Mark Rosenberg Of Rooftop Films
June 30, 2011, 12:00 am
Filed under: Film | Tags:

Hanging out on rooftops is synonymous of summer for me. And being able to watch movies without needing to care whether it’s interfering with my ability to fulfill all my responsibilities indicateds to me that I am on vacation. The Rooftop Films Annual Summer Series, which runs until August 15th, marries movies, rooftops and extra goodness, as Mark Rosenberg, the artistic director of Rooftop Films, explains in the interview that aired tonight. It’s perfect for summer and for discovering the city from a new angle.

The next screening of the series will take place on the lawn of the Automotive High School in Williamsburg this Friday July 1st at 8pm. The winner of the Northside Film Fest DIY Competition, Nathan Christ’s Echotone, will be screened.

For more information about Rooftop Films and the summer film series, go to

Sarah Eismann, Reesa Graham and the Manhattan Shakespeare Project
June 22, 2011, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Theater | Tags:

I don’t generally have much energy at 8 am on Fridays. But doing this interview with Sarah Eismann and Reesa Graham to talk about their all-female production of Shakespeare’s famous history play Henry V made me forget how early my day had started. That made me even more excited about their project and their performance; if these women can transmit that much energy before most offices open, their rendition of Shakespeare couldn’t possibly be boring.

It’s an added bonus that they’re performing in the parks of New York. In his interview with me a few weeks ago, Antonin Baudry of the French Embassy called them “the heart of the city” and I couldn’t agree more. But I’ve also always loved this city for the variety of performers it houses. Marrying these two fundamental characteristics of New York just feels right, like a reminder that art is for everyone to enjoy everywhere.

Here is where you’ll be able see Manhattan Shakes’ 90 min All-Female summer production Henry V:

June 23, 24 – 6pm – Central Park, Summit Rock

June 19, 25, 26 – 2pm – Central Park, Summit Rock

July 6, 7, 8 – 6pm – Harlem, St. Nicholas Park

July 14, 15 – 7pm – Brooklyn, Sunset Park

July 17 – 2pm – Brooklyn, Sunset Park

And if you want to see them perform new work, here are the dates for their upcoming production, Highway Blue – A Play with Music, by Caroline Prugh. It’ll go up at the Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre on MacDougal St:

July 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 8:00pm

July 23 2:00pm

August 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 8:00pm

For any other info you desire about the Manhattan Shakespeare Project, go to

Position of Conflict
June 15, 2011, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Art, Exhibition, Life!, Opinion | Tags:

These past few weeks as a new college grad have been languid.  I browse job postings on the internet, apply for a few here and there, and give up hope before even a week goes by knowing fully well that the application was merely another exercise in writing cover letters.  There is something static about this string of motions.  Browse, write, send, wait, repeat.  Browse, write, send, wait, repeat. Browse write send wait repeat.  I am not alone in this dance.  Although many of the people I know had secured jobs as lawyer’s secretaries, teacher’s aides, data entry ‘specialists’ before school had even ended, I know even more people, like myself, who are stuck in the groove between societal and personal expectation.

My colleagues and I are coming of age in a time of great contradiction.  While we consider journalism to be a triumph of first amendment rights, people are being flagged or followed for mindless Facebook posts.  While it is projected as an era of entrepreneurialism,  it seems to many of us impossible to secure a job or succeed independently.  We are a generation in which our passions  contend with expectation.  We are at war with the notion of institution.

This view was crystalized in my interview with Drew McKenzie, Graham Hamilton, and Alex LaLiberte–three graduating  NYU students who spoke with me about the upcoming exhibition, curated by McKenzie and contributed to by all, entitled “Position of Conflict.”  The exhibition’s title is derived from “Exchange of Views of a Group of Experts,” the literature produced following a series of meetings between Pierre Gaudibert, Pontus Hulten, Michael Kustow, Jean Leymarie, Francois Mathey, Georges Henri Riviere, Harald Szeemann, and Eduard de Wilde in 1970.  The meetings served as a space in which to discuss the museum or gallery as institution and the limits space places on the authenticity of the work of art.

“The museum has become more critical both of art and of itself, because it has become aware of its function outside daily life. It does indeed function outside the system, sets itself up in opposition to the Establishment, yet continually shows itself to be an instrument of the system. Like art it is a cosmetic medium, not absolutely essential. This inner contradiction in the role of the museum – that it is the epitome of the system, but at the same time relatively free to criticize it – is important for the museum of today and for its immediate future. To put it bluntly, the ideal museum would be the one that was closed by the authorities. The museum can only function towards promoting artistic interests provided it is outside the restraints of society. Because it is none the less subject to the rules of society, it falls into a position of conflict, which is aggravated by the fact that the authorities like to see highly controversial subjects discussed within an art context, because they are thereby rendered harmless.”

