* "Possession" (dir. Andrzej Żuławski, 1981) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 7p. Rejoice, for this deeply disturbing (and blood-drenched) divorce drama, which won lead Isabelle Adjani the Palme d'Or, sees the light of day once again! The disintegration of a marriage is at the heart of this psychological horror film, which somehow balances political undertones, splatter SFX, and superb cinematography in one unclassifiable, unforgettable cinematic package. LIST-recommended!
* Electric Eel Shock @ 20000 Den-atsu / B1 1-7-23 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Higashi-Koenji Station, Exit 2), 6:30p/2300 yen. Punk is bunk, in a tongue and cheek way, to these rip-roaring metalheads. If Motörhead were Japanese and Lemmy a mop-topped guitarist, they might look and sound a bit like Electric Eel Shock. w/ Mangadoron
* "Eraserhead" (dir. David Lynch, 1977) midnight screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). The sodden industrial landscape, the contrasty shadows and flagellate-like figures, the hiss of a radiator (and the woman living inside it). Very little compares to cult surrealist film like Lynch's nonpareil debut. ALSO SAT
* Little Dragon (Sweden) + Frankie Rose @ Prospect Park Bandshell / Prospect Park West & 9th St (F/G to 7th Ave), 7:30p/FREE. Celebrate Brooklyn continues with local indie mainstay Frankie Rose, mesmerizing the crowd w/ her '60's-channeling gossamer charms. Then the stage opens up for songbird Yukimi Nagano and synth-pop absolutes Little Dragon, cuing an otherworldly dance party. Show up early, kids. w/ Voices of Black
* "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" (dir. Alison Klayman, 2011) @ Violet Crown Cinema / 434 W 2nd St. The auspicious timing behind this documentary on one of contemporary art's finest activists is just too great: Klayman met Ai back in '08 and created a short film for his photography exhibition…then came Ai's beating by Chinese police and eventual detention, which captivated and alarmed the global community. A gripping portrait of a relentless figure, never stifled by threats nor repression.
* "Carrie" (dir. Brian De Palma, 1976) midnight screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St. I am beyond stoked about the remake adaptation to Stephen King's debut published novel…which is extremely rare for me and probably has a lot to do w/ Chloe Grace Moretz as the titular figure. But decades before her came awkward Sissy Spacek, in a heart-wrenching role as the glasslike, abused high-school girl with ferocious telekinetic powers. "Carrie" has lost little to none of its original bracing cinematic power. See it on the big screen! ALSO SAT
* PLASTIC GIRL IN CLOSET @ Koenji High / 4-30-1 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Chuo Line to Koenji Station), 7p/2500 yen. My favorite Iwate-area dream-popstars PGIC are just bursting with twee joy, tempered by waves and waves of snarling guitar feedback — these kids are LOUD live! They're joined by 7eyes40days, who celebrate their "Blind City/Closed Mind" EP release!
* Warm Up 2012: Photek (UK) @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave), noon/$15. Rupert Parkes' seminal '97 LP "Modus Operandi" changed my appreciation for d'n'b—as Photek, his razor-sharp drum edits and spare, sinister soundscapes added a whole new zenith of (not totally) dancefloor-friendly drama. In his later years and increasingly progressive sound…I've fallen off. But I hear he's working on a 2K12 take on "MO", and he's still undeniably among the best beatmasters around. w/ Morgan Geist and Shlohmo (LA) (FREE for members)
* Aesop Rock (San Fran) + Rob Sonic (NYC) @ Mohawk / 912 Red River, 8p/$20. Ace-rizzle is among my favorite lyricists, and though he moved to Cali he still lives, breathes, and speaks NYC. He answered commercial success from the "Daylight" EP with the impenetrable, thematic "Bazooka Tooth", and now the recent, superlative "Skelethon". Rob Sonic's got the rhyme chops to hold his own with Aesop's sinuous prose. Going to be a hot night for 'heads everywhere.
* Juicy J (Memphis) @ Beauty Ballroom / 2015 E Riverside Dr, 9p/$25. So much hip-hop in the city tonight! If cerebrum-shattering soliloquies isn't your jam, Three-6 Mafia frontman Juicy J is the thing. He's still among the crunkest out there. w/ Chevy Woods and Smoke DZA
* "Sleep Tight" (dir. Jaume Balaguero, 2011) @ Theatre N Shibuya / 2F 24-2 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, West Exit). A lowly, brawny concierge of a hoity-toity condo takes a severely demented liking in a sunny-dispositioned, young resident. As in, hiding under her bed, drugging her all clandestine-like, and just wait 'til her boyfriend returns…or a neighbor finds out! One of the creepier entries at 2011's Fantastic Fest.
* Janice Lee & Anna Joy Springer @ Tiny Park / 1101 Navasota St, 6p. The "Daughter & VRRL" book tour—featuring writer/curator Lee's "Daughter" and Springer's memoir "The Vicious Red Relic, Love"—touches down in ATX. The writers read queer literature, weird science, and other assuredly mind-expanding texts.
