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
In 2002, Nina Paley's husband moved from San Francisco to India for a six-month contract, an upheaval that ended with him dumping her via e-mail. Paley, an animator with a long résumé of short films, took solace in the sweet-voiced jazz stylings of Annette Hanshaw as well as the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic telling the stories of several Hindu gods. These two post-breakup fixations also provided the inspiration for her first feature, an accomplished charm offensive called Sita Sings the Blues. Using digital, hand-drawn, and collage animation, Paley traces the love story between gods Sita and Rama, creating a witty symbiosis between her images and the ingenious narration provided by a chummy peanut gallery of three Indian voices. This main story is divided by musical numbers set to illustrative Hanshaw tunes ("What Wouldn't I Do for That Man" marks Sita's kidnapping, "Mean to Me" her unceremonious dumping) and brief windows on Paley's breakup and its aftermath. The parallels she draws between her situation and Sita's are the weakest part of the film, but Paley's beguiling, consistently inventive visuals and sly yet melancholy tone are about as warm and winning as heartbreak-fueled empowerment gets.
Thu., Dec. 23, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 26, 2, 4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2010