This Week: Al Pacino, Yo La Tengo, Meredith Monk’s Multisensory Music
New TV shows, museum openings, film releases and concerts — it’s a lot to keep track of. Let us help you. For the week of March 11, seven events in New York and elsewhere not to be missed:
Film: Al Pacino’s Homecoming
March 14-30; quadcinema.com.
Al Pacino, the quintessential New York actor for many, will be the toast of his hometown with “Pacino’s Way,” a 16-day retrospective of more than 30 films starting Wednesday, March 14, at the Quad Cinema.
“It’s particularly heartwarming because Greenwich Village, where the Quad is located, is the place where I went to live as a teenager and where I developed as a young actor,” he said in a statement. “In a sense this is a homecoming for me.”
The lineup includes his first leading role in 1971’s “The Panic in Needle Park”; his Oscar-nominated turns in “The Godfather,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Dick Tracy” and “Glengarry Glen Ross”; his winning one in “Scent of a Woman”; and “Looking for Richard,” his 1996 directorial debut.
The survey also leads up to the U.S. premieres on March 30 of “Wilde Salomé,” his 2011 documentary exploration of the Oscar Wilde play; and “Salomé,” his 2013 dramatic companion piece, both starring Jessica Chastain. Mr. Pacino will be on hand at Q & As following a sneak peek of those films on March 28, as well “Sea of Love” and “Revolution” on March 29. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Pop: Yo La Tengo’s New Album and Tour
March 16; yolatengo.com.
In their 30-plus years as one of indie-rock’s most reliable acts, Yo La Tengo have hopscotched merrily between whirling noise and tender whispers, setting a fine example for scores of younger musicians in both modes along the way. Their fifteenth and latest studio album, “There’s a Riot Going On,” out this Friday, March 16, tends toward the softer side of their sound: The singles “Shades of Blue” and “She May, She Might” are up there with their sweetest reveries.
The name of the album, of course, nods to Sly Stone’s 1971 masterwork “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” released at another time of sociopolitical turmoil. The thematic link is clear to the band, if not to listeners: “I will say that I know the title in our minds is a direct reflection of the record, it’s not meant ironically or humorously,” the singer-guitarist Ira Kaplan has said. Fans will have ample opportunity to puzzle out the implications on Yo La Tengo’s next tour, which starts on March 28 in Minneapolis and reaches New York on April 6 with a show at Brooklyn Steel. SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON
Classical: Meredith Monk at BAM
Mar. 14-18, bam.org.
Every few years for the past half-century, the indefinable composer and multimedia artist Meredith Monk has unleashed a new production that ritualistically fuses experimental music, movement, light and film. The most recent example was the ecological meditation “On Behalf of Nature,” which had its acclaimed premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014.
This week, it will be “Cellular Songs,” Monk’s 11th production at BAM, featuring the four women of her longtime vocal ensemble in an evening-length exploration of nature that examines the theme of cellular activity. Monk’s multisensory Gesamtkunstwerk can only truly be experienced in live performance, but for those seeking a further understanding of her interdisciplinary ethos, be sure to check out this 2015 episode of the podcast “Meet the Composer.” WILLIAM ROBIN
Theater: Childhood Interrupted in a Lindsey Ferrentino Play
March 16-April 29; playwrightshorizons.org.
Julie and Zander, the children reeling in the wake of a mass shooting in Lindsey Ferrentino’s play “This Flat Earth,” aren’t student activists agitating for change. They’re small-town middle schoolers, and they’ve been frightened every moment since nine of their classmates were slaughtered, a month ago, on what should have been an ordinary day.
A new entry in the growing canon of gun-violence plays, “This Flat Earth” is inspired in part by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., five years ago. Directed by Tony Award-winner Rebecca Taichman (“Indecent”) at Playwrights Horizons, it’s a play about living in a state of fear and shock and grief, not knowing where safety lies or how to reach it, and about the panicked tendency to see threats even where they don’t exist. But it’s also about kids doing kid things — like watching horror movies with a friend, where being scared is fun and none of the bad stuff will really hurt you. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
Dance: A Glimpse of Ohad Naharin’s Choreography
Opens March 16.
The new film “7 Days in Entebbe” isn’t just another political thriller. Even though it’s inspired by the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight traveling to Paris from Tel Aviv, what is woven throughout is something more electrifying than a rescue mission: A performance by the Israeli-based Batsheva Dance Company — specifically, Ohad Naharin’s revered, searing dance set to the Passover song “Echad Mi Yodea.”
In it dancers, wearing Haredi Jewish clothing, sit in a semicircle. One by one, they fling themselves feverishly from their chairs, eventually stripping out of their suits. During each round of motion — which has never looked or felt so much like bullets — one dancer repeatedly collapses to the floor.
By braiding the dance and the action, José Padilha, the film’s director, creates his own choreography to explore the tension between peace and conflict. And be sure to stay for the credits: There’s more Batsheva to be had. GIA KOURLAS
Art: Germany and Austria Before WWII
Through May 28; neuegalerie.org.
Max Beckmann’s 1938 “Self-Portrait With Horn” is a telling combination of anatomical detail and nightmarish symbolism. Brightly lighted and heavily shadowed, standing out against his garishly striped robe and the horn he raises to his mouth, the German artist’s balding, blocky head reads as a glimmer of self-reflection about to drown in an unthinking tide of rage.
Alongside the Neue Galerie’s great Beckmann, the curator Olaf Peters of Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg has gathered 150 paintings and works on paper that demonstrate the intensely expressive sensitivity with which pre-WWII German and Austrian artists registered their countries’ descent into the inferno. WILL HEINRICH
TV: Jane Goodall Documentary
March 12; nationalgeographic.com.
As a child in England, Jane Goodall dreamed from the perspective of an adventurous man. “I wanted to come as close to talking to animals as I could, to be like Doctor Dolittle,” she says in Brett Morgen’s documentary “Jane.” “I wanted to move among them without fear, like Tarzan.”
In 1960, the paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey sent Ms. Goodall — then his 26-year-old secretary, without training or a scientific degree — to what is now Gombe National Park in Tanzania. Her mission: to live among the chimpanzees and be accepted. In the process, she redefined the relationship between ape and man.
“Jane,” airing commercial free on Monday, March 12, on National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, chronicles Dr. Goodall’s interactions with the chimps to whom she gave names like David Greybeard, Flo and Fifi as they rear their young, use tools and even attack and cannibalize each other. Intimate and astonishing, the film draws on more than 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that was shot in the early 1960s by the Dutch filmmaker Hugo van Lawick — with whom Ms. Goodall eventually married and had a son — and rediscovered in the archives in 2014. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
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