Film: New Reasons to Stay on the Couch
April 8; criterionchannel.com.
At long last, the Criterion Channel has arrived, and it’s billing itself as a movie lover’s dream. The streaming service, launching Monday, April 8, replaces FilmStruck, a partnership between the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies that went dark on Nov. 29.
This new channel is home to more than 1,000 classics and art-house fare culled from the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ library, peppered with a constantly refreshed selection of major studio and indie productions.
It also brings back the original Criterion programming from FilmStruck — because change is hard! The inaugural week kicks off with “Spotlight: Columbia Noir,” which includes dark-hearted gems like Fritz Lang’s “The Big Heat” and “Human Desire,” Richard Quine’s “Drive a Crooked Road” and Blake Edwards’s “Experiment in Terror” (April 8); “Directed by David Lynch,” featuring “Eraserhead,” “The Elephant Man,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Mulholland Drive” (April 11); and “Julie Taymor’s Adventures in Moviegoing,” a handpicked lineup from the guest curator, including Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” Ingmar Bergman’s “Sawdust and Tinsel,” Federico Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria” and Mikhail Kalatozov’s “The Cranes Are Flying” (April 14).
The Criterion Channel is available in the United States and Canada on desktop browsers as well as Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS and Android devices. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Pop Music: Charlotte Gainsbourg at Brooklyn Steel
April 9; axs.com
It could be said that performing is in Charlotte Gainsbourg’s blood. The London-born child of the English actress Jane Birkin and the esteemed French singer Serge Gainsbourg began acting at 15, appearing in films like “L’Effrontée,” for which she won a César award. Later, she leveraged her onscreen success in service of a music career.
The elder Gainsbourg is a central figure on “Rest,” his daughter’s most recent LP. Across the album, she uses cinematic synth and disco fanfare to confront death — her father’s, in 1991, and her half sister’s, in 2013. The effect is at once delightful and haunting, particularly on “Lying With You,” a stark highlight where Gainsbourg sings about lying beside her dad’s corpse.
Gainsbourg released “Rest” in 2017, but never properly toured the album in the United States. At Brooklyn Steel, she’ll perform songs from that set and from “Take 2,” a more recent EP featuring new studio recordings and a live cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway.” The merch table is likely to include copies of the illustrated “Rest” companion book, published last month. OLIVIA HORN
Theater: Celebrating Democracy at the Public
April 10-28; publictheater.org.
Every theater has qualities inscribed in its DNA, and they’re always about more than just the art. At the Public Theater, the fervor for Shakespeare is matched by a relish for politics, the devotion to new work by a commitment to inclusiveness. So a festival focused on democracy? Seems like an ideal fit.
Presented with the Onassis Foundation USA, the Onassis Festival arrives at the Public this week, anchored by Tim Blake Nelson’s new play “Socrates” (through May 19), starring Michael Stuhlbarg. The busy slate of performances and panels also includes the Greek shows “Relic” (April 10-13), a solo piece by Euripides Laskaridis; and “Antigone – Lonely Planet” (April 18-20), Lena Kitsopoulou’s comic twist on Sophocles.
Continuing the celebration nearby at La MaMa is 600 Highwaymen’s “The Fever” (April 11-21), seen at the Under the Radar festival in 2017. While it’s a participatory show about human connection, Charles Isherwood wrote approvingly in The New York Times, “I never had the feeling that we were about to be asked to sing a chorus of ‘Kumbaya.’” LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
TV: It Takes a Village in ‘Queens of Mystery’
April 8; acorn.tv.
While he was writing witty bits for Martin Clunes’s crank in “Doc Martin,” Julian Unthank began to wonder where all the strong women over 40 had gone to on British television. So he conjured up a few.
“Queens of Mystery,” debuting Monday, April 8, on the streaming service Acorn TV, follows the whimsical antics of Matilda Stone, an “Amélie”-esque detective sergeant — stylish bob, missing mother, candy-colored daydreams — who has returned to Wildemarsh, the home of her three crime-writing aunts, Beth (Sarah Woodward), Cat (Julie Graham) and Jane (Siobhan Redmond).
Murder abounds in Wildemarsh, and her aunts want nothing more than to help. So do clues about Mattie’s mother, who disappeared when her daughter was 3 and may or may not be dead. But whatever her aunts know, they’re not telling. They are, however, setting her up on blind dates, when Mattie (Olivia Vinall) only has eyes for the resident pathologist, Dr. Daniel Lynch (Andrew Leung).
“Queens of Mystery” begins with the two-part “Murder in the Dark,” where a Golden Pick Axe Award ends up buried in the head of a prize nominee at a crime writers’ festival — and the final pages of his latest novel are stolen. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Classical Music: A Rarely Heard, Mind-Bending Symphony
April 11; carnegiehall.org.
One of the greatest of American symphonists is hardly ever performed in her home country. Gloria Coates, who decamped to Europe in 1969, has composed at least 16 symphonies, mind-bending works couched in a language laden with eerie smears of orchestral texture. That path began with her breakthrough Symphony No. 1 in 1973, a twitchy and brooding exploration of radically retuned strings, which will receive a rare performance by the intrepid American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall on April 11.
Along with music by Morton Feldman, another highlight of the program is the premiere of “Where We Lost Our Shadows,” a multidisciplinary work by the composer Du Yun and the artist Khaled Jarrar inspired by the refugee crisis, which brings together soloists across genres including the Qawwali vocalist Ali Seth, the singer Helga Davis and the percussionist Shayna Dunkelman. WILLIAM ROBIN
Art: Defacing Paintings to Make Them Better
Through April 13; petzel.com
The Danish artist Asger Jorn, co-founder and patron of the Situationist International, showed a group of canvases at Paris’s Galerie Rive Gauche in 1959 that didn’t go over well. They were unremarkable found paintings — flea-market kitsch, we’d call them today — which he’d scribbled over himself. The exhibition must have looked like a callow joke. But at its best, Jorn’s project was a way of reviving and defending creative imagination in our sense-dulling world of material glut, and the same holds for many of the two dozen or so artists in “Strategic Vandalism: The Legacy of Asger Jorn’s Modification Paintings” at Petzel Gallery in Chelsea. Hans-Peter Feldmann’s found portrait smeared with lipstick and Enrico Baj’s “Ultrabody in Switzerland,” a bucolic landscape being invaded by a crazy green monster, in particular, will send you out of the gallery very pleasantly unbalanced, as if you’d had just a bit too much champagne. WILL HEINRICH
Dance: Exploring Disability Aesthetics and Justice
April 11-14; performancespacenewyork.org.
It’s a set of performances, it’s a gathering, it’s a time to talk. And it’s also timely: “I Wanna Be With You Everywhere” is an exploration of disability aesthetics and disability justice as part of Performance Space New York’s No Series. Presented with Arika, a political arts organization from Scotland, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, this festival, focusing on disabled artists, includes poetry readings, conversations and plenty of performance and dance. April 13 features three consecutive dance works: Along with Kayla Hamilton’s “Nearly Sighted/Unearthing the Dark,” in which she puts a microscope on our awareness of sightedness, Alice Sheppard excavates issues around the body and disability in “Where Good Souls Fear.” The evening wraps up with “Relative,” in which Jerron Herman explores the notion of joy as he choreographs the audience right onto the stage. He thinks of it as club architecture. GIA KOURLAS