Lebanon - "Capernaum" at Film Forum

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Winner of the Jury Prize at the most recent Cannes Film Festival and recipient of an 8-minute standing ovation, CAPERNAUM (the word is French reference to hell), centers on a 12-year-old Beirut street urchin (Zain) who sues his parents for bringing him into a world of desperate poverty. Disgusted with his parents who sell his sister for some chickens - Zain teams up with Rahil, a young Ethiopian refugee whose infant becomes his companion. The two young leads in the film, today live in Norway and France. Directed by Nadine Labaki. 120 minutes in Arabic with English subtitles. Not to be missed.

Film Forum 209 West Houston www.filmforum.org

Netherlands - In Praise of Painting: "Dutch Masterpieces at The Met"

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Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century-the Golden Age of Rembrandt, Halls, and Vermeer-have been a highlight of The Met collection since the Museum’s founding purchase in 1871. This exhibition brings together some of the Museum’s greatest paintings to present this remarkable chapter of art history in a new light. Through sixty-seven work of art organized thematically, “In Praise of Painting” orients the visitors to key issues in seventeenth-century Dutch culture-from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption to painter’s fascination with the domestic lives of women.

Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue www.metmuseum.org

Romania - Constantin Brancusi Sculpture

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Looking back at the first showing of Constnantin Brancusi’s work (1876-1957) in the United States, in the 1913 Armory Show, one writer reflected the sculptures on view were “disturbing, so disturbing indeed that they completely altered the attitude of a great many New Yorkers towards a whole branch of art.” Indeed, Brancusi’s beguillingly simple forms looked like nothing else, then and now. This exhibition celebrates 11 sculptures of Brancusi shown together for the first time, alongside drawings, photographs and films. A selection of never-before-seen archival materials shed light on his relationships with friends, sitters and patrons.

Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd St. www.moma.org

"Former" Yugoslavia - "Toward a Concrete Utopia"

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“Toward a Concrete Utopia” (Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948 - 1980) explores themes of large-scale urbanization, technology in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization, and the global reach of Yugoslav architecture. The exhibition includes more than 400 drawings, models, photographs, and film reels from an array of municipal archives, family-held collections, and museums across the region, and features important architects including; Bogdan Bogdanovic, Juraj Neidhardt, Svetlana Kana Radevic, Edvard Ravnikar, and Milica Steric.

Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd St. www.moma.org

Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, India, China - Masterworks of Himalayan Art

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“Masterworks,” a regularly changing exhibition at the Rubin, explores major strands in the development of Himalayan art, covering a period of over one thousand years, and presents regional artistic traditions in their broad cultural, geographic, historical, and stylistic contexts. “Masterworks” is organized geographically, showcasing the diverse regional traditions of western Tibet, central Tibet, eastern Tibet, and Bhutan in relation to the neighboring areas of eastern India, Kashmir, Nepal, China, and Mongolia.

Rubin Museum 150 West 17th St. www.rubinmuseum.org

Italy - Metaphysical Masterpieces 1916-1920: Morandi, Sironi, and Carra

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The exhibition is focused on a short period that ends the first phase of the avant-garde movements of Cubism in France and Futurism in Italy and blossoms into a new poetics, which will eventually lead to the “Return of Order” in the first years of the 1920s. At the beginning of 1918, Italy was reeling from the Army’s devastating defeat at Capretto. One of the Army’s responses was to establish Propaganda Service which, among other initiatives, produced humorous ‘giornali de trincea’ (trench newspapers) for soldiers to help raise morale. These pages of these newspapers featured the illustrations of many of Italy’s most important artistic figures, including Mario Sironi, Carlo Carra, and Goprgio De Chirico, working in styles that starkly contrasted with the metaphysical painting that some of them were producing simultaneously. Please note that the studio is open only Friday and Saturday and must call to visit. At 11 AM and 2 PM of each day a tour is given.

Center for Italian Modern Art 421 Broome Street (4th Fl) www.italianmodernart.org

Germany - Fritz Ascher Retrospective at Grey Art Gallery

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Fritz Asher (1893 - 1970) belongs to Germany’s “Lost Generation” artists whose careers were interrupted or destroyed by the Nazi terror regime and whose works remain under-recognized. Comprising some 75 paintings and works on paper, “Fritz Ascher: Expressionist” is the first American solo retrospective to showcase this artist’s bold, colorful oeuvre, which features early academic studies and figural compositions as well as late mystical landscapes devoid of human presence.

Grey Art NYU Gallery 100 Washington Square East www.nyu.edu

Poland - "Cold War" playing at Film Forum

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Fro the director of IDA, winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (2014), comes a passionate drams of Wikto and Zula, star-crossed lovers (based on the filmmaker’s parents), who move from Soviet-dominated Poland to the jazz clubs of Paris and back again over a 15-year period, beginning in 1949. Staring Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot. In Polish. 90 minutes.

Film Forum 209 West Houston www.filmforum.org

Germany - Beethoven for The Rohingya (Benefit at Carnegie Hall)

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Music for Life International continues its decade-long tradition of global humanitarian concerts with “Beethoven for The Rohingya,” a benefit concert featuring Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, presented in the Stern Auditorium/Perlman Stage at Carnegie Hall on January 28th. Beethoven for the Rohingya comprises many of the finest classical musicians of the day, representing more than 70 international ensembles and organizations, their artistry donated. The Montclair State University Chorale performs the colossal choral score with conductor Dr. Heather J. Buchanan in their Carnegie Hall debut.

Carnegie Hall 57th Street at Seventh Ave. www.carnegiehall.org

Finland - "The Day the Earth Froze" at Scandinavia House

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The last of the survey of Finnish lumberjack films boasted heroes that could steer logs through rapids and split trees in half. Loosely based on the “Kalevala,” Finland’s national epic poem, this genre-bending film follows a witch who steels the sun in order to spite a community of peaceful loggers who refuse to build her magic mill.

Scandinavia House 58 Park Avenue South (37th St.) www.scandinaviahouse.org

Italy - Andrea Bocelli at the Metropolitan Opera House

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Andrea Bocelli returns to New York for two evenings, (Feb 10, and Feb 17) of romantic operatic repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera House. With a program of favorite love duets, arias, and songs, the performances feature guest appearances by international stars as well as members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Kohn. These unique musical events promise a memorable and magical evening.

Metropolitan Opera House Lincoln Square Plaza (66th St and Broadway) www.metopera.org