his wife’s chatty, gossiping friends — especially Fernando (Jean Pierre Noher), who shares secret moments with Oscar’s still-vivacious wife, Martha (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER’s Cecilia Roth). After Alzheimer’s specialist Dr. Sprivak (Arturo Goetz) tells Oscar about certain mental and physical exercises men can do to combat the onset of the disease — which includes the inability to discern fantasy from reality — Leonardo starts performing these strange activities, desperate to maintain his sanity. Meanwhile, he is also contemplating whether to make a play for his beautiful young orthodontist, Violeta (Eugenia Capizzano), not caring whether it’s fantasy or reality. It all comes to a head when he and Martha and their two sons all go to Israel to visit their daughter, Julia (Ines Efron), and her husband, Ianib (Ron Richter). EMPTY NEST, which screened at the San Sebastian and Toronto International Film Festivals and is making its U.S. premiere here, is a bittersweet look at the trials and tribulations of middle-aged life, when the kids have all left home and there is less time in the future as there was in the past.


**Tuesday, January 20 A REFUSENIK’S MOTHER (IMA SHEL SHIMRI) (Ori Ben Dov, 2008) and YIDESHE MAMA (Fima Shlick and Gennady Kuchuk, 2008), JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St., 7:30

Tuesday, January 20 OUR DISAPPEARED (NUESTROS DESAPARECIDOS) (Juan Mandelbaum, 2008), 8:30


Wednesday, January 21 OUR DISAPPEARED (NUESTROS DESAPARECIDOS) (Juan Mandelbaum, 2008), 3:45

Wednesday, January 21 EMPTY NEST (EL NIDO VACÍO) (Daniel Burman, , 2008), 8:30


Thursday, January 22 YOUNG FREUD IN GAZA (UNGE FREUD I GAZA)(PeÅ Holmquist & Suzanne Khardalian, 2008), 1:30

Film Society of Lincoln Center / the Jewish Museum

Muslim and Jewish friends face a personal crisis during WWII in THE WEDDING SONG

Thursday, January 22 THE WEDDING SONG (LE CHANT DES MARIÉES) (Karin Albou, 2008), 3:45 & 8:30

Saturday, January 24 CAMP GIRLS (Gay Block, 2008) and DRIVING MEN (Susan Mogul, 2008), 6:30

**Saturday, January 24 THE WEDDING SONG (LE CHANT DES MARIÉES) (Karin Albou, 2008), 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson St. at Canal St., 9:00

Saturday, January 24 THE GIFT TO STALIN (PODAROK STALINU) (Rustem Abdrashev, 2008), 9:15

Sunday, January 25 THE RETURN OF NATHAN BECKER (NOSN BECKER FORT AHEYM) (Boris Shpis & Rokhl M. Milman, 1932), 5:15

Sunday, January 25 BEING JEWISH IN FRANCE (COMME UN JUIF EN FRANCE) (Yves Jeuland, 2007), 7:15

Monday, January 26 THE GIFT TO STALIN (PODAROK STALINU) (Rustem Abdrashev, 2008), 1:15 & 6:15

Monday, January 26 CAMP GIRLS (Gay Block, 2008) and DRIVING MEN (Susan Mogul, 2008), 3:30

Monday, January 26 EVERY MOTHER SHOULD KNOW (TEDA KOL EM IVRIYA) (Nir Toib, 2008), 8:30

Tuesday, January 27 EVERY MOTHER SHOULD KNOW (TEDA KOL EM IVRIYA) (Nir Toib, 2008), 1:00

**Tuesday, January 27 IN SEARCH OF THE BENE ISRAEL (Sadia Shepard, 2008) and THE FIRE WITHIN: JEWS IN THE AMAZONIAN RAINFOREST (Lorry Salcedo Mitrani, 2008), the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St., 3:00

Tuesday, January 27 MR. RAKOWSKI (Jan Diederen, 2007), 4:00

**Tuesday, January 27 IN SEARCH OF THE BENE ISRAEL (Sadia Shepard, 2008) and THE FIRE WITHIN: JEWS IN THE AMAZONIAN RAINFOREST (Lorry Salcedo Mitrani, 2008), the Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St., 6:30

Wednesday, January 28 WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON (Kate Davis, David Heilbroner & Franco Sacchi, 2008), 2:00

WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON (Kate Davis, David Heilbroner & Franco Sacchi, 2008)

Wednesday, January 28, 2:00

Thursday, January 29, 8:30


In WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON, which is making its world premiere as the closing-night selection of the New York Jewish Film Festival, directors Kate Davis, David Heilbroner, and Franco Sacchi talk to Christian Evangelicals about their Zionism — they believe in the defense and protection of Israel not for political or humanistic reasons but because that is where they believe Jesus will return and lead them into the next world. The seventy-four-minute film is divided into four parts — Rapture, Tribulation, Armageddon, and the Millennium — as families such as the New England Baggs and the Edwards clan of Oklahoma and religious and community leaders including Dr. Robert L. Dean Jr. of the West Houston Bible Church, Dr. David Hunt of the Berean Call Ministry, Phillip Goodman of Prophecy Watch Television, and Dr. Thomas Ice of Liberty University detail the importance of Israel and the Jews to the coming Apocalypse. There is also footage of Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, evangelists who have had a significant impact on the political system of the United States, especially during the administration of George W. Bush. The film is at its best when it follows Dr. H. Wayne House, professor of biblical studies and apologetics at Faith Seminary in Washington State, as he leads one of his Christian Study Tours of the Holy Land, reading from his Bible as he takes the group to such sites as the Dome of the Rock and explains its importance in prophecy. Much of the rest of the film lacks proper perspective and balance — while the directors do talk to several experts who do not believe in biblical prophecy and Armageddon, it feels like they were added just to make the documentary seem more balanced. It might have been better had Davis, Heilbroner, and Sacchi simply let the Evangelicals share their stories without any so-called experts and let viewers decide for themselves. Still, WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON examines a very complicated topic that deserves far more investigation in the media. The January 29 screening will be followed by a reception.

Wednesday, January 28 KREDENS (Jacob Dammas, 2007) and STUMBLING STONE (STOLPERSTEIN) (Dörte Franke, 2007), 4:15 & 8:30

Wednesday, January 28 MR. RAKOWSKI (Jan Diederen, 2007), 6:15

Thursday, January 29 DARLING! THE PIETER-DIRK UYS STORY (Julian Shaw, 2006) and THE WOMAN FROM SARAJEVO (Ella Alterman, 2007), 1:00 & 6:00

Thursday, January 29 IN SEARCH OF THE BENE ISRAEL (Sadia Shepard, 2008) and THE FIRE WITHIN: JEWS IN THE AMAZONIAN RAINFOREST (Lorry Salcedo Mitrani, 2008), 3:30

Thursday, January 29 WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON (Kate Davis, David Heilbroner & Franco Sacchi, 2008), 8:30

Also at Lincoln Center

Film Society of Lincoln Center / 20th Century Fox / Kobal Collection

Carmen Miranda puts on quite a show in Busby Berkeley’s THE GANG’S ALL HERE


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

January 7-11, 16-17

Series Pass: $40 for any five films



Dance on Camera is back for its annual festival of the best of old and new dance, featuring seven days of screenings highlighting such masters as the Ballets Russes, Jirí Kylián, Antonio Gades, Busby Berkeley, and Jerome Robbins and forms ranging from ballet and flamenco to contemporary and Indian shamanic dance. On January 11, there will be a special presentation of Maurice Tourneur’s 1918 film, THE BLUE BIRD, with live piano accompaniment by Ben Model. Throughout, many of the directors (and a few performers) will be on hand to introduce their work, including for "Flamenco + Shorts" January 8-9 and "On the Short Side" January 9 & 11.

