Brooklyn Block Party — The annual “Brooklyn Comes Alive” music festival takes place this weekend, a two-day concert extravaganza offering a plethora of acts, local or otherwise, performing at multiple locations around Williamsburg. From Chance The Rapper-collaborator ProbCause to electronica veterans The Crystal Method, it’s a comprehensive lineup of up-and-comers as well as established performers, ample opportunity to be introduced to new acts as likely as it is to reacquaint with fan favorites. As aforementioned, both days see their lineups shared across three separate venues, Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and the nightclub Schimanski, each highlighting Brooklyn’s creativity and distinctive charm in their own way. Come celebrate the eclectic sights, sounds, and commodities Brooklyn has to offer this Saturday and Sunday.
Brooklyn Bowl/Music Hall of Williamsburg/Schimanski 9/23 & 9/24
Rebel With a Cause — The L.A. Rebellion was a foundational film movement that started in the late 1960s and continued until the late 1980s, arising from the UCLA Film School, seeking to develop a cinema able to artistically express uniquely black histories and narratives from creative voices within the community as well as be capable of addressing critical socio-political issues such as police brutality and systemic racism. One of the spearheading figures of the movement was Jamaa Fanaka, a radical iconoclast whose bold experiments in blaxsploitation elevated them from mere genre films bent on cheap thrills, instead using it as a popular platform for ambitious independent features thoroughly characterized by the socio-political context of their time. BAMcinématek presents his entire filmography, including his first three films, produced and distributed by Fanaka himself while still attending UCLA, as part of their retrospective “Jamaa Fanaka: L.A. Rebel.” These works are major not just for their socio-political relevance, but also because of how rarely they are publicly shown—don’t sleep on this essential series.
Life On the Inside — According to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research’s findings from 2015, there were approximately 205,400 female inmates serving time in the United States at the time of the data’s collection—a number that constitutes nearly one-third of the world’s total incarcerated women. Additionally, an estimated one-in-25 female prisoners is pregnant while incarcerated. Deborah Jiang-Stein is the author of the 2014 memoir Prison Baby, an account chronicling her life, first with her adoptive Jewish parents in Seattle, then the discovery of her birth to a heroin-addicted mother and her subsequent first year of life spent behind bars, her tumultuous teen years where she turned to drugs and crime to cope with the uncovered trauma, and eventually coming to terms with it all in adulthood. Jiang-Stein will be in conversation with feminist icon Gloria Steinem at Brooklyn Museum to discuss the state of the American criminal justice system, its treatment of women, viable alternative methods of incarceration, and more.
Brooklyn Museum 9/23
Punks Don’t Die — BRIC TV presents a live in-studio performance and interview with hardcore punk band Rebelmatic, a staple of the NYC scene, newly reinvigorated since the early 2010s. Hosted by actor and musician Ohene Cornelius, the event is set to introduce newcomers to the group’s defiant sound as much as it will provide insight into the band’s impact, influences, and what’s on the horizon for frontman Creature and company. While the event is free, seating is limited, so if you’re interested in attending, be sure to show up early to get a good seat for the recording.
Where Is My Mind? — Continuing their highly successful “Anime After Dark” series, Nitehawk Cinema is hosting a midnight screening of the wildly eccentric animated feature, Mind Game (2004), an exploration of postmodern anxieties in a feverish envisioning of the afterlife initially disguised as a typical seinen anime before exploding into a colorful oddity that flips through various distinctive animation styles. As a special incentive, attendees who order food and drink are eligible to win free weekend passes to the upcoming AnimeNYC convention.
Nitehawk Cinema 9/23