Craveable - The Culture Craver Blog

Friday 18th of April 2014

It's another exciting week of culture in NYC. Here are our top picks of new culture around town. Be sure to CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. Rate events once you've been with a STAR, MEH, or BOMB. 

FRIDAY, APRIL 18

Craving art? Check out a new exhibition of work by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, According to What?, at the Brooklyn Museum or View of Dawn in the Tropics, paintings and sculptures by Julian Schnabel, at Gagosian Gallery on W. 24th Street.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Bears — a year documenting two mother bears raising their cubs; Fading Gigolo, about a bookstore employee (with a boss played by Woody Allen) who is driven to prostitution by the faltering economy; Make Your Move, about warring Brooklyn dance clubs; or Transcendence a cautionary story about a computer takeover of planet earth with Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

Fifty years have passed since Andy Warhol sparked a scandal at the 1964 World’s Fair by creating a montage of large mug shots of the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962. See the works at the Queens Museum in Andy Warhol's 13 Most Wanted Men and the 1964 World's Fair starting Sunday.

Saturday 12th of April 2014

If you’re craving culture in NYC, this is a great week for you. From Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway to Ai Weiwei at the Brooklyn Museum, there are some great new options. CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE it once you’ve been.

Friday, April 11

The Paley Center presents a star-studded sneak peek at FX's highly anticipated original TV adaptation of the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning film, Fargo, Friday in Fargo. TV. Yah?

Craving dance? See Stephen Petronio Company at the Joyce through Sunday evening or Trisha Brown Dance Company at New York Live Arts through Sunday.

If you’re craving photography, head to the Park Avenue Armory for the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) show. More than 75 leading photography galleries are represented; photos will be from 19th century through today.

Friday through Sunday, see what DJ Spooky created during a two-month residency at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Seoul Counterpoint & Heavenly Code is an audio/visual anthropology, which includes traditional Korean elements and computer-generated visuals. It’s at La MaMa. 

Saturday, April 12

Learn about home brewing at the Pride of Brewing Homebrew Festival at Littlefield in Brooklyn.

Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame, is Cripple Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway starting Saturday.

Sunday, April 13

Sunday or Monday, head to the Guggenheim to see the world premiere of NYC Ballet dancers performing excerpts of choreographer Justin Peck’s newest work with a score by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.

See one of this week’s new movies. Options include Dancing in Jaffa about a renowned ballroom speaker who returns to Jaffa to teach ballroom dancing to Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children; Draft Day — a football movie with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner; and Hateship Loveship, about a teenager who orchestrates a romance between her nanny (Kristen Wiig) and her father.  

Friday 4th of April 2014

It's a great week in NYC for culture cravers. Optins range from a new Museum of Natural History exhibit on flying dinosaurs to a look back at Frederick Douglass's seminal Pictures and Progress Lecture with Sarah Lewis, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jose Rivera. CRAVE the events that excite you to keept track and spread word of mouth. RATE them once you've seen them. 

FRIDAY, APRIL 4

Kids 4+ (and their grown ups) should head to the New Victory starting today to see Bello Mania — an athletic, inventive clown, who delivers wacky antics and daredevil tricks.

SATURDAY, APRIL 5

Millions of years ago, the skies were ruled by pterosaurs, the first animals with backbones to fly under their own power. In the new exhibition Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History, see rare fossils and life-size models that bring these ancient animals to life.

The Tribeca Film Festival starts on April 16. Get a sneak peek on Saturday at 3 PM at the Apple Store in SoHo, when six TFF directors chat about their films and debut clips and trailers.

Rodgers and Hammerstein teamed up to make a long list of musical hits. Guest artistic director, writer, and host Ted Chapin joins vocalists to share an insider's perspective on the pair, gleaned from his years with the duo’s families at the 92nd Street Y.

See the young, inventive PigPen Theatre Co.’s mix of folk storytelling, puppetry, clever staging, and live music at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night.

Miley Cyrus is performing at the Barclays Center on Saturday night!

SUNDAY, APRIL 6

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (a documentary about nature’s great explorers narrated by Morgan Freeman), and Alan Partridge with Steve Coogan.

Friday 28th of March 2014

It's a great week in New York City for culture cravers. There are new shows (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), new dance (Ailey II), and talks galore (we're craving the one about gossip!) Remember to CRAVE the events that excite you and RATE them once you've seen them to share your point of view. 

Friday, March 28

Starting Friday night, see The Maiden at La Mama. It’s Nerve Tank’s modern take on the myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, set in a trailer park nightclub.

Also starting Friday is The Heir Apparent — a comedy about family inheritance — at Classic Stage. The famed John Rando directs.

Saturday, March 29

Neil Patrick Harris comes to Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch — a revival of a musical comedy-drama about a fictional rock band fronted by a German transgendered singer.

Renowned for his genre-defying collaborations, classical tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain delivers brilliant percussion performances that have established him not as one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians. See him perform with many other “masters of percussion” at the Theater at Madison Square Garden this Saturday.

Sunday, March 30

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Noah (about the flood, starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson), Cesar Chavez (about the legendary activist), and Sabotage (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new flick).

Friday 21st of March 2014

There are tons of great options for culture cravers in the week ahead — from Cabaret with Alan Cumming to the National Theatre of China's Richard III. CRAVE the events that excite you to keep track and create buzz. Rate them — with a STAR, MEH, or BOMB — once you've been to share your point of view. 

Friday, March 21

Alan Cumming is reprising his Tony Award-winning performance in Cabaret at Studio 54 starting Friday. 

Saturday, March 22

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Rob the Mob with the brilliant Nina Arianda, Muppets Most Wanted, or the YA flick, Divergent.

Sunday, March 23

See the Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet at Lincoln Center Sunday.

Saturday 15th of March 2014

Craving culture? There are tons of great options in NYC this week — from enormous sculptures at PS1 to of Mice and Men (with James Franco and Leighton Meester) on Broadway. CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE it with a STAR, MEH, or BOMB once you've been.

Friday, March 14

Do you love The New York Times’ street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham as much as we do? Head to the New York Historical Society starting Friday for Bill Cunningham: The Facades Project, an exhibition of his work from the 1960s and 1970s.

Starting Friday, see La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) at the Metropolitan Opera. It’s a love story from the 19th Century with a sleepwalking aria for the heroine.

In The Junket, struggling writer Mike Albo gets a plum freelance gig at a major newspaper. The show (at Culture Project) is a funny, slightly painful account of New York's backbiting media scene.

Saturday, March 15

Starting Saturday, see Robert Heinecken: Object Matter at MoMA. It’s the first retrospective of the groundbreaking work of the LA artist since his death in 2006. The exhibition includes more than 150 works, including the largest display to date of his altered magazines.

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace) brings her drama, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) — about war, freedom, and love — to the Public Theater. It runs for a week, starting on Saturday.

An appearance by Yo-Yo Ma on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood inspired Esperanza Spalding to become a musician. Saturday night, see the genre-bending Grammy winner perform at the 92nd Street Y.

Saturday at BAMcafé, see Divinity Roxx perform new material and songs from her 2012 album, The Roxx Boxx Experience. She’s toured the world as Beyonce’s bassist, served as a prof at Funk University, and performed alongside Kanye West and Jay Z.

Craving burlesque? Burlesque-a-Pades is the nation's top touring burlesque revue conceived by The World Famous Pontani Sisters. It’s playing at the Cutting Room on Saturday.

Heathers: The Musical. Need we say more? We hope "Big Fun" has its own dance number at this production at New World Stages.

Sunday, March 16

Craving something that is poetic yet grotesque? Head to MoMA PS1 starting Sunday to see Gavin Kenyon: Reliquary Void. It includes bulbous, asymmetric, and enormous sculptures.

The best-reviewed movie of this weekend is called Le Week-end. It’s a bittersweet drama about a British couple revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship, starring Jeff Goldblum, Jim Broadbent, and Lindsay Duncan.

Other great movie options this weekend are The Art of the Steal (not to be confused with the excellent documentary about the Barnes Foundation by the same name). It stars some of your favorite 1980s stars (Kurt Russell and Matt Dillon) in a new art heist flick.

Veronica Mars, adapted from the cult TV show and funded by you on Kickstarter, has the Internet to thank for being created. It hits cinemas this weekend.

Friday 7th of March 2014

This is an amazing week of art fairs, new Broadway shows, and other excitement in the NYC culture sphere. CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE it once you've seen it with a STAR, BOMB, or MEH.  

Friday, March 7

Craving art? This is the weekend of art fairs in NYC. Some highlights include the Armory Show on the Hudson River Piers, ADAA at the Park Avenue Armory, Volta in Nolita, Scope in Chelsea, Spring/Break in Nolita, The Independent in Chelsea, (Un)Fair in Hell’s Kitchen, and the Brucennial in the East Village.

There’s an embarrassment of riches in the NYC art world this weekend. The Whitney Biennial kicks off on Friday! It runs through May 25.

The Brooklyn Museum is remembering the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, an exhibition on paintings, sculptures, graphics, and photography from a decade of social and cultural upheaval.

You learned about twerking at the 2013 VMAs from Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. Now you can see the twerker in chief, Robin Thicke, at Madison Square Garden.

Craving classic rock? The Allman Brothers Band is taking up residence at the Beacon for two full weeks.

Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee James Franco and BAFTA Scotland winner Chris O'Dowd make their Broadway debuts in John Steinbeck...READ MORE's landmark American play, Of Mice and Men this spring (the show starts previews March 19). See them talk about the show and their careers at the TimesCenter Friday evening.

Saturday, March 8

Denzel Washington stars in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, Raisin in the Sun, on Broadway starting Saturday night.

Paul Gauguin is known for his modernist painting. Starting Saturday, head to MoMA to see his rarer (but apparently amazing) prints and transfer drawings in Gauguin: Metamorphoses.

Sunday, March 9

See Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, this weekend. It tells the story of Gustave H., a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Friday 21st of February 2014

If you're craving culture, this is a promising week in NYC — from an ideas fest featuring star actor Bryan Cranston and the historical figures of the Freedom Summer movement to a kid-friendly Measure for Measure. Remember to CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE events once you've seen them.   

Friday, Feb. 21

See the first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism in the United States — Reconstructing the Universe — at the Guggenheim Museum starting Friday. It includes more than 300 works created between 1909 and 1944.

If you haven’t seen Ibsen’s classic recently, you can see the Young Vic’s production of The Dollhouse at BAM starting Friday.

Saturday, Feb. 22

Craving opera on an intimate scale? See Rossini’s 1812 comic opera about the accidental switch of two suitcases, Opportunity Makes the Thief, at 59E59 starting Saturday.

See banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone at SubCulture on Saturday.

Sunday, Feb. 23

Meet historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, award-winning actor Bryan Cranston, and leaders of the Freedom Summer movement at America at the Turning Point: Conversations on All the Way, a Sunday afternoon/evening ideas festival related to the new Broadway play.

Have you been hooked to Olympics? Head to Grand Central 1 – 4 PM on Sunday for the Road to Sochi Tour, where you can try out your Olympic skills and meet some athletes.

See Network screened at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on Sunday and then hear from the New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff and Keith Olbermann about the surprising and dramatic story of how Network made it to the screen in Mad as Hell: The Making of Network.

Craving danger pop? See The Kin Fish Ticket, Oh Honey at Bowery Ballroom on Sunday evening.

Friday 7th of February 2014

This is an amazing week for NYC's culture cravers. Here are our top picks for the week ahead — ranging from All The Way on Broadway with Bryan Cranston to Billy Budd at BAM to the NYC Ballet's Coppelia to the art of Tibet and India at the Met. CRAVE the events that excite you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE them once you've been. 

Friday, Feb. 7

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, see the newest musical about the (opposite of) love, Til Divorce Do Us Part. It starts previews Friday night at DR2. 

Craving style? Starting Friday, see Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s at the FIT Museum.

Pets dressed to the theme “Crown Jewels Of Fashion” will face the judges at the New York Pet Fashion Show Friday at 6 PM at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Starting Friday, see Playwright Horizon’s newest show, Stage Kiss, by Sarah Ruhl. It’s billed as a charming romantic tale about when lovers share a stage kiss — or when actors share a real one.

Celebrate the Benjamin Britten centennial celebration at BAM with the Glyndebourne Festival’s production of Billy Budd starting Friday.

If you’re craving jazz, head to Lincoln Center’s Allen Room Friday or Saturday to hear Joshua Redman — who has been making waves in the jazz world for more than 20 years.

If you want to see art by the newest artists in Brooklyn, head to the 2014 Upstart Festival at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. It’s this Friday and Saturday and features artists with no more than three years of experience showing in NYC. 

Friday 20th of December 2013

This week, if you’re not traveling to far-flung locales or hitting up the holiday shops at Union Square, Grand Central, Bryant Park, or Columbus Circle for last minute gifts, it’s a great time for holiday culture. Here are the top openings and events you should consider:

Anytime this week, see A Christmas Story: The Musical at Madison Square Garden. It was nominated for TONY awards when it came out last year, and this year the reviews are glowing.

You could also check out the Nutcracker — performed by The New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center or the American Ballet Theatre at BAM. For little children, there is the Manhattan Youth Ballet: The Knickerbocker Suite at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.

Craving trains? Head to the New York Botanical Garden for the Holiday Train Show where classic model trains travel by miniature replicas of New York City landmarks.

Bring kids to see the Russian Christmas musical, The Snow Maiden, at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 4 PM. It includes traditional Russian songs, dances, and costumes.

Thursday 12th of December 2013

The week ahead is full of circus, hobbits, magic flutes, and more. Crave the culture that excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. Rate events once you've seen them. And enjoy!

FRIDAY, DEC. 13

Craving the holidays? See the Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker at NYU’s Skirball Center. It runs from Friday through Sunday.

See Portraits of New York Chinatown starting Friday at the Museum of Chinese in America. The project started as an oral history of communities in Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo.

SATURDAY, DEC. 14

Craving Christmas carols? Head to St. John the Divine 7 – 9 PM on Saturday for the annual Cathedral Christmas Concert. Ottorino Respighi’s Land to the Nativity is the centerpiece of the concert.  

Have you ever wanted to be serenaded by union members? On Saturday evening, you can hear the New York City Labor Chorus — with 75 members representing more than 20 unions — perform at the Peoples’ Voice Café at the Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist.

See The Nutcracker Circus Suite performed with circus, theater, and modern interaction performed by Vertical Aerial Arts. It’s at Galapagos Art Space through Dec. 21.

Learn about samurai training methods — and see onstage demonstrations — at Japanese Martial Arts at the Japan Society at 6:30 PM.

SUNDAY, DEC. 15

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include American Hustle (with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams), The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and Saving Mr. Banks (about Walt Disney trying to get the rights to Mary Poppins).

Friday 6th of December 2013

NYC is bursting this week with art, theater, dance, opera, music, and talks. Here are our top picks for new events in the week ahead. Be sure to crave what excites you to keep track and spread buzz — and rate it once you've seen it!

Friday, Dec. 6

Starting Friday, see Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s at the Whitney. It includes celebrity photos taken during Steichen’s tenure as chief photographer for Condé Nast, as well as shots for ad campaigns and nature shots.

Starting Friday see Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff, at the Metropolitan Opera.

Saturday, Dec. 7

Girls (still) just want to have fun! Cyndi Lauper is back — at the Beacon — and performing songs from her new album, “She’s So Unusual.”

Starting Saturday, See Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter & the Wolf at the Guggenheim. The designer narrates while the Julliard Ensemble plays.

This weekend, see Dances by Very Young Choreographers (aged 8 – 18) at New York Live Arts.

Sunday, Dec. 8

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Out of the Furnace with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Zoe Saldana; Inside Llewyn Davis about a young ‘60s folk singer in Greenwich Village; or Paradise: Hope, the story of an overweight 13 year old and her first love.

On Sunday afternoon, Paul Giamatti will lead a cast of actors including Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey and Mara Wilson of Matilda the movie in A Splendiferous Afternoon of Roald Dahl at Symphony Space.

On Sunday evening, see the amazing Cristin Milioti — who played “Girl” in Once and just joined the cast of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother perform at Joe’s Pub.

Friday 15th of November 2013

There is so much to do and see in NYC this week — from the start of the Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Garden to Kanye West at Barclays Center and MSG to Jewels by JAR at the Met. CRAVE what excites you to spread word of mouth and RATE it once you've seen it to share your point of view. 

FRIDAY, NOV. 15

See The (Curious Case of The) Watson Intelligence starting Friday night at Playwrights Horizons. It’s about a time jumping Watson (Sherlock Holmes’ companion, the engineer who built Bell’s first telephone, a supercomputer, and a modern-day techno dweeb).

Thursday 7th of November 2013

There's so much to do and see in NYC this week! Remember to CRAVE the events that excite you to keep track and spread word of mouth. RATE them once you've seen them with a STAR, MEH, or BOMB.

FRIDAY, NOV. 8

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath starts Friday at the Brooklyn Museum. It includes more than 400 images, albums, and camera equipment from conflicts over the past 165 years.

Craving abstract expressionism? Willem de Kooning opens at the Gagosian Gallery on Friday. It runs through December 21.

Craving Yayoi Kusama? See 30 new paintings by the Japanese artist at the three David Zwirner galleries on W. 19th Street. There is an opening from 6 – 8 PM.

