President Obama had the right Oval Office setting, a moment in time of genuine public outrage with the oil industry, and even an eloquent setup, telling Americans “the time to embrace a clean energy future is now” and saying we shouldn't deterred from bold action by “a lack of political courage and candor.” And then...nothing. Once again, Obama has failed to follow up his rhetorical candor with the courage to do what needs to be done. Read more »
It’s that time of year again! You know, the time when Ulysses happens. That’s right, it’s Bloomsday, the holiday commemorating James Joyce’s epic modernist tome, ranked by the Modern Library as the greatest novel of the 20th century. The novel’s events span a single day — June 16, 1904, the date of Joyce’s first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.Read more »
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (James Kent, UK, 2010) A BBC production set in the northern English countryside of the early 19th century, James Kent’s The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister depicts the amatory adventures of a gentlewoman landowner (Maxine Peake) in search of a “female companion” with whom to live out her days. The narrative is somewhat breathless, the seductions equally so and yet a bit anemic, and our strong-willed, fearless heroine is admirable without being entirely engaging. Still, besides tapping into the Jane Austen slash fiction demographic, this tale of pre-Victorian bodice ripping and skirt lifting among the female gentry offers the considerable thrill of being adapted from the actual secret diaries of the titular Miss Lister, decoded by a biographer 150 years after her death. A documentary in the festival, Matthew Hill’s The Real Anne Lister, offers a complementary version of her story. Thurs/17, 7 p.m., Castro. (Lynn Rapoport)
I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2009) The title I Killed My Mother suggests a different kind of movie from what it actually is. But that’s OK: though not a crime thriller, the film is still a tightly wound, high stakes drama. Writer-director Xavier Dolan stars as Hubert, the angsty son of the titular mother. When you consider that Dolan’s script is autobiographical — and that he was only 20 when the film was made — his performance becomes all the more impressive. As the mother, Chantale, Anne Dorval is also a force to be reckoned with. Despite its presence as part of a queer film festival, I Killed My Mother is not all that “gay” in the traditional “gay movie” sense. Hubert’s relationship with Antonin (François Arnaud) is secondary — what’s important is how his refusal to share it with his mother affects her. That helps make the movie a refreshing alternative to many more mainstream offerings. Sat/19, 6:45 p.m., Castro. (Louis Peitzman)
Santa Rosa got a little more groovy this weekend for the estimated 30,000 to 35,000 that attended the 32nd annual Harmony Festival, three days that were so epic my ability to narrate them cohesively has been called into question. Assembled here are some bits and pieces from the scene.
Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay
Thomas Kinkade: "painter of light," shameless boozehound. (Also: Doesn't the mugshot totally make him look like a champion poker player or a washed up bookie? I always thought he would be more Bob Ross than Hunter S. Thompson).
A month ago, when BP ascended to the top of the list of corporate villains, the company’s stock took a thrashing. But now the panic selling seems to have gone into reverse: BP’s stock rose today, even as lawmakers in Washington intensified their criticism, other oil companies claimed they would have done a better at handling the spill, and BP said it was speeding up payment of large commercial losses due to the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Read more »
People have felt powerless to counter BP's devastating and unstoppable oil leak, but Bay Area activists have finally settled on a target for their outrage: BP-owned Arco gas stations, which sell some of the cheapest gas around. On Friday, protesting activists blocked an entrance to the Arco on Fell Street, and tomorrow (6/16), the Sierra Club will hold an 11 a.m. protest outside the Arco at 3400 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.Read more »
“Story Matters Here.” AMC’s tagline should tell you something about their primetime gestalt. With two of television’s most acclaimed dramas in its lineup -- Mad Men, a show I admire but can’t love, and Breaking Bad, hands down the best show on TV -- AMC seems destined to be heir apparent to HBO’s kingdom of smartly written dramadies and tragicomedies (Treme, True Blood, and this fall’s Boardwalk Empire, to name a few). Read more »
Everyone’s reading the tea leaves after the local election. The November supes races will be a huge deal, and it’s really tempting to try to figure out what the DCCC results mean for the fall. Paul Hogarth at BeyondChron takes it on here. Chris Daly (no surprise) disagrees.
Have you ever seen a musical where most of the characters couldn’t read? It really is a novel idea, isn’t it? That’s what Doug Simon and Bud Davenport are here for! The hack musical theater hopefuls who basically constitute the whole cast of Scott Brown and Anthony King’s Gutenberg! The Musical! know that writing a musical is hard, so they’ve done all the work. It’s just up to the bigshot Broadway producers in the audience (purportedly) to make their dreams come true. In Beards Beards Beards: A Theatre Company’s production of the rather madcap little play, which premiered Thursday at Exit Stage Left in San Francisco, Austin Ferris and Joey Price play the two sickeningly sincere song-and-dance men to a tee.
The defeat of Prop. 16 showed that unlimited corporate spending on a ballot initiative doesn't guarantee victory.
EDITORIAL The single most important number to come out of San Francisco on election night was this: 67.49 percent. That's how many people in this city voted against Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly measure, Proposition 16. It's a statistic that ought to be posted somewhere on a wall at City Hall to remind everyone in local government that the voters sided overwhelmingly against PG&E and in favor of a public option for local electricity.
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