* "Bellflower" (dir. Evan Glodell, 2011) FREE preview @ reRun Theatre/ 147 Front St, DUMBO (F to York, AC to High St), 10p. I've been seeing endless previews for this chilling nowheresville thriller about bored doomsday white-boys w/ their flamethrowers and stuntman muscle cars — and brother, here's your chance to check it out post-haste!
* "The Haunting" (dir. Robert Wise, 1963) + "The Shining" (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980) screenings @ Paramount Theatre / 713 Congress Ave, Austin, 7/9:10p. Don't go into that house! The Paramount outdoes itself on double-header awesomeness w/ this duet of classic haunted abodes.
* "Truck Turner" (dir. Jonathan Kaplan, 1974) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 10:30p. Hide yo mamas, 'cos Isaac "Mack Truck Turner" Hayes is in the house, handling both the musical score AND the bounty hunting in this bonkers blaxploitation classic.
* Kingdom of Suicide Lovers + Candi & The Cavities @ Beerland / 711 Red River, 9p. Since I moved here in mid-June, I've been on the prowl for the finest examples of local, discordant post-whatever rock. Hell, NYC's spoiled me, what w/ the birthing ground for No Wave, Sonic Youth etc. I'm thinking Kingdom of Suicide Lovers and its coed interplay b/w guitarist Paul and bassist Kelsey over grinding, textural rhythms is just what I've been looking for. Check "Capsules" for evidence. Candi & The Cavities are sweet as razorblades, an ideal match for KoSL's grit. w/ Hatchet Wound
* "Cold Fish - UNCUT" (dir. Sion Sono, 2010) screenings @ reRun Theatre / 147 Front St, DUMBO (F to York, AC to High St), 9p. Sono's bloodied barrage of domestic violence, deception and dismemberment around a tropical fish store will leave you gutted (pun intentional!). The theatre is actually offering $1 sake shots during a brief intermission, which you'll need as the 2nd half is a propulsive ride towards a brutal — perhaps even cathartic — finale. All said, this is a phenomenal work and super-rare to see it uncut off the festival circuit. It'll give you nightmares, but it's worth it. Also SAT/SUN 1p, MON/TUE 9p.
* "Bellflower" (dir. Evan Glodell, 2011) @ Angelika Film Center / 18 W Houston St (BDFM to Broadway/Lafayette). The "Mad Max" undertones in this contemporary apocalyptic landscape run deep and apparent, but I'm particularly stoked to see the molotov let off by the sexual tension b/w main bad boy and his new "flame". See WED for reRun Theatre's preview.
* Heliotropes + Weird Owl (LP release) @ Union Pool / 484 Union Ave, Williamsburg (L/G to Lorimer), 9p. Up for some mind-altering sonics? Weird Owl's sophomore LP "Build Your Beast a Fire" is an aural contact high, man, like Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" for the new millennium, with echoey vocals! Brooklyn's finest doom-pop quartet Heliotropes couple decibel-singeing riffs with melodic crooning: a recipe for awesomeness.
* Ra Ra Riot @ Prospect Park Bandshell / Prospect Park West & 9th St, Park Slope (F/G to 15th St/Prospect Park), 7p/FREE. When upstate NY's chamber-pop darlings Ra Ra Riot deliver their sinuous strings and addictive energy to Prospect, well, you bet this is going to be the jam. I'm just picturing the ideal scenario, those frothing drums ricocheting into the distance, cellist/cutie Alexandra Lawn's turn at the mic ("You and I Know") coating the summer's night in a gauzy bliss. w/ Buke & Gass
* "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (dir. Rupert Wyatt, 2011) in wide release. This is gorilla warfare, baby! I've been…feverishly stoked for this reboot prequel to the whole "Apes" story, devoid of Mark Wahlberg and goofy costumes in favor of tracing the primates' jet-fueled evolution and retribution. That scene when ringleader Caesar roars at the screen…chills, man, all the way. Plus Freida Pinto (HELLO) stars.
* "Another Earth" (dir. Mike Cahill, 2011) @ Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar / 1120 S. Lamar. I've missed the buzz on this vaguely cosmic, near-future sci-fi drama since its premiere at this year's Sundance, but the appearance of a second, supposedly mirror Earth (and considering I've been reading Haruki Murakami's novel "1Q84", where the "real" world splits into two) has got my attention.
* Woods (Brooklyn) @ Mohawk / 912 Red River St, 8p/$12. Woods manhandle the finest E. Coast instance of psych-tinged freak-folk, in my opinion, whilst co-running the awesome indie label Woodsist. w/ White Fence
* Naomi Kazama "New Episode of YES Poster" @ Diginner Gallery Workshop / 1-11-2 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku (Toyoko/Oimachi Lines to Jiyugaoka Station), 6-10p. Kazama learned silkscreening from Shepard Fairey during her travels to San Diego in the mid-'90s. She also joined NY's Barnstormers painters' collective and conveys that creative awesomeness via a live silkscreening workshop on SAT/SUN, 1-6p, around her exhibition of posters and prints.
* Shingo Francis "Veils" @ Galerie Paris / 1F, 14 Nihon Odori, Naka-ku Yokohama-shi (Minatomirai Line to Nihon Odori Station — access from Shibuya Station). This is a bit of a haul out to Yokohama (catch it alongside the Yokohama Triennale 2011, beginning SAT) but totes worth it. Reason: Francis's incredible minimalist painting installations, resonant w/ some deep cosmic energy. I was lucky enough to meet the man during a residency/exhibition in NYC.
* Boris @ Fever / 1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku (Odakyu Inokashira Line to Shindaita or Shimokitazawa Stations), 6:30p/3500 yen. My favorite Japanese stoner rock lords (and lady) dropped THREE massive LPs simultaneously, the searing riff-rocker "Heavy Rocks 2011", Wata's twilit lead "Attention Please" and the pretty awesome Japan-only release "New Album", a happy medium b/w the other two. So of course they need a tour big enough to handle their epic sound, and HOPE it is, kicking off here before they conquer the world this autumn.
* "Rhapsody in August" (dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1991) screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), 11a. I really honestly like this late Kurosawa film, the quiet poeticism of three generations coming to terms with the bombing of Nagasaki, told from the POV of the endearing grandkids and featuring Richard Gere as a kinda believable nisei cousin. ALSO SUN
* "The Dark Crystal" (dirs. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, 1982) screening @ Museum of the Moving Image / 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria (E/M/R to Steinway St), 1p. This one always scared me more than "Labyrinth", despite the inclusion of awesome dog-thing Fizzgig. I think it's due to the elaborate animatronic puppets, which I appreciate now for their genus-blurring beauty but freaked me out as a kid. ALSO SUN
* Cold Cave @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p/$15. Local goth lotharios Cold Cave exist seemingly in the shadows, but they put on a riveting live show, combining frenetic live drumming with sizzling synths and, increasingly, New Wave-powered vox. w/ Cult of Youth
* The Beets + Darlings @ Shea Stadium / 20 Meadow St, E. Williamsburg (L to Grand), 8p/$7. Another Who's Who of awesome local bands, incl personal faves The Beets (Jackson Heights' finest garage-rockers) and Darlings (messily poetic pop jams). w/ Total Slacker and Rifle Recoil
* Yokohama Triennale 2011 @ Yokohama Museum of Art / 3-4-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi (Minatomirai Line to Mimatomrai Station, JR/Tokyu Toyoko or Yokohama Lines to Sakuragicho Station). So technically this is in another city, but it's near enough (and awesome enough) to Tokyo to count. In the 10th anniversary of its founding, and in light of the devastating NE Japan earthquake and tsunami in mid-March, this year's theme is "Our Magic Hour". Some six dozen international artists focus on drawing out the elusive magic that permeates our daily lives and the greater world, ranging from Nobuyoshi Araki, Manabu Ikeda and Hiroshi Sugimoto to James Lee Byars, Ryan Gander and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Visit the triennial's site and Facebook page for bilingual details, and check back on future LISTs for my picks on special events.
+ Peter Coffin "Music for Plants", a music event w/in the artist's work "Untitled (Greenhouse)", which is decked in synths, mixers and amps amid the real foliage, feat. the percussive power of OOIOO! At 5:30p.
