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The Month Ahead

What to see, read and listen to in June

Beasts of the Southern Wild

LONG SHOTS
Tracking the relative ambition of this month’s movie releases

Beasts of the Southern Wild sounds like a primer on how not to go about your first movie production: Shoot a low-budget magical-realist tale on super-16mm in the Louisiana bayou, and feature lots of local talent (including a 6-year-old lead actress) and animals. That the film ever got made is a miracle. But when it took home the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and promptly secured a deal with a major distributor, Beasts was a triumph. (And for 29-year-old director Benh Zeitlin, it presumably meant his first good night’s sleep in a long time.) JUNE 27

The Tim Burton-produced history-horror mashup Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Yes, you read that correctly. JUNE 22

Tom Cruise as a hair-metal rocker in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. JUNE 15

Steve Carell as Keira Knightley’s love interest in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. JUNE 22

The surprisingly dark Snow White and the Huntsman, with Kristen Stewart in the lead role. JUNE 1

That’s My Boy, which finally pairs Adam Sandler with Adam Sandler 2.0 (Andy Samberg). JUNE 15

To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s ode to yet another European city. JUNE 22

G.I. Joe: Retaliation, including The Rock and Bruce Willis. JUNE 29

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Enough said. JUNE 8

 

COVERING TRACKS
Three new albums that put a spin on classic songs have more in common than you’d think

Ravi Coltrane, Spirit Fiction
The sax-wielding son of jazz great John Coltrane (who recorded with Duke Ellington) comes into his own with this deep, powerful collection featuring pianist Geri Allen, who has played with free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and a cover of Coleman’s own “Check Out Time.” JUNE 19

Neneh Cherry & The Thing, It’s a Cherry Thing
Cherry is best known for her ’80s hit “Buffalo Stance,” but she’s been restlessly exploring musical idioms ever since. Here, she teams up with her stepfather, trumpeter Don Cherry (who played with John Coltrane), for jazz renditions of tunes by, among others, The Stooges and Ornette ColemanJUNE 19

Joe Jackson, The Duke
A five-time Grammy nominee and a godfather of modern British pop, Jackson reimagines 15 Duke Ellington standards with fresh arrangements and help from friends like rock icon (and The Stooges frontman) Iggy Pop. JUNE 26

 

HIGH ART
Chicago plays host to an exhibit with lofty ambitions

Orson Welles famously wrote that “the enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” Nowhere is that more true than in architecture, where over- coming the mother of all limitations, gravity, has led to some seriously stunning masterpieces. This month, the home of the first skyscraper, Chicago, celebrates the struggle to build to the heavens in “Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition includes Yin Xiuzhen’s “Portable City” series of model skylines in suitcases; abstract “skyscrapers” made out of sheet plastic or newspapers; and otherworldly photos in which buildings resemble computer motherboards, portals and sci-fi planets. JUNE 30

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