Category archives: NYC

  • Founded in 1962, Film Comment has long been the critical voice of art-house and independent cinema, while also offering thoughtful coverage of more mainstream movies. The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which has published the magazine since the 1970s, annually presents the Film Comment Selects festival, which runs this year from Friday, Feb. 17, through Thursday, Feb. 23. Now in its 17th year, the festival screens movies that are not generally shown elsewhere, mixing the new and noteworthy with older, sometimes forgotten films that deserve another look.The scope of the festival is demonstrated by its opening night films: a premiere of Stéphane Brizé’s A Woman’s Life, an intricate adaptation of the Guy de Maupassant novel; and an Ultra-widescreen IMAX presentation of Terrence Malick’s trippy Voyage of Time, a visual and aural treat. The festival also features a four-film tribute to recently deceased cinematographer Raoul Coutard and revivals including 1972's The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and rarely seen 1962 short On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, both directed by Paul Newman.Here’s a look at a couple of other films to be screened:Bitter Money, Wang Bing’s rambling, fly-on-the-wall documentary about Chinese migrant workers, is sometimes a tough slog. His loose, observational style doesn’t always serve the stories of his subjects—various individuals who have traveled to Huzhou to work in the city’s garment factories—nor does it consistently[...]
  • With an unprecedented climate of change and concern dawning in the United States, Art for Progress arts education programs are more essential than ever. AFP is embracing the ever-growing need for alternative and supplemental art, music, theater, and fashion programs for young people representing the voice of true expression in our city. Once again this has been an exciting semester for existing Art for Progress arts education programs in New York City’s public schools, and there are some new programs in the works for the second half of the school year.Our flagship music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, which includes school day sessions as well as after school, is flourishing and has produced and cultivated a bunch of wonderful talent this semester. Everyone at the school is looking forward to the talent show on February 16th, which will include solo vocal and instrumental performances, and a variety of ensemble pieces and even a dance number.  AFP’s after school program at the James Baldwin School is also going strong and was well represented in the recent school-wide talent show on Friday, January 20. Students from both schools have been working hard after school every day, choosing songs and rehearsing. Especially impressive is the spirit of mutual encouragement among the students as the shows approach.As for AFP’s Young Adult Music Enrichment Program, tracking is nearly completed on Bronx rock band Statik Vision’s full-length album, and we are preparing [...]
  • It’s fitting that HBO is choosing to air Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s Every Brilliant Thing during the holiday season (starting on Monday). Their filmed version of the one-character play of the same name about depression, suicide and survival is funny, moving and heartening—appropriate viewing at a time of year when many people are not feeling their psychological best despite all the trappings of merriment. Recorded over three performances at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2015, Every Brilliant Thing stars British comedian Jonny Donahoe (best known in the UK for his comedy band Jonny and the Baptists), who co-wrote it with Duncan Macmillan.We enter the small theater-in-the-round along with the audience, as they file in and take their seats. Donahoe, a stocky, cheerful sort, distributes pieces of paper containing various phrases and instructs the recipients to yell them out at his signal. He then proceeds to tell his character’s decade-spanning life story, punctuated by the items of the show’s title. “Every Brilliant Thing” refers to an inventory of things to live for, started by Donahoe’s narrator at the age of seven when his mother first tried to kill herself. The list—which begins with “ice cream”—would become a running theme in his life, disappearing,  resurfacing, and evolving as he got older (“Hairdressers who listen to what you want”).Aside from calling out list entries, audience members are enlisted to impersonate people in the narrator’s life during cru[...]
  • Documentary lovers, take note! The seventh edition of DOC NYC, America’s largest nonfiction film festival, begins this week, with screenings at Manhattan's IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinepolis Chelsea. The 2016 festival, which runs from Thursday, Nov. 10, to Thursday, Nov. 17, boasts over 250 films and events overall, including 110 feature-length documentaries. Included are 18 world premieres and 19 U.S. premieres, with more than 300 filmmakers and special guests on hand to present and discuss their films. Notable documentarians will be honored at the Visionaries Tribute Awards on Nov. 10, including Jonathan Demme and Stanley Nelson, who are receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards.Opening Night film will be Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, directed by Matt Tyrnauer, about writer and activist Jane Jacobs and her fight against NYC’s most ruthless power broker, Robert Moses. Closing Night film will be Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, directed by John Scheinfeld. In between the two is a dazzling variety of docs divided into several categories: Viewfinders Competition (directorial visions), Metropolis Competition (NYC), American Perspectives, International Perspectives, Fight the Power (activism), Jock Docs (sports), Sonic Cinema (music), Modern Family (unconventional clans), Wild Life (animals), Docs Redux (classics), Art & Design (artists), Behind the Scenes (filmmaking), DOC NYC U (student work), Shorts, plus two new sections, True Crime and Science Nonf[...]