Celebrate the career of one of the most influential living comic artists at Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective. It’s at the Jewish Museum starting Friday and running through March 24.

SATURDAY, NOV. 9

The Queens Museum is reopening after a two-year, $69 million renovation and expansion (here’s the New York Times story about the reopening). Visit to see the new space and the newly opened exhibitions — including Peter Schumann: The Shatterer and New York City Building Time Lapse, 2009 - 2013: Photographs by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao.

SUNDAY, NOV. 10

See one of the weekend’s new movies.Options include: Thor: The Dark WorldThe Armstrong LieAss BackwardsBest Man Down, and A Case of You

Friday 1st of November 2013

There is so much craveable culture in NYC this week — from an Italian puppet show of Sleeping Beauty to Kaws at Mary Boone Gallery to Kate Weare at BAM. Get out and enjoy! Remember to CRAVE what looks good to keep track and spread your excitement. RATE events once you've seen them with a STAR, MEH, or BOMB to share your point of view and help your friends make better decisions.  

FRIDAY, NOV. 1

Stay in the Halloween Spirit with a talk Friday night On Vampires at BAM with Joan Acocella.

If you have a child (7+) see Sleeping Beauty at the New Victory starting Nov. 1 and running through Nov. 10. It is the creation of the Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company.

SATURDAY, NOV. 2

Craving tap mixed with jazz, hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul, rock, and funk? Dancer Savion Glover is performing at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday at 8 PM.

See They Might Be Giants at Terminal 5 on Saturday evening.

Craving enormous sculpture? Starting Saturday, see a new Kaws exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea.

SUNDAY, NOV. 3

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Ender’s Game, Last Vegas, and About Time.

Friday 25th of October 2013

There is so much culture in NYC this week — from Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim to ABT at Lincoln Center to the Halloween Parade in the Village. What are you craving? Remember to CRAVE the events that excite you to create buzz and keep track. Rate them once you've seen them with a STAR (loved it), MEH (neutral), or BOMB (not for me). 

FRIDAY, OCT 25

The post-conceptual art of Christopher Wool goes on display at the Guggenheim starting Friday. The retrospective of paintings, photographs, and works on paper is scheduled to run through Jan. 22, 2014.

Craving fashion? Starting Friday and through February 23, see The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Brooklyn Museum.

Ethan Hawke is Macbeth starting Friday evening in a new production directed by Jack O'Brien at Lincoln Center.

If you’re craving clowns, aerialists, jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, and more, it’s your lucky day! The Big Apple Circus is coming to town. It is scheduled to run at Lincoln Center through Jan. 12, 2014.

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 26

Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot are running in rep on Broadway! Waiting for Godot begins on Saturday and No Man’s Land begins on Thursday, Oct. 31. The plays star Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley.

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 27

Starting Sunday, see Brooklyn’s newest public art, Just Two of Us at MetroTech Center. Katharina Grosse’s installation will look like brightly colored meteor debris through September 2014.

Thursday 17th of October 2013

There is so much amazing culture on the horizon in NYC. Remember to CRAVE the events that excite you — to spread buzz and keep track. RATE them once you've seen them. 

FRIDAY, OCT. 18

Starting Friday, see The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters at Playwrights Horizons. It’s a new play by Marlane Meyer and directed by Lisa Peterson.

Janelle Monáe is one of the best new R&B artists on the scene in a long time, and her debut album, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, was soulful, but with a distinctly futuristic bent. Check her out at the Apollo on Friday.

SATURDAY, OCT. 19

Looking for some kid-friendly seasonal fun? Head to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City from 11 AM – 3 PM on Saturday for the Halloween Harvest Festival.

Craving art, in its natural environment? Head to Gowanus for the annual Gowanus Open Studios, where the artists working in former factories, warehouses, and studio buildings invite the public to visit their studios, see their work, and chat.

Are you excited about icons (or are you one)? Saturday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be the first-ever art museum to run at TEDx conference on the theme of “icons.” Speakers will include artists, choreographers, historians, scientists, and curators. It’s $100 for a ticket, or you can watch the livestream.

If you’re a foodie, there’s a perfect series of talks for you on Saturday at the New York Times Center. Hear from Mario Batali and Michael Symon at 11, Emeril Lagasse at 1, David Bouley at 3, and Alex Atala and David Chang at 5. The Times restaurant critics are talking at 7, but that’s already sold out at the time of posting.

Craving Shakespeare? Twelfth Night and Richard III are playing in rep on Broadway this season with a starry (all male) British cast. Richard III starts Saturday night.

SUNDAY, OCT. 20

If you’re in the mood for a scare, head to the remake of Carrie, which comes to cinemas this weekend. Another great option this weekend is 12 Years a Slave, which is getting great reviews.

MONDAY, OCT. 21

Fiona Apple is performing songs from her new album, The Idler Wheel, at the Beacon Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday is already sold out, so if you’re craving Fiona, get your tickets ASAP.

Friday 11th of October 2013

 

New York City is bursting with amazing cultural events this week — from the Art in Odd Places Festival on 14th Street to the Mike Kelley retrospective at PS 1 and MoMA to Twelfth Night on Broadway. CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. Rate events once you've seen them with a STAR (loved it), MEH (neutral), or BOMB (not for me). Happy craving!

Friday, Oct. 11

Friday is the kickoff of this year’s Art in Odd Places Festival. At 6 PM, head to Pedro Albizu Campos Plaza in the East Village to see a selection of the festival projects. The festival runs through Oct. 20, with events along 14h Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River. The full schedule is on the AIOP website.

Craving opera? Starting Friday and through Oct. 31, see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Metropolitan Opera.

Revisit the path breaking 1913 Armory Show on its 100th anniversary. Starting Friday, the New York Historical Society will revisit the show from an art historical point of view — and shed new light on how New Yorkers responded. The Armory Show at 100: The New Art Spirit will run through Feb. 23, 2-14.

Tonight or Saturday, see La Poeme at New York Live Arts — a multidisciplinary dance performance focused on the female body.

Craving jazz with some serious attitude? Philadelphia-based pianist and bandleader Orrin Evans honors the jazz giant Thelonious Sphere Monk at Monk Birthday Celebration at Smoke.

Thursday 3rd of October 2013

There's so much to do and see in New York City in the week ahead. CRAVE the events that excite you to spread word of mouth about the culture that excites you. STAR, BOMB, and MEH them once you've seen them. The goal? Discovering more culture you'll love — and guiding others with your good taste!

 

Friday, Oct. 4

A kid-friendly production of Peter Pan (for those 7 and older) starts Friday at the New Victory Theater. It’s the creation of Belvoir, one of Australia’s most celebrated theaters.

In November, half a century will have passed since President Kennedy’s assassination. A new exhibition at the International Center of Photography, JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander’s View of History includes photos by professional photojournalists and bystanders. It strives to demonstrate the important role of photography in negotiating trauma and facilitating mourning.

Feeling urban and erudite? The New Yorker Festival is October 4 – 6 at venues across New York City. There are so many amazing talks and special events — from a discussion of the God Particle to Morning at the Frick to the Cartoon Caption Game

 

Saturday, Oct. 5

Harold and the Purple Crayon — a Dance Adventure based on Crockett Johnson's classic children’s book might make a perfect afternoon for young readers and dance lovers. It’s at NYU and only through the weekend.

Craving music and movement, rhythm and lyric? See Aparna Ramaswamy: Sannidhi at Pace’s Schimmel Center for the Arts on Saturday at 7:30 PM.

Alexis Ohanian (who founded Reddit) hosts a web series in which he interviews tech entrepreneurs about their innovations and careers. On Saturday at 2 PM, learn from the entrepreneur and rising media star at the Paley Center’s PaleyFest: Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian.

 

Sunday, Oct. 6

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include Gravity (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in outer space) and Parkland (a historical drama recounting JFK’s assassination, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the murder). 

Thursday 26th of September 2013

 

There is so much to do and see in New York City this week — sandwiched by the DUMBO arts festival this weekend and the New Yorker Festival next weekend. CRAVE what excites you to keep track and spread word of mouth. Rate the culture you've seen. And (obviously) have fun. 

 

FRIDAY, SEPT. 27

Robert Motherwell: Early Collages starts Friday at the Guggenheim. It features nearly sixty artworks and examines the American artist's origins and his engagement with collage. It runs through January 5, 2014.

Craving a studio visit, large-scale projections, poetry, or street performances? Go to DUMBO for the (free) annual Dumbo Arts Festival at and around Brooklyn Bridge Park. The festival puts the work of more than 500 artists on display Friday evening (6 PM – 9 PM), Saturday (noon – 9 PM), and Sunday (noon – 6 PM).

This is a big year for Romeo and Juliet in New York City. Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad are starring in a mixed-race version on Broadway (which got a lot of BOMBS from the critics), and the Classic Stage Company starts its 2013-14 season with the Shakespearean classic on Friday evening.

Bastille is a British alternative rock band. Their album “Bad Blood” entered the UK albums chart at No. 1 this year and remained in the top 20 for several weeks. The US version of the album is coming out this month. They perform at 9 PM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

The Suburbs, from Minneapolis, formed and began playing original material in the fall of 1977. Their sound is influenced by everyone from the Rolling Stones to Karlheinz Stockhausen. They perform at the Mercury Lounge at 7:30 PM Friday. 

How do you get from an Italian talent show to New York City? Find out Friday evening at 7:30 when Il Volo, a trio of Italian pop-opera teenage singers, performs at Radio City Music Hall.

 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 28

Go to museums for free this Saturday thanks to Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. Participating museums in New York City include the Asia Society Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Museum of Chinese in America, the New York City Fire Museum, the Rubin Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Jewish Museum, the Morgan, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Skyscraper Museum.

Interested in the story behind the story in the films you love? Dante Ferretti has been the production designer for more than 50 feature films, 24 operas, and more than a dozen TV, museum, fashion events, and festivals. Starting Saturday and through February 9, see Dante Ferretti: Design and Construction for the Cinema at the Museum of Modern Art.

Love reading Grisham novels? A Time to Kill is a stage version of the best-selling novel, which opens Saturday on Broadway at the John Golden Theater. The book was adapted for the stage by Rupert Holmes. Stars include Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Thompson, and John Douglas Thompson.

Starting Saturday evening, see The Nose — an opera about a bureaucrat’s search for his missing nose — at Lincoln Center.

Craving reggae? Jimmy Cliff is performing at Webster Hall on Saturday evening at 7:30 PM.

Friday 13th of September 2013

There is so much to do and see this week in the NYC culturesphere. Crave what excites you and rate what you've seen to keep track of what you love — and to create buzz about great work.

Friday, September 13

Craving fashion? A Queer History of Fashion: from the Closet to the Catwalk opens Friday at the Museum at FIT.

Picturing Central Park opens Friday at the Museum of the City of New York. It features work by Janet Ruttenberg, the artist, is in her ’80s. This is her first museum exhibition.

Saturday, September 14

Let’s go fly a kite (in Brooklyn) at the Brooklyn Kite Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Bring your own kite or get one once you arrive, Saturday from 10 AM – 1 PM.

Visit New Photography 2013 at MoMA starting Saturday. It includes recent work by eight international artists, including Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, Brendan Fowler, Annette Kelm, Lisa Oppenheim, Anna Ostoya, Josephine Pryde, and Eileen Quinlan.

Sunday, September 15

Starting Sunday, see Chagall: Love, War, and Exile at the Jewish Museum. It includes paintings, works on papers, and selected letters, poems, photos, and ephemera.

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Good choices include The Family, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Tommy Lee Jones, Wadjda about a rebellious young girl in Riyadh, and Mother of George about a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn (it won an award at this year's Sundance Film Festival for cinematography).

Friday 6th of September 2013

There is so much to do and see in NYC this week (even if you don't have a pass to Fashion Week). CRAVE the events that excite you to bookmark and spread word of mouth. RATE what you've seen to share your point of view. 

Friday, Sept. 6

Starting Friday, see Iran Modern at the Asia Society. It focuses on Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the 1979 revolution. Read the Wall Street Journal’s preview to know what to expect.

If you want to learn about colonization, racial diversity and economic disparity in South Africa, visit Yossi Milo Gallery for the new exhibition of photographs, Peter Hugo: Kin. There is an opening reception from 6 – 8 PM.

Tonight through Sunday, check out a public works, musical adaptation of The Tempest at the Delacorte in Central Park. It will showcase 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs, who will share the stage with professional actors and community partners.

If you’re craving a modern twist on ballet, head to City Center for the New Chamber Ballet Friday or Saturday.

Thinking of reliving high school? Depeche Mode is playing at the Barclays Center on Friday.

Saturday, Sept. 7

Excited about Iran Modern and want to learn more? Starting Saturday, the Asia Society kicks off New Sounds of Iran, a series of concerts presented in conjunction with the exhibition, at 8 PM.

Sunday, Sept. 8

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Good options include Populaire, about a girl in the ’50s who learns she is a incredibly speedy typist, and Salinger, a documentary that looks at the reclusive author.

Monday, Sept. 9

On Monday at 7 PM, attend a TimesTalk with writer/producer/actor Ricky Gervais. He’ll discuss his career and his upcoming show Derek, which debuts in September on Netflix.

Excited for Anna Nicole, the opera about the flamboyant life and tragic death of Anna Nicole Smith? It comes to BAM on September 17, but on Monday, you can see excerpts and discussion between composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas and former Royal Opera director Elaine Padmore at the Guggenheim’s works in progress series.

Friday 30th of August 2013

Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, one of the amateur filmmakers whose Super 8 footage is showcased. He films his assistant filming him at the Great Wall of China (February 1972). Photo Credit: Super 8 film still, Dipper Films. Courtesy of: Cinedigm.

 

By JENNA BOND

Special to Culture Craver

On August 8, 1974, after two years of bitter public debate over the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon announced on television that he would resign. And despite the television specials, best-selling books, and films that followed that national moment, secrets and abstractions continued to obscure parts of the story.

This weekend, Our Nixon opens in theaters. It’s a peculiar sort of documentary, offering a whole new perspective on Nixon. Rather than dissecting the facts, the film attempts to give audiences a sense of what that White House felt like — and who the people who would mastermind the scandal were.

This approach of looking at the personal side of public figures and public scandal makes sense. It’s what Ted Widmer, the former White House speechwriter for Bill Clinton, did when he made historical figures, from Patrick Henry to Frederick Douglass, seem thoroughly modern and relatable in revisiting their greatest speeches in his 2006 book. Widmer’s lesson — that history is understood best when it’s personal — is taken to heart by the creators of Our Nixon.

This focus on the personal and a healthy sense of curiosity created Our Nixon.

Co-producer Brian L. Frye found out that there were never before seen Super 8 home videos shot by H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin recovered by the FBI during the Watergate investigation. He and the film’s director and co-producer, Penny Lane, spent $18,000 to make copies of the footage. Frye and Lane then sat down to see what life was like for the three men who would become the White House’s most notorious staffers. Surprisingly, it was rather normal and unpresumptuous.

“My first reaction was, ‘Oh wow, the colors are really beautiful.’  I also realized immediately that the three men making these little movies, each one is smiling into the camera. You realize these are humans,” Lane said in an interview for Culture Craver.

Friday 30th of August 2013

It's the end of summer and the start of fall in New York City — time to enjoy some of the final outdoor events of the season ... and get in gear for a wave of art exhibitions, new Broadway shows, and other exciting cultural experiences. CRAVE what excites you. RATE IT once you've seen it!

Friday, August 30

Craving electronic music? This Labor Day weekend, from Friday through Sunday, head to Randall’s Island Park for the fifth annual Electric Zoo, which has an extensive and exciting lineup.

Saturday, August 31

Do you feel sometimes that one is better than two? This weekend, it’s time for the NYC Unicycle Festival on Governors Island. From noon to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday, watch races and competitions — or try it yourself.

Sunday, Sept. 1

See one of this week’s new movies. Great options include: Our Nixon, an all-archival documentary using home movies created by top Nixon aides or I Declare War, about a group of kids whose game of Capture the Flag turns serious. Unless you’re a tween girl, avoid Morgan Spurlock’s new fawning documentary, One Direction: This Is Us, about the boy band.

Friday 23rd of August 2013

Warner Bros. announced this week that Ben Affleck would be the next Batman, following a long line of actors to play the caped hero — from Adam West to Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer to George Clooney to the most recent, Christian Bale.

The Internet erupted with commentary: The New York Post reports that fans are furious. BuzzFeed is reporting that the Internet is fighting about the casting decision. CNN pointed out that "Affleck's name wasn't even on The Hollywood Reporter's list of possible Batmans two weeks ago, when it speculated Ryan Gosling or Josh Brolin were likely candidates."

We're kind of surprised that this casting decision has provoked so much controversy. Below is a quick comparison of Affleck and his predecessor. We're wondering: are you craving this upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, which is due out in July 2015? 

Age: 39

Career Start: Appeared in a TV movie, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, at age 12

Academy Award: Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter

Superhero Acting Experience: Batman

On acting"Being misunderstood is not a bad thing as an actor. I know the truth."

Personal life: He and wife Sibi Blažić have one daughter

Age: 41

Career Start: Child actor in PBS's The Voyage of Mimi

Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting and Best Picture for Argo

Superhero Acting Experience: Daredevil

On acting: "(As) a director who is a writer, I have respect for writers, so I’m less likely to step on an idea or a line."

