Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Devil times four

Campo Santo sends some noteworthy notes to Satan in Haze
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Campo Santo's Haze slips comfortably into the 10th anniversary season of a company that's built its rep (repertoire and reputation) on close collaborations with leading American fiction writers. This lean, shrewd, and forceful staging of stories by Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers, Denis Johnson, and Vendela Vida turns a literary buffet into a raw and atmospheric performance piece. Read more »

The L word: Lesley

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I hear car horns behind the voice of Lesley Gore on the phone, which makes sense, since the woman who sang "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me" is in New York. The Big Apple is also where Gore first learned how to hit the charts, with no less a tutor than producer and arranger Quincy Jones. "It's extraordinary that a man of his distinction could put himself in the shoes of a 16-year-old kid," Gore says. "That was his art, in a way. There may have been a 14-year difference between us, but he never talked down to me."Read more »

Cocky bull story

The Outsider pays tribute to the legendary ... James Toback?
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Erich von Stroheim and Orson Welles were early, defining examples of the film director living like a work of art larger than life, a wee bit self-destructive, and as entertaining as their movies. Yet looking, acting, and smelling like a great filmmaker doesn't necessarily mean you are one.Read more »

28 years later

Matt Gonzalez and director Stanley Nelson ponder the fate and impact of Peoples Temple and the truth behind the powerful new doc Jonestown
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If you live in or truly love San Francisco, you’ve seen The Times of Harvey Milk. Rob Epstein’s 1984 movie is one of the best nonfiction features ever made. It’s also one of the greatest movies about this city. Read more »

Un certain regard

L'Enfant is perfection as usual for the Dardenne brothers
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Like Bresson and Renoir did before them, the Dardenne brothers tend to inspire reviews using vaguely Christian words like transcendence from critics trying to describe the way a transparent film style can result in such fully formed, singular movies. At least one such reviewer has already referred to their newest masterpiece, L'Enfant, as a miracle, but, alas, it is not so. Read more »

Doomsday dream believer

A documentary uncovers Jim Jones's bad faith and the how behind the Guyana tragedy
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"We didn't commit suicide," Jim Jones gravely intones in an audiotape capturing the final moments of Jonestown. "We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."Read more »

Hotel California

Z marks the present moment in Culture Clash's excellent Zorro in Hell
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The father of all masked superheroes, Zorro first appeared in California in 1919, in serial form, brought to life by pulp writer Johnston McCulley. Soon afterward, the suave, playful Zorro (the secret identity of the decidedly unglamorous Don Diego Vega) became an enduring international phenomenon, thanks to screen legend Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and continues to evolve in a slew of films, TV shows, and comic books up to and including a new Isabel Allende novel and a forthcoming musical scored by the Gipsy Kings.Read more »

Zombies are back!

Chris D. reanimates a classic LA punk incarnation of the Flesh Eaters
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In early 1981 a Los Angeles punk band called the Flesh Eaters made a record called A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die for the Slash Records imprint Ruby. The band members that recorded the album played only a handful of shows and then went their separate ways. Now, almost 25 years later, these monsters have crawled out from under a rock to perform just a few more times, concluding with an appearance at the influential All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, in Great Britain. Read more »

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, all right already

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SONIC REDUCER In the best of all music fans' worlds, an album will grow on you like lichen, excessive body hair, or a parasite à la guinea worm, only with more pleasure and less arterial spray, I pray. You like it more and more as you play-repeat-play. It starts with an ear-catching opening track or appetite-whetting overture, as that well-worn pop recipe goes, and builds momentum until track three or four. Read more »