Wed

11/22

Thu

11/23

Fri

11/24

Sat

11/25

Sun

11/26

Mon

11/27

Tue

11/28

Today

Wed

11/22

Film

Modern Matinees: The Coen Brothers

Photo: Fargo (1996) / Courtesy MoMA

From New York to California, Mississippi to Minnesota, spanning genres like a Turner Classic Movies marathon, Joel and Ethan Coen have introduced us to ordinary people whose actions spin out of their control. Their characters are left with insoluble questions: Why has this happened to me? What does it all mean? The Coens’ movies can drive viewers similarly mad with the search for meaning. But despite plots denser than a Sarah Palin endorsement speech, it’s a mistake to impose a grand narrative theory on their films. The forces that propel the brothers’ plots are random, not designed, and their people don’t triumph over those forces so much as wade through them, frantic for answers.

Lara Zarum

Music

Kamasi Washington

With the release of his triple-disk breakout album The Epic in 2015, this 36-year-old Los Angeles saxophonist-bandleader put the bomb in bombastic while introducing a new generation to the substantial joys of jazz maximalism. Along with changes in venue — from his first local shows at the Blue Note to more recent gigs at the Glastonbury Festival and now at the supersized shoebox he’ll fill here — Washington is also developing musically. His summer EP Harmony of Difference attaches his self-described status as the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter to musical ambitions echoing Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige and Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, especially in “The Truth,” whose thrilling and thematically heavy fourteen minutes Washington describes as “a metaphor for how beautiful we all are.” Washington found himself playing for a church congregation within days of picking up the sax as a kid, so expect some serious testifying when sacred steel guitarist Robert Randolph joins him here.

Richard Gehr

Music

Veronica Vasicka

If you’re stuck in town for the week of Turkey Day, you could do worse than to grab your high school friends and take them down to Jupiter Disco, where Veronica Vasicka, DJ and founder of record label Minimal Wave, will headline a night of dark dance music. Backing her up is Soren Roi, a DJ associated with the weekly experimental electronic party Nothing Changes. The venue makes for an intimate spot to dance, and has a great sound system and cheap covers to boot — perfect for a night out with people who might be new to this kind of music.

Sophie Weiner

Film

La Grande Bouffe

It would be frivolous to try, for the benefit of gentle-hearted viewers, to dilute or soften the legend of La Grande Bouffe as a spectacle of sexual and culinary hedonism. But it helps to understand that Marco Ferreri’s 1973 film, which got an X-rating in the United States, is a great deal more than its ignominious logline — four friends retreat to a well-appointed Italian villa to eat themselves to death — suggests. If this is some Swiftian broadside about the privileged class asphyxiating on their own excess, it’s just about the warmest, most dignified, and — above all — sensuous satire imaginable: The Exterminating Angel for foodies. Without pulling any punches, Ferreri (who co-wrote the script with Rafael Azcona) treats the pleasures of the flesh not as the best things in life, but, within a specific and narrow philosophical vessel, the best last things.

Jaime NChristley

Music

Headless Horseman

There are many electronic artists who choose to keep their identities a mystery, but none whose ambiguity feels quite as ominous as Headless Horseman. The producer and DJ, who gained particular renown after a live set in 2014 at the notorious Berghain, performs with a long, dark fringe covering his face, like a creepier Cousin Itt in a hoodie. Since then, he’s only spoken a few times to the press, preferring to let his dark, industrial techno and famously hard sets do the talking for him. We can only hope that this TBA venue in Brooklyn is a cavernous warehouse worthy of his unsettling music.

Sophie Weiner

Thu

11/23

Art

Fictions

Photo: Texas Isaiah's "My Name Is My Name I" (detail) / Courtesy the artist

It began with “Freestyle,” back in 2001. Since then, every few years the Studio Museum in Harlem has held a series of influential exhibitions that are specifically intended to bring a fresh crop of noteworthy Black American artists to the attention of a broad audience. An alliterative conceit binds together what have become known as the “F shows”: “Frequency” in 2005, “Flow” in 2008, “Fore” in 2012. Now, the museum has decided the climate is right to release a new batch of talent from the continual prospecting that is part of its mission. “Fictions,” featuring work by nineteen artists from around the country, and with a strong proportion of installation and work in unorthodox materials, began in September and runs through early January.