Personal life: he and wife Jennifer Garner have two daughters and a son

Friday 23rd of August 2013

1. Craving opera? Starting Saturday, attend the Met Opera’s Summer HD Festival. It’s a 10-day festival where the Met screens popular operas out on the plaza. The festival starts with Verdi’s La Traviata on Saturday evening and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

2. If you’re craving free music and art — not to mention food trucks — head to AfroPunk in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn Saturday and Sunday.

3. See a movie under the stars:

- On Friday, see The Karate Kid at the Intrepid, The Adventures of Tintin at Hudson River Park’s RiverFlicks for kids at Pier 46, or Hook in Central Park’s Sheep’s Meadow

- On Saturday, see Inception at Roosevelt Island or Silver Linings Playbook at Sheep’s Meadow

- On Sunday, see The Shining at Sheep’s Meadow or Fame at Habana Outpost

- On Monday, see Raiders of the Lost Ark at Sheep’s Meadow.

4. See one of this weekend’s new releases. The World’s End (about friends who discover an alien invasion on a pub crawl in their home town) is getting great reviews. If you’re craving something Harry Potter-esque, check out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

5. See Romeo & Juliet on Broadway — starring Orlando Bloom (who’s white) and Condola Rashad (who’s black). Previews start on Saturday night.

Friday 16th of August 2013

The new documentary Cutie and the Boxer is receiving rave reviews. It is about the 40-year (sometimes tumultuous) romance of Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara, both New York City-based artists. Mrs. Shinohara told The Wall Street Journal that the film is too focused on the love than the tumult: "It's still too sweet," she said. "Our life is more struggling and more bitter." 

To help you prepare for the romantic highs and lows — and the art — here are quick bios and examples of work by the stars of the documentary: 

Ushio Shinohara

He was born in Japan in 1932. In the 1950s, he started making "boxing paintings," using a performative process of painting that involved dressing as a boxer and boxing with paint or ink on paper or canvas. In 1960, he co-founded the Neo Dada movement, which emphasized improvised artistic performance and production as well as found object assemblages. He moved to NYC in 1969. It was supposed to be for a short time, but he stayed and is still living and working here. The artist's work has been displayed at the Guggenheim, the Japan Society, the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, and globally. 

Pink and Thalo Green on Yellow, 2012 Acrylic on Canvas:

Friday 16th of August 2013

As we enter the final weeks of summer, we offer a list that mixes new events and ongoing events that are closing soon and that you don't want to miss. Remember to CRAVE what excites you and RATE what you've seen with a STAR (loved it), MEH (neutral), or BOMB (hated it). 

1. Craving new, cutting-edge theater? We’re in the midst of the Fringe Festival in New York City. We have some picks, or you could choose at random and you’ll probably both discover something new and have some fun.

2. On Saturday morning, from 7 AM to 1 PM, don’t miss your last chance to see Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Voice Tunnel, an interactive art sound and light installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel between 33rd and 40th Street.

3. On Saturday afternoon, watch sand architects and designers build unbelievable castles at Coney Island’s Sand Sculpting Contest. It’s on the Beach and Boardwalk, W. 10th – W. 12th streets.

4. See one of the week’s new movies. We recommend:

Cutie and the Boxer. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott writes that it’s a “cleareyed and touching” New York love story about two married artists, Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara, over 40 years.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It stars Oprah, which is probably enough reason to see it. If you need more, try this: It’s about a butler who served in the White House for eight presidents.

5. Party like it’s the 1920s at the Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governors Island on Saturday and Sunday. The event features live music, dance performances, and food. Tickets are a must.

Wednesday 14th of August 2013

Will Ashton Kutcher be as inspirational in the new movie Jobs as Steve Jobs was in real life? You be the judge. To help you get started, we've gathered up our 11 favorite quotes and videos of the pioneer of personal computing and the inventor of the iPhone and the iPad.

 

On Connecting the Dots of Life

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

"Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith."

— Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005 (if you haven't watched the whole speech, stop reading this list of quotes, and go watch!)

 

On Paying for Content

"Our position from the beginning has been that eighty percent of the people stealing music online don't really want to be thieves. But that is such a compelling way to get music. It's instant gratification. You don't have to go to the record store; the music's already digitized, so you don't have to rip the CD. It's so compelling that people are willing to become thieves to do it. But to tell them that they should stop being thieves – without a legal alternative that offers those same benefits – rings hollow. We said, "We don't see how you convince people to stop being thieves unless you can offer them a carrot – not just a stick." And the carrot is: We're gonna offer you a better experience...and it's only gonna cost you a dollar a song."

— Rolling Stone 2003 Interview

 

On Creativity

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that's too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have."

Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing, Wired Interview with Gary Wolf

Friday 9th of August 2013

 

There's so much craveable culture in NYC this week between the Fringe Festival, two new exhibitions at MoMA, a modern dance festival, and tons of music. Remember to crave what excites you and rate what you've seen with a star, meh, or bomb. Here are our top culture picks for the week ahead:  

Friday, August 9

Craving new, cutting-edge theater? Good because it’s time for the 2013 Fringe Festival! Fringe is the largest arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies performing in more than 20 venues through August 28. It’s hard to guess what you’ll love, so experiment and sample (and ask your friends to crave and rate on Culture Craver to help guide you).

Starting Friday, see Keith Haring: All Over at the New York Historical Society. It features everyday items that were transformed by the New York artist.

If you’re craving contemporary ballet, head to the Joyce on Friday or Saturday evenings to see the Bay Area’s Company C perform as part of the Ballet v6.0 Festival.

At 6:30 PM see the Vau de Vire Society and the Hungry March Band, a steam-punk underground circus for free at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Or at 7:30, see the rock goddess Amanda Palmer perform in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.

Saturday, August 10

Starting Saturday, go to MoMA for the museum’s first major exhibition of sound art, Soundings: A Contemporary Score.

At 3 PM, head to Socrates Sculpture Park to see a Dance at Socrates, a performance by the week’s artist in residence, Gleich Dancers.

Saturday or Sunday, attend the 30th Annual roots of American Music at Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Sunday, August 11

Starting Sunday, check out American Modern at MoMA. It features American art from the first half of the 1900s, drawn from the museum’s collection. You’ll see masterworks by George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, and more.

Or see one of this weekend’s new movies. Good options include: Chennai Express, an Indian romantic journey, Prince Avalanche, an indie buddy flick, or Elysium, a post-apocalyptic Earth story with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

Friday 2nd of August 2013

There is so much to do and so much to see in the NYC culture sphere this week. Here are Culture Craver’s top picks for the week ahead:

Friday, Aug. 2

See one of this weekend’s new movies. A lot of people are already STARRING The Spectacular Now, a coming of age story, on Culture Craver.

Or, if you missed the original Sharknado on SyFy, see it on the big screen tonight at midnight, courtesy of Fathom. While you’re at it, read this article about the rise of intentionally bad movies.

Saturday, Aug. 3

From 7 AM to 1 PM, visit Voice Tunnel, an art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel that runs from 33rd Street to 40th Street as part of Summer Streets. Here are some extras we pulled together to help you prepare for what promises to be one of the most unique art experiences of the summer.

Saturday at 11 AM, tour City Hall park with Gordon Linzner, an urban historian, and then learn about the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO on a historic walk called Brooklyn Bridge and Beyond. If you miss this one, the 92nd Street Y is hosting others (September 8 and October 6).  

Saturday from noon to 5 PM, there’s a Long Island City Block Party, hosted by the Sculpture Center. You’ll find a social media photo booth, donut making, third eye face painting, thaumatrope making with the Museum of the Moving Image (it’s pretty cool; look it up!), and more.

Sunday, Aug. 4

Like every day, Sunday is a great day to remember the Brat Pack. Luckily, Habana Outpost is doing a free, outdoor screening our favorite 1980s Cinderella story, Pretty in Pink.

Manhattan is pretty magical (and dramatic), but if you’re craving a story of an island that is even more magical and possibly more dramatic, check out Hip to Hip Theater Company’s free, outdoor production of The Tempest in Socrates Sculpture Park at 5 PM on Sunday.

Friday 26th of July 2013

Woody Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine, comes to theaters this weekend — telling the story of a woman who seeks refuge with her sister when her financier husband turns out to be a Bernie Madoff-like sleaze and scammer. Here are a few extras to help you prepare: 

Blue Jasmine: Woody Allen on Regrets - He's had a few

Mark Olsen of the LA Times interviews Woody Allen about his latest film and his career: "I would say, I've lived 77 years now, and there have been things in my life that I regret that if I could do over, I would do different," Allen said. "Many things that I think with the perspective of having done them and having time that I would do differently. Maybe even choice of profession. Many things."

Annie and Her Sisters: Woody Allen's Distinctive Female Characters

Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times writes: "In the span of more than 40 of Mr. Allen’s films, including "Annie Hall," "Hannah and Her Sisters," and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," strong and memorable women have become as much a hallmark of his movies as the venerable Windsor font in their credits. These are women who dominate and who are subjugated, who struggle and love and kvetch and fall apart, but they rarely conform to simplistic stereotypes. Jasmine may be deeply troubled, but at least she’s deep."

Video of 12 Questions for Woody Allen

Filmmaker Robert Weide attempts to ask Woody Allen questions that he's never been asked. When asked if could never watch a movie again or forgo sports, Allen says, "At this point, I would sacrifice movies, because they really are not the same when I grew up, but sporting events remain thrilling."

Thursday 25th of July 2013

Friday, July 26

Meet astronauts and learn about comets, astronomy, and outer space at the Intrepid’s second annual (kid-friendly, educational) SpaceFest.

Saturday, July 27

Craving poetry? There’s a great lineup of more than 200 poets at the third annual New York City Poetry Festival is Saturday and Sunday at Governors Island. 

The Kronos Quartet is celebrating its 40th anniversary at Lincoln Center Out of Doors by debuting new work by electronic vanguardists and indie rock revolutionaries. There are a few performances over the course of the weekend.

Sunday, July 28

On Sunday, see one of this weekend’s new movies. We recommend Woody Allen’s latest, Blue Jasmine, with Cate Blanchett. To prepare, read The New York Times piece by Dave Itzkoff on Woody Allen’s female characters.

Friday 19th of July 2013

Friday, July 19

Starting Friday, see Shida at Ars Nova. It’s a new musical with a soulful score of jazz, R&B, and gospel starring Jeannette Bayardelle. It’s based on the true story of a young girl who aspires to become a writer.

Saturday, July 20

Craving art and some summer fun? Join the New Museum Saturday from noon to 5 PM for its (free) annual block party in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. You’ll be able to participate in interactive projects and performances inspired by current New Museum exhibitions.

Visit one of the five new exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem. We’re excited for Robert Pruitt: Women, which contains 20 large-scale conte drawings of black women.

Saturday and Sunday, see children performing in We Are Monsters and Fight of the Lawnchair Man as part of New York Live Arts’ Children’s Musical Theatre Festival.

Saturday evening, check out the NYC Craft Beer Festival at Webster Hall. It features live music organized by Blue Note Jazz Club — including The High & Mighty Brass Band, Joe Alterman Soul Jazz Band, and 508’s McClain and the Alers — plus tastings of more than 150 craft beers.

Sunday, July 21

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Good options include horror flick, The Conjuring, or the British coming of age film, Broken.

Friday 12th of July 2013

Mr. Poppers Penguins

The announcement yesterday that 20th Century Fox plans to join Disney, Warner Brothers, MGM, Sony, and Universal in turning movies into Broadway musicals should come as no surprise. 

Some of Fox's properties have already been adapted for the stage (including "9 to 5," which came to Broadway in 2009), to varying degrees of success. And the studio owns the rights to about 4,500 movies.

As much as theater pundits (and purists) might balk at the idea of Broadway being just another vertical for Hollywood to conquer, this move is smart — and could actually lead to some great new Broadway shows. Even though some film adaptations (read: Hands on a Hardbody) falter, they often come to the stage with a clear understanding of their brand and market. With about 70% of Broadway shows failing, that's worth considering.

The team at the new 20th Century venture have a lot of movie watching ahead of them. We thought we'd save them some time and suggest a few movies in their archive that could very well use a 11 o'clock number. If you have any others you'd suggest, feel free to shout out in the comments.

Friday 12th of July 2013

 

By now, most of our are aware that a freak #Sharknado hit America last night, flinging airborne, made-for-TV sharks at Los Angeles and drowning Twitter.

In the wake of this shark-tacular, campy moment of second screening, we were left wondering how this movie successfully captured America in its sharp, sharp teeth. That is, does Sharknado have any lessons for the rest of us? 

To a large extent, Sharknado was lucky. It's nearly impossible to deliberately stage a Twitter takeover like the one that happened last night — which, at its peak, reached 5000 Tweets per minute. But there are some lessons that those of us with dreams of succeeding with creative projects can learn. Our five lessons are below. Can you think of others? Share!

LESSON 1: 1+1=3

Take two things that people love (sharks and storms) and add them together to create magic. Sharknado's director, Anthony C. Ferrante, put it this way in an interview last night with BuzzFeed: "Sharks do well and disasters do well. Put them together, and you get something out of it." 

Are there other creative combinations that could create culture magic — test prep and evil dictators, for example? We bet there are. And we also bet that this rule could be applied beyond made-for-TV-movies. Books and Broadway seem ripe for some magical addition.

Thursday 11th of July 2013

From Bastille Day Celebrations to classical music and fireworks in Central Park to a new Broadway show, this is a big week in the New York City culturesphere. Here are our top picks for your week of culture:

Friday, July 12

Craving shows heading for the world’s biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? There are two more that are part of 59E59’s festival that start Friday — Longing for Grace and It Goes Without Saying.

Starting Friday, check out Open(Art) at Eyebeam. It’s an exhibition of projects created by artists and technologists collaborating to create projects that push the boundaries of online or networked culture and address contemporary social challenges.

Craving (yet another) movie about the end of days? It’s time for Pacific Rim

Saturday, July 13

There are three new exhibits at the Bronx Museum of the Arts — State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, Bronx Calling, featuring work by emerging NYC artists, and Solace on the Line, photographs and video by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist of members of the Ebenezer Assembly of God Church in the Bronx.

Saturday starting at 5 PM, there is a (free) celebration of female dance choreographers in ChEck Us OuT Dance Festival in Central Park.

Saturday evening, there’s a free MLB All-Star Charity Concert featuring the New York Philharmonic and Mariah Carey on the Great Lawn in Central Park to raise money for Sandy relief. Be sure to reserve your free ticket in advance!

Sunday, July 14

Bonjour, NYC! Sunday is Bastille Day, the celebration of the birth of modern France. From noon to 5 PM on 60th Street between Lexington and Fifth Avenue, celebrate with crepes, eclairs, and fromages, plus live music. The event is hosted by FIAF (the French Institute).

You could also celebrate France by taking a spin on a vintage French carousel. Starting this week, there are about a dozen vintage French rides on Governors Island as part of Fete Paradiso, which runs through September.

Friday 5th of July 2013

Friday, July 5

Starting Friday, see Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for free in Old Stone House in Brooklyn (the house is a reconstruction of the 1699 Dutch farmhouse that was central to the Battle of Brooklyn). It uses live music and a series of six original short films as a backdrop to the live action.

Craving swing? Friday night’s Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center features DJ Jonathan Toubin. There’s a dance lesson at 6:30, live music at 7:30, and, starting at 10 PM, a “silent disco” (bring your headphones)!

Saturday, July 6

Starting Saturday, see Monkey: Journey to the West. It’s the premier event of this year’s Lincoln Center Festival. It’s a modern adaption of a 400-year-old Chinese story, featuring 60 Chinese opera performers, acrobats, martial arts performers, plus the music composed by British rock star Damon Albarn. It runs through the 28th

Sunday, July 7

See one of this week’s new movies. Good options include The Way, Way Back, a coming of age story, Despicable Me 2, the return of Gru and the minions, and Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, a documentary about the commercial failure and subsequent critical acclaim of the band Big Star.

Saturday 29th of June 2013

With the 4th of July right around the corner, we gathered up some inspirational and patriotic quotes from the movies to get you in the spirit. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know. We're happy to lengthen the list. 

Independence Day

President Whitmore: “We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist.”

Lincoln

President Lincoln: "All we've done is show the world that democracy isn't chaos. That there is a great, invisible strength in a people's union. Say we've shown that a people can endure awful sacrifice and yet cohere. Mightn't that save at least the idea of democracy to aspire to? Eventually to become worthy of?"

Johnny Tremain

Gen. Gage: We've experienced more than a defeat, more than a mere misfortune of war. We have been vanquished by an idea, a belief in human rights.

1776

John Hancock: Now, hear me out! Don't you see that any colony who opposes independence will be forced to fight on the side of England? That we'll be setting brother against brother. That our new nation will carry as its emblem the mark of Cain. I can see no other way. Either we all walk together, or together we must stay where we are.

JFK

Jim Garrison: "Going back to when we were children I think most of us in this courtroom thought justice came automatically. That virtue was its own reward. That good triumphs over evil. But as we get older we know this isn’t true. Individual human beings have to create justice, and this is not easy because the truth often poses a threat to power and one often has to fight power at great risk to themselves."

Air Force One

President Marshall: "And tonight I come to you with a pledge to change America's policy. Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons, and to those who would use them, your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid."

 

Armageddon

The President: "I address you tonight not as the President of the United States, not as the leader of a country, but as a citizen of humanity. We are faced with the very gravest of challenges. The Bible calls this day "Armageddon" - the end of all things. And yet, for the first time in the history of the planet, a species has the technology to prevent its own extinction. All of you praying with us need to know that everything that can be done to prevent this disaster is being called into service. The human thirst for excellence, knowledge; every step up the ladder of science; every adventurous reach into space; all of our combined modern technologies and imaginations; even the wars that we've fought have provided us the tools to wage this terrible battle. Through all of the chaos that is our history; through all of the wrongs and the discord; through all of the pain and suffering; through all of our times, there is one thing that has nourished our souls, and elevated our species above its origins, and that is our courage. The dreams of an entire planet are focused tonight on those fourteen brave souls traveling into the heavens. And may we all, citizens the world over, see these events through. God speed, and good luck to you."

The Majestic

Paul Appleton: “Congress shall make no law ... respecting ... and establishment of religion ... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ... or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances … That's the First Amendment, Mr. Chairman. It's everything we're about if only we'd live up to it! … It's the most important part of the contract every citizen has with this country. And even though these contracts — the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights! — even though they're just pieces of paper with signatures on them, they're the only contracts we have that are most definitely subject to renegotiation. Not by you, Mr. Chairman … Not by you, Mr. Clyde … Not by anyone, ever. Too many people have paid for this contract in blood!”

Friday 28th of June 2013

Friday, June 28

Starting Friday, see The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s Ode to Joy, 2001-2013 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It’s a show of 50 works created by the Brooklyn-based art collective named after a fictional artist.

Friday night at BAM, see Codice Rosso Theatre: Disconnect, international female dancers exploring the question “What do we really know about ourselves?”

Saturday, June 29

See one of this weekend’s new movies. The new summer blockbusters are The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy and White House Down with Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Limited releases that we recommend are 100 Bloody Acres (a horror film about brothers who use dead car crash victims as the secret ingredient in their fertilizer) and A Band Called Death, about brothers from Detroit in the ‘70s who created the first black punk band.

Sunday, June 30

It’s Gay Pride weekend — and with the news of the past week, it promises to be an especially jubilant Pride Weekend. The March begins at noon at 36th and 5th and concludes at Christopher and Greenwich Streets. Now in its 43rd year, The March includes more htan 50 floats. The 2013 Grand Marshalls are Edie Windsor (whose fight against DOMA changed history this week), Harry Belafonte (the musician and civil rights advocate), and Earl Fowlkes (the President/CEO of the Center for Black Equity).

Also in the West Village, explore the 20th annual PrideFest from 11 AM to 6 PM on Sunday. You’ll find vendors, entertainers, and activities.

Craving Sondheim? Brush up on your Sondheim trivia, and head to 54 Below on Sunday evening to hear tunes from A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, Follies, Passion, Dick Tracy and more in Sondheim Unplugged

Friday 21st of June 2013

This summer brings a bumper crop of apocalypse to the movies.

Brad Pitt’s apocalyptic zombie thriller, World War Z, is coming to cinemas this weekend. It follows After Earth, Oblivion, Rapture Palooza, and This is the End. Later this summer, we’ll be treated to The World’s End and Pacific Rim.

What is it about the end of days that is so appealing? Is it the zombies and aliens? Is it watching humans collaborate to save their planet? Is it a potentially handy preview of the world’s demise?

We gathered up a few articles about the apocalypse and Hollywood to help you (possibly) find a deeper meaning in these films:

Apocalypse now and then

Michael Bodey of The Australian asks why Hollywood is obsessed with apocalypse movies. Brad Pitt answers: "They're just good fun, aren't they? They're some of our biggest fears. It just speaks to an idea, and if you look at ours, we were looking at what if a pandemic really did jump the rails, were we prepared for that? What happens if you wake up tomorrow with your normal concerns, like how you're going to get to work on time and what are you going to eat that night, and none of that mattered and suddenly you're running for your life? What happens? That's the fun with this thing, for us anyway."

Apocalypse and Other Love Stories

The New York Times’ Dennis Overbye writes, “Of course these movies aren’t about the end of the world at all. The apocalypse is just a stage on which humans pursue their personal destinies with the help of special effects and some suspension of scientific judgment.”

Apocalypse Now! Hollywood considers the end of the world

Jim Beckerman of The Record interviews doctors to get to the bottom of the big screen apocalypse. “There is a feedback loop,” says Dr. Harvey Greenberg, a New York psychoanalyst and pop culture writer (“The Movies on Your Mind”) who has explored the links between film and the unconscious. “The world pours its concerns into Hollywood, and Hollywood chews them up and spits them out.” No mystery where these concerns come from. Terrorism, unemployment, the worsening environment, the weakening social contract, the crumbling infrastructure, the general feeling of entropy: All of this is part of the zeitgeist, the stuff of editorials and talk shows.

America’s endless apocalypse

Matthew Barrett Gross and Mel Gilles wrote in Salon: “When we free ourselves from the hypnotic spell of apocalypse, when we let go of our desire to see how things will turn out, we are free to answer a more important question. Not, are my beliefs correct? But, how do I live in accord with my values right now? Our insistence that a new world is coming later is a delusion; it is already here.”

Thursday 20th of June 2013

Friday, June 21

Starting Friday, visit the Public Library’s exhibition, The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.

It’s also the first day of the James Turrell exhibition at the Guggenheim. The artist is going to transform the museum with colorful light. Read our collection of extras to prepare.

Friday is also the first day of Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York at the New York Historical Society. It includes paintings, prints, watercolors, and photographs depicting New York street life in the 1930s.

Saturday, June 22

Craving short films? Head to Tropfest New York in Prospect Park from 3 PM to 10:30 PM for the world's largest short film festival. 

It’s the Cuban Cultural Festival at the Children’s Museum of Art. Kids and their parents can attend musical performances and can participate in costume-making, face-painting, and printmaking workshops.

From 1-4 PM Saturday, go to Wave Hill for the opening reception of Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial, which features cutting edge work by 23 emerging artists. The Biennial runs through September 8.

Sunday, June 23

See one of the weekend’s new movies. Monsters University is a good option if you’re craving animation. World War Z (with Brad Pitt) looks promising if you’re not tired of the apocalypse genre, and The Hijacking is getting a lot of stars from the critics.

Friday 14th of June 2013

Superman — one of the most powerful and influential comic superheroes ever — is returning to the big screen this weekend in Man of Steel. As people who have always had a sinking suspicion that newspaper reporters are superheroes in disguise, we are clearly craving this movie and are excited to see Superman turn 75 years old.

To get ready, we've gathered up a Superman highlight timeline (with pictures, of course!):

1933: two Cleveland teenagers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, created the first Superman. He was initially a bald telepathic villain. The teens created a non-professional fanzine about their character.

1938: The company that later became DC Comics bought Superman, and the cape-wearing, city-saving hero we know and love first appeared in print — in Action Comics #1. In 2010, the comic, which originally sold for 10 cents, was sold on the auction website Comic Connect for $1 million, according to BBC. "The opportunity to buy an un-restored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades. It's certainly a milestone," the auction house owner was quoted as saying.

Friday 14th of June 2013

Friday, June 14

See one of the weekend’s new movies. Twenty Feet of Stardom — about the life of backup singers — is getting lots of “stars” from the critics. If you’re craving a blockbuster, see This is the End, an apocalyptic comedy by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, or the new Superman movie, Man of Steel.

Craving dance? See Makeda Thomas’s 10th anniversary season at New York Live Arts Friday or Saturday. 

Feeling playful? See Great Small Works: 10th International Toy Theater Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse. It runs through June 23.

Saturday, June 15

It’s time to see some Spontaneous Shakespeare in Central Park. The players, who use Elizabethan performance techniques, are performing Hamlet. The show is at noon on Saturday or 3 PM on Sunday.

Starting Saturday, see Grand Central Sketchbook: Designers Dream at the New York Transit Museum. The exhibition includes the creations of 20 artists, architects, and designers who reimagine Grand Central Station.

Sunday, June 16

It’s Bloomsday, an annual celebration of the life of James Joyce, during which the events of Ulysses (set on June 16, 1904) are relived. To celebrate, go to Symphony Space at 7 PM for the 32nd annual Bloomsday on Broadway celebration, which features Broadway stars performing selections from the book. Or at 3 PM, head to the Culture Project to hear Eunice Wong read Molly Bloom’s monologue.

Monday, June 17

On Monday evening, learn from the newly announced NJ Senate Candidate, Cory Booker, and others at the 92nd Street Y about How Cities are Leading us Out of the Great Recession.

Craving Tchaikovsky? Monday through Saturday, see ABT perform Swan Lake!

Thursday 6th of June 2013

Friday, June 7

Starting Friday, experience Manna-Hata, an immersive theatrical experience at the Farley Post Office created by Peculiar Works Project. You’ll rediscover New York City’s 400-year history (including the charismatic players who helped to transform New York into the City we love).

If you’re craving music, head to Randall’s Island Friday through Sunday for the Governors Ball NYC Music Festival. Headliners include Guns N’ Roses, Kings of Leon, and Kanye West. At the time we posted this, tickets were still available.

Often, we don’t even notice the sounds in theater — from chirping birds to street noise to approaching footsteps. Friday through June 29, the Brick (which has a brand new surround sound system) is hosting the sound scape festival to explore sound design. Some of the City’s most talented sound designers will create theatrical experiences that put their art in the foreground. This weekend, experience Dante’s Inferno, Lighthouse Triptych, The Theoretical Physics of Procrastination, and others. 

Starting Friday, you can also see two new exhibits about AIDS at the New York Historical Society. One focuses on the First Five Years of AIDS in New York. It draws from the archives of the New York Public Library, NYU, and the National Archive of LGBT History. The other exhibition features black and white photographs that tell the stories of New York children with HIV and AIDS between 1990 and 2000.

Saturday, June 8

Saturday or Sunday, head to Governors Island for FIGMENT NYC 2013, a free annual celebration of participatory art and culture. There’s music, dance, theater, installations, sculptures, art, and more. We’re excited for the artist-designed Minigolf Course. You can see the designs online before hopping on the ferry. It’s rain or shine.

This is the first weekend of In Scena! — an Italian theater festival in New York City that runs through June 20 and features performances across the five boroughs. The opening weekend features Voices in the Desert (Voci Nel Deserto) from noon to 4 PM on both days on Governors Island. It’s a project that aims to collect fragments of thinking from the past (from literature, theater, and public speeches) to recycle memory. See the full calendar online.

Starting Saturday, MoMA members can visit Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, a major exhibit about his work as an architect, interior designer, city planner, writer, and photographer. The exhibition opens to the public on June 15. If you want to dive in even deeper, AIA New York is hosting a conference called Le Corbusier/New York on Saturday at the Center for Architecture near Washington Square Park. Find all the details here

Friday 31st of May 2013

The New Internet Sensations. Clockwise from Left: Awkward Black Girl, Jenna Marbles, Grumpy Cat

 

By JENNA BOND

Special to Culture Craver

Do you watch your content exclusively online by now?

If you answered “no,” you must be over 25 years old.

Today, online programming — largely created by independent producers, who are not tied down by the costs of network and cable — are reaching large audiences (thanks largely to YouTube).

A few examples: Videos of Grumpy Cat, a mixed-breed Arizona-based feline with a perma-scowl, have been viewed and shared millions of times on the Web (resulting in book and movie deals). One of Grumpy Cat’s human counterparts, Jenna Marbles, makes low-budget videos of herself that have been viewed more than 1 billion times. Bob Johnson, who created BET in 1980, is creating subscription-based YouTube channels that he thinks will replicate his success on cable 30 years ago on the Internet.

“This is the first time there’s ever been a minority-owned channel that doesn’t have to please cable operators, cable networks, movie studios or advertisers,” Johnson told Variety. “This will be liberating.”

Web content is speaking to a new generation; it’s also speaking to sizable minority audiences who are not being well served by the mainstream video storytelling structure that has experienced little innovation since Desilu was the most powerful name in television. Online content is edgier, more ethnically diverse, and post-partisan.

Personally, as someone who has felt deserted by networks since the advent of cable, I have been watching trends in online video with the hope that it changes the realm of content and the possibilities of viewing — both in the online world and on broadcast and cable television.

It seems like this is starting to happen as online successes are beginning to cross over to television.

Thursday 30th of May 2013

 

Craving culture? It's your lucky week. There are festivals — from ANT Fest to Bushwick Open Studios — new movies, art, new shows, and more.

Friday, May 31

Head to Bushwick for the Bushwick Open Studios festival. More than 600 artists’ studios are open to the public from Friday through Sunday. The Launch Party for the weekend is on Friday night, starting at 8 PM at Shea Stadium, an event space at 20 Meadow Street in Brooklyn. Bands playing throughout the evening include Eula, Air Waves, Lodro, and the Darlings.

Saturday, June 1

Shakespeare inspired some Broadway favorites from “Kiss Me, Kate” to “West Side Story.” Tony-nominated director Mark Lamos — plus some fabulous vocalists — will explore those connections in The Bard and The Broadway Musical at the 92nd Street Y on Saturday through Monday.

Sunday, June 2

Spend Sunday at the movies. We recommend The History of Future Folk, an imaginative, exaggerated origin story about the Brooklyn-based band; Now You See Me — a story about illusionists staying ahead of the FBI, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, and Morgan Freeman; or M. Night Shyamalan’s new science fiction action film, After Earth, which stars Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith.

Thursday 23rd of May 2013

Friday, May 24

Craving a black comedy about a corporate retreat? Thought so! Head to Theatre Row for the start of previews of Gorilla, a new Danish play. For the sake of full disclosure, it’s directed by Culture Craver’s co-founder, Ari Edelson.

Friday is also the start of DanceAfrica at BAM — a Memorial Day Weekend tradition in Brooklyn, which celebrates African and African-American culture with dance, music, art, and film. It runs through Monday.

Starting Friday, you could also check out the New York City Ballet’s All Balanchine program, with 'Hallelujah Junction,' New Barber/Wheeldon, New Previn, Bernstein/Wheeldon and 'Firebird.'

Saturday, May 25

Starting Saturday, see Ellsworth Kelly: Chatham Series at MoMA. The exhibition, which continues until September, celebrates the artist’s 90th birthday this month.

Do you want to impress your friends with facts about the World’s Fair? Head to the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows on Saturday to learn about Historic New York from Urban Park Rangers. The tour starts at 1 PM.

Thursday 16th of May 2013

Friday, May 17

Craving contemporary photography? Starting Friday, it’s the ICP’s triennial, featuring photographs by 28 artists from around the world.

Starting Friday, learn about the Eucharist’s centrality to medieval cultural life (religious and secular) through liturgical illuminated manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum in Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art.

Saturday, May 18

At 7 PM, see the Liars perform in the Met’s Temple of Dendur. It’s a special event, associated with the blockbuster fashion show of the season, PUNK: Chaos to Couture.

Sunday, May 19

See one of this weekend’s new movies. The best options include Star Trek into Darkness; Stories We Tell, a documentary about a family mystery; Augustine, a 19th Century period piece about a French neurologist and his star patient; and Frances Ha about a would-be dancer.

Thursday 16th of May 2013

 

It's nearly Memorial Day Weekend. You know what that means: it’s time to head to your local cinema, buy an extra large pail of popcorn, and sit back in a super-chilled theater to take in some crash-bang-boom blockbuster summer flicks. We’ve rounded up the biggest, loudest, funniest, and starriest coming attractions of the season. And we’ve given you our take on why you should consider going to each.

Iron Man 3

May 3, 2013

Go because: You didn’t get enough of Robert Downey, Jr. (as a brash billionaire playboy, saving the world) or Gwyneth Paltrow (his girlfriend and associate) in the first two movies about the Marvel comic hero Iron Man.

The Great Gatsby

May 10, 2013

Go because: The costumes (Prada and Brooks Brothers) and the jewels (Tiffany) seem like reason enough. 

Star Trek Into Darkness

May 16, 2013

Go because: You’re a Trekkie. You wouldn’t miss the 12th installment of your favorite sci-fi franchise.

Hangover Part III              

May 23, 2013

Go because: You didn’t get your fill of guys doing stupid, embarrassing, possibly life threatening things in Parts I and II.

Friday 10th of May 2013

Perhaps it's fitting that the movie about F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 look at roaring 20s is inspiring a shopping bonanza. This is a guide to Gatsby shopping opportunities: 

Tiffany's Jazz Age Glamour Collection. Whether you're in the market for diamonds and pearls or not, be sure to watch the video about the jewels of Great Gatsby, which includes interviews with Tiffany designers and actors from the film. From left: Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring ($385,000), The Great Gatsby Collection Savoy Headpiece ($200,000), and Daisy Locket ($800). 

Thursday 9th of May 2013

Friday, May 10

Finally! It’s time for the highly anticipated new Baz Luhrmann film, The Great Gatsby. We all know the story: Nick Carraway comes to New York City in the roaring 20s to chase the American Dream. He meets party boy Jay Gatsby, and narrates a story of love, longing, and the times. See the movie for the design and the (fabulous) accessories.

There’s finally a musical about a showdown at the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobics Competition. It’s called Spandex: The Musical. Feel the burn through May 26 at 777 Theatre.

Craving art? It’s your lucky weekend. Art fairs abound in New York City this weekend, bringing art from around New York and around the world for you to see and collect.

Go to Randall’s Island to see art from nearly 200 exhibitors at Frieze New York. You can expect a hidden prohibition-era-inspired speakeasy, a color-coded garden, an imaginary art cemetery, and a sculpture garden featuring everything from a circle dance to a balloon dog. (Hours: May 7 – 12: 11 AM – 7 PM; May 13: 11 AM – 6 PM. Admission: general $42, students $26.)

Go to NADA to see art on the East River to see the non-profit art fair’s display of new work by rising talents from around the world. (Hours: May 10: 2 PM – 8 PM, May 11: 10 AM – 8 PM, May 12: 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission: free.)

Head to Pulse in Chelsea for contemporary art and projects by emerging artists. (Hours: May 9: 12 – 8 PM; May 10-11: 11 AM – 8 PM; May 12: 11 AM – 7 PM. Admission: general $20, students/seniors $15.)

Go to Cutlog — which has been in Paris and is making its debut in New York City this year — in the East Village for outdoor screenings and live performances. (Hours: May 9: 5 PM - 9 PM; May 10 – 12: 10 AM – 8 PM; May 13: 10 AM – 6 PM; Admission: adults $15, students/seniors $10)

Go to PooL Art Fair 2013 at the Flatiron Hotel to see work by unrepresented artists. (Hours: May 10 – 12: 3 – 10 PM. Admission: $10)

Go to seven @ Seven in Williamsburg for contemporary installations, paintings, and sculptures. (Hours: May 10: 6 – 9 PM; May 11-12: 12 – 6 PM, and continuing through June 9)

Saturday, May 11

It’s spring. That means it’s time for some Spontaneous Shakespeare! The players’ first show of the year is Comedy of Errors, which starts on Saturday at Summit Rock near the Natural History Museum. It’s a free outdoor performance that begins at noon. It’s showing at 3 PM on Sunday.

Friday 3rd of May 2013

Friday, May 3

See one of this weekend’s new movies. If you’re craving action and superheroes, head to Iron Man 3. If shopping is more your thing, try Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s.

Starting Friday, see what children can create in A Year With Children 2013 at the Guggenheim. It is an exhibition of art by New York City public school students who participated in the Museum’s teaching artist program. 

Get ready for summer with Pace and Pace/MacGill’s new Richard Misrach exhibition, On the Beach 2.0. There’s an opening reception from 6 – 8 PM on Friday.

Saturday, May 4

The must see of Saturday evening is Change of State (pictured above), which is curated and produced by Nuit Blanche New York as part of the New Museum’s IDEA City Festival. Artists will project paintings, animations, text, and video onto the museum starting at 8 PM to disrupt perceptions of architectural form.

Sunday, May 5

On Sunday afternoon, head to MoMA PS1 to hear the song Sorrow in a six-hour live loop. It’s a long by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and it will be performed by US rock band The National in celebration of PS1’s final Sunday Session of the season.

On Sunday through Tuesday evenings at 7:30, go to New York Live Arts to see the work of contemporary dance choreographers from Taipei in DANCE TAIPEI: Work by Fang-Yi Sheu, Huang Yi, Chou Shu-Yi, and Cheng Tsung-Lung.

Thursday 25th of April 2013

Friday, April 26

One Night Stand:Overnight Musicals, a new documentary focused on the "24 Hour Musicals" put on by Culture Craver's Ari Edelson, is running all week, starting Friday, at the Quad Cinema ... and this year's 24 Hour Musicals — which supports the development of new theater — is on Monday at 8 PM (tickets are still available). 

Starting Friday, experience After Hours 2. The New Museum is inviting art lovers to stroll around the Bowery, guided by a map and audio tour to view murals by emerging and established artists. It runs through September.

Maya Lin: Here and There opens at Pace on E. 57th Street. It’s an exploration of the natural world by the woman who created the Vietnam Memorial.

Saturday, April 27

Munch/Warhol and the Multiple Image opens Saturday at the Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America. It features more than 30 prints by Norwegian Edvard Munch and American Andy Warhol. They come from private and museum collections.

Sunday, April 28

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include The At Any Price with Zac Efron and Heather Graham; Midnight’s Children, based on the book by Salman Rushdie; The Reluctant Fundamentalist about how life changes for Pakistan-born man working on Wall Street after the 9/11 attacks, and Mud, with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

Missed Mike Tyson in his Broadway debut? His show is coming back — this time to the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side.

Thursday 25th of April 2013

 

From left: moderator Josh Topolsky, New Yorker film critic David Denby, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott

 

A.O. Scott of The New York Times and David Denby of The New Yorker review hundreds of films each year — criticizing everything from tiny indies to special-effects-laden blockbusters.

This week, they met on stage to review not another movie but the overall state of the movies in the apocryphally titled Tribeca Film Festival panel, The Death of Film?, moderated by The Verge’s Josh Topolsky.

The good news: the two renowned critical gurus don’t think film is dying anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean we should expect the movies or the movie-going experience to stay the same.

Here are the top 10 lessons they shared:

1.     New technology generates new possibilities.

Critics and filmmakers used to view color and wide-screen as destructive technologies. These fears, said Scott and Denby, were unfounded.

3D technology has fueled amazing work (HugoAvatar), as has animation (like the tiger in Life of Pi).

Both said they’d be hesitant to bet against emerging technologies — such as virtually reality — eventually having the same positive impact.

2.     New technology can also destroy movies.

Technology can create beautiful — even revelatory — moments. But it also enables the creation of horrible things that leave Denby feeling like his “head is being bashed against the walls of the theater.”

Denby bemoaned the rise of the “action superhero digital spectacle.”

“You’ve got a lot of exacerbated pixels contending in dead space,” he said. “I don’t care anymore.”

3.     Story (still) makes the movie.

All the technology in the world can’t substitute for story.

Scott and Denby both said technology should be used to enhance storytelling. There are certain two-dimensional movies (such as Mud, out this weekend) that wouldn’t be enhanced by tacking on an additional dimension.

The best movies today have what the best movies of 50 years ago had — creative stories and captivating narrative.

4.     All the good movies come out between October and Christmas Day.

The critics agreed that studios release their best movies between October and Christmas Day, leaving a cinematic wasteland in the other nine months of the year.

Denby bemoaned this “dreary cyclical rhythm” and the trends that go with it — including the attempt to resurrect elderly stars to draw audiences and the summer seasons filled with unoriginal digital spectacles.

Friday 19th of April 2013

Cinephiles can see films from 30 different countries and by 113 different directors at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. While many of the early tickets were snapped up in advance, rush tickets are available for each of the screenings, and, as the Tribeca Film Fest folks point out, "There's no better time to be outside in NYC than in the Spring."

Be sure to share your craves and ratings on Culture Craver to spread your excitement about what's worth seeing, what's a star, and what's a bomb!

Adult World

Plot: A postgrad, Emma Roberts, dreams of being a poet. Living with her parents, she takes a job at Adult World, a local porn shop owned by an elderly couple to make money and finds a mentor in a reclusive writer played by John Cusack.

Why you should see it: You need a reminder that what you think is clear, is exactly the opposite.

Almost Christmas

Plot: Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti are shady Canadians who come to New York City in scheme to get rich quick selling Christmas trees.

Why you should see it: Christmastime is all the time for you. Seeing a Christmas comedy in April will only boost your holiday spirit.

 

Before Midnight

Plot: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy)stole our hearts in Before Sunrise in 1995 and its sequel Before Sunset in 2004. Now, it’s nine years later, and their love story (and their long walks) continue in Greece.

Why you should see it: You’re a romantic. See how love can survive the flow of time.

Byzantium

Plot: Neil Jordan, who created Interview With the Vampire, weaves a story of two female vampires (played by Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton) who flee to a dilapidated hotel to remake their lives. They find it’s hard to escape the past.

Why you should see it: The Twilight Saga has ended — but your fascination with Vampires can now continue. 

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

Plot: As she approaches 90 years old, the Tony and Emmy Award winner gives the filmmaker a backstage pass — sharing stories and secrets about her life in show business.

Why you should see it: Get another dose of the famed performer, who retired last month after more than 71 years as a NYC star.

 

Flex is Kings

Plot: A documentary following young dancers in East New York, battling in Flex street dancing competitions in Brooklyn

Why you should see it: You love Brooklyn. You love dance. You’re in the mood to be inspired.

Gasland Part II

Plot: In 2010, Josh Fox taught us about hydraulic fracturing, “fracking.” Now he's back with a look at the long-term impact — from poisonous water to neurological damage.

Why you should see it: Fracking has been a hot topic nationally and in New York. Just this week, a poll in New York State found that 46% of New Yorkers, oppose it. It’s worth learning more.

Greetings From Tim Buckley

Plot: A young Jeff Buckley (played by Penn Badgley) rehearses for his public singing debut at a Brooklyn tribute show for his father, the late folk singer Tim Buckley. 

Why you should see it: It will help alleviate your pangs of Gossip Girl withdrawal.

 

I Got Somthin' to Tell You

Plot: Whoopi Goldberg’s documentary of one of her role models, comedy pioneer Moms Mabley, who inspired everyone from Bill Cosby to Kathy Griffin.

Why you should see it: See how great a Kickstarter-funded movie can be.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Plot: Life changes post 9/11 for a Pakistan-born Princeton grad working on Wall Street. Stars include Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, and Martin Donovan.

Why you should see it: Think about what it means to be an American.

Teenage

Plot: The concept of the “teenager” didn’t exist until the mid 1900s — when the “teen” years were inserted between childhood and adulthood. This is an unconventional pop historical film about the birth of the iconic, eternally cool teenager.

Why you should see it: You are a teenager or were a teenager.

Trust Me

Plot: Howard Holloway failed as a young actor and is failing as an agent — seeing his clients stolen away by his competitor — but vows to succeed when he signs Lydia, a troubled but talented teenager.

Why you should see it: For the great cast (Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, Amanda Peet) and to indulge your love of show biz.

Thursday 18th of April 2013

Friday, April 19

Go to the Tribeca Film Festival (if you can score tickets or if you’re willing to wait in line for Rush Tickets).

You could also check out one of this weekend’s new movies. There’s the Tom Cruise post-apocalyptic thriller, Oblivion, or François Ozon’s suspenseful new drama, In The House, about a teenage boy who becomes intrusively close to his friend’s family — and his literature teacher.

Saturday, April 20

Starting Saturday, kids will love Pinocchio at Puppetworks. It features traditional, hand-carved puppets. It runs through mid-August.

On Saturday evening, in honor of national poetry month, go to the Apollo for the 15th Annual Teen Poetry Slam Grand Final. The City’s hottest young poets will rap and recite their original work.

Friday 12th of April 2013

The new movie, 42, comes to theaters this weekend, days before the sixty-sixth anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Dodgers debut as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. To help you prepare for the new film, Culture Craver has gathered up some extras on Robinson and the movie:

Here’s a biography of the baseball star from his foundation (which aims to help more high-needs students attend and succeed in college). Here are some of the highlights: Robinson earned varsity letters in four sports at UCLA when he was a college student … he then served in the army, where he fought racial segregation … he played for a short time in the professional (segregated) Negro Leagues before Branch Rickey, a vice president with the Brooklyn Dodgers, convinced him to help integrate the MLB … he started playing for the Dodgers in 1947 and had a path breaking decade-long career, helping the team to win the National League pennant several times and the World Series in 1955 … after retiring from the sport, he was successful in business and an advocate for civil rights and other social and political causes.

Here’s an article from 2005, when a statue of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson was announced in Brooklyn. The sculpture depicts an important moment in the movie when Reese walks over to Robinson and puts his arm around him, in the face of heckling and taungs from the crowd. “Pee Wee thought nothing of it,” his widow is quoted as saying. “For him, it was a simple gesture of friendship. He had no idea that it would become so significant. He would be absolutely amazed.”

Here’s a video recording of the popular song, Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?, (which is accompanied by classic baseball video). The song was originally written and performed by Buddy Johnson, who recorded it in 1949. It peaked on the charts at 13.

Thursday 11th of April 2013

 Claes Oldenburg. Pastry Case, I, 1961-62, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

 

Isn't it amazing how tempting a 50-plus-year-old sculpture of an ice cream sundae can look? From the Claes Oldenburg show at MoMA to the Tribeca Film Festival, there is so, so much to do and see in New York City in the week ahead! Here are our top picks in art, theater, dance, and film: 

Friday, April 12

This weekend, see the New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory. It features rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts, and ephemera from U.S. and international dealers.

Starting Friday, see Richard Serra: Early Work at David Zwirner in Chelsea. It includes the artist’s early work with rubber, neon, lead, and steel.

Saturday, April 13

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include: 42 about the first African-American baseball player, Jackie Robinson, Disconnect about our need for human interaction, and It’s a Disaster about relationship issues at the end of the world.

Thursday 4th of April 2013

Shockingly, it was 20 years ago when America first traveled to Jurassic Park, where cloned tyrannosaurus rexes and their fellow dinosaurs broke free and clashed with the park’s creator, his grandchildren, and some scientists he brought in as advisors.

Starting this weekend, you can see the classic dino flick again in theaters — now in 3D. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered up some extras related to Jurassic Park. Roar!

Thursday 4th of April 2013

Friday, April 5

There are a number of exciting art exhibits opening, including:

Giosetta Fioroni: L'Argento at the recently renovated Drawing Center opens Friday. It includes 70 drawings, 30 paintings, 10 illustrated books, and two films.

John Singer Sargent Watercolors opens Friday at the Brooklyn Museum. It includes 93 watercolors by the American painter. The exhibit culminates a yearlong collaborative study by the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Encountering the Orient, a collaboration between Christie’s and the Dahesh Museum of Art, opens Friday featuring paintings and sculptures by Rudolph Ernst, Ludwig Deutsch, Gustav Bauernfeind, and more.

Saturday, April 6

It was 20 years ago when America first visited Jurassic Park, where tyrannosauruses, velociraptors, triceratops, and other pre-historic monsters clashed with humans (including a billionaire investor, a paleobotanist, and a mathematician) on an island near Costa Rica. Starting this weekend, you can see the classic, now in 3D.

Sunday, April 7

Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth begins Broadway previews on Sunday. It promises to be one of the hottest tickets of the season.

On Sunday, hear Broadway royalty Jordan Roth interview star actress Edie Falco (who is currently in The Madrid) in Broadway Talks at the 92nd Street Y.

Craving klezmer? Go see Metropolitan Klezmer at the Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts on Sunday afternoon.

Friday 29th of March 2013

FRIDAY, MARCH 29

Check out some art. If you haven’t been, go see Nick Cave’s Heard*NY installation at Grand Central before it concludes on Sunday. Thirty colorful life-size horses “graze” across the station at 11 AM and 2 PM, accompanied by live music. Or check out Sopheap Pitch: Compound at the World Financial Center. It includes enormous bamboo and rattan structures — and questions the construction boom and depletion of natural resources in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

SATURDAY, MARCH 30

It’s the first night of previews for The Trip To Bountiful on Broadway. It’s Horton Foote’s classic 1953 drama — but the Watts family that was white in the original is black in this production. It stars Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams, and Condola Rashad.

SUNDAY, MARCH 31

See one of this weekend’s new movies. We’re craving Blancanieves, a Spanish-made silent, black and white retelling of Snow White, and Room 237, a documentary that carefully examines The Shining forwards and backwards. Other options are The Host (it gets pretty bad reviews, but comes from Twilight mastermind Stephanie Meyer) and The Place Beyond the Pines (about a motorcycle stunt rider who starts robbing banks, starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes).

Friday 22nd of March 2013

BY JENNA BOND-LOUDEN

Special to Culture Craver

The other day, I got off the 3 train at 116th Street behind a pair of teenage African-American boys. They were handsome, laid back, tall, slender, and incredibly well styled. It was just after school had let out, and the two were poking fun at each other, exchanging stories about something funny that transpired earlier in their day. 

At home in their New York City ecosystem, there was nothing particularly special about these boys. But, for me, having not grown up here, it was plain that everything about them was special.  

For youth growing up in the rest of the world, everyday New York City kids are extraordinary: their attention to style, their use of language, their access to trouble. With seemingly no effort, New York City street youth create the definition of cool that is then seamlessly exported to the rest of the world — even to Hollywood.

On Tuesday evening, I attended the premiere for Gimme the Loot at MoMA. The film, written and directed by Adam Leon, was the official selection at last year's New Directors/New Films. It opens today at the IFC Theater in New York City, having just stood out at this year's SXSW.

The film tells the story of two trendsetting Bronx kids (like the ones I saw at 116th the other day) who live for graffiti culture. Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sophie (Tashiana Washington) are attempting to raise a quick $500 to launch a project that will elevate their profile in the tagging community. They’ve named their project “bomb the apple.” The challenge — born in the 1980s, at the dawn of hip-hop culture — is to hit the Mets homerun apple with graffiti.

Thursday 21st of March 2013

Friday, March 22

Starting Friday, see Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced  at the Museum of the City of New York. It focuses on the work of the first major African-American fashion designer, who used bright colors, metallic fabrics, and slinky silhouettes to dress a generation for dancing.

Also Friday, The Big Knife starts performances at the Roundabout. It’s about a scandal in the golden age of Hollywood, starring Bobby Cannavale.