Wednesday, January 7 Ballet Then and Now: BALLERINA (Bertrand Normand, 2007) and PLAY: ON THE BEACH WITH THE BALLETS RUSSES (Gillian Lacey, 2008), followed by Q&As with Bertrand Normand and Ballet Russes dancer Betty Low, 6:15

Wednesday, January 7 Empac Dance Movies: KINO-EYE (Joby Emmons, 2008), VETERANS (Victoria Marks & Margaret Williams, 2008), PROPRIEDAD HORIZONTAL (David Fariás, Carla Schillagi & Maria Fernanda Vallejos, 2008), and NORA (Alla Kovgan and David Hinton, 2008), introduced by curator Hélène Lesterlin, 9:00

Thursday, January 8 Ballet Then and Now: BALLERINA (Bertrand Normand, 2007) and PLAY: ON THE BEACH WITH THE BALLETS RUSSES (Gillian Lacey, 2008), followed by a Q&A with Bertrand Normand, 1:30

Thursday, January 8 Jirí Kylián on Screen: FALLING ANGELS (Hans Hulscher, 1997), PETITE MORT (Hans Hulscher, 1996), WINGS OF WAX (Hans Hulscher, 1997), and SLEEPLESS (Hans Hulscher, 2004), 4:00

Thursday, January 8 Flamenco + Shorts: ANTONIO GADES: THE ETHICS OF DANCING (Juan Cano Arecha, 2007), OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR (David Fernandez, 2007), and ICARUS APR (David Fernandez, 2008), introduced by Juan Cano Arecha and followed by a Q&A with the director, 6:15

Thursday, January 8 Magnetic Cinema X 3: MAGNETIC CINEMA (Pierre Coulibeuf, 2008), MATCHBOX (Daniel Belton, 2008), and SENS 1 (Julien Condemine, 2008), 8:45

Friday, January 9 Flamenco + Shorts: ANTONIO GADES: THE ETHICS OF DANCING (Juan Cano Arecha, 2007), OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR (David Fernandez, 2007), and ICARUS APR (David Fernandez, 2008), introduced by Juan Cano Arecha and followed by a Q&A with the director, 2:00

Friday, January 9 DANCE OF THE ENCHANTRESS: (Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 2007), 4:00

Friday, January 9 On the Short Side: AFTER DÜRER (Daniel Belton, 2007), Veiting Norba (Didzis Eglitis, 2007), DANCE LIKE YOUR OLD MAN (Gideon Obarzanek & Edwina Throsby, 2007), DAY OFF (Karn Junkinsmith, 2007), OF THE HEART (Douglas Rosenberg & Allan Kaeja, 2008), LIBERAMAE (Marie-Christine LeTourneux, 2008), MANUELLE LABOR (Marie Losier, 2007), KAROHANO (Jeannette Ginslov, 2008), BARDO (Richard Move, 2007), MYSTERIES OF NATURE (Dahci Ma, 2008), and GENTLE SHIFT (Patrick Lovejoy, 2008), 6:15

Friday, January 9 VSPRS SHOW AND TELL (Sophie Fiennes, 2006), introduced by Sophie Fiennes and followed by a Q&A with the director, 8:30

Saturday, January 10 Under the Influence of Busby Berkeley, discussion with Kriota Willberg, Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater, free, 3:30

Saturday, January 10 Blithe Spirits: Rudavsky Meets Busby Berkeley: CELESTIAL RIDDLE (Ondrej Rudavsky, 2008), KIKO (Ondrej Rudavsky, 2004), CARNIVAL (Ondrej Rudavsky, 1994), ECHO DANCE (Ondrej Rudavsky, 2008), and DAMES (Ray Enright and Busby Berkeley, 1934), introduced by J. Hoberman, 4:00

Saturday, January 10 THE GANG’S ALL HERE (Busby Berkeley, 1943), 6:30

Saturday, January 10 Memories: HISTÓRIA (Karsten Liske, 2007) and NORA (Alla Kovgan & David Hinton, 2008), introduced by Karsten Liske and dancer Claudia de Serpa Soares, 8:45

Sunday, January 11 THE BLUE BIRD (Maurice Tourneur, 1918), with live piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 2:00

Sunday, January 11 Memories: HISTÓRIA (Karsten Liske, 2007) and NORA (Alla Kovgan & David Hinton, 2008), introduced by Karsten Liske and dancer Claudia de Serpa Soares, 4:15

Sunday, January 11 VSPRS SHOW AND TELL (Sophie Fiennes, 2006), introduced by Sophie Fiennes and followed by a Q&A with the director, 6:15

Sunday, January 11 On the Short Side: AFTER DÜRER (Daniel Belton, 2007), Veiting Norba (Didzis Eglitis, 2007), DANCE LIKE YOUR OLD MAN (Gideon Obarzanek & Edwina Throsby, 2007), DAY OFF (Karn Junkinsmith, 2007), OF THE HEART (Douglas Rosenberg & Allan Kaeja, 2008), LIBERAMAE (Marie-Christine LeTourneux, 2008), MANUELLE LABOR (Marie Losier, 2007), KAROHANO (Jeannette Ginslov, 2008), BARDO (Richard Move, 2007), MYSTERIES OF NATURE (Dahci Ma, 2008), and GENTLE SHIFT (Patrick Lovejoy, 2008), 8:30

Friday, January 16 Magnetic Cinema X 3: MAGNETIC CINEMA (Pierre Coulibeuf, 2008), MATCHBOX (Daniel Belton, 2008), and SENS 1 (Julien Condemine, 2008), 1:00

Friday, January 16 THE CHOSEN ONE (ISHANOU) (Aribam Syam Sharma, 1991), 3:30

Friday, January 16 AMERICAN MASTERS: JEROME ROBBINS: SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT (Judy Kinberg, 2008), introduced by Susan Lacey and followed by a panel discussion with Judy Kinberg, writer Amanda Vaill, dancers Maria Calegari and Benjamin Millepied, and choreographer/director Donald Saddler, 6:15

Friday, January 16 DANCE OF THE ENCHANTRESS: (Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 2007), 9:00

Saturday, January 17 THE CHOSEN ONE (ISHANOU) (Aribam Syam Sharma, 1991), 1:00

Saturday, January 17 Jirí Kylián on Screen: FALLING ANGELS (Hans Hulscher, 1997), PETITE MORT (Hans Hulscher, 1996), WINGS OF WAX (Hans Hulscher, 1997), and SLEEPLESS (Hans Hulscher, 2004), 3:30

In the Neighborhood


William Tarr statue behind Lincoln Center honors MLK


Martin Luther King Jr. High School

122 Amsterdam Ave. at 66th St.


William Tarr’s 1973 weathering steel black sculpture stands atop the plaza of Martin Luther King Jr. High School down the street from Lincoln Center. Make sure you check out all four sides of this splendid cube, including important dates in the life of the civil rights leader, as well as famous quotes. The cube is also covered with lots of initials, but we’re not sure what those all mean. Tarr is a Sarasota native and a Guggenheim Fellow whose work can also be found in Lower Manhattan and Florida.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

Reygadas film is a unique cinematic experience

SILENT LIGHT (STELLET LICHT) (Carlos Reygadas, 2008)

Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

January 7-20



Carlos Reygadas’s SILENT LIGHT is a gentle, deeply felt, gorgeously shot work of intense calm and beauty. The film opens with a stunning sunrise and ends with a glorious sunset; in between is scene after scene of sublime beauty and simplicity, as Reygadas uses natural sound and light, a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors, and no incidental music to tell his story, allowing it to proceed naturally. In a Mennonite farming community in northern Mexico where Plautdietsch is the primary language, Johan (Cornelio Wall Fehr) is torn between his wife, Esther (Miriam Toews), and his lover, Marianne (Maria Pankratz). While he loves Esther, he finds a physical and spiritual bond with Marianne that he does not feel with his wife and their large extended family. Although it pains Johan deeply to betray Esther, he is unable to decide between the two women, even after tragedy strikes. Every single shot of the spare, unusual film, which tied for the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival (with Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS), is meticulously composed by Reygadas (JAPON, BATTLE IN HEAVEN) and cinematographer Alexis Zabe, as if a painting. Many of the scenes consist of long takes with little or no camera movement and sparse dialogue, evoking the work of Japanese minimalist master Yasujiro Ozu. The lack of music evokes the silence of the title, but the quiet, filled with space and meaning, is never empty. And the three leads — Fehr, who lives in Mexico; Toews, who is from Canada; and Pankratz, who was born in Kazakhstan and lives in Germany — are uniformly excellent in their very first film roles. SILENT LIGHT is a mesmerizing, memorable, and very different kind of cinematic experience.

Jonas becomes part of a new family in Danish film noir

JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY (Ole Bornedal, 2008)

Cinema Village

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

Opens Friday, January 9



Growing bored with his life as a husband, father of two, and crime scene photographer, Jonas (Anders W. Bertelsen) suddenly finds a surprising way out of the doldrums following a devastating car accident set off because the old car he was driving finally gave out in the middle of the road. A young woman, Julia (Rebecka Hemse), lies in a coma in the hospital. Feeling partly responsible, Jonas visits her, telling a nurse that he is her boyfriend so he can see her. Julia’s family then gathers around him, believing him to be Sebastian, the mystery man Julia met while traveling in Southeast Asia. As Julia begins making a remarkable recovery — except for some memory loss and blindness — Jonas begins to spend more time with her and her family than with his own, both excited and confused by the new adventure. But trouble — and the truth — lurks around every corner, and when it finally comes…. JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY is a suspenseful modern noir written and directed by Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal (NIGHTWATCH) with plenty of panache. The twists and turns, especially in the climactic scenes, come fast and furious, including a tense psychological game of cat and mouse. The film does suffer a bit from too much self-referential posturing, but audiences will have fun squirming on the edge of their seat.

