Maybe you thought the summer’s outdoor film fests had already announced their lineups (and hopefully you snagged tickies to next Saturday’s sold-out screening of the Death by Audio documentary at Rooftop Films, followed by a set from A Place to Bury Strangers). If so, you were mistaken. In Rockaway, the annual Beach Flix series is still getting its act together, and in the East Village the folks at Howl! Arts have taken their sweet time letting us know what’s coming to Tompkins Square Park this summer. But good things come to cinefiles who wait.
Arts + Culture
“We just ended 20, almost 21 years of selling records in New York City,” said Chris Vanderloo, co-founder of Other Music.
Last month, the city’s Department of Design and Construction told us the Astor Place cube was set to return in June. Today was supposed to be the big day, according to a construction update noticed by EV Grieve. But alas, the newly redesigned Alamo Plaza is still as cube-less as a sad cup of iced coffee left out in the sun too long. The city now says it won’t happen till August.
A DDC rep told us today that the cube was “awaiting final inspection by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Once completed, it will be delivered and re-installed.” A spokesperson for the Parks Department, which has traditionally been involved in the upkeep of Tony Rosenthal’s beloved sculpture, added, “The City is looking forward to an installation of the Cube in August. The Cube must first be inspected by a conservator.”
Artists from all eras of ABC No Rio’s radical history, including some who founded the legendary Lower East Side squat in 1980, have turned the dilapidated tenement into a top-to-bottom exhibition space before it’s demolished and replaced by a new eco-friendly building.
Book Launch: In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi
June 22 at 7 p.m. at The Powerhouse Arena. 37 Main Street (DUMBO)
Is identity something you choose, or is it actually the very thing you can’t escape? This is the question Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi poses in her most personal work yet, In the Darkroom. In 2004 Faludi went in search of her estranged 76-year-old father, a man who had been an elusive and sometimes violent presence in her childhood and then all but disappeared from her life. When Faludi discovered he had undergone sex reassignment surgery and was now living in Hungary, her whole frame of reference was shaken to the core. Her book is an effort to unpack her father’s transition and her own questions of identity, while traveling through a country in the midst of its own dangerous project of refashioning its nationhood.
The Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho is a bleak, desolate landscape that reminds one how ineffectual words can be when describing a landscape truly bleak and desolate. The remains of a volcanic eruption 2000 years ago, the vista is perhaps better described more symbolically. A Shoshone-Bannock myth, recorded by Ella E. Clark, describes an immense serpent that coiled its body around a mountain. Angered by lightning, the snake tightened its coils until the stone of the mountain melted; the serpent squeezed out liquid rock until it caught fire and was killed.
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Looking back, do you miss the days before everyone had a camera in their pocket? The days when getting your hands on the family camcorders felt so special that they could suddenly turn you into a mini-Scorsese? If you love the idea of movies made with less polish and more graininess, then DV8 Film Festival might just have a movie or two for you.
Now in its second year, DV8 began when Rebecca Shapass and Gabriela Granada, two NYU film students decided they were sick of being told there was a correct way to make films. “When you go to film school, you’re taught that movies have to be made a certain way,” Shapass said. “We want to do something else.”
Back in 1970 Michael Netter was a recent graduate, soaking up the big city’s vibrant art scene. A striving painter, he fell in with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd after showing up to a party with his brand new Sony Portapak video camera (20-pound backpack and all). The new technology instantly attracted the pop-master. “Before, ‘Hello, how do you do,’ it was: ‘Can you do that for me?'” Netter says of his first interaction with Warhol. For the next few years, he followed him around, filming bits and pieces of Warhol’s world, from random conversations at the Factory, to the infamous first meeting between David Bowie and Warhol (“He was miming! And miming badly!”), and interviews with the likes of Cybill Shepherd, Brigid Polk and other Warholian superstars.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party, now in its 11th year, returned to Governors Island this weekend for a gay old time. Photographer Nick McManus took this group portrait at the conclusion of Saturday’s throwback fête, around 5 p.m. Click to enlarge the photo and, in the sea of Prohibition-era pageantry, you’ll spot organizer Michael Arenella (on stage with baton) and his Dreamland Orchestra. To see the Gatsby-esque outfits up close, check out The Cut’s slideshow. And to get in on the next lawn parties, Aug. 13 and 14, head over here for tickets.
Dreamcrusher’s “nihilist queer revolt musik” and the other bands worth seeing aren’t the only innovators at Northside Festival this year. Today at the Brooklyn Expo Center, entrepreneurs, industry heavyweights and the b2b enterprises in between are on elevator pitch-mode from 10 am to 6 pm. Here’s a look at what constitutes cutting-edge this year, minus all the awkwardness of approaching a booth that ends up being of no interest, looking at the one eager staffer there and saying “hi” because now you feel like you owe it to them, taking one last look at the fanned out informational materials, feigning thoughtfulness, then distraction, and casually walking away.
Last night, as part of this month’s Brian De Palma retrospective at Metrograph, the director himself sat down for a Q&A after a screening of his 1970 comedy Hi, Mom!, in which a fresh-faced Robert de Niro plays an “urban guerrilla” who voyeuristically photographs the residents of NYU’s Silver Towers. (Check out the film’s genius opening sequence for a tour of a squalid, $66-a-month Lower East Side apartment.) De Palma said revisiting the film so many years later was “like seeing a lot of old photographs, really— I mean, you see these people you took pictures of when they were in their 20s and now we’re old, old men.”
Last time we caught up with Catherine Cohen, a regular at the Upright Citizens Brigade, she was gearing up for an “Evening of You” comedy night in a Greenpoint church. Dreamed up with her frequent collaborator Lucy Cottrell, the variety show/spiritual ceremony/self-help expert caricature had her dressing up in a robe with a headset, making super deep pronouncements like, “If you think about it…you…are your only you.”