Thursday, October 28, 2004
In America we don't hear much about the actual creation of the state of Israel beyond the fact that it was in response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Most often the side of the story we get is Israeli, perhaps by virtue of our government's strong support of the Jewish state. But there is another side of the tale we hear much less, that of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were driven from their homes and forced off their land in 1947 and 1948. In the moving documentary Rosa Remembers Palestine, a former resident of Jaffa recounts her own family's exodus, a tragic turn of events that transformed a well-to-do clan that owned orchards and a thriving flour mill into desperate refugees. Oakland filmmaker Wendy Campbell will be on hand to discuss the issues her documentary raises at 8 p.m. at La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck (at Prince), Berkeley. Admission is $10-20; call (510) 849-2568 or visit www.lapena.org.
Friday, October 29, 2004
We cannot even begin to parse the complex cultural factors behind the rise of Japan's goth Lolita movement, a trend among young people who enjoy fashioning outrageous costumes, painting on grim black-and-white makeup, and hanging out on street corners and in parks with other dressed-to-the-nines goths. Perhaps if these Japanese youngsters visited California they'd be similarly mystified by our legions of junior high schoolers clad in track suits with legends like "Juicy" or "Bootylicious" spelled out in rhinestones across their tushes. But we digress. Tonight the overseas craze migrates to our town with "Tokyo Dark Castle San Francisco," a local retread of the popular Japanese underground goth party series. S.F.'s version boasts gloomy DJs, black-clad live bands, a costume contest, and a fierce fashion show. Join the funereal fun at 9:30 p.m. at Pound-SF, 100 Cargo (at Pier 96), S.F. Admission is $25; call 826-5009 or visit www.poundsf.com.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
We thought we had heard everything, but no: "Tattoo entertainment" was a new one on us. We figured those two words went together like "hostess" and "chain saw," because getting a tattoo is anything but entertaining. (We're thinking of an ink parlor whose bumper stickers say, "Fuck yeah, it hurts!") It turns out that the San Francisco Tattoo Entertainment Expo is full of words and ideas that don't usually go together, like the rock bands Bar Room Heroes and Funeral Party, hip hop/funk band Kung Fu Vampire, and self-described "freakshow" Dethcheez. It makes sense when you consider that tattoos are about putting ink under skin, a combination nature never intended, and one that causes both pain and pleasure. Is it any wonder that people who love to "Be Art" (another shop's bumper sticker) would come up with unusual diversions? For the more traditional among you, the event also features more familiar stuff like fire dancing and the Yard Dogs Road Show vaudeville. A weekend of unusual associations starts today (and continues tomorrow) at 11 a.m. at the Nob Hill Masonic Temple, 1111 California (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free-$25; call (714) 846-7121 or visit www.electricinkpromotions.com.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
It's an unbelievable rip-off that our favorite holiday hits on a Sunday, a day meant for sleeping in, taking slow walks, and cleaning the toilet, not for strapping on a Wonder Woman outfit and drinking yourself stupid. Grrr. Nonetheless, for Halloween-compliant fun you can find no better outlet than Bride of Spookycon, the annual horror and "dark fantasy" convention featuring appearances from a delicious roster of authors, actors, directors, special effects technicians, artists, and others whose work gives fans the creeps. Today's freakfest includes Q&A sessions with special guests like Brian Freisinger (visual effects artist for Queen of the Damned and the two Matrix sequels, and reportedly the owner of a really ripping Anne Rice anecdote), Emily Perkins (the badass younger sister in the Ginger Snaps movie series), and comics artist Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing), as well as a dance party, a costume contest, and readings, starting at noon at the Radisson Miyako Hotel, 1625 Post (at Laguna), S.F. Admission is $25-55; visit www.spookycon.com.
Monday, November 1, 2004
The murderous field trips of the Manson Family are no longer the sure headline-grabbers they were back in the 1970s. But writer/director Jim Van Bebber's new movie, The Manson Family, casts a brutal light on the group's crime spree by telling the story from the inside out. His film begins during the Southern California cult's halcyon days of sex, drugs, and free living and follows the Family's gradual transformation into crazed killers. Told through the eyes of a journalist supposedly preparing for a TV documentary on Charles Manson, the flick includes so-called Family home movies as well as staged faux interviews and gory event re-creations filmed with a '60s exploitation-movie sensibility. Break into a cold sweat as the picture's run continues through Thursday at the Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $7.25-9.50; call 267-4893 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
When you think about it, many other cultures have a far friendlier relationship with the deceased than we do. Japanese O-bon celebrants spiff up their houses and prepare special altars to welcome departed ancestors back home. Chinese people spend Qingming Day tidying family grave sites and holding festive cemetery picnics. And then there's Mexico's Day of the Dead, the commemoration of expired spirits that includes traditional stories, elaborate altars, skull-, coffin- and skeleton-shaped candies for the kiddies, and, in San Francisco, an annual Dia de los Muertos Procession that winds its way through the Mission District to a grand exhibition of altars in Garfield Park. You'd think a party memorializing corpses would be grim, but the procession turns out to be a rather sprightly collection of costumed dancers, musicians, and cheerful hangers-on. Give your own forebears a shout-out at 7 p.m. at 24th & Bryant streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 864-1450 or visit www.dayofthedeadsf.org.
Calendar submissions can be mailed or delivered to 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107; faxed to 777-1839; or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org at least three weeks in advance of your event.