Some ideas are better left unhatched

THE UNBORN (David S. Goyer, 2009)

Opens Friday, January 9


Liberally borrowing from THE EXORCIST, THE OTHER, JACOB’S LADDER, THE OMEN, and other horror favorites, writer-director David S. Goyer (BLADE: TRINITY, THE INVISIBLE) infuses THE UNBORN with its share of legitimate scares that will have audiences covering their eyes and jumping in their seats. Unfortunately, the story is so misguided and convoluted that those chills ultimately can’t save the movie from its deserved place in the minor leagues. Odette Yustman (CLOVERFIELD) stars as Casey Beldon, a college student who is being tormented by frightening dreams and the creepy kid down the street (Atticus Shaffer, the creepy kid from that AIG commercial), who keeps telling her that Jumby wants to be born now. As people around her start dropping like flies, Casey investigates her past, getting vital information from her late mother (Carla Gugino, who can’t say no to a job offer these days), her father (James Remar, who hopefully thought his part would be bigger when he signed on), and grandmother (Jane Alexander, who used to be a bit more selective with her roles) while turning to a rabbi (Gary Oldman, who looks bewildered most of the time) for a potential exorcism. There might just be a good movie in here somewhere, but as soon as Goyer brings in the Nazis and the Holocaust, it never has a chance.

Chazz Palminteri and Christine Lahti hit the casinos in YONKERS JOE

YONKERS JOE (Robert Celestino, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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

Opens Friday, January 9




Robert Celestino’s directorial debut is a heartfelt drama bedeviled by rookie mistakes — the boom mic is prominent in at least two scenes, the continuity is subpar (keep an eye on that bread basket), and the dialogue synching is simply awful. Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri stars as Yonkers Joe, a low-level con artist who is a sleight-of-hand master at cards and dice. Among his cohorts are his girlfriend, Janice (Oscar nominee Christine Lahti), and Stanley (Oscar nominee Michael Lerner), an expert at making duplicate dice and decks that mimic the real thing. When Joe’s son, Joe Jr. (Tom Guiry), who has Down syndrome, turns twenty-one and is forced to leave the institution where he’s been living, Joe is at a loss at what to do. He doesn’t want to take care of Joe Jr. himself — his son has special needs and a violent temper — and Joe can’t afford to put him in an expensive group home. So he plans to pull off a big con in a Vegas casino — one that could destroy his relationship with Janice, ruin Joe Jr.’s future, and land Joe in jail. The film, which was also written by Celestino, is nearly redeemed by a fine performance by Lahti and a good ending, but that’s not quite enough to save it.

Groucho is dressed for battle in DUCK SOUP

DUCK SOUP (Leo McCarey, 1933)

CabaretCinema, Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

Friday, January 9, 9:30

Free with $7 bar minimum (includes admission to galleries)

212-620-5000 ext 344



One of the wackiest films ever made, DUCK SOUP stars the Marx Brothers at their absolute best. Groucho is a riot as Rufus T. Firefly, the leader of the strange little country of Freedonia, which is prepared to go to war if necessary with its neighbor Sylvania, represented by blowhard ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern), who has designs on wealthy Freedonian philanthropist Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont). Meanwhile, spies Chicolini (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) harass a street vendor (poor Edgar Kennedy), mock Firefly in front of a pseudo-mirror, and just have a jolly old time everywhere they go. But there’s more to the film than outrageous slapstick and wild and woolly quotes; there’s some very deft criticism of politics, government, and, most of all, war. This special presentation at the Rubin Museum of Art, part of the Proverbial Pictureshow series, will be introduced by author Andrew Sean Greer (THE CONFESSIONS OF MAX TIVOLI, THE STORY OF A MARRIAGE). Hail, hail, Freedonia!

Guy Maddin’s MY WINNIPEG is one of the best of 2008


Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

Friday, January 9, 7:30

Saturday, January 10, 7:00

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




In MY WINNIPEG, Guy Maddin pays tribute to the long, bizarre history of the title Canadian province, which sits directly in the middle of North America, what Maddin refers to as the "heart of the heart of the continent." Combining archival footage with newly re-created scenes, all of which look like faded newsreels and early, deteriorating prints, Maddin (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, CAREFUL), in voice-over narration, tells of horses buried in ice with their heads sticking out, the Happyland amusement park, Ledge Man, the Hudson’s Bay Company, stampedes, spirit photography and seances, a beauty pageant for men, local scavenger hunts in which the winner gets a ticket out of town, and other strange elements; one of the many joys of the film is not knowing what is exactly true and what is invention, although there is more fact here than you might think. "Everything that happens in this city is a euphemism," Maddin says, just to keep us guessing. He also gets personal in the film, which he calls a "docu-fantasia," with many scenes focusing on his mother, played by 1940s film noir star Ann Savage (who just died on Christmas Day at the age of eighty-seven). A masterful meditation on memory, MY WINNIPEG is one of Maddin’s most accomplished, accessible works, the successor to such classic avant-garde filmmakers as Dali and Buñuel (UN CHIEN ANDALOU), Brakhage (DOG STAR MAN), and Welles (F FOR FAKE). MY WINNIPEG is screening as part of MoMA’s series the Contenders, consisting not of possible Oscar nominees but films that it believes "will stand the test of time." To get a little taste of what Maddin is all about, you can check out many of his short films, including NUDE CABOOSE, FUSEBOY, A TRIP TO THE ORPHANAGE, and SISSY-BOY SLAP-PARTY, on YouTube. Don’t worry about feeling like you’re "stealing" them by seeing them for free; Maddin put them up there himself.

Jamal Woolard hits the big-time in rap biopic

NOTORIOUS (George Tillman Jr., 2009)

Opens Friday, January 16


In NOTORIOUS, Christopher Wallace, like Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Patsy Cline, and Jim Morrison before him, is immortalized on film, yet another prodigiously talented young musician who died too soon. In this case, it’s Brooklyn-born rapper Biggie Smalls (Wallace), or the Notorious B.I.G., who was gunned down at the age of twenty-four in 1997 at the height of his popularity, amid the so-called East Coast / West Coast rap rivalry of the nineties that also claimed the life of his onetime friend and rival Tupac Shakur. Produced by Wallace’s mother, Voletta, his two managers, and his producer, Sean “Puffy” Combs, this well-made biopic, directed by George Tillman Jr. (SOUL FOOD) and written by Reggie Rock Bythewood (DANCING IN SEPTEMBER) and Cheo Hodari Coker, holds no surprises but packs a punch nevertheless, thanks to the amazing, gritty, brilliant, street-true music of Biggie. Rapper Jamal Woolard, a newcomer to the screen, inhabits Biggie’s character with swagger, charm, intonation, and size, nailing his mannerisms, but after a four-month acting “boot camp” he impersonates rather than portrays Biggie. The incomparable Angela Bassett, as Voletta, has acting chops to spare, and both rival Tupac (Anthony Mackie) and producer Combs (Derek Luke) are played by pros, providing some much-needed acting ballast to balance the production. The gorgeous Antonique Smith, incandescent as Biggie’s wife, R&B star Faith Evans, amps the glamour quotient, while Biggie’s protégée and former girlfriend Lil Kim is played with sass and verve by Naturi Naughton. But the music, with its jaw-dropping wordplay and irresistible drive, is the real star here.

Psychologists discuss ethics of interrogating Iraqi detainees and others in new doc


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.

Wednesday, January 14, 9:15




Boston-based forensic psychologist Maryanne Galvin is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has examined such issues as the crisis of faith in America (HIGH, FAST AND WONDERFUL), economic simplicity (AS IS: A DOWNSIZED LIFE), capital punishment (THANATOS RX: THE DEATH PENALTY DEBATE IN AMERICA), and female sexuality (THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE). Her latest film, INTERROGATE THIS: PSYCHOLOGISTS TAKE ON TERROR, looks at the question of whether it is ethical for psychologists to participate in the military interrogation of national security detainees. "It was unfathomable that any of my colleagues would engage in acts of torture, cruel or degrading behaviors toward others, particularly in settings where the detainees had very few rights," Galvin explains on her Web site. "I had to know more. This project was conceived. I pushed back the curtain and entered a murky world revealing the complex intersection of personalities, politics, national security, ethics, and moral decision-making." The screening at Anthology Film Archives — part of a three-program NewFilmmakers presentation called "The Bush Legacy" — will be followed by a Q&A with Galvin and several mental-health professionals who appear in the documentary, including Dr. Michael Gelles, Dr. Steven Reisner, Dr. Neil Altman, and Ghislaine Boulander, PhD.

