Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Fringe on top

Fall's wildest fest unloads a mixed bag of Tenderloin tricks and treats
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com
There's a crisp fall edge to the heady pee-asma of the Tenderloin as huddled, roaming packs of theater scavengers move hourly among the tolerant local traffic — two unmistakable signs of the SF Fringe Festival. Read more »

The man with the golden guns

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ACTION HERO Soft-spoken and dare I say, petite, Tony Jaa hardly looks like the kind of guy who could annihilate a room full of underground pit fighters. Of course, anyone who's seen Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior knows this appearance is deceiving. The 30-year-old Thai superstar's latest film, The Protector, features elephants and a one-take sequence of, as Jaa describes it, "me fighting the bad guys from the ground floor to the fourth floor" — but, as in Ong-Bak, there are no CG, wires, or Jaa stunt doubles during the fight scenes. Read more »

Fall Arts Intro: Autumn leaves

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La-di-dah di-dah-di-dum, ’tis autumn, and after reaching a decision with birdielike precision, the birds have made a beeline for the south. Yet nonfeathered friends of the Bay Area might also have to fly in order to cover all the art openings, concerts, stage shows, movies, and more in store over the next few months. Read more »

Big Idi, little Idi

A look past summer's sour patches to 10 Black Dahlia-led fall delights
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cheryl@sfbg.com
Most of 2006's blockbusters (wannabe and otherwise) have already blown by in a sugary cloud of Sour Patch Kids dust. Poseidon's already on DVD; The Da Vinci Code was totally boring; X-Men: The Last Stand killed off Professor X (or did it?); Superman Returns was stomped on by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; and Snakes on a Plane did only so-so business despite widespread prerelease hyperventilation. Frankly, my teeth hurt and I'm ready for some meatier cinematic fare — especially the 10 picks that follow. Read more »

Ficks's most anticipated fall ’06 picks

The "Midnites for Maniacs" host chooses three reasons for the season
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Inland Empire David Lynch is the reason why I fell (and still am) in love with the cinema. For 30 years, he has continuously made the most creative and hauntingly beautiful films in the world. His new film is shot entirely on high definition cameras and runs close to three frickin’ hours. Lynchian faves Laura Dern and Harry Dean Stanton are back, and there's even a small role by Michael Paré of Streets of Fire fame! Read more »

When the lights go down

Twenty-five more reasons (plus one) to run to and from the theater this fall
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com All opening dates subject to change, ’cause that's how Hollywood rolls. The Protector and Jet Li's Fearless Tony Jaa's been trumpeted as "the future of martial arts" (and rightly so — did you see Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior? Holy scalp-cracking!); Jet Li's said Fearless will be his last martial arts picture. Torch. Passed. (Sept. 8 and 22) This Film Is Not Yet Rated Kirby Dick's doc about the creativity-smiting Motion Picture Association of America mixes Michael Moore–like first-person investigative work with feminist First Amendment points. And it's funny. (Sept. Read more »

Yay Area five-oh

Fifty ways to rep film in your fall calendar
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johnny@sfbg.com
"Before Vanishing: Syrian Short Cinema" A series devoted to films from Syria kicks off with a shorts program that includes work by Oussama Mohammed. (Sept. 7, PFA; see below)
The Mechanical Man The PFA's vast and expansive series devoted to "The Mechanical Age" includes André Deed's 1921 science fiction vision of a female crime leader and a robot run amok. The screening features live piano by Juliet Rosenberg. (Sept. Read more »

Discs, man

Enter the weird, wonderful world of new music releases
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com SEPT. 5 Criss Angel, Criss Angel: Mindfreak (Koch) Tell us this recording by TV's erect-nippled goth heat-throb and full-tilt-boogie cheesenheimer is only an illusion. Audioslave, Revelations (Epic) Their politics check out, though an unboring album will be a revelation. Beyoncé, B'Day (Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia) The result of a two-week break for artistic freedom, but a Clive Davis overseer might have helped — she sounds like a stressed-out laser on the leadoff single. Read more »

Checking the tour and festival circuit

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SEPT. 1
Broke Ass Summer Jam 2006 Living Legends revive the ’90s Mystik Journeymen event, which centered on their mag, underground West Coast acts, and a certain DIY drive. One Block Radius, Mickey Avalon, Dub Esquire, Balance, and surprise guests turn out and turn it up. Historic Sweets Ballroom, 1933 Broadway, Oakl. www.collectiv.com.
SEPT. 7
Vashti Bunyan We all want to look after the folk legend — discovered by Andrew Loog Oldham and championed by Devendra Banhart — as she stops in the Bay during her first US tour. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750.
SEPT. Read more »

Fallin' out

Feel the cool at autumn clubs and parties
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superego@sfbg.com
Club me. Club me hard. And party me even harder, Miss Autumn — you with the burgundy hair, the tiger-striped jumpsuit, and the White Russian teeth. This is a great time to fall out in the Bay: the weather gets warmer, the nights get longer, and there's a new crop of fresh-faced, low-tolerance Berkeley students and their future careers to fiddle with. How naughty. Do let's dive into some fall party highlights, shall we?
Big club news first. Read more »