Here’s some good news for New York’s numerous indie film fans – the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is only a week away.
Running June 3 to 12, the festival (acronym, for extra credit: AoBFF17) describes itself as “the ONLY international, independent festival in the world devoted to Brooklyn’s vibrant film and media scene,” and considers films with any connection to the borough.
The folks behind Smorgasburg, Berg’n and Brooklyn Flea are opening a “garden restaurant” at the High Line Hotel, in Chelsea. 180 Tenth was set to unveil its menu to friends and family this evening, but the private preview has been canceled due to the rain.
According to an invite, those lucky enough to have landed on the guest list to tomorrow’s preview will be treated to some “delicious, fresh, simple” food courtesy of head chef Aaron Taber, who has previously worked at Grindhaus and June Wine Bar. Cocktails, natural wine and frozen drinks will be served by Berg’n general manager Jen Watson, who will be the director of food and drink at 180 Tenth.
Little Green Guys: An Evening of Comedy About Frogs and Lizards Wednesday, May 10 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $5
First of all, I don’t know what I can say about this show that will make it any more appealing than the title already makes it. Little green guys! Why make jokes about people and places when you can make them about frogs and lizards. They’re small, they’re wacky, and they’re one of a kind. A grand old lineup of people will be stopping by to wax comedic about these green-hued critters, including Jo Firestone, Lorelei Ramirez, Annie Donley, Anthony Oberbeck, Carmen Christopher, The Junk Bros, and more, plus your amphibian-and-reptile-loving hosts Joe Rumrill and Andrew Tisher.
The only thing that would make this show better is if actual frogs and lizards made their way up the steps to Babycastles, clambered up the mic stands, and croaked out their own jokes and humorous musings. I guess we will just have to wait for the sequel to see that. More →
One of our very favorite film festivals, BAMcinemafest, returns June 14 to 25. According to the just-released lineup, there’ll be new films from Alex Ross Perry, Michael Showalter, Gillian Robespierre, and several other indie stalwarts. Tickets go on sale to BAM members on May 11 and to the general public May 18.
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.
Mind Portals Opening Thursday, April 27 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $10-15 sliding scale. On view through May 12.
Babycastles has done a pretty good job framing itself as the place to be when it comes to wacky tech-driven art and indie games. This Thursday’s opening will be no exception, as they will be unveiling a host of new video games, VR experiences, and multimedia installations. You can “follow an aries goat on an herb walk” (whatever that means, I’m intrigued) in Young Ascension Hypnosis’s VR video, relax and kick back in Avalon’s sound and flower installation “The Garden,” and find yourself in a flurry of disembodied hands and techno music through Palgal’s cleverly named video game “Palmystery.”
If this opening wasn’t internet-centric enough, net artist Molly Soda will be DJ-ing for the night as well, in addition to sets by Good DJ with High Speed Music, Neo Edo, and A Pigeon Is Born. More →
There’s such an abundance of film fests coming up that it’s hard to imagine hopping aboard the plagued NJ Transit and heading to suburban New Jersey for one– even if Stephen Colbert did do a Talking Heads cover in support of it. But this seems like a pretty good excuse to check out the Montclair Film Festival next month: a documentary about the making of Lee Ranaldo’s next album will screen May 5 and 6, with tickets going on sale Friday. Best part: The former Sonic Youth singer/guitarist himself will be on hand to play a couple of songs, and for a Q&A with filmmaker Fred Riedel.
Flora Opening Tuesday April 4 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through April 22.
Camilla Engström has had an interesting history for an artist. Born in Sweden, she swiftly relocated to Shanghai to work full-time as a model, and then made her way to New York to study fashion at FIT. However, she left to focus on her art, a familiar story that surely many can relate to. Now, she exhibits her multidisciplinary work around the city, and will be bringing a series of paintings and more to Cooler Gallery, a unique space nestled a stone’s throw from the Navy Yard.
