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
In a godless world, the tenuous morality of men is all that stands between us and the blood-and-spittle-soaked end of civilization. A nondescript, nouveau riche, midlevel manager in a white trench coat would seem a poor candidate on whom to stake our doomed species, but thats the black-joke logic underlying Estonian director Veiko Õunpuus existential allegory, The Temptation of St. Tony. Drifting numbly through a midlife crisis after his fathers death, our deadpan antihero everyman (played with remarkable physical commitment by Taavi Eelmaa) is nonetheless sufficiently conscious to recognize cruelty, and to intercede in the case of a vulnerable young woman. But its not the plot that drives this haunting, transporting, and unsettling movie; rather, it's Ounpuus sharp and stark black-and-white compositions of dismal Northern European landscapes. (Fans of Eastern European cinema, from subversive Iron Curtainera parables to Bela Tarrs artful nightmares, should be getting tingles right about now.) When the screen fades to white after the wintry final sequence, and the acoustic pickings and harmonies of David Crosbys unexpected yet wonderfully appropriate "The Lee Shore" play under the end credits, you might feel like the last person on Earth.
Dec. 3-9, 2010