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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Burner: A Phone Number You Can Give To Randos Without Regretting it

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Burner

You know when you meet someone at a bar and they ask for your number, and they seem decent enough that you give it to them, but then they start blowing up your phone with texts, leading you to wish you hadn't?

Or when you're messaging someone on Tinder, and you decide to start texting, but then they turn out to be creepy or boring or irritating? And, unlike Tinder, you can't just "un-match" someone over texting so they'll stop contacting you.

The iPhone and Android app Burner aims to fix these everyday dating struggles. With Burner, users are assigned new phone numbers separate from their own, private phone number, with any area code (as long as it's within the U.S., Canada, or Australia). Once users are done with the number, they can delete it by "burning" it, and the number won't be able to receive any more texts or calls. (Also, the app makes a super fun sizzling sound when it "burns" a number, so that's a plus.)

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Hybrid Place, Hybrid Play: We Players’ Ondine at Sutro Baths

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM


In the margin between the white lines on the asphalt parking lot and the wild crash of the sea on the west side of San Francisco lie the ruins of the Sutro Baths, created by millionaire and former mayor Adolph Sutro in 1896. Once the world’s largest indoor swimming complex, a fire in 1966 left behind only a skeletal footprint of the edifice. Now grown over with grasses and brush, the concrete walls are crumbling alongside the natural erosion of the cliff faces, leaving the twist of metal rods to tarnish in the salt air. Like many publicly accessible park reserves, the space falls between nature and culture, and it is here that We Players sets their production of Jean Giraudoux’s Ondine, co-directed by Carly Cioffi and Ava Roy, on view through June 7. Putting the audience on the same footing as its players, the production is partly a hike through the park grounds, partly an escape to a fantasy world of knights and water nymphs that constantly comments on the brutal intrusion of reality within the constructed universe of dreams.

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Impotence Has Great (Im)potential in Rise, Scott Barry's New One-Act Play

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • David Allen

I’ve found that when men lose their erections when it’s time to get down, they often have a lot of feelings about it. Some get angry and lash out, stomping off into the bathroom. Others get horrifically embarrassed and apologize for the rest of the evening.

Some write an entire play about it.

Scott Barry, a former 49er draft pick and Actor’s Studio alumnus, opened his one-man show, Rise, at The Exit Theater on Friday, May 1. The play chronicles Barry’s personal battle with impotence, or, as Barry calls it, “The Lord Voldemort” of men’s issues.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Best of SFIFF: Douglas Trumbull's State of Cinema Address

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 4:00 PM

  • San Francisco International Film Festival.

On Sunday, May 3, Douglas Trumbull gave the mostly-annual State of Cinema Address at this year's San Francisco International Film Festival. I say "mostly" because there wasn't one last year, for whatever reason; perhaps it's because everyone was still recovering from Steven Soderbergh's now-legendary 2013 speech in which he solidly eviscerated the studio system. Trumbull played a couple clips from Soderbergh's speech (the entirety of which you can read or watch at your leisure, and you should), but this year's speech went in a different, more gloriously gear-headed direction.

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Sandra Bernhard Roars Back into the Spotlight, With #Blessed

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Joshua Rotter

In Sandra Bernhard's breakthrough 1987 show Without You I'm Nothing, the comedian jokes that if you can make it in New York, you can't make it anywhere else.

But last Friday night she made it all the way to the San Francisco Regency Ballroom. She felt fortunate to be on the road, entertaining a sell-out hall of Dynasty queens, recovered punks, power lesbians and Paul Mooney, the legendary comic who discovered her 40 years ago.

"I'm fucking excited tonight," she beamed. "I'm happy because I'm traveling again."

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My Struggle with My Struggle

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Penguin/Random House

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard appears tonight at City Arts & Lectures, in conversation with Daniel Handler, to discuss his six-part epic
My Struggle. San Francisco author K.M. Soehnlein (You Can Say You Knew Me When, Robin and Ruby) offered The Exhibitionist this personal reflection on reading Knausgaard's work.

I’m walking down Folsom Street with a 592-page book in my hand. It’s Book 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. I’ve been reading it for weeks. I’m going to get a sandwich and a cup of coffee and finish the last section. The sun is bright, but this is San Francisco, so there’s a chill in the air.

Then someone calls out to me, “What’s that you’re reading?” and I stop and turn.