* Sushi Typhoon Matsuri @ Ginza Cine-Pathos / 4-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Tokyo Metro Ginza/Marunouchi/Hibiya Lines to Ginza Station), begins at 12:40p/1500 yen. The awesomely comedic, jaw-droppingly action-packed and totally splatterific Sushi Typhoon films have been decimating festival circuits and hypnotizing new lots of fans, but these are films from and of Japanese soil and it is a good thing that they screen at home, in style, in a four-film blockbuster blowout!!! Consider these the Four Directors of the Apocalypse, only better looking and infinitely more entertaining. Let's break it down for this week (thru AUG 12):
- "Deadball" (dir. Yudai Yamaguchi, 2011), screening at 12:40p. The one of four I've not seen yet, but considering its director created the zombie baseball classic "Battlefield Baseball" and its lead is action-icon Tak Sakaguchi, I think we've got something particularly special here.
- "Helldriver" (dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura, 2010), screening at 3p. Like zombies? Like modelesque girls wielding chainsaw-swords slaying zombies? This epic of gory excess, set in a Japan half-conquered by alien gas-infected undead, could only originate in the mind of splatter king Nishimura-san. To cure the populace a la "28 Days Later", our heroine must go after the zombie queen, played by none other than Eihi Shiina. Good luck with that!
- "Alien vs Ninja" (dir. Seiji Chiba, 2010), screening at 5:20p. Or 'how it all began', the Sushi Typhoon world introduction occurred at NYAFF 2010…and I was there, front and center! This early title set the label's tone: a nonstop buffet of gore, eye-watering live action and a comedic twist, via rubber-suited aliens and the whole premise of aliens duking it out w/ ninja in an endless forest.
- "Yakuza Weapon" (dirs. Tak Sakaguchi & Yudai Yamaguchi, 2011), screening at 7:40p. Where to begin: it's adapted from an ultraviolent manga; it also stars action-icon Tak as a cannon-armed antihero insulting thugs in growled Osaka-ese whilst tearing up the screen in four-minute-long tracking shots; and Cay Izumi plays a naked human weapon.
* "Female Composition 12" @ Gallery Cosmos / 3F 3-1-22 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku (JR Yamanote/Namboku Lines or Tokyu Meguro Line to Meguro Station). A pretty wicked group photography show where the twelve women artists hand-treated and printed their respective works. Feat. Karen Nomoto, Natsuko, Mayumi Tanaka, Chisato, Rie Oshima, Miki Ishida, Yuki Imaizumi, Kyoko Shimamura, Mari Hashimoto, Mayumi Hidashida, Kimiko Ishikawa and Chieko Ioku.
* Yoshihiro Kikuchi "Observations of Institutional Spectrum" @ Aisho Miura Arts / B1F 2-17-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR lines etc to Shibuya Station). Pure color intensity and variation, like a Photoshop file enlarged beyond the limits of the universe, producing bands of pixellated hues that somehow work well together.
* Less Than TV presents "Meteo Night" @ O-Nest / 6F 2-3 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku (Yamanote Line etc to Shibuya Station), noon/3500 yen. A gigantic all-day concert of punk, grindcore, noise, "new rock" and more, spread out over two stages and some two dozen bands. Feat. Melt-Banana, Limited Express (has gone?), Cosmic Neurose, DODDODO, Hirakuka Decoder, Beyonds and more.
* Nisennenmondai + envy @ Liquidroom / 3-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku (JR Yamanote Line etc to Ebisu station), 5:30p/3500 yen. Tokyo's fiercest math-rockers take looped riifs, frenzied drums and persuasive bass and volley that into a nonstop, mutating groove train. w/ FRICTION
* Diesel Guitar @ Soup / B1F 3-9-10 Kamiochiai, Shinjuku-ku (JR Sobu to Higashi-Nakano Station, Tokyo Metro Tozai to Ochiai Station), 6:30p/1300 yen. I've been a fan of Youki Noseyama's solo drone scorch project Diesel Guitar since his inclusion on the decimating Japanese/American Noise Treaty double-album. Exceedingly dope! w/ Nerae, Veltz
* Friendly Fires + The Naked and Famous + Cults @ Central Park SummerStage (easiest access is via Eastside, 6 to 68th St, F to 63rd/Lexington), 3p/FREE. NYC, you spoil us. How else to explain a gathering of three very good-looking, extremely talented young acts, London's jittery Friendly Fires (who captured their second wind off debut sweat-inducer "Jump in the Pool" w/ "Hawaiian Air"), New Zealand's glossy charmers The Naked and Famous AND local cuties (and LIST faves) Cults — and make that concert in Central Park and FREE???
