The Life Of Oharu (1952)

    While watching the DVD of "The Life Of Oharu," a 1952 film by Kenji Mizoguchi, I was put into mind of the Theo Angelopoulos film, "The Weeping Meadow," the first part of a trilogy the film director did not complete before his death. Normally, one might  ...

The Originalist

American playwrights have written about the United States Supreme Court for nearly 70 years, at least since the 1946 Broadway premiere of "The Magnificent Yankee," about Oliver Wendell Holmes. "First Monday in October" (1978) imagined the first female justice. "Father Chief Justice" (1997) depicted Edward Douglass White, one of the  ...

Don Quixote

  Heaps of froth rose to the top of San Francisco Ballet’s Mar. 22, 2015 matinee offering of “Don Quixote.” The cast stole its audience’s hearts right from the start, and huge dollops of credit are due some of the company’s finest character dancers: (in order of appearance) James  ...

Ballet 422 (2014)

The title of a new documentary directed by Jody Lee Lipes, “Ballet 422,” refers to the four hundred twenty-second work choreographed for the New York City Ballet. The movie follows the creation of “Paz de la Jolla,” by Justin Peck, a 25-year-old corps de ballet dancer in the company, who  ...

ODC Dance, Program Two

There are certain creative jobs that always sound like a hoot to have, like the person who gets to name paint chip colors…or in the case of “Dead Reckoning,” the person who gets to develop the “snow concept.” That is the title given to company dancer Yayoi Kambara who came  ...

Top Five Films at SXSW

According to Boston Magazine, the term FoMO ("Fear of Missing Out") was coined by a marketing strategist back in 2000, but the basic concept has been perfected by the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX. Boasting 145 feature films over the course of ten days in its 2015  ...

Moliere’s Tartuffe

  Even when I was a freshman French Major in college, they taught Moliere’s “Tartuffe” as a farce about religious hypocrisy—and indeed, that is how Berkeley Rep bills it today in its modern adaptation by David Ball. Yet, “hypocrisy” in its abstraction is too distal a term to reliably  ...

Richard Diebenkorn, London

Before last week, I knew the work of Californian artist Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) only secondhand and had never actually stood in front of one of his paintings. Compared to the giants of the New York school, the San Francisco Bay Area Figurative and other West Coast artists are little known  ...

The Twenty-Seventh Man, San Diego

In an era when every email, tweet, blog and cat video resides for eternity on the Internet, it is hard to fathom any power that could erase every trace of a person’s body of work along with their very existence. Yet, that is exactly what happened, in 1952, to not  ...

Skylight

  “Skylight,” by José Saramago, one of his first works, written in 1953 (and rejected) when the author was in his early thirties, was published posthumously last year, and has consequently become something of a curio. One can rush to meet it with expectations that balloon upward because we  ...