After the premiere of Hell on Earth at the Tribeca Film Festival, an audience member asked filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested why they had chosen The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, as the subtitle has it, as the topic of their documentary.
“It’s the greatest tragedy of our generation and we had to address it,” Quested told a crowd Wednesday at Cinépolis Chelsea.
Back when I was doing the Ask a Waiter column for B+B’s sister blog, Grub Street, I had a highly memorable encounter with ultra-suave doorman Fabrizio Brienza, who at the time was the gatekeeper of a lounge at the Plaza Hotel. While most doormen try to justify their social Darwinism with the obligatory spiel about cultivating diversity (they just want a “nice mix,” a la Studio 54), Fabrizio was more upfront: “My policy of doing the door is really simple,” he said in his Italian accent. “If you look good and you’re cool and you’re stylish and you’re surrounded by beautiful, chic, chic girls, I’ll take care of you.”
You know you’re not at a typical post-screening Q&A when someone in the audience asks the filmmakers, “Do you still love each other?”
Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker had just premiered Flames, a nakedly honest (and I do mean nakedly honest) portrait of their nearly one-year relationship, and the question could have just as easily been, “Do you still hate each other?”
The facade of Don Pedro underneath the smashed-out windows of the second floor. (Photo: Nick McManus)
The ceiling damage in Don Pedro’s back room. (Photo: Nick McManus)
A fire broke out next to Don Pedro last night, seriously harshing a 4/20 show scheduled at the Williamsburg venue.
The blaze started at the closed Lantingua’s Deli Market shortly after 6pm, as Don Pedro’s patrons were enjoying happy hour, and raged on the first and second floors of the building at 92 Manhattan Avenue for an hour and a half, according to the FDNY. Four firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
We all know that so-called cinephiles jet off to places like SXSW just to booze it up on the company dime, but just try getting them to admit that they can’t read the notes they took after that third jalapeno margarita at Alamo Drafthouse. A film fest coming to Greenpoint in May, however, is pretty upfront about all that. An announcement for In Vino Veritas: Secrets of the Intoxicated Life says the program of shorts will explore “how getting wasted can elevate the spirit, enhance our creativity, make us wiser, deliver us onto freedom or otherwise improve the human condition.” Unless, of course, you’re Mel Gibson.
I don’t know about you, but galas are not an everyday thing around these parts– the closest this reporter’s been to a real black-tie-and-gown affair was high school prom, which didn’t even really happen because my date got arrested. So needless to say, when I was somehow allowed to crash the Anthology Film Archives gala –a fancy fundraising party and art auction held last week to raise cash for the theater’s expansion– I was just slightly out of my realm. It was made all the more surreal by a performance from Patti Smith, and seeing people like John Waters, Zosia Mamet, and Zac Posen’s eyebrows all in one room.
It’d be impossible for Bradley Spinelli to top the suicide-themed set that Questlove did for his debut novel, Killing Williamsburg, but the B+B contributor’s latest book launch should come close. Thursday’s party for The Painted Gun, a noir mystery published by Brooklyn’s own Akashic Books, will feature a raft of burlesque stars as well as tacos from ever-expanding Dos Toros.
It makes sense that the West Coast-inspired burrito joint is on food duty: The Painted Gun is set in the Williamsburg-based author’s former hometown of San Francisco, in the late ’90s– you know, when Yahoo! stock was booming. Its hard-bitten, hard-drinking hero is David “Itchy” Crane, a journalist-turned-PI on the hunt for the mysterious Ashley, a missing artist who has a creepy talent for painting scenes straight out of Crane’s sad-sack life. (If you want to make like Itchy during the party, suck down a half dozen Jamesons.) Don’t take it from me, since I’m his editor– Publishers Weekly says Spinelli is “definitely a talent to watch,” and his latest “deftly segues from one genre to another—from hard-boiled noir to paranoid thriller, puzzle mystery (with each and every riddle logically explained), spy caper, and ultimately to something evocative of Bogart and Bacall.”
When Onur Tukel unveiled Abbie Singer/Songwriter at the Brooklyn Film Festival, we noted that he’d premiered three features in two years, which pretty much made him the Woody Allen of Brooklyn. The comparison remains apt with Catfight, a metaphysical dark comedy that’s a distinctly Woodyesque meditation on karma and creativity. It opens today at Cinema Village 12th Street.
Walking along 27th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue, you’ll hit the Radio Wave Building, where electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla used to live and conduct radio wave experiments in 1896, back when the building still operated as a hotel. These days, just a few blocks away on 26th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, another man of science toils away: Jason Sapan, who transforms into Dr. Laser in the seconds it takes to throw on a white lab coat.
Lobby installation. (All art by Raymond Pettibon, all photos by Daniel Maurer)
As he introduced the new Raymond Pettibon retrospective, New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni admitted that he first became aware of the artist via his album covers for the Minutemen, Black Flag, and Sonic Youth. While we’re in confession mode: I still think of Pettibon mainly as the brother of Black Flag frontman Greg Ginn and the creator of the punk band’s iconic logo. But “A Pen of All Work,” which opens today, is further proof that the artist is far more than just a nihilistic doodler whose work has been “displayed” by skaters and punks sporting Six Pack t-shirts.
When we popped into the Museum of Sex last night for a preview of their new exhibit on erotic outsider art, we didn’t expect to find a discotheque on the premises. But there it was: An exhibit titled “Night Fever” has brought a massive Richard Long Audio System (the type used at Studio 54 and Paradise Garage) to MoSex’s bar space, and it’s absolutely killer. Back when we visited MoSex for Kayvon Zand’s sadly short-lived weekly, the bar had a fusty library look, with couches set between bookcases. But Jason Volenec, designer of atmospheric restaurants like Miss Lily’s and Tertulia, has given it a ‘70s vibe via silver-foiled walls (a la Warhol’s factory), disco balls, and swiveling glass coffee tables.
Emergence: Emerging Artists in New York Opening Tuesday January 17 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. One night only.
The term “emerging artist” has been a bit of a buzzword for quite some time now. To some, it means someone who has literally just started creating, to others, it is someone who’s been on the scene for a couple years but hasn’t won any fancy awards. And sometimes it’s somewhere in between. But this art show really owns the title in a way that’s clear: simply, Emergence is showing work by New York artists who have never shown their work in a gallery before. There will be over 20 artists covering the gallery in their work, whether it be painting and sculpture, performance, or even fashion pieces. Come one, come all, and witness the emergence.