Fall Preview: What You Need to See, Read and Hear 

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Much as we love the summer sun and the freedom to go outside, it’s fall to which our hearts belong: crisp breezes, the return of sweaters, and most of all the glut of substantial art after the previous few months of shuttered theaters, beach reads, and popcorn-pushing blockbusters. Here are a bunch of the awesome-sounding movies, exhibitions, albums, books and plays whose releases and openings you should mark on your Google calendars.

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September


Salinger
All the reclusive hero to budding intellectual adolescents everywhere wanted was to be left alone, which made us all just want to invade his privacy more. Director Shane Salerno of course didn’t get access to the man himself, but he did talk to like 150 people, including some of the author’s friends. Whether this will be illuminating is yet to be seen. September 6

99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film
We still miss hanging out in Zuccotti Park, and we hope this film, a collaboration between 99 filmmakers around the country and the first major Occupy movie, will ameliorate our feelings of loss, loneliness and economic injustice.September 6

A Teacher
We get excited about any movie by a Brooklyn director, but especially one that’s about a female teacher who seduces one of her male students, because it sounds, uh, emotionally complex with compelling characters. (Sorry, we’re still sweating from reading Tampa.) September 6

Insidious: Chapter 2
James Wan rapidly went from being some crummy horror hack to being one of the most respected filmmakers in the genre. His original Insidious was brilliantly terrifying, as good as anything by directors with more indie cred like Ti West, and the recent The Conjuring was the same. He quickly follows that up with this sequel, which we’d bet will be awesome and scary and great. September 13

The Family
Luc Besson is to action movies what Judd Apatow is to comedies: he produces tons of stuff, good and bad, and infrequently directs his own movies too, which, unlike Apatow’s, are often pretty good. This one has Robert DeNiro! September 13

Mother of George
Set within Crown Heights’ Yoruba community, this buzzy movie tells the story of newlywed Nigerian-Americans whose inability to conceive a child leads to marital and familial strife. September 13

Newlyweeds
Notice the extra “e” in the title of this stoner comedy about a recently married couple coping with their marijuana addictions. September 18

After Tiller
That would be Dr. George Tiller, the abortion provider infamously gunned down at church in 2009; this documentary looks at the handful of doctors in America who perform the same late-term abortions that he did. September 20

Metallica: Through the Never
This movie just sounds so weird that we’re just really curious. It’s a hybrid concert film and post-apocalyptic nightmare narrative film starring the master of mopey and moody adolescence Dane DeHaan and directed by genre master Nimrod Antal (Armored, Predators). September 27

October


Gravity
My god, we’ve been waiting a long time for Alfonso Cuarón finally to follow up Children of Men. Seven years later, here’s a movie with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock lost in space. October 4

A Touch of Sin
Speaking of long delays, it’s been five years since Jia Zhangke directed a narrative follow up to 24 City. This, we’ve heard, is like a hybrid American Western-South Korean revenge movie. October 4

Twelve Years a Slave
Ok, so we basically laughed out loud all throughout Shame, even though we’re like the biggest Michael Fassbender fans, but we sort of liked Hunger, at least admired its politics and form, so we’re willing to give director Steve McQueen another chance. October 18

November


Ender's Game
Ok, ok, we’ll finally read this before the movie comes out. November 1

The Wolf of Wall Street
Scorsese’s latest stars... guess! I bet you’ll never guess. Oh, yes, it is Leonardo DiCaprio. How did you guess? November 15

Her
Where the Wild Things Are was so mopey it was ridiculous; it was like hanging out with a friend who really just needs to be on medication because the therapy isn’t working. The rest of Spike Jonze’s oeuvre is so wonderful, though, that we’re still interested to see how he handles this sci-fi romance about a writer who develops a relationship with his, uh, operating system. November 20

Catching Fire
The Hunger Games read to us like a screen treatment, and we thought its big-budget movie adaptation vastly improved upon it, making its politics more stinging and real. On the other hand, Catching Fire is impressively depressing; we hope the movie version doesn’t muddle its devastating desperation. November 22

Oldboy
Ordinarily we’d be like, “ew! American remake of a cool foreign movie!” Except we sort of trust Americans to handle this kind of bloody revenge thriller well, especially when the director is someone as credible as Spike Lee, who’s been better lately more in Inside Man mode than in She Hate Me mode. November 27

