I've been feeling super nostalgic for the days of trip hop recently. It might be the weather, it might just be that time, but my old Portishead, Massive Attack and Morcheeba albums sound completely on point. I just downloaded the Winter Mix from Chirp, a seasonal "mixtape" put out by Kevin Byrd and Co. Each quarter he gets a homie to design a cover for his compilation. I jam out on it on the regular. I was psyched to discover Phantogram, a duo comprised of Sarah Barthel and Joshua Carter from Saratoga Springs, NY. Their part of the Ghostly International family and I loved the record As Far As I Can See from their debut album, Eyelid Movies.
With the blizzard outside, what better time to head inside and check some art and film. This is the last weekend to catch some of the amazing documentary films on view through MoMA's Documentary Fortnight program. Established in 2001, this annual event brings some of the world's most compelling non-fiction stories to NYC. The dynamic programming covers stories big and small ranging from the housing market in Williamsburg Brooklyn to the amazing collection of Western masterworks housed at Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art (see below). Check out the full program here and a selection from a series of films focused on Iran that are screening on Saturday.
The Treasure Cave
2009. Iran. Directed by Bahman Kiarostami. Residing under one of the most vehemently anti-Western governments in the world, Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art possesses a treasure trove of masterworks that—virtually unseen for all but a few of the last three decades—are all but forgotten outside knowledgeable art circles. The film recounts the history of a museum that, despite possessing the most extensive collection of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western art outside the West, has been transformed into a place for honoring the martyrs of the revolution and Iran/Iraq war. In Farsi; English subtitles. 43 min.
Statues of Tehran
2008. Iran. Directed by Bahman Kiarostami. Statues of Tehran provides a brief overview of sculpture in Iran’s capital city, with a focus on two works. One of the first modern works to be erected in Tehran was created in the 1970s by Bahman Mohassess for what was then the Royal Family. Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War, the city’s public displays were limited to revolutionary and ideological works, and Mohassess’s sculpture was destined to disintegration and storage. In contrast, Iraj Esskandari’s statue in Enghelab (Revolution) Circus has been standing in a prominent location of Tehran for the last twenty-seven years, a symbol of the revolution and the war. Now this statue is set to be dismantled and replaced by a subway station. Presented by Howard Weinberg, President, New York Film/Video Council, in collaboration with the New York Film/Video Council. This program is supported by the E Ike Eshagian Foundation. In Farsi; English subtitles. 60 min.
Saturday, February 27, 2010, 4:00 p.m. , Theater 1, T1 (U.S. premieres. Followed by discussion with Bahman Kiarostami)
Act of God is a feature documentary about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. The event represents the paradox of being singled out by randomness, and so precipitates questions about chance, fate and meaning in life. The film explores seven stories from around the world that raise and respond to these questions, while keeping the sky and what comes out of it as a central visual metaphor and thread. Paul Auster, who was struck as a teenager, philosophically anchors the film, along with Fred Frith, the improviser, who both imaginatively underpins it and personally demonstrates the ubiquity of electricity in our bodies and the universe.
Horticultural Society of New York
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor
Doors open at 6pm; film starts promptly at 6:30pm
RSVP via email at email@example.com or call (212)757-0915 x115
A video made in stopmotion for competition AdobeYouGC. What if you could use photoshop to whip up cookies instead of images?
Topping the list of folks' most dreaded errands is probably a trip to the Post Office. Long lines, unfriendly counter ladies, and screaming kids make the absurd waiting times nearly unbearable. I was anticipating a pretty long afternoon at my local post office when i was overjoyed to discover a newly installed USPS Automated Postal Center. They were rolled out in select locations last year but i hadnt encountered one until today. The process is as straightforward as buying a Metrocard or Self-Check kiosks at the airport cutting my wait time down from a 20+ person lineup to about 2 minutes start to finish. Kudos to whoever spearheaded this effort to bring our postal system into the 21st century.