Seared

October 11, 2016 Here's a play that could have turned into a yawner, but ended up as the opposite - engaging, vibrant, fascinating. The world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's "Seared" at the San Francisco Playhouse (http://sfplayhouse.org/sfph/2016-2017-season/seared/), which commissioned  ...

Gems and Minerals Unearthed

September 30, 2016 Renzo Piano's magnificent "all-glass see-through" California Academy of Sciences ([http://www.calacademy.org) in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (across from another architectural wonder, Herzog & de Meuron's de Young Museum) had its eighth birthday three days ago. The  ...

Don Pasquale

The superbly melodic operas of Gaetano Donizetti represent a triumph of the human spirit over extreme adversities. Long before syphilis and bipolar disorder drove him into an insane asylum and then early death at age 51 in 1848, he had  ...

Hong Kong Film Festival, San Francisco

Ruan Ling-yu was among the biggest Chinese silent-film stars, acclaimed, adored, and compared to Greta Garbo. Her brief life - ending in suicide before turning 25 - seems just as mysterious as that of the great "I vant to  ...

The Great Raid

The Great Raid is solid value - an honest, well-crafted, engrossing story. What can an obscure World War II episode offer six decades after the fact? A great deal when it's done as well as it is here.  ...

Junebug

Click the poster to buy at MovieGoods.com Junebug is a quirky, moderately entertaining, mildly depressing, altogether frustrating work, with director Phil Morrison's many sudden stops in the action to contemplate an interior empty scene that has nothing  ...

Fear and Trembling (Stupeur et tremblements)

A mindboggling view into the heart of Japan, Fear and Trembling includes some of the incongruous hilarity of Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and the monstrous (if ceremonially correct) barbarity of Nagisa Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, but it's  ...