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Friday, September 21, 2018

How is whiteness a learned performance?

By Susan Yung

Director Patricia McGregor asks you (yes, you): Has gentrification been a protagonist or antagonist in your life? Why and how?
Place began with Ted Hearne addressing the intersections of privilege and appropriation in his own life and work, weighing a personal sense of place and space in the most immediate family relationships against the inherited and generational.

BAM: The Next Wave Festival, the focus of Unbound book release event

By Susan Yung

The Next Wave was a bold experiment in drawing people to Brooklyn to see performances, and it worked. A new book, BAM: The Next Wave Festival (release: Sep 26, 2018), examines the 36-year course of the fall festival that has become an international paradigm. In 1981, Harvey Lichtenstein gathered a handful of primarily dance events as a series; it grew into a festival two years later, after a successful start. The early Next Wave presented mostly downtown New York artists who mingled and collaborated, until then performing in ad hoc spaces, such as lofts and galleries. Visual art was an integral component—it had been helping to provide vast rooms largely bereft but for art on the walls, and a conceptual underpinning both broad and unfettered. The genre stood its own alongside dance, music, and theater, and art became an integral part of the Next Wave, from program covers and posters to exhibitions in odd spaces.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Beyond the Canon: Ravenous + The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Ravenous (1999) courtesy of 20th Century Fox, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) courtesy of MPI Media Group

It is no secret that the cinema canon has historically skewed toward lionizing the white, male auteur. This monthly series seeks to question that history and broaden horizons by pairing one much-loved, highly regarded, canonized classic with a thematically or stylistically-related—and equally brilliant—work by a filmmaker traditionally excluded from that discussion.

By Lindsay Brayton

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

In Context: Almadraba

Spanish guitarist and composer Oscar Peñas blends together jazz and classical music in the world premiere of Almadraba, an ode to the sustainable Andalusian fishing tradition of the bluefin tuna. Like Andalusia itself, a melange of Moorish and Romanesque influences, Peñas melds together these two genres along with the influence of Cuban, South American, and Spanish music to tell the grand tale of this age-old ecological technique. To give you further insight into the production, we’ve compiled resources below and after you’ve attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #almadraba.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Never Stop Dreaming: Q&A with JACK &'s Cornell Alston

By Charity Coleman

How can internal life be rebuilt after trauma? This Next Wave Festival, theater artist Kaneza Schaal joins forces with actor Cornell Alston and artist Christopher Myers to consider reentry into society after prison in JACK &. Learn more about Alston's journey to the stage below and be sure to catch him in the BAM Fisher October 17—20.

Photo: Christopher Myers

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

José Andrés’ recipe for comfort in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

By Vilina Phan

José Andrés knows food. Just look at the multi-hyphenate's accolades from Michelin stars to James Beard awards. But his latest efforts haven’t been in a traditional kitchen—instead, they have been focused on Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Just a few days after the devastation in 2017 he traveled to the island and started cooking—but not just any dish, he wanted the food to remain familiar and local, and so he prepared traditional foods like sancocho, arroz de tripleta, and paella as a way to provide comfort.

Courtesy of World Central Kitchen

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Say It Loud: Cinema in the Age of Black Power, 1966—1981

By Ashley Clark

Wattstax (1973) courtesy of Columbia Pictures/Photofest
Rebellion, radical politics, boundary-pushing art, controversy, and boundless creativity: the age of Black Power had it all, and more. This expansive film series, presented in conjunction with Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (opening Sep 14), features a kaleidoscopic international banquet of features and shorts produced in this revolutionary climate by some of the era’s most incendiary talents. Confrontational, experimental, and ripe for (re)discovery, these films powerfully evoke their own time and unarguably speak to today’s climate, where black activists challenging widespread racial injustice find themselves targeted by a right-wing authoritarian administration.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Behind the scenes—Howard Tynes, Security of a different stripe

By David Hsieh

Security guards often wear dark suits, conservative ties, and dark sunglasses. But that’s not Howard Tynes’ style. A BAM security guard for the past 10 years, he is known—especially to Fisher building audiences—for his distinctive and nifty garb: freshly pressed suits in all colors and materials, and always with bowties and pocket squares. Anyone who has seen him would not be surprised to learn that he had a career in fashion. More unexpected is his career on the baseball field. Howard Tynes tells us how his three passions intersect.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Women at Work: Radical Creativity

From August 10—16, BAMcinématek invites audiences to celebrate creative expression with “Women at Work: Radical Creativity”—the second installment of an ongoing film series dedicated to highlighting the complex subject of women’s work from a variety of perspectives. Following “Women at Work: Labor Activism” (March 2018), “Radical Creativity”—organized by guest curator Dessane Lopez Cassell—foregrounds the intellectual labor of women artists, activists, and thinkers.

Photo: Courtesy of Reelside Productions 

by Dessane Lopez Cassell

Often undervalued, or altogether overlooked, the contributions of women have had a profound and continuous effect on our cultural and political landscape, drastically shaping not only the way we visualize our world, but also the ways in which we experience it as citizens. “Radical Creativity” highlights the persistent efforts and agency of women in shaping culture, critical thought, and the governing of their own communities.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Beyond the Canon—Set It Off + Dog Day Afternoon

It is no secret that the cinema canon has historically skewed toward lionizing the white male auteur. Beyond the Canon is a monthly series that seeks to question that history and broaden horizons by pairing one much-loved, highly regarded, canonized classic with a thematically or stylistically related—and equally brilliant—work by a filmmaker traditionally excluded from that discussion. This month’s double feature pairs F. Gary Gray’s Set It Off (1996) with Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon (1975) on Sat, Aug 4.

By Fanta Sylla

Has there ever been a right reason to rob a bank? Ever since its genesis, the heist genre—dated almost universally by film theorists and academics to 1950 with the release of John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle—has attempted to answer that morally thorny question. One could also advance that the genre’s persistence and enduring relevance has provided another answer: there has never been a right reason to rob a bank, but the act of theft can make for films of great beauty. Ultimately, the whys have never really mattered, it’s always been about the hows.