In Theaters Now

Catherine Deneuve stars as family matriarch in Desplechin holiday flick

(Arnaud Desplechin, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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




One of the best films of 2008, A CHRISTMAS TALE (UN CONTE DE NOËL) is yet another extraordinary work from French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin (LA SENTINELLE, ESTHER KAHN). Desplechin, who examined family dysfunction in the masterful KINGS AND QUEEN (one of the best films of 2006), brings back much of that film’s cast in A CHRISTMAS TALE. Catherine Deneuve stars as Junon, the family matriarch who has just discovered she has leukemia and is in need of a bone-marrow transplant. Although it is rare for children to donate bone marrow to their mother (or grandmother), Junon insists that they all take the test to see if they are compatible. Soon they gather at Junon and Abel’s (Jean-Paul Roussilon) house for the holidays: oldest daughter Elizabeth (Anne Consigny), a dark and depressed woman whose teenage son, Paul (Emile Berling), has been institutionalized with mental problems and whose husband, Claude (Hippolyte Girardot), is rarely home; Ivan (Melvil Poupaud), the youngest son, a carefree sort married to Sylvia (Chiara Mastroianni, Deneuve’s real-life daughter), whom Junon strongly distrusts; and black sheep Henri (Mathieu Almaric), the middle child who was initially conceived primarily to save Abel and Junon’s first son, Joseph, who ended up dying of the same leukemia that Junon has contracted. Henri, who shows up with a new girlfriend, the very direct Faunia (Emmanuelle Devos), is a philandering ne’er-do-well who is deeply estranged from Elizabeth and not close with his mother, leading to much strife as Christmas — and a possible transplant — nears. Desplechin, who wrote the script with Emmanuel Bourdieu, once again has created powerful, realistic characters portrayed marvelously by his extremely talented cast; despite the family’s massive dysfunction, you’ll feel that even spending more than two and a half hours with them is not enough.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett play age-crossed lovers in BUTTON

(David Fincher, 2008)


Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON is an unusual love story for the ages. As Benjamin (Brad Pitt) grows younger, everyone around him gets older, creating fascinating intersections among various characters, but primarily with Daisy Fuller (Cate Blanchett). It’s August 2005 in New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina approaches. In her hospital room, an elderly, dying woman (an unrecognizable Blanchett) gives her daughter, Caroline (Julia Ormond), a diary that she begins reading out loud. It was written by a man named Benjamin Button, who was born an old man in 1918 and tells his life story as the years pass by and he ages backward, sort of a reverse Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) in the great LITTLE BIG MAN (Arthur Penn, 1970), with a bit of the overrated FORREST GUMP (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) thrown in as well. The film lags a bit as Benjamin and Daisy approach similar ages — actually, the closer they get to their actor selves — but the beginning is marvelous, with Fincher working magic as Pitt plays a tiny, withered old man, and the ending is heart-wrenching. Fincher (FIGHT CLUB, ZODIAC) and writer Eric Roth — who won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for FORREST GUMP — wisely choose not to turn Benjamin into a human oddity that confounds the medical profession; instead, he just goes about his life, trying to do the best he can with a positive outlook and a lust for living. Alexandre Desplat’s score is among the best of the year, supported by a soundtrack filled with New Orleans jazz. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton as a diplomat’s wife who takes a romantic interest in Benjamin, Jared Harris as the randy captain of a tugboat who teaches Benjamin about the sea (and booze and sex), Taraji P. Henson as Queenie, the woman who raises the baby Benjamin after he is abandoned by his father (Jason Flemyng), and the man with perhaps the longest name in the history of show business, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, as Queenie’s husband, Tizzy.

Daniel Craig leads a band of Jews not afraid to take up arms in WWII drama

DEFIANCE (Edward Zwick, 2008)


December has seen the release of a spate of Holocaust-related dramas, examining the Nazis and the persecution of the Jews from many different angles — with various degrees of success. Among the best of the films — and one that tells a seldom-told tale — is Edward Zwick’s DEFIANCE. Zwick, whose GLORY looked at the contribution of African Americans fighting for the North in the Civil War, now turns to WWII, following the Bielski clan as it fights back against the Germans and the local constabulary in Russia. Based on a true story detailed in the book of the same name by Nechama Tec, DEFIANCE stars Daniel Craig as Tuvia, Liev Schreiber as Zus, and Jamie Bell as Asael, three brothers who have left their farm and take refuge in the vast forest they have been playing in since they were kids. As more and more Jews hear about the small community they are establishing in the forest, they flock there. But while Tuvia feels he cannot send anyone away, Zus believes such foolish generosity will result in a lack of food and a greater chance that they will be found and killed. With Tuvia as the group’s reluctant leader, adamant that they should remain in the forest, Zus takes off to join the Russian resistance. “Each day of freedom is a victory,” Tuvia proclaims. “And if we die trying to live, at least we die like human beings.” But as the Germans get closer and the winter grows harsher, the chances of survival seem bleaker and bleaker. Although DEFIANCE does lapse into soap-opera territory and pulls at the emotional heartstrings too often — Zwick and executive producer Marshall Herskovitz were, after all, the creators of THIRTYSOMETHING — it is a powerful drama that reveals a rarely shown side of the Holocaust as a group of working-class Jewish men and women refuse to give in or give up, taking up arms and fighting back against impossible odds.

David Frost (Michael Sheen) and Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) get it on in Ron Howard drama

FROST/NIXON (Ron Howard, 2008)


In 1977, the disgraced former president of the United States, Richard Nixon, sat down with British talk show host David Frost for a series of interviews, including the first time Nixon had agreed to discuss Watergate publicly; Frost was after a big payday and trying to resurrect his career in America, while Nixon was attempting to defend his legacy and reestablish his political credentials. Written by Peter Morgan (THE QUEEN) based on his play, FROST/NIXON is a compelling drama that turns into a thriller as Frost and Nixon get caught up in an intellectual game of cat and mouse. Frank Langella is absolutely brilliant as Nixon, capturing every nuance of the jowly president, while Michael Sheen (Tony Blair in THE QUEEN) is a bit too wide-eyed as Frost, although he’s got the hair and the accent down pat; both actors are reprising the roles they originated in Morgan’s London and Broadway hit. Director Ron Howard allows the story to unfold at its own pace as Nixon’s team, which includes Chief of Staff Jack Brennan (Kevin Bacon), super-agent Swifty Lazar (Toby Jones), and a young Diane Sawyer (Kate Jennings Grant), prepares to go toe to toe with Frost’s sidekicks, investigative journalist Jim Reston (Sam Rockwell), producers John Birt (Matthew MacFadyen) and Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt), and love interest Caroline Cushing (Rebecca Hall). FROST/NIXON is a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining look at a critical time in America, when politics intersected with pop culture as the country held its collective breath, demanding closure.

Simon Mein/ Courtesy of Miramax Films

Sally Hawkins is absolutely delightful in Mike Leigh’s latest

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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




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

Sisters try to deal with the past in brilliant melodrama

I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (Philippe Claudel, 2008)

Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.




French novelist Philippe Claudel’s directorial debut, I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG, is a brilliant melodrama told by an expert storyteller. A never-better Kristin Scott Thomas stars as Juliette, an intensely private woman who has moved in with her younger sister, Léa (Elsa Zylberstein), after having been away for fifteen years. Léa’s husband, Luc (Serge Hazanavicius), is clearly unhappy that Juliette has come to live with them; he particularly does not want her spending too much time with their two adopted daughters. As Juliette goes on job interviews and makes new friends — including Léa’s fellow teacher, Michel (Laurent Grevill), who has more than a passing interest in her — her deep, dark pain is always bubbling just below the surface, ready to burst out. Through carefully constructed scenes of beauty, simplicity, honesty, and suppressed rage, Claudel slowly reveals the details of Juliette’s missing years, spent in prison for an unspeakable crime. Thomas is absolutely breathtaking as Juliette, a tortured soul hiding a horrific secret as she tries to resurrect her once-promising life. Don’t miss it.

MAN ON WIRE (James Marsh, 2008)

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




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

Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk in look at gay activist and politician

MILK (Gus Van Sant, 2008)


Gus Van Sant’s MILK is a solid if surprisingly standard biopic focusing on the last eight years in the life of Harvey Milk, the gay activist and politician who was assassinated in 1978. Van Sant (DRUGSTORE COWBOY, TO DIE FOR, GOOD WILL HUNTING) follows the eventual unofficial Mayor of Castro Street (Sean Penn) as he moves to San Francisco with his much younger partner, Scottie Smith (James Franco), and sets up a camera shop that soon becomes an important meeting ground for the local gay community, fighting for equal rights and supporting Milk as he continually campaigns for public office. The battle hits its high point in 1978 when Milk takes on John Briggs and the Briggs Initiative, also known as Proposition 6, which sought to take away existing employment rights from gays and lesbians in the California public school system, eerily reminiscent of the recent passage of Proposition 8 there. Although Milk was a rallying figure — his opening mantra was always "My name is Harvey Milk, and I am here to recruit you!" — the film never quite takes off the way it wants to, instead becoming too reverential and melodramatic. Penn is good but subdued in the lead role; the best performance comes from Josh Brolin as Dan White, Milk’s main adversary among the SF supervisors.


IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.




After being cut back at his shipyard job of thirty-five years, Slimane (Habib Boufares) decides to pursue a seemingly impossible dream — to turn a dilapidated boat into a fish couscous restaurant. A North African immigrant living and working in the French port town of Sete, the soft-spoken, slow-moving Slimane is surrounded by his family, including his sons, Riadh (Mohamed Benabdeslem) and Majid (Sami Zitouni), daughters Karima (Faridah Benkhetache) and Olfa (Sabrina Ouzani), and even his ex-wife, Souad (Bouraouia Marzouk). After getting little help from the local government and banks, the sixty-one-year-old Slimane receives support from his close-knit clan as well as his girlfriend, Latifa (Hatika Karaoui), and, primarily, her twenty-year-old daughter, Rym (Hafsia Herzi, who steals the movie). But as he prepares for a special event that will make or break the future of his bold endeavor, a series of unexpected calamities threatens to end his dream. A kind of French-Arabic BIG NIGHT (Campbell Scott & Stanley Tucci, 1996), THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN is an involving drama made with care and love, although it gets too caught up in sitcom-like plot twists and soap-opera turns, mostly based around Majid, who works as a tour guide and is cheating on his wife, Julia (Alice Houri), with a married Frenchwoman (Violaine de Carné). It’s also way too long at 151 minutes; numerous scenes should have been cut much shorter. However, it is still a fascinating examination of people trapped between two worlds, as an aging man with two families that do not get along tries to thrive and survive in an Arabic community in France. A hit at film festivals all over the world, THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN won four Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (both Kechiche), and, perhaps most deservingly, Most Promising Actress (the extraordinary Herzi).

Jamal goes for the big bucks in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE



In modern-day Mumbai, Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is being brutally interrogated by a police inspector (Irrfan Khan) who is certain that Jamal is cheating on the popular game show WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? The cop won't even consider that a young, uneducated chaiwalla, a lowly tea server at a call center, could possibly know enough to be successful on the program. But through a series of harrowing flashbacks, Jamal recounts his difficult, miserable life growing up on the streets with his brother, Salim (Madhur Mittal), explaining how his experiences with extreme poverty, bigotry, child abuse, and gang violence led him to know certain answers in fascinating, bizarre, and mostly sad ways. As he approaches the final question, everything he's ever loved and believed in hangs in the balance. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is extremely well directed by Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING, 28 DAYS LATER), with a smart script by Simon Beaufoy (THE FULL MONTY) based on Vikas Swarup's novel Q AND A. Freida Pinto makes a strong debut as Latika, the girl who comes between the two brothers, and Bollywood star Anil Kapoor is wonderfully smarmy as Prem Kumar, the Indian Regis Philbin. A mesmerizing, edge-of-your-seat tale, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was the sleeper hit of 2008 until it won four Golden Globe awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Director, and Best Drama, putting it in the forefront of the Oscar race.

Caden Cotart (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is having a tough time in SYNECDOCHE

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




In films such as BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (Spike Jonze, 1999), ADAPTATION (Spike Jonze, 2002), CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (George Clooney, 2002), and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Michel Gondry, 2004), writer Charlie Kaufman has created bizarre, compelling alternate views of reality that adventurous moviegoers have embraced, even if they didn’t understand everything they saw. Well, Kaufman has done it again, challenging audiences with his directorial debut, the very strange but mesmerizing SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as the bedraggled Caden Cotard, a local theater director in Schenectady mounting an inventive production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Just as the show is opening, his wife, avant-garde artist Adele Lack (Catherine Keener), decides to take an extended break in Europe with their four-year-old daughter, Olive (Sadie Goldstein), and Adele’s kooky assistant, Maria (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

As Caden starts coming down with a series of unexplainable health problems (his last name, by the way — Cotard — is linked with a neurological syndrome in which a person believes they are dead or dying or do not even exist), he wanders in and out of offbeat personal and professional relationships with box-office girl Hazel (a nearly unrecognizable Samantha Morton), his play’s lead actress, Claire Keen (Michelle Williams), his therapist, Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis), and Sammy (Tom Noonan), a man who has been secretly following him for years. After winning a MacArthur Genius Grant, Caden begins his grandest production yet, a massive retelling of his life story, resulting in radical shifts between fantasy and reality that will have audiences laughing as they continually scratch their heads, hoping to stimulate their brain in order to figure out just what the heck is happening on-screen. Evoking such films as Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 and CITY OF WOMEN, Woody Allen’s STARDUST MEMORIES, and Ingmar Bergman’s WILD STRAWBERRIES as well as the labyrinthine tales of Argentine writers Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK is the kind of work that is likely to become a cult classic over the years, requiring multiple viewings to help understand it all.


Angelika Film Center

18 West Houston St. at Mercer St.


Village East

181 Second Ave. at 12th St.





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

Mickey Rourke wrestles his demons in comeback flick

THE WRESTLER (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)


Brooklyn native Darren Aronofsky, writer-director of the brilliant PI (1998) and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000) and the muddled mess THE FOUNTAIN (2006), scores a major takedown with the marvelous comeback film THE WRESTLER. Former boxer Mickey Rourke, who made a name for himself in such 1980s films as DINER, RUMBLE FISH, THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, 9 1/2 WEEKS, and BARFLY, stars as the Christ-like figure Randy "the Ram" Robinson, an aging professional wrestler who was the sport's biggest name in the 1980s but is now a washed-up has-been living in a trailer park wrestling for embarrassingly small paydays at tiny local venues, still lured by the love of the sparse crowds and the respect of his opponents. After suffering a heart attack following one of his matches, the fifty-something Ram is suddenly faced with a life outside the ring. He tries to get back in his daughter's (Evan Rachel Wood) life, attempts a relationship with stripper Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), and even gets a regular job in a supermarket, but the possibility of returning to the ring for the twentieth anniversary of his biggest match ever, his 1989 battle against the Ayatollah (Ernest Miller) in Madison Square Garden, weighs hard on his mind. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, THE WRESTLER, shot in an arresting grainy style, is a masterfully told tale with multiple layers, with the Ram's potential comeback mimicking Rourke's own return to his acting glory days. Rourke, who won a Golden Globe for his effort, is such a natural in the role that it is hard to believe it was not written specifically for him; in fact, Nicolas Cage was first attached to the project. (Bruce Springsteen's title song, which plays over the closing credits, took home the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.) The film is set in the real-life world of Combat Zone Wrestling and the Ring of Honor, featuring such actual wrestlers as the Necro Butcher, who has a thing for barbed wire and staple guns. THE WRESTLER is a heart-wrenching, beautiful, and brutal film.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Theater


BAM Harvey Theater (HT)

651 Fulton Street between Ashland Pl. & Rockwell Pl.

THE CHERRY ORCHARD: January 2 — March 8

THE WINTER’S TALE: February 10 — March 8

Tickets: $30-$90



As part of the brand-new three-year three-way theater partnership with the Old Vic and Neal Street Productions, BAM will be presenting two exciting theatrical events, beginning January 2 with a new version of Anton Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD by Tom Stoppard. On February 10, running in repertory with THE CHERRY ORCHARD will be William Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE. Sam Mendes (AMERICAN BEAUTY, ROAD TO PERDITION, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) will direct both productions, with a stellar cast including Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, Rebecca Hall, Richard Easton, Josh Hamilton, and Ethan Hawke. There will be several pre- and postshow artist talks, including with the entire company on February 19 and 25, Stephen Greenblatt speaking on THE WINTER’S TALE on February 15 at 1:00 in the BAMcafé, and Sam Mendes and Francine Prose discussing THE CHERRY ORCHARD on February 26 at 5:30 in the Hillman Attic Studio.

© T. Charles Erickson

Rosemary Harris returns to the NYC stage in one-woman show at FIAF


French Institute Alliance Française

Florence Gould Hall

55 East 59th St. between Park & Madison Aves.

January 16 - February 1

Tickets: $45



Rosemary Harris, who won a Tony in 1966 for THE LION IN WINTER, several Drama Desk awards including for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE in 1973, an Emmy for NOTORIOUS WOMAN: THE LIFE OF GEORGE SAND in 1976, a Golden Globe for THE HOLOCAUST in 1979, a Golden Satellite for SUNSHINE (with her daughter, Jennifer Ehle) in 2001, and an Obie for ALL OVER in 2002, among other awards, makes a welcome return to the New York stage in this one-woman adaptation of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s French novella OSCAR ET LA DAME ROSE, playing multiple roles in a production directed by Frank Dunlop.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music & Dance

© Banri

Yoko Higashino will perform solo work at annual showcase


Japan Society

333 East 47th St. between First and Second Aves.

January 9-10

Admission: $28



The twelfth annual Contemporary Dance Showcase features companies from Japan, Taiwan, and Korea presenting challenging, exciting cutting-edge works. Ko & Edge Co. brings the world premiere of a butoh piece by Ko Murobushi, chelfitsch Theater Company will stage the dance-theater duet AIR CONDITIONER, Yoko Higashino goes solo for E/G (with live music by Toshio Kajiwara), and Jang Eun Jung Dance Company performs SEVERAL QUESTIONS, with Wind Dance Theatre on the bill as well.

Julieta Cervantes

Didy Veldman’s breathtaking “frame of view” has world premiere at Cedar Lake


Cedar Lake Dance

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

January 8-18 (January 10 performance reviewed)

Tickets: $40

Hear the Choreographers: 212-244-1150


For its winter season, Chelsea-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is presenting three pieces, including two world premieres, that work beautifully together, building to a splendid climax. The evening begins with Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti’s “memory / measure,” a dance for two men and two women, dressed all in black, who move across a white rectangular sheet on the black floor, never leaving its boundaries. Nickermil Concepcion, Jason Kittelberger, Ana-Maria Lucaciu, and Marina Mascarell slide, run in slow motion, freeze their positions, and walk painfully en pointe, sometimes mimicking Vegetti’s spoken-word text, performed by Sara Gamarro in a manner evoking Laurie Anderson. At one point, Roderick Murray’s lighting dims just enough so the dancers cast deep, rich shadows on the white sheet. Kittelberger is exceptional, displaying a great fluidity of movement while executing several intricate holds and lifts, while Lucaciu shows off a spectacular turn-out and plie en pointe — a striking insectlike position that is unfortunately repeated too often.

Artistic director Benoit-Swan Pouffer next brings back Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s “Ten Duets on a Theme of a Rescue,” which premiered last January at Cedar Lake. Dancing to excerpts from Cliff Martinez’s score for Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of SOLARIS interspersed with moments of silence, Jubal Battisti, Jon Bond, Soojin Choi, Ebony Williams, and Concepcion, dressed in street clothes, participate in a series of rotating pas de deux that features smooth transitions in which one dancer from the previous pairing often lingers for just a few seconds, like a memory. The pairings are sometimes violent, like a wrestling match, and sometimes tender, like a romantic flirtation. In each, a whisper of the emotional theme of rescue flickers. Lighting designer Jim French surrounds the dancers with sixteen lights, one rolling, that add deep chiaroscuro. In several of the duets, Choi incorporates unique movements using her head, neck, and face in dazzling ways. In another, Williams and Bond enter the stage almost as one, then separate as they dance in sync, breaking away and embodying the melancholic emotion that underscores the piece.

The evening ends with the world premiere of Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman’s breathtaking “frame of view,” which investigates people’s inner and outer beings. On an illusionistic set containing a room suggested by three green-framed yellow doors arranged in a cubelike perspective outlined by yellow stripes on the floor and bars in the air, five men and four women move in, out, over, through, and around the entryways as they enter and leave the stage, showing a thrilling physicality. Lifts are performed through mailbox slots, Kittelberger exits carrying three women in his arms, Lucaciu performs an extraordinary dance with a table and chair, and Kittelberger and Mascarell have a very funny slap fight. In one vignette Acacia Schachte is absolutely delighted to be wooed by all five men at once, only to have waited too long and find herself alone again, the men gone from her life, the moment lost. The door at the back of the stage has a section of rubbery fabric that allows faces and hands to push into it, as if living, molding sculpture, which is later echoed by Choi and Battisti exchanging a yellow shirt from head to head. At times the women speak, evoking the dance theater of Pina Bausch — as well as her ribald humor. The eclectic score includes music by Philip Feeney, Kronos Quartet, Jacques Offenbach, Nina Simone, Kimmo Pohjonen, Pink Martini, and Dean Martin, as diverse as the movements. “frame of view” is a wonderful, thrilling conclusion to an outstanding night of dance in Chelsea.

Hazmat Modine is one of six international bands bringing trouble to TriBeCa



200 Hudson St. at Canal St.

Friday, January 9, $15, 8:00




This showcase for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters features a great collection of a half dozen bands offering the best in world music. Kicking things off at 8:00 is Senegalese hip-hoppers Gokh-Bi System, who mix traditional and contemporary sounds to create a fabulous fusion that found us dancing onstage at a 2007 DanceAfrica show at BAMcafé. Brooklyn’s Las Rubias Del Norte follows at 8:45 with its unique take on Latin alternative lounge music. At 9:30, Cordero, formed by Ani Cordero in Tucson in 1999 with members of Calexico and Giant Sand and based in New York City since 2000, takes over with its smooth, surprisingly subtle Latin pop that is always on the verge of busting loose: "Dance, Quique, dance! / That’s how you do it, yes sir, that’s right," they proclaim on their latest Spanish-language album, DE DONDE ERES (WHERE ARE YOU FROM) (Bloodshot, August 2008), before announcing, "This party is already hot!" At 10:15, it’s New York-based Hazmat Modine, which plays an infectious melange of blues, klezmer, R&B, soul, funk, folk, and swing, led by the energetic Wade Schuman on lead vocals and harmonica. They blew us away — before a storm blew them offstage — at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival. Next up, at 11:00, is London-born, New York-raised DJ, producer, and master percussionist Karsh Kale, who mixes his Indian heritage into electronica and hip hop. Closing the night out at 11:45 is Brooklyn-based brass-funk outfit Slavic Soul Party, a favorite on the local scene.

Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber will get aboriginal at Jazzfest


Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. between Sullivan & Thompson Sts.

Sullivan Hall, 214 Sullivan St. between Bleecker & West Third Sts.

Kenny’s Castaways, 157 Bleecker St. between Sullivan & Thompson Sts.

Saturday, January 10

Tickets: $25 Festival Showcase Pass, $45 Full Showcase Pass


Nearly two dozen jazz groups will descend on Greenwich Village for what should be a thrilling night of music. A $25 Festival Showcase Pass allows you to wander in and out of Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, and Kenny’s Castaways, catching such diverse acts as Claudia Acuña, Theo Bleckman, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, and Sexmob. We highly recommend Toshi Reagon and BIGlovely at Sullivan Hall at 9:20, the Don Byron Ivey-Divey Trio at Le Poisson Rouge at 10:00, and Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber at Kenny’s Castaways at 12:40.


Chhom Nimol does her divalicious best at Central Park’s SummerStage in 2008


Sunday, January 11, Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., Hoboken, $12-$14, 201-653-1703, 9:30

Monday, January 12, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves., 212-414-5994, $15-$17, 8:00




When Cambodian music enthusiasts Ethan and Zac Holtzman wanted to form a band playing 1960s psychedelic Cambodian pop and rock, they headed to Little Phnom Penh in Long Beach, California, where they discovered actual Cambodian singing star Chhom Nimol. At first Nimol was hesitant to join them, but soon they were making a name for themselves as Dengue Fever, with Ethan on Farfisa organ, Zac on guitar, Senon Williams on bass, and Paul Smith on drums. They began by playing covers of 1960s Cambodian pop by such legends as Sin Sissamouth and Ros Sereysothea, adding originals later, sung in both English and Cambodian. Dengue Fever has rocked out on such albums as 2005’s ESCAPE FROM DRAGON HOUSE and 2008’s VENUS ON EARTH, including such great songs as "Seeing Hands," "Sober Driver," "One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula," "Hummingbird," and "Shave Your Beard." Onstage, Nimol plays the cool, beguiling diva next to Zac Holtzman’s goofy sideman with ZZ Top facial hair. On January 11, Dengue Fever will be headlining at Maxwell’s; the next night they’ll be on an awesome bill, opening for Jim Bianco, Alex Cuba, and the irrepressible Marshall Crenshaw — who will also be playing a free show on January 9 at BAMcafé Live.


Avey Tare tears through tunes at All Points West Festival last summer


Tuesday, January 20, Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom, 311 West 34th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves., $28, 8:00

Wednesday, January 21, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St. at Bowery, $20, 212-533-2111, 8:00




Electronica dance band Animal Collective was a huge draw at the All Points West Festival in Liberty State Park in August, and after seeing them, we really weren’t quite sure why. But fans and critics seem to love Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deaken, who will be playing the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom on January 20 with Blues Control and the Bowery Ballroom on January 21 with Drawlings.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature

© Susan Mikula / courtesy CHC Gallery

Susan Mikula, "Sic Transit 05," Duraflex print, 2008


CHC Gallery

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

Tuesday — Saturday through January 24, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Admission: free




Every weeknight on her eponymous MSNBC television show, Rachel Maddow offers her sharp perspective on the world of politics. Through January 24 at the CHC Gallery in Chelsea, Maddow’s partner, Susan Mikula, will be displaying a new series of photographic works that blur reality into a dreamlike, abstract narrative, offering a very different perspective of the world. Mikula’s large-scale prints, made from vintage Polaroids, are arranged clockwise in the gallery’s narrow front room, three works to the left, one on the far wall, and three more to the right, enveloping visitors in their mysterious earth-toned realm, encompassing eerie visions of empty rooms and hallways. The back rooms of the CHC Gallery feature a group show of works by Marks, Candamil, Chuki, Joshua Gage, Carol Hu, and Ralph Turturro.


