If your idea of a good time at the movies requires a three-act narrative consisting of the hook, the conflict, and the climax, followed by a quick resolution, then Amateurs of the Impossible is not for you. Filmmakers Margaret Rorison and Zach Iannnazzi are like painters — or, as Orson Welles suggested, poets with camera lenses for eyes. They reach beyond the presentational to build film-loop elegies, plein air panoplies, and celluloid sonatas that whip up dreams, memories, emotions, and musings. Rorison, co-founder of Baltimore's much-loved roaming experimental film series Sight Unseen, contributes six shorts, including a handmade study of Danish wind power, a collaboration with the Effervescent Dance Collective, a landscape portrait of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, and a 16-mm tribute to her grandfather that is saturated by field recordings of oil rigs and fishing lines on the Louisiana bayou. Iannazzi offers three shorts, including a found-footage scrapbook of fading Northern California and a superimposed diptych of home movies that explores "mid-century male bonding and the hubris of hunting culture."
"Amateurs of the Impossible" begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia St., S.F. $10; 415-824-3890 or sfcinematheque.org. More
Scientists used to consider it balderdash, but the belief that humans can cause earthquakes has recently been validated by a significant increase in tremors occurring in the Central United States. Nearly twice as many quakes, magnitude 3 and up, have happened there in the last six years than in the previous 36 years; in 2014, more strong earthquakes jolted Oklahoma than California. Justin Rubinstein, a U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist, believes oil and gas extraction is responsible for this. Hydraulic fracturing is part of the problem, but Rubinstein says the top culprit is the injection of wastewater from oil and gas operations into permanent storage areas underground. He believes that human activity of this sort could trigger a magnitude 7 shaker. All agree that San Francisco's expected Big One will be an act of nature, not industry, but anyone earthquake-curious should find Rubinstein's talk ("Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes") of interest. The event is part of a USGS series of free lectures for non-experts.
Justin Rubinstein’s lecture, “Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes,” is set for 7 p.m. at USGS, Building 3, Rambo Auditorium, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. Free; online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar.More
20 Yerba Buena Lane, 415-744-5000
San Francisco is the gateway to California wine country and for those who can’t seem to find a designated driver to schlep them up for a round of tastings, the luxurious Press Club converts a day trip to Napa or Sonoma into an evening of liquid bliss.
Tenderloin alleys are disgusting. Its kind of their thing. Rule of thumb: If you find yourself in one after midnight, stop whatever it is you think you are doing, go home, and go to bed. During the day the rules are a bit lax; maybe you really are just tying your shoelace. But our TL worldview has been completely upended by the Tenderloin National Forest, which used to be Cohen Alley, which used to be disgusting, as per the TL. Now, as the TNF, Cohen Alley is wonderful, laden with grass, sod, stones, trees (a redwood!), a shed, shrubbery, a stone walkway, and tons of mural and other art, as it borders the Luggage Store Annex and sprang from the minds of artists. The philosophy behind the green space delves into all kinds of thorny issues concerning the Forest Service and access and public lands, which youll forget once you see that redwood. Today, after slow and steady progress over the past 10 years beautification in the TL takes time the area is finally ready for its proper unveiling. The Official Opening of the Tenderloin National Forest celebrates Rigo 23s just-completed stone mosaic walkway, created with Jose Fernando Cardoso, as well as all the other contributing artists who have worked throughout the years, from the muralists to the landscapers to the gate-builder. Opening day includes entertainment from Tommy Guerrero, Push Dance Company, Youth Speaks, and many others.
Sat., May 9, 10 a.m., 2009