Arts & Events

A French Don Quixote for Alameda’s Island Opera

John McMullen, ATCA
Monday March 06, 2017 - 10:57:00 PM

Two Bay Area outstanding voices are performing at the Elk’s Ballroom in Alameda. Igor Viera and Buffy Baggott, both of whom have played featured roles at San Francisco opera, are well-known to East Bay audiences. Viera plays Sancho Panza and Baggott is cast in the role of Dulcinee in Massenet’s version of the Don Quixote tale in French entitled “Don Quichotte.” -more-

Land of Mine: Denmark's Explosive Oscar-Nominated Film

Reviewed by Gar Smith
Saturday March 04, 2017 - 11:13:00 AM

Opens at the Albany Twin on March 3 (Rated R)

Hollywood's depiction of Silver Screen warfare has evolved. During and after WWII, Hollywood enlisted to promote warfare big-time, big-screen. The result was a genre of cinema we might call "warmance"—a glorification of the noble and heroic warrior soldier.

Recently, the "warmance" tradition has migrated into an endless stream of over-the-top summer action/adventure/sci-fi blockbusters. Warmance also commands laptops and smartphones with images of Small-Screen violence designed to transfix and reprogram young minds. You might call this new genre: "Warporn."

Now, increasingly, we have movies depicting the horrors of war—a genre we might call "warpology" films. Works like Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge mix bloody mayhem with soul-affirming messages. One of the best of these films is Danish writer-director Martin Zandvliet's new Oscar-nominated Land of Mine.


The Source: A Cacophonous, Confused Opera cum Video Installation

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday March 04, 2017 - 11:36:00 AM

There’s a rule of thumb one ought to keep in mind when dealing with art. Beware of artists who talk a better game than they show. Ted Hearne, the composer of The Source, an opera cum video installation whose ostensible subject matter is the material provided to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning (né Bradley Manning), talks a good game. In interviews or discussions with New York Times music critic Zachary Woolfe and Ryan Kost of San Francisco Chronicle, Ted Hearne manages to say a few things that sound reasonable and measured. Take this quote for instance, gleaned from Hearne’s interview with Zachary Woolfe that appeared in The New York Times on February 25, 2017. When asked how The Source fits into the contemporary world of Trump’s attacks on the media and “fake news,” Ted Hearne replied, “We have a huge need for real journalism, for good reporting and for truth. It’s totally under attack. But the power of art and music to blur all those boundaries and enact a sort of feeling, to free words from their need to be specific, that is a totally different type of truth.” -more-