Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES FILM ARCHIVES Living NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES TV ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

Urgent Doc Do You Know What My Name Is? Examines the Toll of Alzheimer’s

A small, intimate film about a massive issue, the affecting doc Do You Know What My Name Is? is one of a growing number of movies (nonfiction and fiction) to examine Alzheimer’s/dementia, an affliction that itself affects ever-growing numbers of people as baby boomers age and medical advances extend the life expectancy.

Co-directed by Naomi Kazama and Shigeru Ota, Do You Know is set in the Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network in Cleveland, where it spends six months following healthcare worker John Rodeman as he takes part in experimental therapy that promises to halt or reverse the effects of dementia. Playing (and looking) like a home movie that has been tricked out with digestible scientific content, the film is also incredibly moving.

That’s in large part due to the personality of Rodeman (who could be the achingly earnest real-life brother of Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley character) as he interacts with his patients. The surprisingly dry humor of some of the seniors as they recover something of themselves, and the vibrancy that returns to them as the treatment takes hold, is thoroughly engrossing. Blank or befuddled faces slowly come to life, and a bit of vinegar returns to some of the personalities.

At one point well into her treatment, 93-year-old Evelyn, who had retreated into herself and had difficulty expressing a full thought, is asked by a nurse to come for a walk. With ace comic timing the elder shoots back, “No. I’m very satisfied with my life.”

Categories
Bars CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

DOWN AND OUT

Since 2011, the Downtown Festival, hosted by Downtown Records, has called NYC one of its homes on three occasions. Now with locations across the country — Cleveland and Minneapolis are hosting their inaugural fests this year — Downtown Festival boasts a pretty fantastic list of who’s been the talk of each respective town. Naturally, Kiesza, this year’s breakout star with her one-shot music video for house-pop jam “Hideaway,” is headlining the three-day, two-venue event alongside Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Jungle, and Autre Ne Veut. The festival takes place at both Irving Plaza and Webster Hall, which means that the venues will be close enough for you to hop between with your weekend pass. Whether you’ve been paying attention to burgeoning acts or not, this weekend event is a perfect way to stay in touch with what NYC has to offer.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Starts: Oct. 1. Continues through Oct. 4, 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES FILM ARCHIVES Living NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

BAND OF OUTSIDERS

Jim Jarmusch’s breakthrough 1984 film, Stranger Than Paradise, a substantial commercial success at the time (grossing $2.5 million on a budget of just over $100,000), follows three meandering individuals — New York hipster Willie (John Lurie), his 16-year-old Hungarian cousin (Eszter Balint), and his gambling pal (Richard Edson) — as they stumble their way through America. The movie, as is customary with Jarmusch, is structured as a series of vignettes: There are three primary locations (New York, Cleveland, Florida), three distinct narrative sections (each one delineated with its own title), and every scene in the film is a single take, followed by a fade to black. A formative merging of European flavors and familiar New Hollywood material, Stranger Than Paradise has remained one of the most influential American indies of its decade.

Wed., April 2, 7 p.m.; Thu., April 3, 1:30 p.m., 2014

Categories
Bars FOOD ARCHIVES Living Neighborhoods NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

SONIC JOURNEY

Ride the kosmische tractor beam into the depths of your soul tonight with Cleveland solo guitarist Mark McGuire and Brooklyn electronic trio Forma. McGuire, a former member of electronica trio Emeralds, has embarked upon a journey of self-actualization culminating with his new Along the Way, a four-vinyl-sided, programmatic, personal reflection on “the quest of the individual seeking the answers to the great mysteries of life.” Does he succeed in delivering the Kantian epiphanies suggested in his liner notes? Check out his architectonic tapestry of droning, looping, layered sounds and decide for yourself, pilgrim. Forma’s Sophie Lam, George Bennett, and Mark Dwinell used vintage Moog, Roland, and Oberheim products for the pulsing Krautrock update heard on their 2012 release On/Off.

Fri., Jan. 31, 8 p.m., 2014

Categories
Bars FOOD ARCHIVES Living NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Cloud Nothings

It’s been exactly two years since Cloud Nothings released the incredible and almost immediately canonized Attack On Memory. We’ve waited patiently to hear how they’d follow it up, and for those few who snagged tickets to their performance at Baby’s All Right (moved from Rough Trade), the wait is over. The Cleveland band will take to the new record store/venue and perform the entirety of their upcoming LP along with select favorites (there was no way they were going to get out of playing “Wasted Days”). Rumor has it the new album is a lot noisier, so here’s to a dissonant 2014!

Thu., Jan. 16, 8 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Pere Ubu

The bad news is that two members of the legendary UK-based punk-industrialist pataphysicians were denied visas for this tour; the good news is that Cleveland guitarist David Cintron will fill in, with the Brits joining by remote link. Expect the music to wobble between industrial-strength rock and abrasively expressionist passages of musique concrète as wined-up frontman David Thomas tries gallantly to awaken from pop’s endless nightmare.

Thu., Sept. 12, 9 p.m., 2013

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES FILM ARCHIVES Living NYC ARCHIVES TV ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES

Fun Size, The Teen Comedy That’s Not Bad for You

Gossip Girl and The O.C., the two teen TV shows created in the past decade by 36-year-old Josh Schwartz, are sly bait and switches. Both are easily marketable for their hot (mess) fashion-plate stars, wide-eyed luxury fetishism, soapy season arcs, and savvy self-reference, but both are also, at heart, deeply old-fashioned in the primacy they put on the family. Teens and grown-ups alike (parents, rich with flaws and desires, are always treated as people, too) drift away from the home and into sometimes unsavory situations in order to learn lessons that reaffirm their priorities and those of the shows: Again and again, gatherings of multiple generations around the breakfast table are held up as the modern utopian ideal.

Fun Size, which Schwartz directed and produced from a screenplay by Max Werner, lacks both the glossy finish of his prime-time serials—the setting is unglamorous suburban Cleveland; the dress code is bargain-store Halloween chic—and the razor-sharpness of the dialogue. (The script does include a wide range of casual cultural references, from The Mikado to Lil’ Wayne.) But the fundamental Schwartz touch applies: In the guise of a narrowly targeted tween flick, he has delivered a smart and emotionally satisfying slice of wish fulfillment, tracing how a threatened family finds harmony.

Played by recovering Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice, whose coltish stature and wide-featured beauty recalls a graphic novel rendition of Winnie Cooper, Wren is a senior with her sights set on skipping town for NYU, the alma mater of her beloved, recently deceased dad, whose Def Jam track jacket has become Wren’s security blanket. The loss of the family patriarch has thrown Wren’s widowed mom, Joy (Chelsea Handler), and butterball little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) into a kind of temporary insanity; the latter has become a mute prankster, while the former is dating a 26-year-old. Wren is invited to a Halloween bash by the school’s “god/stud/legend,” but Joy has evening plans with her boy toy, forcing the teen to patrol her gluttonous little brother’s night of trick or treating. When Wren loses Albert in a haunted house, Roosevelt (Thomas Mann), a debate captain with a long-harbored crush, agrees to chauffeur the search party. Cruising, bruising, first kisses, and life lessons follow.

Schwartz has never directed before, for the big screen or small, and here he’s tasked with the challenge of splitting the demographic difference between eight and 18-year-olds. His sight gags fail (a naked child on a toilet) as often as they succeed. (A sequence in which Albert dominates a disco floor has LOLs for the whole family.) The influence of John Hughes movies is felt everywhere, from the one-night-in-the-suburbs structure to the film’s depiction of nerds as “unlikely” studs, and like its inspirations, Fun Size revolves around what is in essence an allegorical battle for the family’s soul: Will they get suckered by the temptation to be shallow or stand proud as the imperfect but lovable freaks that they are? The presiding spirit is that of the Beastie Boys song that plays at a crucial moment: “Fight for Your Right to Party,” a raunchy yet innocent celebration of ultimately harmless rebellion and a throwback to a previous generation that still holds up.

Categories
Education Living NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

THE CITY IN PANELS

Superman might have been born in Cleveland, but he moved to New York the first chance he got. Columbia University Libraries is hosting Comic New York, a symposium examining the city’s history of comics. Creators as diverse as golden-age artist Irwin Hasen, former DC publisher Paul Levitz, Marvel mainstays John Romita and John Romita Jr., and such alt-comics luminaries as R Sikoryak and Julia Wertz 
expound on “New York, Real and Imagined,” “Alternative New York,” and other topics. Today’s keynote discussion is between X-Men writer Chris Claremont and his longtime editor, Louise Simonson.

Sat., March 24, 10 a.m., 2012

Categories
Bars CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Cloud Nothings

With songs crafted in his Cleveland bedroom, 18-year-old Dylan Baldi collaborated with producer Steve Albini on his record Attack On Memory and swiftly became one of the most hotly-tipped acts of SXSW. Recorded with a thick cloud of depression, Baldi engages in poppy futility rock, making memorable riffs out of tracks titled “Cut You” and “Stay Useless.” The incisive sense of desperation behind his songwriting has gained him comparisons to Sunny Day Real Estate, but behind his melancholy bedroom recordings is the wish fulfillment of every teenage boy with a Nirvana poster.

Tue., March 27, 7:30 p.m., 2012

Categories
Living NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

“Everybody wanna sound like Bone,” these Cleveland rappers bragged on 2010’s Uni5: The World’s Enemy, and given the rise of such melodically inclined MCs as Drake and Kendrick Lamar, there might be a bit of truth to their claim. According to the Gramercy’s website, both Krayzie and Wish Bone (who temporarily left the group last year) are due to appear here.

Tue., Feb. 7, 7 p.m., 2012