* ZZANG!!! presents the RoboCop Triple-Feature Reverse Marathon (dirs. Fred Dekker, 1993; Irvin Kershner, 1990; Paul Verhoven, 1987) @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, Austin, 7p. Indeed! The iconic sci-fi crime classic remembered as it should be, i.e. the oddly tame and weak third installment followed by Part 2's unfettered (and unappreciated!) energy, culminating w/ the awesomeness of the original, one-hundred-percent cyborg muscle w/o that unnecessarily humanistic backstory.
* "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (dir. Troy Nixey, 2010) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 7:30p, w/ co-writer/producer Guillermo Del Toro, actress Bailee Madison & Nixey in attendance! Get on this, NYC. This gateway film into the world of horror-lovers sounds pretty creepy — a little girl tormented by goblins in her house — and got slapped with an "R" rating (for "pervasive terror") by the MPAA. It opens nationwide at the end of the month, but I'll bet you co-writer/producer Del Toro won't be attending those screenings! Get me?
* The Kills + The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Terminal 5 / 610 W 56th St (AC/BD/1 to Columbus Circle), 7p/$35. So if I'm recommending you visit the westside monstrosity known as "Terminal 5" for a concert, you best believe it's gonna be mayjah. Case in point here: guitar noise to eleven, played by some of the best looking musicians around who still maintain their indie cred. A chance to the The Kills in edgy action is totally worth it, but to hear The Pains' beefed up, "Siamese Dream"-era sonics filling this big-ass venue is even better. ALSO TUES (same time, same place, same price)
* "Blue Velvet" (dir. David Lynch, 1986) 25th Anniversary w/ PBR screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 7p. A good Lynch film burrows deep under your skin, requiring a hot shower to wash off the visual/emotive grime. This one, at the apex of his oeuvre thus far (before he went all nightmarish w/ "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Drive"…and like ketamine trip w/ "Inland Empire" — which, mind you, I dug all those), requires multiple hot showers preceded by lots and lots of legendary madman Dennis "Frank Booth" Hopper's booze of choice: PABST BLUE RIBBON! Lock yourself in tight for this bad boy. ALSO TUES
* "Noisy Girls Collection" @ Pepper's Gallery / B1 7-13-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Tokyo Metro Ginza/Marunouchi/Hibiya Lines to Ginza Station). A film festival feat. 10 "noisy" women artists, comprised of Mimiko Nekota (director), creators Ayako Shinohara, Campbell Chikazawa and Emi Tai, talent Reina Akiba and Ririka Miyazaki, singer Satoko Shibata, dancer Asako Kurematsu and installation artist Atsuko Takai. Thru FRI
* "The Visitor" (dir. Michael J. Paradise, 1979) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 10p. Begin w/ a cult Italian director (Guilio Paradisi) w/ a nom de cinema, add antipodean combination of heavenly extraterrestrials vs. demonic forces and infamous cover art (a lightning-emitting eyeball hovering over a cityscape) that never appears in the film (oh, and cast Franco Nero, of "Django" fame, as Jesus Christ) and…what do you have? No, really, tell me, because I don't know.
* "The House Without the Door" @ David Zwirner Gallery / 519-533 W 19th St. An exceedingly intriguing summer group show inspired by Emily Dickinson's poem "Doom is the House without the Door", focused on domesticity and interiority and their themes in art. Feat. stirring works by Mona Hatoum, Robert Gober, Louise Bourgeois, Rachel Whiteread, Isa Genzken, Francis Alÿs and more — plus it's my pick for NY's must-see summer show.
* Craig Taylor @ Sue Scott Gallery / 1 Rivington St. New paintings and drawings in equally lurid and enchanting color and composition, revealing his inspirations from Carroll Dunham to Henri Matisse. (ENDS FRI)
* "My Theatre" @ Span Art Gallery / 2-2-18 1F Ginza, Chuo-ku. (Yurakucho Line to Ginza-Itchome Station). Deeply personal, disquieting and celebratory works in this group show, feat. Yuko Fukase, Akiko Idichi, Misaki Kihara, Satomi Kuwahara, Hiroshi Osaka, Minae Takada and Mitsuya Watanabe.
