Weekly Culture Round-up: 8/23 – 8/29

Glory is Fleeting, Obscurity is Forever — Bertrand Bonello, coming off his hyper-stylish Yves Saint Laurent biopic, presents Nocturama (2016), a provocative, hauntingly elegant portrait of terrorism in contemporary Paris. A group of young multiracial subversives commit a series of frighteningly calculated terror attacks under no clear ideology, symbolized by their torching of a Joan of Arc statue. Class differences aside, they’re of the same generation and similarly disgruntled, although it’s ambiguous who or what the onus of their disenchantment is on. Perhaps it’s ultimately on them, as after their plan mostly succeeds, they retreat into a luxurious shopping center and eventually the comforts of consumer culture, slipping into decadence and delusion as they blast Blondie, Chief Keef, Shirley Bassey, and Willow Smith over the mall’s sound system. Will they survive their spiral into madness, let alone the eerily inhuman GIGN operatives who begin to tighten the noose around them from the shadows? Nocturama is now playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Metrograph.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
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Metrograph
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The Pure and the Damned New York filmmaking duo Josh and Benny Safdie return home in the raw, propulsive crime-thriller Good Time (2017). Connie Nikas (an exhilarating, unpredictable Robert Pattinson) is on the run, in a race against time, desperate to save his developmentally disabled brother, Nick (Benny Safdie), from the terrifying reality of Rikers Island following a botched bank robbery in Flushing. Connie has one night to raise $10,000 to bail out his brother, a goal that is increasingly complicated by deviations, whether it be Connie coercing his girlfriend (a magnificently mercurial Jennifer Jason Leigh) to use her mother’s credit card to pay the balance or later trying to recover a drug stash left inside Long Island’s Adventureland amusement park with a reluctant, recently jail-sprung companion (Safdie regular Buddy Duress, hysterically harebrained here). Connie may never redeem himself for abandoning his brother, but it’s a nice dream to hope otherwise. It’s a nice dream. Good Time is now playing at the Alamo Drafthouse.
Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn
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The Art of the Music Video Music videos have evolved from practical marketing tool to a creative form unto its own, demonstrative of formal discipline as well as experimentation. In celebration of their artistry and distinctive approach to short-form storytelling, join Bronx-native director Eif Rivera, best known for his work with DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj, and Nas, for a screening of numerous influential examples, classic and contemporary, followed by a discussion with Rivera at Brooklyn Museum’s one-year anniversary of their super popular Music Video Night. Prior to the screening is a open happy hour with drinks amidst the gallery space, featuring sets by DJ Hella Kitty and Hannah. Be sure to stick around for a post-screening meet-and-greet with Eif Rivera.
Brooklyn Museum 8/24
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Dance Yourself Clean — This Friday has a lot going on if you’re a fan of live music or just losing yourself to some old favorites with friends. Following the release of his debut album earlier this year, Teenage Emotions, rising rap star Lil Yachty is in town, taking over Terminal 5 with his playful hooks and signature “bubblegum trap” style—a deceptively simple platform for his catchy and clever verses. Back in Brooklyn, it’s a toss-up between catching The Flamin’ Groovies, a seminal rock band with significant influence on early punk rock, making a stop on their previously sold-out reunion tour over at Rough Trade NYC or getting down at a late-night, LCD Soundsystem-inspired, Indie-Pop-fueled dance party at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Terminal 5 8/25
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Rough Trade NYC 8/25
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Music Hall of Williamsburg 8/25
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Endless Summer — Summer may almost be over, but you wouldn’t know it with MoMa PS1’s Warm Up outdoor concert series continuing well into September. This Saturday sees a curated lineup of auspicious newcomers and established names alike, hailing both locally and internationally; from Berlin to Brooklyn. The must-see act of this evening in Long Island City is British electronic musician ACTRESS, who released his fifth full-length album, AZD, earlier this year—an industrial-heavy electronic landscape that entrances listeners in its avant-garde discordance of clubby beats and jolting breakdowns. This is an all-day affair, starting at noon, so drop in-and-out or stay for every act. Rain or shine, the summer and the show must go on.
MoMA PS1
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