A Capital anticipations list: a Woody Allen favorite, a wrestling match, the real Jersey Shore, grindcore
4:18 pm May. 24, 2012
Each week, Capital's editors and writers will offer a list of the events, activities, releases and personal obsessions that we are looking forward to during the next week. Here is a list of our anticipations.
Gabe: I've got a date to watch Stardust Memories, often my favorite Woody Allen film, and with someone who's never seen it before, to boot. I say "often" because I have mood swings about my favorite Woody Allen, sometimes just based on the weather, or whether I'm hungry. I think one of the rules of being a devoted fan of Allen is that kind of fickle hopping around, accompanied by thoughtless reversals, biting dismissals, and earnest attempts at reconciliation.
But not only has Stardust been top on my list for the past little while, I feel like it's a particularly appropriate one to see right now, as spring gives way to summer and things like seaside resorts (where much of the film is set), departing trains (aren't we always looking at the train just across the platform with a bit of envy?), and The Movies exert such power on the imagination. Sure, maybe it's just a riff on 8 1/2, and maybe some of the more surreal dream scenes seemed silly for an Allen film made in 1980; maybe Allen's character, Sandy, is awful in a way we fear might not be too far off from the director himself; and of course Charlotte Rampling is just another insanely beautiful, unlikely love interest for Allen. But every Tony Roberts scene in this film, along with the scene in which Sandy's whole family is gathered for dinner, and the one of the U.F.O.-seekers out in a country field (homage or not one of the greatest scenes I know in cinema). It's still a great herald of summer.
"Policing a Changed City" at the New York Police Museum
Azi: The Associated Press won a Pulitzer for its reporting on the New York Police Department's monitoring of Muslims and Middler Easterners in and around New York. It's an issue I followed closely, especially after the NYPD Commissioner claimed the stories were inaccurate but declined to elaborate.
So, it's made me more broadly curious about what the NYPD does in the name of fighting terrorism.
The department isn't entirely responsive to reporters they perceive to be asking unfriendly questions. (I'm still waiting for a response from spokespeople Paul Browne or Kim Royster about how the commissioner calculated 5,600 lives were saved in the last decade in New York City's poorest neighborhoods, thanks to stop-and-frisk and other techniques.)
One place the police are proactive in explaining their methods is at the New York Police Museum. They have a permenant exhibit called "Policing a Changed City," which displays how the NYPD picked up responsibility for protecting the city against terrorism, while also fighting street crime. The exhibit includes "cutting-edge database of crime statistics and reports, the NYPD's global reach for intelligence through its liaison officers stationed overseas, as well as its local effort to educate and communicate with the City's business owners and residents."
I'm planning on going, taking notes and hopefully learning a few things.
A wrestling match in Rockaway and Joan Didion's A Book of Common Prayer
Dana: I know nothing about wrestling. But I don't think that's a prerequisite to enjoying a wrestling match, particularly when it involves FSW Heavyweight Champion "The Precious One" Gilbert and "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, and it takes place in a church basement in the Rockaways. That will be my Saturday night.
Otherwise, this weekend I'd like to finish Joan Didion's third novel, A Book of Common Prayer, which I've been slowly reading for more than a week now. It's a book about a 40-something character named Charlotte Douglass, who's traded an empty and exceedingly messy existence in the United States for a similarly vacant life in a fictional, corrupt, and occasionally comedic Central American country called Boca Grande. Joyce Carol Oates described the novel as an "investigation of the atomization of contemporary society," which is one of Didion's favored topics, and which few do better.
Beach reading on the Jersey Shore
Joe: If you live in New Jersey, it's pretty much understood that you will find yourself at the beach (or "down the shore," as we call it) at some point during Memorial Day Weekend. There are other obligations this weekend but we will get there, and when we do I'm going to try to plough through the stack of magazines that have been piling up on my desk for the past few weeks (perks of being a media reporter!): Vanity Fair, CJR, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Outside, Mental Floss and Vice. Wish me luck!
River Cafe, a grindcore show, and Zadie Smith's essays
Gillian: My parents made a rare trek from Massachusetts to a very soggy New York this week. For dinner tonight, they chose a restaurant location so endearingly touristy that I can't help but let my heart swell a bit as I reveal its location: River Cafe, the Brooklyn "special occassion" restaurant that overlooks the harbor. I'm excited, no matter what the Times says, for the break from reality classic "fine dining" provides.
If I make it back to the other side of Brooklyn early enough, I'm supposed to head to Europa in Greenpoint for a show featuring Brutal Truth, Nasum, Dropdead, and Magrudergrind. There is a mustard seed-sized chance Capital readers will recognize Magrudergrind, a D.C. grindcore band, if you've been watching the new HBO show "Veep." The band was featured, briefly, in a scene you should watch because it explains both grindcore and Washington to the uninitiated in less than a minute.
Also, I'm re-reading Zadie Smith's book of essays, Changing My Mind, and plan to finish it before the weekend is over.