* "Feel the Rhythm, Color Me Bright, Everyday is a Carnival" @ Yuka Contemporary / 1-30-9 Sekiguchi, Bunkyoku (Toden-Arakawa/Tozai Lines to Waseda Station, Yurakucho Line to Edogawabashi Station). For lovers of colors, a bonkers collection of ocular excitement, courtesy Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Maiko Kasai, Nobuyuki Okano, Takafumi Yagi and Yu Yasuda. (ENDS SAT)
* Laurel Nakadate "Only the Lonely" @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/M to 23rd/Court, 7 to Courthouse Sq). The fact I can't come up with an easy explanation of my feelings when walking through Nakadate's first comprehensive museum exhibition speaks to the power of what's on display. And what's on display, to put it bluntly, is the artist herself. Here goes: many of Nakadate's video works and photography features her play-acting for the camera w/ older, single, anonymous men. They may be acting out exorcisms in the guy's house — like "Little Exorcisms" (2009) — or having mock-birthday parties, "Happy Birthday" (2000), the earliest here, three videos of the guy serenading Nakadate in front of a candlelit cake. They could be reenacting the heroine's cinematic death, like in "Beg For Your Life" (2006) or kinda dancing w/ her to Britney Spears in "Oops!" (2000). Or they could be like the wild-haired artist, sketching her for "Lessons 1-10" (2002) while Nakadate poses in her panties or less, staring at us while we and the guy stare at her. These videos and related photography bear the triple assault of deep unease, gnawing loneliness and tentative comfort — most evident as her comforting them, stepping into these socially-awkward men's lives for an hour or whatever, however long it takes to film the project, though I don't suspect it to be entirely one-sided. The strong sense of voyeurism (the men's lustful or innocent demeanor around her, Nakadate's magnetic presence in the frame) is tempered by Nakadate controlling the camera. Like "Good Morning, Sunshine" (2009), where she's the off-camera voice in young women's bedrooms, coaxing them to strip to their underwear. And her self-portraits, like the new series "365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears", an overwhelming array of C-prints capturing her crying all throughout 2010, in the U.S.-Canada sojourn via Amtrak "Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind" (2006), where she throws her underwear out the moving train's window, and in "Love Hotel" (2005), a video of her coupling w/ an invisible, absent lover in Tokyo's love hotel sprawl. And, furthermore, in her project videos. She is undeniably courageous to enter a stranger's flat, but the ensuing invigoration and mutual respect and emotions may be to everyone's benefit, hers and the guys. I'm not trying to understand the thoughts going through these guys heads, having an attractive young woman artist creating a project with them, or if they ever see the final results of her respective work. Nakadate, however, is trying to understand, sharing a little face-time and a little human interaction. Both Nakadate's full-length films "Stay the Same Never Change" (2009, w/ its Sundance premiere) and "The Wolf Knife" (2010, which I hadn't seen until now) are included in the exhibition.
+ "Modern Women: Single Channel". Nakadate's videos exploring her own body and postfeminist gender dynamics segues into this goldmine from MoMA's film collection (they picked up "Oops!" and "Stay the Same Never Change"), 16 single-channel videos from 11 international women artists. It's an all-star cast, and though it's set firmly in the '60s & '70s (only two break from this, the younger artists Pipilotti Rist and Kristin Lucas), it is commendable (expected, really) that MoMA retains classics from this generation of feminist visual artists. We're particularly lucky w/ VALIE EXPORT, as there are three on view (not the famous '68 performance "Aktionshose:Genitalpanik"), the synth-driven, split-screen "Space Seeing - Space Hearing" (1973-4), the minute-long, guerilla-style "Touch Cinema" (1968) and the grueling "Hyperbulie" (1973), which finds a nude EXPORT navigating a cage of wires hooked to a huge battery and abuzz w/ singeing electricity. Her labored, tortured breathing is the only soundtrack. I'd never seen Steina Vasulka's experimental "Violin Power" (1970-8), a melange of wavy test-patterns, double-exposures and other interventions to the filming, which is of a processed-electric violin solo. Two Carolee Schneemann classics, and the earliest of the group, "Fuses" (1964-6) and the notorious "Meat Joy" (1964), performed by her bathing-suit-clad Kinetic Theatre group w/ lots of raw animal flesh. Dara Birnbaum's "Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman" (1978-9) is a treat, a riveting video-collage of Diana Prince repeated transforming into the titular hero, amid constant explosions and "I Am Wonder" performed by the Wonderland Disco Band. Her other iconic piece here, "Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry" (1979) has a funk soundtrack too, as she dissects the 'looks' of Eileen Brennen and Melissa Gilbert, amid others, on Hollywood Squares. Spend some time w/ this exhibition. (ENDS MON)