Film: The Chills Aren’t Just the A.C. at Scary Movies
Aug. 16-21; filmlinc.org
Now in its 12th year, the Scary Movies festival at Film at Lincoln Center still oozes blood and guts.
The lineup presents some of the most gruesome cinema from the past months, including the director’s cut of Ari Aster’s “Midsommar,” with nearly 30 bonus minutes of Aster’s Swedish hellscape. There’s also a “Terrible Bears” double bill with a 40th-anniversary screening of John Frankenheimer’s “Prophecy,” about waste mismanagement in the Maine woods, and William Girdler’s “Grizzly” and its 18-foot prehistoric beast; Alistair Banks Griffin’s “The Wolf Hour,” starring Naomi Watts as an agoraphobic writer holed up during the Summer of Sam; and Soren Juul Petersen’s “Finale,” about night-shift employees at a remote convenience store where it’s not just the security cameras watching.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s “Ready or Not” closes out the frights, with Samara Weaving as the bride of a board-game scion who, hewing to family tradition, has to play to the death on her wedding night. Weaving will be on hand for a Q. and A. with the directors, as will Andie MacDowell, who plays the mother-in-law out to get her. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Pop: Bill Callahan Gets Noisy at Webster Hall
Aug. 22; ticketmaster.com
Not long ago, Bill Callahan considered giving up a decades-spanning recording career in order to care for his newborn son, Bass. Instead, the roving folk troubadour made an album — “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest,” released in June — that charted the growth of the familial roots he laid down following his 2014 wedding. Where many artists have struggled to translate marital bliss into a salient artistic statement (see, for example, Chance the Rapper’s latest), Callahan has leveraged a combination of earnest straightforwardness (“I got married to my wife/She’s lovely”) and good humor (“The panic room is now a nursery/And there’s renovators renovating constantly”) to winsome ends.
Languid and spare, these songs are a far cry from the lo-fi noise music Callahan made early in his career, back when he performed under the moniker Smog. On Thursday, he’s set to perform a selection of them at Manhattan’s Webster Hall. OLIVIA HORN
Classical Music: Tanglewood Celebrates John Williams
Aug. 24; bso.org
These days, it’s less fashionable than it once was to look down upon John Williams as a mere author of film soundtracks, rather than treat him as the composer of brilliantly rousing symphonic scores that he is. In 2016, the New Yorker music critic Alex Ross wrote that “Williams invariably achieves a level of craftsmanship that no other living Hollywood composer can match.” American orchestras have increasingly embraced Williams in recent years — whether out of artistic or box office concerns — with screenings of the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” films accompanied live. But long before such performances were in vogue, the Tanglewood summer music festival presented an annual evening devoted to Williams’s music, featuring the Boston Pops. “John Williams’s Film Night” returns to the festival this Saturday, with the composer hosting and the conductor David Newman leading the orchestra. WILLIAM ROBIN
Theater: Jaclyn Backhaus’s ‘Wives’ Off Broadway
Aug. 23-Oct. 6, phnyc.org
The playwright Jaclyn Backhaus is trying to imagine a new way of storytelling, one that smashes the male-focused lens and builds something better in its place. If, from its title, her comedy “Wives” seems a curious way to go about that — wives having been, for most of history, defined as subservient to husbands — then so be it.
As frolicsome, inventive and smartly subversive as her breakthrough Off Broadway hit, “Men on Boats,” the time-skipping “Wives” is really about sisterhood. The play’s spouses, exes and mistresses have various men in common — Ernest Hemingway, King Henri II of France, Maharaja Madho Singh II of Jaipur. But deference to them isn’t exactly a feature of the women’s conversation, and neither, ultimately, is competition with one another. Directed by Margot Bordelon, with a cast of four that doubles throughout, it starts previews on Aug. 23 at Playwrights Horizons, where it opens on Sept. 16. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
TV: At Last, the End of ‘The Affair’
Aug. 25; sho.com
As “The Affair” begins its farewell season, Alison (Ruth Wilson) is dead, Vik (Omar Metwally) is close on her heels and Cole (Joshua Jackson) has vanished without explanation.
Which leaves Noah (Dominic West) and Helen (Maura Tierney) to ponder in their “Rashomon”-like narratives how it all went so terribly wrong as Season 5 debuts on Aug. 25.
Offering a new perspective: Sasha Mann (Claes Bang), the movie star who has optioned Noah’s semiautobiographical novel, “Descent.” He digs the version of Helen on the page, and finds the flesh-and-blood reality of her intoxicating, too — bringing out Noah’s worst narcissistic tendencies.
The story line also leaps forward in time; Anna Paquin joins the cast as Joanie, the now-adult daughter of Alison and Cole working as a coastal engineer in a sodden world decades into the future. When a job takes her to Montauk, the starting point for this whole sordid mess, she decides to uncover what really happened to her mother. Was it suicide? Murder? We’re dying to know as well. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Art: Bold Colors from Rajasthan
Through Sept. 5; kapoorgalleries.com
The Kingdom of Mewar, which was located in what is today known as the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, fell to the continent-bestriding Mughal Empire in the early 1600s. But by then it had already developed a distinctive style of miniature painting, one that persisted even through subsequent centuries of Mughal influence. In one anonymous portrait, the highlight of “The Frenetic and Bold Style from the Kingdom of Mewar” at Kapoor Galleries, the 19th-century Mewar ruler Bhim Singh rides an enormous white steed with red-rimmed, almost human eyes. The king’s face is a flat and stylized profile, but his flowing robe, along with the horse’s generous curves, makes the picture seem to billow out like a sail full of air. WILL HEINRICH
Dance: Letting Loose at Rockaway Beach
Aug. 19-22; beachsessionsdanceseries.com
Over the past four summers, the Beach Sessions Dance Series has lured dance-goers to the shores of Queens for performances on the sand. The fifth edition takes a more interactive turn, replacing the performance format with pay-what-you-wish classes — open to all ages and levels of experience — on weekday mornings and afternoons.
The teaching roster includes former Beach Sessions artists like Loni Landon, who opens the series with a contemporary dance class, and Biba Bell, who offers Inner Surf Outer Turf, a breezy exploration of the beach’s topography. Karma Stylz (seen recently on FX’s “Pose”) breaks down the basics of voguing; Omri Drumlevich teaches Gaga, a form of improvisation developed by the Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and Dance Church facilitates a feel-good workout to pop music. In perhaps the most cerebral proceedings, Cori Kresge leads Accessing Zero, a search for that number’s meaning through movement and its absence. Classes meet on the boardwalk at Low Tide Bar, near Beach 97th Street. SIOBHAN BURKE