Arts & Events

The Winding Stream: Cash in on this Country Music Romp

Gar Smith
Friday April 22, 2016 - 05:00:00 PM

Opens April 22 at the Berkeley Elmwood

The Winding Stream opens in Poor Valley, Virginia, with powerful visuals of a locomotive rattling down rural rails and a close-up of John Prine hunched over his guitar, pouring a wail of country soul ("Bear Creek Blues") into a microphone. And Director Beth Harrington's film just keeps a-chuggin'—full of steam, energy, recollections and lots of great country tunes—through seven decades of bedrock American musical history.

Early on, Rosanne Cash responds to an interviewer's question by calling the Carter Family's music "primal" and musician Murray Hammond agrees. "The Carters are like the graveyard," he says, "there's nothing standing between their human heart and your human anguish." The music was all about honesty.

Beth Harrington is the perfect person to make this film. A singer and musician herself, she directed one previous film called Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly. In her "Director's Statement," she recalls something Sara Carter's grandson Dale Jett told her: "Love music and it will love you back." This film is her valentine to the Carters.


Unfair Game: The Politics of Poaching

Gar Smith
Friday April 22, 2016 - 04:51:00 PM

One night only, April 26 at Oakland's New Parkway Theater

With the latest Goldman Environmental Prize ceremony behind us, Unfair Game: The Politics of Poaching, is a perfect follow-up. The film is the work of Bay Area filmmaker John Antonelli (whose collaboration with Robert Redford has provided the visually moving "profiles" that honor the Goldman Prizewinners).

Antonelli's new film on the troubling practice of wildlife poaching and the illegal ivory trade in Africa, documents the "disastrous results when wildlife takes priority over indigenous people's land rights, human rights, and their very survival" by following two Goldman Environmental Prize winners—Thuli Makama in Swaziland and Hammer Simwinga in Zambia.

The April 26 screening, hosted by The Oakland Institute, will include a 30-minute post-screening Q&A with Tom Bennigson (Open Heart Safari and the Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund) and Marc Tognotti (The Institute of the Commons) to discuss issues of conservation and human rights.


Some Notes on two Cal Performances Concerts: Kent Nagano Conducting the Montréal Symphony with Pianist Daniil Trifonov & Gil Shaham Playing Bach's Six Violin Solo Works

Ken Bullock
Friday April 22, 2016 - 04:44:00 PM

Kent Nagano Conducting Montréal Symphony; Daniil Trifonov, solo pianist

Kent Nagano's return to the podium in Zellerbach Auditorium, leading the Montréal Symphony, which he's directed since 2006, was an evening of standing ovations, encores and nostalgia by many in the audience for the 30 years Nagano directed Berkeley Symphony, bringing it national and world recognition. -more-