Top Five Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: "James Turrell," the Gulf Coast Film Fest, Hamlet and More
(c) Florian Holzherr
For 13 years, visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have enjoyed James Turrell's The Light Inside, a commissioned light tunnel that connects the two buildings on the MFAH campus. For the last several weeks, they've seen more of the light artist's mind-bending works in the landmark retrospective ''James Turrell: The Light Inside,'' an examination of Turrell's career, which spans five decades. That exhibit, our first pick for Friday, is quickly coming to the end of its run, and we encourage everyone to see it before it closes. Already seen it? See it again. You'll find new layers to his work -- and your reaction to it. Haven't seen it? Get up, go, now. (Why are you still reading this?)
The MFAH exhibit, which has been in the works for a decade, is made up entirely of the museum's holdings of Turrell's work. Many of the pieces challenge the viewer's perception of space. End Around, which surrounds you in a seemingly endless field of light, has been among the viewer favorites. Gary Tinterow, MFAH director, has said, ''[Turrell] is among the handful of artists who can be credited with changing the course of American art.''
See "The Light Inside" 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through September 22. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7300 or visit the museum website. Free with general admission (free to $13). Reservations are strongly recommended.
From James Turrell, superstar artist, to Jason Voorhees, superstar scary guy. Jason Voorhees, the masked maniac star of the Friday the 13th films, is usually thought of as an undead, unstoppable monster. There is, however, one man who has repeatedly stopped Jason, one Tommy Jarvis. During Friday's Graveyard Shift: Friday the 13th Triple Feature, The Tommy Jarvis Trilogy, Alamo Drafthouse is screening all three Jarvis films in the series (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI), allowing audiences to get a solid take on Jarvis's story. He was just a boy (played by Corey Feldman) in The Final Chapter when he managed to kill Jason for the first time (that time Jarvis used a machete). Sentenced to a mental institution following the incident for A New Beginning, Jarvis (played by John Shepherd) faced off against what appeared to be Jason's ghost, and in Jason Lives, Jarvis (Thom Matthews) went on to seek his nemesis's final destruction (that time Jarvis burned Jason's corpse only to resurrect an even more powerful version of him).
''The Friday the 13th series in a way cemented Jason Voorhees as a timeless, mythological character,'' says Robert Saucedo of Alamo Drafthouse. ''Part 6 is where the film really planted its flag in the sand and became the larger-than-life slasher series we know today.''
Watch the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Alamo Drafthouse/Vintage Park, 114 Vintage Park Boulevard. For information, call 713-715-4707or visit the theater's website. $20.
Fans of humanity-destroying robots and father-figure bloodsuckers have reason to rejoice this weekend. The 15th Annual Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival's Friday opening reception features actor Robert Patrick, who was most recently seen as the self-resurrecting Jackson Herveaux on HBO's addictive vampire series True Blood. (Terminator fans will also remember him from the second installment in that series, Judgment Day.) ''[He's]...receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award,'' says festival Vice President and PR Chair Peggy Domino Taylor.
The festival, with screenings set for all day Saturday, features work by new and emerging filmmakers, with an emphasis on shorts. Two selected shorts of particular note, Taylor says, are Melinda Halvorsen Hawkins's Shell Games, a quirky mystery shot on The Strand, and Jonathan Bucari's Illness, about a young man's battle with mental illness. ''Several films in the past years have gone on to win at South by Southwest and Sundance film festivals.'' Along with screenings and an awards ceremony, there's a special FX workshop scheduled with DX9 Designs founder and owner Scott Cooke and Blackmagic Cinema Camera's Melvin Harris.
There's an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Villa Capri Restaurant, 3713 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Film screenings are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Courtyard Marriott, 18100 Saturn Lane, Nassau Bay. For a full screening schedule, visit the festival's website. $5 to $100.
Ana Prvacki greeting guests with slatko as part of The Greeting Committee.
Pegged an ''artist-orchestrated meal'' originally cooked up by University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art, ''Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art'' at the University of Houston's Blaffer Art Museum and a pick for Saturday, features contributions from more than 25 artists. ''What does it mean for us to be generous with one another, and what does it mean for us to share the abundance of generosity that we have, with other people?'' original contributor Theaster Gates says of the project. In ''Feast,'' Tom Marioni's The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art appropriately elevates the concept of sharing ''the American sacramental wine'' with friends to high art. His An Aid to Communication, a mathematically inaccurate tribute to the song ''99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,'' glows on one wall, with his Golden Rectangle on another.
See "Feast" 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Through December 7. For information, call 713-743-9521 or visit the museum's website. Free.
Matthew Keenan in rehearsal for Hamlet
Plans for the Classical Theatre Company production of Hamlet, our recommendation for Sunday, have been in the works for some three years now. Executive Artistic Director John Johnston was rehearsing a scene for Ghosts with actors Matthew Keenan and Christianne Mays when he realized Keenan and Mays were perfect for Hamlet. ''I stopped taking notes on Ghosts and started taking notes on Hamlet because I saw the famous closet scene from Hamlet starting to unfold,'' Johnston tells us. ''I thought these guys would be great to build this show around.''
Johnston and company have set about making Hamlet their own, without introducing any changes in the dialogue or plot. ''We want to preserve the words and the language since that's what persevered for so many years, but through different production elements or themes, there's a shift in perspective for certain characters. We all know how Hamlet ends -- everyone's dead at the end. That's not going to be any different.''
What is going to be different, Johnston tells us, is the company's use of the recent National Security Agency scandal to inform the characters. ''The play is ripe with spying and intrigue and blackmail and manipulation, just like the NSA spying scandal was. There are parallels between Edward Snowden and Hamlet. They're two people who are very isolated from everyone around them. They're two people who are not quite villains, not quite heroes, but somewhere in between.''
Hamlet runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and September 16, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Through September 29. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-963-9665 or visit the theater's website. $20.
Nancy Ford and Jef with One F contributed to this post.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events