twi-ny, this week in new york

Museum Exhibits of the Week


1. Van Gogh, Miro, Rist, and Madalena light up MoMA with brilliant colors

2. Can sculptures for charity at the World Financial Center

3. Carole Lombard’s too-brief career celebrated at Film Forum

4. Thanksgiving and New Year’s collide at Macy’s

5. Problem kids at the Walter Reade


7. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music, Dance & Theater, including ROCK OF AGES at New World Stages, GODOT at La MaMa, Gang Gang Dance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and Santos Party House, King Khan & the BBQ Show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and the Bowery Ballroom, and Jean Grae at the Highline Ballroom

8. Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature, including "Ailey Ascending" at the June Kelly Gallery, graphic novelists at KGB, and Philip Luber’s THE CLOROX CHRONICLES

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

Volume 8, Number 25
November 19 — December 3, 2008

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

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Twi-ny, This Week in New York

Vincent van Gogh, "The Starry Night over the Rhône," oil on canvas, 1888, Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski


Museum of Modern Art, Special Exhibitions Gallery, second floor

West 54th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Through January 5 (closed Tuesdays; Fridays free from 4:00 to 8:00)

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

Timed tickets required



Vincent van Gogh’s fascination with the night is on view in a special exhibition at MoMA. “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day,” the artist wrote in an 1873 letter. The exhibit consists of twenty-three paintings, ten works on paper, and nine letters that contain sketches, supplemented with literary influences that inspired van Gogh (including books by Emile Zola, Hans Christian Andersen, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Victor Hugo). Divided into four sections — “Early Works,” “Peasant Life,” “Sowers and Wheatfields,” and “Poetry of the Night,” itself broken down into “The Town,” “Country,” and “Nature” — the exhibition details van Gogh’s methodology and psychology of all things nocturnal. Through a magnificent use of light and color, van Gogh captured the beauty and mystery — trying to find the truth — of dusk and the evening in both interior scenes and exterior landscapes, as peasants wind down at home after another hard day and people gather in the local cafés. In letters to his brother, Theo, his sister, Wil, and artist friends Emile Bernard, Eugene Boch, and Paul Gauguin, he talks very specifically about his work, including sketches of what will become some of his most famous paintings.

The setting sun splashes intense golds over two versions of “The Sower.” Empty tables dot the foreground of “Terrace of a Café at Night,” echoing the stars in the background. Darkness envelops the family sitting down for dinner in “The Potato Eaters,” a single lamp casting their faces in eerie shadows. In “The Night Café,” a bravura display of form and color, three hanging ceiling lights create halos over sad, lonely patrons, one standing blankly at a pool table. A gorgeous twilight beckons in “The Stevedores in Arles” and “Evening Landscape.” Tall, narrow trees create an inviting path in “Lane of Poplars at Sunset.” Van Gogh’s unique brushstrokes fill “Landscape with Wheat Sheaves and Rising Moon” and “Cottages and Setting Sun” with both power and innocence. A pair of pencil and brown and black ink drawings depict a man at the end of the day, walking with a lantern in “En Route” and sitting by a fire in “Before the Hearth,” each composition echoing the other. In the exquisite “Gauguin’s Chair,” a lit candle, standing in for the missing artist, rests on the seat cushion, along with some novels.

And then there are the two stars of the show, the brilliant 1888 canvas “The Starry Night over the Rhône” and the following year’s magical “The Starry Night,” one of the most famous paintings in the world. The former is a quieter piece, with small, twinkling stars and town lights casting elongated stripes of yellow light across the water, a couple standing together in the foreground, while the latter explodes at the viewer, a green cypress tree at the left, a golden crescent moon in the upper right, a swirling blue sky at the center, as a small mountain village shuts down for the evening, overwhelmed by nature. “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” offers an exciting new way to approach the work of the Dutch artist, focusing on the style and technique he employed while bringing the night to life. (Note: This show requires advance timed tickets, at no extra cost.)

Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago. © 2008 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society / ADAGP

Joan Miró, "The Two Philosophers," oil on copper, 1936


Museum of Modern Art

The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor

Through January 12


With all the excitement about the van Gogh exhibit at MoMA — visitors need a timed ticket in advance for entry — it’s easy to overlook an even better show, the stunning, revelatory "Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937." In 1927, the Catalan painter, born in Barcelona in 1893, declared, "I want to assassinate painting." Over the next ten years, through a dozen different series, he did just that, redefining the genre through his experimentation with collage, constructions and objects, imaginary portraits, and work on copper, Masonite, and unprimed canvas. Miró left large sections of the canvas bare in "Un Oiseau poursuit une abeille et la baisse," including words and even attaching feathers. Three of his Spanish Dancers (the fourth is lost) are brilliantly minimalist and beautifully composed, incorporating such objects as sandpaper, nails, hair, cork, a drafting triangle, and a hatpin. Miró refused to sign his surreal Dutch interiors and abstract portraits; his use of color, depth, and perspective in "Portrait of Queen Louise of Prussia" is staggering, the thick, shaky black vertical line at the left seemingly torn from the canvas. The 1929 collage "Head of Georges Auric," consisting of tar paper and conté crayon, can also be seen as a blank painter’s palette, a scribbled hand reaching out near the top, paint nowhere to be found.

In the early 1930s, Miró began making dramatic constructions — he refused to call them sculptures — using such found objects as wood, sand, staples, metal, string, bone, machine parts, shells, mirrors, a bell, and a chickpea. Among his 1933-34 "drawing-collages" is one made of pencil, ink, and paper on aluminum paper, allowing viewers to see their abstracted reflections in it. Cartoonish "savages" dominate his pastels on flocked paper. His paintings on cardboard include "Rope and People, I," in which a coil of rope dangles down the center, continuing his onslaught on painting — and, in this case, perhaps even the viewer. Miró called his small paintings on Masonite and copper "real unreality," surreal landscapes such as "Man and Woman in Front of a Pile of Excrement" and the boldly colorful "The Two Philosophers." The fabulous exhibition closes with the brash "Still Life with Old Shoe," an explosive work that embodies much of his experimentation of the previous ten years, adding such disturbing and out of scale images as a fork and a shoe in a dark, cloudy landscape, completing one of the most fascinating decades any painter has ever experienced.


Pipolotti Rist creates a meditative environment at MoMA


Museum of Modern Art

The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor

Through February 2


Swiss artist Pipolotti Rist has transformed the Marron Atrium into a meditative multimedia immersive environment with “Put Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters),” a twenty-five-foot-high, two-hundred-foot-long site-specific installation of colorful, overwhelming video that can be seen while resting in a specially designed central island or standing up, either in the atrium or at one of the overlooks on the upper floors. (If you want a comfy seat with a headrest in the circle, be prepared to take your shoes off.) Rist created one of our favorite artworks in the city, “Selbstios im Lavabad (Selfless in the Bath of Lava),” a tiny video of the naked artist trying to crawl out of lava underneath the floor near the indoor entrance to P.S. 1 in Queens. And now she has created one of the largest, an abstract narrative, seen on three walls, about the interrelationship between nature, humanity, and the animal kingdom, focusing on the production and consumption of food. Fields of grass, blooming tulips, and underwater shots are beautiful, while images of a hungry boar, garbage strewn about, and toes digging into the dirt are not quite so lovely. It is especially engaging where two of the projections come together in one corner, causing a psychedelic kaleidoscopic effect. Lying down in the middle of the area, you might feel a little like one of the characters choosing their video death scene in SOYLENT GREEN, but “Put Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters),” which features a lush musical score by regular Rist collaborator Anders Guggisberg and is in the process of being turned into a feature film, is much more life affirming even in its direness. And, if you feel it, singing, dancing, and rolling around freely are highly encouraged.

© 2008 The Madalena family

Batiste Madalena, "The Boastful Braggart,"
tempera on poster board, ca. 1924-28


Museum of Modern Art

Titus Theater 1 Lobby Gallery, T1

Titus Theater 2 Lobby Gallery, T2

Through April 6


Between 1924 and 1928, Italian-born American artist Batiste Madalena made more than 1,400 movie posters for George Eastman’s Eastman Theatre in Rochester, a showplace that was the third largest movie theater in the nation at the time. Working at a frantic pace in tempera on poster board, Madalena created the posters from advance press materials and photographs, without having seen the film. MoMA is displaying 53 of the surviving 250 posters, lining the walls of the downstairs Roy and Niuta Titus Theater galleries. Madalena’s work mixes a bold, Art Deco color palette and Expressionistic black and white to capture the viewer’s attention — and make them want to see the film being advertised. Among the stars of early cinema so wonderfully and uniquely captured by Madalena are John Gilbert, Rudolph Valentino, Lillian Gish, Dolores Del Rio, and Norma Shearer. Don’t miss Emil Jannings, his face partially obscured in a cross, in THE WAY OF ALL FLESH; Lon Chaney, his yearning face dominating the canvas, in THE UNKNOWN; Greta Garbo, looking as strong yet demure as ever, in THE MYSTERIOUS LADY; a giddy, ghostly Harold Lloyd in THE FRESHMAN; and a kabuki-esque caricature of Ernest Torrence in THE COSSACKS. In addition, a monitor shows biographical photographs of Madalena. Some of the films depicted in the posters will be screened in conjunction with the exhibit; check the schedule below for dates and times.

The Museum of Modern Art

Antonio Campos’s AFTERSCHOOL wants more filmgoers to take notice


Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

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

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



There are several fascinating and fun film series ongoing at MoMA, some of which are directly linked to exhibitions. "Still Moving" concludes its brief look at the Baltimore films of Barry Levinson with the outstanding AVALON and the not nearly as successful LIBERTY HEIGHTS. "Looking at Music," held in conjunction with the exhibit of the same name, takes a look at Robert Ashley’s 1975 music documentary series MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER. As mentioned above, several films that Batiste Madalena made posters for are being screened at MoMA, including D. W. Griffiths’s SALLY OF THE SAWDUST and Josef von Sternberg’s THE LAST COMMAND. As part of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, "The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" features five little-seen movies that deserve greater attention. Gotham Independent Film Awards Tribute honoree Melvin Van Peebles will be on hand to talk about two of his flicks, 1968’s STORY OF A 3-DAY PASS and this year’s CONFESSIONS OF A EX-DOOFUS-ITCHY FOOTED MUTHA. And "The Contenders" are not assessing Oscar potential but instead predicting this group of films will have lasting impact on the industry and culture. Visitor to MoMA should take advantage of the many screenings offered; after all, it’s free with your museum admission.

