(718) 260–2500 Brooklyn Paper’s essential guide to the Borough of Kings October 4–10, 2019
These are the best of the fest!
This year’s 12th Annual Bushwick Film Festival
, starting on Oct. 2 and running through
Oct. 6, will screen 95 short films, documentaries,
and features during its run. It will also feature
several panels, a karaoke session, a screenplay
reading, and a music event — but we are
here for the movies! So we have picked out four
films that you should not miss.
Coincidentally, all these flicks will screen at
the bar and movie theater Syndicated (40 Bogart
St. at Thames Street in Williamsburg, www.
syndicatedbk.com). Each costs $12.
“Bushwick Bill — Geto Boy”
This documentary follows gangsta rapper
Bushwick Bill — a little person from Jamaica
who never actually lived in Bushwick, but adopted
the neighborhood as his alter-ego. As one
of the Geto Boys, he became one of the Godfathers
of Southern Rap, but he passed away last
year, after shooting on this doc wrapped.
Oct. 4 at 6:05 pm.
A freewheeling comedian and an uptight entrepreneur
find themselves on a three-day road
trip from New York to New Orleans to sell an old
van. They strike up a romance along the way, but
then discover each other’s dark secrets.
Oct. 4 at 8:20 pm.
In this feature, a homeless woman (pictured)
survives on her own terms in the tunnels beneath
New York City and faces the life-threatening
challenge of a blizzard.
Oct. 5 at 4:15 pm.
“The Ugly Model”
This documentary examines beauty standards
by looking at a smokin’ hot male model
who is convinced he is ugly because of his Korean
heritage — despite all the evidence to the
Oct. 6 at 2 pm.
— Kevin Duggan
Reading picks Spreading her wings: Michael Keegan-Dolan’s adaptation of “Swan Lake,” coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Oct. 15, combines the original story with an
Irish adaptation of ‘Swan Lake’ lands at BAM
By Rose Adams
A strange, serious new show is taking
White-feathered figures, evil priests,
and corrupt cops will leap onto the stage
when an avant-garde adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s
classic ballet “Swan Lake” debuts
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey
Theater on Oct. 15. The production,
from Irish dance company Teac Damsa,
fuses the ballet’s haunting story with Irish
folklore and recent events in that country,
making its mythical story feel compelling
to modern audiences, said its creator.
“By mixing three stories or myths together…
we can see a connection between
what we perceive as ancient, and mythological
and what we perceive as contemporary
and real,” said Irish choreographer
“Swan Lake/Loch na hEala,” which runs
Oct. 15–20, re-imagines the ballet’s original
love story between a prince and a woman
turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. It
reinvents the prince as a depressed 36-yearold,
based on a man shot to death by Irish
police in 2000, and the sorcerer as a sexually
abusive priest who transforms his
victims into swans so they cannot accuse
him. The leading lady is one of those silenced
swans, and shares a name with the
lead character in “The Children of Lir,” an
ancient fairy tale about four siblings who
turn into birds.
The show draws on prevalent themes
in modern Ireland, including oppression,
state power, and corruption of the church,
said Keegan-Dolan, and even its narrative
style has Irish influences.
“The show is built around a narrative
structure, a structure that I would have
inherited from my ancestors, who were
also storytellers,” he said. “The Irish are
a people who have always valued stories,
as ways of passing on valuable information,
from young to old.”
The show’s 10 dancers will combine classic
ballet moves with modern dance, and
the show discards Tchaikovsky’s score for
traditional Irish and Nordic music, played
on fiddles, cellos, and guitars by the music
trio Slow Moving Clouds.
The show may draw on the history and
folklore of Ireland, but its characters will
resonate with people across borders and
eras, said Keegan-Dolan.
“Every society, ancient or modern, has
its evil sorcerers — some of them politicians
or religious leaders,” he said. “As
with any powerful myth, the characters
speak to us today as strongly as the day of
their origin. We simply need to learn how
to listen again.”
“Swan Lake” at BAM Harvey Theater (651
Fulton St. between Rockwell and Ashland
places in Fort Greene, www.bam.org). Oct.
15–19 at 7:30 pm; Oct. 20 at 3 pm. $30–$95.