Gober & Gonzalez-Torres come together at Andrea Rosen Gallery in Chelsea


Andrea Rosen Gallery

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

Tuesday — Saturday through January 31, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Admission: free



Vermont native Robert Gober, who was born in Vermont in 1954 and lives and works in New York, teams up with one of his contemporaries, the late Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96), a Cuban artist who was raised in Puerto Rico and lived and worked in New York, in the compelling “A Shadow Leaving an Object” at the Andrea Rosen Gallery. Gober’s 1992 “Prison Window,” made of plywood, forged iron, plaster, latex paint, and electric light bulbs, has been part of several recent group shows, but now it takes on a whole new context when seen with Gonzalez-Torres’s 1991 installation “Untitled (March 5th) #1,” consisting of two round mirrors existing side by side like a pair of enormous eyes, on the opposite wall in an otherwise vacant space. On the south side, a fake sky beckons from behind the ridiculously high barred window, turning the gallery into a kind of jail cell, both inward and outward. On the north side, a huge pair of silver circles look like giant glasses offering a view of the outside world, but all visitors will see is either themselves trapped in the empty gallery or, from certain angles, the prison bars, sealing their fate with no way out. The two conceptual works have never been seen together before in this way, a fascinating pairing of two exceptional artists that evokes contradiction, illusion, metaphor, and duality. Both Gober and Gonzalez-Torres were represented at the recent “Implant” show at the UBS Art Gallery on Sixth Ave. in Midtown, and works by each can also be seen in the current “Here Is Every” exhibition at MoMA.


The Times Center

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

January 8-11

Tickets: $30


The New York Times’ annual celebration of all things cultural gets under way on January 8 at the Times Center in Times Square, but tickets are going fast, so you better hurry if you want to see performances, panel discussions, and interviews featuring such celebs as Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Tavis Smiley, Keith Olbermann, Vampire Weekend, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Lewis Black, Salman Rushdie, Cassandra Wilson, Patti Smith, the cast and creators of HAIR, and others. In addition, as part of the annual event, myriad cultural institutions across all five boroughs will be offering two-for-one admission and other discounts at various times during the coming months.

All contents copyright 2009 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


MOCO Global Dining

516A Third Ave. between 34th & 35th Sts.

Admission: free



Thursday, January 8 BLUE VELVET (David Lynch, 1984), 8:00


Jalopy Theater

315 Columbia St. at Rapeleye St.

Admission: $12




Thursday, January 8 One of Brooklyn’s most entertaining bands, the Wiyos, will be featuring material from their forthcoming CD, joined by Sxip Shirey and Adam Matta, 9:00


City Winery

143 Varick St. between Spring & Vandam Sts.

Admission: free

VinoFile Membership Program: $50 per year



Thursday, January 8 Pairing Series: Steve Earle and Allison Moorer, $45-$125, 9:00

Friday, January 9 Special Pairings Event: Raul Midón and Sonya Kichekk, $45-$125, 10:00

Thursday, January 15 Pairing Series: Suzanne Vega and Lenny Kaye, $30-$100, 9:00

Duo Theater presents fringe hit THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS


The Duo Theater

62 East Fourth St. between Second Avenue & Bowery

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 2:00

Tickets: $35


Thursday, January 8


Sunday, February 1 Erotically charged show about the first-ever beauty contest in Ancient Greece returns from successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Festival Internacional de Puebla in Mexico for a four-week engagement at the Duo Theater, conceived, directed, and choreographed by Austin McCormick, featuring songs by Marlene Dietrich, Arvo Part, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Antonio Vivaldi, and Jacques Offenbach


Bronx Museum of the Arts

1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St.

Admission: free

RSVP for program: 718-681-6000 ext102


Friday, January 9 Free First Fridays program includes hip-hop dance crews in discussion and performance, the trailer for ALL THE LADIES SAY, and live music by RPM, hosted by Rokafella and Kwikstep of Full Circle, 6:00


Joe’s Pub

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

Tickets: $25




Friday, January 9 The great GP goes solo at Joe’s Pub, 7:30


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Tickets: $10



Friday, January 9 Sydney Skybetter, Kyle Abraham, Sara Joel / Kevin Gibbs, Gregory Dolbashian, the Chase Brock Experience, Gina Gibney Dance, CorbinDances, Camille A. Brown, 8:00

Saturday, January 10 Brian Brooks Moving Company, PARADIGM, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Nicholas Andre Dance Theater, Keigwin + Company, Kate Weare Company, Battleworks Dance Company, Nicholas Leichter Dance, 8:00

Sunday, January 11 [ZOGMA] collectif de folklore urbain, ARENA Dances, BalletX, Ezdanza, Montréal Danse, CityDance Ensemble, Koresh Dance Company, Helios Dance Theater, 7:00


Madison Square Garden

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

Tickets: $10-$195




Friday, January 9


Sunday, January 11 Professional Bull Riders Association returns to the Garden, featuring the best forty-five bull riders in the world, including Kody Lostroh, Kasey Hayes, Valdiron de Oliveira, Guilherme Marchi, and Travis Briscoe


Center for Remembering and Sharing

123 Fourth Ave. between Twelfth & Thirteenth Sts.

Tickets: $15



Friday, January 9


Sunday, January 11 Multimedia collaboration between Yoshiko Chuma, artistic director of the School of Hard Knocks, and Shirotama Hitsujiya, artistic director of YUBIWA Hotel, with Ray Roy, Lincoln Alkind, and Kristine Lee, involving frozen blocks of ice and freedom

Documentary and roundtable looks at impressive Helvetica font


The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination

247 East 82nd St.

Admission: free




Saturday, January 10 Screening of HELVETICA (Gary Hustwit, 2007), followed by a roundtable discussion with Christopher Calderhead, Arem Duplessis, Elinor Aishah Holland, Elaine Lustig Cohen, and Gary Hustwit, moderated by Steven Heller, 1:00


Green-Wood Cemetery Landmark Gothic Archway, Brooklyn

Fifth Ave. at 25th St. entrance

Admission: free



Through Saturday, January 10 Brooklyn residents can bring their Christmas trees to Green-Wood Cemetery, 8:00 am — 4:30 pm

Saturday, January 10 Seventh annual event in which Brooklyn residents can watch their Christmas trees recycled at Green-Wood Cemetery, speak with master composters from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and receive free woodchips, 10:00 am — 4:00 pm


El Museo del Barrio

Teatro Heckscher

1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th St.

Admission: free



Saturday, January 10 Thirty-second annual event, with live music, interactive games, parranda songs by Eddie Alicia y Su Trio de Epoca, prizes, and more, 3:00


Music Hall of Williamsburg

66 North Sixth St.

Tickets: $18-$20



Saturday, January 10 John Doe and Exene of seminal L.A. punk band X team up for a special seated show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, with Justin Townes Earle opening up; on Saturday, January 11, John Doe and Exene take their show to Joe’s Pub, $22, 7:00


Multiple locations

Admission: free

Telephone: 311


Saturday, January 10


Sunday, January 11 New Yorkers can bring their Christmas trees to parks and gardens all over the city to have them turned into mulch — and at some locations you can take the mulch home with you for your garden and other plantings; among the participating locations are Bowling Green, Carl Schurz Park, Central Park, Jackie Robinson Park, La Plaza Cultural, Riverside Park, Marcus Garvey Park, Tompkins Square Park, Washington Square Park, El Jardin del Paraiso, Morningside Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Stuyvesant Town, Highbridge Park, Pleasant Village Community Garden, and others — be sure to check in advance if the location will be chipping and mulching both days and whether it is drop-off only or you can take the mulch with you, 10:00 am — 2:00 pm


92nd St. Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall

1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.