Wednesday, November 19 Still Moving: AVALON (Barry Levinson, 1990), Education and Research Center, 1:30

AVALON (Barry Levinson, 1990)

Barry Levinson’s poignant drama follows the trials and tribulations of the Krichinsky family, Polish immigrants trying to make a life in America. The third in Levinson’s Baltimore series (following 1982’s DINER and 1987’s TIN MEN and preceding 1999’s LIBERTY HEIGHTS), AVALON is heart-wrenchingly beautiful, led by a sweet, innocent performance by Armin Mueller-Stahl as Sam Krichinsky, the family patriarch, and Aidan Quinn as the son who has different dreams. The outstanding cast also includes Elijah Wood, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Pollak, Joan Plowright, and the great Lou Jacobi as Gabriel Krichinsky, who has a hysterical Thanksgiving Day fight with his brother Sam. AVALON is one of the most tender and moving multigenerational dramas of the last few decades.

Wednesday, November 19 ContemporAsian: DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT: A NATION'S JOURNEY (Sabiha Sumar & Sachithanandam Sathananthan, 2007), 6:00

Wednesday, November 19 The Contenders: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008), 6:00

Wednesday, November 19 The Contenders: INTIMIDAD (David Redmon, 2008), 8:00

Thursday, November 20 Still Moving: AVALON (Barry Levinson, 1990), Education and Research Center, 1:30

Thursday, November 20 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 1: ROBERT ASHLEY (Robert Ashley, 1975), Education and Research Center, 4:00

Thursday, November 20 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: SITA SINGS THE BLUES (Nina Paley, 2008), 6:00

Thursday, November 20 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 2: DAVID BEHRMAN (Robert Ashley, 1975), Education and Research Center, 6:30

Thursday, November 20 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: WELLNESS (Jake Mahaffy, 2008), 8:00

Thursday, November 20 The Contenders: ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Werner Herzog, 2007), 8:00

Friday, November 21 Still Moving: AVALON (Barry Levinson, 1990), Education and Research Center, 1:30

Friday, November 21 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: THE NEW YEAR PARADE (Tom Quinn, 2008), 6:00

Friday, November 21 The Contenders: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008), 6:00

Friday, November 21 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: AFTERSCHOOL (Antonio Campos, 2008), 8:15

Friday, November 21 The Contenders: HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008), 8:30

Saturday, November 22 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: SITA SINGS THE BLUES (Nina Paley, 2008), 3:00

Saturday, November 22 The Contenders: ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Werner Herzog, 2007), 3:00

Saturday, November 22 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: WELLNESS (Jake Mahaffy, 2008), 6:00

Saturday, November 22 The Contenders: IRON MAN (Jon Favreau, 2008), 7:00

Robert Downey Jr. prepares for longevity in IRON MAN

IRON MAN (Jon Favreau, 2008)


Robert Downey Jr. stars as a different kind of superhero in Jon Favreau’s grand retelling of the comic-book hero Iron Man. Tony Stark is a glitzy scientific genius whose rock-star life is filled with beautiful women, fancy parties, and a gorgeous cliff-side Hollywood home. Keeping things barely in perspective is his devoted personal assistant, Pepper Potts (an excellent Gwyneth Paltrow). As the head of Stark Industries — along with his late father’s former partner, Obadiah Stane (a villainously bearded and bald Jeff Bridges) — Tony uses cutting-edge technology to make and market weapons of mass destruction. On a business deal in Afghanistan to show off his latest creation, his convoy is blown up and he is taken hostage by terrorists, who demand that he build a missile for them right then and there. But instead he makes himself an iron suit to help him escape — and having seen how his own weapons have been used against him and America, has a change of heart about the future of his business, which doesn’t make Obadiah very happy. Unlike most superheroes, Stark has no innate super powers; he is merely a deeply conflicted man in a really cool metal suit. Favreau lets the character’s troubled soul and uneasy heart — which is kept pumping by a special magnet protecting it from shrapnel — not special effects, drive the film. Look for Iron Man creator and Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo, and be sure to stick around till the end of the credits for a special little bonus.

Saturday, November 22 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: MEADOWLARK (Taylor Greeson, 2008), 8:15

Sunday, November 23 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: THE NEW YEAR PARADE (Tom Quinn, 2008), 1:30

Sunday, November 23 The Contenders: DIE STILLE VOR BACH (THE SILENCE BEFORE BACH) (Pere Portabella, 2007), 2:00

Sunday, November 23 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: MEADOWLARK (Taylor Greeson, 2008), 3:45

Sunday, November 23 The Contenders: MONGOL (Sergei Bodrov, 2007), 4:30

Sergei Bodrov epic is dazzling to look at

MONGOL (Sergei Bodrov, 2008)


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

Sunday, November 23 The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: AFTERSCHOOL (Antonio Campos, 2008), 5:30

Monday, November 24 The Contenders: MONGOL (Sergei Bodrov, 2007), 6:00

Monday, November 24 Modern Mondays: The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Nominee Panel, panel discussion with film clips, Education and Research Center, 7:00

Monday, November 24 The Contenders: DIE STILLE VOR BACH (THE SILENCE BEFORE BACH) (Pere Portabella, 2007), 8:30

Wednesday, November 26 Still Moving: LIBERTY HEIGHTS (Barry Levinson, 1999), Education and Research Center, 1:30

Wednesday, November 26 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 3: PHILIP GLASS (Robert Ashley, 1975), 6:00

Wednesday, November 26 The Contenders: DIE STILLE VOR BACH (THE SILENCE BEFORE BACH) (Pere Portabella, 2007), 6:00

Wednesday, November 26 The Contenders: HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008), 8:30

Wednesday, November 26 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 4: ALVIN LUCIER (Robert Ashley, 1975), 8:30

Friday, November 28 Still Moving: LIBERTY HEIGHTS (Barry Levinson, 1999), Education and Research Center, 1:30

Friday, November 28 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 5: GORDON MUMMA (Robert Ashley, 1975), 3:30

Friday, November 28 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 6: PAULINE OLIVEROS (Robert Ashley, 1975), 6:00

Friday, November 28 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: OLD IRONSIDES (James Cruze, 1926), with piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 6:00

Friday, November 28 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: THE LAST COMMAND (Josef von Sternberg, 1928), with piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 8:30

Saturday, November 29 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 2: DAVID BEHRMAN (Robert Ashley, 1975), 1:00

Saturday, November 29 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: SALLY OF THE SAWDUST (D. W. Griffith, 1925), 2:00

Saturday, November 29 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 4: ALVIN LUCIER (Robert Ashley, 1975), 3:30

Saturday, November 29 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: OLD IRONSIDES (James Cruze, 1926), with piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 4:30

Saturday, November 29 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 5: GORDON MUMMA (Robert Ashley, 1975), 6:00

Saturday, November 29 Looking at Music — MUSIC WITH ROOTS IN THE AETHER, PART 7: TERRY RILEY (Robert Ashley, 1975), 8:30

Sunday, November 30 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: HOTEL IMPERIAL (Mauritz Stiller, 1927), with organ accompaniment by Ben Model, 2:00

Sunday, November 30 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: THE LAST COMMAND (Josef von Sternberg, 1928), with piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 4:00

Monday, December 1 Gotham Independent Film Awards: STORY OF A 3-DAY PASS (Melvin Van Peebles, 1968), introduced by Gotham Independent Film Awards Tribute honoree Melvin Van Peebles, 6:15

Monday, December 1 Modern Mondays — Looking at Music: Thurston Moore Introduces Early Music Videos by David Bowie, 7:00

The Museum of Modern Art

David Bowie, "The Hearts Filthy Lesson," video (color, sound) by Sam Bayer, 1995

Monday, December 1 Gotham Independent Film Awards: CONFESSIONS OF A EX-DOOFUS-ITCHY FOOTED MUTHA (Melvin Van Peebles, 2008), introduced by Gotham Independent Film Awards Tribute honoree Melvin Van Peebles, 8:00

Wednesday, December 3 Batiste Madalena and the Cinema of the 1920s: SHIVERING SPOOKS (excerpt) (Robert F. McGowan, 1926), SUNDOWN LTD. 1 (Robert F. McGowan, 1924), and BEGGAR ON HORSEBACK (excerpt) (James Cruze, 1925), with organ accompaniment by Ben Model, Education and Research Center, 1:30

Wednesday, December 3 Looking at Music — THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (Andy Warhol, 1966), 6:00

Wednesday, December 3 The Contenders: MILK (Gus Van Sant, 2008), followed by a Q&A with Gus Van Sant, part of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, 7:00

In the Thematic Neighborhood


Laurent Grasso’s "Infinite Light" can be seen across the three bridges linking Hunter College

to : Night —

Hunter College Art Galleries

The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, 68th St. & Lexington Ave.

Through December 6

Tuesday — Saturday 1:00 — 6:00

Admission: free



Curated by Joachim Pissarro, Mara Hoberman, and Julia Moreno, "to : Night" is being staged to coincide with "Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night" at MoMA. Although one half of this exhibit closed November 15 at Hunter College’s Times Square Gallery, the second half will be on view through December 6 at the Bertha and Karl Leubsorf Art Gallery at Hunter’s East 68th St. location. Broken down into "Starry Nights," "In the Heat of the Night," and "City Nights…" and "Country Nights…," the exhibition features paintings, photographs, and sculptures by such artists as Vija Celmins, Gregory Crewdson, Yvonne Jacquette, Florian Maier-Aichen, and Jeff Wall, examining the night in various different ways, from ambiguous narrative to abstract representation, from vivid renderings to ghostly apparitions. The highlight is the triple play of Robert Longo’s "Horse Head Nebula," Vik Muniz’s "Viewing from Guanahani, Bahamas," and Thomas Ruff’s "Stern 17h 51m/-22." One is a charcoal drawing, one a photograph of gelatin, and the other a C-print adapted from an observatory photo; see if you can guess which is which. And try your best to block out the amazingly annoying clicking sound coming from Halina Kliem’s "I Want to See Stars" digital video; it’s days later and we still can’t get it out of our heads.


