When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Like many characters Clint Eastwood has played in his six-decade screen career, recently widowed Korean War vet Walt Kowalski is a man outside of his own time hurled by circumstance into direct conflict with the present. That transition occurs when the racist Walt steps across the property line in his economically depressed Detroit suburb and into the lives of the Hmong immigrant family next door, including the introverted, teenage boy, Thao (Bee Vang), who, menaced by a local gang, has made an unsuccessful bid at stealing Walts car. But if Gran Torino seems at first glance to be a gently un-p.c., geriatric crowd-pleaser of the Space Cowboys variety, it soon becomes clear that Eastwood is merely using the bass line of a butt-kicking Clint Eastwood action movie to play a series of complex variations on his career-abiding themes. The thing that haunts a man most is what he isnt ordered to do, Walt says, and the thing that has long haunted Eastwood is the legacy of American violence and the false heroic myths on which that legacy has been written. For him, romanticized movie violence long ago lost its allure, and at least since Unforgiven (a film that this one in many ways mirrors), the act of killing another human being has been depicted as one that leaves a permanent scar on mens psyches. In Gran Torino, that strain of investigation reaches its apotheosis in an inversion of Unforgivens climactic barroom standoff, a scene that brings the curtain down on Eastwoods cycle of urban-crime films as hauntingly as the earlier one did on his Westerns.
Wed., May 13, 2, 7 & 9:25 p.m.; Thu., May 14, 7 & 9:25 p.m., 2009