Saturday, March 23

Craving whales?Whales: Giants of the Deep is opening at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday. Visitors can see dozens of whale sculls and skeletons; they can also hear whale vocalaizations and learn about how they use sound to navigate, find food, and communicate.

Pippin starts Broadway previews on Saturday. The musical revival — directed by the talented Diane Paulus — promises to be amazing.

Sunday, March 24

See one of this week’s new movies. There’s the animated The Croods, featuring a prehistoric family and the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Nicholas Cage, and other stars. There’s also Admission, a comedy that stars Tina Fey as a college admissions officer.

Thursday 14th of March 2013

Friday, March 15

Craving quilts? Head to the Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibit,Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts, starting Friday. It includes 35 American and European quilts spanning 200 years of quilting.

Saturday, March 16

Starting Saturday, see Yasuko Yokoshi’s Bell at New York Live Arts. Yokoshi is the first artist in New York Live Arts’ Resident Commissioned Artist program. Bell is a contemporary reimagining of a classical Japanese dance. Read “Open Arms for Daring Dance” by Brian Seibert in the New York Times before you go.

Sunday, March 17

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Options include The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi as struggling Vegas magicians or The Call — a thriller kicked off by a 911 call.

Monday, March 18

On Monday, hear from 80s pop icon, Cyndi Lauper, whose first-ever musical, Kinky Boots, is in Broadway previews. She will be chatting with Harvey Fierstein, who collaborated with her on the musical, and New York Times theater reporter Patrick Healey. Can’t make it or can’t get tickets? The Times is livestreaming it.

Wednesday, March 20

Starting Wednesday, see It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Superman, a pop-art-flavored sendup of the comic book world, which was first produced in the 1960s. It’s part of the Encores! series at City Center.

Thursday, March 21

Broadway previews of The Nance with Nathan Lane start on Thursday. It’s about the on-stage and off-stage life of a homosexual burlesque performer living in 1930s New York.

Also starting Thursday, you can see previews of The Big Knife at Roundabout Theater. It’s a story of old Hollywood directed by Doug Hughes and with a great cast, including Bobby Cannavale.

Friday, March 22

Starting Friday, see Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced at the Museum of the City of New York. It’s about the work of the first major African-American fashion designer, who used bright colors, metallic fabrics, and slinky silhouettes to dress a generation for dancing.

Friday 8th of March 2013

Edo Pop

FRIDAY MARCH 8
This is a weekend full of art shows in New York City. Be sure to check out The Armory Show 2013, the mothership art show and the biggest of them all. The first-ever Armory Show was 100 years ago, in 1913, so this is a year not to miss. (Also, see our blog for tips on must-see booths and a crib sheet to the art fairs).

If you're in the mood for a good fright, see The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen). A Swiss film that proves that the Swedes aren't the only ones who can make a scary film called "The Silence," this movie is apparently a chilling thriller in the family of "The Vanishing." Reviews we've read says it will leave you stunned and breathless.

Thursday 28th of February 2013

The week ahead is a major culture week in New York City. At least five highly anticipated Broadway shows start previews — and Armory Week kicks off with art fairs around town starting mid-week. It's time to start craving — and plotting out how you'll allocate your time with so much to do and see.

Friday, March 1

Lucky Guy — which stars Tom Hanks in a play by the late, great Nora Ephron — starts previews on Friday night on Broadway. Hanks plays tabloid columnist Mike McAlary who covers the Abner Louima case.

It’s the first day of the installation of Alexandre Arrecha’s project on the Park Avenue Malls. Read “A Reimagined New York Skyline, with a Twist” in the Wall Street Journal to prepare.

Saturday, March 2

Celebrate what would be Philip Guston’s 100th birthday with the McKee gallery on the Upper East Side, which opens Saturday. A show of 25 of his paintings and drawings begins Saturday and runs through April 20.

Sunday, March 3

At long last, Hava Nagila: The Movie has come to theaters! Learn about the staple song of Bar Mitzvahs and Weddings in this documentary that features interviews with Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor, and Jim Loeffler, a professor of Jewish history at UVA and a cousin of Culture Craver Co-founder Julia Levy.

Sunday is the first night of previews for Kinky Boots on Broadway. Harvey Fierstein wrote the book and Cyndi Lauper wrote the music (it’s her first musical!). It’s about a guy who inherits his father’s shoe factory, which is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and turns to a performer in need of stilettos for salvation.

Friday 22nd of February 2013

There are just two days until we discover who is wearing whom ... and to finally find out who wins the biggest movie awards of the year. We can't wait! 

In anticipation, we've created an Oscars Bingo Game for you to print out and play during the show with your friends (or alone). Best of luck. 

We've also compiled some extras to help you prepare for the awards show:

Thursday 21st of February 2013

Friday, Feb. 22

See Lucy Loves Me at INTAR Theatre, starting on Friday. It’s directed by Lou Moreno, an esteemed Culture Craver beta tester, and it promises to be great.

Also starting Friday, attend Dance Under the Influence, a season of innovative dance performances at the Museum of Arts and Design. The first set of performances will come from Molissa Fenley, John Heginbotham, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and Zack Winokur.

Or attend an art opening. Great options include Thomas Nozkowski at Pace Gallery on 25th Street (reception 6-8 PM Friday) and I Killed My Father, I Ate Human Flesh, I Quiver With Joy: An Obsession With Pier Paolo Pasolini at Allegra LaViola Gallery (reception 6-8 PM Friday).

Friday 15th of February 2013

Friday, Feb. 15

It’s a big day for craveable new plays!

See The Revisionist at Cherry Lane. It’s written by Jesse Eisenberg (yes, the Jesse Eisenberg who brought the Facebook story to life. He stars alongside Vanessa Redgrave in a play about an American science fiction writer who goes to Poland to fight his writer’s block and meets his elderly, Holocaust survivor cousin. 

Friday is also the premiere of The Flick, a new play by the talented Annie Baker. It focuses on the personal stories of the staff of a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, who attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors.

 

Friday 8th of February 2013

FRIDAY, FEB. 8

Obsessed with shoes? Starting Friday, head to the Museum at FIT to see Shoe Obsession, an examination of our culture’s ever-growing fascination with fancy, fashionable shoes. It will show 150 examples of extraordinary 21st century shoes.

Starting Friday, you can see Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Passion at Classic Stage Company. It is directed and designed by John Doyle

SATURDAY, FEB. 9

There is plenty of craveable art this weekend. There’s a new exhibit, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui at the Brooklyn Museum. It is the first solo museum exhibit for the African sculptor who uses wire, recycled liquor bottles, and other appropriated objects to create textile-like installations. And if you’re craving German art, head to the Neue Galerie. There are two new exhibitions — German and Austrian Decorative Arts from Jugendstil to the Bauhaus and German Expressionism 1900-1930: Masterpieces from the Neue Galerie Collection.

SUNDAY, FEB. 10

See one of this weekend’s new movies. Good options include: Identity Thief — about a charismatic ID thief (Melissa McCarthy of Bridesmaids) and her victim (Jason Bateman), Side Effects — Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller about the dangers of prescription drugs, and Lore about a German girl’s journey with her four siblings after the war.

Friday 1st of February 2013

Falling in love with a vampire is one thing, but what about a zombie?

Frankly, we understand falling for sparkly, invincible Edward Cullen, but it’s hard to imagine romance with a brain-eating, animated corpse, who has trouble stringing together a coherent sentence.

But maybe it’s time to reconsider? A new film, out this weekend — Warm Bodies, Jonathan Levine’s movie based on Isaac Marion’s novel — asks us to imagine romance between a zombie boy and a living, breathing girl.

In honor of this rom-com/zombie combo, Culture Craver has compiled a zombie extra compendium. Enjoy (and, when the zombie apocalypse comes, make sure they don’t bite you)!

Hearts, Not Brains: Why Zombies Are the Newest Big-Screen Heartthrobs

“Move over, Twilight. When it comes to big-screen romance, zombies are the new vampires,” writes Graeme McMillan in Time Magazine. It’s actually a very informative piece on the history of zombies and the horror genre. We never knew, for examples, that monsters represent “suppressed sexual ideas or desires” or that “what draws us to monsters…is the ways in which they’re not like us.”

Q&A with Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion

Read an interview with the author of the novel on which the new film is based, in which the author admits that he has a connection with the zombie lead. “R is somewhat based on me, or at least an earlier version of me before I figured out how to function in the world,” he says.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

By the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC): The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Thursday 31st of January 2013

FRIDAY, FEB. 1

On January 31 through Sunday, experience some of the best of outsider, self-taught, and folk art at the Outsider Art Fair. This year, for the first time, it’s at the old Dia gallery in Chelsea.

Our beloved Grand Central is turning 100! Starting on Feb. 1, go to Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal to learn about the iconic (and functional) building.

SATURDAY, FEB. 2

Starting Saturday, learn about birds in Japanese art from medieval times to the present at a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thursday 31st of January 2013

Stars — from Rachel Dratch to Cheyenne Jackson — turned out at the Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown Manhattan last night for the national premier of the new documentary One Night Stand.

It’s a film about a group of talented and starry actors, composers, writers, directors, choreographers in a mad dash to create and perform four original short musicals in just 24 hours to benefit a not-for-profit organization that helps to develop new shows that end up on Broadway, off Broadway, and on stages around the globe. 

It’s an exhilarating (and nerve-wracking) journey as the composers pull an all nighter to write catchy tunes about phobias, Staten Island, and brain surgeons … as directors choose outrageous costumes contributed by the cast and crew … and as actors you’ve seen on Broadway, TV, and in movies cram in stairwells and hallways to prepare for the stage in mere hours.

Friday 25th of January 2013

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25

Zarina: Paper Like Skin opens Friday at the Guggenheim. It’s the first major retrospective of Zarina Hashmi’s career, including important works from the 1960s and 1970s.

Drawing Surrealism opens Friday at the Morgan Library and Museum. Roberta Smith of the New York Times calls it “sensational.” It runs through April 21.

Craving evil stepsisters, magical pumpkins, and a fairy godmother? You’re in luck: Cinderella is starting previews on Broadway Friday night. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26

Saturday or Sunday, check out Ellen Robbins: Dances by Very Young Choreographers at New York Live Arts. It’s a showcase of works by 5 to 18 year olds.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27

Craving super powers? Obviously! See Superman at 75: Celebrating America's Most Enduring Hero at the Center for Jewish History. It includes superman cartoonist Joe Shuster’s pencil sketches. There was a fascinating article about it in the New York Times.

Thursday 24th of January 2013

By JULIE SHAPIRO

Special to Culture Craver

My dreams of going to Sundance Film Festival were initially dashed when I heard from a reliable source that it wasn’t worth attending without an “in.” But this year, a month before the start of the festival, a friend revealed that he was a Sundance veteran, with 18 years of “Sundances” under his belt. When he volunteered as my guide, I immediately booked the trip to Park City, Utah.

I was a bit tardy to the party, but had a great time — full of celebrity sightings, lessons about film and film festivals, networking, and, of course, movie-going.

For future first-time Sundance goers, I have written up the highlights of my experience, plus 10 tips that I learned along the way.

BEFORE YOU GO

Thursday 17th of January 2013

There's a short list of movie stars who have transitioned into U.S. politics. There is an even shorter list of people who have become movie stars, gotten elected to office, and then returned to acting.

This weekend, Arnold Schwarzenegger is earning a spot on the latter (more selective) list as the former California governor returns to cinemas in Last Stand — about the leader of a drug cartel trying to escape a small-town sheriff and his bumbling staff.

“It’s nice after seven years to continue with the movie business," he told Fox News of this new (retro) phase. "I felt very passionate from the beginning when I became an actor and worked my way up to be a leading man, I was looking forward to going back.”

To reflect on Schwarzenegger's contributions — both real and fictional — we have compiled our 10 favorite pictures of his career: 

1. Schwarzenegger started his career as a body builder. He became Mr. Universe at age 20. He went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times.

2. Schwarzenegger broke into acting playing Hercules in Hercules in New York, which was released in 1969.

Thursday 17th of January 2013

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18

Two craveable new photography exhibits open at the International Center of Photography Friday — Roman Vishniac Rediscovered, which includes photos of Jewish life in Eastern Europe between the World Wars, and We Went Back: Photographs from Europe 1933-1956 by Chim. There is a great article and slideshow preview of the latter in the New York Times

From Friday, January 18 at 10:30 AM through Sunday, January 20 at 5:30 PM, you can watch Christian Marclay’s The Clock continuously at MoMA. This is the final continuous screening before the Clock’s time is up on Monday. 

Starting Friday night, see Hamish Linklater’s new play, The Vandal, at the Flea. It runs through February 17.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term as California Governor ended in 2011 — but starting this weekend he’s back in action as a border town sheriff after a violent fugitive in The Last Stand. So far the reviews are pretty good.

Monday 14th of January 2013

Last night, some of the most glamorous people of New York City and Los Angeles gathered in Hollywood for the Golden Globes. It was a big evening for the CIA — with top awards going to Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Homeland. It was also a big evening for women, between the hosts (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), many of the big winners for television and film, and Jodie Foster (who won a lifetime achievement award and gave an ambiguous, but much Tweeted speech). 

Here's our summary of the top movie awards, with links to the films' pages on Culture Craver. If you haven't seen them yet, it's time to crave them ... and head to the theater a.s.a.p. The winners are all up for many other honors in this awards season and they are genuinely worth seeing.  

Best Picture, Drama: Argo

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy: Les Misérables

Friday 11th of January 2013

By JULIA LEVY and ARI EDELSON, Culture Craver Co-Founders

When it comes to movies, what does “the best” mean to you?

It seems like a simple question — but it’s not. The title “Best Picture” could go to the film that received the most critical acclaim … the most box office revenue … the most Tweets on Twitter … the most praise from your friends … or top industry honors (the Oscars).

On each of these measures, different films would win. For example, the three top grossing films of 2012 were Marvel’s The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Skyfall. None of these received Best Picture nominations from the Academy yesterday (although Skyfall was nominated for cinematography, music, and sound and Avengers was nominated for visual effects).

In a world of limited time, limited resources, limited attention spans, what’s really the best? That is, what movies should you bother seeing?

At Culture Craver, we believe it’s so hard to provide one blanket answer to this question because the answer depends more on you than on the movie.

Friday 11th of January 2013

Molly Lowe, FORMED (still), in the Sculpture Center's "Double Life" exhibit

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11

We’re in the midst of two exciting contemporary theater festivals: COIL, which runs through January 19, and Under the Radar, which runs through January 20.

It’s also the first weekend of the New York Jewish Film Festival, which runs through January 24.

Friday and Saturday, check out the Contemporary Dance Showcase at the Japan Society. This is your chance to see new dance from Japan and East Asia.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12

Saturday or Sunday, head to the NYC Podfest to hear live, onstage tapings of popular New York-based podcasts from well-known storytellers and comedians. The full schedule and tickets are available online.

Thursday 10th of January 2013

The nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards were announced first thing this morning — leaving you just six weeks to see all the amazing films you missed over the course of 2012. 

Lincoln led the pack with 12 nominations, including best picture, best actor, and best director. Life of Pi — the mystical story based on Yann Martel's fantasy adventure — was close behind with 11 nominations. Other top nominees included Les Misérables (based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel and the Broadway musical), Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow's film about the search for Osama bin Laden), Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell's romantic comedy), and Argo (Ben Affleck's historical thriller).

This morning's announcement also held some surprises: Benh Zeitlin won one of the five coveted best director nods for his first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The little girl in his film, Quvenzhané Wallis, was the youngest actress ever to be nominated for best actress. Emmanuelle Riva, who starred in Amour, was the oldest actress ever to be nominated. 

The Internet is abuzz about who was snubbed by the Academy. The consensus is that Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck deserved nominations for their direction. Here's what USA TodayHuffington PostEntertainment WeeklyMashable, and Slate have to say on the matter. 

With that, we've put together a list of most of the top nomination categories and their links to the films on Culture Craver. We include the public (average) score, but encourage you to click the link and check out your own custom score — which includes the tastes of the friends and critics you trust, adjusted for your historical affinity with each. Which have you seen already? Which are you craving? Who do you think the big winners will be on February 24?

BEST PICTURE

Amour (public score: 75)
Argo (public score: 75)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (public score: 81)
Django Unchained (public score: 76)
Les Misérables (public score: 68)
Life of Pi (public score: 73)
Lincoln (public score: 74)
Silver Linings Playbook (public score: 81)
Zero Dark Thirty (public score: 80)

Thursday 3rd of January 2013

As the new year begins, there are SO many wonderful culture options in New York City. Here are our top picks for the week ahead:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4

Thursday was the first day of PS 122’s COIL Festival. It’s an annual winter festival of contemporary live theater, dance, and music, which runs through January 19. We particularly recommend that you check out Magical, directed by the director of Passing Strange, Annie Dorsen, which mixes feminist performance art, magic, and transformation.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5

Check out one of the gallery exhibits opening today. Options include The Matriarch’s Rhapsody at Monya Rowe Gallery, Mariposas Migratorias at Clifton Benvento, Diana Cooper: My Eye Travels at Postmasters Gallery,

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6

See one of the new movies opening this weekend. One promising option is The Impossible about a family separated by the tsunami in Thailand. Another is 56 Up — which started in 1964 when Michael Apted began interviewing14 children every seven years. Now, as the subjects turn 56, the film explores where their lives have taken them.

