Duke University—Polish-American artist Lech Majewski has a penchant for capturing human frailty and deception in plural modes and mediums as a filmmaker, stage director, poet and painter. Majewski gained fame early on for his screenplay for Julian Schnabel's Basquiat, but his cinematic corpus is a clear-cut cultivation of all art forms, as words, images and actions form a fluid representation of an artists' eye transferred to celluloid.
Tonight's FVD Showcase features a screening of his 1999 abstract film Wojaczek, a story about a self-immolating poet who lives and breathes rebellion against his surrounding world in late 1960s Poland. Dark and offbeat, the highlight of this film is its grim representation of a black-and-white world moving with austerity as the film's main character, the poet Rafal Wojaczek, dances slowly toward oblivion in rounds of drunkenness, coitus with hospital nurses and spontaneous violent acts against himself. But perhaps the most crucial element of Majewski's film is its unwillingness to explore the connective threads between creativity and pathology, but simply to immerse his audience in the maddening world of an artist unplugged. Tonight's screening of Wojaczek is free at Griffith Theater at 8:30 p.m. Stay afterward for a Q&A with its director. —Kathy Justice
Ben Nichols, Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry
Cat's Cradle—Take away the band and amps, and you have a melancholic folk singer, or so it seems with this triumvirate of punk frontmen away from their better halves. In Chuck Ragan's case, the hiatus is semi-permanent as he forges on as a country-folk songwriter while his ex-Hot Water Music bandmates forge on as the Draft. He's celebrating the release of Bristle Ridge, a lonesome, spacious trad country album. Ben Nichols, Lucero's gruff, whiskey-throated singer, is prepping his solo debut, undoubtedly wrapping that evocative instrument around tales of longing. Avail's Tim Barry has a fine voice and writes from the heart, but the music's rather indistinctive. A distinguished $13-$15 gets you in at 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker