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What's Happening This Week

Week four and I still don't have a name! Next week, maybe? The list is still in the invite only stage, so click here to let friends know! And please send your feedback, tips and more feedback to

Monday · 7:00PM

Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street

Most Americans are familiar with Timbuktu as a metaphor for the middle of nowhere, but many would also be hard pressed to name which African country the ancient city is even a part of. (It's Mali.) Named for the ancient cultural center, the new feature by Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako was the first West African film since 1976 to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. Set just outside the titular city, Timbuktu deals with the personal struggles of a man who finds himself in critical danger immediately after the region's April 2012 takeover by repressive fundamentalists.

Tuesday · 7:00PM

Bazarsky Lecture Hall
Salve Regina University, Newport

Let's be honest: Rhode Island has a French film festival problem. The festival produced by Brown at the Cable Car runs more or less concurrently with an unrelated festival at URI—with some overlap in selections—and then as soon as that's over there's the one-day Ciné-Québec festival in Woonsocket (again with overlaps). This week there's a French film fest at Salve Regina and next week the Rhode Island Film Festival is doing a Francophone program at Roger Williams. This would be great, if the festivals were in any way coordinated (or maybe if they were scattered over the course of the school year). Now it's all just kind of confusing.

The best bet at Salve's festival is Bastards, a creepy, fragmented film noir by from Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Nenette et Boni). The plot deals with an evil financier, a woman's suicide, and children used as pawns in the awful revenge fantasies of their parents. The New York Times calls it "grimly beautiful and somewhat unhinged," while the Globe and Mail calls the plot "black and sticky and inescapable." Tindersticks composed the score.


NCECA Biennial
David Winton Bell Gallery, 64 College Street

There's surprisingly little information accompanying the fifty works selected for the 2015 NCECA Biennial, intended to represent the best in contemporary ceramic arts. Labels indicate whether pieces were cast, slow fired, or thrown, but the diverse array of geographically disparate artists—nearly all of whom are represented by a single piece—leaves a lot of questions, especially for viewers that aren't ceramics professionals. It's easy to loathe Aaron Nelson's pointlessly QR coded plates, just as it's easy to appreciate Janet Macpherson's St. Francis-styled rabbit monk* and the stylish urns of Peter Pincus. But what are we to make of Eva Kwong's wormy purple sculpture,* Ling Chun's milky, abstract Moving Landscape,* or Ian Thomas's cast basketballs? Is it witty or obvious that Jeremy Brooks used a traditional Shino glaze on an altered advertisement for Shino brand underwear? Bonnie Seeman's buggy vase is hideous, but that also seems to be the point. Why?

* pictured above

Thursday · 7:30PM

The Piano Lesson
Mixed Magic Theatre
500 Mineral Spring Avenue, Pawtucket

If you found this winter unbearable, imagine being a theater company. Between parking bans and official warnings to stay off the roads, audiences stayed home in droves. It was especially bad for Mixed Magic Theatre. They're still settling in at their new home on Mineral Spring Avenue, for one thing, and for the month of February—Black History Month—they planned to stage readings of August Wilson's entire ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle. Snow piles led to cancellations, and the theatre is just now starting to make up all its many snow days. Wilson's The Piano Lesson is a moving story about a 1930's family who can't decide whether to keep a prized heirloom or sell it to buy some neighboring land.

Friday · 8:00PM

Kacey Musgraves
Lupos Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street

There have been lots of uplifting songs about gay people in the last few years—"Firework," "Born This Way," and "Same Love" were all radio hits—but the only one that doesn't give me the willies on some level is "Follow Your Arrow," country singer Kacey Musgraves' laid-back call to "make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that's something you're into." Co-written by Brandy Clark (an actual lesbian), the song wasn't exactly a radio smash—it only hit #43 on the airplay charts—but it nevertheless took home the Song of the Year trophy at last year's Country Music Awards.

Saturday · 8:00PM

AS220 Black Box, 95 Empire Street

The second annual RIPExpo takes place at Providence Public Library this weekend (full disclosure: I'm exhibiting with Headmaster and also with Not About The Buildings) and post-show after-parties abound all weekend. The most interesting one sounds like the Saturday evening performance by Metropolarity, four queer-identified Philadelphia writers whose interests include "perspective shifting, cyborg wellness practices, identity bending, and quantum time manipulation." With work about aliens, time travel, cyborgs and superheroes, the group's members made a name for themselves with the Laser Life reading series, a platform for queer and trans writers of color to showcase their science fiction work.

Sunday · 12:00PM

Providence Public Library, 225 Washington Street

Last year's RIPExpo brought over one hundred exhibitors to Providence Public Library, and this year's promises to be even bigger, with zinesters, comic artists and small press publishers coming from across the country for the two-day event. While last year's Expo was almost entirely comics-driven, this one promises to include more books and zines. There are also panels on topics ranging from micropress distribution to creatively coping with addiction and trauma.

Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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