The Girl Who Loves Roses
Thursday March 30, 6 pm to 9 pm at Larrie, NY: free
Kelsey and Remy Bennett, granddaughters of Tony Bennett, are working artists, outspoken feminists, and curators of various exhibitions and art happenings. You might be saying to yourself, “Of course they are.” But that would be a jerk move, since the Bennett sisters take after their family patriarch, who is widely known as one of the nicest dudes in showbiz (the Daily Beast called him “one of the greatest living Americans” for his long history of service to just causes including “Nazi hunting” and participating in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches of the Civil Rights movement). Their approach to curating is ultra-inclusive and social justice-oriented, but it’s not motivated by self-congratulatory horn tootin’ and seems instead to come from an easy, natural inclination to do good work.
It’s unfortunate that this is still the exception, not the rule in the art world. Last summer, when B+B spoke to Kelsey and Remy about their futurist, post-gender, cyborg-themed art show, Lifeforce which included the work of more “established” artists alongside fresh-faced ones, the sisters explained that this was an important goal for them always– to support talented young women artists regardless of their status as “emerging” or “first-time.” In doing so they were reminded of the art world’s hostility to outsider–it was surprising to hear that even working artists who had known the struggle themselves wanted to avoid proximity to less experienced artists, fearing that their own work might be watered down (aka price-slashed and carted off to the clearance section). “There were discussions that happened among people, who were like, ‘Why are you including a teenager— what have they done? What have they achieved?’ And it was like, fuck that,” Remy told us in July. She added, “The whole thing is about carrying that energy you had when you were 17 years old and never letting that die.”
That wasn’t just a passing sentiment– Remy and Kelsey have continued to work with at least one of the young artists included in the Lifeforce lineup: 17-year-old Panteha Abareshi, whose work immediately stood out from the crowd at that show. Her paintings– inspired by the chronic pain and emotional toll of sickle cell anemia, which Abareshi was diagnosed with at age 2–are jaw-droppingly well crafted for an artist of any age, and look like what Frida Kahlo could have made had she been born a Riot Grrrl. Recognizing that this girl has a lot to say, the Bennett sisters have made a short film which is screening tonight as part of The Girl Who Loves Roses, “a visual spectacle” focused on the artist’s life and work. This is definitely not to be missed; Abareshi will be on hand with some original prints for sale too.
Thursday March 30 through Thursday April 6 at Nitehawk:$12
Ok, this is so embarrassing but, I haven’t seen Get Out yet. I know, I know right? I’m hoping there are at least a few of you out there who are in the same boat as me, coz I really do wanna see it, and I really don’t wanna be the only one of us stuck in a category that includes Donald J. Trump and, like, that dude who used to be Kramer, if you catch my drift. But maybe I’m being presumptuous, and known-racists actually do go see this film– if you dare to seek them out, just listen for anyone laughing boisterously at all the wrong moments. Spooky!
My second piece of advice is to go see this one at Nitehawk, and strongly consider ordering one of the drink specials they’ve whipped up as a toast to Get Out, namely “The Family Estate.” It’s a glass (also served in a carafe, or bottle if you’re going big time) of Brotherhood Blanc de Blancs, a sparkling white wine, 100-percent pure Chardonnay “from the oldest winery in the U.S.” located in the Hudson valley– which, let’s be real, sounds whiter than Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. Take a closer look at the producer’s name and you might wonder if we’re dealing with some Aryan Brotherhood prison hooch here. According to what turned up in my less than two minutes of research aka googling, I’m gonna go ahead and say that the vineyard, which was founded in 1839, predates the hate group which is actually the “oldest major white supremacist prison gang and a national crime syndicate” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sip up, my friends! Just don’t get too comfortable.
Pride of Place
Friday March 31, 10 pm at Spectacle: $5
Last month Spectacle screened a film called Scrubbers– and it was truly a riot and a half watching a bunch of foul-mouthed British delinquents getting into all kinds of trouble sniffin’ glue, performing all-night serenades devoted to feces and murder, among other things while house at an all-girls borstal. These juvenile facilities have been around for quite some time as part of a UK-wide network of institutions for dealing with little outlaws. Mai Zetterling’s 1982 fictional portrayal was surprisingly raw and honest, with unabashed portrayals of lesbian liaisons, and frank discussion of sexual abuse, drugs, and poverty– and keep in mind this is famously tight-lipped and emotionally-avoidant Britain.
I don’t know about you, but I left that film wanting to know so much more about these borstals. What were they all about? How did they come about? And, more importantly, what happened to the kids that were housed in these facilities? It’s hard to imagine reeducation was successful in a place where kids were treated like patients at an insane asylum (yeah, like the old-school ones deserving of that icky title) and given little more freedom than incarcerated adults. Well, Kim Longinotto was once a borstal inmate from “the tender age of 10” to age 17, when Spectacle writes, “she flew the coop and, after a few down-and-out years, landed at England’s National Film and Television School.” She went ahead and made this documentary in 1976. It focuses on her former boarding school in Buckinghamshire, which “blew the lid off England’s august propensity for stiff upper lips and institutional child abuse.”
The Phantom of Liberty
Friday March 31 (5:15 pm) and Tuesday April 4 (2:30 pm and 7 pm) at The Metrograph: $15
If you’re still in the mood to see something insane, but would prefer your bitter shot of realness with some candy-coated weirdness, consider stopping by Metrograph for The Phantom of Liberty, a surrealist film in which everything we thought we knew about table manners and basic human decency is flipped on its head, as director Luis Buñel asks the question,”l “What if everything we know and believe about society is a sham?” Metrograph writes, “The ‘no-rules, is this really happening?’ sense of disorientation is only heightened by the blunt, bright-lit visual style.”
If that sounds tasty, stay hungry because there’s much more on the way from Buñuel; the legendary Mexican director who the theater has crowned “cinema’s arch-dissident” is getting his very own series, a special focus on his work of the late ’60s to mid ’70s. Buñuel in France opens today at the Chinatown theater (runs March 30 to April 6).