Siddhartha Mitter

Film

The Crime of Monsieur Lange

Like rivers or the moment to come just after this moment, you can’t step into the same Jean Renoir film twice. Whether the release of this restoration marks your first or your fiftieth time seeing The Crime of Monsieur Lange — the master’s 1936 collectivist lulu and certainly the most warmly humane film ever made about killing your boss — its glittering bustle of motion and character always offers new and piercing details. What, this time, will prick you?

Alan Scherstuhl

Fri

11/24

Theater

Curiosities

Photo: CAITLIN SPIESS OF ILL PRODUCTIONS

At 627 5th Avenue in South Slope, Brooklyn, stands a generic, white-brick building, the kind you’d probably never notice if not for the message scrawled in black paint on its side: “Are you curious?” It’s hard to imagine who wouldn’t be. This is the home of Curiosities, an immersive theater production that opened earlier this month and is in residence through November 26. The era, 1930s; the setting, the Menagerie, a jazz club out of which “the Professor” (played by Anthony Logan Cole) and his coterie of misfits operate an underground sideshow full of sins and secrets. The ambience is a little bit speakeasy, a little bit David Lynch. The plot is refracted across ten separate storylines, each anchored around a different character who might at any point beckon you into the hazy darkness backstage.

Molly Fitzpatrick

Music

Slaughter Beach, Dog

Jake Ewald has a lot more free time than he used to. His main band, the emo revival outfit Modern Baseball, went on hiatus last year, citing the mental-health troubles of one of the band members, Brendan Lukens. Now, Ewald has released the second album by his solo band, Slaughter Beach, Dog, a quieter, indie folk effort with intimate lyrics that tell quasi-autobiographical stories about love, substance abuse, and ennui. This music is strong enough that it could succeed without the draw of Ewald’s other group’s fame. Fans of that outfit are encouraged to check this out.

Sophie Weiner

Music

Shellshag + Math the Band + Teenage Halloween + Nervous Dater

Another great option for the generally quiet Thanksgiving week is this show at Silent Barn, which features several standout local acts alongside touring bands. Math the Band are a bonkers chiptune act whose music defies explanation — you need to see them live to get a feel for their overactive enthusiasm. The Brooklyn two-piece punk group Shellshag will also play, along with the instantly lovable New Brunswick garage poppers Teenage Halloween and the Brooklyn pop rock act Nervous Dater.

Sophie Weiner

Music

Laurel Halo + SHYBOI

In her own productions, the electronic musician Laurel Halo combines warped vocals, synths, and drum beats to stretch and bend fragments of dance music into something altogether stranger. Her DJ sets are often more straightforward, though her offbeat sensibility shines through nonetheless. She’ll headline this night at Elsewhere alongside the rising Brooklyn DJ SHYBOI, a member of the collective #KUNQ who uses dance music to explore her identity as a Jamaican woman and the historical dynamics between Caribbean and American culture.

Sophie Weiner

Sat

11/25

Music

David Crosby

Photo: HENRY DILTZ

Hip-hop-hating hippie harmonizer David Crosby, 76, has been enjoying an exceptional late-in-life career revival. After leaving the Byrds, which he co-founded in 1964, he played in various combinations with Steve Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young until last year, when Nash declared he’d had enough of his old friend’s cranky ways. While Crosby has recorded only six solo albums, beginning with his weird and willowy 1971 masterpiece If I Could Only Remember My Name, the three most recent of the bunch have all appeared since 2014. With its inventive musicianship, relaxed self-assurance, and gently cantankerous autumnal wisdom, 2016’s Lighthouse is the keeper, but his new Sky Trails isn’t half-bad, either. This show is a strictly solo affair, though — just Croz and a guitar delivering idealist anthems like “Almost Cut My Hair,” “Long Time Gone,” and “Triad,” along with a helping of fresher fare.

