“Oh, that’s Mitzi!” A doctor (Maurice Chevalier) playing in Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 musical, One Hour With You, a reference to his wife’s seductive girlfriend (Genevieve Tobin). The film premieres Friday and February 15 as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s Dames, Janes, Dolls, and Canaries series, which runs through February 19. The event is dedicated to Mitzi, her fellow vamps, and other confident women. Characters of the early thirties, before production law banned American films. More precisely, the program highlights the actresses who played them – stars such as Tobin, Baby Daniels and Helen Twelfries, who did not bear household names.
Guest programmer, old filmmaker Varane Smith, chose features in part for their rarity. Many—like the cheery golfer’s “Follow Thru” (on February 11), with greens and actress Nancy Carroll’s two-tone red Technicolor hair—not aired or on DVD. Others are often seen only in poor quality versions, such as “Reach for the Moon” on Monday and February 13, in which Douglas Fairbanks speaks as a financier in love with Daniels before the 1929 stock market crash. MoMA’s favorite “Her Man” is shown with Twelvetrees daily Sunday and February 17th.
Art and Museums
Pioneers get their due
From 1990 to 1994, Tim Felder taught illustration at Children’s Art Carnival, an organization established in 1969 to provide art and educational programs for young children in Harlem. At about the same time he worked as a comic book artist at Marvel, where his desire to promote the aesthetic of Afrofuturism was often frustrated by the public’s reluctance to embrace it.
Afrofuturism is now growing in popularity, particularly in the field of picture books and graphic novels (including Fielder’s “Infinitum,” published last year). The Children’s Arts Festival honors Felder’s career with a retrospective of “Black Capital: 30 Years of the Future of Africans, Comedy, Music, Animation, Headless Chickens, Heroes, Villains and Negroes.”
The gallery includes around 100 illustrations and animations of Felder. Together, they set an exemplary model in which blacks would lecture in the past And The future can be whatever they want. It runs Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. until March 31. Free admission.
Movies, friends and fun
While going to school can be complicated, family trips to faraway lands can seem out of the question. But there is one organization that schedules international flights – fictional, that is, from its headquarters in the city and from your home.
This is the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the BAMkids Film Festival kicking off this weekend, both in person and virtually. Held on Saturdays and Sundays at the Academy (full schedule is available on its website) and online from Saturday to February 13th, this year’s edition features 69 short films, as well as related activities, such as a performance by the Comedy Theater Troupe Parallel Exit and a streaming concert by Divi Roxx Kids.
The festival, which includes acts from 27 countries, is geared toward ages 3-11, but due to vaccination requirements, only children 5 and older can attend in person. (Families seeking access to both on-site and online events must purchase admission separately. In-person tickets range from $9 to $14 per program; live-stream tickets cost a minimum of $5 for individual programs and $30 for Full subscription – festival ticket.)
Expect silly (animal astronauts) and dangerous (bullying) cinematic themes, and characters ranging from monster-threatened mini Mars to pillow download dreams they’re engrossed in.
Cosmic Music and more
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane hasn’t released a new album since the enigmatic and enchanting “Spirit Fiction,” from 2012, but he often appears performing live throughout New York, often with a new band or idea. Hop on these opportunities, if you can.
Five films to watch this winter
This week, Coltrane is staying briefly at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side, with a different line-up of music every night from Thursday through Saturday. Starting at 7:30 p.m. on the first night, he’ll play back-to-back duets: one with pianist James Carney, and one with drummer Alan Midnard. (One ticket covers both groups). On Friday, meanwhile, he will present a new combo, The Freedom Trio, joined by younger musicians Nick Josuyak, bassist, and Savannah Harris, drummer.
Coltrane will conclude this weekend, Saturday at 8 p.m., for the first time “Cosmic Music: A Contemporary Exploration of the Music of John and Alice Coltrane,” an all-band program dedicated to his parents’ timeless careers. Shows take place on Thursday and Friday at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, and on Saturday at the Peter Jay Sharpe Theatre. Tickets range from $30 to $50 and are available at symphonyspace.org.
Jordan Carlos likes to challenge people: with “Shall we talk about this?” , an ongoing series of short films that air while the films air on AMC networks, talks with countless characters about the problematic aspects of classic films. And with “Are you still doing a stand-up, Jordan?” — his current programme, which he created with black audiences in mind — addresses the conventional wisdom of what he calls the “neoliberal New York brunch group”. He will perform at Union Hall on Sunday at 8 pm and on February 26 at 7 pm, as well as at Caveat on February 16.
If you’re still not ready for personal gatherings, you can enjoy a marathon of the “Keith and the Girl” podcast on the show’s YouTube channel. Keith Malley and Chimda Khalili started the show from their apartment in Queens 17 years ago, and will be celebrating its anniversary with a free 24-hour live stream. The 80 guests included comedians Tim Dillon, Jimmy Bardot, Lucy Paul and Laurie Kilmartin. The marathon begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday.