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
The frustrated, flummoxed characters in Japanese wunderkind Yuya Ishiis semi-absurdist comedies are typically running from something. It might be the boring confines of small-town life for the neon allure of Tokyo, or the cruelty of the big city for the low-stress provinces. In fact, theyre desperately rebelling albeit with only minimal success against the oppressive cultural weight of obeisance, loyalty, etiquette, and respect for (selfish) elders. The 27-year-old directors hapless yet endearing protagonists eventually realize theres nowhere to run: Japan is an island nation. To Walk Beside You (2009), receiving its U.S. premiere as part of the two-film series, Lost in Japan: The Existential Comedies of Yuya Ishii, imagines a teacher and a high school student fleeing for the capital and a new life together. Domesticity trumps passion, however, and reality gently crushes fantasy. Its not as grim as all that; Ishii, like Hal Hartley, revels in the ironic humor of ordinary people bumping up against the daily humiliations of life. His most recent film, Sawako Decides (screening Sunday at 1 p.m.), finds him in a more optimistic mood. Perhaps its just a coincidence that Ishii and the lead actress, Hikari Mitsushima (of Folder5 fame), got married a few months ago.
Jan. 13-16, 2011