Fri

8/18

Sat

8/19

Sun

8/20

Mon

8/21

Tue

8/22

Wed

8/23

Thu

8/24

Today

Fri

8/18

Film

Wonder Women of the Martial Arts

Photo: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan / Photofest

Women who kick ass have long been in vogue, but the conversation surrounding these heroines is normally reserved for Western examples — just look at the attention paid to the recent releases of Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde. The truth of the matter, however, is that women in the movies have been laying waste to no-good troublemakers (oftentimes brutish men) all around the globe since well before Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley ever raised her hand in combat in Alien. “Wonder Women of the Martial Arts,” the three-day edition of this year’s Subway Cinema Old School Kung Fu Fest taking place this weekend at the Metrograph, sheds light on a few of these women — among them Angela Mao, Cheng Pei-pei, and Kara Hui Ying-hung — in dazzling wuxia pictures from genre masters like King Hu and Lau Kar-leung. The crown jewel of the series, Hu’s A Touch of Zen (1971), is as beautiful as Chor Yuen’s Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972), another highlight, is lurid. These films, as well as others on the program — Hu’s Come Drink With Me (1966), Corey Yuen’s Yes, Madam (1985) — encapsulate a sisterhood of the sword, reveling in the strength, athleticism, and guile of women who would cut down whoever might stand in their way.

—Willow Maclay

Food & Drink

Sip. Shop. Eat!

For those who get cranky while shopping because there’s too much browsing and not enough devouring, this might be an ideal solution. The Collective Pop-Up Market from Bela Noelle, a vintage and handmade consignment shop, brings together several independent artists, designers, and other artisanal sellers offering fun and unique wares, but adds a fair number of food and beverage vendors to the mix. Drink tickets for custom cocktails become an even better bargain when you buy them in bulk, and a selection of savory and sweet bites from local purveyors will also be available, so your steady blood-sugar-to-blood-alcohol ratio can help you make wise purchasing decisions.

—Mary Bakija

Film

Please Believe Me

Legendary producer Val Lewton signed his name to only fourteen movies, but his departure from RKO after 1946 split his career as decisively as Dylan going electric: Deprived of RKO’s singular consonance of freedom, scarcity, and illusion-crafting resourcefulness, his post-Bedlam pictures leave one struggling to suss out hints of the old pepper. Arguably the most normal movie he ever made was Please Believe Me, a 1950 romantic comedy that finds Deborah Kerr inheriting a comically worthless tract of Texas dust. Riding the ocean from England, she’s wooed by a rich boy, his lawyer, and a playboy operator. Norman Taurog’s cloddish direction doesn’t spin gold from Nathaniel Curtis’s unremarkable script, but the overqualified cast (Kerr, Robert Walker, Peter Lawford, James Whitmore) elevates the film with professional vim and vigor, and there are some unexpected visual callbacks to Lewton’s previous masterworks.

—Jaime N. Christley

Food & Drink

Flushing Night Out

As commercial rents continue to rise across the city, small, independently owned businesses are getting pushed out again and again. But here’s a celebration in honor of those establishments that, against the odds, have managed to soldier on — those restaurants and shops that help compose the veritable fabric of the city. Support them while exploring the historic Flushing Quaker Meeting House, which was originally constructed in 1694. Food from area joints including Dumpling Galaxy, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream, and Karl’s Balls will be for sale, as will locally made crafts and other products. Plus, enjoy music from local artists the Legends of Motown Revue and Session Band.

—Mary Bakija

Talks

The Handmaid and the Hound

Do you ever scroll through the trending topics on Twitter and think, I see that our world deserves to crash into the sun, and yet these Tweets have not fully satiated my need for dystopian stories? If so, it may be time to set Twitter aside and revisit English-class staples The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451. The former published in 1985 by Margaret Atwood and the latter in 1953 by Ray Bradbury, these two novels are becoming relevant to contemporary events at an alarming rate — whether it be due to the lack of care for our climate or access to education or other human rights. Join Phelim Kine, Hunter College adjunct professor and deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division, as he discusses these two fictional tales that seem to be, with every passing day, sounding more like plausible futures. After all, it might only be a matter of time before Donald Trump sets fire to the Library of Congress.

