Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Though schizophrenia has been dramatized countless times on film, many would argue that the vast majority of representations are fatally flawed. Past movies have ranged from facile (A Beautiful Mind) to silly (What About Bob?), from ridiculously violent (Fight Club) to gimmicky (Me, Myself & Irene). There's a reason the affecting documentary People Say I'm Crazy gets it right -- the 2003 film was made by a man who suffers from the affliction. Artist John Cadigan, who slid into schizophrenia as a college student, chronicles both his small triumphs (advancing on a waiting list for public housing, MCing an art show) and his low points in the movie he made with sister Katie. The Cadigans appear to discuss People Say I'm Crazy after it screens at 7 p.m. at City College of San Francisco's Rosenberg Library, 50 Phelan (at Ocean), S.F. Admission is free; call 239-3580.
Thursday, November 6, 2003
Since Echo & the Bunnymenfrontman Ian McCulloch just released his highly regarded (though not high-selling) solo album Slideling in May, it seems odd that he'd reunite soon thereafter with his bandmates for a European and American tour. But considering the group's history, it's completely in character. Both McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant left the Bunnymen to launch solo efforts numerous times over the band's two-decade history, each time returning to their roots. Though the Bunnymen's heyday was clearly the 1980s, with classic outings like Ocean Rain and Heaven Up Here, critics have been heaping praise on their new incarnation since the big 1997 comeback album Evergreen. We suppose that acclaim, plus Rhino's recent digital remastering of the act's first five albums, is reason enough to tour. Hear those well-polished grooves tonight at 8 at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $22.50; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com.
Friday, November 7, 2003
If you go out walking after midnight, like to walk on by, go walking in the sand, or stroll across the floor, Walks This Way is the show for you. Sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster's latest production has no dialogue, no plot, and no standing around, since it's mostly just people walking back and forth. If that doesn't sound funny, think Buster Keaton. Think Charlie Chaplin. Think Monty Python's "Ministry of Silly Walks," only with a live rock band, Austin's Adult Rodeo, reportedly pretty silly itself. Yes indeed, they're walking, tonight at 8 (and continuing through Nov. 16) at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 558-7721 or visit www.killingmylobster.com.
Saturday, November 8, 2003
We had a friend once who claimed the last remnant of her college-era devotion to feminism was her weekly flamenco class. We laughed. Strutting around in a polka-dot dress was a "Go girl!" act? Come to a performance and we'd see, she promised. We did. And though flamenco dancers are wrapped in ruffles and accessorized with fluttering fans, those we saw were no mincing Sugarplum Fairies. Every part of the performance telegraphed nervy vitality: the strong, confident movements of the dancers' arms and hips; the haughty, saucy upward tilt of their chins; the kinetic power of their whirling, stomping feet. Surely this was the dance of the Amazons? Choreographer Yaelisa pays tribute to flamenco's exuberant yin with "Mujeres," an evening of traditional and new dances by her company Caminos Flamencos. Hear the click of the castanets starting at 8 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $20-35; call (510) 531-9986 or visit www.caminosflamencos.com.
Sunday, November 9, 2003
L. Frank Baum's timeless children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proved to be a real powerhouse. In the century since it first hit bookshelves the whimsical fable has been transformed into Broadway and vaudeville extravaganzas, an ice skating show (you mean you don't remember Oksana Baiul as Dorothy in TV's 1996 The Wizard of Oz on Ice?), and numerous feature films, including a 1928 silent take, 1939's iconic musical, and, of course, 1978's deathless The Wiz. But with the 1939 version looming so large in most fans' esteem, few modern theater companies have thought to revive earlier stage versions. Ray of Light Theatre bucks the trend with The Wizard of Oz in Concert, which features live song-and-dance numbers from adult and child actors. Just see if you can keep from singing along at 2 p.m. at the San Francisco Day School, 350 Masonic (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 552-7806 or visit www.roltheatre.com.
Monday, November 10, 2003
One of the best food scenes on film is in Big Night: The morning after a heartbreaking dinner party, restaurateurs Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci make breakfast. Without any dialogue, the scene is shot via a camera set above the kitchen, looking down on the preparation of simple scrambled eggs. The food perfectly signifies the characters' emotions, with no distorted fanciness in the cooking; the result is genuinely moving. It's just this sort of moment, we imagine, that inspired "Reel Food: An Insiders' Guide to Cooking in the Movies." Showcasing the premiere of Our Lady of Tamale, a documentary about the Mission District's beloved "Tamale Lady," the event also features clips from famous foodie films and spicy discussions with practicing chefs. Screenings begin at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro (near Market), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 621-6120 or visit www.sfpfs.com.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
As unyielding as most photographers are when choosing female nude subjects -- how often do you see fine art photographs of women with visible stretch marks, scars, or cellulite? -- they're just as hard on male nudes. Generally the body-image tyranny found in gay subculture holds: no fats, no femmes, no body hair, no plain faces. Photographer Laurie Toby Edison turns that image on its head with her book Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes. These stark-nekkid guys are regular types, with their moles, wrinkles, and sags on display, and the natural facial expressions of gents you might see at a coffee shop or in line at the supermarket. Her subjects aren't supermen, but Edison delivers gentle photos that are at once affirming, lovely, and subtly erotic. See for yourself at her book signing and slide show, starting at 8 p.m. at Good Vibrations, 1210 Valencia (at 23rd Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 974-8980 or visit www.goodvibes.com.
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