  • We recently caught up with Brooklyn based band Slothrust, who are releasing their long awaited third album, Everyone Else on Dangerbird Records October 28th.1)   Are you native New Yorker's or transplants?Will and I are from Boston and Kyle is from New Jersey.2)   How would you describe your sound?Blues / jazz influenced rock music with a lot of dynamics and time signature changes ;)3)   How has the crowd responded to the new music from Everyone Else?Crowds we have performed to have responded really positively to the new music. We are very excited to tour and share it with more people.4)   Was there a particular story you wanted to tell or message you wanted to send with Everyone Else?There is not one story in particular that I am trying to tell with this record. Thematically, it deals a lot with water and dreams. I like thinking about different states of consciousness and things infinitely larger than the self.5)   What do you enjoy most about touring and performing live?I like seeing new cities and the exchange of energy that happens between performers and difference audiences.6)   Tell me about your creative process. Do you work remotely or do you go off to the woods to write together as a group?It's a combination of a lot of things. Generally songs come to me in pieces and we go about executing them in a variety of ways. In the past there hasn't been a particular formula for us.7)   Where do you find your inspiration[...]
  • New York Fashion Week officially ended today.If you've been following any news from this week's past events:*You would know that Hood By Air made weird fashion magic with PornHub**Kayne West's Yeezy Show was considered a hot mess***Fashion insider Eva Chen was everywhere you wish you were.Former editor-in-chief for Lucky Magazine, Chen is Instagram's head of fashion partnerships, as well as CEO of Trend Micro. (She's also my hero)Over 600,000 fans keep track of the fashion maven via IG. And if you are an Instagram stalker like me, you'd know that she's pregnant with her second child to Tom Bannister, and loves to show off  her shoes from the backseat of car services. I especially love her #ootd shots, featuring designer Rosetta Getty and Tanya Taylor.Chen is also a brilliant digital strategist. In an interview with Business of Fashion, Chen lays out five basic principles for clothing brands big and small.Paraphrased from Business of Fashion:Seek real conversational engagement online. "It's not a numbers game," Chen says. "You can have millions of followers, but more important is whether people are commenting and tagging their friends. That means you’ve created something that people are talking about and that’s what makes a good post." Possess a strong visual identity. "ust as when you pick up a magazine, whether it’s Self Service or Vogue, and you could remove the title from the cover, but you would still know which magazine it was j[...]
  • Designers, looking for ways to connect your brand with clients? Master class is in session, y'all! Brand activation is the go-to marketing strategy for spurring direct consumer engagement via an event, campaign, or experience."Brand activation is not just about gaining affinity -- it's about inspiring consumers to act," says Amanda Hansen for Ad Age. A brand must present a flawless, harmonious, and fluid union of all available communication vehicles in a creative platform in order to activate consumer interest.And it would appear that the women's e-commerce website Revolve Clothing are the experts at brand activation, and they have the ad-dollars to prove it!Even their macaron game is on point. They work with celebrities, jetsetters, model, style influencers in order to create an overall exciting and enticing image in order to drive consumers to their e-commerce checkout line. And this past month, the brand invested in a 6,636 square foot Hamptons beach rental that costs about a $37,500 a month to rent.For the stunt, Revolve hosted tastemakers, including pay-for-play bloggers who boast a following of over 1 million on Instagram like Natasha Oakley (1.8 million), Danielle Bernstein (1.5 million), Chiara Ferragni (6.3 million), Eleanor Calder (3 million), Kristina Bazan (2.4 million), Negin Mirsalehi (3.2 million) and Camila Coutinho (1.9 million), according to Fashionista.Revolve covered all of the bloggers' travel expenses, appearance fees, and[...]
  • With the weather forecast calling for temperatures in the upper 90's on Friday, we did our best to prepare for an all day event in the sweltering NYC summer heat.  But upon entering the venue, it was clear that the organizers of the Panorama Festival planned appropriately for our day.  With many free water kiosks, tents and air conditioned art & music areas, it was easy to cool down if you were feeling overwhelmed by the oppressive heat.And although it's not so easy to get to Randall's Island, our timing was very good, and as we walked in Here We Go Magic was just starting to play in the huge tent to the north side of the venue.  I was happy to finally here the band live. Some years ago I interviewed Luke Temple, but lost touch with the band's more recent happenings.  They had a decent crowd for the early part of the day, and although they apologized for some technical difficulties, we were impressed with their set.As we made our way over to the main stage, we could hear Algier's set was already in full swing.  Algier's set was only 30 minutes, but their powerful, dark soulful sound was evident throughout.  While listening we were able to cool down over at the American Express spot.  We snapped together some complimentary sunglasses and enjoyed some refreshments for a bit before heading back to the pavilion to hear Preservation Hall Jazz Band. A rather large, enthusiastic crowd was now gathered and grooving to some of the best New Orleans style jazz you can fi[...]
