Thursday, November 24, 2005
Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel are posed as the happy couple of comedy, their innocent, youthful faces perfect for a J.Crew catalog (make that Sears). But comedians are known for their dark sides, and if Kimmel is restrained by the FCC on his TV show, no such organization hampers his girlfriend, who delivers shocking lines in the manner of a well-bred lady with a screw loose. Her latest film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic, features a series of vignettes based on her stand-up act and includes her wicked take on delicate subjects like 9/11 and the Holocaust. How nervy is the movie? Here's a line: "When God gives you AIDS -- and God does give you AIDS, by the way -- make lemon-AIDS." Jesus screens at 4:40, 6:30, 8:15, and 10 p.m. at the Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $7.75-9.75; call 267-4893 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Friday, November 25, 2005
It's being called the Mediterranean Like Water for Chocolate, and it looks like it might unseat My Big Fat Greek Wedding, not to mention dear Zorba the Greek, as the premier film about the Greek experience in the minds of American audiences. A Touch of Spice hopes to accomplish this feat through the stomach: The film takes place over a meal, while flashbacks reveal the story of Fanis Iakovidis and the real-life deportation of 30,000 Greeks from Istanbul in 1964. As a boy, Fanis learns about spices and other ingredients from his grandfather; he works as a cook, then an astronomer. (If you've ever wondered about the semantic connection between the words "astronomy" and "gastronomy," you're in luck.) Food fetishists should belly up to Touch when it screens at 12:45, 2:50, 4:55, 7:10, and 9:15 p.m. today (and continues through Dec. 1) at the Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), S.F. Admission is $6-8.50; call 221-8184 or visit www.thebalboatheater.com.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Impressions may be the oldest of old-school comedy, scorned by edgy comics as lightweight pandering, yet anyone who can pull off a Christopher Walken (even a shitty one) can light up a room. Not that Frank Caliendo has a Christopher Walken (as far as we know, he doesn't), but given his skills on MADtv -- on which he doles out a pitch-perfect John Madden, Terry Bradshaw, and Al Pacino -- we wouldn't be surprised if he tried his hand at the form's Holy Grail. His finest sketch to date, John Madden shilling the Quick-Pop Popcorn Popper, is already the stuff of legend. Kevin Kataoka opens at 8 and 10:15 p.m. (and tomorrow at 8 p.m.) at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $25; call 928-4320 or visit www.cobbscomedyclub.com.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Why do people love to dress as their favorite Gary Larson characters and then run a footrace? We don't know. Runners in S.F. are loony in so many different ways it's hard to keep up. Here they're insisting it's OK to jog from bar to bar; there they're laboring under huge extruded-foam costumes. In any case, Run to the Far Side is the perfect (dare we say the only?) chance to appear in public dressed as a cow standing on its hind legs and wearing cat's-eye glasses -- and then to bust out a 10K. The 5K run or walk and the 10K run start at 8:30 a.m. at East Middle Drive (at MLK) in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Registration is $24-35; call 759-2690 or visit www.rhodyco.com.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Contrary to popular belief, the computer was not invented in a garage by freethinkers -- that was the cute little PC, which came much later. The original machines (vacuum-tube beasts that required air-conditioned buildings, not suburban two-doors) sputtered to life through the decades-long work of people like Alan Turing, a brilliant British mathematician and the very definition of solitary genius. Working from the landmark hypothetical paper he wrote in 1937, "On Computable Numbers," he constructed "Turing devices" to break the Enigma code used by the Germans during World War II. But his glory was short-lived: A gay man, Turing was arrested in 1952 and charged with committing acts of gross indecency, and in 1954 he ended it all by eating a cyanide-laced apple, inspired by the film Snow White. David Leavitt tells Turing's story in the book The Man Who Knew Too Much; he reads at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
"Scree! Blip blip!" Then a whirring, and a backbeat like a hammer hitting sheet metal tacked to plywood: These are the sounds of local duo Eats Tapes. Well, that and a peppy Roland synth, pounding out a joyful little rhythm. The semi-low-tech act's new wave color scheme and mildly mysterious air keeps it a lighthearted but never goofy dance sensation in an overly serious hipster scene. Marijke Jorritsma and Gregory Zifcak's love of analog sounds and gadgets (think pre-digital proto-rave music or early Aphex Twin) usually manifests itself in private homes, so enjoy this chance to see the pair "out." Japanther shares the stage at 9:30 p.m. at the Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $6; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com.
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