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September


Pierogi and the Boiler
Both of this gallery’s well appointed spaces will be taken over by The Map Is Not the Territory, a solo show of mixed media works by Ati Maier related to the variable destinies of space exploration. 177 N. 9th Street, Williamsburg

56 Bogart
With 10 galleries here, there’s likely to be an opening almost every weekend of the season. Studio 10 is starting with a solo show by Tim Spelios; Theodore Art will feature photographs by Richard Paul; Slag will be exhibiting Dumitru Gorzo; and Fuchs is always scheming up something fun. ET. AL. Projects, too. Et cetera. 56 Bogart Street, Bushwick

English Kills Gallery
The season opener here is a solo exhibit by Don Pablo Pedro. Go prepared to have your mouth left agape for various reasons, as you’re likely to be surrounded by all sorts of physical gapings. Fig leaves strictly forbidden. 114 Forrest Street, Bushwick

Airplane Gallery
Certain details have yet to be ascertained, but we do know this spot’s season opener will feature sculptures by Roxanne Jackson. Autumn is a perfect time, by the by, to mill around in Airplane’s landing strip in the backyard. That’s where they grow the potential ethanol. 70 Jefferson Street, Bushwick

Auxiliary Projects
Its shows are devoted to hand-made editions understood both literally and broadly, and they’re always handsome affairs. Coming up in November is a spread by MTAA.  2 St. Nicholas Avenue, Bushwick

1717 Troutman
Four galleries are housed here at the time of this writing; by the time hayrides kick in there might well be more. Regina Rex, Harbor, Bull & Ram and Parallel, for now. At the latter, the season opens with All-Over or Nothing, a group show exploring surface-bound simplicities, in a sense. 1717 Troutman Street, Ridgewood

Valentine Gallery
The fall opener here will feature Charlotte Becket and Emmy Mikelson in the front room, and Robert Egert in the lateral corridor. Paintings and sculptures fore and aft, and the gallery’s gift shop is sure be full of new gems. 464 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood

Storefront Ten Eyck
The massive new home of Storefront Bushwick is sure to be a lively spot this fall. They’re kicking off the season with a group show, Material324 Ten Eyck Street, Williamsburg

Janet Kurnatowski Gallery
Specifics are TBD, but this space’s group shows large and small are always worth your while. Check in. 205 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint



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September


Beat Festival
Brooklyn’s theater festival returns for its second year with more than a week of performances across the borough. Highlights include the Opening Night at the Brooklyn Museum, at which all this year’s participating artists will perform throughout the building; Odyssey Works: Brooklyn, in which anyone is welcome to be an extra in a day-long performance created all across the borough for one person; and Brooklyn ‘63, which tells the true stories of different local activists during a pivotal year. September 12-21, Various locations

Anna Nicole
New York City Opera makes its only appearance at BAM this season (though it’ll be at St. Ann’s in 2014, and elsewhere in NYC) with the US premiere of this new opera about the infamous American model and reality TV star. September 17-28, BAM

The Blue Dragon
Master theater director Robert Lepage follows up his 30-year-old Dragon’s Trilogy with this “visually stunning tale of love and disenchantment in modern-day Shanghai,” starring Lepage as an art curator living abroad. September 18-21, BAM/p>

October


Julius Caesar
Renowned London theater group Donmar Warehouse comes to Brooklyn with a production of Shakespeare’s tragedy cast entirely with women and set in a women’s prison. October 3-November 3, St. Ann’s Warehouse

Roosevelvis
The Bushwick Starr’s only mainstage production of the fall is a “theatrical collision examining two of America’s most influential masculine icons.” It’s also the funnest title to say out loud. October 9-November 2, Bushwick Starr

A Midsummer Night's Dream
This is huge: Julie Taymor directs her first piece of theater since Spider-Man on Broadway, this Shakespeare comedy, for Theatre for a New Audience, the first production at the outstanding company’s new home in Fort Greene. October 19-January 12, Theatre for a New Audience

Nosferatu
TR Warszawa, a Polish theater group that’s become a New York fixture with productions like its 2008 Macbeth and last year’s adaptation of Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration, comes to the Next Wave Festival with this show inspired by the Dracula story. With music by John Zorn! October 30-November 2, BAM