  • Who would've thought that a classic summer white look could be effortlessly elevated with a pair of Kanye West-designed heels?!This week, rising star Margot Robbie surprised many show fanatics while promoting her latest film The Legend Of Tarzan in London. She fashioned her chic ensemble with a pair of Lucite Yeezy Season 2 heels — a shoe that is part of the rapper's latest collection which hit stores last month on June 6. Below: Lucite Yeezy Season 2 HeelPhoto Credit: YourNextShoes.com What's amazing is that just last year, West was the subject of many takedowns, characterizing him as a joke designer that was fooling the fashion world with "beige under-things" and "broken-down basics." "I don't read the reviews," West told Vogue's shuttered website Style.com sometime after the debut of Yeezy Season 1. And now, it would appear that West's passion for fashion is becoming less of the laughing matter with the fashion bible now describing the Lucite heel as the "most-sought-after footwear of the summer." Below: Kayne West appearing to have the last laugh.Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images And if you think that a bad review is actually a bad thing, think again.According to Racked, one of Kayne biggest naysayers, legendary fashion critic Cathy Horyn, (the scribe responsible for the "broken-down basics" remark)  is known for taking swipes at design stars.Horyn once equated Oscar De La Renta to a hot dog, and she "famously has been banned from shows by[...]
  • Art for Progress’ after school music enrichment program at Hudson High School for Learning Technologies was especially inspiring this spring semester because of a dynamic group of multi-talented, and eager students. The program was reinstated this spring thanks to the efforts of principal Nancy Amling. The program had been inactive for the fall semester because a lack of funding, Ms. Amling was influenced in her decision to restart the program by an exceptional young student and musician named Terelle. Terelle’s enthusiasm and hunger for new knowledge were the ultimate catalyst for the formation of the program.Tarelle wanted to learn about how music works beyond the shapes he was learning on the guitar. Hudson HS currently offers a beginning guitar class as a part of the school’s regular curriculum. The class is focused on the mechanics of playing the instrument, but like most beginning guitar classes, it did not address the underlying music theory necessary for students who to build their skills beyond the basic guitar vocabulary.The group of students that comprise the AFP after school program at Hudson range from 9th-12th graders, and are led by Terelle.  He expressed a desire to learn some more universal musical concepts in order to set up a foundation upon which to develop their musicality. They were made up of aspiring singers, guitarists, pianists, and bass players of varying levels of experience. We explored the construction of scales, chord building and common[...]
  • Formed in 1978, Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations devoted to defending and protecting human rights. Having long recognized the power of film to educate and bring change, the organization’s New York-based Human Rights Watch Film Festival screens approximately 500 films in 20 cities around the world each year. The 2016 edition of its New York City event is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center from June 10 through 19, featuring 18 feature films and three interactive programs. Here are some highlights:Opening Night selection is Hooligan Sparrow, which documents the efforts of  filmmaker Nanfu Wang to track Chinese activist Ye Haiyan (aka “Hooligan Sparrow”) in her mission to prosecute a school principal who arranged the rape of schoolgirls by government officials. Sparrow, a women’s rights advocate who first made headlines by speaking up for sex workers, seeks to close a loophole in China’s child prostitution laws that has enabled officials to elude rape charges by claiming that the victims were prostitutes. Hooligan Sparrow shows its protagonist and a small group of fellow protestors being harassed regularly by government-hired thugs, as Wang uses hidden cameras to record interactions with uncooperative police officials. Sparrow avoids arrest by fleeing to several cities during the course of the film, including her home village, as she awaits the verdict in the schoolgirl case. For Hooligan Sparrow, Wang [...]
  • Ok, fashion creatives, now let's get in formation! If you are passionate about streetwear design, be sure to create brand merchandising that seamlessly promotes your brand in a unique and fun way, and that stands out with Beyoncé-level swag.After all, it's not only a spectacular way to strengthen customer allegiance, it also pushes word about your company further into the world. Below: This week, a model sporting an old-school style logo tee at Gucci Cruise 2017 at Westminster Abbey. Crafted by creative director Alessandro Michele, this season's layered looks also embrace logo design Photo: Getty ImagesEven outside of the fashion world, Internet giants like Reddit and Mailchimp have discovered great success in brand merchandising.For Reddit, their first run of promotional gear sold out in 24 hours. And, as spirits company Sweet Tea Vodka points out, company swag is a more widespread form of advertising: [Fans become like] "billboards walking around, which is great," he says. "The beer companies have done it forever."As journalist Tim Donnelly writes in Inc., "brand merchandise is a great way to create new loyalties with your customers and enlist them to spread your name to new audiences."However there's a caveat: "You have to do it in a way that creates viral sensations, not just oversized promotional T-shirts that end up at the bottom of someone's closet." Below: Looks like Alessandro Michele took a risk using oversized promotional gear for a look th[...]