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
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist breathes life into a celluloid fossil, lovingly animating an unproduced script by filmmaker Jacques Tati. Chomet sets The Illusionist on the cusp of the 1960s, around the time Tati wrote the script as a follow-up to his hit Mon Oncle. The title character, a middle-aged, itinerant stage magician given a vaguely aristocratic mien, as well as Tati's actual name, Tatischeff is introduced with a series of mildly disastrous performances in Paris (where he is compelled to play straight man to his obstreperous rabbit) and London (sharing the bill with an obnoxious quartet of proto-Beatles mop tops). The magician gives his most appreciated performance in a backwater Scottish pub. When he leaves for Edinburgh, an unprepossessing slip of a girl named Alice tags along, convinced that his conjuring tricks really are magic. At once recognizable and improbable, sketchy and detailed, Edinburgh is, the illusionist aside, Chomet's main character. Tatischeff and Alice move into a hotel full of depressed circus types and separately explore a city populated by cheerful drunks. Alice longs for new, grown-up clothes and, as if by magic, the illusionist provides them. (Unknown to her, he's been working nights for extra money.) No less impressive than Chomet's character animation is his sense of timing. For its 80 minutes, the movie creates the illusion that not just Tati but his form of cerebral slapstick lives.
Feb. 15-24, 2011