Julia Irion Martins

Music

Mary J. Blige

The best possible ending to a summer Friday at the beach is seeing r&b legend Mary J. Blige out in Coney Island. Blige’s classic jams are sure to bring up hazy memories of Nineties dance parties. She’s on tour right now to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her first album, What’s the 411?, which pioneered a style of r&b pop that would influence artists from Aaliyah to Alicia Keys. Those early songs were much less polished than her later material, giving the album an old-school charm that it retains today. Her tour has gotten rave reviews so far — it’s a worthy investment for any longtime fan.

Sophie Weiner

Music

Billy Hart Quartet

As a sideman, drummer Billy Hart played on some of the heaviest, headiest jazz albums of the late Sixties and early Seventies, including Karma by Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi, and the Miles Davis psych-bop classic On the Corner. Yet, as a leader, there is a sense of warmth and beauty to his oeuvre that jibes more with Hart’s time with Stan Getz in the mid-Seventies — particularly when he’s in the company of his longtime quartet, rounded out by Ethan Iverson on piano, bassist Ben Street, and saxophonist Mark Turner. Six months after a successful run at the Jazz Standard, the BHQ head downtown to the Vanguard, a place where Billy has banged the drums countless times before. And since they’re three years removed from the release of their 2014 LP on ECM, One Is the Other, we can only hope this six-night residency (which also promises special-guest appearances) will debut some new material for their next record as well.

—Ron Hart

Music

John Maus

John Maus has always been more than his music. The hyper-intellectual experimental performer is known for lo-fi new wave–y tunes laden with distortion and lyrics concerned with subject matter that ranges from the extreme (like his desire to kill cops) to the mundane (like the need to get a job). After years of silence, during which his fans feared he’d quit music for good, Maus recently returned with a string of tour dates and a baffling, disturbing video labeled “COUNTER STRIKE!” In the video, footage of Maus as a mad scientist and clips of vintage tech and internet memes are overlaid with molecular diagrams. In the background, over new but familiarly Mausian music, a distorted voice asks, “WHERE IS JOHN MAUS?” Maus will be right here on this night, and all those who are there to witness his return are in for an insane, unpredictable experience.

Sophie Weiner

Music

Four Tet

Kieran Hebden, the U.K. producer known as Four Tet, has spent his career exploring the contemplative side of dance music, experimenting with genres as diverse as post-rock and jungle. On his last few releases, the artist has flitted between new age, Indian inspirations, and classic dance music structure — a multilayered register also evident on his most recent, melancholic single, “Planet.” But no matter what his current obsession, Four Tet always kills live. He’ll take the stage all night at Analog BK, bringing his subtle talent to their impeccable sound system.

Sophie Weiner

Sat

8/19

Festivals

Speak Up, Rise Up

Photo: Cait Elliott / Justin Danforth

Ira Glass calls stories “machines for empathy.” The first-ever edition of the Speak Up, Rise Up festival ignites that machine, spotlighting storytellers of different backgrounds who have lived narratives that don’t often get told. Solo shows include Good at Cults (Saturday, August 19), in which Cait Elliott describes how she joined (and left) a cult, and Josh Johnson’s catalog of Awkward Hugs With Beautiful Women (Thursday, August 17). Group endeavors include In It Together: Stories of Strength in Diversity (Friday, August 18); Surprise Stories, a cage match–style storytelling game show (Saturday, August 19); and How Hard?, which relates tales from inside and around the prison system (Sunday, August 20). There are eighteen shows in all, and plenty of empathy to go around.