Visitors can take a walk through Carlos Cruz-Diez’s "Cromosaturacion (Chromosaturation)" at the Americas Society


The Americas Society

680 Park Ave. at 68th St.

Through January 2008

Wednesday through Saturday 12 noon — 6:00 pm (closed November 26-30)

Admission: free



Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez has filled the gallery at the Americas Society with a series of Fisicromia (Physichromie) and Cromosaturacion (Chromosaturation) installations that involve the viewer as an active participant in an intriguing environment of light and color. As one walks back and forth in front of his Physichromie structures — essentially painted vertical slats in green and red — the color changes depending on the viewer’s position by "projecting color in space and creating an evolving situation," the artist has said. "Physichromie no. 500" is particularly effective, consisting of tall pieces of painted PVC and acrylic strips on wood. Now in his mid-80s, Cruz-Diez helped install "Cromosaturacion (Chromosaturation)," a fascinating walk-in environment where the additive, subtractive, and reflective nature of color come together, resulting in a labyrinth of colored lights that turn the space from green to red to blue and various palettes in between. The exhibit is supplemented with paraphernalia from throughout Cruz-Diez’s career, including books, invitations, articles, and other works.

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Charity Event of the Week


The annual Canstruction event will snake its way through the World Financial Center for the first time


World Financial Center Winter Garden & Courtyard Gallery

225 Vesey St.

November 20 — December 2

Hours: Winter Garden 7:00 am — 11:00 pm, Courtyard Gallery 9:00 am — 5:00 pm

Suggested donation: one can of food




For the past several years, we’ve gotten a kick out of checking out all the can sculptures on view every fall at the New York Design Center on Lexington & 32nd, starting at the top floor and working our way down, marveling at the crazy creations made out of cans of food. This year’s NYCDesign/Build Competition, the sixteenth annual Canstruction event, will be more spread out, moving into its new downtown digs at the World Financial Center Winter Garden and Courtyard Gallery. Canstruction features dozens of installations made with canned food, aiming for such prizes as Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, and Structural Ingenuity while also raising awareness of world hunger. Be sure to bring a camera, and not just to take pictures; interestingly, viewing the canstructions through a camera lens brings what it is into better focus than if you look at it with just your own eyes. All canned food used in the canstructions and given at the door will be donated to City Harvest.

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Film Festival of the Week I

The much too brief life and career of Carole Lombard will be celebrated at Film Forum


Film Forum

209 West Houston St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

November 21 — December 2



One of the greatest actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age and of all time, Carole Lombard was a true star who captivated the nation both on-screen and off. Between 1930 and 1941, she made nearly two dozen screwball comedies and dramas, working with such directors as Howard Hawks, Henry Hathaway, William Wellman, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ernst Lubitsch and such actors as William Powell, John Barrymore, Fred MacMurray, Gary Cooper, George Raft, Fredric March, James Stewart, Cary Grant, and Clark Gable, who later became her husband. Lombard was a captivating delight in such great films as MY MAN GODFREY, MR. & MRS. SMITH, NOTHING SACRED, and MADE FOR EACH OTHER, often winning the battle of the sexes in a very different way than Katharine Hepburn did. Sadly, Lombard died in a plane crash in 1942 at the age of thirty-four. In addition to its usual double features, Film Forum has several triple features as well in this outstanding series.

Friday, November 21


Saturday, November 22 MY MAN GODFREY (1936, Gregory La Cava), 2:45, 6:15, 9:45, and TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934, Howard Hawks), 1:00, 4:30, 8:00

Sunday, November 23 TRUE CONFESSION (1937,Wesley Ruggles), 2:55, 6:30, 10:15, and HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE (1935, Mitchell Leisen) and THE CAMPUS VAMP (1928), with live piano accompaniment by Peter Mintun, 1:00, 4:35, 8:20

Monday, November 24 VIRTUE (1932, Edward Buzzell), 2:25, 6:35, 10:45, WHITE WOMAN (1933, Stuart Walker), 3:45, 7:55, and SINNERS IN THE SUN (1932, Alexander Hall), 1:00, 5:10, 9:20

Tuesday, November 25 NO MAN OF HER OWN (1932, Wesley Ruggles), 1:20, 4:35, 7:50, and NOW AND FOREVER (1934, Henry Hathaway), 3:00, 6:15, 9:30

Seven years after starring together in NO MAN OF HER OWN, Gable and Lombard were married

Wednesday, November 26 BOLERO (1934, Wesley Ruggles), 2:45, 6:00, 9:15, and WE’RE NOT DRESSING (1934, Norman Taurog), 1:10, 4:25, 7:40

Thursday, November 27 FROM HELL TO HEAVEN (1933, Erle C. Kenton), 3:50, 8:00, LADIES’ MAN (1931, Lothar Mendes), 1:00, 5:10, 9:20, and MAN OF THE WORLD (1931, Richard Wallace), 2:25, 6:35

Friday, November 29


Saturday, November 29 TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942, Ernst Lubitsch), 2:55, 6:20, 9:50, and NOTHING SACRED (1937, William Wellman), 1:15, 4:45, 8:15

Sunday, November 30 MR. & MRS. SMITH (1941, Alfred Hitchcock), 1:00, 4:20, 7:40, and THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936, William K. Howard), 2:50, 6:10, 9:30

Monday, December 1 UP POPS THE DEVIL (1931, A. Edward Sutherland), 1:00, 5:15, 9:30, FAST AND LOOSE (1930, Fred Newmeyer), 2:30, 6:45, and IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE (1931, Frank Tuttle), 3:55, 8:10

Tuesday, December 2 IN NAME ONLY (1939, John Cromwell), 1:00, 4:40, 8:20, and MADE FOR EACH OTHER (1939, John Cromwell), 2:50, 6:30, 10:10

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Parade of the Week


The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade is on the way


77th St. & Central Park West to 34th St. & Seventh Ave.

Thursday, November 20

Public viewing areas: Broadway between 38th & 58th Sts., 34th St. between Broadway & Seventh Ave., 70th St. from Central Park West to Columbus Circle

Admission: free



In 1924, a bunch of Macy’s employees joined forces and held the first Macy’s Christmas Parade, as it was then known. In 1927, giant balloons joined the party for the first time. This year Macy’s celebrates the eighty-second year of this beloved American event. (For those of you going crazy trying to figure out how 1924 to 2008 makes 82, the parade was canceled from 1942 through 1944 because of World War II.) Macy’s itself turned 150 this year; helping celebrate the anniversary will be such lip-syncing, waving celebrities as Miley Cyrus, James Taylor, Lang Lang, Trace Adkins, Andy Williams, the Clique Girlz, Charise, Darius Rucker, Kristen Chenoweth, and David Archuleta as well as the casts of several Broadway musicals, the Alvin Ailey Children’s Company, the Polynesian Dance Ensemble, the Heartbeat Jump Rope Team, and the Radio City Rockettes. Also on hand will be marching bands and drill teams, clowns, some new balloons (Horton the Elephant, Buzz Lightyear, a Smurf, and a Keith Haring heart) joining such previous oversize gasbags as Snoopy as the Flying Ace, Pikachu, and Super Cute Hello Kitty, and a bunch of floats, including Bolt, Harajuku Lovers, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and the Oneida Indian Nation’s Meaning of Thanksgiving.

In the Geographic Neighborhood


The real Times Square Ball is on display at Macy’s


Macy’s Herald Square

151 East 34th St. at Broadway

Through December 10

Admission: free



Last year, in conjunction with the release of Waterford’s Silver Replica Ball Christmas Ornament and the hundredth anniversary of the ball drop, Macy’s displayed for the first time ever the actual ball that would later descend from up high on New Year’s Eve, alerting the country that 2008 had begun. That ball, created by Waterford, the fifth such orb to launch a new year in Times Square, has been retired, and a new globe, a twelve-foot geodesic sphere consisting of 2,668 crystals and 32,256 LEDs and weighing nearly six tons, is being introduced to the public at Macy’s, where its 16 million different color schemes can be seen on the first floor through December 10. (In addition, Macy’s holiday window display will be revealed on Sunday, November 23.)

In the Thematic Neighborhood


Central Park West to Columbus Ave. between 77th & 81st Sts.

Admission: free



Wednesday, November 26 Annual inflation-eve blow-up of Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, 3:00 — 10:00 (time approximate)

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Film Festival of the Week II

Regan (Linda Blair) turns into one helluva problem child in THE EXORCIST


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

November 28-30



Think your kids might be trouble this Thanksgiving weekend? Think again, because the Film Society of Lincoln Center has gathered together some of the baddest children to ever appear on the big screen, and when we say bad, we mean really bad, even if it’s not always the kids’ fault. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick give birth to the ultimate devil child in THE OMEN, Ellen Burstyn will try anything to chase a demon out of her daughter’s body in THE EXORCIST, Fredric March and Agnes Moorehead find out that their friend’s child who they’ve agreed to take in has a small thing for the Nazis in TOMORROW, THE WORLD!, teachers Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn learn just how far a student will go in THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, governess Deborah Kerr has a feeling the two children she is in charge of might be possessed in THE INNOCENTS, and, in THE FURY, Kirk Douglas is out to rescue his son, who has special powers, from the grips of John Cassavetes, with the help of Amy Irving, who has some pretty frightening powers herself.

Then there’s adorable little Rhoda Penmark, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants in THE BAD SEED; playful twins Niles and Holland Perry, who leave a trail of dead bodies in their wake in THE OTHER; teenagers Artie and Judd, who carry out what they consider to be the perfect murder in COMPULSION; and an entire town of little terrors in VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. The series, entitled "Problem Child," kicks off with Faye Dunaway going way over the top in disciplining her naughty, naughty daughter in MOMMIE DEAREST and features a stellar lineup of directors — Mervyn LeRoy, William Wyler, William Friedkin, Robert Mulligan, Richard Fleischer, Brian De Palma, and Richard Donner among them. Although "Problem Child" does not include the 1990 John Ritter hit PROBLEM CHILD, Ritter does appear as the Perry twins’ mild-mannered uncle in THE OTHER.

