Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Wild Tigers, Painted Bird

All hail no-budget costume work
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COSTUME One gray Garfield sweatshirt; a blue wool sleeveless sweater with little birds and a white sheep stitched on it; clean Chuck Taylor high-tops; an orange Kawasaki motorcycle T-shirt; a little red hoodie; a beige suede vest with tassels. These are some of the clothes sported by Logan (Malcolm Stumpf), the gender-jumping cusp-of-teens boy at the center of Cam Archer's debut feature, Wild Tigers I Have Known.

"At that age you aren't concerned with what other people think. Read more »

Locals only?

Not For Tourists Guide to San Francisco may not be for residents either
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BOOK REVIEW Not for Tourists Guidebooks has just released the fourth edition of its Not for Tourists Guide to San Francisco. Besides having a mad grip of inaccuracies, the title is problematic: this tome is definitely not not for tourists.

The first thing I found wrong with the book was its only foldout map. It's a highway map, which is weird, since most city dwellers tend to stay clear of the damn things. They're for the bridge-and-tunnel crowd and, uh, the tourists. Read more »

Mi viva loca

Viva Pinata
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Viva Pinata

(Microsoft; Xbox 360)

GAMER When I grabbed Viva Piñata at the store, I hoped the game would inspire my Xbox 360 to a greatness beyond its current status as a sleek, expensive bookend that plays DVDs. Viva Pinata's premise might be described as Pokemon: Capitalist Edition — you are a pinata farmer in charge of creating a garden that will attract a multitude of brightly colored pinatas, which you will have to tend and breed in a totally G-rated way. Read more »

The pigs are alright

A convo with the creators of Hot Fuzz
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FILM Rejoice, fans of smart, sharp, genre-tweaking comedy: Hot Fuzz — the latest from Shaun of the Dead writer-director Edgar Wright, cowriter-star Simon Pegg, and costar–slacker extraordinaire Nick Frost — has arrived. Pegg plays a London supercop whose makes-everyone-else-look-bad ways get him shunted to a small town where policing is limited to underage drinking and escaped swans. Or is it? Read more »

Meeting acute

Gore Vidal lands an interview with Timothy McVeigh in Edmund White's Terre Haute
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REVIEW In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, one of the only voices raised on behalf of understanding Timothy McVeigh — that is, as someone slightly more complicated than a Hollywood-style incarnation of pure evil — was that of Gore Vidal. Vidal insisted on pointing to the obvious: the bombing of offices that included the local headquarters of the FBI and the ATF — although utterly cruel and misguided in leading to 168 deaths — was not arbitrary wickedness but a carefully considered act of revenge. Read more »

Love machine

Peering under the hood of Charles Sheeler's magnificent mechanical obsession
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REVIEW To look at the formally austere self-portraits made by the American artist Charles Sheeler (1883–1965) at various points throughout his career, you might surmise, from the repeated images of his stiff, unsmiling visage, that he toiled in obscurity for dry, dusty decades as an administrative underling at a low-level law firm, forever obsessed with organizing his paper clips, pausing from his tedious task only long enough to clean his spectacles on a crisply starched pocket handkerchief and tie the laces of his uncomfortable shoes, polished d Read more »

We shall over come ourselves

Blue Door and After the War look deep beneath race in America
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Nearly all the imagery we're fed when it comes to understanding or imagining issues reutf8g to race in the United States comes from the civil rights era. No doubt that was a critical moment in American history, but it should go without saying that the road home can't be found on an outdated map. Read more »

Still evolving

Boxcar Theatre learns to adapt with Vonnegut
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The human race either sinks or swims. That's evolution as Charles Darwin first saw it. But flippers and a seal pelt, that's pure Kurt Vonnegut. The novelist plays God like no other, wresting the species from its self-destruction, then sending it on its wobbly way with a childlike capacity for invention and a wry if discontented grasp of human folly. That's Galápagos, anyway, his 1985 best-seller in which evolution saves humankind from its big and mischievous brains by sending it back to the sea. Read more »

No hidin' SECA

Searching for thematic threads at the biennial exhibition
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REVIEW Each SECA Art Award exhibition, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's biennial and only official nod to Bay Area artists, is cause to revisit the curious, contested idea of place in contemporary art. Read more »

Home run

"After the War" lucidly strikes home
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HOME RUN: AFTER THE WAR LUCIDLY STRIKES HOME

Philip Kan Gotanda's After the War, enjoying an exceptional world premiere at the American Conservatory Theater, is set during 1948 in a Fillmore boardinghouse run by a laid-back jazz musician and second-generation Japanese American named Chester "Chet" Monkawa (Vancouver's Hiro Kanagawa in an impressive US debut). Read more »