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“The Doll” by Hans Bellmer, 1934

In Museums/Galleries…

Last week, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden unveiled their latest exhibition, “Marvelous Objects,” which explores the uncomfortable—yet breathtaking—history of Surrealism. As Kriston Capps notes in his sprawling review in this week’s paper, “this history is rich and illuminating, and there is plenty of it in ‘Marvelous Objects,’ tactically tucked away in the connective spaces between or aside galleries or reproduced in the catalog. But Surrealism wasn’t made to be scrutinized so clinically by the viewer, and ‘Marvelous Objects’ is the rare show that tries to affect some of that original sensationalism—not put it behind glass.”

For her first solo show in the District, local artist Erin Curtis has flooded Flashpoint Gallery with paintings and site-specific objects that are as arresting as they are beautiful. Beth Shook notes that “Curtis’ works are so arresting thanks in part to her palette: An array of bright and saturated hues, which she splices and layers in lively geometric patterns.”

In Film…

It’s a big week for Bond fans as the famed British spy is back for another adventure in SpectreSam Mendes‘ highly anticipated Skyfall followup. As Noah Gittell outlines in his review, “Spectre is a perfectly fine James Bond film that suffers only from the misfortune of following a perfectly great one.” It’s a film that “leans heavily on the Bond mythology,” harkening back to 007’s Roger Moore days.

Elsewhere at the cinema is Irréversible and Enter the Void director Gaspar Noé‘s 3D art-porn treatise Love. Unfortunately, Tricia Olszewski has little love for Noé’s latest, which she says is full of terrible acting and vapid, gratuitous sex scenes. “Whereas the ridiculousness of [Lars] von Trier’s two-parter lay in its forced intellectualism and clear pretension,” Olszewski writes, “Noé (Irréversible, Enter the Void) has created another wannabe-shocker that’s just simply bad.”

In Theater…

Pointless Theatre Company is proving to be one of the most consistent young theater companies in town with their latest production, Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana! The Carmen Miranda Story. It’s a quick-fix for wintertime blues, though as Jonelle Walker notes, “the performance is not all sunshine and samba, but the swirling synthesis of Pointless’ signature elements—live music, puppetry, masks, movement—might have you throwing on your sunglasses and leading a conga line down H Street.”

Handout photo by C. Stanley Photography

Meanwhile at Woolly Mammoth, there’s an argument brewing. No, seriously—that’s the entire crux of their latest, Winners and Losers, in which creator-performers Marcus Youssef and James Long argue onstage for 85 minutes. The result is sometimes middling and feels phony, but as John Krizel says, “given the choice between watching the next tightly wound Republican debate or this show, Winners and Losers is by far the winner.”

In Music…

Keyboardist Drew Kid has been around the local music scene for a while, mostly as a session player on albums by artists like yU and The 1978ers. But with his newest project, The Oooh Child Ensemble, Kid steps out of the background and into the limelight. Marcus J. Moore praises his ensemble’s album, Rebirth, as a fusion jazz record that “calmly migrates from traditional jazz to funk and R&B in a breezy 30-minute haze.” As he notes, “it’s music that just is—existing without preconceived notions of what it’s supposed to be, reaching for something different yet largely accessible.”