This show is new territory for her, in a way. Her practice, the gallery states, typically revolves around a Swedish cartoon Engström created named Husa, a smiling femme figure with a curvy belly. This show will feature more landscape-driven works, but ones that still retain the dreamy, playful, Candyland-esque quality of Husa. There will not just be paintings on view, but also sculptural pieces that reflect particular elements of the paintings, bringing a multi-dimensional quality to it all. More →
As long as politics are a hellscape, there will be artists to create work about it. Tonight, Not Normal will present a three-part evening all about the utter nonsense that seems to grow greater every day. Even the word “greater” seems tarnished now and conjures images of red hats and the pallid, fleshy faces wearing them.
In any case, the evening’s programing begins with The Intersection, an “artistic conversation about identity” spearheaded by a group of creators but open to the public. It’s dubbed a discussion “jam session” of sorts. Next is Chris Tyler’s Corporate Doubleteam, a play about how the white boys will play when the Trump is away, and by “play” I mean do a circle jerk potentially involving an intern. Haven’t we all been there? Closing out the night is Orangutan, a one-woman show written by Troy Deutsch and performed by Kristina Mueller all about the curious character of Trump’s mother. If you’re feeling generous, the show will also be accepting donations for Planned Parenthood.
(image via Knockdown Center / Facebook)
Incarnata Social Club Thursday, March 23 at Knockdown Center, 8 pm: $10 suggested
The experimental art salon started in a basement by Kembra Pfahler and Orlando Estrada has moved on to bigger digs, taking up residency in the massive Knockdown Center this Thursday. A fittingly sizable lineup will be showing work, with a bill comprised of Social Club regulars and newcomers alike, including Nandi Loaf, Chris Cole, Whitney Vangrin, Cameron Cooper, Shawn Escarciga, and more. Anyone with a bigoted attitude will presumably be booted, as Estrada proclaims the show a “queer, femme, trans, POC, GNC safe space” and a “no shade zone.”
The New York Neo-Futurists have recently rebranded their recurring show, formerly known as Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, but they’re still up to the same artistic madness. Which is to say, they’re definitely still trying to do 30 short and strange plays in 60 minutes. Or, at least “a barrage” of short plays in an evening. This weekend, in a reprisal of sorts of their popular Too Many Ladies show last year, an all-female cast of Neo will be taking over the Kraine Theater to strut their stuff and dismantle some oppressive systems in the form of many feminist short plays. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for this show to include a literal smashing of the patriarchy, as the Neo-Futurists pride themselves on their unique technique of creation in which everyone plays themselves and what they are doing in the moment is true. Aside from that, they’re up for anything.
The glorious Park Avenue Armory will see a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s classic 1921 expressionist play The Hairy Ape, starring Tony-nominated actor Bobby Cannavale. The Armory is no stranger to elaborate theatrical productions, acting as host to such spectacles as Paul McCarthy’s grotesque and sprawling WS installation. The production, directed by Richard Jones, initially appeared at The Old Vic in London. Its subject matter is certainly relevant for American audiences, as it centers around a worker who seeks for belonging amidst a sea of the filthy rich, including those found in the money-laden areas of New York. Will capitalism ever be dismantled? Not if you spend money on this play, I guess.
(flyer via In the Works / Facebook)
In the Works Sunday, March 26 at The Duplex, 9:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors plus a 2-drink minimum
Spend your Sunday taking in the musical stylings of several new composers at this edition of the In the Works series, presented by Honeck-Moss Productions. The evening will showcase a handful of composers, each presenting about 15 minutes of newer material that they are working on. This time around, you’ll hear pieces from patriotic songbird Marcus Goldhaber, edgy belter and rock opera creator Terra Warman, and “piano troubadour” Peter Trevino, who has collaborated with members of Journey and The Foo Fighters.
Dos Toros isn’t the only drunk-food chain adding a westside outpost to its downtown and Williamsburg locations. The Meatball Shop, which started on the Lower East Side six years ago, opens its seventh location in Hell’s Kitchen today. This one comes with a brighter, cleaner design and an adjacent bar. The bar as tastefully named as you’d expect from the guys whose mantra is “EAT MY BALLS” and who offer BALLS t-shirts. They’re calling the place Sidepiece.