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Film Society of Lincoln Center Presents David Bowie Film Series, August 2-8

After the release of a new album (The Next Day) and a sold-out museum exhibition in London (David Bowie Is), a film retrospective continues the year’s tribute to Bowie’s fascinating career.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) will present a weeklong series, David Bowie, Watch That Man: David Bowie, Movie Star, August 2 through August 8. The retrospective focuses on the artist as an actor with his many roles on the big screen plus two special rarities from the BBC archives, one of which has never been seen in the U.S.A.

Bowie’s turn as Catherine Deneuve’s vampiric partner in Tony Scott’s The Hunger (1983) opens the series with a special midnight screening on Friday, August 2, followed by the collaboration with Muppet master Jim Henson in Labyrinth(1986) and a screening of his risk-taking performance in Nagisa Oshima’s drama set in a Japanese POW camp in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1982).

Other films include Julian Temple’s love letter to the bohemian scene of late 1950s London, Absolute Beginners (1986), Julian Schnabel’s Basquait (1996) featuring Bowie’s portrayal of Andy Warhol, and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006), in which Bowie portrayed inventor Nicola Tesla.

Two special highlights of the series are rarities from the BBC’s archives including the U.S. Premiere of Alan Clarke’s musical adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal with Bowie in the title role, and a rare screening of Alan Yentob’s BBC documentary Cracked Actor (1975) which will be paired with D.A. Pennebaker’s concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars – The Motion Picture (1973).

All screenings will take place at the Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street in NYC. For further information visit the FSLC website here.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

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Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

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