* 住所不定無職 @ Shinjuku LOFT / 1-12-0 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku (JR etc to Shinjuku Station, Kabukicho Exit), 5p/3000 yen. Killer tune explosions! The candy color-coded cuties behind 住所不定無職 (lit. "no job nor fixed address") rock the house with their potent combo of vintage sway and garage rasp. w/ THE NEATBEATS
* "Drive" (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 8p. Call me the biggest holdout to "Drive" mania—possibly b/c I don't get the fervor for Ryan Gosling. But whatever, I saw it, and I really dug it. Take raw '80s glam and neon-lit LA with a kickass soundtrack and a decent Gosling role, as a former getaway driver trying to make good, and you've got a pretty solid picture
* "Alligator" (dir. Lewis Teague, 1980) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10p. Imagine you're a kid in industrial-town Texas, and you see a creature-feature starring a huge-ass (animatronic, but whatever, you're young!), human-devouring alligator in the sewers. You now believe all NYC sewers contain such reptiles! Yes, I realize this schlock-tastic film is set in Chicago, but as a kid all big cities look the same. Anyway, it was scary enough that I haven't seen it since.
* "The Nature of Disappearance", curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart @ Marianne Boesky Gallery / 509 W 24th St. The gallery produced a stunning advert for this group exhibition, an image of participating artist Mathias Kessler's wonderful aquarium diorama "Nowhere to Be Found", feat. a human skull slowly consumed by a flourishing coral ecosystem. In a subtle gesture, he reclaimed the ubiquitous art-world symbol—the skull—from post-Warholian emo-trendiness and Damien Hirst glitz. That alone receives my highest praise to see this unmissable exhibition. But beyond this, all the artists here are interested in the material integrity of their works and the possibilities of total loss from their respective experimentation and transgressive practices. Feat. Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Robert Smithson, Bas Jan Ader, Dieter Roth, Gustav Metzger, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, and Kessler.
* "Painting is History" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. O RLY? I ask myself at this cheeky titling. Edward Winkleman himself, along w/ Jay Grimm, curated this intriguing group show, feat. six artists who use traditional painterly techniques in representing historical events. Don't expect to be bored, though, considering Charles Browning's raw imagery and Valerie Hegarty's cheeky alterations.
* "Size Matters" @ DODGEgallery / 15 Rivington St. Artists comfortable w/ shifting scales within their respective practices. Some of this sounds tongue-in-cheek, like Rebecca Chamberlain presenting simultaneously her largest work (a 5ft-tall diptych) and smallest (a 12-inch double-sided plinth), but her adaptability within architecture and that of her peers Ted Gahl, Cassie Ralhl, Matt Rich, and Michael Zelehoski, sounds dope to me. (ENDS FRI)
* "Manscape: Male as Subject and Object", curated by Christopher Eamon @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces. There is a disclaimer on the gallery door noting that this group show "may not be suitable to all viewers". Sounds like my kind of show! But seriously, Eamon pulls off a thoughtful dissection of traditional male imagery and hierarchy in art via three young and compelling female artists (Mariah Robertson, Michele Abeles, and Adina Popescu) and tempered by a less-known male some 25 years their senior (John Massey). Photography is the focal point here: Robertson's two-pronged visual assertion of lone phalluses infringing onto optical illusion backdrops and Abeles' stealthy still-lifes (in one, she makes a compelling critical portrait of blue-drenched objectifier Yves Klein). Popescu gives her male subject a face (in her video "Jeremiah", screened earlier this year in "Blind Cut" at Marlborough Chelsea in NYC), but his voice is really her own words, a dialogue on consumption. Massey is not simply counterbalance here as the sole male artist and older figure. I wonder what the exhibition would be like without him. His contribution, a sensitive gaze into his own head and thoughts via his "Studio Projections" photographs (involving a maquette of Massey's studio and projections of images rephotographed from newspapers in the '70s), gives a vulnerability to this male artist via the admitted failures of depicted male-headed modernist activities. Back to the women: are they striving for the same sort of utopian goals in their respective truncations and takedowns of male imagery? I think when you take these works into the greater contexts of their respective oeuvres—like Robertson's darkroom experimentation and Abeles' continually groundbreaking compositional techniques—then the answer is not so clear. At the very least, I do not see these artists' progresses "destined for failure" like Massey's mining of decades' old modernism.
* Hiroko Okada "No Dress Code" @ Mizuma Art Gallery / 2F 3-13 Ichigayatamachi, Shinjuku-ku (Yurakucho/Nanboku Lines to Ichigaya Station). Okada reinterprets the "human-painting relationship" via photorealistic renderings of…underwear! Expect a multimedia installation related to her continued pointed takedowns of hypercommodified society. (ENDS SAT)
* Michiko Sago + Shoko Matsumiya "Harmony" @ MA2 Gallery / 3-3-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku (Yamanote Line to Ebisu Station). The gallery creates a dialogue b/w two young artisans: Matsumiya's brilliant, organic glassworks and Sago's contemporary ceramic forms. (ENDS SUN)