San Francisco Ballet at Home Program 3 2021

Program 03’s curator has posed several challenges as well as questions for the reviewer. Three contemporary story ballets overload one program. It takes at least two viewings to appreciate them in a filmed format. Two of the three, "Symphony #9” by Alexei Ratmansky and “Swimmer,” by Yuri Possokhov, are  ...

News of the World (2020)

“News of the World” is a western film in the old tradition. A good guy, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd played by Tom Hanks, fights forces of evil as he attempts to reunite a damsel in distress—well, a 10-year-old girl (played by Helena Zengel)—with her remaining biological family. The child  ...

The Top Five Movies I Saw at SXSW 2021

With a year to prepare after becoming one of the first major American events derailed by the coronavirus in 2020, the virtual 2021 South by Southwest multimedia festival did an admirable job of socially distancing four days of screenings, comedy, musical performances and more.  And while staring at a  ...

[hieroglyph]

The streaming production of “[hieroglyph]” is the story of a bright, artistic, but traumatized 13-year-old girl, Davis (outstandingly impressive work by Jamella Cross), who had to leave New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While her mother remained in a FEMA trailer in New Orleans, her loving yet limited and overburdened  ...

The Father (2020)

This is a unique and interesting character study of Anthony, an elderly man in the throes of dementia who is in denial of his situation and resisting help from his daughter, Ann. Adapted from Florian Zeller’s play titled, “Le Pere,” the ornery dad is portrayed brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins.  ...

Calder-Picasso

San Francisco’s newly re-opened de Young Museum is hosting the first American showing of a major exhibition, “Calder-Picasso.” It’s an exciting view of more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs investigating the surprising affinities between Alexander Calder (American, 1898–1976) and Pablo Picasso (Spanish,1881–1973). These two revolutionaries of 20th-century  ...

Ballet X Films

BalletX has been confronted with an industry shutdown of theaters and venues with a slate of specific limitations to work around to train, create, rehearse and perform dance and do it safely for all concerned. But the company hasn’t paused creating new works. Artistic director and executive director Christine  ...

The Book of Magdalene

“Remind me again.” “About what.” “About it they say it feels like.” “Skin against skin.” In the opening scene of The Book of Magdalene, the exquisite new play written for streaming by Caridad Svich and presented by  ...

SXSW 2021 Preview

by Andrew Osborne What a long, strange trip it's been. When I wrote my preview of the 2020 South-by-Southwest Festival just about a year ago, there were less than 100 COVID cases in the United States.  Yet by the time the article appeared  ...