Friday, November 28 MOMMIE DEAREST (Frank Perry, 1981), 12:30

Friday, November 28 THE OMEN (Richard Donner, 1976), 3:00

Lee Remick and Gregory Peck have quite a problem on their hands in THE OMEN

THE OMEN (Richard Donner, 1976)

Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife, Katherine (Lee Remick), are thrilled when they finally have a son (Harvey Stephens). But as soon as the little devil is born, strange things start happening to them and all in their vicinity, and when a photographer (David Warner) has some unfortunate evidence for Thorn, well, all hell sorta breaks loose. One of the scariest horror films ever made, THE OMEN features some awesome killings, a wicked nanny (Billie Whitelaw), evil dogs, and numerous truly terrifying moments, including when Thorn gets his arm caught on a cemetery fence, which will force even the bravest of horror fan to avert their eyes. Director Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON, SUPERMAN, THE GOONIES), who cut his teeth on such television shows as THE TWILIGHT ZONE, GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, PERRY MASON, and, of all things, THE BANANA SPLITS, displays a deft hand, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats the whole way through. Jerry Goldsmith’s choir-based music will haunt you for days, as will Stephens’s evil glare.

Friday, November 28 THE INNOCENTS (Jack Clayton, 1961), 5:10

Friday, November 28 THE CHILDREN’S HOUR (William Wyler, 1961), 7:10

Friday, November 28 THE EXORCIST (William Friedkin, 1973), original 1973 theatrical version, 9:20

THE EXORCIST (William Friedkin, 1973)

The first time we saw THE EXORCIST on the big screen, we were scared out of our minds. The second time, well, we laughed our heads off, as the audience treated it more like a camp classic. But it’s frightened the hell out of us every time we’ve caught it on television since — and it’s the sign of a great horror film when it can terrify you even when you know exactly what’s coming. Based on William Peter Blatty’s chilling novel, THE EXORCIST, featuring Michael Oldfield’s iconic "Tubular Bells" score, tells the story of poor, unfortunate Regan (Linda Blair), who apparently has been inhabited by an evil demon who curses like a motherf’er and doesn’t really like pea soup. Regan’s mother (Ellen Burstyn) agrees to have a priest with exorcism experience, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), come save her, but it doesn’t all quite go as planned. And just thinking about when Regan turns to fragile Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) and, in the voice of his aging mother, says, "Why you do this to me, Demi?" still practically makes us wet ourselves. Forget about the various newfangled cuts of the film; Lincoln Center is screening the only one that matters, the 1973 original theatrical release.

Saturday, November 29 THE BAD SEED (Mervyn LeRoy, 1956), 1:30

Saturday, November 29 COMPULSION (Richard Fleischer, 1959), 5:45

Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell like things dark in COMPULSION

COMPULSION (Richard Fleischer, 1959)

Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, Richard Fleischer’s COMPULSION is a fictionalization of the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case, which had previously served as the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 thriller ROPE. Believing they are of superior intellect, teenagers Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) and Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman), both spoiled kids who come from extremely wealthy families, decide they can literally get away with murder. But soon they find themselves in need of a lawyer, and their rich folks call in the best in the business, Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles playing a character based on Clarence Darrow), setting up a showdown between Wilk and savvy D.A. Harold Horn (E.G. Marshall). Director Richard Fleischer (SOYLENT GREEN, THE BOSTON STRANGLER) chooses not to show the actual murder, instead focusing on the psychological makeup that turned two smart kids into brutal murderers who think there are no real consequences for their actions. Stockwell and Dillman are excellently delusional, leading a fine cast that also includes Martin (ADAM-12) Milner, Richard (Oscar Goldman) Anderson, and Gavin (Captain Merrill Stubing) MacLeod.

Saturday, November 29 TOMORROW, THE WORLD! (Leslie Fenton, 1944), 4:00

Saturday, November 29 VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (Wolf Rilla, 1960), 7:50

Saturday, November 29 MOMMIE DEAREST (Frank Perry, 1981), 9:30

Sunday, November 30 THE INNOCENTS (Jack Clayton, 1961), 1:30

Sunday, November 30 THE FURY (Brian De Palma, 1978), with an introduction & Q&A with Amy Irving, 3:30

Sunday, November 30 THE OTHER (Robert Mulligan, 1972), 6:15

Niles (Chris Udvarnoky) keeps a lookout for his bad brother in THE OTHER

THE OTHER (Robert Mulligan, 1972)

Twins Niles (Chris Udvarnoky) and Holland (Martin Udvarnoky) do everything together, playing around their family’s farm with a reckless abandon that gets them into a lot of trouble — especially when they leave a body or two lying around. Their mother (Diana Muldaur) has become sort of a walking zombie since the sudden death of her husband, so their grandmother, Ada (Uta Hagen), watches out for the kinder. Ada has taught Niles to play what she calls the Game, which involves psychic phenomena, but the Game goes bad very quickly. Director Robert Mulligan (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, SUMMER OF ’42) keeps things very creepy, especially as Niles tries to understand what makes Holland do the things he does. The screenplay is by Thomas Tryon, based on his bestselling novel. The boys’ uncle, Rider, is played by a young John Ritter, while Victor French, Agent 44 on GET SMART and Mark Gordon on HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, is Angelini the handyman.

Sunday, November 30 THE OMEN (Richard Donner, 1976), 8:30

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Film

Thavisouk "Thavi" Phrasavath searches for the truth about his family in THE BETRAYAL

(Ellen Kuras & Thavisouk Phrasavath, 2008)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.

Opens November 21



Famed cinematographer Ellen Kuras (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, HEART OF GOLD) makes her directorial debut with the heart-wrenching documentary THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON), which she and Thavisouk "Thavi" Phrasavath, her co-director and primary subject, shot over the course of twenty-three years, from 1984 to 2007. In 1973, Thavi’s father was recruited by the CIA to help fight the spread of Communism in Laos during the Vietnam War — even though the United States still denies its involvement in that country — and after America left and the Pathet Lao took over, Thavi’s father was arrested and sent to a reeducation camp, where it was feared he had become one of the disappeared ones. Just thirteen years old, Thavi led his mother and siblings on a dangerous escape to Thailand and then to Brooklyn, where they try to become a family again — despite leaving some behind in Laos — but find roadblocks of all kinds every step of the way, leading them to question whether America is really the land of opportunity. Mixing archival footage with re-created scenes and interviews with many of the family members — mostly Thavi’s proud, bitter mother — THE BETRAYAL is a moving story of the search for home and reconciling with the past.

Jafar Panahi film will have special screening in Queens


La Guardia Performing Arts Center

31-10 Thomson Ave., Long Island City

Friday, November 21, 7:00





Filmed on location in and around Tehran’s Azadi Stadium and featuring a talented cast of nonprofessional actors, Jafar Panahi’s OFFSIDE is a brilliant look at gender disparity in modern-day Iran. Although it is illegal for girls to go to soccer games in Iran — because, among other reasons, the government does not think it’s appropriate for females to be in the company of screaming men who might be cursing and saying other nasty things — many try to get in, facing arrest if they get caught. OFFSIDE, which played the 2006 New York Film Festival, is set during an actual match between Iran and Bahrain; a win will put Iran in the 2006 World Cup. High up in the stadium, a small group of girls, dressed in various types of disguises, have been captured and are cordoned off, guarded closely by some soldiers who would rather be watching the match themselves or back home tending to their sheep. The girls, who can hear the crowd noise, beg for one of the men to narrate the game for them. Meanwhile, an old man is desperately trying to find his daughter to save her from some very real punishment that her brothers would dish out to her for shaming them by trying to get into the stadium. Despite its timely and poignant subject matter, OFFSIDE is a very funny film, with fine performances by Sima Mobarak Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ida Sadeghi, Golnaz Farmani, Mahnaz Zabihi, and Nazanin Sedighzadeh as the girls and M. Kheymeh Kabood as one of the soldiers. This special presentation by the Museum of the Moving Image, part of its World Cinema Showcase series, will be introduced by a guest speaker.

The year of Louise Bourgeois in NYC continues with special screening


Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Sunday, November 23, 1:00 & 8:00




This past summer, a wonderful Louise Bourgeois career retrospective, "A Life in Pictures," was on display at the Guggenheim. Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach’s highly entertaining and illuminating LOUISE BOURGEOIS: THE SPIDER, THE MISTRESS AND THE TANGERINE opened in conjunction with the show and is now having a special screening at Symphony Space. The iconoclastic, eclectic, and rather feisty Bourgeois, who is still working in her mid-90s, is one of the seminal female artists of the twentieth — and twenty-first — century. Her intensely personal sculptures hint at childhood traumas, especially relating to the relationship between her father, her mother, and her father’s live-in mistress, in such exciting and mysterious installations as "Red Room," "Cell II," "Precious Liquids," and her ubiquitous "Spiders," brought to life by cinematographers Mead Hunt and Ken Kobland. Cajori and Wallach filmed and interviewed Bourgeois beginning in the artist’s Brooklyn studio in May 1993 and continuing into 2007, also speaking with her assistants, curators, son, and others who shed light on this fascinating, bigger-than-life figure. The film is divided into three sections — "I Do," I Undo," and "I Redo" — as the ornery Bourgeois is very careful about not giving away too many of her secrets ("You have to read between the lines when I talk," she tells Wallach), although she does share many of the intimate emotions behind her unique artistic process, discussing the unconscious, memory, and fear. "The purpose of sculpture is self-knowledge," she says at one point. "I’m full of doubts."

Han Yeo-rum learns how to protect herself in THE BOW

THE BOW (HWAL) (Kim Ki-duk, 2005)

CabaretCinema, Rubin Museum of Art

150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.

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

212-620-5000 ext 344



On a fishing boat anchored in the middle of the ocean, an old man (Jeon Sung-hwan) lives with a teenage girl (Han Yeo-rum). A gruff, bearded, dour sort, he has been raising the beautiful but silent girl for ten years, planning to marry her when she turns seventeen. Whenever men — who come to the boat to fish in peace — get fresh with the girl, the old man starts shooting arrows at them to scare them off, with the same bow that he also turns into a musical instrument and plays while sitting on the mast. He also uses the bow to shoot arrows at a Buddhist painting on the side of the boat as the girl swings in front of it, in order to tell the future for his customers. But when the girl takes an immediate liking to a college student (Seo Ji-seok) who wants to show her more of the world, the old man starts worrying that his own future might not include the girl, so he begins taking drastic measures. An official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, THE BOW is another gripping visual poem from Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, director of such moving films as 3-IRON and SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER…AND SPRING. Han, who also starred in Kim’s SAMARITAN GIRL, is mesmerizing as the girl, evoking tender emotion with her body, eyes, and magical lips.

Pedro Almodóvar scored a huge hit with VOLVER

VOLVER (COMING BACK) (Pedro Almodóvar, 2006)

BAMcinematek, BAM Rose Cinemas

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

Monday, December 1, 4:30 & 7:30




The centerpiece presentation of the 2006 New York Film Festival, VOLVER finds Pedro Almodóvar returning to his native La Mancha in Spain in this bittersweet, ultimately disappointing tale of three generations of women. The movie opens beautifully, with dozens of women in a cemetery, carefully cleaning loved ones’ tombstones and leaving fresh flowers — except for Agustina (Blanca Portillo), who is tending to her own grave site. Agustina takes care of the aged Paula (Chus Lampreave), who helped raise Raimunda (Penélope Cruz). Raimunda is working several jobs to help support her lout of a husband (Antonio de la Torre) and their teenage daughter, (Yohana Cobo), but she’s soon forced to cover up a grisly tragedy. And Sole (Lola Dueñas), Raimunda’s sister, is a single woman working illegally as a hairdresser out of her apartment. When rumors persist that Raimunda and Sole’s mother, Irene (Carmen Maura), who died in a fire many years before with her husband, has come back from the dead and is taking care of Paula, Raimunda and Sole have very different reactions, dredging up long-buried memories and secrets both good and bad. Unfortunately, the film never quite comes together. Almodóvar, who has made such spectacular films as ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER and TALK TO HER, in this case might be too close to the material; in the press notes, he confesses, "During the writing of the script and filming, my mother was always present and very near. I don’t know if the film is good, but I’m sure that it did me a lot of good to make it." There are too many flaws in the plot, especially when Raimunda takes over her neighbor’s restaurant and starts preparing lunches for a large film crew while being eyed by a young production assistant, and some of the comedy is just too slapsticky and unbelievable. Yet as with all Almodóvar films, there is still much to admire, even in a lesser work. This special screening is part of the 2008 Gotham Independent Film Awards, paying tribute to honoree Penélope Cruz.

New York-Tokyo will be holding free U.S. premiere of Japanese hit movie

HAPPY FLIGHT (Shinobu Yaguchi, 2008)

Japan Society

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

Wednesday, December 3, free, 2:00 & 6:45



Our good friends at New York-Tokyo are presenting another U.S. premiere of a hit Japanese film, this time screening HAPPY FLIGHT for free at the Japan Society as part of its continuing Nippon Eiga series. Director Shinobu Yaguchi (WATERBOYS, SWING GIRLS) will be on hand for both screenings, along with stars Seiichi Tanabe and Haruka Ayase. Although admission is free, you must RSVP in advance to the above Web site.

In Theaters Now

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

BURN AFTER READING (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2008)

Quad Cinema

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




After delighting audiences with such outstanding indie fare as BLOOD SIMPLE (1984), FARGO (1996), and O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000), brothers Joel and Ethan Coen hit a midcareer slump with the mediocre THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (2001), the much-maligned INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003), and the just plain awful remake of THE LADYKILLERS (2004). It was three years before they released their next film, the Oscar-winning monster hit NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Now they have toned things down again with the slight but entertaining BURN AFTER READING. John Malkovich is hysterical as Osborne Cox, an angry, bitter, foul-mouthed CIA agent who loses his job and decides to write a tell-all memoir, which bizarrely ends up in the hands of a pair of bumbling idiots, Chad Feldheimer (an extremely funny Brad Pitt) and Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand). Linda really wants to get a whole bunch of plastic surgery done, so she plans on squeezing a lot of money out of old Mr. Cox, who has no patience for anyone other than himself. Throw in a cold-as-ice wife (Tilda Swinton), a philandering G-man (George Clooney), a Russian ambassador named after Severn Darden’s character in THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST, and some shocking violence and — well, we’ve told you too much already. BURN AFTER READING might not be grade-A Coen brothers, but it’s still a worthwhile endeavor from two of America’s most ingenious filmmakers.

Angelina Jolie stars in latest Clint Eastwood drama

CHANGELING (Clint Eastwood, 2008)


The opening-night selection at this year’s New York Film Festival, Clint Eastwood’s CHANGELING is an overblown melodrama about a mother’s desperate search for her missing child. On a March day in 1928, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie with perhaps the puffiest, reddest lips ever seen on-screen) comes home from work late to find her young son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith), gone. The corrupt Los Angeles Police Department, in need of some good publicity, is little help — until, months later, it claims to have found Walter. But the child they present to Christine is not her son — yet the police, led by the smug Captain Jones (a smug Jeffrey Donovan), do all they can to try to convince her that she is mistaken and that the boy is indeed her offspring, just to protect their reputation. A local pastor, Rev. Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), takes an interest in the case, thinking it is yet more evidence of the LAPD’s incompetence. Unwilling to give up, Christine decides to take on the police, but she gets much more than she ever bargained for. Based on a true story, CHANGELING is a laboriously straightforward film with no nuance whatsoever; everything is black and white, good versus evil, with the only shades of gray the lovely cinematography by Tom Stern.

Catherine Deneuve stars as family matriarch in Desplechin holiday flick

A CHRISTMAS TALE (UN CONTE DE NOËL) (Arnaud Desplechin, 2008)

IFC Center

323 Sixth Ave. at West Third St.


Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1866 Broadway at 63rd St.





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. The IFC Center is warming up filmgoers with a series of all seven of Arnaud Desplechin’s previous works, running November 5-13; see below for more info.

Simon Mein/ Courtesy of Miramax Films

Sally Hawkins is absolutely delightful in Mike Leigh’s latest

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008)

AMC Empire 25

42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Landmark Sunshine Cinema

143 East Houston St. between First & Second Aves.




Writer-director Mike Leigh (SECRETS & LIES, NAKED, TOPSY-TURVY) has made the most charming film of his career with HAPPY-GO-LUCKY. Sally Hawkins gives a career-making performance as Poppy, the most delightful film character since Audrey Tatou’s Amélie (in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 French comedy LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMÉLIE POULAIN). Poppy is a primary school teacher who has an endearing, seemingly limitless love of life; she talks playfully with strangers in bookstores, teases her sister (Kate O’Flynn) and best friend (Alexis Zegerman) with the sweetest of smirks, takes a flamenco lesson on a whim with a colleague, and, when her bicycle is stolen, simply starts taking driving lessons. However, her driving instructor, Scott (Eddie Marsan of the recently underappreciated SIXTY SIX), is a tense, angry man with 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.


Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1866 Broadway at 63rd 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. BONUS: Petit will be making a rare NYC appearance on Tuesday, December 9, at 1:00, signing copies of the MAN ON WIRE DVD at the Wall St. Borders at 100 Broadway.

Bill Maher takes on organized religion and faith in comedy doc

RELIGULOUS (Larry Charles, 2008)


Bill Maher, who regularly shares his views on religion in his stand-up act, on his HBO show, and in books, takes on Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other faiths in the very sharp, very funny documentary RELIGULOUS (a combination of “religious” and “ridiculous”). Taking a page out of Michael Moore’s guerrilla filmmaking style, Maher and director Larry Charles (SEINFELD, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, BORAT) go on the road, speaking with priests, rabbis, scientists, activists, doctors, ministers, politicians, and everyday plainfolk in Italy, Israel, England, the Netherlands, and across America, meeting some very strange characters with a wide array of religious beliefs, all of which the agnostic Maher, who doesn’t believe in God and considers the Bible a fairy tale, thinks are idiotic. Among the most outrageous segments are Maher’s visit to the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, a bizarre battle with Jewish activist Yehuda Etzion, and Maher and his crew getting thrown out of the Vatican. Although RELIGULOUS primarily preaches to the choir and is unlikely to make many converts, Maher does bring up some cogent points about the history of religion and its eventual transcription, raising questions that will make you think about your own personal faith.

Paramount Pictures

STRANDED recounts harrowing tale of crash survivors


Cinema Village

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




On October 13, 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team and some of their friends and family crashed in the Andes. Twenty-nine of the forty-five passengers lived through the initial crash, but the worst was perhaps yet to come, as the survivors battled through freezing temperatures, a catastrophic avalanche, and no food, trapped in a vast mountain range where their chances of rescue were seemingly impossible. Writer-director Gonzalo Arijon, who grew up with some of the survivors, brings them back to that time and place, both literally and figuratively, in STRANDED, speaking with the survivors and family members and re-creating scenes as they return to the crash site in the Valley of Tears for the first time in thirty-five years. Although the remarkable story has already been told in Piers Paul Read’s 1974 book, ALIVE!, and Frank Marshall’s 1993 adaptation starring Ethan Hawke, Vincent Spano, and Josh Hamilton, STRANDED gives viewers the opportunity to look into the actual eyes of the survivors as they relate specific incidents and share their deepest feelings.

They might have been a fun-loving bunch of young athletes in 1972, but today they are a group of thoughtful, insightful men able to reach deep within themselves to express the horrors they experienced with a calm, beguiling intelligence. It’s especially compelling when they go into graphic detail explaining what food they used to keep themselves alive — they had no choice but to eat those who had died. (STRANDED might not be the best choice for a dinner-and-a-movie date.) Another of the many poignant moments occurs when several of the survivors discuss their near-death experiences as they were buried under a fierce avalanche. Arijon sets up STRANDED like an action-adventure movie, allowing it to unfold chronologically; even though the audience knows who survived — those who are seen on camera, relating the story in the present, of course — viewers will still be on the edge of their seats every step of the way, unsure of what comes next, living each desperate moment as if they’re lost in the valley as well.

