The title of Peter Eisenman’s talk today at Vanderbilt is “Architecture Matters,” and he has an indisputable claim to authority on the topic. In sites such as the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio—described by the late Spalding Gray as “the spaceship that crash-landed on the prairies”—his work represents the disruptive potential of post-modern architecture before it got taken over as a matter of decorative corporate motifs. His buildings stimulate your mind just by being there.
What pushes Eisenman to another plane, though, is his Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, just completed this year. Its location is Berlin is significant in itself, but Eisenman’s powerful work attempts nothing less than to capture and preserve the moral and spiritual dimensions of the Holocaust for Europe, the West, and humanity.
As proof of his versatility, Eisenman is currently at work on a new 68,000-seat stadium for the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix. The renowned architect, a visiting professor at Yale and Princeton and the first Irwin S. Chanin Distinguished Professor of Architecture at New York’s Cooper Union, speaks at 4 p.m. Friday in the Student Life Center ballroom; a reception follows at 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Kensington Garage at 25th Avenue and Kensington Place. —DAVID MADDOX
• Film historian David Hinton introduces Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. screening of Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterpiece The Leopard at the Belcourt. The last film in the Belcourt’s excellent “Masters of World Cinema” series, co-sponsored by the Frist Center, the movie stars Burt Lancaster in a career-best performance as Don Fabrizio, the aging Prince of Salina, who watches the pleasures of youth fade during the social turmoil of the Risorgimento. The movie runs through Wednesday night. This weekend the Belcourt may have the two best movies showing in town: the other auditorium is playing Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the excellent kidnapping thriller from gifted South Korean director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy).
• The best band ever named for the sibling makers of the cult horror movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Michigan’s Chiodos aren’t the cartoon gorehounds you’d expect from their moniker, or from Cramps-like titles such as “Expired in Goreville” and “One Day Women Will All Become Monsters.” Instead, get ready for doomy, theatrical harmony-laden metal embellished with the odd piano, while singer Craig Owens attempts to shatter glass with his voice. They play The End 9 p.m. Tuesday with The Fall of Troy and Transistor Transistor.