Protektor (Marek Najbrt, Czech Republic, 2009) Marek Najbrt's pomo period piece -- spiced by switches from color to monochrome, soundtracked DJ mashups, and other bendy tropes -- provides an elegant yet energetic reprise of some familiar themes. Rising Czech film actress Hana (Jana Plodkova) refuses to leave Prague despite the considerable danger posed by her (secret) Jewish identity. Husband Emil (Marek Daniel) is a popular radio host who struggles to protect her as he nonetheless rises in favor under the wartime Nazi "protectorate." But Hana proves uncontrollable as wife and (eventually boycotted) thespian, unable to keep her libido or boredom safely wrapped. And Emil's bosses soon enforce a cruel choice. Protektor is self-conscious, but also surprising -- the highly stylized presentation lends what could have played as an ordinary, earnest victim scenario an edge more seductive than distracting.Mon/26, Castro, 4:30 p.m.;Sat/31, 9:45 p.m., Roda.(Dennis Harvey)
The mayor really wanted the supervisors to get rid of two reform measures that would have shifted to the board some of the appointments to the Recreation and Park Commission and Municipal Transportation Agency. The landlords really wanted the board to scrap a plan to reform the Rent Board. And both got exactly what they wanted.Read more »
What the HTML will happen when "cloud computing" renders our desktop monoliths obsolete? I drool at the thought, while thoughts are still my own, of the coming retro fashion movement, enshrining the clumsy keyboards and monstrous monitors of yesteryear: boxy eggshell skirts, CPU tower heels, flat-screen kneepads, air can earrings, novelty glasses of scratched and sneezed-on anti-glare shields, flash drive panties, Ethernet cologne, USBriefs, "laptop ass," "modem face," brominated flame retardant blush, tantium base, phthalate plasticizer mascara ... Read more »
It is an understatement to say that the work of Matthew Barney elicits strong reactions. Critics have alternately hailed him as "the most important American artist of his generation" (that's the New York Times' Michael Kimmelman) and complained of his art's Wagnerian grandiosity, needless inscrutability, pretentiousness, and icy perfection ("loveless" was one of the words the San Francisco Chronicle's Kenneth Baker used to describe "Drawing Restraint 9," Barney's 2006 show at SFMOMA).Read more »
“What was that video about Eric? Wow! Girl's butt in your face and everything!” I hope not too many of you are keeping tabs on FOX News, because in terms of sheer entertainment value we here at the SFBG simply cannot compete with Glenn Beck and his cronies' 2009 commentary on the SF's pervert art scene. Just watching him pump his blonde little eyebrows up and down while saying the words “the world's only underground kinky art porno horror flick, complete with four men, three women and one gorilla,” – hey Beck, stay the hell away from my beat!
It took until 1 a.m. for the Alameda City Council to vote 4-0 (councilmember Lena Tam abstained) to deny SunCal’s “modified optional entitlement application,” and take the first step towards ending its four-year relationship with SunCal, an Irvine-based developer that planned to build 4,800 homes, a 60-acre sports complex, a ferry terminal, parks, schools and offices at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, which accounts for one-third of this island city.
This week's letter of greatest interest, a well-composed rant against my supposed blind devotion to Western medicine, ignorance of same, and lack of understanding of the holistic approach to complaints such as hyposexual desire disorder, is really, really long. Here is one of the good parts:
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Chuck Nevius, who doesn't seem to like any taxes, weighed in this morning on a poll paid for by the city's Transportation Authority that, the way Nevius puts it, "[cast] doubt on whether it would be wise to put some tax issues on the ballot in November." His analysis of the numbers:
[W]hen it comes to the hotel, parking, business and real estate transfer tax, the voters had four responses: no, no, no and hell no.Read more »
A new proposal to make the flat payroll tax more progressive and exempt more small businesses
EDITORIAL It's rare to see a fairly conservative city agency, created in part to make it harder for progressives to push measures that might affect business, come down in favor of a new business tax. But the San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis has concluded that the proposal by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu to change the local payroll tax and impose a new tax on commercial rents would actually help local businesses, particularly small businesses. The proposal presents a crucial opportunity for progressives to make the case that the Chamber of Commerce and big downtown corporations are not advancing the interests of small businesses — and local merchant groups need to pay attention.
Chiu has taken on a problem that has lingered in San Francisco for decades. The city's business tax is terribly regressive: Only 10 percent of the companies in town even pay the payroll tax, in part because banks, insurance companies, and financial services firms are exempt under state law. That means the burden falls the heaviest on small and medium-sized companies — the ones that provide most of the net job growth in the city.
The new proposal would make the flat payroll tax more progressive and would exempt more small businesses. It would also raise $28 million more a year for the cash-strapped municipal coffers by taxing commercial rents of more than $60,000 a year. Read more »
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Janet Evanovich is the funniest writer to come along on the scene since Carl Hiassen, and in some ways, she’s got Hiassen beat. He writes about Florida, where unreal people do some bizarre stuff; her turf is Jersey, where the characters are pretty close to normal life. Which is to say, totally strange and fucked up. She is my favorite living writer, and after fourteen previous novels, the tales of Stephanie Plum and her cohorts just seem to get better.