amidst growing evidence Right-wing demagoguery is still alive and well, and as an artist one choice is to keep it alive. Chilean director Pablo Larraín has been tackling Augusto Pinochet’s predatory behavior for more than a decade in films such as “No,” “Club” and “Autopsy.” In his new film, “counting,” On Netflix, he turns thieves into literal vampires. First, eye-catching visuals and well-placed metaphors are irresistible. However, the politics of this dark comedy are quickly muddied by a clumsy plot: a nun goes undercover to become an accountant, a housekeeper impersonates his employer, and a recent reveal comically links Pinochet to another A notorious head of state. The film is more concerned with a bleak love story than mass atrocities, landing in a place that’s neither interesting nor dark enough. Far removed from the reality of his crimes, Pinochet risked having his teeth chopped off.
“There is love here” The immersive David Byrne musical, playing on Broadway, tells the story of another dictator, using another unlikely means – in this case, putting Imelda The Rise and Fall of Marcos is set in a nightclub, where the audience is prompted to move, dance, cheer, and sing along. On the night I attended, the crowd seemed happy to follow these cues and sometimes go beyond: The election of Imelda’s husband, Ferdinand, was met with spontaneous applause. In the context of the coming dictatorship, my plus-one and I found this exercise disturbing. The production, while fluid, makes Imelda a fascinating character and refuses to look too closely at the toll of the Marcos regime for much of its running time, lest it detract from the mood. The result was an intermittently fun evening, but it didn’t feel like it should have been. But a light-hearted approach to such horrors is not doomed.Ernst Lubitsch’s film is an obvious rebuttal “To be or not to be” (now streaming on Max), is a cartoon that satirizes Nazism, made even more powerful by the fact that it was released in 1942. In the right hands, the gap between tragedy and farce can be razor-thin.
this Perelman Center for the Performing Arts, a.k.a. new york city public council, A five-night concert series inaugurated the new facility, bringing together more than thirty outstanding artists from a variety of musical disciplines. The opening show on September 19 is called “New York Tapestry: Home as Refuge” Celebrating New York as a safe space and incubator for music and culture from around the world, including musicians who call the city their creative home.The performances in the Whatever You Want series range from experimental music (Laurie Anderson) to Erhu Violinists (Wang Guowei), including (pictured, left to right) concert pianist Daniel Gortler, soul fusion artist Martha Redbone, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Raven Chacon (commissioned for the world premiere) and Alberto Villalobos, a member of the world music violin trio The Villalobos Brothers.Sheldon Pierce
about the town
“Don’t mind me because I allow myself to be seen on my own terms on this stage.” These words come from a recent evening in one of the thirty-two-minute plays that make up “Infinity Wrench.” That could be the motto for the entire show, in which performers have an hour to sing, dance and play sock puppets, completing as many plays as possible in a random order decided by the audience. Note that they take no action. “We are who we are,” a troupe member of the New York-based Neofuturist Theater Company behind the piece declared before the performance. The company doesn’t hesitate to test its audience’s limits; drink meat-flavored sodas at your own risk. –Dan Starr (Crane Theatre; Friday and Saturday.)
In the album “Exile Love”, the lead singer Arulji Aftab, composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, and bassist Shahzad Ismaili Click the same frequency. The songs on the album, released in March, unfold with a mesmerizingly calm rhythm, gradually building around a sinuous melody sung by Aftab in Urdu. Many of the tracks stretch out, as if trying to fill in the gaps, and most are around twelve minutes long. The sound continues, even echoes, seemingly inexhaustible. The music’s ebb and flow—generated by the hiss, buzz, and chime of electronics, gently throbbing bass, and haunting, atmospheric vocals that dissipate like steam—conjure an inescapable of dreams.Sheldon Pearce (City Hall; September 14)