The summer culture calendar: Everything you need to watch, hear, read, and do
7/16: Denis Leary stars in the FX comedy Sex&Drugs& Rock&Roll, about a rock band, the Heathens, attempting to reunite years after their shot at fame was dashed.
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck, opening July 17.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
7/17: Ant-Man, Boulevard, The Look of Silence, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and Trainwreck all open tonight. Paul Rudd versus one of Robin Williams's final films. Joshua Oppenheimer against the movie depicting a psychological breakthrough. And then there's Amy Schumer and LeBron James.
7/19: Pete Rock hosts the screening, in Queensbridge Park, of Nas: Time Is Illmatic, which chronicles the creation of the rapper's seminal album.
7/21: Interpol celebrates Brooklyn in elegantly dour fashion at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
7/22: This is one of eight nights you can see the humble Irish folk musicians U2 play Madison Square Garden.
7/23: An adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore washes up at Lincoln Center Festival. Meanwhile, at Signature Theatre, Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker will unveil her latest, John, influenced by those Kafkaesque German Expressionist films.
7/24: If you're a teenager, or just still feel like one, be sure to check out Paper Towns, the latest book-to-film adaptation of the work of star YA author John Green.
7/25: Lil Buck, the precocious master of jookin' — a form of dance that combines intricate footwork with supreme body control — is joined by Yoon Kwon on violin at Lincoln Center.
7/26: We don't know much about this, but it might be interesting to check out the E! reality-TV show about a 65-year-old former Olympic medalist named Caitlyn Jenner. Surely something of note happened to her, right?
7/28: William T. Vollmann, who was avant-garde gritty in the '90s, can't stop writing novels. This latest one, The Dying Grass, is part of his series about America's colonization.
7/31: C'est impossible! Tom Cruise strapped to the side of an airborne plane in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation? If that's difficult to believe, watch Best of Enemies, a documentary about the impossibly erudite, weirdly flirty televised feud between those two magnificent snobs William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal.
8/1: Wet and hot? Sit in front of the AC and binge-watch the eight-episode Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. A prequel, it returns to Camp Firewood in 1981, providing much-needed unpacking and cultural context to that complex film classic.
8/3: In the CW's new comedy Significant Mother, Josh Zuckerman is a Portland, Oregon, restaurateur whose free-range mother (Krista Allen) is sleeping with his best friend. Weekend at Bernie's star Jonathan Silverman plays the jilted dad.
8/4: If you want to keep it real on your beach idyll, bring along Justin Gifford's Street Poison, the first biography of Iceberg Slim, né Robert Beck, the pimp turned "street lit" novelist and idol to Ice-T and Snoop. If you've already read the first two installments of Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy about the lead-up to the First Opium War, then you'll be delirious that Flood of Fire is out. But Alice Hoffman's latest, The Marriage of Opposites — a story of forbidden love set on a tropical island in the early 1800s — might at least fit the beachy scenery.
8/5: The original dino romp, Jurassic Park, plays outside at McCarren Park, now circled by dinosaur-size condos.
8/6: Still got a taste for '90s relics? The Thurston Moore Band plays the Bowery Ballroom. They sound like Sonic Youth, which should soothe those still traumatized by the band's dissolution and the breakup of alternative music's power couple.
8/7: Fantastic Four, yet another Marvel property, hits screens, complete with a new origin story and starring Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan.
Fantastic Four, August 7.
Photo: Ben Rothstein/Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
8/8: Take the subway to hear the Watkins Family Hour, with guest Fiona Apple, among others, tackle songs from Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted as part of the free Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival.
8/11: Pick up Ann Beattie's The State We're In: Maine Stories, a collection of short stories, mostly written last summer, told from the points of view of a range of women.
8/12: Octogenarian country legend Willie Nelson takes a break from marijuana advocacy to croon at Celebrate Brooklyn!
8/14: More movies: Before you bike all the way from your place in Bushwick out to Fort Tilden, go see the film Fort Tilden. If you don't know where Fort Tilden is, go see Guy Ritchie's slick remake of the cult '60s TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
8/15: Mark Lamos directs Love and Money at the Signature Theatre, a world premiere of A. R. Gurney's new play about a wealthy widow desperate to cleanse her privileged soul before her death.
8/16: Winona Ryder plays a city councilwoman and Jim Belushi a former mayor in David Simon's new HBO miniseries, Show Me a Hero, about the desegregation of public housing in Yonkers in the 1960s.
8/18: It's the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week, and Ronnie Greene's Shots on the Bridge tackles New Orleans police brutality and cover-ups by focusing on the shooting of six unarmed civilians in the days following the disaster.
8/19: Time to go back to the new Whitney for a show of the work of jazz-influenced painter Stuart Davis. There are nearly 100 works on display, including the one that was still on his easel when he died.
8/20: '90s classic bong-a-thon Dazed and Confused screens on Harbor View Lawn.
8/21: Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis star in the sex-addiction rom-com Sleeping With Other People.
8/23: Today's your last chance to see "Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks" at the Brooklyn Museum. Over 160 pages from diaries he kept during the '80s are on display.
8/24: For serious-minded summer reading, try Raghu Karnad's debut, Farthest Field, a nonfiction account of the Second World War told through the eyes of one family.
8/28: Beats, biceps, and Zac Efron playing an aspiring DJ in director Max Joseph's We Are Your Friends.
8/30: Onetime graffiti-artist Kaws gets some institutional shine via the Brooklyn Museum's Along the Way exhibition.
Should I Be Attacking, by Kaws, August 30.
Photo: Farzad Owrang/Courtesy of the artist and The Brooklyn Museum
9/1: Jonathan Franzen has a new book out for back-to-school: Purity (his first novel in five years, following 2010's Freedom). If you're too sun-stroked to get through that, try The Girl in the Spider's Web, David Lagercrantz's new addition to Stieg Larsson's Millennium series.
9/2: Power to the People! The documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution opens. It'll have you wondering what Huey P. Newton would make of what's going on.
9/4–6: Electric Zoo takes over Randalls Island. Headliners include the Chemical Brothers and Alesso. Channing Tatum will be there, break-dancing shirtless. (Hopefully.)
*This article appears in the June 15, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.
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