Posts by Daniel Maurer:
In Lemon, opening Aug. 25, Brett Gelman plays a man every bit as broken as the film’s title implies. Isaac is a failed actor whose agent (Jeff Garland) can only get him auditions for adult-diaper ads. As a small-time theater director, he sadistically belittles a bright-eyed actor (Gillian Jacobs) who reminds him of his ex, while desperately trying to befriend another one half his age (Michael Cera). Isaac’s cheating girlfriend (Judy Greer) is leaving him, and his clumsy attempts to rebound into the arms of a black woman are sabotaged by his utter cluelessness about race. On top of it all, his seder with his doubly neurotic relatives (Fred Melamed, Martin Starr) proves to be the most horrific family dinner scene since Get Out.
It’s not yet September, but it already feels like Halloween, thanks to the release of Darren Aronofksy’s Mother! and a remake of Stephen King’s It. And Pennywise isn’t the only scary clown on the loose– Insane Clown Posse is coming to (gasp!) Williamsburg (“Williamsburg Psych Ward” is going to kill). Now there’s even more scare in the air, thanks to these two film festivals– the first of which was announced today.
The people who used to brag about not owning a TV set are the same ones who now complain that there are too many shows– or so it was observed on a recent episode of Difficult People. Obviously, orange is the new black and the small screen is the new big screen, but up until a few years ago, New York City didn’t have a festival dedicated to what used to be called the idiot box. That changed in 2013, when we finally got a version of Los Angeles’s PaleyFest. That returns next month with some free screenings of shows like The Mindy Project and Fuller House. And now the folks behind the Tribeca Film Festival have announced a Tribeca TV Festival, also coming next month.
Pretty much exactly two years ago, we told you about L7: Pretend We’re Dead, the Kickstarter-funded documentary about the ’90s grunge band. The doc is being released on VOD and DVD on October 13, but first it’ll screen at Nitehawk on October 5. If the words “shitlist” or “wargasm” mean anything to you, you’ll want to watch this on the big screen, with a beer in hand, because it’s an awesome blast from the past.
The Death By Audio documentary Goodnight Brooklyn got a lot of attention when it premiered in 2016—partly because the film’s stars and creator had some choice words for Vice, the media giant that infamously took over the DIY space’s home on Kent Avenue. But it wasn’t actually the first documentary about DBA. Back in November of 2007, John and Takako Tymkiw chronicled a year in the life of the two-and-a-half-year-old loft space and effects-pedal workshop as it started hosting shows. The result, You Were Here, will be screened at Lot 45 on Aug. 29 at 10pm, in what’s said to be the doc’s first public showing.
Back in January when Taco Bell introduced its Naked Chicken Chalupa, the Bell’s pop-up “Speakeasy” in Noho seemed like the toughest table in town. We caught wind of the place too late to get in on it, and experienced some 7-layer FOMO, but now we all have a chance to redeem ourselves: The Bell just announced a new breakfast creation, dubbed the Naked Egg Taco, and it’s going to be served at a brunch pop-up where mimosas will be flowing.
The last couple of times we saw Lee Ranaldo, he was out of town– first at an Inauguration Day show in DC where he and his former Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore let their feelings about Trump be known, and then in New Jersey at the Montclair Film Festival, after the premiere of Hello Hello Hello: Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim, a film that documents the making of the singer/guitarist’s next album.
Even Barbie is snapping out of her dream world and mobilizing against Trumpism. During the past several months, comedian and “World Champion” Judah Friedlander, of 30 Rock fame, has been taking this woke Barbie to protests. “If the only people protesting are the ones who are the direct victims of injustice,” Activist Barbie explains in her Insta bio, “then progress will either never happen or will take much longer.” She was back in action this weekend, during anti-Trump, anti-racism marches that took over the streets of Manhattan. Today, she’s at the UN and Trump World Tower, rallying against war with North Korea.
It’s been nearly a month since Cup and Saucer went dark after over 75 years, but someone is basking in the diner’s old-school charm today. Specifically, a film crew. That’s right, the
vultures location scouts have descended on the Chinatown diner and a new Netflix series is being filmed there. There isn’t much out there about Ronald, but a casting call for a September shoot indicates that the producers, Paramount Television, are looking for “Chinese shop workers,” a “Caucasian female toddler,” and “Japanese lab workers (scientists, doctors, assistants, etc.).”
Between the return of Broad City, Nathan For You, and Vice Principals, September is going to be a good month for TV comedy. And we won’t even have to wait that long for the comeback of one of our other favorites, Tim and Eric. Those who attended their 10th anniversary show at Town Hall last month got a surprise glimpse of this and were sworn to secrecy; now the duo has officially revealed a teaser for a half-hour special of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! that will premiere Sunday, August 27 at midnight on Adult Swim.
Last we heard about the new season of Search Party, co-creator Michael Showalter was saying it would return to TBS sometime this fall. Well, the new season– or, at least, John Early’s part in it– wrapped today, according to a hilarious Instagram from the show’s robot-dancing co-star. (By the way, if you haven’t seen Early in Showalter’s other recent release, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, stop what you’re doing and binge watch it now. Aside from Early’s turn as Camp Firewood’s drama-queen drama teacher, Kim’s Video makes an amazing cameo in the first episode.)