“Oh, that Mitzi!” a doctor (Maurice Chevalier) croons in Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 musical, “One Hour With You,” referring to his wife’s seductive friend (Genevieve Tobin). The film is screening on Friday and Feb. 15 as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s series Dames, Janes, Dolls and Canaries, which runs through Feb. 19. The event is devoted to Mitzi, her fellow vamps and other self-assured female characters of the early 1930s, before the Production Code inhibited American movies. More precisely, the program highlights the actresses who played them — stars like Tobin, Bebe Daniels and Helen Twelvetrees, who did not endure as household names.
The guest programmer, the vintage-movie maven Farran Smith Nehme, has selected features partly for rarity. Many — like the delightfully ribald golf romp “Follow Thru” (on Feb. 11), with the course greens and the actress Nancy Carroll’s red hair in two-color Technicolor — are not streaming or on DVD. Others are often only seen in poor-quality versions, like “Reaching for the Moon,” on Monday and Feb. 13, with a talking Douglas Fairbanks as a financier smitten with Daniels just before the 1929 stock market crash. The MoMA favorite “Her Man,” with Twelvetrees, screens on Sunday and Feb. 17.
Art & Museums
A Pioneer Gets His Due
From 1990 to 1994, Tim Fielder taught illustration at The Children’s Art Carnival, an organization founded in 1969 to provide arts and educational programs for young children in Harlem. Around the same time he worked as a comic book artist at Marvel, where his desire to advance the aesthetic of Afrofuturism was often frustrated by the public’s reluctance to embrace it.
Now Afrofuturism’s popularity is on the rise, particularly within the field of comic books and graphic novels (including Fielder’s own “Infinitum,” which was published last year). And The Children’s Art Carnival is honoring Fielder’s career with the retrospective “Black Metropolis: 30 Years of Afrofuturism, Comics, Music, Animation, Decapitated Chickens, Heroes, Villains, and Negroes.”
The exhibition features about 100 of Fielder’s illustrations and animations. Together, they offer an ideal in which Black people of the past, present and future can be whatever they want to be. It is on view Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment and Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. through March 31. Admission is free.
Films, Friends and Fun
At a time when even attending school can be complicated, family trips to distant lands may seem out of the question. But one organization is scheduling international flights — of fancy, that is — from its city headquarters and your own home.
That’s the Brooklyn Academy of Music, whose BAMkids Film Festival starts this weekend, both in person and virtually. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday at the academy (a full schedule is on its website) and online from Saturday through Feb. 13, this year’s edition offers 69 short films, as well as related activities, like a performance from the comedy-theater troupe Parallel Exit and a streaming concert by Divi Roxx Kids.
The festival, which includes works from 27 countries, is geared toward ages 3 to 11, but because of vaccination requirements, only children 5 and older can attend in person. (Families seeking access to both on-site and online events must purchase admission separately. In-person tickets are $9 to $14 per program; pay-what-you-wish streaming tickets are a minimum of $5 for individual programs and $30 for a full-festival pass.)
Expect cinematic subjects both silly (animal astronauts) and serious (bullying), and characters that range from monster-menaced mini Martians to pillows that download the dreams they absorb.
‘Cosmic Music’ and More
The saxophonist Ravi Coltrane hasn’t released a new album since the murky and enchanting “Spirit Fiction,” from 2012, but every so often he pops up with a live performance around New York, often with a fresh band or a new idea. Hop on these chances, if you can.
Five Movies to Watch This Winter
This week, Coltrane is briefly in residence at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side, with a different set of music each night from Thursday through Saturday. Starting at 7:30 p.m. on Night 1, he will play back-to-back duo sets: one with the pianist James Carney, the other with the drummer Allan Mednard. (A single ticket covers both sets.) On Friday, at the same time, he will present a new combo, the Freedom Trio, joined by the younger musicians Nick Jozwiak, a bassist, and Savannah Harris, a drummer.
Closing out the weekend, on Saturday at 8 p.m., Coltrane will debut “Cosmic Music: A Contemporary Exploration Into the Music of John & Alice Coltrane,” a full-band program dedicated to his parents’ immortal careers. Thursday and Friday’s performances take place at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, and Saturday’s show is at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater; tickets range from $30 to $50 and are available at symphonyspace.org.
Jordan Carlos likes to challenge people: With “Can We Talk About This?,” an ongoing series of shorts that airs during movie broadcasts on AMC Networks, he speaks with myriad personalities about problematic aspects of classic films. And with “Are You Still Doing Stand-Up, Jordan?” — his current show, which he created with Black audiences in mind — he tackles the conventional wisdom of what he calls “New York’s neoliberal brunch set.” He will perform it at Union Hall on Sunday at 8 p.m. and on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., as well as at Caveat on Feb. 16.
If you’re still not up for in-person gatherings, you can enjoy a marathon of the podcast “Keith and the Girl,” on the show’s YouTube channel. Keith Malley and Chemda Khalili began the show out of their apartment in Queens 17 years ago, and will celebrate its anniversary with a free 24-hour livestream. Among the 80 guests on the lineup are the comedians Tim Dillon, Jimmy Pardo, Lucie Pohl and Laurie Kilmartin. The marathon starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday.