Flobots, Blue Scholars, Urban Sophisticates
Cat's Cradle—Seattle-based duo Blue Scholars are among one of the best underground acts to emerge the last few years. MC Geologic started as a spoken-word poet, and winds concentric rhymes smooth as lotion, copping the conscious and a progressive agenda through his constant motion . (See "Joe Metro," his ode to city bus travel.) The back end's picked up by Sabzi, a classically trained pianist and jazz aficionado, who fashions bright, airy soul-tinged backdrops rich in melody. Denver's live-instrument hip-hoppers Flobots scored a minor hit this year with "Handlebars," conflating typical rap braggadocio into a meditation on the perils of technology and pride on Universal debut, Fight With Tools. Shell out $13-$15 at 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
Griffith Film Theater, Duke campus—On July 30 of last year, two of the world's greatest film directors died: Michelangelo Antonioni, the Italian neorealist, and the Swedish stage/ screen director Ingmar Bergman. It was a startling, yet fitting, closing chapter to an important cinematic era. Although possessing differing temperaments, both wrote and directed wildly imaginative, groundbreaking films. Both had a penchant for slowly developing scenes, and for encouraging their actors to play gritty, complex and wholly believable roles.
L'avventura ("The Adventure") is considered by some critics to be Antonioni's greatest work, though it was booed when it was screened at Cannes, where it won the Jury Award in 1960. The reason: an ambiguous narrative structure, and a plot that unravels at the pace of an ice-cube melting at room temperature. But that's the fun of an Antonioni film. You may not know what's happening all the time (if, as some critics charged, anything does at all), but you intuit the force of a million things at play.
In the film, three friends go on a yachting trip, and one of them, Anna (Lea Massari), disappears. Her lover, Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti), vows to find her, enlisting the help of Anna's best friend, Claudia (Monica Vitti). The search party devolves into a forbidden romance, and Anna is soon forgotten. The plot is not as important as the space in between. Instead of a thriller, we get a chilling question: How soon will we forget our loved ones? The free show begins at 7 p.m., in Griffith Film Theater, with an introduction by Frank Lentricchia, professor of literature and Italian at Duke. —Matt Saldaña