MONDAY, JANUARY 7

Craving a laugh? Head to the 92nd Street Y to hear comedian Lewis Black interviewed by fellow comedian Judy Gold.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8

Tuesday is the first day of FOCUS Dance, a weeklong showcase of eight dance companies.

You can also learn about Michael Jackson’s style from the guy who used to design for the King of Pop and recently wrote the book on the King of Pop’s style: The King of Style.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9

Wednesday is the first performance of Rolin Jones’ The Jammer at the Atlantic. It’s a romantic urban fable — and a great option for people who aren’t typically theater enthusiasts.

See some of New York City’s top emerging theater talent at the Under the Radar Festival, which runs through January 20.

The 22nd annual New York Jewish Film Festival begins today and runs through January 29. It features 45 features and shorts from 9 countries. Tickets are available online.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10

Check out one of tonight’s art gallery openings. Great options include: Francis Alys: Reel-Unreel at David Zwirner, Marina Zurkow: Necrocracy at bitforms, Daniel Buren: Electricity Paper Vinyl... at Petzel Gallery and Bortolami, Robin Rhode: Take Your Mind Off the Street at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea, Fabio Viale: Stargate at Sperone Westwater, and Randall Exon: New Paintings at Hirschl & Adler Galleries.

It’s also the opening night of Live Artery at New York Live Arts. It’s a multiday event featuring dance and body-based artists. It opens with Bill T. Jones and the Arnie Zane Dance Company performing A Rite, and runs through Monday afternoon. A full description of the event and tickets are online here.  

Friday 28th of December 2012

As we approach the end of 2012, Culture Craver is already looking ahead to some of the most exciting New York City cultural events in 2013. There is so much to look forward to — and even more will be announced in the coming months. We’ll keep you posted! Happy craving, Culture Cravers.

 

Thursday 27th of December 2012

If you’re planning a movie night to bid farewell to 2012 and welcome 2013, skip New Year's Eve, the movie: it had a fantastic cast but horrifying reviews. Luckily, there are many New Year’s Eve classics that would be perfect — especially if paired with someone you love and a bottle of champagne! Listed in chronological order, here are ten suggestions: 

The Gold Rush (1925): Especially since Chaplin is being remembered on Broadway (through January 6), it might be worth appreciating this Charlie Chaplin classic. Stood up on New Year’s Eve, the Little Tramp dreams that he’s the life of the party.

Friday 21st of December 2012

Our early users (that's you!) shared more than 73,000 ratings of cultural events that you saw in 2012 — and craved more than 2,000 events that you were excited to see. You are obviously a very culture-savvy crowd!

Each member of Culture Craver received his or her top recommendations of the year today — but we wanted to share the overall summary: 

  • 73,296 stars, bombs, or mehs given to events
  • 2,102 craves
  • 90.5% of the events rated or craved were films
  • 7% of the events rated or craved were theater
  • 1.5% of the events rated or craved were art.
Based on this, one of our New Year's resolutions will be to help you experience more great art and theater in the coming year — there's so much out there that is amazing and worthwhile. That said, we are SO impressed with how much everyone has experienced and accomplished over the past 12 months. One important note (before we share the top rated events of the year) — often, your recommendations will be different from the average because you are unique and special. That's a good thing! 
Friday 21st of December 2012

Friday 21st of December 2012

Women have historically been underdogs on the big-screen (and the little screen, for that matter).

A recent study found that less than 17% of movies are “gender balanced.” And when women characters do appear, they tend to be naked or nearly so: nearly 30% of female teen movie characters were depicted in midriff-bearing, cleavage accentuating clothes in 2009. In real life, only a quarter of Americans working in science, technology, engineering, and math are women. In movies, only 16% of scientists and mathematicians are female.

Friday 14th of December 2012

How fast do you like your movies? For the past 80 years, movies have been filmed at 24 frames per minute. But Peter Jackson, the director of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, decided to film Bilbo Baggins at 48.

Friday 14th of December 2012

Zero Dark Thirty, courtesy Facebook

Remember how the television show "24" stoked controversy with its portrayal of torture? The debate is not over.

Friday 14th of December 2012

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14

Want to learn about New York City landmarks? Today is the first day of the New York Historical Society’s exhibit of photographs of City landmarks opens today and runs through Februrary 18 before making a statewide tour.

Tonight is also the first night of previews for Picnic — a drama about the impact of a charming drifter on a group of women in the American heartland — at the Roundabout. Opening night is January 13, and it runs through Februrary 24.

The South Street Seaport Museum reopens today after its extensive post-Sandy cleanup with two exhibitions: A Fisherman's Dream: Folk Art by Mario Sanchez and Frederick Brosen: Romancing New York.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15

Tonight and tomorrow, you can see Urban Word: Journal to Journey at New York Live Arts. It features solo works by young poets. Tickets are just $7.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16

See one of this weekend’s new movies. The best bets are The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel. If you’re looking for an independent film, consider Any Day Now, about a 1970s gay couple fighting to keep custody of an abandoned handicapped teenager.  

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17

Feeling nostalgic? Consider The Wonderful Wizard of Song: The Music of Harold Arlen, a musical revue at St. Luke's Theatre.

Another way to delve into history on Monday is at a talk by New York Times investigative reporter, Sam Roberts, about his book on the treason trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18

Craving dance? The Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — an all-male troupe famous for tutus, pointe work, and parody — is returning to the Joyce. Performances run through January 6.

If you want to help Hurricane Sandy victims — and hear readings of new plays by emerging and established New York City playwrights at the same time — head to Cherry Lane Theatre at 2 PM or 7 PM for Barefoot Theatre Company: Rockaway.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19

Kathryn Bigelow’s highly anticipated Zero Dark Thirty opens today. The movie, which stars Jessica Chastain on a decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, has already been nominated for four Golden Globe awards.

Wednesday is also the first day of a series of screenings at MoMA: Dickens on Film, a selection of silent and sound films adapted from Charles Dickens’ novels. The series includes popular films like “A Christmas Carol,” “Great Expectations,” and “Oliver Twist,” as well as some little-known adaptations.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20

There are a few (but not many) art gallery openings today. If you haven’t gone yet, we recommend that you check out Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory. It runs through January 6. It combines readings, sound, and swings.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21

Did you miss your chance to see Christian Marclay: The Clock at Lincoln Center over the summer? Now it’s coming to MoMA — through January 21 — so you can line up to see the 24-hour film montage. 

Friday 7th of December 2012

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7

Hyde Park on Hudson, which is high on many forecasters' Oscars lists, opens this weekend. It's the story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, and centers on the weekend in 1939 when the UK's King and Queen visited the US president in upstate New York. 

If you're craving more holiday excitement, head to BAM for the American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker, which starts tonight and runs through December 16.

Returning for a third year, TEDxBrooklyn explores the constantly evolving digital environments that allow communities to be built across previously impassable boundaries.

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8

If you like her as the comic relief in almost every other musical, Jackie Hoffman's A Chanukah Charol is for you. Returning to New World Stages with her one-woman show inspired by Patrick Stewart's rendition of 'A Christmas Carol,' the kvetching comedienne is forced to examine her life when she is visited by the Ghosts of Chanukah Past, Present, and Future, as well as Molly Picon.

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9

At the Jewish Museum, children can listen to stories selected from the museum's gorgeous library of children's book favorites and then participate in a gallery activity at Storybooks and Art.

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10

if you have already been up to Dia: Beacon and seen his exhibition, you should join Dia in Chelsea as it hosts a talk, Artists on Artists: Alejandro Cesarco on On Kawara.

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11

The Other Place, a thriller that was at MCC Theatre in 2011, is starting Broadway previews on Tuesday. Laurie Metcalf stars as Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist at the center of a mystery. 

Also starting preview performances Tuesday is Water by the Spoonful at Second Stage Theatre. It's about a soldier who returns from Iraq and reconnects with his family. 

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12

Starting Wednesday, see Faust: A Love Story at BAM. It's an Icelandic re-imagining of Goethe's Faust, described as "a spectacle of slapstick, horror, and aerial circus daredevilry." Need we say more? 

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13

At the Japan Society, hear from Haruo Shirane, a professor of Japanese Literature at Columbia, speak at 6 PM about his newly published book, Japan & the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature & the Arts.

Thursday, you can also hear from the founding director and curator of Performa, RoseLee Goldberg, and the co-curator of the Crossing the Line Festival, Simon Dove, dance in the context of art galleries and museums in Dialogue and Discourse: The Languages of Dance at the Jewish Museum.

Friday 30th of November 2012

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30

Children five and up and adults will love Circus Oz: From the Ground Up at New Victory Theater. It includes jugglers, acrobats, trapeze artists, and ringleaders — all from Melbourne. It runs through December 30.

New Movies out this weekend include Killing Them Softly, Beware of Mr. Baker, Silent Night, Talaash. None is a standout on Culture Craver. If you want to go to the movies, we suggest you head to one of the other wonderful films currently showing, including Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Life of Pi, Holy Motors, or Argo.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1

In early September, 1,708 Brooklyn artists opened their studios to about 18,000 citizen judges. On Saturday, the best of the artists will show off their work at the Brooklyn Museum’s GO: a community-curated open studio project. The show runs through February 24.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2

On Sunday evening, check out the third in the Public Theater’s Public Forum series. It’s a conversation between MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow and playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner.

It’s also the Broadway opening night for The Anarchist, the new play written and directed by David Mamet and starring Patti LuPone and Debra Winger.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 3

Monday is a good evening to see Restoration Comedy at the Flea Theater. It's a modern adaptation of two seventeenth century plays, written by Pulitzer-Prize finalist Amy Freed and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4

Matisse: In Search of True Painting opens at the Met. It explores the artist’s process, and runs through March 17.

The new Fashion & Technology exhibit opens at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It highlights the historical and modern day technologies that changed fashion fabrication and design. 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5

Russell Maliphant: The Rodin Project, a contemporary dance performance inspired by the work of the French sculptor Rodin, starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Joyce.

It’s a Wonderful Life: The 1946 Live Radio Play at the Irish Repertory Theatre starts Wednesday and runs through December 30. It’s a stage adaptation of the classic holiday film set in a 1940s radio station.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6

See the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble perform “Lyric Suite” to the music of Alban Berg at the 14th Street Y Theater. Lyric Suite premiered in Mexico City in 1953.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7

ABT’s beautiful Nutcracker opens at BAM tonight. Get ready for magical toy soldiers, beautiful snowflakes, dancing dolls, and warlike mice. We were lucky enough to attend last year, and can confirm that it makes for a wonderful evening. 

Thursday 29th of November 2012

If you are already planning a fabulous holiday gift for your favorite culture lover (like a trip to Miami Beach for Art Basel next week, for example), stop reading! But if you’re still shopping for your favorite culture lover, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled 10 gifts perfect for New York City arts and culture lovers.

1. Film Club: A film club membership is a perfect gift for your favorite film buff. A couple of great options are BAM’s Cinema Club (starting at $70) and Lincoln Center’s Film Society (starting at $75).

2. A Multiplex Gift Certificate: If the people on your list are more likely to see Skyfall than Brooklyn Castle, consider an AMC or Regal gift certificate.

3. Museum Entry (for a year): We’re big fans of giving museum memberships as gifts. They’re great ways to support museums — and they make it OK to stop by a museum just to see the new exhibit without feeling compelled to spend the whole day seeing the entire collection. Here are links to the membership pages of some top New York City museums: MoMA (starting at $75), the Met (starting at $70), the Guggenheim (starting at $75), the Whitney (starting at $85), the Jewish Museum (starting at $75), the Frick (starting at $60), the Natural History Museum (starting at $125 for a family).

4. An Artsy Dinner: A visit to a museum would be even better (or at least more tasty) if paired with a gift of a meal at one of the beautiful restaurants located within the New York City museums. Great options include: The Modern at MoMA, Caffe Storico at the New York Historical Society, Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design, and the Garden Court Café at the Asia Society.

5. Culture Classes: Do you want to help someone you love hone his or her culture savvy? Art or art history classes might be the best gift. Consider the 92nd Street Y, which offers art, music, and dance classes, NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, which offers non-credit courses in art business, history, law, and design, or Parsons Continuing Education program, which offers courses in digital or graphic design, fashion, and more.

6. Art Gallery Tours: If you are seeking something a bit more experiential, consider giving an art gallery tour (available for small groups and individuals). Some New York City options include: Art Smart, NY Gallery Tours, and NYC Art Tours.

7. Art: White, vacant walls are no fun. Perhaps the people on your list would like to appreciate art at home. Some great web-based options for finding paintings, prints, photos, and sculptures to give include: VIP Art, Art.sy, Artspace, ColourSoup, 20x200, Artsicle, Artsumo, Society 6, Zazzle, Zatista.

8. A Season of Theater: This can be a tough gift (in our opinion) because you don’t know what you’re buying in advance. That said, if you know that someone loves a particular company, this might be a welcome gift. Options worth considering include Roundabout (starting at $219), The Public Theater (starting at $55 for access and other perks), Signature Theatre (starting at $100 for four shows), Manhattan Theatre Club (starting at $192 for three shows), and The New Group (starting at $130 for three shows).

9. Broadway Tickets: Who wouldn’t want tickets to a Broadway show? The best show depends on who’s receiving the tickets, but here are a few new(ish) and upcoming shows you might consider for the people you love: 

Annie (The spunky Depression-era orphan we all know and love is back on Broadway.)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (See Scarlett Johansson as Maggie in Tennessee Williams’ classic. Previews start December 18.)

Cinderella (Cinderella is coming to Broadway for the first time ever. Previews begin on January 25.)

Dead Accounts (Among other pluses, Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy lets audience members see everyone’s favorite newly divorced actress — Katie Holmes — on stage.)

Glengarry Glen Ross (David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, with Al Pacino, runs through December 30, 2012.)

Grace (This play — with Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Edward Asner — runs through January 6, 2013.)

Kinky Boots (It’s about a guy trying to turn around a shoe factory — with new songs by Cyndi Lauper! Previews start on March 3.)

Matilda (This musical based on the Roald Dahl book about a girl with magical powers is coming to New York City from London’s West End. Previews begin March 4, 2013.)

Newsies (This musical about a dancing band of teenaged newsboys got great reviews.)

Nice Work if You Can Get It (You can see singing, dancing, and Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara.)

Once (This show won the Tony for Best Musical this year. It’s a must see.)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (This musical comedy received excellent reviews. It runs through February 10)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (This Edward Albee classic received great reviews. It runs through February 24.)

10. For the Artsy Tech Geek On Your List: The best technology gift for culture lovers might be a new tablet. It is good for everything — from discovering arts and culture to watching movies to creating your own works. David Pogue wrote a handy guide this week to help you decide. If the person you’re shopping for is geekier (or already equipped with the latest iPad), you should consider buying them some 3D printing magic at Shapeways so he or she can create something in three dimensions.

Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that you should tell the culture lovers you love about Culture Craver. It’s what we think about all day and dream about all night — so we are biased — but we’re pretty sure NYC culture lovers will love it (and it’s free). 

Happy shopping!

Wednesday 28th of November 2012

One of the "Central Park Five," Yusef Salaam, being escorted into a Manhattan Courthouse. Photo by Clarence Davis/NY Daily News.

 

When mainstream Americans, not just those on the fringe, raise questions about justice, I transform from a cynic into a patriot. I get the feeling that we are all a little bit like the history book figures I most admire — Paul Revere, Abraham Lincoln, Shirley Chisholm, Harvey Milk — and we all have a bit of their potential.

This fervor is my lasting impression of the new documentary The Central Park Five, directed, written, and produced by Ken Burns with his daughter Sarah Burns (the author of the book The Central Park Five) and her filmmaker husband David McMahon.

On Monday night, I attended a screening of the film in Harlem and a dinner party with two of the filmmakers and four of the men who are the subject of the film.

A New York City transplant of eight years, “the Central Park jogger” used to be a cautionary, gruesome tale told to unaccompanied women by their mothers. She was the reason why I took a self-defense class while in college.

I was vaguely familiar with a mix up regarding the assailant, but it was not until hearing about the documentary, The Central Park Five, that I actually focused on what happened. The story is not only a warning about being a woman alone; it is also a warning about justice and our legal system.

The two-hour documentary is stirring, uncomfortable, and upsetting. It is also a bit relieving — in that the truth came out in the end.

The film is a peek into a bygone era: a New York City ruled by Rudi Giuliani, where crack was invading the impoverished uptown limits while Wall Street was booming downtown. It tells the story of the drama that unfolded when these disparate worlds collided one evening when a young banker living on the Upper East Side went for a jog in Central Park on the same night a mob of restless teen boys were roaming Central Park, looking for something to do.

It shows with stark, historical footage how five boys between 14 and 16 were sought by the police, coerced into offering confessions, and convicted. It shows how they were sent to jail until nearly a decade later when the real attacker came forward and admitted his crime.

While watching, I wondered what would have happened if the Central Park Jogger story were set at the dawn of the 20th Century instead of its sunset. Would the press and the public have treated the boys more like they treated the homeless and orphaned children selling newspapers in Newsies? I wonder if the alleged victims would have received public sympathy or a fair trial if they hadn’t been black and Latino boys from Harlem in the midst of the crack epidemic in a nation with an unspoken racial code.