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

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)


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.




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

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Live Music, Dance & Theater

Iconic eighties rock songs come back to life onstage


New World Stages

340 West 50th St. between Eighth & Ninth Aves.

Tickets: $49.50-$80.50



ROCK OF AGES takes audiences back into the Greed Decade, featuring big hair and body shots, Slurpees and sleaze, and the music of Styx, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Poison, Asia, Quarterflash, Whitesnake, and most every other band that became overnight MTV sensations with gigantic power chords, emotionally overwrought songs, and stupid videos with lots of hot chicks. AMERICAN IDOL finalist Constantine Maroulis stars as Drew, a soft-spoken Detroit dude who comes to Los Angeles seeking fame and fortune as a musician — as he eventually proclaims in the show, “I wanna rock!” Natalie Portman look-alike Kelli Barrett plays Sherrie (yes, Steve Perry fans won’t be disappointed), a young woman from Kansas (of course) who wants to be an actress. The two get jobs at the legendary Bourbon Room, which is soon scheduled for demolition as part of Hertz’s (Paul Schoeffler) evil economic redevelopment plan with the mayor (Brian Munn). Meanwhile, the owner of the club, Dennis (Adam Dannheisser), wants to send the place off with a big bang, hosting the final performance ever of Arsenal, with lead singer Stacee Jaxx (Will Swenson, last seen as Berger in HAIR at the Delacorte this past summer) about to embark on a solo career. (Think David Lee Roth and Van Halen.)

The first act is somewhat of a letdown, as the show struggles to find its center and the schtick of Dennis’s right-hand man, Lonny (an enthusiastic Mitchell Jarvis), as a CABARET-like emcee gets tired fast with its supposedly clever self-referential running commentary. But the act ends with a fab finale, paving the way for a thoroughly entertaining second act, with writer Chris D’Arienzo, director Kristin Hanggi, and choreographer Kelly Devine at last all getting in sync. The night we went, understudy Christopher Spaulding nearly stole the show as Franz, Hertz’s flamboyant chocolate-loving son (the role is usually played by Wesley Taylor). And Maroulis and Barrett share an infectious chemistry that will have you rooting for them as you sing along and try to order a wine cooler. (Drinks are served during the performance.) The onstage band features musicians who have played with members of the Alan Parsons Project, Starship, Night Ranger, Matchbox Twenty, Rod Stewart, Survivor, and others, so they get things right, especially guitar god Joel Hoekstra.

Sin Cha Hong reimagines Beckett classic as modern dance


La MaMa E.T.C. (Annex Theater)

74A East Fourth St.

Tickets: $10-$25




Thursday, November 20


Sunday, November 30 Dancer-choreographer Sin Cha Hong’s solo reinterpretation of Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT,


Gang Gang Dance lit up the night for sparkling "88 Boadrum"


Friday, November 28, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North Sixth St. between Wythe & Kent, $15, 8:00

Saturday, November 29, Santos Party House, 100 Lafayette St., $15, 11:30




When last we saw innovative Brooklyn band Gang Gang Dance, Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian Degraw, Tim Dewit, and Josh Diamond were in a gazebo of colored lights, leading eighty-eight drummers through "88 Boadrum," a thrilling eighty-eight-minute piece on 8/8/08 on the Williamsburg waterfront in conjunction with Boredoms, who were orchestrating a similar event on the West Coast. This time around, Gang Gang Dance will be playing its own music, featuring tunes from its latest album, SAINT DYMPHNA (the Social Registry, October 2008), a barrage of trippy, transcendent punk and funk. Live, there’s not telling where their pentient for experimental improvisation might take them. They’ll be playing the Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 28 with Marnie Stern and Zs, followed the next night with Marnie Stern again, this time at Santos Party House.


Saturday, November 29, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North Sixth St. between Wythe & Kent, $13, 8:00

Sunday, November 30, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St. $13, 8:00




King Khan has been all over New York City the past few months, playing his first-ever New York City show with one of his bands, the Shrines, at the South Street Seaport, then following that up with performances at Mercury Lounge and, on August 3, McCarren Park Pool in what might have been the concert of the summer, on a bill with Deerhunter and Black Lips that devolved into a riotous madhouse. The always outrageous Khan participated in October’s CMJ Music Marathon, and now he’s back in one of his other carnations, joining his Spacesh*ts partner in crime, Mark Sultan, appearing as the King Khan & BBQ Show, playing their unique underground garage sounds on November 29 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg with Golden Triangle and the Jacuzzi Boys and on November 30 at the Bowery Ballroom with Vivian Girls and the A-Bones. There’s no telling what to expect.

Jean Grae shows her genius on new album


Highline Ballroom

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

Sunday, November 30, $15-$18, 9:00




One of the wildest and craziest women in hip-hop, Jean Grae is about as unpredictable as they come. On her MySpace page, where she changes her screen name regularly (she was born Tsidi Ibrahim in South Africa, to singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, and later changed her name to Jean Grae in reference to X-Men mutant superhero Jean Grey), she rants and raves, argues and complains, and interacts daily with her legion of fans, never hesitating to say exactly what’s on her mind. She even left cryptic messages on her site earlier this year, hinting that she was retiring from hip-hop, but we’re glad to she she’s back. When we saw her a few years ago at the Canal Room, she tore down the house, eventually grooving madly through the crowd (she used to be an Alvin Ailey dancer), setting up a SOUL TRAIN-like dance line. She’ll be at the Highline Ballroom on November 30, touring behind her latest CD, the appropriately titled and long-delayed JEANIUS (Blacksmith, July 2008); be ready for anything and everything.

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Riff’s Rants & Raves: Art & Literature

© Andrew Eccles

Jamar Roberts during and after


The June Kelly Gallery

591 Broadway between Houston & Prince Sts.

Tuesday — Saturday 11:00 am — 6:00 pm

Admission: free




Through December 9 Exhibition of photographs from Andrew Eccles’s new book, AILEY ASCENDING: A PORTRAIT IN MOTION, held in conjunction with Alvin Ailey’s fiftieth anniversary season, which runs December 3 — January 4 at City Center



85 East Fourth St. between Second & Third Aves.

Admission: free



Sunday, November 30 KGB Bar Sunday Night Fiction: Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel (THE ALCOHOLIC), Sarah Glidden (HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS), Matthew Thruber (1-800-MICE), and Tom Hart (HUTCH OWEN) reading from and showing their latest work, 7:00

THE CLOROX CHRONICLES by Philip Luber ($19.48)


In the 1990s, Philip Luber wrote a fine series of novels featuring forensic psychologist Harry Kline and police detective Veronica Pace, including FORGIVE US OUR SINS, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, PRAY FOR US SINNERS, and HAVE MERCY ON US. But there is much more to Luber than just a mystery novelist; he is also a photographer, a singer-songwriter, a husband, a father, and a psychologist. He writes about all aspects of his surprisingly fascinating life in THE CLOROX CHRONICLES, a self-published memoir that collects stories from his childhood to the present day, from getting trapped in Arlington National Cemetery to meeting Mandy Patinkin, from working in his father’s old-time drugstore to detailing his brother’s tragic death, from bumping into former patients to being on the news for sneaking into a Bobby Kennedy rally. Luber, a charter FOT (friend of twi-ny), has a penchant for getting into bizarre, ridiculous situations filled with coincidence and oddball people, often exacerbated by his unusual way of handling such moments. And at the heart of it all is a deep, undying love of baseball, especially his Philadelphia Phillies (he was raised in Northeastern Philly) and his beloved Boston Red Sox (he’s lived for many years in Massachusetts). You’re unlikely to find all fifty stories to your liking, but there are more than enough to make for a fun read. (Note: Buyers of THE CLOROX CHRONICLES are also given a special e-mail address to receive original songs Luber wrote to accompany the tome.)

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

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


57th St. & Fifth Ave.

Admission: free


Wednesday, November 19 Lighting of sixteen-foot UNICEF Snowflake, featuring sixteen thousand Baccarat crystals, to be strung over Fifth Ave., with celebrity guests, 6:30


Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St.

Admission: $9

Reservations required: 212-534-1672, programs@mcny.org


Wednesday, November 19 Panel discussion with Daniel Boulud, Alain Sailhac, and André Soltner, moderated by Michael Batterberry, 6:30


Wednesday, November 19, Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston St. at Ave. A, $10, 7:30

Thursday, November 20, Union Hall, 702 Union St. at Fifth Ave., $10, 7:30




AA Bondy has spent much of this year playing all over the city, featuring songs from his debut album, AMERICAN HEARTS (Fat Possum, April 2008). Bondy’s engaging, bluesy folk rock comes through on such tunes as “Killed Myself When I Was Young,” “Vice Rag,” the title track, and “Rapture (Sweet Rapture),” featuring Bondy, who hails from Alabama but now lives in New York City, on acoustic guitar and harmonica. On November 19, Bondy, who is up for Deli magazine’s Artist of the Month, will be headlining Mercury Lounge, with the Gentle Guest, Motel Motel, and the Low Anthem also on the bill. The next night, he’ll be in Brooklyn at Union Hall, with Steve Burns & the Struggle.


Multiple venues

Through November 21

Admission: free


For its fifth anniversary, New Literature from Europe takes a look at the growing medium of graphic novels, as the Czech Center New York, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Goethe-Institut New York, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and Instituto Cervantes team up to bring over seven of the genre’s brightest stars.

Wednesday, November 19


Friday, December 12 Exhibition: Graphic Novels from Europe, featuring ten panels from each of the seven special guests, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Ave. at 79th St., Monday through Friday 1:00 - 5:00

Wednesday, November 19 Graphic Novels from Europe, panel discussion with Jaromir Svejdik (Jaromir 99), Jaroslav Rudis, Nicolas de Crécy, Pierre-Francois Beauchard (David B.), Isabel Kreitz, Igor Tuveri (Igort), and Francesca Capdevila Gisbert (Max), moderated by David Mazzucchelli, followed by book signing, School of Visual Arts, third-floor amphitheater, 209 East 23rd St., 6:30

Thursday, November 20 MoCCA Thursdays: European Graphic Novelists, book signing and presentation with David B., Nicolas de Crécy, Jaromír 99 and Jaroslav Rudis, Isabel Kreitz, and Francesca Capdevila Gisbert, MoCCA, 594 Broadway, Suite 401, 6:30

Friday, November 21 Bandes Dessinées, illustrated lecture by Nicolas de Crécy, Le Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews, NYU, 4:00


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.