November


An Enemy of the People
Ibsen’s play about a scientist whose community turns against him when he reveals the local water is contaminated, thus threatening the local economy, was memorably performed on the Red Hook waterfront earlier this year (as the neighborhood was battling a proposal to store pollution there). We’re curious to see how this German production handles such knotty moral complexity. November 6-10, BAM

The Marriage of Figaro
Southern Brooklyn’s lovable opera company Regina kicks off its season with a production of the Mozart favorite in the auditorium of one of Brooklyn’s largest, most magnificent churches. November 16-24, Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Analog.UE
The truly terrific British master storyteller Daniel Kitson returns to his regular New York spot, St. Ann’s (where he last appeared in January 2012), with a new monologue “about a pre-recorded story.” Never mind that that’s vague; it’s practically guaranteed to be amazing. November 22-December 21, St. Ann’s Warehouse



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September


MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood
The Canadian master of speculative fiction finishes out a trilogy (which includes Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) by following the pursuits of Toby and Ren months after the “Waterless Flood.” Atwood is known for her unique blend of drama, romance, and comedy in multigenre stories; no word yet if any of her amazing tweets make it into this novel, too. September 3

The Childhood of Jesus, J.M. Coetzee
The South African literary force presents this novel of David and Simón, two people lost and reborn together, as an allegorical tale of destiny and growing up, over and over. Told mainly through dialogue, the intellectual and emotional ride should be devastatingly beautiful. September 3

At the Bottom of Everything, Ben Dolnick
Seeecrets! Secrets are at the center of this Brooklyn-based novelist’s latest novel. Secrets destroy us. But transparency leads to freedom, we guess? The title of this book is also the name of a pretty good Bright Eyes song, so that’s exciting. September 3

Dissident Gardens, Jonathan Lethem
Lethem may have personally abandoned New York, but he returns here fictionally in a narrative that spans several generations of a politically radical family. Here the political is personal and the personal is political, as—let’s face it—is frequently the case. September 10

The Collected Stories, John Updike
This two-volume collection of the canonical American writer is filled with his terrific short fiction, culled from 13 collections spread over 50 years. It also comes in a case with John Updike’s face on it. And ribbon bookmarks. September 12

Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon
We’re not going to pretend we read Gravity’s Rainbow, but we will pretend we read Inherent Vice, so we’re really looking forward to this relatively quick follow-up about Silicon Alley and post-dotcom, pre-9/11 NYC. September 17

Traveling Sprinkler, Nicholson Baker
Baker will always hold a place in our hearts because we’ve found that his novel Vox is always given to us by the most worthy of suitors. Anyway, this new book is about Quakers and music and will be our new bellwether of whether or not a suitor is worthy.  September 17

Levels of Life, Julian Barnes
This is a grief memoir, and as such, it is also a love story. You can’t grieve what you did not love. But while Barnes refuses to mythologize the death of his wife (you’ll find no Eurydice here), he confronts her loss from many different angles, and almost never straight-on; it proves wildly effective. There are also appearances by Sarah Bernhardt and a hot air balloon. September 24

The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
Lahiri is better known for her acclaimed short stories (how many in the New Yorker have kept you company on the toilet?); The Lowland is her first novel in 10 years. Lahiri treads familiar ground with this story of family ties torn asunder, but she does it in her trademark way: beautiful and heart-rending. September 24

Doctor Sleep, Stephen King
We’re not in the anti-Kubrick camp by any means—The Shining is one of our favorite movies—but in the last few years we’ve developed a strong respect for King, so we’re kinda excited by the fact that he’s written a sequel to one of his most famous books, this one featuring a grown-up “Dan” Torrance fighting off a gang of monsters that feeds off those who shine. September 24



October


The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessen Boyle II, T.C. Boyle
This book from a master of short fiction Boyle (whose hair is as adventurous as his fiction) collects stories from his last three collections along with 14 unpublished ones. October 3

Doomed, Chuck Palahniuk
Palahniuk picks up the story he began in Damned, after the hero unwillingly leaves hell. Earth is purgatory, virtuous parents are evil, and a new continent made out of plastic called Madlantis are all in the latest from the prolific author. October 8

The Counselor, Cormac McCarthy
It’s been seven years since The Road, so we’ll take anything new from McCarthy, even if it’s just the published screenplay of the new Ridley Scott movie. October 8

Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton
We were late to the whole HONY thing, but wow, that guy’s really good at taking pictures of people on the street and tugging at your heartstrings. Sure, a lot of this book is stuff already available on the web for free, but it’s worth supporting talented people—and appreciating beautiful photographs printed on paper. October 15

Actors Anonymous, James Franco
Yes, the man with 12 MFAs returns to literature with this novel, loosely based on Alcoholics Anonymous, mixing lyric essay, memoir, and biography. We hear James Franco makes a cameo. October 15

Hill William, Scott McClanahan
This West Virginia writer can do no wrong, as far as we’re concerned (which is why we published him in our summer fiction issue). Coming on the heels of his great Crapalachia is this new book, which sounds like it will cover similar ground—the adventures of Scott McClanahan in West Virginia, of which we can’t ever get enough. October 29



November


The Isle of Youth, Laura van den Berg
When we read van den Berg’s One Teen Story story, it was so great we immediately went and bought her story collection. And now she has a new story collection we can’t wait to sink our eyes into, published no less by, like, our favorite imprint, FSG Originals. November 5

Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
From the authors of the best book about the 2008 elections comes a book about the 2012 election. I mean, sure, we haven’t cared about that since November 7, 2012, but good reporting takes time! November 5

A Prayer Journal, Flannery O’Connor’Connor
This one-year diary from the Lady of Gothic’s time at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop will be of especial interest to devout and general O’Connor fans alike. We bet that reading her prayers is just as transcendent as reading her prose. November 12

Report from the Interior, Paul Auster
We heard so-so things about Auster’s last book, Winter Journal, which was about his aging, ailing body. But we still have high hopes for this companion piece of sorts, another autobiographical work, this one about his childhood. November 19



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September


Destruction Unit, Deep Trip
Destruction Unit’s roster boasts some decent clout, including members from Reatards and Marshstepper. Together they light the aural fuse to a sack of inky drone dynamite. And with that match’s glowing embers, the Arizonans trace a web of distortion and brooding chaos. Album cut “Bumpy Road” hints at an earful of peyote-dipped paisleys. Somehow, Destruction Unit admits a subtle swagger. But maybe that’s just the plumes of smoke from all those pedals. September 3

Jonathan Rado, Law and Order
No one can deny the nth degree to which Rado nails 60s pop manipulation. But Rado’s masterful blending of past, with all things pretty, goes deeper. Unlike his other (great but polarizing) project, Foxygen, Law affords him full creative control. Expect deliberate auto-oil smears. Expect bedazzled overalls. Expect Rado on the rocks, perhaps witha tiny umbrella. September 3

The Julie Ruin, Run Fast
Kathleeen Hanna, punk rock feminist icon, gives her least-prominent project its belated victory lap. Now evolved from a late-90s solo endeavor into a fully formed 2010s band, their first released tracks have been upbeat, tough and fun. While we don’t want to get too carried away, so far it sounds like this could be a tidy synthesis of the things that made Bikini Kill and Le Tigre especially great. September 3

Okkervil River, The Silver Gymnasium
Seven albums into Okkervil’s career and we fall even deeper into the head of frontman Will Sheff, this time delving into his childhood in Meriden, New Hampshire, where his parents were teachers at a boarding school and he suffered general pre-adolescent awkwardness. The album comes packaged with a map of the town circa 1986—for supreme nostalgia, its online version is accompanied by a recording of Sheff guiding you to landmarks and telling the stories behind each song. Oh, also: lots of vibrant, chugging melodies. September 3

Body/Head, Coming Apart
Kim Gordon’s post-Sonic Youth project, a collaboration with guitarist Bill Nace, has so far been all about free-ranging improvisation. Concert appearances from the duo have been a conversation between separate lines of ringing guitar noise, with Gordon’s deadpan vocals joining at her own regal whim. How it will all hang together in the studio remains a tantalizing mystery. September 10

Holy Ghost!, Dynamics
This local DFA Records duo has gradually graduated to big-room headliner on the strength of their increasingly refined synth-pop and disco chops. Given that the James Murphy-assisted summer jam “Teenagers in Heat” failed to make the cut, the bar on their new record seems pretty damn high. September 10

Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady
The perfectly put-together pop singer’s first record since The ArchAndroid broke through three years ago. This time, she’s secure enough in her future-funk star power to invite big personalities like Erykah Badu, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding to share the stage. We mean, dear god, Prince is on this album! September 10