Greenlight Bookstore’s pick:
“Dominicana,” by Angie Cruz
This book, set in the
mid-1960s, follows the immigration
story of 15-yearold
woman coming from
the Dominican Republic
to Washington Heights
to enter into a somewhat
arranged marriage to a
much older man. It is set
at the cusp of Washington
Heights becoming predominantly
Dominican, and at
a cultural crossroads, when
both the Dominican Republic and New York City
were experiencing massive periods of change. It
is an immigrant’s story, and conveys the strength
necessary to be an immigrant facing the unknown:
the bravery, language barriers, the tough
choices one has to make, how difficult it is. This
story also conveys how demeaningly people can
treat immigrants. Full of pride, love, emotion,
sex, one really shocking pigeon scene, family,
strength, and warmth, I cannot recommend “Dominicana”
— Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S.
Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–
0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com .
Community Bookstore’s pick:
“Ill Nature,” by Joy Williams
This classic collection
of essays on environmentalism
by Joy Williams is
even more urgent, more
outraged and outraging,
and more bitingly funny
now than when it was written
nearly 20 years ago. A
howl against apathy, cynicism
and cowardice that
manages to include a piece
narrated by Ted Kaczysnki’s
cabin. A transcendentally
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore 43
Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield
Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.
commu nityb ookst ore.net .
“Slay,” by Brittney Morris
2019 has been a year of
strong debuts and “Slay”
continues that trend. With
this young adult novel, Morris
delivers with an incredible
story that ties in heavy
social issues with the excitement
of online gaming.
I loved seeing a Black geek
girl in action, coding and
creating space in a world
that wasn’t necessarily designed
for her. Morris sprinkled some serious
Black Girl Magic on this one!
— Kim Small, Word 126 Franklin St. at Milton
Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.
Marie Laure Briane
Having a pooch-perfect afternoon
Massive canine wonderland comes to Williamsburg
By Aidan Graham
It’s a doggy heaven on earth!
A new Fido-friendly amusement
park will romp into Williamsburg
this weekend! “Best Dog Day Ever:
Halloween Edition” will open on Oct.
4 for a month-long stint of offering
mutts a dog-gone adorable two-hour
extravaganza of puppy play, said a
rep with the company.
“It’s a place where you can really
pamper your pooch,” said Stacey
Richman. “Everything in the space
is from the perspective of putting
The spot has a Halloween theme,
but it is no doggy haunted house —
instead, it is an indoor wonderland of
wags, with play spaces, grooming opportunities,
a canine costume closet,
and a Halloween watering hole, all
designed to celebrate your fuzzy little
buddy. Even the play pen and the
lengthy obstacle course will capture
images and reward canine accomplishments,
“There’s a ball pit with a six-foot
slide so dogs can go in head first —
with a slow-motion camera attached
so you can get an image of that,” she
said. “And we have a corn maze
where the dog goes through, and we
time the dog on how quickly he goes
from one end to the other.”
Tail-waggers looking for tasty treats
can cool down at a Halloween-themed
treat shop — featuring healthy ice
cream and nutritious non-alcoholic
“beer,” said Richman.
“We have a trick-or-treat shop,
where you and your dog can share
an ice cream sundae together — we
have dog-friendly ice cream, and dogfriendly
toppings,” she said. “You can
also share a dog-friendly beer with
There will also be actual humanfriendly
beer for the human companions,
The entire experience is designed
to be picture perfect for social media
savvy dog owners who want to
capture fur-fect photos of their fuzzy
“If something’s not on Instagram,
did it even happen?” noted Richman.
“So there will be a lot of photographable
moments that people can share
on social media.”
Even the most scruffy pups will
be camera-ready after visiting the
Dyson-sponsored grooming station,
where they can get their hair
done and nails clipped — and in
keeping with the Halloween-theme,
owners can dress their hounds in
various far-fetched ensembles, said
“We have a costume cam, where
dog owners can dress their dogs up and
various costumes and do a 180-degree
photo booth,” she said. “It’s reminiscent
of a red carpet for your dog.”
“Best Dog Day Ever” at Twenty-
FiveKent (25 Kent Ave. between N.
12th and N. 13th streets in Williamsburg,
Oct. 4–27, Thu–Fri at 4 pm and 6:30
pm, Sat at 12:30 pm, 3 pm, and 5:30
pm, Sun at 12:30 pm and 3 pm. $35
for one adult and one dog ($25 for
Irish folktale and a tragic event in recent Irish history.
Marie Laure Briane
A classic tale: In “Swan Lake/Loch
na hEala,” a depressed man goes to
the lake to commit suicide when he
meets Fionnghuala, a woman turned
into a swan.
Get the ball! A dog lounges in the ball pit at “Best Dog Day Ever,”
a pup-up spot offering an indoor place for dogs to play, starting
on Oct. 4.