Later on tonight, you might be brushing your teeth and instead of that familiar googly-eyed likeness staring back at you (everyone has that problem, right?) you’ll see nothing less than an animal abuser, or perhaps even a slave owner if you choose to be really honest with yourself. Your French bulldog Greg will suddenly seem like a sullen prisoner in that skin-tight raincoat you force him to wear on the reg, even when it’s a cloudless, sweltering 90-degree July day and he’s emitting piercing, parrot-like screams as he struggles to escape. And those Bob Evans sausage griddles you chased with a tall glass of heavy whipping cream for dinner? Well, your Wienerwurst Wednesday tradition might seem, suddenly, very disgusting.
Wednesday June 8 at Union Docs: $10
We knew that the last event held by the No Filter Screening Series– which spotlighted the polarizing and always irreverent Reverend Al Sharpton at his most bombastic, big-bellied, 1980s self in Big Al– would be a tough act to follow. But one of the few figures who could hold even a birthday candle to Sharpton’s fiery diction and billowing mane would have to be Ingrid Newkirk. As the founder of PETA, she might just be one of the most controversial activists of our time.
When aging hipsters pine after “the way things used to be” in Williamsburg, they’re usually talking about the free-spirited ’90s music and art scene or even the early 2000s when Williamsburg already was an indie darling, but didn’t yet have hotels, tourist mobs chasing the rainbow-bagel dream.
But what if you could wipe the streets clean and go back before even the days of Luxx and the Stinger, to see Williamsburg as it was in the 1980s? The music scene would have been the one on the street, with immigrant kids playing salsa and pop from boomboxes, hips moving in formation, or squaring off in a break dance competition. The neighborhood was also one of New York’s poorest during the high-crime 1980s, suffering drug problems and neglect. More →
Dirty Looks: A One Man Show
Monday February 8, 8 pm at The Kitchen: $10
So this one’s a little bit beyond this week, but we fear that if you don’t make plans quick-like, you’re gonna miss out. Tickets appear to be sold out online already, but the venue suggests that you contact them and hopefully they’ll have some availability at the door. DREAM BIG. Why? Because Grace Jones is worth it.
City of Lost Souls
Friday Nov. 20th, 7:30 pm at Union Docs: $9
Juliet Jacques, the author of Trans: A Memoir, which accounts for her own experiences transitioning from male to female and her life from childhood up to her present 30-something self, will be on hand to present City of Lost Souls, a “trans musical spectacular.” Filmed in 1982, it provides an early look at identity politics and trans identity years before there was mainstream understanding of what it means to be trans. The film is such an early example of gender exploration that it’s lacking in recognizable “transgender” language– in fact, the word is never mentioned in the film (though there are instances of its use at that time).
Is it just me or are there actual butt loads of film festivals taking place all over our dear city. Happening right now in Gowanus is the Motorcycle Film Fest and last week we were graced with a Coney Island Film Festival. Well, I hope you’re not totally infested just yet because there’s even more fests and marathon of shorts coming down the pipeline, and they’re getting closer to us than ever.
Things are looking pretty bleak on Earth right now. We can’t say we’re surprised, but we’re certainly not happy about it. Let’s hope you’re either doing something about it or saying something about it preferably beyond Facebook status updates. In recognition of our fraught existence on Planet Doom, this week we’ve included some films and film series that seek to remind us that humans can do cool stuff sometimes, or they can simply succumb to horrifying diseases, tyrannical powers, and/or depravity. It’s up to you, sort of.
Things are getting hot and heavy at this week’s upcoming readings and talks, with historical badass battles, fictional prostitutes, sexy sex-ed films, and a look at why America insists on measuring stuff the way it does. Gallons of fun, ahoy.
Saturday, August 9
Ladies of the Night reading with Maggie McNeill
Maggie McNeill’s biography reads like the worst nightmare of every English major’s mother and/or the wet dream of every horny undergraduate male: a BA in literature, then a Masters of Library and Information Science and a brief stint as a suburban librarian, before economic imperatives compelled her to find work as a stripper, then a call girl, then a madam. This decade-long sex work stint ends happily (mothers, cue a sigh of relief) in the fairy-tale manner. Madam marries favorite client, moves to ranch, and is able at long last to combine both of her interests: writing and prostitution.
It’s almost time for pig roasts and kiddie pools, but that’s no reason to lose your intellectual edge entirely. Here’s our weekly rundown of readings and talks.
Sunday, July 6
Sweet Work: Shorts of Labor at the Domino Brooklyn Refinery
If you’ve stopped by the Domino sugar refinery in the past couple weeks, Kara Walker’s magnificent installation may have given you food for thought regarding the building’s sordid past. And if that hasn’t totally killed your sweet tooth, Union Docs is here to help—with “a program of mostly unseen work that examines the effect the refinery had on the surrounding neighborhood as well as addressing broader themes of sweetness and power.” There will be a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by Filip Noterdaeme, contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of The Homeless Museum of Art.
7:30pm, Union Docs (322 Union Ave, Brooklyn). $9.
Upcoming talks and readings. Because sometimes, you just want to watch C-3P0 soliloquize in Early Modern English.
Thursday, June 26
Nathan Deuel and Friday was the Bomb
In 2008 Nathan Deuel, Village Voice and Rolling Stone editor, moved with his wife Kelly McEvers (a foreign correspondent) to Saudi Arabia. The couple’s first child had just been born when the Arab Spring erupted. McEvers was posted in Baghdad, while Deuel took his young daughter first to Istanbul and then Beirut. Friday was the Bomb: Five Years in the Middle East is Deuel’s first book, and an account of his time spent in the volatile region. Deuel will be reading from the memoir, taking questions, and signing copies.
7pm, WORD Bookstore (126 Franklin St, Greenpoint), Facebook RSVP requested but not required, FREE