The speaker is a weathered-looking man seated cross-legged on a bench outside the closed doors of a restaurant. His creased face has a golden bronze hue. His eyes are pale, almost colorless, and his hair is a wiry shock of white-gray poking out from under a fisherman’s cap. If I had to guess his race I’d say mixed and if I had to guess his age I’d say mid-60s, but he’s hard to read. He’s wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a vaguely tribal rope of large wooden beads, faded jeans, and sandals, and he’s smoking a skinny cigarillo through a plastic filter. He's more bohemian than homeless — the homeless in my neighborhood tend to be quite obviously down-and-out, and rarely do they have this much of a “look” — but I shift my gaze and sure enough, there’s his overstuffed shopping cart containing, among countless items bulging out from under a red blanket, a full-size door, rising several feet above the cart’s rim.

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Think You're Colorblind? See Black Virgins Are Not For Hipsters

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Alexis Keenan
  • Echo Brown

What happens when a 23 year old black virgin makes a date to lose her virginity with a white hipster she meets on Craigslist?

Is her color, or his, truly irrelevant in our post-Obama, "colorblind" society? The answer to this loaded question might be found in Black Virgins Are Not For Hipsters, Echo Brown's one woman show, which she performs at the Marsh on Thursday, May 7 and Saturday, May 9. The show promises to be a side-splitting ride through the maze of race and romance — it may have you asking some very tough questions in between the laughs.

Brown spoke to SF Weekly about Black Virgins Are Not For Hipsters, and about herself. 

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Adam Sorensen Draws on Traditional Influences for Otherworldly Landscapes

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Adam Sorensen. Repose (detail), 2015; oil on linen, 40 x 44 inches. - CULT | AIMEE FRIBERG EXHIBITIONS.
  • CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.
  • Adam Sorensen. Repose (detail), 2015; oil on linen, 40 x 44 inches.

Adam Sorensen is a Portland-based artist who draws heavily on traditional landscape art, from romanticism to ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints), to create otherworldly scenes that depart significantly from his predecessors. His show, In Situ at CULT Gallery, demonstrates Sorensen’s meticulous craftsmanship with large, spectacular, and unreal paintings.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Felix and Meira: A Tale of Forbidden Love

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Maxime Giroux's Felix and Meira, which opened today at the Opera Plaza, is a sweet, if intense, tale of forbidden love and a peek inside the mysterious world of Hasidic Judaism. It's the kind of slow moving, character driven, dialogue heavy film that might have been made in the 1970s. It's a shame that the Hollywood studios no longer have any interest in making films such as this. 

Marin Dubreuil as Felix - OSCILLOSCOPE FILMS
  • Oscilloscope Films
  • Marin Dubreuil as Felix

From the moment they meet, Felix (Martin Dubreuil) and Meira (Hadas Yaron) are inexplicably drawn to each other. Neither of them can resist the other. It's a most unusual attraction. Meira is a Hasidic Jew, while Felix is an "outsider." At first, it might appear that they have nothing in common.

Meira is trapped in a loveless marriage to Shulem (Luzer Twersky, himself a former Hasid). He spends his life fulfilling his obligations to God and community. He expects the same of his wife, often ignoring her feelings. She likes to draw and listen to the blues when Shulem isn't home — when he catches her, he chastises her cruelly.  He cannot see the extent to which she's suffocating. 

Meira (Hadas Yaron) and Shulem (Luzer Twersky) - OSCILLOSCOPE FILMS
  • Oscilloscope Films
  • Meira (Hadas Yaron) and Shulem (Luzer Twersky)

With Felix, who lives nearby, Meira comes alive. They dance together. She wears jeans for the first time. She smiles and laughs. But most importantly, she spends time with a man who sees her for who she truly is.

One of the film's strongest aspects is its script. The characters are painted with broad shades of gray. There are no villains or heroes. For all his cruelty, we soon see that Shulem genuinely loves his wife and will be lost without her. Meira lives for her beloved daughter — she's a wonderful mother who comes to love Felix deeply. Her own  treatment of Shulem is less than stellar. 

And Felix, a lonely, deeply sensitive man who grew up in an abusive home, is sorely in need of a backbone.

No one in the film is all good, nor are they all bad. At different times, in different situations, they become one or the other. These are rich, fully realized characters, and the actors are more than up to the challenge of revealing their many nuances.

Felix and Meira
is a lovely film. Sweet, touching and thought provoking, it shows us how painful and beautiful love can be. 

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World’s Longest Hybrid Roller Coaster Opens May 23

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Don't worry, they finished it! It's finished! - SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Don't worry, they finished it! It's finished!

Thomas Mann’s enigmantic modernist masterpiece, The Magic Mountain, takes place at an Alpine sanitarium on the cusp of World War I. A century later, going to equally great heights may no longer be considered good for vitality and a ruddy complexion, but it sure is good for a thrill.

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