Through November 23



Wednesday, November 19 BONNIE AND CLYDE (Arthur Penn, 1967), 7:00

Wednesday, November 19 ALICE’S RESTAURANT (Arthur Penn, 1969), 9:30

Thursday, November 20 LITTLE BIG MAN (Arthur Penn, 1970), 6:45

Thursday, November 20 THE MIRACLE WORKER (Arthur Penn, 1962), 9:30

Friday, November 21 MICKEY ONE (Arthur Penn, 1965), 7:00

Friday, November 21 THE CHASE (Arthur Penn, 1966), 9:15

Saturday, November 22 BONNIE AND CLYDE (Arthur Penn, 1967), 4:45

Saturday, November 22 THE LEFT-HANDED GUN (Arthur Penn, 1958), 7:00

Saturday, November 22 LITTLE BIG MAN (Arthur Penn, 1970), 9:15

Sunday, November 23 THE MANY FACES OF DUSTIN HOFFMAN (Elliot Erwitt, 1968), ARTHUR PENN: THE DIRECTOR (Elliot Erwitt, 1970), and THE MOVIEMAKERS: ARTHUR PENN (Richard Schickel, 1996), 4:30

Sunday, November 23 ALICE’S RESTAURANT (Arthur Penn, 1969), 6:45

Sunday, November 23 NIGHT MOVES (Arthur Penn, 1975), 9:00


Walter Reade Theater

65th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Aves.

Series Pass: $40 (for any five screenings)



Wednesday, November 19 TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D'ELLE) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967), 1:30

Wednesday, November 19 WALKABOUT (Nicolas Roeg, 1971), 3:30

Thursday, November 20 MOUCHETTE (Robert Bresson, 1967), 4:45

Friday, November 21 HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks, 1940) and A HOUND FOR TROUBLE (Charles M. Jones, 1951), 1:00

Friday, November 21 I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943), 3:00

Saturday, November 22 MEAN STREETS (Martin Scorsese, 1973), 4:40

Saturday, November 22 I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943), 9:00

Sunday, November 23 I WAS BORN, BUT…, (CHILDREN OF TOKYO) (OTONA NO MIRU EHON — UMARETE WA MITA KEREDO) (Yasujiro Ozu, 1932), 1:00

Sunday, November 23 THE LINEUP (Don Siegel, 1958) and ONE FROGGY EVENING (Charles M. Jones, 1955), 6:45

Tuesday, November 25 SCARFACE (Howard Hawks, 1932), 2:00

Tuesday, November 25 THE LINEUP (Don Siegel, 1958) and ONE FROGGY EVENING (Charles M. Jones, 1955), 4:00

Wednesday, November 26 I WAS BORN, BUT… (CHILDREN OF TOKYO) (OTONA NO MIRU EHON — UMARETE WA MITA KEREDO) (Yasujiro Ozu, 1932), 4:15

Wednesday, November 26 CHRISTMAS IN JULY (Preston Sturges, 1940), 2:30 & 6:30



204 Varick St.

Tickets: $18-$20




Thursday, November 20 First annual festival celebrating Guadeloupe, with live performances by Luc Léandry, Jeff Joseph with Panik, Fanswa Ladrézo & Alka Oméka, and Jaques Schwartz-Bart, 8:00


The Plumm

246 West 14th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Tickets: $50-$60


Thursday, November 20 Career Gear first annual fundraiser featuring an open bar, music, a silent auction, and raffle, to raise money and awareness for organization that provides career counseling and interview-appropriate clothing to disadvantaged men, 8:00


Smalls Jazz Club

183 West Tenth St.



Thursday, November 20 Composer and pianist Emilio Solla plays selections from his latest album, CONVERSAS (AL LADO DEL AGUA), with saxophonist Chris Cheek, accordionist Victor Prieto, double-bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer-percussionist Richie Barshay, 9:00 & 10:30

Teona Strugar Mitevska’s I AM FROM TITOV VELES opens first-ever Macedonian fest


Village East Cinemas

189 Second Ave. at East 12th St.




Macedonia, which became its own country when it broke away from Yugoslavia in 1944, makes about one or two feature films and about a dozen documentaries each year. Some of the most important Macedonian films of the last forty years make up the first-ever Macedonian Film Festival to be held in the United States. The films being shown take on politics, family relationships, mental illness, civil war, crime, and other hot-button topics. Many of the screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director, so check some out and be the first on your block to discover more about this little-known cinema.

Thursday, November 20 Opening Night Film: I AM FROM TITOV VELES (Teona Strugar Mitevska, 2007), followed by a Q&A with the director, 7:00 & 9:45

Friday, November 21 THE GREAT WATER (Ivo Trajkov, 2004), followed by a Q&A with the director, 7:00

Friday, November 21 MIRAGE (Svetozar Ristovski, 2004), 9:45

Saturday, November 22 KONTAKT (Sergej Stanojkovski, 2005), 2:00

Saturday, November 22 BLACK SEED (Kiril Cenevski, 1971) and DAE (Stole Popov, 1979), 4:30

Saturday, November 22 HAPPY NEW YEAR (Stole Popov, 1986), followed by a Q&A with the director, 7:00

Saturday, November 22 BAL-CAN-CAN (Darko Mitrevski, 2005) and DUST (Milcho Manchevski, 2001), 9:45

Sunday, November 23 THE GREAT WATER (Ivo Trajkov, 2004), followed by a Q&A with the director, 2:00

Sunday, November 23 UPSIDE DOWN (Igor Ivanov, 2007), 4:30

Sunday, November 23 Closing Night Film: BEFORE THE RAIN (Milcho Manchevski, 1994), followed by a Q&A with the director, 7:00


Japan Society

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

Tickets: $11



Friday, November 21 TORA-SAN MEETS THE SONGSTRESS AGAIN (episode one, OTOKO WA TSURAIYO) (Yoji Yamada, 1975), 7:30


Roseland Ballroom

239 West 52nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.

Tickets: $50-$250



Friday, November 21 Gotham Boxing fight card featuring John Duddy (25-0), Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (20-0), Pawel "Raging Bull" Wolak (22-1), and Jorge "the Truth" Teron (22-0) in addition to Luis Ruiz, Lambros Karaolides, Hajro Sujak, Romain Olveri, and Johnathan Gonzalez, 7:00

Courtesy of MGM Digital Library

SID & NANCY closes out inaugural "Punk ’n Pie" series at BAMcinematek


BAMcinematek, BAM Rose Cinemas

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

November 21-30



BAMcinematek, which goes Afro-Punk every Fourth of July, is celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with ten days of punk and new wave documentaries and features, either set in or hearkening back to those halcyon days of the 1970s and 1980s. Several of the films look back at the seminal British band Joy Division, whose leader, Ian Curtis, killed himself on the eve of their first American tour, but the group continued as New Order. And then there’s the greatest punk film ever made, Alex Cox’s SID & NANCY, which documents the downfall of Sex Pistol legend Sid Vicious (an amazing Gary Oldman).

Friday, November 21 BREAKING GLASS (Brian Gibson, 1980), 2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Saturday, November 22 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE (Michael Winterbottom, 2002), 4:45, 7, 9:30

Sunday, November 23 ROUGH CUT AND READY DUBBED (Hasan Shah & Dom Shaw, 1982), 2:00, 6:50

Sunday, November 23 REGGAE IN BABYLON (Wolfgang Büld, 1978), 4:30, 9:15

Wednesday, November 26 JUBILEE (Derek Jarman, 1977), 4:30, 6:50, 9:15

Thursday, November 27


Friday, November 28 JUBILEE (Derek Jarman, 1977), 2:00, 4:30, 7, 9:30

Saturday, November 29 URGH! A MUSIC WAR (Derek Burbidge, 1981), 2:00, 6:50

Saturday, November 29 JOY DIVISION (Grant Gee, 2007), 4:30, 9:15

Sunday, November 30 DEPECHE MODE 101 (David Dawkins, Chris Hegedus & D. A. Pennebaker, 1989), 2:00, 6:50

Sunday, November 30 SID AND NANCY (Alex Cox, 1986), 4:30, 9:15


The Times Center

242 West 41 Street, Manhattan

Tickets: $48



Saturday, November 22 Jerry Lewis discusses his life and career with director Peter Bogdanovich, featuring classic film and television clips, 7:00


Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre

2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Tickets: $25-$35



Saturday, November 22 The eclectic British entertainer tours behind his latest album, 8:00


The Knitting Factory

74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church St.

Tickets: $25



Saturday, November 22


Sunday, November 23 Third annual event, with Flower Travellin’ Band, Grails, Silver Apples, Arbouretum, Dinowalrus, Nudge, DJs Marty McSorely & Thanksgiving Brown, film screenings, readings, and more, 7:00


New-York Historical Society

170 Central Park West between 76th & 77th Sts.

Tickets: $10



Sunday, November 23 THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Fred Niblo, 1921) and FELIX IN HOLLYWOOD (Otto Messmer, 1923), with an introduction and Q&A with Bruce Lawton and Steve Massa and live piano accompaniment by Ben Model, 2:00


Metropolitan Pavilion

125 West 18th St.

Tickets: $125-$175


Sunday, November 23 Silent auction, live auction, and VIP after-party, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, honorary hosts Edward Albee and Alan Cumming, and bidding on more than one hundred artworks, benefiting the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, 5:00 — 9:00


Tenri Cultural Institute

43A West 13th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Tickets: $17-$20


Sunday, November 23 The tenth anniversary concert of Salon Series II, featuring choreography by Sachiyo Ito, recitation by Kim Rosen, electric cello and vocals by Jami Sieber, and dance performed by Sachiyo Ito & Company, 3:00 & 8:00


Carnegie Hall

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

57th St. at Seventh Ave.

