Pixel Vision

Internet cats, in their own words: Henri le Chat Noir

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As exhaustive and definitive as our cover story on the break-out fame of the Internet's Cat Pack was last month, still the masses clamored for more. Specifically, they wanted Henri le Chat Noir.

Who can blame them -- Seattle's existentially wracked feline inspires Christopher Walken to reference his videos mid-interview and whose short film Henri 2, Paw de Deux was declared the best of the Internet cat offerings by the dearly departed Roger Ebert. He figured prominently on our Cat Pack cover flirting with Luna the Fashion Kitty, but clearly, we would be remiss not to hear from the laconic cat himself, particularly now that he has a recently-released coffeetable book to shill. Read more »

Pointy ears and freaky eyebrows: this week's new movies

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In Hollywood, summer starts in May, or even earlier ... give it a few more years and there'll be an Avengers tie-in movie ringing in the season in early February. This weekend's "summer" blockbuster is Star Trek Into Darkness, directed by J. J. Abrams, who was recently tapped to helm at least the first film in the "Star Wars sequel trilogy." Lotta stars in J.J.'s eyes these days. At least he's having fun with it so far (my review of Darkness after the jump).

Also this week: he'll soon be playing the villain in Man of Steel, speaking of summer blockbusters, but Michael Shannon first appears as a based-on-truth hitman in the very fine Iceman, reviewed here by Dennis Harvey. Also of interest, the first Himalayan Film Festival is now underway in various Bay Area theaters; I take a look at the doc-heavy line-up here.

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New designers show their stuff at this weekend's Asian Heritage Street Celebration

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The annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration and fashion fever may not be automatically associated in the brains of Bay Areans. But then, most Bay Areans probably are unacquainted with the work of Runway Couturier -- the group behind this year's festival finale, featuring local designers from all across the SF fashion world, on Sat/18.

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Behold! Highlights of ArtPadSF and artMKT

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In this week's issue, Guardian visual arts Matt Fisher singled out some highlights of the big ArtPadSF and artMKT shows, which open tonight and run through Sun/19. Here's a slideshow that shows you what he was talking about. Artist descriptions after the jump: 

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Googlass: Gatecrashing Google I/O

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It would be foolish to turn down the offer of cost-free Billy Idol on a Wednesday night, but I could have remembered that I live in San Francisco and high profile rock 'n' roll will like as not, come served with a side of goober. 

This is to say, that I went to the Google I/O developer’s conference last night. The buffet’s waffle fries were not great and I heard the mini-chicken pot pies were worse, but I did get a chance to watch DJ Steve Aoki give shout-outs to “technooooology!”, allowing a techie or two who promised to get him a Google bus to clamber on stage and flop about next to his set-up. Read more »

Party Radar: Save Esta Noche!

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Many of us barely remember growing up there, meeting our first hot papi, trying out our first cha cha heels on stage, and living the Selena dream. And some of us go back every week to relive those experiences! Now, that many-mirrored treasure trove of characters, Esta Noche, may have to close its doors -- forever.  

The city's only (official) Latin gay bar owes the city $7,000 and may be history if it can't cough it up in the next two weeks. But you know the fundraising party Sat/18 is gonna be fabuloso.

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Woods for you: Best redwood parks for family times, wowwing out-of-towners, quiet reflection

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You have no reason not to explore California's freakishly gorgeous lands now. The treehuggers over at the Redwoods League (who have purchased more than 190,000 acres of the trees for conservation since the group's inception in 1918) have released their first-ever parent's guide to the behemoth old-growth beauties. This means day trips sensibly arranged and explained so that even the couch-bound and fresh air-phobic can figure out which woodses are best for them. Which redwood park operates a nursery? A science center? All in the guide, available for the price of your email address.

To aide you even further, Redwoods League director of outreach Jennifer Benito gave us her top picks for redwoods to take the parentals to, the most impressive stands to wow your out-of-towner babes, etc. Click through for the League's detailed info on visitor centers, trails, and hidden treasures in each of the parks on her list. Read more »

The Performant: Forever young

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Rocky Horror turns 40, still crazy after all these years.

Who doesn’t have fond memories of their first Rocky Horror Picture Show experience? Ok, mine are mixed since the first time I saw it was on an old black-and-white television with my father, avoiding eye contact and trying not to laugh too hard at the ribald bits. It wasn’t until I finally saw it on the big screen in the company of peers -- armed with rice, noisemakers, and snarky quips -- that the full potential of its subversive pleasures revealed themselves more fully.

Part of the fun of repeated viewings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show is emulating the character you most want to be, and for a curly-haired, goth-inclined teenager, the clear choice was Magenta, whose stone-faced cool and extraterrestrial sensuality were so beyond the straitjacket of smalltown teenhood, that to walk an evening in her spike-heeled shoes was akin to a declaration of, well, something. Call it freedom. Peaches Christ does.

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Pick-up bball legends tell the tale of the game outside

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We're talking about basketball, NYC pick-up announcer legend Bobbitio "Kool Bob Love" and I, but our conversation is hardly hinging on the Warriors-Spurs match-up or LeBron James' shot at MVP this year. Rather, we're discussing the power of the men and women ballers on the playground -- a culture that Garcia and French filmmaker Kevin Couliau painstakingly documented for their film Doin' it in the Park, which begins its Bay Area run at the Clay Theatre on Thu/16. 

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Sandra Bernhard thinks I'm groovy (feeling's mutual) [UPDATED]

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Raise your hand if performance comedy stylist Sandra Bernhard is an ever-present entity in your cultural firmament. Is she the voice of your internal monolouge when you're feeling powerful? 

Bernhard's mark on popular culture is everywhere. Remember her cameo in Truth or Dare, in which she encourages Madonna to go ahead and meet that young Spanish actor Antonio Banderas? I like to imagine that Bernhard (“Sandra”) and I have it like that -- I can fly her out to my hotel room when I'm just sooo bored of hanging out with the back-up dancers. I want her always sitting on a stool with that wall of '90s hair, gold hoops, knotted silk button-down, a la 1990’s Without You I’m Nothing. May she drawl about tambourines and poppers 4eva. Read more »