Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Weather channeling

David Dorfman's latest finds inspiration in activism
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com
Dancer-choreographer David Dorfman is a poet of the ordinary. He digs below the commonplace and lets us see what's underneath. Early in his career, with Out of Season, he paired football players with highly trained dancers. Ten years ago he invited his ensemble's family members to join in performances of Familiar Movements. Both pieces revealed fresh ideas about dance, community, and beauty. Read more »

Notes from the underground

Where's the party — after 2 a.m.? Welcome to the scene unseen
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kimberly@sfbg.com
Looking for hints of San Francisco's renowned underground nightlife? It pays to keep your eyes and nose to the ground — and to be textable. That's one of the few subtle signs that the hottest underground party in town is happening right here on an early Sunday summer morning: reedy, peg-legged hipsters standing out by the curb on this barren, bulldozed Hunters Point artery, busily texting and talking up fidgety, insomniac friends about their next landing strip. Read more »

Trash hits Toronto

Bright lights and the heart of movie theater darkness
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FEST REPORT I'm writing hours after the start of the Toronto International Film Festival's 31st edition. Opening nights are a ritual for film festivals, and this one is no exception. The big show is always a Canadian feature: this year it's Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk's The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the follow-up to the same team's hit from five years ago, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. Read more »

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 »