Tickets: $55-$110




Monday, November 24


Tuesday, November 25 Seth McFarlane (Peter, Stewie, and Brian Griffin), Glen Quagmire, Tom Tucker), Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin), Mila Kunis (Meg Griffin), Seth Green (Chris Griffin), and Mike Henry (Cleveland Brown) perform a live, unedited reading of two episodes of FAMILY GUY and songs from the series, accompanied by a forty-piece symphony orchestra directed by Walter Murphy, for mature audiences, 8:00


B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

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

Tickets: $32.50-$35



Tuesday, November 25


Wednesday, November 26 Guitar legend Hubert Sumlin with Levon Helm, David Johansen, John Sebastian, Jimmy Vivino, James "the Worm" Wormworth, Little Sammy Davis, Brian Mitchell, and Mike Merritt, 8:00


The Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St.

Tickets: $20 for one lecture, $35 for both



Tuesday, November 25 Chagall’s Box: Murals for the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, lecture by Masha Chlenova, 11:30 am

Tuesday, December 1 A Modern Jewish Theater in the Stream of the Russian Avant-Garde, lecture by Masha Chlenova, 11:30 am


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.



Wednesday, November 26 Jewish Documentary Series: DON’T ASK (Tova Beck-Friedman, 2008), SYNAGOGUE FOR SALE (Zsuzsanna Geller-Varga, 2007), and ODESSA MOTIVES (Dmitriy Khanin, 2008), 6:00; Short Film Program: SOFT SKELETON (Matt Black, 2008), JOE MOVER (Lev Gorn & Gabe Fazio, 2008), OUT OF THE HOLES OF THE ROCKS (Jeremy Moss, 2008), COUNTING WAVES (Eric Maryea, 2007), and HONEY WE SHOULDN’T BE HERE (Lucio Castro, 2008), 7:30; and Feature Presentations REGULAR GUY (Leigh Rather, 2008) and PRETTY UGLY PEOPLE (Tate Taylor, 2008), 8:45


Anthology Film Archives

32 Second Ave. at Second St.



Wednesday, November 26 Animation Festival: WASTE YOUR YOUTH (Klaus Fromherz, 2005), THE THINGS SHE WOULD TELL ME (Miryam Welbourne, 2008), FEAST (JiHyun Ahn, 2008), STEVE MARTIN ON THE LOOSE (Rebecca Whipple, 2008), THE CUPCAKE PRINCE (Ashley Gersi, 2007), THE CAVE (Michael Ramsey, 2007), GALLERY GIRL (Andrew Marshel, 2008), HEARTLESS (Paul Dalio, 2008), THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS (Katie Jones, 2008), WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION (Anthony Rhoads, 2008), and STARSEARCHER (Adam Brown, 2008), 6:00; Short Film Program: THE VAULT (Justin Owensby, 2007), FEATHERS (Michael Okum, 2007), GRAW (Joseph Pettinati, 2007), SELLING A WHITE DRESS (Christopher Toppino, 2007), SHINER (Eli Hershko, 2007), and CALENDAR GIRL (Jason Hall, 2007), 7:15; Feature Presentations DOUBLE (Keith Ray Putnam, 2008) and WINDCROFT (Evan Maszaros, 2007), 9:00


Blue Note

131 West Third St.

Tickets: table $75, bar $50



Friday, November 28


Sunday, November 30 Legendary pianist Dave Brubeck plays the Blue Note with Michael Moore on bass, Randy Jones on drums, and Robert Militello on sax, clarinet, and flute, 8:00 & 10:30

Keenen Ivory Wayans meets with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell in THE BLACKLIST


Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave. at Second St.

Clearview 62nd St., 1871 Broadway at 62nd St.

November 28 - December 10

VAP Pass: $250

Festival Pass: $160

212-505-5181 / 212-864-1760


This sixteenth annual festival features more than eighty documentaries, shorts, animated films, and full-length narratives. According to its mission statement, "In this world there are no boundaries around people because they are embraced in a universal understanding of humanity. This is the element of commonality that weaves through this annual event of images from Africa and the African Diaspora." Below are the special events, most of which include Q&As and after-parties.

Friday, November 28 Opening Night: GOSPEL HILL (Giancarlo Esposito, 2008), followed by a Q&A with Giancarlo Esposito and a dance party at Bona Fides restaurant, Anthology, $35, 8:30

Wednesday, December 3 A Night in Morocco: WHERE ARE YOU GOING MOSHE? (Hassan Benjelloun, 2007), followed by a Q&A and a catered reception at the Bowery Bar, Anthology, $25, 6:30

Thursday, December 4 Gala Screening: PRINCE OF BROADWAY (Sean Baker, 2008), followed by a Q&A and a catered reception at Josephina, Clearview, $25, 6:30

Friday, December 5 A Night in Ethiopia: 13 MONTHS OF SUNSHINE (Yehdego Abeselom, 2008), followed by a Q&A and a catered reception, Riverside Theatre, Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. at 120th St., $25, 8:00

Saturday, December 6 Centerpiece: THE BLACK LIST (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 2007), followed by a panel discussion moderated by Farah Griffin and a catered reception, Cowin Center, 147 Horace Mann in Teachers College, Columbia University, 535 West 120th St., $25, 8:00

Sunday, December 7 A Night in Senegal: WRESTLING GROUNDS (Cheikh Amadou Ndiaye, 2006), followed by a Q&A and African dance party at the Bowery Bar, Anthology, $25, 5:00

Tuesday, December 9 A Night in Egypt: CHAOS (Youssef Chaine & Khaled Youssef, 2007), followed by a Q&A and a reception, Leonary Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, $25, 8:00

Sunday, December 14 Closing Ceremony: screening of Best Film Directed by Woman of Color, followed by a performance by Gerald Alston of the Manhattan and a catered reception, hosted by John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji, Cowin Center, 147 Horace Mann in Teachers College, Columbia University, 535 West 120th St., $50, 3:00


The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

1047 Amsterdam Ave.



Sunday, November 30 World premiere of Robert Sirota’s new hymn as part of a Service of Rededication, celebrating the reopening of the full length of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine following the 2001 fire in the north transept, played on the Great Organ (which has not been active since 2001), performed by a brass quintet, cathedral organist Tim Brumfield, the Cathedral Choir of Girls, Boys, and Adults, and the congregation, conducted and directed by Bruce Neswick, 11:00 am


Directors Guild of America

110 West 57th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.

Tickets: $12



Sunday, November 30 The Breakthrough Director’s Panel, with award nominees Antonio Campos (AFTERSCHOOL), Dennis Dortch (A GOOD DAY TO BE BLACK & SEXY), Barry Jenkins (MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY), and Alex Rivera (SLEEP DEALER), 3:00

Monday, December 1 The Breakthrough Actor’s Panel, with award nominees Pedro Castaneda (AUGUST EVENING), Rosemarie DeWitt (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED), Rebecca Hall (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA), Melissa Leo (FROZEN RIVER), Alejandro Polanco (CHOP SHOP), and Micheal J. Smith Sr. (BALLAST), 7:00


Dante Park

Broadway between 59th & 68th Sts.

Admission: free



Monday, December 1 Annual neighborhood tree lighting ceremony in Dante Park, followed by street party featuring live music by the Bacon Brothers and other groups, storytelling by Father Goose, marching bands, Drum Café, food tastings, kids entertainment, arts & crafts, with many local stores offering special discounts, and much more, with a portion of all proceeds benefiting City Harvest, 5:30-9:00


Christie’s Auction House

20 Rockefeller Plaza

Tickets: $175-$500



Monday, December 1 Sixth annual auction benefiting Tibet House U.S. and Tibet-related projects and programs, including Ghar Sita Mutu (House with a Heart) in Nepal, the Pema Ts'al schools in India and Nepal, and the Tibetan Community Cultural Center being built in Queens; among the items up for auction are original art from Donald Baechler and Pat Steir, an adventure expedition to Asia, a luncheon with Uma and Bob Thurman, a photo shoot, a shopping spree, a movie walk-on role, and trips to Thailand and India and Bhutan; this year’s honorary committee members include Christy Turlington Burns & Ed Burns, Donna Karan, Yoko Ono Lennon, Petra Nemcova, Martin Scorsese, Trudie Styler & Sting, Uma Thurman, and others


The Morgan Library & Museum

225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.

Tickets: $25



Tuesday, December 2 A Conversation with Lorin Maazel and Gilbert Kaplan, coinciding with the centennial of the first performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.2, "Resurrection"; Mahler’s autograph score will be on view in the Gilder Lehrman Hall lobby (Kaplan will lead a December 8 performance of the piece at Avery Fisher Hall), 6:30


The Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture

2 West 64th Street at Central Park West

Tickets: $75-$500




Tuesday, December 2 Fourth annual benefit, featuring James Hunter, Dar Williams, the Felice Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, and more, 8:00


The Town Hall

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

Tickets: $38.50-$48.55



Tuesday, December 2


Wednesday, December 3 Jorma Kaukanen and Jack Casady celebrate their long musical partnership, 7:30


Instituto Cervantes

211-215 East 49th St.

Admission: free



Wednesday, December 3 Antonio Banderas in conversation with writer Antonio Soler, 6:00


The New School, John Tishman Auditorium

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

Admission: free



Wednesday, December 3 Panel discussion related to the current exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 6:30


Rockefeller Plaza West

West 48th & 51st Sts. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.

Tree will remain on view through January 9, daily from 5:30 am — 11:30 pm

Admission: free



Wednesday, December 3 Seventy-sixth annual holiday event, featuring lighting of seventy-two-foot, eight-ton Norway spruce from Hamilton, NJ, with celebrity guests, 7:00


Blender Theater at Gramercy

127 East 23rd St. at Lexington Ave.

Tickets: $34.50-$39




Wednesday, December 3 Actor Kevin Costner leads his band through songs from their new CD, UNTOLD TRUTHS, 8:00


Tribeca Film Center Screening Room

375 Greenwich St. between North Moore & Franklin Sts.

Admission: free but advance RSVP required


Thursday, December 4 Gotham Independent Film Awards Tribute honoree Sheila Nevins in conversation with Variety editor in chief Peter Bart, preceded by TAXICAB CONFESSIONS, NY NY and followed by ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED (Marina Zenovich, 2008), 6:30

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