Wednesday, March 31, 2004
I spent half the day cleaning my apartment and the other half in the movies. I went to The Balboa Theater in San Francisco. The Balboa is a neighborhood second run/art house theater which always shows double features. It's a cool place, but don't there planning to sneak into another screen and spend the day watching 4 movies. I actually saw the workers call out two people. One a 60+ lady for not paying an another younger lady for trying to walk into another screen. I believe both people were innocent - but a small theater really can not allow these type of disgressions. So more power to them.
What did I watch, Mystic River and The Station Agent.
Movie-wise The Station Agent was by far my favorite between the two. It's a quiet movie about people working through their personal pains and developing friendships. I enjoyed Patricia Clarkson performance, I saw her in Pieces of April last year and thought she was great. The film also deals with prejudice, how people can deal it out on purpose or not and how the victim of prejudice can internalize the pain from their experience.
Mystic River.........well.........the movie lost me in the last 10 minutes. After watching the movie I thought the plot was dumb sorry. I'm sure if I watch it a second time I'll catch more of the symbolism -something I didn't see or a subplot I didn't appreciate the first time. But I'm not sure the film is worth a second watch. I saw the movie with a girlfriend and our reaction were similar. I really thought Mystic River was super-hype as a industry insider film. Being directed by Client Eastwood and the A list of stars performing in the film gave the film more of a nod than it deserves.
Sunday, March 28, 2004
But Saturday night, a friend and I ventured to Berkeley went to Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall and saw Nederlands Dans Theater I.
The Nederlands Dans Theater is a dance troupe that performs modern and ballet and fuses the two traditions. When I first started watching the performance I wondered if I was going to enjoy it. But I was quickly struck with the beauty of their dance and the power and skill of the dancers. Watching modern dance is always challenging for me. I'm always trying to interpret the piece - understand the language - in a similar manner to understanding the language of film or literature. There were three pieces and the second piece was the most experimental. The piece included a mobile video monitor and a rotating mirror which during the performance would reflex the dancers and their video image.
I grabbed a burrito at my favorite Taquiera El Torro Taquieria and headed over to The Marsh to see The Fula from America: An African Journey. The performance piece is a solo work by Carlyle Brown
The performance is based on a true story of the artist's travels in Africa, his search for indentify, his discoveries and resolutions. While I enjoyed Brown performance piece - I found the ending saddening - even while honest from the artist. Accompanied by a fine theatre partner who provided good discussion and inebriants after the program I would have appreciated more conversations partners about this piece.
There weren't too many Afro soul folks at the performance, including the artist, I believe there were 4 of us. I can only encourage people to come out and support the arts. There are always so many complaints about the images the media put out defining our image. Well I believe one of the best way to counter this is to support works from various artists & entertainers supporting them in their quest to tell us their stories, our stories, shariing knowledge or escapist entertainment. (Good-night)
Friday, March 26, 2004
Blues is a club dedicated to showcasing Blues artist. The club is downtown near Union Square so this is not a down home blues joint. B & B is located downtown I'm not sure how many locals visit - I always think there are a lot of tourist enjoying the music there. But I did recognize some regulars tonight. Big Jack Johnson was performing - his band was tight and he's a wonderful guitarist. He music was a collection of bluesy songs from slow jams like "Since my baby left me" to a funky-bluesy version of Soul Finger.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Hey Connie we missed you at the hearings sista were you crusin on your tanker?- where's the love? -tell Chervon we said hi.
Yesterday Tuesday night I went to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, San Francisco again to see a Dario Argento film. The Bird with the crystal Plumage.. I want to say the curator Sirietta Simoncini did a wonderful job with her presentation on italian Horror Cinema. Her introduction compels me to view more of the films and learn more the genre. I have a soft spot for B-Movies. The movies series was also free. This in expensive San Francisco is a treat!
Argento is considered one of Italy's best horror directors. What strikes me about Argento work- is the terror he is able to portray in his victims in his films. Watching a women collapse into an immobile state of fear and resolution is frighten. When I saw Suspira - I was struck by the creepiness on the film. Some of this creepiness is evident in Bird - but the story is full of twist, murders, and style. The plot had the twist of Hitchcock but the terror of his actors stands alone.
Monday, March 22, 2004
Ok, I know it's a strange title for a film but Duckling is interesting. In an Italian Village - boys are being killed. The villagers are willing to punish all the usual suspects it's too bad their judgement is tainted with ignorance and provincialism. We have the police and a journalist searching for the murder(s)? Whose doing it and why? The film has it gore - but the voilence was more powerful for me. What's really interesting is the filmmaker makes a critique of community and influencing forces. One thing I have to say about Fulci is he is well known for Gore - he made several Zombie films (City of the Dead and Zombie) to name of few -which are known for their gore.
After watching mindless American horror of late - seeing plot and perspective in horror is a treat.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
So where did I go today? Well, in the spirit of the day I hopped on Bart and rode to the City of Richmond. It was a very mellow ride, I had a car to myself almost the whole trip. Good for me not for transit revenue. Next stop was the Festival of Middle Eastern Dance Rakkasah. The festival is in it's 24th year, a three day event - it includes classes, a market place which has everything you can image, dance performances are performed during the day in multiple locations and information on learninng Middle Eastern dance styles and other fasinating facts abound. The energy is good- the folks at the event are friendly and relaxed. It great seeing woman of all shape, sizes and ages so comfortable with their bodies - many belly dancers were in the house. As a non dancer I felt the comraderie it was nice. Talking about dancers one of the best I saw was Suzanna Del Vecchio she is a wonderful bellydancer with incredible control of her stomach muscle - she quiet the audience with her dancing.
Sunday, March 14, 2004
I'm not sure if it's age or theatre experience but I enjoyed King Hedley II. I understand the decade covered in this play 1980's -- the wealth and poverty. The change in the culture - the strong move to materialism the Reagan Years.
But the play is basically a Greek tragedy - the ending was a little too ...greekie for me. But I enjoyed his writing - with it's elements of humor and pain. The performances were strong. However, I fantasized about seeing the play in a facility with better acoustics and slightly stronger actors.
One comment - I purchased the cheapest ticket I could get - so this may have affected my acoustics experience. I purchased half price tickets at TIX Bay Area http://www.theatrebayarea.org/tix/tix.shtml It's a great service use it.! . But the seat I purchased was near the top of the theatre and the leg room was very narrow. I have theatre knee - and boy did it ache. But I survived......my advice is to purchase the premium half price tickets if you can't stand the pain.
For me - I going to read a few greek tragedies since the structure is loved by so many of our playwrites. Guess it's time to explore more of Wilson's work - time for a second look.
Saturday, March 13, 2004
providing readers with reviews of cultural events in the San Francisco Bay Area, travels nationally and internationally as the kitten makes her way on this planet. Sometimes the trips will be far - but other days her travels may only grace the neighborhood store. Let's see where the adventure leads.
Today I was listening to one of my favorite San Francisco radio stations KPOO 89.5 FM - (community radio)
Check them out online:
And the played a series of Gil Scott-Heron songs.
B-Movie grabbed me
"You don’t need to be in no hurry.
You ain’t never really got to worry.
And you don’t need to check on how you feel.
Just keep repeating that none of this is real.
And if you’re sensing, that something’s wrong,
Well just remember, that it won’t be too long
Before the director cuts the scene…yea."
“This ain’t really your life,
Ain’t really your life,
Ain’t really ain’t nothing but a movie.”
Lyrics From: Leoslyrics http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?hid=mqljBdwZkwk%3D
Let's not be Ghost on the planet- but stay apart of the living.