It’s no wonder February is shaping up to be the perfect time to binge on witchy happenings– the start of the month is marked by an important pagan festival, Imbolc, a time of “weather divination” (Groundhog Day!) and looking out for the first indications of spring and omens. No better way to help you seek out those good omens than an esoterica art show, curated by Pat Grossman of Phantasmaphile, a blog chronicling the fantastical. But to avoid the rather hellish indications that winter will continue from here until eternity (guys, that snow is going absolutely nowhere until July) we suggest you hole up at BAM, which will play host to another Phantasmaphile effort, “Witches’ Brew“– a series spotlighting the major cinematic witch tropes throughout film history.
brooklyn academy of music
Most people know Grove Press and its onetime sister journal, The Evergreen Review, as the pioneering publishers of Burroughs, Beckett and Brecht, just to name some of the Bs. Grove gave us seminal (in every sense of the word) books such as Valley of the Dolls (the 50th-anniversary edition of which will be published in July) and Please Kill Me (the 10th-anniversary edition of which comes out in April). What’s not so well known is that Grove’s firebrand publisher, Barney Rosset, was a cinema buff who launched a trailblazing film division in the mid-’60s. In May, to mark a new collection of Evergreen essays, BAM will screen 29 titles distributed by Grove and/or championed by Evergreen, including rarities by Godard, Genet, Warhol, and Robbe-Grillet (late husband of that 85-year-old dominatrix) .
We kind of nerded out here at B+B when we heard news that an IDNYC enrollment station was popping up in the East Village through the month of December. The municipal identification program — the groundbreaking pet project of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the largest program of its kind across the country — gives all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, the right to an ID card. Of course, there are all kinds of perks to get us to develop some loyalty to these things and actually carry the cards around. Or maybe our lanky Mayor just loves us.
And actually, you might be inclined to think the latter now that we’ve been given the greatest holiday gift ever. The Mayor announced an extension of the free membership program linked to the card for at least another year. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, another IDNYC registration center is launching in Chinatown.
If you’re a downtowner who’s been lazy about trekking uptown to get a city ID card, heads up: an IDNYC enrollment site is popping up at Middle Collegiate Church during the last three weeks of December.
You’ll want to move on this, too: December 31 is the last day you’ll be able to sign up for free year-long memberships at 33 museums and cultural institutions. After you’ve snagged the card, you’ll have to apply separately with each place for membership, but it’s worth it. Perks include discounted tickets at the Public Theater, 20% off food and drink at Joe’s Pub and The Library, half off movie tickets and same-day tickets to performances at BAM, and free admission to The Met, MoMA PS1, and Brooklyn Museum.
This week in film get ready for uber cheesy, ultra trashy Troma films and attractive teen murderesses. If documentaries are more your speed, don’t miss one that explores the so-called “gay voice” and another that takes a look at Williamsburg’s Southside (aka Los Sures) way back in 1984.
“Ladies and gentlemen, America has changed,” David Byrne said Saturday as he introduced “I Was Changed” at the American debut of Contemporary Color at Barclays Center. And yes, what a week it was. Thoughts turned to diversity and understanding as Quebec color-guard troupe Les Eclipses formed a diagonal line and hugged one another for the opening of the song, performed by Byrne, St. Vincent and Lucius.
Sup film lovers? We’ve got some new things and old things for you this week, as usual. But this time around even our new film selections have a heavy gaze toward the past, whether it’s a 93-year-old woman who still reigns as a style sultan for women of all ages or a Mexican film that looks like it could have been made by Jean Luc Godard in 1968. Time is elastic y’all we know but stop wasting it sitting in front of your laptop and shell out a few bones to support your local independent Cini Mini and see reels on the big screen. It’s worth it, believe us.
This week, there’s a host of spacey weirdness happening across screens through the city’s cinemas. Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons, maybe the stars are aligned at weird, or perhaps it’s the fact that, as residents of the Northern Hemisphere, we’re statistically overdue for another great comet. While we wait for news of flying fire balls to streak across the sky, we’ll just have to settle for those freaky weirdos turned laser terrorists who’ve been trolling commercial airline pilots for, like, no good reason. Or we can set our sights on these strange galactic, sci-fi, alternate Utopian or Dystopian reality films.
Last night at BAM, Kim Gordon didn’t go into Thurston Moore, Lana Del Rey, Sonic Youth’s breakup or any of the other lurid headlines that preceded today’s release of her memoir, Girl in a Band. Instead the antifrontwoman used her conversation with film producer Margaret Bodde to celebrate fellow luminaries like Iggy Pop, Joni Mitchell and Kathleen Hannah. Gordon played seven video clips spanning over 20 years of charged musical moments, from the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 to the scene in Gimme Shelter where Mick Jagger tries to control the crowd at Altamont as the Hells Angels stir things up.
If you’re still kind of devastated that you weren’t there to see Broad City chat with Sleater Kinney, relax: the whole thing is online plus you’ve got another couple of chances to recoup your riot grrrl cred. First off, in an equally epic meeting of the minds, Lena Dunham is going to be chatting with Miranda July tomorrow, and somehow there are still tickets left (BAM just announced that July will be singing copies of her new novel after the event). And also: the Strand just announced that none other than Kim Gordon is coming to chat about her memoir, out in about a month.
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It’s Werner Herzog’s 72nd birthday today (and it’s also “Tweet Like Werner Herzog Day” #twertzog), but it looks like he’s giving us the present.
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Three out-there filmmakers are getting out of the directors chair and into the hot seat next month.
John Waters in conversation with Dennis Dermody and J Hoberman
Sept. 5 and 11, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65 Street
After regaling us with his Christmas list, the filmmaker who shocked/delighted the world with the poo-eating in Pink Flamingos is having a retrospective at Lincoln Center that will include a rare scratch-n-sniff screening of Polyester. The whole shebang kicks off Sept. 5 with a screening of Female Trouble, followed by a conversation between Waters and film critic J Hoberman.
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