In our interview, my guests explained the exhibition’s multitudinous approach to the theme of conflict; the conflict that arises between artist and purveyor, the conflict that arises within the artist, who seeks to determine their audience.

In ways, “Position of Conflict” is a social token of Generation Y’s struggle amongst the X’s and Boomers.  Like the gallery or museum, while we’re expected to situate within them, their white walls seem to hold no place for us. It is adventurers like McKenzie and the show’s contributing artists, who dig deeper into the groove between personal and societal expectations, who, through exploration, are finding their own, unique space.

There will be an opening reception for “Position of Conflict” on July 7th, at 6pm in the Wagner Gallery of the Puck Building at Houston and Lafayette (295 Lafayette).  The event is open to the public via RSVP at The exhibition runs July 7th through August 31st.  Summer viewing hours are Monday–Thursday 9:00am-7:00pm, Fridays 9:00am-5:00pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays).

Contributing artists:

Jonathan Donaldson
Nick Etre
Graham Hamilton
Seth Hamlin
Alex LaLiberte
Drew G. McKenzie
Carolyn Park
Ken Q. Volk IV
Jordan Walczak


Zoe Rosenberg

Isaiah Sheffer and Eilin O’Dea about Bloomsday on Broadway!
June 9, 2011, 12:01 am
Filed under: Literature, Theater | Tags:

There’s probably one James Joyce novel on every high school literature syllabus. I had to read Dubliners (and subsequently learn it by heart to graduate high school).

Had I read Ulysses, I would have known about the multitude of celebrations that go on in honor of the novel and its protagonist, Leopold Bloom, long before preparing for this interview. On June 16th every year, a day known as “Bloomsday,” people gather all around the world and celebrate the novel and Joyce.

I already thought not having read Ulysses was a shame–I loved Dubliners and always thought I should read more of Joyce’s works–but now that I know about how much love it, I really feel like I’ve been missing out.

For any ignorant New Yorkers like me or established Joyce connoisseurs, I reckon Symphony Space’s 30th Bloomsday on Broadway event at the Peter Jay Sharp theater is the place to be. Isaiah Sheffer, along with 85 actors, including fellow guest Eilin O’Dea, will be presenting 13 hours non-stop of Ulysses. Though not all 18 episodes will be read in their entirety, all will be sampled for those who want to dive in and bask in Irish culture.

Eilin O’Dea will also be performing her own one-woman show, “Hello, Molly!” which features Molly Bloom’s musings from the end of the novel a week earlier, Thursday June 9th at the Leonard Nimroy Theater.

From speaking to both of them, it was obvious their knowledge of Joyce and their love for his work will shine through the performances. And although the Bloomsday performance might seem long, it’s possible it will suck you in.

For more information on both performances, visit

Antonin Baudry about the Films On The Green festival
June 2, 2011, 11:39 pm
Filed under: Film | Tags:

As much as I love New York, sometimes I do miss France. Mostly, I miss speaking French and hearing French. My solution at those times is to watch a French film–I recently found out Netflix Instant Watch has a pretty decent collection of them.

This year I am spending my first summer in New York and needless to say, I had a little bit of a freak-out just as the semester ended and I realized I wasn’t going to be home until August. Then I stumbled across information about Films on the Green, a summer film festival taking place in New York City parks. Perfect. On top of that, the theme this year is summer vacation. My guest on the show, Antonin Baudry, the cultural counsellor of the French Embassy in the US, says the festival is meant to give the audience a sense of what spending a summer in France is like. Now I definitely have somewhere to go if I feel homesick in the next few months.

Here is the schedule:
June 3
: Central Park – Cedar Hill (79th St & 5th Ave) 

The Swimming Pool – La Piscine by Jacques Deray

June 10: Washington Square Park
Those Happy Days – Nos Jours Heureux by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano

June 17: Washington Square Park 
A Summer’s Tale – Conte d’été by Eric Rohmer

June 24: Tompkins Square Park 
Contempt – Le Mépris by Jean-Luc Godard

July 1: Tompkins Square Park 
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot by Jacques Tati

July 8: Riverside Park – Pier 1 (at 70th St) 
Towards Zero – L’ Heure Zéro by Pascal Thomas

July 15: Riverside Park – Pier 1(at 70th St) 
My Father’s Glory – La Gloire de Mon Père by Yves Robert

Sept. 8: Films on the Green @COLUMBIA University– Low Library Steps 
Two Days in Paris – Deux Jours à Paris by Julie Delpy

For more information on Films on the Green, you can visit the website And as a special note for all the university students of this country, follow this next link to learn more about Tournées, if you can’t make it to New York City this summer but want to find out more about French culture.