San Francisco Film Festival 2017

Sixty years doesn't seem a great length of time, but as the San Francisco International Film Festival is turning 60, it's holding a unique distinction of being the oldest such event in the Americas. (The world record is held by Moscow, where the festive started in 1935,  ...

The Women’s Balcony (2016)

My father broke with the religion of his birth, Judaism, when he was 14. Three factors drove his apostasy, two practical, one philosophical. During my grandfather’s Austrian childhood, a rabbi boxed his ear for an infraction of one of a myriad of Hebrew School rules. My grandfather went out into  ...

ODC/Dance Downtown

Choreographer Kate Weare’s “Giant” kicked off program one of a two-week run at YBCA called “Dance Downtown.” Her smart staging and choreography was handsomely matched by the lighting and scenic design of Matthew Antaky and by Jay Cloidt’s eclectically layered soundscape. Antaky framed “Giant” with upstage  ...

Leni

“Leni,” a powerful two-person high wire act, examines the controversial Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003), the 1930s extraordinary filmmaker and vilified Hitler propagandist. “Leni” is part exposition, part cross-examination and part psychoanalysis. This intermissionless 80-minute production explores, but of course, cannot resolve, the persistent indictments of Nazi collaboration that have quashed  ...

The Illusion

Misplaced pride leads a man to cast out his only son. Fifteen years later, aching regret leads to a desperate quest to discover what became of the boy. What the father finds – or thinks he finds – are at the heart of “The Illusion” at the North Coast Repertory  ...

Jerzy

Dissemble: (per the OED) Conceal or disguise one's true feelings or beliefs. Dissemble: A word I have never understood. Why not just say “lie”? In “Jerzy,” PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist Jerome Charyn bites off more than most of us can chew on the subject of dissembling. By exploring  ...

10 Alternative Facts about “Veep”

Joe Biden may have been the most accomplished former vice president to speak at this year's SXSW multi-media festival in Austin, Texas -- but Selina Meyer was easily the funniest (in clips from the upcoming sixth season of "Veep", premiering April 16th) as the cast and executive producers  ...

Roe

Since its Supreme Court ruling in 1973, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, has been a lightning rod that continues to electrify public opinion. It serves as a seismograph that registers politicians’ and citizens’ viewpoints, very few of whom are undecided about how women  ...

Salome, a world premiere at San Francisco Ballet

An argument favoring bilingual education: When a child whose first language is not yet well-established is placed in a classroom where only English is spoken, the child develops “subtractive bilingualism,” making mastery of both languages difficult. Something along these lines may account for the weaknesses in Arthur Pita’s world  ...

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The Ailey Company has visited UC Berkeley every year for over 20 years. This 2017 series has three programs with works by several choreographers relatively new to Ailey’s original group. Among these are Robert Battle (current artistic director of the company), Mauro Bigonzetti, John Inger, Kyle Abraham, Rennie Harris and  ...