Mark Your Calendar

We narrowed your choices down to the very best of the season so you're not overwhelmed


'A History of Violence'
Opens September 23
A tense, disconcerting meta-thriller about a Midwestern family under siege, David Cronenberg's latest masterwork confirms its maker as the greatest director working in the English language today. A History of Violence more than fulfills the philosophical dimensions of its title, and as a film that questions how we respond to being terrorized and what it means to live with blood on our hands, its political subtext is unmistakable. Lim

Japanese Cinema
Early Autumn, September 14–January 2006, Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd, 212-708-9480
"The Beauty of the Everyday: Japan's Shochiku Company at 110," September 24–October 20, Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th, 212-875-5600 Mikio Naruse, October 21-November 17, Film Forum, 209 W Houston, 212-727-8110Kenji Mizoguchi, October 31-November 22, BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave, Bklyn, 718-636-4100
The city's repertory houses collectively attempt a history of Japanese cinema this fall. A five-month-long series at MOMA presents Kurosawa, Oshima, and Ozu classics alongside overlooked directors like Heinosuke Gosho and Hiroshi Shimizu. The New York Film Festival devotes an extensive sidebar to the Shochiku Company on the occasion of the pioneering film studio's 110th anniversary. And two seriously under-retro'd Japanese masters—Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse—finally get their due. Lim

Glam it up: Peter Hujar's 1973 Fayette from his first American retrospective
photo: Matthew Marks Gallery
Glam it up: Peter Hujar's 1973 Fayette from his first American retrospective

'The New World'
Opens December 25
Terrence Malick, Hollywood's most enigmatic auteur, emerges from hibernation to take on the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, reportedly staying close to the historical record. If Malick's fourth feature is even half as impressive as his first, second, or third, it should be the best American movie of the year. Lim


'A Soldier's Play'
Previews begin September 20, opens October 17
Second Stage Theatre, 307 W 43rd, 212-246-4422
Originally premiered by the tragically now defunct Negro Ensemble Company in 1981, Charles Fuller's deep, troubling play is a whodunit that contemplates racism in the U.S. military—both the outward and the internalized, self-hating kinds. Built to supply stunning performance opportunities, the script's first major revival, directed by Jo Bonney, comes with a potentially awesome cast, including Taye Diggs, Teagle F. Bougere, Anthony Mackie, and as the mean-mouthed sergeant every private loves to hate, James McDaniel. Feingold

November 2 through December 11
Classic Stage Company, 136 E 13th, 212-677-3210
Shakespeare's tale of the Danish prince with a problem who kills his uncle is still the world's most popular play, and with reason: The text is so rich with meaning that Prince Hamlet can be almost anything you want to see him as. Given an actor with the power to command, like Michael Cumpsty, and a director, like CSC artistic director Brian Kulick, who enjoys nothing better than a daring, outrageous risk, the world's most quoted work of dramatic literature might even cough up some new meanings. Feingold

Previews begin October 28, opens November 21
Booth Theatre, Bway & 45th, 212-239-6200
Sci-fi, Edward Albee–style: What happens when articulate, upwardly evolved lizards invade the upscale seaside house where a long-standing marriage is already on the rocks? If you think lizards haven't got problems too, you weren't around in 1974, when Albee's startling play first slithered across the public mind. Lincoln Center Theater's production, staged by Mark Lamos, features senior eminences George Grizzard and Frances Sternhagen in the human roles, with blazing young talents Elizabeth Marvel and Frederick Weller as the not-so-inhuman serpentine duo. Feingold


Dream Come True: Donald Byrd directs Julia Wilkins and David Alewine in "The Sleeping Beauty Notebook."
photo: Chris Bennion
Donald Byrd/Spectrum Dance Theater
November 2 through 12
Dance Theater Workshop, 219 W 19th,
Through all sorts of financial difficulty (his last big hit, Harlem Nutcracker, sank his New York troupe) and geographic mobility, Byrd has kept alive his interest in a cross-cultural examination of concepts of beauty. Now the director of Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater, he's developed The Sleeping Beauty Notebook, an exploration of beauty, evil, gender, and social order set to Tchaikovsky's familiar score and which deconstructs the original 19th-century classic, subtracting some scenes while expanding others using his hard-edged contemporary and ballet technique, burlesque, and pantomime. Zimmer

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
November 8 through 13
Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Ave, 212-242-0800,
Belgium's austere dance doyenne, whose troupe replaced Mark Morris in 1992 as the resident troupe at Brussels' Royal Opera De Munt/La Monnaie, has brought audiences to their feet with ensemble works to composers like Steve Reich. She returns to New York with her two-year-old solo Once, set to the entire classic LP Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2, which she's loved since she was a small child. Zimmer

Savion Glover
December 20 through January 15
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave,
The 21st century's first true tap sensation, Tony- and Bessie-award-winning Glover has performed on Broadway and in Hollywood. He graces Chelsea with a four-week holiday run, including several special matinees; he'll be working up material for a new touring show, joined by his terrific jazz band, the Otherz. Expect many surprises. Zimmer


Melanie Rehak
September 26
Coliseum Books, 11 W 42nd,
Few people born in 1930 could have graced a 1978 Playboy cover—but Nancy Drew did. Her adventures have sold over 80 million books. Rehak's Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her argues that the real mystery exists in her creators' lives and "the long-buried secret behind the identity of Carolyn Keene." Pascoe

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