Joanna Gruesome, Weird Sister
Listen, there just might not be any non-silly band names left. You’re going to want to give this young Welsh band a pass. On songs like advance single “Secret Surprise,” they mix indie-pop hooks and riot grrl oomph in a way that’s seriously catchy and tastefully refined. Also, just trust Slumberland Records at this point, how about? September 10

Crystal Stilts, Nature Noir
Crystal Stilts have a spectacular, dark magic about them. They continue casting spells with this latest release, like cool wizards stoned on sunshiny acid. Although never in a rush, Brad Hargett drags his twisted lyrics along an unwaxed surfboard, grinding them down to Calvin Johnson territory. Here, the dudes make one potent psychedelic front porch punch. September 17

MGMT, MGMT
The reluctant psych-rock heroes have never been ones to suffer from a shortage of ideas, but with three years of brainstorming behind them, we can only assume their self-titled third effort will rupture with styles, textures and token eccentricities on a whole new level. So far, so good: the clipped, repetitive, hypnotic “Your Life Is a Lie” is the best we’ve heard from the band in years. September 17

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe
Glaswegian synth-pop trio Chvrches have already had press accolades heaped upon them and sold out nights at Webster Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg—all based on the strength of a four-song EP. We’re about to find out if we’ve been right this whole time. September 24

Icona Pop, This Is... Icona Pop
The song that ruled your iPod in 2012 has become the song that ate the world in 2013. But what do these bratty Swedish pop stars have to offer besides the giddy nihilism of “I Love It”? Whatever it is, you’re not going to be able to avoid it in a month, so you might as well make your peace with it now. September 24

Haim, Days Are Gone
Haim does not sound like they are from LA. These sisters pack a commanding, engaging pop-rock aesthetic similar to sisters-bands of decades past like Wilson Phillips and although not from California at all—Canada, actually Heart. They use searing riffs in a sparing, meaningful measure, balanced with generous scoops of synths and gorgeous vocal harmonies. Quivering with powerful potential and insanely brain-sticky melodies, we’re excited for the explosion. September 30



October


The Blow, The Blow
In the seven years since Paper Television, The Blow’s Khaela Maricich has gained a new collaborator (Melissa Dyne) and a new city (New York), while her band’s minimal take on pop and R&B just sat there, gathering relevance. The new material, which has been road-tested at sporadic live dates over the last few years, builds melodic hooks from acoustic instrumental snippets warped through sampling and digital processing. October 1

Fuzz, Fuzz
Coming off a solo album at the end of August, garage-rock overlord Ty Segall forges on, joining buddies Charlie Moonhart and Roland Cosio and knocking the volume up a few notches for a psychedelic-laced metal explosion. See band name for expository information as to how their guitars sound. Also see: Black Sabbath. October 1

Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven
Experimental Brooklyn producer Daniel Lopatin jumps up to legendary electronics label Warp for his new album, in one of those moves that makes you say, “Oh, of course, that makes perfect sense.” A slight inching toward “traditional song structure” has been promised, but we’re sure most of the pleasure will come from rich, elegant abstraction, as usual. October 1

Arcade Fire, Reflektor (We Assume?)
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a release date. We have word that James Murphy and longtime Arcade Fire collaborator Markus Dravs are behind the decks. And thanks to a cryptic Instagram feed loosely linking to the band, we think we have an album title. We also have confidence that the group of ragtag Canucks will again tackle big-picture issues in various degrees of grandeur, possibly resulting in one of the best albums of the year. If, you know, we had to guess. October 29



November


M.I.A., Matangi
Another incredibly long-awaited album, whose delays lead M.I.A. to threaten leaking it herself. The extortion worked, and they announced it for November. Her urgencyis welcome, as her last record /\/\ /\ Y /\ is still in limbo between its initial dud status and its eventual reconsideration. An unqualified hit feels important for her right now. November 5

Azealia Banks, Broke With Expensive Taste
Ok, who knows if her debut is really, finally coming out. We all said that it was going to in February, and now the claim is “Fall 2013,” apparently. Banks recently suggested that her full-length’s influences include Rihanna, The Shins, Ariel Pink and jazzy R&B singer Rachelle Ferrell. Which is just the sort of odd, compellingly Tweeted tidbit that’s kept us on the hook waiting all this time. Fall 2013



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