—Rob Staeger

 

Beach

Riis Bazaar Beach Pass

We’re approaching the heart of summer, and if you need an added incentive to get to the beach before Labor Day, here’s a good deal that’s going on all season long. You get two beers or glasses of wine; a cheeseburger and fries or a veggie dog and fries from Ed & Bev’s; and, for an extra $7, a beach chair for a little extra-comfy lounging. Plus, the deal provides a 10 percent discount on a ticket for the Rockaway Beach Bus — an option that may be appealing given the recent hiccups surrounding the city’s new ferry service from Wall Street to Rockaway. However you get there, after a couple of drinks and a bite, you’ll certainly be ready for a dip in the refreshing ocean, which is, of course, complimentary. Check the website for information on live music and other special events.

—Mary Bakija

Music

Warm Up

Somewhere during the two-decade run of MoMA P.S.1’s summer music series, the spread of global DJ culture turned what started as an artsy experimental showcase into the best place in New York to spot Bushwick artists and Murray Hill finance bros mingling happily in beat-driven bliss. By giving programmers from New York’s music scene free rein to each create a one-day dream lineup, Warm Up has managed to stay right on the bleeding edge of every subgenre of electronic sound. Selections are a mixture of high, low, heady, and fun; artists hail from around the world and across the music spectrum.

—Zoë Beery

Dance

Dance at Socrates

The sculpture park on the Queens side of the East River has opened itself, not just to free performances by visiting dance companies, but to week-long residencies, organized by Norte Maar, featuring two choreographers at a time. Their creative explorations culminate each weekend with mixed bills of their work. On Saturday, the artists-in-residence are Brandon Collwes, the former Merce Cunningham dancer now with Liz Gerring and Sally Silvers, and Eryn Renee Young of XAOC Contemporary Ballet, a seven-year-old neoclassical troupe. On August 19, witness performances by the “irrevocably queer” Nico Brown and Gleich Dances, directed by Norte Maar co-founder Julia Gleich.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Food & Drink

Flushing Night Out

As commercial rents continue to rise across the city, small, independently owned businesses are getting pushed out again and again. But here’s a celebration in honor of those establishments that, against the odds, have managed to soldier on — those restaurants and shops that help compose the veritable fabric of the city. Support them while exploring the historic Flushing Quaker Meeting House, which was originally constructed in 1694. Food from area joints including Dumpling Galaxy, Sam’s Fried Ice Cream, and Karl’s Balls will be for sale, as will locally made crafts and other products. Plus, enjoy music from local artists the Legends of Motown Revue and Session Band.

—Mary Bakija

Music

Heathered Pearls + Physical Therapy + Beta Librae + Ciarra Black

Jakub Alexander, the producer known as Heathered Pearls, has a dual musical personality. He’s best known for his ambient, beatless electronic compositions, like those found on his enveloping 2012 album, Loyal. But since then, Alexander has explored the realms of dance music that you can actually dance to. His 2016 single, “Belville Renderings Part I,” was an homage to Detroit techno that manages to retain the nuance of Alexander’s ambient work. He’ll play this late-night show at Sunnyvale with fellow Brooklyn techno luminaries Physical Therapy and Ciarra Black.

Sophie Weiner

Sun

8/20

Art

Clark Filio: Betrayal and Vengeance

Photo: Courtesy the artist and Kimberly-Klark

Upon stepping into Kimberly-Klark — a collaborative art space located in the burgeoning Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood — one quivers at the eccentricity of the wall-to-wall carpet accentuating “Betrayal and Vengeance,” Brooklyn-based artist Clark Filio’s New York debut, comprising six variously sized oil-on-canvas paintings. The corporate-flavored environment suggested by the gaudy material blanketing the floor meets an echo in the exhibition’s largest piece, Blue Steel, in which a woman confidently aims her gun toward the viewer in a disheveled high-floor office space. (Other details from the quasi-dystopian scene, which nods to Kathryn Bigelow’s 1990 thriller of the same name about a fearless female cop, include a curiously broken CD on the floor and a futuristic, steel-colored urban backdrop.) Filio, who apprenticed under famed fantasy painter Rick Berry, perfects a balance between fiction and reality for which he often delves into the moving-image canon or other elements of the popular imagination. His unique synthesis is best embodied here in Phaseblade, a turbulent depiction of a genderless heroic figure that incorporates hints of superstardom, otherworldliness, and glamour.

