Arts & Events

New: Just Do It: A Tale of Modern Day Outlaws

By Gar Smith
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 11:14:00 AM

Screening at the Green Film Festival in San Francisco, March 7, 7:30/

Closing night premiere and party at the SF Film Society Cinema, 1748 Post St.

Just Do It, Emily James' bright and engaging eco-doc, takes a cheeky reality-show look at environmental activism. A big hit in the UK, where much of the action is set, Just Do It has finally "crossed the pond." (In addition to the Green Film Fest screening, Just Do It will be showing at college campuses and Occupy encampments across the country. For info on scheduling a "community screening" see the contact info at the end of this review.)

With dry British wit and droll commentary, the film documents the lifestyle of a fun-loving clutch of creative and good-natured British activists. Filmmaker James was given rare permission to tag along for more than a year as this eclectic group of "professional domestic extremists" busied themselves by "hiding, running around" and generally proving a good-humored annoyance to the 1%. This is the world of Climate Camp, an ad hoc collective of environmental activists who take their agit-prop cue from Greenpeace. -more-

New: Lou Harrison: A World of Music
Premiere Screening on Tuesday, March 6

Reviewed by Gar Smith
Monday March 05, 2012 - 04:58:00 PM

Eva Soltes' long-awaited film, Lou Harrison: A World of Music, is just as charming, playful and soulful as its titular subject. It is only now that Harrison (who died in 2003) is becoming recognized as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. A World of Music will certainly help bring Harrison's genius to a larger audience. -more-

New: EYE FROM THE AISLE: “ISHI, the last of the Yahi” reprise at UCB Zellerbach Playhouse

by John A. McMullen II
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 11:17:00 AM
Intae Kim, Chris Herold

At Zellerbach Playhouse on the UC Berkeley Campus, the opening scene of John Fisher’s ISHI, the last of the Yahi, appropriately enough, is a lecture by a young anthropology professor who relates the shocking incident—enacted for us—of a starving gold prospector who kills and eats a Native American. In the first of many action scenes, the prospector chases him around the spacious Playhouse underscored by banjo breakdown music (think “Smokey and the Bandit”). Finally, the weakened prospector shoots the Indian and eats him (offstage). -more-

New: FILM REVIEW:The Lorax Goes Hollywood

By Gar Smith
Monday March 05, 2012 - 10:56:00 AM

My name is the Lorax and I speak for the trees.

So how'd I get sucked up in Hollywood sleeze?

My message was lost in the Stremulous Stream!

Even Swomee-swans told me to "Get with the Team!"

EYE FROM THE AISLE: Titus Andronicus at Impact Theatre—Bloody Butchery

By John A. McMullen II
Thursday March 01, 2012 - 05:15:00 PM
Tamora, Queen of the Goths (Anna Ishida, front) with her lover, Aaron (Reggie White, rear)
                  and her sons Chiron, Demetrius, and Alarbus (l to r, Mark McDonald, Michael Garrett McDonald, and Joe Loper in Titus Andronicus at Impact Theatre

One sometimes takes a shine to a particular theatre company, perhaps out of a combination of the sustained quality of their work, their effort at keeping it affordable, and their aim to reach an audience that is not just made up of folks my gray age. For me, IMPACT THEATRE is one of those few. -more-

EYE FROM THE AISLE: Henne’s MESMERIC REVELATION at Central Works at Berkeley City Club —exquisite and challenging!

By John A. McMullen II
Thursday March 01, 2012 - 03:21:00 PM
Theo Black (front) and Joe Jordan

MESMERIC REVELATION, written and directed by Aaron Henne, is a special play of intellectual depth and exquisite performance now at Central Works at the Berkeley City Club. It is appropriate that Aaron Henne should present this profound and concentrated 80-minute argument in this special community. It might not play in Peoria, but for those theatre-goers who have a sense of intellectual history and are concerned about the current cultural battles, this is a must-see. -more-

'In Search of My Father ... Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins'--W. Allen Taylor at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 02, 2012 - 03:25:00 PM

"Hey, Daddy-oo!" Allen Taylor's brought back his one-man show about the search for his father, the first Black disc jockey in Cleveland, Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins. He says it's for the last time onstage—at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, a fine venue off Macdonald near Richmond BART, which originally commissioned it and where it premiered in 1999. (I reviewed it for the Planet, January 10, 2006, when it was at the Marsh, Berkeley.) -more-

AROUND & ABOUT FILM: Raul Ruiz Retrospective at the Pacific Film Archive

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 02, 2012 - 03:22:00 PM

"My films are not fiction, but about fiction." Raul Ruiz, the Chilean filmmaker, who over a 50 year-plus career was playwright, novelist, ghostwriter for Mexican soap operas ("telenovelas"), film advisor to Salvador Allende—and maker of something like 120 films and videos—died last summer at 70. This weekend, the Pacific Film Archive will launch "The Library Lover," curated by Kathy Geritz, March 2-April 15, a retrospective of some of his films adapted from literature—including his acclaimed version of Proust's 'Time Regained' and 'Mysteries of Lisbon,' the last film of his to be distributed here, widely pronounced a masterpiece, from the 19th century Portuguese novelist Camilo Castelo Branco (whose works have also been adapted to the screen by Manoel De Oliveira). -more-