Big Screen Berkeley: ‘Phantom Boy’


Phantom Boy, a new animated feature from the creators of 2014’s Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris, will open at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, July 29

Like many adults, I really enjoy a good children’s film. Now that my nest is thoroughly empty, however, I have far fewer opportunities (or imperatives!) to scope them out.

Of course, the emphasis must always be on ‘good’ – not an adjective to be applied lightly in the broad church of cinema, especially when it comes to kiddie flicks (I will never fully recover from my exposure to Baby Geniuses). So I was quite excited to see that Phantom Boy, a new animated feature from the creators of 2014’s Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris, will open at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, July 29.

Unlike A Cat in Paris, there are no anthropomorphized animals to be found in Phantom Boy. The film’s characters are (almost) uniformly human: Leo, a young boy suffering from a serious illness (presumably, though not explicitly, cancer); Tanguy, a wheelchair-bound police officer; Mary, a spunky young journalist voiced by Audrey Tautou; and a super villain with a yappy dog (non-talking variety). … Continue reading »

Print Friendly
Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?


Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments, below.

Photo: Tracey Taylor.

Send your submissions for “Where in Berkeley?” to The more obscure the better —  just as long as the photos are taken in Berkeley. Thanks in advance.

Print Friendly

The Berkeley Wire: 07.26.16

The Umbrellas of Telegraph Avenue by Ted Friedman

The Umbrellas of Telegraph Avenue by Ted Friedman

NLRB files charge against WeWork after Berkeley complaint (Business Insider)
Coroner confirms remains are of missing 22-year old Cal student (Mercury News)
Council agrees to divest from private prisons (Daily Cal)
Police Review Commission: Timeline of important events (Daily Cal)
Car burglaries increase at UC Berkeley (KRON)

Do you rely on Berkeleyside for your local news? You can support independent local journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside Member. You can choose either a monthly payment or a one-time contribution.

Print Friendly

5 teens arrested after BB gunshots fired in Berkeley

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Berkeley police have arrested five people in connection with shots fired last week from someone in a car with a BB gun.

According to Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman, police received several reports of someone shooting a BB gun from a silver sedan early last Tuesday morning, July 19.

Shortly after midnight, there was a report from Channing Way and Ellsworth Street where two people in a car shot someone in the back with what was believed to be a BB gun, according to authorities.

Frankel said that, about 45 minutes after the initial call, a Berkeley Police officer “heard BB gun shots coming from a car that fit the description” provided earlier. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Man charged after chase, stolen van crash in Berkeley

CHP logo
Print Friendly

An Oakland man has been charged with felony car theft and reckless driving during a police chase into Berkeley earlier this month.

Alonzo Choyce, 30, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Choyce was driving a 2016 Ford van at 23rd and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland around 11 p.m. July 12 when officers tried to stop him for a traffic violation.

Officer Sean Wilkenfeld of the Oakland-area CHP office said Choyce immediately began trying to flee from police, who initiated a pursuit.

After pursuing the Ford for a few blocks, officers discontinued their pursuit due to the suspect’s reckless driving,” he said. “However, other officers spotted the vehicle heading towards the freeway on West Grand and Frontage in Oakland and were able to re-initiate pursuit.”Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Craigslist ad leads to discovery of world-class art collection in Berkeley

A 1946 painting by Sylvia Ludins. Photo: Peter Jacobson
Print Friendly

When Justin Cronkite arrived at an Elmwood home last year to check out a dresser he had seen on Craigslist, he found more than a piece of furniture. In the garage, coated in decades’ worth of dust, was a stunning collection of paintings.

There were watercolors, oil paintings, sketches, and even eight-foot murals, most in vivid colors. Cronkite estimates that there were almost 300 pieces, some depicting evocative scenes of political turmoil and hardship, and others abstract.

The owner of the home and the dresser, Jon Katz, told Cronkite that most of the paintings were by his aunt, Sylvia Ludins, who died in 1965. Some were by Sylvia Ludins’ sister, Katz’s mother Florence Ludins-Katz. Katz has been in possession of the collection since his father died in 2008. He showed and sold most of his mother’s work and always had it in the back of his mind to do something with his aunt’s.

