Wayne McGregor Random Dance, SF

Wayne McGregor, the celebrated English choreographer “renowned for his groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science,” presented a new work entitled “FAR” at YBCA. According to McGregor’s notes, the work is inspired by Roy Porter’s history of 18th century explorations into body and soul, “Flesh  ...

Twelfth Night, Arlington, Va.

Synetic Theater’s brand of physical theater emphasizes speechless Shakespeare. For this adaptation of “Twelfth Night,” the company advanced the setting to the Roaring Twenties, inclusive not only of flappers but also silent film and the specter of Charlie Chaplin. It is a clever approach for a favorite Shakespearean comedy.  ...

Visitors (2013)

A little over 30 years ago, Godfrey Reggio and Phillip Glass united to make “Koyaanisqatsi,” a tone poem documentary with such a vivid visual style and propulsive soundtrack that it would influence many a movie, music video, and commercial in the decades to come. They ended up doing a "Qatsi"  ...

In Bed With Gore Vidal

The Times of London correspondent Tim Teeman knew Gore Vidal as the aging literary lion in winter, a brilliant novelist of "Burr" and "The City and the Pillar," living in semi-exile and harboring lifelong resentments. Teeman’s respect for Vidal emerges in his otherwise steamy exposé, "In Bed With  ...

Boris Berezovsky, London

In a welcome return to London after several years’ absence, acclaimed Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky opened the 2014 International Piano Series at the Southbank Centre with an impressive and absorbing recital of music by two of the finest composers of preludes for the piano, Debussy and Rachmaninov, interspersed  ...

Requiem For A Heavyweight (1962)

I likely saw the film version of "Requiem For A Heavyweight" when I was quite young. My dad was a big Jackie Gleason fan, and, along with "The Hustler," that film was among the man’s best film roles. But, in 1981, I watched the television rebroadcast of the television version  ...

Marie Antoinette’s Head:

One of the final humiliations Marie Antoinette suffered, after languishing in a filthy prison cell, waiting for her execution, was to have her hair chopped off in order to offer a clean surface for the blade of the guillotine. Practical perhaps, but also the ultimate insult, according to "Marie Antoinette’s  ...

Culturevulture Critics Picks in Film for 2013

George Wu After the lackluster 2012, 2013 was a superb year for movies delivering excellence in every genre from dramas ("The Wind Rises," "Captain Phillips") to comedies ("American Hustle," "This Is the End") to documentaries ("Twenty Feet from Stardom," "The Act of Killing"), but explorations of romantic relationships ruled  ...

Sherlock on PBS (Season 3)

In case you haven’t watched “Sherlock” Season 1 or 2, the protagonist of this exciting television crime drama, acted by Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Fifth Estate,” “Star Trek into Darkness”), is a young 21st century Sherlock Holmes who portrays all the brilliance, remoteness and idiosyncrasies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s conception.  ...

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) (2013)

For those of us who still believe that commercial art forms like the movies have the potential to be transformative—“The Great Beauty,” an Italian film by Paulo Sorrentino, is a gift.  A contemporary film with classical ideals—concerned with art, beauty, love, and, mostly, death—“The Great Beauty” is a Fellini film  ...