Richard Gehr

Music

Nina Kraviz

The international superstar techno DJ Nina Kraviz headlines this bill of incredible female DJs at a Brooklyn warehouse party. Kraviz, who emerged from Russia to dominate the global underground techno scene over the last few years, is known for her willingness to take risks in her big-room sets. The rest of the bill is just as impressive. Umfang, a local DJ on the Discwoman roster, plays pounding techno that often closes out the best local raves. Experimental artist and modular synth pro Antenes will play b2b with Mary Yuzovskaya, another of underground techno’s greatest hopes. This party is where you’ll find the hippest raver kids working off their Thanksgiving dinners until dawn.

Sophie Weiner

Sun

11/26

Theater

Uncommon Sense

Photo: Joan Marcus

Tectonic Theater Project, long at the forefront of documentary drama, opens a new show this week about the underexplored subject of life with autism. (The group, under Moisés Kaufman’s leadership, is famous for consciousness-raising through the telling of real stories — from The Laramie Project, which documented the 1998 hate-killing of Matthew Shepard, to Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize–winning I Am My Own Wife.) Anushka Paris-Carter and Andy Paris’s Uncommon Sense, running at the Sheen Center, explores the experiences of four people living on the autism spectrum, and is accompanied by an educational program, including panels of experts and an exhibit of visual works by artists with autism. Maybe most importantly, Tectonic will offer two “relaxed performances,” which mellow the lighting and sound, and lift the usual mandate to sit still and stay quiet — modeling what accessibility can look like in the theater.

Miriam FeltonDansky

Film

Fat Girl

Not even one of Catherine Breillat’s top-five most provocative films, this 2001 breakthrough (at least in terms of its renown in the United States) has nevertheless acquired some emblematic value, and maybe that’s for the best. Those paying the film a revisit may still find the final curveball alarming, if no longer surprising; the heart quickens as Breillat turns the wheel ninety degrees into oncoming traffic, but foreknowledge may help reveal the concluding seconds as not arbitrary or grafted-on, but a continuation, a thematic disrobing of flesh only briefly covered. Nor are the preceding 85 minutes chopped liver: Aided by cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis (also a favorite of Theo Angelopoulos), Breillat makes a sun-dappled sororal rivalry the stuff of queasily pleasant melodrama, and, in the film’s centerpiece, a sober and exquisitely nuanced depiction of sex (and the talk that surrounds it) worthy of Eustache.

Jaime NChristley

Mon

11/27

Talks

Astro Poets: Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov

The poets Dorothy Lasky and Alex Dimitrov have been doling out astrological analysis via emojis, memes, and poetry on Twitter for almost a year now, gaining a cult following in the process. As of this writing, their Twitter account has 219k followers; the pair have nabbed a book deal; and they are also regular contributors to W magazine’s advice column, “Ask the Astro Poets.” To celebrate the Astro Poets’ birthday (the account is a Sagittarius, if you were wondering), Lasky and Dimitrov will be reading at the Mid-Manhattan Library and talking about the connections between poetry, astrology, and pop-culture. Lasky will read from her forthcoming book, Milk, to be published by Wave Books, and Dimitrov will be reading from a collection that was released earlier this year, Together and by Ourselves. Stick around after for a Q&A with this viral duo. Make sure you get there early, as seating is first-come, first-served, and registration won’t guarantee admission.

—Alana Mohamed

Tue

11/28

Music

Laurel Halo

Ann Arbor–raised, Berlin-based electronic musician Laurel Halo resides in the imaginary. Like a curious cephalopod, Halo, whose dangerously giddy 2012 debut Quarantine was deemed album of the year by The Wire, extends her tentacles into different sectors — feminine post-pop, bristly techno, cool/free jazz, ambient robotics — without ever languishing in an obvious comfort zone. Literary influences include science fiction, Sappho, and concrete poetry, all of which bubble to the surface of her most recent album, Dust, which she’ll dip into here — with the help of percussionist sound installer Eli Keszler — as part of the Kitchen’s ongoing “Synth Nights” series. While Halo delights in confounding expectation, she has a comedy fan’s sense of timing, so her deadpan moments often turn out to be the most deadly of all.

Richard Gehr