Osman Can Yerebakan

Film

The Man in the White Suit

The most quintessentially English films produced shortly after the Second World War came from Ealing Studios, and three of the most quintessentially Ealing films were directed by Alexander Mackendrick, a Bostonian by birth. Today, Mackendrick is most often cited for Sweet Smell of Success, but this 1951 comedy, in which a misfit scientist (Alec Guinness) clandestinely invents an indestructible fabric, is nothing if not Sweet Smell’s equal in its incisive critique of a rigged economy. By giving us a protagonist who’s likable and scrupulous but slightly nuts and blind to practical reality, the script (co-written by Mackendrick, John Dighton, and Roger MacDougall) is free to transmit withering commentary concerning labor and management without once coming across as anything other than pristinely good-humored. Ultimately, the film satirizes the vanity of a society that borrows ceaselessly on the promise of perfection but treats actual fulfillment as an abomination.

—Jaime N. Christley

 

Music

Mulatu Astatke + Emel Mathlouthi

With its rolling 6/8 grooves, bulbous orchestral arrangements, funky horn parts, and remarkable singers, Ethiopian pop music’s so-called golden age (1969– 74) bears scant resemblance to any other contemporary African sound. It also possesses unique harmonic depth, and 73-year-old Ethio-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke, more than any other Ethiopian composer or arranger, pioneered that magic. While remaining true to traditional instrumentation and techniques, Astatke served as a particularly inventive agent of change, smuggling seven extra notes into Ethiopian music’s pentatonic foundation. Tunisian protest singer Emel Mathlouthi, also on the bill, went global when she was filmed singing “Kelmti Horra” (“My Word Is Free”) during a street protest. Her new Ensen (Human) sounds like Joan Baez collaborating with MIA and continues her longtime goal of producing “music that sounded soft but wasn’t.” Alsarah & the Nubatones and DJ Sirak will also perform.

—Richard Gehr

 

Mon

8/21

Film

Rio Bravo

Photo: Courtesy Bros / Kobal / REX / Shutterstock

Not long into his Hollywood career, Howard Hawks got wise to the advantages of producing his own projects; that he was a top earner allowed his conditions of empowerment to endure well into the nascent independent-producer era of the Sixties. One of the biggest hits of his later career was the deceptively tranquil western Rio Bravo (1959), starring John Wayne and Dean Martin. The film’s miracle — one of them, at any rate — is the way its wire-tight plot unfurls as a long series of long scenes, like a collection of rolling tumbleweeds. Hawks punctuates developments in action and romance with simple joys like listening and looking — two fields in which Wayne was nonpareil. There has never been a more concerted onscreen effort to waste time, only to result in no time wasted whatsoever.

—Jaime N. Christley

Art

Anish Kapoor: Descension

Anish Kapoor, to his enormous credit, is the rare contemporary artist who begins not with concepts, but with style. Whatever ideas emerge from his art come later, from the look of the thing, the way it feels and how it hits the senses. Although Kapoor tends toward a clean, spare, graceful style, there is often something overwhelming to his work. That’s certainly the case with “Descension,” an endless whirlpool that disappears into the earth, now installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Much of its power comes from the tremendous and ominous hum it generates, which most people will notice before they even lay eyes on it. If there is a drawback, it’s the location: Brooklyn Bridge Park is anodyne and clean, which blunts some of Kapoor’s force. Still, the installation introduces a dose of aesthetic anxiety into any visitor’s day, which alone is commendable.

