May 03, 2010

Festival de Cannes, May 13 – May 23
Founded in 1946, this festival is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious. This year the President of the Jury is American film director Tim Burton, and actress Kristin Scott Thomas has been named mistress of ceremonies. Opening the festival is the Ridley Scott-directed Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe. New films by Jean-Luc Godard and Mike Leigh will show up against a slew of international films by directors including Bertrand Tavernier and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Also in the lineup: two highly anticipated films, Woody Allen’s new comedy You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and the festival closer, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Unfortunately, the hubbub surrounding the festival is really just that, and if you aren”€™t there to work, stay clear of the South of France that week as it is packed with Hollywood riffraff. You can always catch the movies at the local theater, with the regular people.

Brimfield Antiques Show, May 11 – 16
One of the best antique fairs—and the largest outdoor antique market in the world—takes place three times a year. The best in the business have been shopping and selling here since 1959; there are over 6000 dealers, and upwards of 100,000 visitors. It’s an insiders resource anyone hunting for furniture and collectibles should know about.


Brighton Festival, May 1 – 23
There’s plenty to grab the imagination at the Brian Eno-curated program this year. Not least dreamthinkspeak’s Before I Sleep; a site-specific promenade version of The Cherry Orchard in an abandoned department store; a new musical from Simon Stephens, who wrote Punk Rock; music ranging from Afrobeat to Philip Glass; and talks with Martin Amis and Antonia Fraser. Don’t miss the lively comedy and theater program on the Fringe, too. 

Basho, Tokyo, Japan, May 9 – 23
The greatest Sumo wrestlers in the world meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall in Tokyo for the May Basho, one of six grand tournaments every year. The crowds go wild for these giants who fight for victory using throws, trips and secret tricks. Japan’s most popular sport is legendary. Though Sumo might seem like a battle of the bulge, it is in fact a highly skilled sport with more than 70 different forms. Grand champions, know as Yokuzuna compete for the title at this not-to-be-missed sporting event.

No Soul for Sale: Tate Modern’s 10th Birthday London, May 14 – May 16
A free festival to celebrate the museum’s first decade. No Soul for Sale will see fifty independent arts spaces from around the world at the Turbine Hall throughout the weekend. Maurizio Cattelan, Cecilia Alemani, and Massimiliano Gioni curate. New York’s White Columns will team up with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore on a poetry piece, super-cool Icelandic collective Kling & Bang will dangle an installation from the ceiling, and London’s Museum of Everything will take part. Three days of art, performance, music and film from the cutting edge.

Friday Night Lights, premieres May 7 on NBC
The fourth season of this cult-fave and critically-acclaimed show about a small Texas football down is back and better than ever. Series vets Zach Gilford and Minka Kelly shine in poignant, nuanced goodbye-arcs; and new cast members Michael Jordan (The Wire) and Madison Burge handle their drug-addict mom and teenage pregnancy story-lines with grace beyond their years. Of course, woven into these new levels of social commentary, are Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, who continue to portray the hottest, most realistic marriage on television. Seriously, we wonder if the Friday Night Lights writers have been taking private lessons with David Simon. Then again, they may have just been that genius all along.

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, New York City, May 15 – May 16
This gourmet food fair covers twenty New York City blocks. Food from all over the world is on offer and local bands and international dance troupes entertain. Restaurants and shops along the streets set up stalls and hundreds of other merchants join in to sell all kinds of crafts and clothes. Truly, Hell’s Kitchen.  

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bamb̼, April 27 РOctober 31
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has invited twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn (born in New Jersey in 1961) to create a site-specific installation for The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The monumental bamboo structure will measure 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 50 feet high, forming a cresting wave linking the realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance. Visitors can see the evolution of Big Bambú throughout the summer and fall. Built by the artists and a team of rock climbers, this exciting spectacle will hang high above New York’s Central Park.

Moby Dick, Dallas Opera House, opens April 30
Musical entrepreneurs—namely film composer Bernard Hermann and art-rocker Laurie Anderson—have tried to create an operatic version of the world’s greatest book before, but is Jake Heggie’s fully-staged version in Dallas that finally succeeds. Little surprise: Heggie’s previous operas have included adaptations of Dead Man Walking and Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. In a sweet coincidence, the premiere coincides with the Dallas company’s new opera house, a 2,200-seat, glass-sheathed moorage in the city’s downtown Arts District.

MGMT won the music world over practically the instant they debuted their first single, the infamous “Time to Pretend,” and while their latest album is hit-and-miss, when it hits it does so with a bang. The band is best when it keeps you guessing, when they’re kinda joking, kinda not. Drugs and pop history play prominently in the album lyrics; while snappy beats, Munchkin choirs, and neon-flashing electronics lend themselves as complements. Rolling Stone included MGMT in their “40 Reasons to Get Excited About Music.” If nothing else, this album proves MGMT has solidified its place in music history for good.


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