Persepolis and The Namesake
N.C. Museum of Art—Watching a movie outdoors is a must summer event and the North Carolina Museum of Art is showing two great features this weekend inspired by its current exhibition Far From Home, a chronicle of the global displacement of people.
Friday night's offering is The Namesake. Directed by Mira Nair, it explores a Bengali couple emigrating to the U.S. from India and the generational tale of discovering new opportunities while also maintaining ties to heritage and tradition. Kal Penn, best known as Kumar from the Harold and Kumar series, sets aside his stoner shtick to turn in a performance well reviewed by the top critics.
And it could be easy to pass on Saturday's title, Persepolis, a French animated film with subtitles, but if you do, you are missing a stunning visual treat and a unique story. Based on the graphic novels of Marjane Satrapi, this Best Animated Feature Oscar nominee tells the story of the Islamic revolution that upended her Iran homeland in black, white, and literal and figurative shades of gray.
The films are shown on a huge screen against the side of the museum and seating is on the lawn, so bring a chair or blanket. Concessions, including wine and beer, are available for sale. Admission is $3. Films begin at 9 p.m.; visit ncartmuseum.org for more info. —Jessica Fuller
Gene Hackman and Daniel Lenihan
Quail Ridge Books and Music—Gene Hackman has appeared in so many classic films over so many years that a running joke among movie critics is "Hackman's always good." Indeed, even in more recent paycheck efforts like Behind Enemy Lines and Welcome to Mooseport, the two-time Academy Award winner is still clearly giving his all, even as such older films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Conversation are discovered by a new generation.
On the side, though, Hackman has a career as an author with scientist and explorer Daniel Lenihan. Hackman and Lenihan's third collaboration, Escape from Andersonville: A Novel of the Civil War, delves into the South's past as it explores the true story of the notorious Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Ga. The book tells of Union Capt. Nathan Parker, whose troops are captured in Jubal Early's 1864 Confederate raid and his subsequent scheme to escape. The adventure story has already earned praise from critics for its meticulously researched take on the Civil War, and readers get a chance to meet Hackman and Lenihan in person when they sign copies of their novel at Quail Ridge Books tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets for the signing line are available with purchase of the book. We're told the authors will "personalize" their inscriptions. For more information, visit www.quailridgebooks.com and read our profile of Hackman and Lenihan. —Zack Smith
The ArtsCenter—Cyril Lance delivers rocking blues that's hot enough to fry a fish. Accompanied by a tight rhythm section and organ, Lance takes his electric, slide and lap-steel guitar playing into extended jams that either force you out of your seat or smack you back down. With the final show of this year's American Roots Series, Lance plays tunes of hope by luminaries like Bobs Dylan and Marley and late Durham fixture Rev. Gary Davis. This special show, an expansion on Lance's "Night of Dylan" last year, costs $12-$14 and starts at 8:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey
The Booze, Suburban Sweethearts
Slim's Downtown—Like a black & white movie, Atlanta quintet The Booze harks back to another era, offering a flashback to the early days of the British Invasion. The catchy garage soul of its debut, Straight, No Chaser, suggests The Hollies petting The Animals, with punchy R&B sway fueled by punchy guitars, backing harmonies and straight-up four on the floor heartbeat. You expect to find openers Suburban Sweethearts in mullets and leather vests, so strong is its embrace of '70s cowbell-banging spirit of Foghat and the James Gang. Pay $3 at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
Dexter Romweber & The New Romans
Local 506—Big news filtered down from Chicago for firebrand/ enigma/ legend Dexter Romweber last week: He's inked a multi-album deal with kindred spirits Bloodshot Records. Come August, he'll work with Cat Power, Neko Case and Exene Cervenka on new material. Tonight, he brings his big, horn-heavy rock boys, The New Romans, to the stage. Rat Jackson pops the top at 10 p.m. for $7. —Grayson Currin
Please note: The Triangle Blues Society Challenge at Blue Bayou Club is tomorrow; see Saturday's listings.