13. & 14. See Film Forum’s two summer series
“Son of Summer Sci-Fi Fantasy & Horror” and “Wild about Harryhausen.”
Film Forum has come through again with two programs to make the dog days a bit more rabid. Here you can journey from the artiest and most tortured (Tarkovsky’s Solaris) to the cheesiest (Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space) with plenty of yummy yuckfests in between, including all three Invasion of the Body Snatchers pictures (Siegel, Kaufman, Ferrara), both The Flys, and the thirties classics Things to Come and Just Imagine. “Tuesdays with Harry” features many of the late stop-motion virtuoso’s best, kicking off with Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Groovy! —D.E.
Starting August 9 and August 15; details at filmforum.org.
15. See The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Alfresco and free.
Outdoor chamber music might seem a contradiction, like indoor camping, but even Beethoven wrote some pieces breezy enough to compete with, well, a breeze. On this night, the Society takes a charming program (Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák) into the not-very-wild wilds of Central Park. —J.D.
Naumberg Bandshell, August 21, 7:30 p.m.
16. See Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be
Making fun of Nazis before it was cool.
Lubitsch’s great 1942 screwball black comedy is one of the few really good movies Jack Benny ever made, and Carole Lombard’s last film. It’s been given the full and impeccable Criterion treatment, too—this is the way to see it.
Criterion Collection; on DVD and Blu-ray.
17. See Werner Herzog: Parables of Folly and Madness
Eight of the director’s films, all in 35mm.
Herzog is part shaman, part con man who believes his own cons. His best films are gloriously, transcendentally weird, and the best place to start is Aguirre, the Wrath of God, which opens Lincoln Center’s series. The erotic gargoyle Klaus Kinski’s tantrum against the forces of nature is among cinema’s most haunting. Don’t miss their Woyzeck, either. —D.E.
August 16 to 22; schedule at filmlinc.org.
18. Watch The Metropolitan Opera Outdoors, Onscreen
On the Lincoln Center plaza.
Once upon a time, the Met performed full operas in New York parks. Now the company dispatches its digital surrogate: The free ten-day festival of filmed operas shown on the plaza begins August 24 with Verdi’s La Traviata —J.D.
Full schedule at metoperafamily.org.
19. Experience The Open House New York Architectural Tour
With New York’s architecture critic.
Open House New York—the annual citywide event that throws wide the doors to hundreds of architectural treasures—doesn’t roll around until mid-October, but the teaser comes on August 28: an evening boat trip up the East River, with Justin Davidson as your tour guide.
August 28, 6:30 p.m.; reserve at ohny.org.
20. Watch Silk
A serious Rumpole for the 21st century.
The British writer-producer Peter Moffat has drawn on his experience as a barrister in such series as North Square and Criminal Justice. This time out, he dips straight into memory, creating an updated, embellished account of young lawyers jockeying to become Queen’s Counsel, or “take silk.” Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones play rivals; the cast is excellent, but best of all is the documentary-like sense of detail. —M.Z.S.
PBS, August 25, 9 p.m.
21. See Ballet v6.0
The diverse small companies of this festival show new choreographers pushing ballet far beyond Balanchine and fish dives. Of special note: BalletCollective, a project that showcases up-and-coming NYCB dancers on a far more intimate scale, and Jessica Lang’s visually striking works for her young troupe. —Rebecca Milzoff
Through August 17 at the Joyce Theater.
22. Hear J. Cole
At the top of an eclectic lineup.
There’s a hot lineup on the undercard at this hip-hop-heavy edition of PS1’s Warm-Up: I’m a fan of the profane Mr. MFN eXquire and curious about the Atlanta producer Bangladesh’s graduation to producer-rapper. But the star here is J. Cole, an exceptionally skilled rapper whose nice-guy charms outweigh his deficiencies, especially up close and personal. —J.R.
PS1, August 17, 3 to 9 p.m.
23. Hear Adam Ant
Goody two-shoes, in New York.
Still wearin’ costumes, still delightful.
Irving Plaza, August 16, 7 p.m.
24. Read Singing School
A poet laureate offers a master class.
Robert Pinsky’s slim book is part anthology, part teaching aid, and part writerly instruction manual. His own essays introduce 80 poems by others, with notes about how and why they work. The only flaw: He’s left his own poetry out, too modestly.
W. W. Norton.
25. See From Mr. Chips to Scarface
Heisenberg, with certainty.
MMI’s homage to AMC’s Breaking Bad was jam-packed the first week; now you can spend some quality time amid the meth pipes and film clips.
Museum of the Moving Image, through October 27.