Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before: a Washington DC art institution caves in to right wing politicians and conservative Christians calling for the removal of "controversial" work made by an openly gay artist. Read more »
Beninese actor Djimon Hounsou has had an impressive career, appearing in a diverse range of projects and earning two Academy Award nominations (for 2002’s In America and 2006’s Blood Diamond). His latest film is Julie Taymor’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which he plays “freckled monster” Caliban, the rightful heir to the island. I spoke to Hounsou about reinventing Shakespeare, finding sympathy for an antagonist, and sparring with Helen Mirren.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: What was your familiarity with The Tempest before you took on this role?
Djimon Hounsou: None. I had very little knowledge about Shakespeare — I’ve known about his work but to dive into his work, it’s a different story. I have tested for Julie Taymor for[her 1999 film version of] Titus Andronicus before, so that was my first recollection of working on Shakespeare. And that was it. So this time around, I was a little bit intimidated and certainly didn’t want to go the distance with it. But with a bit of trust and encouragement from my wife, I ended up going.
SFBG: What in particular attracted you to the character of Caliban?
DH: Probably his raw nature, his very primal nature of the island, his very passionate desire to get rid of Helen Mirren’s character, Prospera. And obviously the text, the layers of text.
Well goddammit if it's not raining again. San Francisco is not a town that is built for this: we don't have fenders on our bikes, our bomber jackets are all made of suede, and our skin melts in even the slightest drizzle. So why not use this shut-in time to create smutty presents for your seductee-to-be this holiday season? Is this pillow turning you on?
“I've been a hooker since I was 11 years old. Back then it was all about smiley faces and rainbows, but I've matured and so have my designs,” states Brooklyn-via-Castro photographer-hooker Kevin L. Muth by way of introduction to his Dirty Pillowz DIY kits ($35). His kits supply all that you need to create retro-looking, shaggy pillows that look like the lead up to a killer money shot. Designs include four stills of man-on-man loving – including one lovely homage to the tube sock -- and two booby pillow pleasers (every woman has them). Read more »
Generously talented and fantastically energetic (we're talking 8-bit chipmunk here) LA drag entertainer Jackie Beat is in town with her new show "Jackie Beat's All-You-Can-Eat Christmas," Fri/10 and Sat/11 and Brava Theater. It sounds like a real festive hoot. The long-time cabaret circuit favorite, underground club hostess, and member of scandalous electro-revival band Dirty Sanchez pulled out her giant fork and dug into a little interview with us about ambrosia salad, abortion, AM schlock .. and that's just the beginning. Go pay some money to see her!
Christmas is here early, horror geeks: not only is a brand-new print of 1980's Maniac playing the Castro Theatre, but director William Lustig will be in attendance. After the big-screen experience, make sure Santa knows you want the extras-packed 30th anniversary DVD, released by Lustig's own Blue Underground label, wrapped in bloody butcher paper under the tree.Read more »
You don't have to be into winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa celebrations to realize that there's something about December — the end of another decade this time around, the darkest part of the year — that calls out for treats either for yourself or a friend or two. Here are a few dance-related suggestions between now and the end of the year that won't bust your budget.Read more »
When the news hit that Elizabeth Edwards had died at 61, I was sitting in the press box at San Francisco City Hall listening to the supervisors debate the merits of local hire legislation. In fact, I only became aware that Edwards had passed away, because Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, who was sitting in front of me, was surfing the Internet on her laptop and I happened to see the headline. Read more »
Calitics alterted me to this amazing blog post by David Cay Johnston, one of the foremost tax experts in the country and one of the few reporters who understands and writes honestly about tax law. Turns out that the California Public Utilities Commission wants to allow regulated utilities to collect money from ratepayers for taxes that the utilities never have to pay.Read more »
So how's this for weird: rich folks get freaky too! Yes indeed, according to our friends at the Bay Citizen, upon the launch of an investigation into her and her husband's possible involvement in an inside trading ring (don't they just always want to get into those things?) Pac Heights lady-who-lunches Annabel McClellan was discovered to be working on the gosh darn kinkiest iPhone app we've ever heard of: My Nookie.
The app allows users to dish down to the nitty-gritty about their super hot hookups, right down to the positions, location of consummation, and partner used and abused. Share the info with your friends and even send de-personalized My Nookie messages to potential partners with purple anonymous avatars performing the sex event you'd like to try with them. Says McClellan (whose lawyer denies her involvement with the app)'s business partner Milly Hanley to the Bay Citizen, “we are housewives, our kids are older now. We were looking for something to do.” Consider your wealth-induced ennui assuaged, ladies! Now onto the sex events. Read more »
Yoko Ono’s op-ed tribute to John Lennon in the New York Times today got me tearing up, as I remembered that horrible day, thirty years ago, when I heard that Lennon had been assassinated. I was in my early twenties and still living in England at the time, working in an inner-city school in Birmingham, and I remember feeling that his murder marked the death of my own generation's innocence. Read more »
There's an unmistakable whiff of class warfare in the air this holiday season, most obviously on the national level where President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are helping the ultra-rich steal hundreds of billions of dollars from future generations and the country's current needs. But we're also seeing it right here in San Francisco, subtly playing out around who will be our next mayor.Read more »
I have no reson to dispute the figures in the Chron this morning showing that Mayor Newsom has moved 12,210 people off the streets of San Francisco, 6,692 of them placed into supportive housing and 5,518 shipped out of town with a free bus ticket. Randy Shaw, who has a city contract to run some of the hotels that Newsom is using for formerly homeless people, says Newsom has the "best record [on the issue] of any mayor in the United States"Read more »
History was made at City Hall on December 7, when the Board voted 8-3 to approve local hire legislation for city-funded construction projects. “This is the strongest local hiring measure in the nation, “ said Sup. John Avalos, the legislation’s chief sponsor. “It doesn’t just have a mandated 50 percent goal. It has a ‘by trade’ mandate. It requires 50 percent of apprentices to be residents. More than anything we are moving away from a good faith policy. That’s a sea change in our local hiring discussion.” Sup. Read more »
For John Waters fans (and who isn't one?) this of course makes perfect sense: The Pink Flamingos director and hot-filth raconteur winters in chilly Baltimore, and summers in fog-shrouded San Francisco. "I just love watching the shocked tourists on the cable cars, gripping their cans of Ensure and freezing their asses off," he jokes over the phone with that infamous little cackle. He'll be jetting back here, however, on Sat/11 for "A Sleigh Full of Smut" his one-man Christmas show to benefit the awesome Roxie Cinema, which turned 100 last year. Read more »