Tickets: $25-$60



Saturday, January 10


Monday, January 12 As part of the Lyrics & Lyricists series, Martin Charnin examines Richard Rodgers’s collaborations with Moss Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick, and Martin Charnin in words and music, featuring such vocalists as Shelly Burch, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Rich Gray, Hugh Panaro, and Alton White, with Dwight Beckmeyer on piano

globalFEST 2009

Webster Hall

125 East Eleventh St. between Third & Fourth Aves.

Tickets: $40



Sunday, January 11 Sixth annual showcase of world music includes performances on three stages by Calypso Rose, Chicha Libre, Femi Kuti & Positive Force, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Kailash Kher’s Kailasa, La Troba Kung-Fu, L&O, Marcio Local, Occidental Brothers, Shaanbehzadeh, Tanya Tagaq, and Watcha Clan, 7:00


Sunday, January 11, the Ailey Studios — the Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 West 55th St. at Ninth Ave., 7:00

Monday, January 12, New York City Center, Studio 5, 130 West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves., 12 noon

Admission: free but advance reservations recommended at dance@dusantynek.org



Sunday, January 11


Monday, January 12 Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre presents two free forty-five-minute "Highlights of Current Repertory"


Asia Society and Museum

725 Park Ave. at 70th St.

Tickets: $15



Monday, January 12


Tuesday, January 13 Yin Mei Dance choreographer and dancer Yin Mei, Tibetan dancer Sang Jijia, and art/technologist Christopher Salter team up to perform the new CITY OF PAPER and an excerpt from the older EMPTY TRADITION, 8:00


City Winery, 143 Varick St. between Spring & Vandam Sts.

92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson St. at Canal St.

Tickets: $10, all-access pass $25



Tuesday, January 13 Pharaoh’s Daughter, 9:00; Les Yeux Noirs, 9:40; Vagabond Opera, 10:30, City Winery

Tuesday, January 13 Gary Lucas Performs the Golem, 92Y Tribeca, 9:00

Tuesday, January 13 A Musical Journey: The Yiddish Song with Zalmen Mlotek, 92Y Tribeca, 10:00

Tuesday, January 13 Spirit of Sepharad Ensemble Presents: Carava, 92Y Tribeca, 11:00

Wednesday, January 14 Chana Rothman, 9:00; Leah Siegel, 9:40; Michelle Citrin, 10:10; Anath “Dark Lullaby,” 10:50, City Winery

Wednesday, January 14 Electro Morocco, 9:00; Dov Rosenblatt, 9:40; Radio Wonderland with guest Jeremiah Lockwood, 10:10, Y-Love and Diwon, 10:45, 92Y Tribeca


Blue Note

131 West Third St.

Tickets: table $25, bar $15



Tuesday, January 13


Sunday, January 18 Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis pays tribute to the great drummer Elvin Jones, 8:00 & 10:30


Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

36 Battery Pl.

Tickets: $12



Wednesday, January 14 BREACH OF PEACE: PORTRAITS OF THE 1962 FREEDOM RIDERS (Atlas, 2008), with author Eric Etheridge and Freedom Riders Joan Pleune, Hezekiah Watkins, and Lewis Zuchman, and a gospel performance by Neshama Carlebach and the Green Pastures Baptist Choir, 7:00


The 45th Street Theatre

354 West 45th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: $15



Thursday, January 15


Saturday, January 17 Creative Destruction and the Tank present "The Inaugural Celebration: Inspired by the Man, the Myth(s), and the Michelle of Barack Obama," 8:00


La MaMa Experimental Theatre

74A East Fourth St.

Tickets: $10-$25



Thursday, January 15


Sunday, January 25 La Mama presents Robert Ashley’s three latest operas in repertory, including DUST (1998), CELESTIAL EXCURSIONS (2003), and MADE OUT OF CONCRETE (2007/9), with Ashley appearing in all three productions, Joan Jonas in CELESTIAL EXCURSIONS, and "Blue" Gene Tyranny in DUST


The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Broadway at 60th St.

Tickets: $35-$75



Friday, January 16 The American Beauty Project: The Music of the Grateful Dead, with Ollabelle, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Catherine Russell, Jim Lauderdale, and others, 8:30

Saturday, January 17 3 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Composed by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, 8:30


Jacob Javits Convention Center

35th St. & 11th Ave.

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




Friday, January 16


Sunday, January 18 Annual event featuring the latest technological innovations in the world of motorcycles, including the History of Motorcycles exhibition, the Scooter Pavilion, the Hub interactive area, the Family Action Zone, the Ride for Kids giveaway, and much more

Miriam Makeba will be honored along with MLK at special weekend program


Brooklyn Academy of Music

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

Admission: free



Friday, January 16 MLK Weekend: Mama Africa — a Tribute to Miriam Makeba, with Abena Koomson, Alkebulan, Tamar-Kali, Mazz Swift, and other poets, singers, and musicians, under the direction of Latasha Diggs, BAMcafé Live, 9:00

Saturday, January 17 MLK Weekend: PS24, BAMcafé Live, 9:00

Monday, January 19 Twenty-third annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with keynote speaker Minnijean Brown Trickey of the Little Rock Nine and live performances by James Hall Worship & Praise and Brian Jackson, Howard Gilman Opera House, free, 10:30 am

Monday, January 19 LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL: 50 YEARS LATER (Brent Renaud & Craig Renaud, 2007), introduced by Minnijean Brown Trickey of the Little Rock Nine and followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud, BAM Rose Cinemas, free, 1:00

Friday, January 16


Thursday, January 22 Picture the Dream, community art exhibition by NYCHA residents twelve and under, BAMcafé


The Town Hall

123 West 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. & Broadway

Tickets: $45-$55



Saturday, January 17 Masterful neurotic comedians Richard Lewis and Richard Belzer take on the world of politics and more in this special pairing, 8:00


The Richmond Shepard Theatre

309 East 26th St. at Second Ave.

Admission: $10

212- 684-2690


Saturday, January 17 Multimedia celebration of the inauguration of Barack Obama with readings, art, live performances, and more, including twi-ny fave Kyle Smith, 8:30



204 Varick St. at West Houston St.

Admission: $25-$30



Sunday, January 18 Featuring Gil Scott Heron with special guest Black Ice, hosted by Papa Jube, 7:30 & 10:00


Avery Fisher Hall

10 Lincoln Center Plaza

Tickets: $35-$75


Sunday, January 18 An Onstage Conversation with Frank Rich, live and unscripted, 8:00


Monday through Friday, January 18-23, January 25-30

Lunch: $24.07; dinner: $35

Reservations being accepted now



Sunday, January 18


Friday, January 23 More than one hundred eateries will be offering prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners, including 21 Club, Artisanal, Asiate, Café Boulud, Devi, Eleven Madison Park, Gotham Bar & Grill, Gramercy Tavern, I Trulli, Inagiku, Le Cirque, Megu, Petrossian, River Café, Tabla, Tao, the Palm, Town, Union Square Café, Water¹s Edge, and more, continuing Sunday, January 25, through Friday, January 30


Seneca Village

Inside the park at southeast corner of 85th St. & Central Park West

Admission: free



Monday, January 19 Special walking tour of Seneca Village, where African American property owners formed one if its first communities, 12 noon


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Admission: free



Monday, January 19 A special program celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featuring Abraham, Inc., with Fred Wesley, James Brown, and David Krakauer, 6:30


Galapagos Art Space

16 Main Street at the Water

Tickets: $20



Monday, January 19 Sendoff for those taking the 1:00 am bus to D.C. for the inauguration, with shuffleboard, lame-rubber-duck races, drink specials, live performances, and more, with MC Jeff Hiller, benefiting Planned Parenthood of New York City, 7:00


B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

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

Tickets: $25



Monday, January 19 A Special Tribute Show Honoring Martin Luther King, 8:00


The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Blvd.

Admission: free



Tuesday, January 20 Live screening of the inauguration of Barack Obama, including the swearing-in ceremonies and the parade, Langston Hughes Auditorium, 11:00 am



376 Ninth St. at Sixth Ave., Brooklyn

Admission: free



Tuesday, January 20 Live presidential inauguration broadcast in the back room, 11:00 am


B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

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



Tuesday, January 20 Live viewing hosted by HOT 97, Lucille’s Grill, free, 11:00 am

Tuesday, January 20 Obama Presidential Inauguration Party & Networking Salon, presented by the Media Coalition for Artists of Color, 7:00 - 11:00 pm


BAM Rose Cinemas

30 Lafayette Ave.

Admission: free



Tuesday, January 20 Live presidential inauguration broadcast, 11:30 am


Museum at Eldridge St.

12 Eldridge St.

Admission: free

718-219-0888 ext205


Tuesday, January 20 Live presidential inauguration broadcast, with hot cider, RSVP recommended, 12 noon


P.S. 107, John W. Kimball School

1301 Eighth Ave. between 13th & 14th Sts., Brooklyn

Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, all proceeds go toward building and stocking a library for the school

Advance tickets available online and at the Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Ave., Park Slope, 718-783-3075




Wednesday, January 21 Plugging into the Green Movement, discussion of community-changing strategies on going green, with Elizabeth Royte, Helen Coronato, and Steve Vartan, moderated by Mark Spellun, 7:30

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