VOTE NOW! BEST OF THE BAY 2014 READERS POLL IS HERE

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Our 40th annual Best of the Bay issue is coming Oct. 15! This year's theme is Dia de los Muertos, in celebration of true Bay Area spirit.

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Ron Conway’s attack on Campos fails to persuade actual feminists

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Remember when deep-pocketed tech investor Ron Conway poured hefty cash into an independent expenditure committee to finance campaign mailers designed to smear Assembly candidate Sup. David Campos, by equating his vote to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi with support for murderous domestic abusers?Read more »

Ellis Act evictor immortalized on a condom at Folsom Street Fair

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Now you can don rubbers against evictions.

Activists engaged in eviction "protection" of a different sort this Sunday at the Folsom Street Fair, as they handed out condoms with packages adorned by the face of Ellis Act evictor, Jack Halprin.

No doubt much boning ensued after the kinky leather fetish fair, and some of those copulations may have utilized the Halprin-condoms. But why are the protesters equating him with a rubber ejaculate receptacle?Read more »

The Payback – Help end family homelessness

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The Payback, a partnership between Positive Legacy and funk band, the New Mastersounds is bringing awareness and support surrounding family homelessness in San Francisco through two benefit concerts at the Great American Music Hall (GAMH) onSeptember 26 & 27, 2014. The proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Compass Family Services. Read more »

TIFF 2014: Foreign favorites, part two (Asia and beyond)

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Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!

Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou (1990) was an unofficial remake of the American film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) — and it was also a showcase for the 25-year-old Gong Li. I've grown up with each of his films over the past decades, including classics To Live (1994) and The Road Home (1999). His latest, Coming Home (China), is his most gut-wrenching film yet. 

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: His 1932 speech to the Commonwealth Club previewed the New Deal

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By Bruce B. Brugmann 

Ken Burns' documentary on the Roosevelts, broadcast last week by KQED,  was a stunning achievement and the best work Burns has done. It previewed key elements of the New Deal and provided historic context and relevance for the progressive politics of San Francisco and California. But it didn't mention a key local angle, FDR's famous speech to the Commonwealth Club on Sept. 21, 1932, in the heat of his winning campaign for president. Read more »

Double Duchess is back, and this time they've brought Kelly Osbourne

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Is the drab Friday weather outside getting you down as you gear up for a weekend full of leather- and whip-filled debauchery?

Never fear! You just need a dose of Double Duchess, the Bay's favorite queer electro duo, who invited Kelly Osbourne to do a Jem and the Holograms-style bit in this video for "Good Girl Freak Out," which also features LA's Future People.Read more »

TIFF 2014: Foreign favorites, part one

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Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!

** Working steadily for over 40 years, achieving more than 20 features, Mike Leigh has stayed true to his "kitchen sink realism" aesthetic. Contemporary audiences could all too easily take him for granted. His latest, Mr. Turner (UK), is a rigorous and immensely rewarding journey that explores the life of British artist J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851). 

Spall won the award for Best Actor at this year's Cannes Film Festival, not just for emulating Turner's cartoonish and almost frightening physique, but also inhabiting and truly expressing the ghastly terror one struggles with after the death of a loved one. Recalling Jane Campion's dazzling An Angel at My Table (1990), Leigh's film places emphasis on the immense difficulties that an artists put themselves — and the others around them — through, and cinematographer Dick Pope (who has shot ten of Leigh's films since 1990, and won a special jury award at Cannes for his work on Mr. Turner) gives every frame an almost spiritual look. 

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Lawsuit alleges Lee campaign accepted illegal donations from undercover agent

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By Max Cherney

Mayor Ed Lee has been named in a civil lawsuit that alleges he conspired to accept bribes in the form of illegal campaign contributions from an undercover FBI agent involved in the far-reaching federal corruption and racketeering probe into State Sen. Leland Yee, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, and 26 other defendants. The lawsuit is being leveled by an attorney working on Shrimp Boy’s behalf.Read more »

Questions of the week: Who is the walrus? And who is Liam Neeson gonna take down next? New movies!

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If Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' ongoing Pixel Vision posts about the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival have you longing for your own festival experience, check out the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's one-day "Silent Autumn" series at the Castro Theatre, as well as Cine+Mas' San Francisco Latino Film Festival, which opens tonight at the Brava Theater and runs through Sept. 27 at various venues.

First-run picks o' the week include Liam Neeson's latest lone-wolf action movie, an ensemble movie starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, and Kevin Smith's new joint, in which Justin Long turns into a walrus. Yep, you read that right. Read on for reviews and trailers!

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Dave Chappelle kept me up until 5am this morning and I'm still trying to process what just happened

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The first time I saw Dave Chappelle perform live was 10 years and three months ago, in a large, echo-y gymnasium at UC San Diego. It was my 20th birthday and I was so excited

This was June of 2004, and the comedian was at the absolute peak of his Chappelle's Show fame, which meant he suddenly found himself performing for sports arenas full of college kids who had neither the patience nor the decorum (nor the sobriety) to actually sit and listen to a standup comic performing material, choosing instead to holler "I'M RICK JAMES, BITCH!" or "WHAT!" and "YEAH!" in Lil Jon voices at random — in reference, of course, to their favorite Chappelle's Show impressions. Read more »

Head First: On "dysfunction," freaking out, and my huge, THC-fueled orgasms

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I have very little experience with marijuana — mostly because I’m from a small, East Coast town where such a substance is referred to as “the Devil’s lettuce.”  So when Mathew Gerson, founder and inventor of the THC lube, Foria, offered me the opportunity to test out his new product, I was intrigued. 

Foria is supposed to enhance female sexual pleasure. I’ve personally never had issues with orgasms (I can hump a chair and come), but I was interested to see how some oil could make them feel even better. So I decided to try it.Read more »

The intern behind an epic blunder: Docs illuminate Asiana fake pilots’ names debacle

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Remember when a July 2013 KTVU-TV news broadcast went viral and caused jaws to drop because the anchorwoman read out fake, offensive pilots’ names in the wake of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash?Read more »

TIFF 2014: Joshua Oppenheimer's 'The Look of Silence'

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Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!

News broke earlier this week that Joshua Oppenheimer — the Texas-born, Copenhagen-based filmmaker who scored an Oscar nomination for 2012's harrowing The Act of Killing — received a MacArthur "Genius Grant." Not a bad follow-up to the Toronto screening of his latest Indonesia-set doc, The Look of Silence (Denmark/Indonesia/Norway/Finland/UK), which is both a direct sequel to Killing and a complete stand-alone work. Either way, it's one of the most powerful documentaries I have ever experienced. (It's due in theaters in summer 2015.)

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Folsom Special: Zbörnak wants to rock your "Dikpix"

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"Expect glitter, expect Twitter (don't expect Twitter), expect foul language and talking about dicks, expect body dysmorphia, but like in the opposite direction. The greatest expectation, however, should be all-killer-no-filler face-melting community building," says Greg Der Ananian, lead singer of energetic homo-punk band Zbörnak, of the group's two appearances this week.

Opening Sat/20 for !!! and Jello Biafra in the SF Eagle's outdoor lot (5pm, $20, 12th Street and Harrison, SF; www.sf-eagle.com), and kicking things off 11am, Sun/21 on main stage of Folsom Street Fair (10th Street and Howard, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com), the fearsome foursome will surely launch into recent, too-catchy hit "Dikpix" while letting the Golden Girls references fly.

I talked to the lively Der Ananian about Zbörnak's deal.

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