In the country where press coverage of Emmett Till’s obliterated 14 year-old corpse launched the civil rights movement, the details of the Central Park Five investigation were too murky to properly fuel media coverage. (There was no DNA evidence and the boys’ confessions did not remotely match up.) Instead, the press lifted these boys to infamy based on where they came from and the unspoken assumptions with which black and Latino men have to live.

Watching the story unfold, it was impossible to not feel a sense of collective culpability. How can we call the lackadaisical justice granted to the Central Park Five “justice”? How can we talk righteously about “democracy and equality” while we hunt down a group of helpless black and Latino youth as fall men?

I think one of the most striking moments in the film was watching footage of one of the teens, Korey Wise, who sits before providing his confession, shaking nervously and showing signs of confusion and fatigue. An officer sits a can of Pepsi before him, and Korey begins to tell a vague account of a rape. Korey’s story is clearly not plausible, but it is considered a confession. Korey’s words and body language are disturbing, and something about that Pepsi can (perhaps the unintentional “product placement” of the same soda featured in the unforgettable Michael Jackson advertisement) leaves an unpleasant taste. The videos of the other four boys show similar disorientation, and it’s clear that their accounts don’t match up.

The filmmakers did an amazing job of piecing together a story of kids whose parents and communities are powerless in protecting them. In so doing, they manage to place audience members in the witness stand of collective responsibility for the Five and others like them. In a year where Ramarley Graham and Trayvon Martin had 15 minutes before dropping from the national consciousness, The Central Park Five reminds us how biased American can be against young black and Latino men, especially those from low income communities.

When the credits came, attendees rushed to their feet, offering thunderous applause to welcome the filmmakers and four of the Central Park Five (Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise) to the stage for a conversation about the film.

One of the most interesting exchanges was regarding the Central Park Jogger’s silence on whether the wrongly accused and convicted men should receive reparations from the City of New York. The men said they understood why the victim of a vicious attack would not want to relive it; they said they faulted the City for its inaction. A white woman sitting next to me remarked that if Trisha Meili, the jogger, stood with the men, she might find more healing than she could ever expect. In that moment, I saw hope for a post-racial, cross-racial vision of human equality.

Later, at the party hosted by Albert Maysles (a filmmaker and the founder of Maysles Cinema) and his wife, I mixed with the cast and crew and their families over a lavish Indian-inspired dinner and wine. I was incredibly struck by how much possibility had been taken from the men of The Central Park Five, who were just starting high school when they were accused. Being imprisoned has had a significant impact on their lives — and has hurt their chances even now that they’re free. That said, they don’t come across as hardened as I would expect from people who have lost so much. They seem like pleasant, thoughtful men. When I asked them if they are capable of happiness, they said yes. Richardson mentioned his work speaking on behalf of The Innocence Project. Mainly, they are appreciative that some people have stood with them.

For me — a young black woman living in Harlem — the film made me re-commit to being present in my community. Harlem has often been miscategorized and misperceived. It’s important that people like me with the capacity to mentor, to speak against injustice, and to support and defend the younger people are present and active. The film also helped me to realize that what happened in Central Park in 1989 isn’t simply a historical event. Today — in an era when black actors are all but absent from primetime television and when many New Yorkers and Americans still live in segregated communities — our perceptions of (and interactions with) each other are more important than ever. 

Wednesday 21st of November 2012

Wednesday, November 21

Starting at 3 PM today, go to Central Park West and 77nd Street near the Natural History Museum to see the inflation of the iconic balloons that will march down to Macy’s in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. To prepare, read our interview with the man who pulls the strings, Macy’s Creative Director William Schermerhorn.

Three new movies come to theaters tonight. The one with the best reviews so far (with an average score of 83 based on 27 critical reviews) is Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper as a recovering mental patient and Jennifer Lawrence as his new friend. Other options (both with strong scores) include Life of Pi based on Yann Martel’s fantasy adventure and Rise of the Guardians, an animated adventure movie with the voices of Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, and Hugh Jackman.

(Thanksgiving) Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving! If you aren’t busy cooking or traveling, we assume you’re craving the balloons, floats, Broadway numbers, marching bands, and clowns that make up one of New York City’s biggest annual cultural extravaganzas — the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At Culture Craver, we’re excited for the new balloon based on the work of the artist KAWS. The parade’s creative director explained: “What’s interesting about it is that it’s in shades of grays and browns and whites. So, it will be very different for Macy’s Parade … as opposed to the colorful confetti that you’re so used to.” The 86th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9 AM on the Upper West Side. It travels down Central Park West, turns East at Columbus Circle and South at Sixth Avenue. It concludes at Macy’s in Herald Square.

Friday, November 23

Another highly anticipated film, Hitchcock, hits theaters. It’s a biographical drama, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson, based on the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.

Oy Vey, a new comic play, starts Friday night at Studio Theatre. We are hoping the show lives up to expectations set by its cute title.

Saturday, November 24

Amy Herzog’s The Great God Pan opens Saturday at Playwrights Horizons. It’s a show about a Brooklyn girl sent into a tailspin when a possible childhood trauma comes to light.

And finally! It’s time to see Chris March’s Butt-Cracker Suite! at HERE. It’s a recreation of “The Nutcracker” set in a trailer park with dancing pink flamingos, cans of Spam, and fashion-backward Christmas sweaters.

Sunday, November 25

Restoration Comedy by Amy Freed and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar opens at the Flea Theater.

Monday, November 26

Hear from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen, who recently published a memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. She’ll be interviewed by Jodi Kantor at the 92nd Street Y at 8 p.m.

David LaChapelle: Still Life opens from 6-8 PM at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea.

Tuesday, November 27

Craving African Art? African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde, which opens today at the Met, explores African art acquired in the 1910s and 1920s by cutting-edge New Yorkers.

Ben Johnson’s 1606 play, Volpone or the Fox, opens in the Village on Tuesday night. It’s a classic comedy about a rich schemer.

Wednesday, November 28

See Kidd Pivot at the Joyce. This modern dance piece uses the island setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a metaphor for isolation, captivity, and desire.

Thursday, November 29

It’s time for Pipe Dream Theater’s The Nutcracker and The Mouse King — a dark, modern dance version of the Nutcracker.

Monday 19th of November 2012

Some people wonder about actors and costumes when they head to new Broadway shows. William Schermerhorn’s first question is: “Do they have a parade number?”

Mr. Schermerhorn came to New York City as an aspiring actor — but ended up on the sales floor at Macy’s, which led him to the Parade Office, where he is now the creative director. Thursday will be his 30th Thanksgiving Day Parade, which means he’s been overseeing the spectacle’s balloons, floats, dancers, clowns, marching bands, and Broadway numbers for more than a third of Macy’s 86 annual parades. In this time, he has also won two Emmy Awards for parade songs he has written.

With 71 hours to go before the turkey float heads down Central Park West, Mr. Schermerhorn spoke with Culture Craver’s Julia Levy about creating a parade that keeps more than 50 million people captivated year after year.

It’s your 30th Parade. Congratulations! How did you come to be the creative director of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?   

I started out wanting to be an actor, like so many people who come to New York right out of college. I ended up on the selling floor of Macy’s, and then I started working in the parade office.

How does running a parade compare to selling clothes?

They’re two very different things, except that you want to make people happy. With selling clothes, you want them to look great and also have the latest fashion. With the parade, we always look for the latest trends, and we find ways to keep the parade current and fresh.

What’s changed over the past three decades?

There are new ways of reaching people — especially with our Macy’s Parade app. You can go to iTunes and find out more details about the music and the movies and the television shows that are highlighted in the parade. There are ways to tell a backstory that you couldn’t before.

The parade itself is one of the last great variety shows. All through the decades, you could name five balloons and four performing acts, and you could pretty much figure out about what year it was. We try to do that — and we continue that tradition.

Has technology also affected the “backstage” elements of the parade?

It’s not tin cans and strings anymore … I remember when our parade director had the first mobile phone, and it had to be carried in golf cart behind her because it was in this suitcase. She had to crank it up.  One of the big things we always told people at the final parade meeting was always have quarters in your pocket — so you could use a pay phone in an emergency.

It’s been a while since that reminder has been necessary.

You don’t need quarters anymore, and you don’t need tokens for the subway either.

You said the parade is the last great variety show. What cultural events are the closest relatives of the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

All the great parades of America and the world, we all have our own signature things. The Tournament of Roses has spectacular floats and the horse unit. We are very star driven, and of course people want to see our signature parade balloons. We each have our own identities.

There will be 11 marching bands in this year’s parade. How do you choose?

For marching bands and for our performance groups — which include things like tap dancing Christmas trees — they apply, and then we have a committee. For marching bands, we watch tapes of their halftime routines a year and a half in advance.  And then we pick the best …

How do you choose the stars that perform?

We have our wish list. We work with our partners, for example Gibson or Domino Sugar, about what type of talent they would like to see on their float. You can think of the float as a stage. Who brings that float to life? The talent. We go back and forth about who we think is best. I could probably tell you what most celebrities are doing on Thanksgiving Day if they’re not here.

As a one-time aspiring actor, what are your feelings about the Broadway musicals featured in the parade?  

Broadway actors are some of the most talented people on the face of the planet, and it’s nice to give them an opportunity to shine. It’s fun to work with NBC for the telecast to select those shows, and then work with the chorographers and directors and music directors and the actors to create spectacular productions.

What goes into staging those numbers for the street?

They are doing it outside, they’re doing it on the street, so there’s very limited scenery. Sometimes, it’s interesting to see what shows really can work, just being on the street.

Are there any shows you think are better off staying on a stage?

I always kid press reps before I see a new show. I say, “Do they have a parade number?” I think every musical in America should write a number that works for the parade.

Over the years, you’ve translated contemporary artists’ work into balloons. What’s that experience been like?

It’s called the Blue Sky Gallery. It started with Robin Hall. He was the executive producer before Amy Kule, who’s the executive producer now. Robin had this vision of working with famous artists to create balloons that were not familiar characters, or were different from the Snoopies and the Garfields and the Spidermans of this world. He wanted to let these artists use their imagination to bring something to life that could fly through the sky.

We worked with Jeff Koons; we made his Silver Rabbit come to life. We worked with the Keith Haring Estate; that was a really cool one because we tried to make the balloon look like an illustration, so it was flatter than a normal balloon.

Working with these artists challenges our parade studio to design balloons that may be a little different and unique — experimenting with different fabrics and different ways of doing things.

One of the biggest honors was last year working with Tim Burton. I saw his show at MoMA and said, “Oh, he’s got to do a balloon in the parade.” He was probably one of the greatest collaborators we’ve ever worked with. The whole process was a partnership to create Burton’s B. Boy.

This year, we’re really excited about the artist KAWS joining us. His character is called Companion. What’s interesting about it is that it’s in shades of grays and browns and whites. So, it will be very different for Macy’s Parade … as opposed to the colorful confetti that you’re so used to. I think it’s going to be a wonderful, artistic moment in the parade.

You mentioned that you go to Broadway shows and museums. Are there other places where you go for parade inspiration?

You can find inspiration anywhere. I walk through Times Square every day. I visit theme parks. I am a theme park enthusiast; I just love going to those. You go to the opera, you’ll find inspiration: how can we translate what a designer did to what we do? The world is an inspiration.

Is there any rules of thumb for creating a parade each year that keeps the attention of 50 million people?

You always start with Thanksgiving and you end with Santa Claus. And in between, you tell wonderful stories. You want to appeal to all ages. The parade’s theme has always been “a celebration for children everywhere,” and on Thanksgiving Day, hopefully we all become children in some regard. And we want to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Especially this year — people in this region have gone through a lot in the last few weeks. As we come together on this national holiday, we want to serve as a beacon of hope and renewal.

What are you most excited about in this year’s parade?

I’m always excited when I see Santa Claus arrive.

I bet.  

I’m excited about the Broadway shows. I’m glad that Charlie Brown is back in the parade after a seven-year absence. He’s like an old friend coming back to visit.

Are there any new things we should look out for?

There are some wonderful new floats. Our parade studio, under the supervision of John Piper, has outdone itself. There’s a new Goldfish on Parade float … The ninja turtles are back, and they’re on an exciting city landscape and there are fire escapes and zip lining poles. It’s totally different. Instead of being sweet and charming, it’s high energy, exiting.

One of the moments I’m really looking forward to is the kids from PS 22 — the choir that performed at the Oscars from Staten Island. They will be on our Gift of Freedom float, which olds a replication of the Statue of Liberty’s torch. They will be singing this wonderful number called “Home.” It’s going to be a quiet, heartwarming number. We’re thrilled to have them join us — and that’s what keeps our parade up to date. We try to acknowledge what’s happening in the world in a way that is entertaining, but also we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in this world.

You’ve won multiple Emmy Awards for writing music featured in the parade?

It’s part of the storyteller in me. If I can tell a certain story I want to tell through song, I’m thrilled to do that. It’s part of that theatrical experience. I used to write children’s theater shows back when I was in high school. It’s nice being honored by your peers for such an endeavor.

Have you created any new numbers for your 30th parade?

We are doing a new number towards the end of the parade at the arrival of Santa Claus called “Santa by the Book,” which is a number Wesley Whatley and I created. He wrote the music, I wrote the lyrics. It’s part of our musical, “Yes Virginia: The Musical,” which is playing in schools around the country this holiday season. It’s actually being performed in more than 100 elementary schools and middle schools.

Do you have any tips for parade watchers?

Just enjoy yourself, and just watch it all go by and be proud that we can all be together and celebrate such wonderful things on Thanksgiving.

Each year, the parade begins with Thanksgiving and ends with Christmas

Hello Kitty — a new giant balloon that will fly over this year's parade

Kermit the Frog, a classic favorite balloon

The new Goldfish on Parade Float, which Mr. Schermerhorn mentioned in the interview

All photographs courtesy of Macy's

Friday 16th of November 2012

As Thanksgiving approaches, we highlight 10 “Thank You” lessons embedded in some of our favorite movies of the year.

1. The Hunger Games: We are thankful for our democracy — even if it’s imperfect — and for our freedom.

2. Lincoln: We are thankful for leaders who recognize that what’s right isn’t popular, but that rightness isn’t a popularity contest.

3. Skyfall: We are thankful for brave people who use brains and booby traps to protect the rest of us.

4. Breaking Dawn - Part 2: We are thankful for family and for unlikely alliances. They can make all the difference when European vampires come calling.

5. Brave: We are thankful for parents who trust us to make our own decisions.

6. Footnote: We are thankful for the success of the people we love (the alternative, depicted in this film, would make Thanksgiving dinner impossible).

7. Searching for Sugar Man: We are thankful for lucky coincidences; they give us hope that while we might feel unexceptional, we might actually be rock stars.

8. Moonrise Kingdom: We are thankful for people who take the time to write letters (and e-mails) because words can create and transform relationships.

9. Looper: We are thankful that time moves predictably forward, even if we sometimes wish we could slow it down or turn it around.

10. The Lorax: We are thankful for nature — and for the people who care about Truffula Trees and other parts of the world around them.

Thursday 15th of November 2012

First of all, if you have been living under a rock, there was a real life scandal involving the Twilight Saga stars, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. The two had been coupled both in the movie and in real life. Over the summer, we found out that Ms. Stewart, 22, had had an affair with Rupert Sanders (41, married, and her director on another film). Now, Ms. Stewart and Mr. Pattinson seem to be reunited. They were spotted holding hands at the London Premier of Breaking Dawn and they finished each other’s sentences in an interview with the Huffington Post.

OK! Now that the drama is out of the way, let’s turn to the facts that will get you ready for Breaking Dawn — Part 2!

Vampire Traits in Folklore and Fiction: This Wikipedia page has incredibly handy charts that compare vampires across different traditions and books on the basis of appearance, weaknesses, supernatural powers, reproduction and feeding, and setting characteristics. If you get really serious, you could turn to the books that were the source material for this Wikipedia entry — Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality and V is for Vampire: The A-Z Guide to Everything Undead.

Twilight stars interviewed about Breaking Dawn – Part 2: You can hear interviews with Taylor Lautner (Jacob), Robert Pattinson (Edward), and Kristen Stewart (Bella).

Director Bill Condon Interviewed about Breaking Dawn: How Mr. Condon approached Taylor Lautner “imprinting” on a little girl without being creepy and more behind-the-scenes answers.  

The Woman Behind Twilight: Oprah uncovers the story behind the story in an interview with author Stephenie Meyer. Ms. Meyer explains that the idea that turned into the blockbuster hit came to her in a dream: “It was two people in kind of a little circular meadow with really bright sunlight, and one of them was a beautiful, sparkly boy and one was just a girl who was human and normal, and they were having this conversation…”

Twilight and What Women Want: Stephen Marche mocks Twilight in Esquire Magazine: “To sum up, this is what women want: never to die, to have sex unbounded by physical reality, to have super-strength, to be able to protect everyone they love just by willing it, to have a precocious daughter with a cool name who never dies, and to have lots of interesting cosmopolitan friends who will happily visit the rural Pacific Northwest. Really, is that too much to ask?”

5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From The Twilight Saga: Glamour’s Anna Moeslein mockingly covers the lessons of Twilight for family, fashion, and more.

For Love of Do-Good Vampires: A Bloody Book List: If you’re having Edward and Bella withdrawal after Breaking Dawn concludes, turn to this book list, put together by NPR correspondent Margo Adler, who read 75 vampire novels in nine months, and lived to write about it.