—Pac Pobric

Film

Summer Double Features

With temperatures sweltering, Film Forum offers solace to city denizens with over two dozen choice double features. While a number of the pairings fall under the theater’s specialty of pre-Code pleasures and auteurist complements (including Hitchcock, Ford, and Bresson), the programmers have also conjured a few clever curiosities that highlight the shifting of several specific New York City neighborhoods over time. Soho goes from drunkard’s row in the semi-documentary On the Bowery (1957) to a Kafkaesque nightmare of hipsters and punks in Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985). Coney Island likewise undergoes a signification transformation, beginning as a playground for the pratfalls of Harold Lloyd in Speedy (1928) and later becoming the inspiration for a child’s imagination in Little Fugitive (1953).

—Peter Labuza

Science

Total Solar Eclipse

Even though the narrow, so-called “path of totality” veers south as it crosses the United States, stretching from the Oregon Coast to South Carolina, New York will still get a great view of Monday’s spectacular cosmic event. Between the hours of one and four that afternoon, the moon will block out 75 percent of the sun, creating the effect of twilight at midday. Temperatures will drop and very confused birds will likely stop chirping during this rare occurrence; it hasn’t happened at this magnitude in North America since 1918. There’s no better place to witness the event than with other astro-enthusiasts at the Hayden Planetarium. Visit the Hall of the Universe for more information before a pop-up talk by Brian Levine, then join NASA outside for their live broadcast of the eclipse. Don’t forget to grab a pair of eclipse glasses for safe viewing, since it’s still generally bad to stare directly into the sun.

—Heather Baysa

Dance

Drive East

This peripatetic festival, produced by Navatman, mounts several shows a day of Indian music and dance, including gorgeous practitioners of classic Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, and Kathak, as well as Rajasthani folk forms, Carnatic and Hindustani vocalists, and instrumentalists on the sitar, guitar, and tabla. Celebrated in India and abroad, these artists, ranging from the very young to the deeply experienced and including Korean practitioners of Indian forms, offer mostly hour-long performances that alternate musical soloists and dancers; an exploration of the website provides an education in itself. If I had to pick just one event, it might be the Kathak recital on August 27, featuring members of the Leela Dance Collective and superb tap dancer Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Can’t get enough South Asian performing art? Avail yourself of a season pass, and see all 22 concerts for $450.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Tue

8/22

Comedy

Brooklyn Comedy Festival

Photo: Trevor Noah at Glasslands in 2014 / Rafe Baron

Brooklyn’s alternative comedy scene can hardly be deemed “alternative” anymore, considering the fast ascension of some of this festival’s past luminaries. Trevor Noah hosts The Daily Show, Michael Che hosts Weekend Update, and Ilana Glazer and Hannibal Buress show the world New York City’s weirdness on Broad City. They all have this local fest in common, along with a grasp of the borough’s unmistakable sense of humor. Now in its fifth year, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival presents a week’s worth of stand-up, film, music, and performances designed to showcase established and new performers alike. Around a dozen venues host events as varied as a screening of the hypnotic dance-comedy Snowy Bing Bongs and a performance of Dave Hill’s bizarre-but-true Witch Taint: The Black Metal Dialogues, based on an email conversation between Hill and a label owner in Oslo. Also pop in for special editions of longtime favorites like “The Fancy Show” and Wyatt Cenac’s “Night Train,” and don’t miss the Queen and David Bowie sing-along at Union Hall on the 26th.

—Heather Baysa

Art

The Art of Spider-Man

If there’s one superhero you expect to see on a wall, it’s Spider-Man — and now, he’s all over the walls of the Society of Illustrators. Is the show good? Listen, bud: “The Art of Spider-Man” is the largest collection of original Spidey pages ever displayed, primarily focused on the sleek, elegant style of John Romita, but spanning the wall-crawler’s earlier, wiry days under the pen of co-creator Steve Ditko on through the intricate webwork of Todd McFarlane (who came on the Spidey scene in the late Eighties). Artists like Gil Kane, John Romita Jr., and Keith Pollard also provide scenes of the webhead facing off against his deadliest foes. Face it, tiger: If you’re a fan of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, you’ve just hit the jackpot.

