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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“We have to keep on fighting”—Music and Activism at the R&B Festival at MetroTech

The lineup for this year’s outdoor R&B Festival at MetroTech includes new voices and established masters alike, from the worlds of R&B, funk, gospel, soul, jazz, and world music. Performances take place every Thursday at noon through Aug 9, and each concert is FREE and open to the public. Here, Marketing Intern Nadege Nau explores sociopolitical commentary in the work of a few of this summer's featured artists.

By Nadege Nau

If the work of J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino is any indication, recording artists are seizing the moment to grapple with injustice and musically highlight the downtrodden realities of America. It follows that multiple artists at this year’s R&B Festival at MetroTech are channeling social dissonance in their music, too. Marcus Miller composed the score for the film Marshall (featuring this track performed by Andra Day and Common), while others are leveraging soothing harmonies and live instrumentation to express their grievances.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

BAMcinemaFest 2018

Madeline’s Madeline. Photo courtesy of Visit Films.
June 2018 sees the 10th edition of BAMcinemaFest, an essential selection of new American independent cinema from emerging and established filmmakers. The annual festival, which originally began as a partnership with the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, has blossomed into a force of its own, with critics describing it as “the best barometer of the climate of independent filmmaking in America” (The Village Voice).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

2018 BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech

Ranky Tank. Photo courtesy the artists.
By Danny Kapilian

Way back on June 15, 1995, the BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech opened with the great Percy Sledge:

“When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found”

Those universal words of love are where our journey began—and now, 240 live performances later, the BAM R&B Festival has sustained that musical message of love with the same deep soul throughout.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Beyond the Canon—Maliglutit + The Searchers

It is no secret that the cinema canon has historically skewed toward lionizing the white, male auteur. Beyond the Canon is a monthly BAMcinématek series that seeks to question that history and broaden horizons by pairing one much-loved, highly regarded, canonized classic with a thematically or stylistically-related—and equally brilliant—work by a filmmaker traditionally excluded from that discussion. This month’s double feature pairs Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq’s Maliglutit (2016) with John Ford’s The Searchers (1956).

Maliglutit (courtesy of Isuma) + The Searchers (courtesy of Warner Bros.)
By Jesse Wente

"I wanted it to be a western genre movie made entirely the Inuit way.” —Zacharius Kunuk

Despite rather obvious similarities, namely the title and central kidnapping plot, it is overly simplistic to describe Inuit directors Zacharius Kunuk’s and Nataar Ungaalaq’s Maliglutit (Searchers) as a remake of John Ford’s iconic western The Searchers. Even calling it a reimagining falls short of capturing how Kunuk’s film upends the very tradition that birthed a film such as Ford’s. To understand the key difference between the two is to confront the disparity in world view that exists between Indigenous peoples and the colonial nation states that now occupy their lands.

Friday, June 1, 2018

In Context: Love and Intrigue

Russia’s Maly Drama Theatre, led by the incomparable Lev Dodin, stages German playwright Friedrich Schiller’s 1787 tragedy of class warfare and courtly intrigue. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #LoveandIntrigue.

Remembering Robin Holland

Robin Holland. Photo courtesy the artist.

BAMcinemaFest pays tribute to photographer Robin Holland, who passed away early in 2018. Holland was a prolific and respected portrait photographer whose subjects included American and international independent filmmakers, award-winning actors, musicians and composers, dancers, artists, and more. Her work was featured on the Sundance Channel and at George Eastman House, MoMA PS1, the Berlin Film Festival, and New York Film Festival. From 2013 to 2017, Holland donated her time and incredible talent to BAM as the official portrait photographer for BAMcinemaFest. View her work at BAMcinemaFest, below.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DanceAfrica Evolves

Abdel R. Salaam. Photo: Jack Vartoogian

By David Hsieh

For 40 years, the DanceAfrica Festival meant Baba Chuck Davis. As the founder and, until 2015, sole artistic director of the festival, he represented the festival, body and soul. With his 6-foot-5 height, booming voice, and regal dashikis, he was hard to miss on and off stage. Baba Chuck passed away at the age of 80 just before last year’s festival. His successor Abdel R. Salaam, is now writing the next chapter of this beloved tradition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Eat, Drink AND Be Literary?

On Tue, May 29, we're pleased to welcome Valeria Luiselli–the Mexico City-born author of Tell Me How It Ends and The Story of My Teeth–to BAMcafé for our Eat, Drink & Be Literary series. For those of you who've never attended an EDBL before, we thought it'd be helpful to provide a short overview of the program so you'll know what to expect!

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

By Molly Silberberg

Picture being in your living room with your favorite author. Now add a dinner prepared for you, plentiful wine, a guest list that is taken care of, and an elegant room requiring no clean up by you. Get yourself to BAMcafé for Eat, Drink & Be Literary and you’re set for the evening!

Eat, Drink & Be Literary is not your average book event. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation, the series celebrates some of today’s leading authors in an intimate setting that turns the private act of reading into a shared moment of gathering.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In Context: DanceAfrica

This year’s DanceAfrica performance offers a taste of the rhythm and spirit of South Africa, acknowledging Nelson Mandela’s centennial birthday and the contributions of freedom fighters past and present. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #DanceAfrica. Ago! Amée!

Friday, May 11, 2018

King Lear Community Chorus

Photo: Richard Termine

For last month's production of King Lear, members of the Royal Shakespeare Company traveled from London to perform at the BAM Harvey Theater. But many of the actors in the run came from just a train ride away—all non-speaking roles were cast locally via an open call to the BAM community and were filled by writers, students, BAM ushers, actors, and folks who hadn't performed in front of an audience in decades. We caught up with the members of the Community Chorus during the final week of the run to learn more about their experiences, backstage secrets, and which Lear characters they identify with most.