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Two New Docs Go Deep Inside the Philippines’ Murderous War on Drugs

The Nightcrawlers.

“When I smoke meth, I feel nothing when I kill.” The irony is thick as a man paid to execute drug users exhales a cloud of shabu smoke in The Nightcrawlers. The National Geographic documentary, which last week won a special jury prize for courageous filmmaking at the Hamptons International Film Festival and next month will play at DOC NYC, is named after the photojournalists who’ve documented thousands of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, said to be ordered by police at the encouragement of strongman president Roberto Duterte. The film, directed by Alexander A. Mora, follows these photographers while also riding along with the masked vigilantes who brazenly gun down users and pushers in the streets of Manila. More →

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Bikram Choudhury Is ‘Not Happy’ With a Chilling New Doc About the Hot Yoga Guru

As I waited in line for the US premiere of Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Saturday, I was reading The Program, Toni Natalie’s new memoir about surviving NXIVM. It was a funny coincidence, given the clear similarities between hot yoga pioneer Bikram Choudhury and New Age cult leader Keith Raniere. Both are charismatic manipulators who offered healing and empowerment to their vulnerable, mostly female followers, only to psychologically, financially, and sexually prey on their devotees while raining ruin down on anyone who threatened their empire. But while Raniere has been convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking (his sentencing date was announced earlier this month), Choudhury is still teaching his trademark brand of hot yoga to starstruck students– a fact that is not lost on filmmaker Eva Orner. More →

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KAZU of Blonde Redhead Goes Solo With a Little Help From a Legendary Composer

KAZU during her performance at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, 10/11/19. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Kazu Makino, the lead singer of indie rockers Blonde Redhead, performed her new solo album, Adult Baby, on her home turf last Friday night at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade. Her fans and friends, including longtime bandmates Simone and Amedeo Pace, enjoyed her subdued, dreamy tracks, a soft departure from Blonde Redhead’s rock music.

Bedford + Bowery spoke to KAZU ahead of the show as she rehearsed at upstate’s Flying Cloud Studios with her live band, including violinist Darian Thomas, drummer Ian Chang, and Sam Evian on synthesizer. The songs on Adult Baby were influenced by her time on the Italian island of Elba, which the Pace brothers introduced her to before she returned there a few years ago by herself. “Elba means something personally to me; I want to show that,” KAZU told us as we discussed the video for her single, “Salty,” which was filmed on the island. “The video will be part of the full movie we shot for the album that featured an international crew from Italy, Austria and Canada. The costumes are by designer Isabel Marant in Paris and she didn’t make anything special for me, we just like the same things.” More →

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Performance Picks: Comedy With Free Pizza and Plenty of Drag

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Great Fairy Venus Celestina / Facebook)

I’m Selfish! The Birth of Venus
Wednesday, October 16 at Dream Baby, 9:30 pm: $10

Drag performer The Great Fairy Venus Celestina’s recurring show at the bar Dream Baby is always named I’m Selfish, but this time the title feels even more justified, as it will be celebrating the literal birth of Venus herself. Join the birthday queen, members of her Haus, and other special guest performers who will be turning out “Venus-themed” numbers for all to see. The cast will be performing a whopping three sets, so there will be plenty of time to see, tip, and drink, including some chances to win free booze.

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In a New Doc, Imelda Marcos’s Son Is a Shoe-In For Vice President

Early in Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary about Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker, there’s a photo of the disgraced former First Lady of the Philippines mingling with one of the many beautiful people in her orbit at the time: Donald and Ivanka Trump. This is our cue that the story of the Iron Butterfly remains relevant decades after she and her husband Ferdinand packed their diamonds into a bunch of diapers and fled the Philippines amidst the People Power Revolution.  More →

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Art This Week: Cinema of Transgression and Outdoor Oddities

Image: Other Wise from “Mirror Mirror, Daylight Cinema” at The Old Shul for Social Sculpture, Tessa Hughes-Freeland.

Passed and Present
Opening Thursday, October 17 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 17.

One of the pioneers of the Cinema of Transgression—an New York-based underground movement active in the 80’s that focused on low-budget subversion—was Tessa Hughes-Freeland, an experimental filmmaker who utilized psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals in her work, as well as found footage. This exhibition at East Village space Howl Happening acts as a “cinematic survey” of her work, featuring sculptures, videos, and an “interactive kaleidoscope.” Beyond the opening reception, there will be several special events throughout the course of the show, including film screenings and filmmaking workshops led by Hughes-Freeland herself.

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4 Exciting Artists We Discovered at the Clio Art ‘Anti-Fair’

“Fight Like a Girl,” 2019, by Yumiko Hirokawa (Courtesy of Yumiko Hirokawa)

Clio Art Fair came to Chelsea this past weekend, bringing with it 54 artists from over 20 different countries and from all over the United States. The self-styled “anti-fair” catering to independent artists focuses on moving away from everything that sucks about traditional art fairs (like how you have to basically be famous already to show your work there). More →

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NYC’S First ‘Nut-Milk Bar’ Milks Nut Puns For All They’re Worth

(Photos: Jae Thomas)

Nolita cafe Tulo House wants to know: “Did you nut today?”

The hashtag-worthy slogan immortalized by a bright blue neon sign (although, if your mom follows you on Instagram, maybe don’t post it) refers to the health spot’s homemade dairy-alternative milks. The self-proclaimed “first fresh nut-milk bar” in the city, Tulo House opened its doors last week. More →