—Rob Staeger

Music

Shelley Hirsch

Where most singers attempt to unify and enthrall audiences, vocal daredevil Shelley Hirsch exults in the fragmentary schizoid potential of human utterance. She speaks in tongues appropriate to recapturing distant memories, as with the autobiographical narrative O Little Town of East New York, and is one of the few masters of vocal free improvisation. Over the course of five afternoons, Hirsch will conclude her ongoing multidisciplinary undertaking book-bark-tree-skin-line with a series of performances situated around Josiah McElheny’s “Prismatic Park” sculptures in Madison Square Park. Her 35-minute creation pairs Hirsch with a multilingual choir of acolytes from her “Explore Your 1000 Voices” workshop. She will also elaborate the work with a live twelve-member ensemble and record interviews with parkgoers that will be integrated into the piece’s final iteration.

—Richard Gehr

Film

The Man in the White Suit

The most quintessentially English films produced shortly after the Second World War came from Ealing Studios, and three of the most quintessentially Ealing films were directed by Alexander Mackendrick, a Bostonian by birth. Today, Mackendrick is most often cited for Sweet Smell of Success, but this 1951 comedy, in which a misfit scientist (Alec Guinness) clandestinely invents an indestructible fabric, is nothing if not Sweet Smell’s equal in its incisive critique of a rigged economy. By giving us a protagonist who’s likable and scrupulous but slightly nuts and blind to practical reality, the script (co-written by Mackendrick, John Dighton, and Roger MacDougall) is free to transmit withering commentary concerning labor and management without once coming across as anything other than pristinely good-humored. Ultimately, the film satirizes the vanity of a society that borrows ceaselessly on the promise of perfection but treats actual fulfillment as an abomination.

—Jaime N. Christley

Wed

8/23

Art

Alvin W. Hall Jr: Chromes

Photo: Alvin W. Hall Jr. / Bushwick Community Darkroom

“Chromes,” an exhibition of photographs by Alvin W. Hall Jr. currently on view at the Bushwick Community Darkroom, reads like a delicate ode to mid-twentieth-century American suburbia. The colored vistas immortalize tiny, charming moments of domestic bliss: a pooch seated on a front porch, the pup’s torso somewhat obscured by a potted plant (“The Halls,” states the welcome mat); a woman carefully applying lipstick at her desk; a herd of three loved ones posing at the train station. Hall, who served aboard the U.S.S. Quincy during the Second World War, was also trained by the Navy as a photographer, bouncing after the war between stations across the globe. Hall later held a couple of civilian jobs, including as an insurance salesman; through it all, he maintained a steady habit of applying his professional photographic training to his more everyday role as a family man, a part that he must have taken great joy in, given the warm, vibrant energy of his snapshots. This show has been curated by Hall’s grandson, Cameron Blaylock, who discovered his relative’s visual archive following Hall’s death in the spring of this year.

—Danny King

Dance

Olga Pericet

Whether she’s rocking flamenco’s traditional batucada or jockeying with a set of antlers, wrapping herself in fringe or shedding a jeweled vest, the remarkable dancer and choreographer Olga Pericet is always thinking outside the traditional boxes of Spanish dance. Petite and powerful, and a highlight of last spring’s Flamenco Festival at City Center, she interrupts months of international touring to spend three weeks in the intimate precincts of Manhattan’s tiny Spanish theater in a Gramercy Park townhouse, performing to live music and with her innate intensity. Spark your staycation and encounter this powerful avant-garde performer and her gifted ensemble up close.

—Elizabeth Zimmer