Cronkite, a filmmaker and perennial go-getter, asked Katz if he could help him bring Ludin’s art into the world. Katz said he would consider it. The two parted ways, but Cronkite couldn’t stop thinking about the art. A few months later, he got an email from Katz granting him permission to pursue exhibiting it. Cronkite jumped into action, dusting the paintings and setting up a makeshift gallery in his home.

By a stroke of luck, Cronkite was introduced to Peter Selz, the renowned art historian and founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum. Selz, who is in his 90s and lives in Berkeley, took a look at Sylvia Ludins’ paintings and was astounded.

“I was amazed to see work like this reappear after all these years,” Selz said, “and from an artist who was really very skilled.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Wild bees can now check in at the Claremont Hotel

Bee hotel at the Claremont Hotel. Photo, taken on July 15, 2016, by Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

It’s not just humans who can check in to the Claremont Hotel these days. Wild bees are welcome too, now that Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have installed a ‘bee hotel’ on the grounds of the iconic hotel which straddles the Oakland-Berkeley border.

The bee hotel was designed in partnership with Pollinator Partnership as a spot for nesting and reproduction, rather than producing honey, like in a beehive. It comprises stacks of logs on several shelves built into a wooden structure with a roof. Holes drilled in the logs create natural bee homes. The bee hotel is located below the carriage entrance to the hotel on the road leading from the Domingo Avenue entrance.

“Bees pollinate 80% of the food we eat and wild bees are three to four times more effective at pollinating plants compared to other bees,”said Fairmont spokeswoman Kaitlynn Furse when asked why Fairmont decided to install the bee hotel. “When the opportunity to install a bee hotel arose, the hotel was in the process of curating a pollinator garden in the back of their Kids’ Club. They saw this as an opportunity to drive the garden’s development and increase public awareness on the importance of developing and maintaining pollinator habitats.” … Continue reading »


The Berkeley Wire: 07.25.16

Print Friendly

Inside an artist’s mind: Berkeley’s Steve Ferrera is in residence at the de Young

steve ferrera featured
Print Friendly

The work of sculptor and filmmaker Steve Ferrera, whose studio and home is in West Berkeley, crosses many disciplines, including television, animation, children’s books and collectible toys. He has collaborated with Sony Pictures and HBO, and exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences and the ProArtsGallery, among others. Through July 31, Ferrera is the artist in residence at the de Young. While there, he is offering visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the multimedia production of a children’s book in the museum’s Artist Studio. Berkeleyside caught up with Ferrera to ask him what inspires him to make his often curious and sometimes absurd creatures, and what’s up with his one-eyed cat.

What do you do?

I teach glassblowing, ceramics, and sculpture part time at Palo Alto High School. My art is my other part-time job. My background is in traditional sculpture. But I’ve worked in a variety of art-related fields — everything from running a glassblowing studio to working on films and commercials at a visual effects and animation studio. My art is kind of a synthesis of all the skills I’ve acquired doing those things: sculpture, film, animation, storytelling. … Continue reading »

Proposed in Berkeley: 50 units in place of Anh Hong

A developer would like to replace Anh Hong with 50 new housing units. Image: Trachtenberg Architects
Print Friendly

A Dublin-based developer has proposed to replace a downtown Berkeley Vietnamese restaurant with a 7-story building featuring 50 housing units and a 1,500-square-foot ground-floor restaurant.

The building, at 2067 University Ave., would have no car parking, but it would provide parking for 48 bikes, according to preliminary project plans submitted to the city. The project site is located just west of Shattuck Avenue and close to the downtown Berkeley BART station.

Read more about housing in Berkeley.

Project architect David Trachtenberg is representing the property owner, identified only as “2067 University Avenue Apartments,” through the city permitting process.

Use permits would be needed to demolish the existing single-story building, construct the new building, reduce side setbacks and reduce the required parking. The project — scheduled for the consent calendar Thursday night before the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board — would need a use permit to reach its proposed height of nearly 75 feet.

The project seeks to use the state “density bonus” to build to that height, which means below-market-rate units would be included on site. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Magoosh: Proof that Berkeley startups can flourish without Silicon Valley

Co-founder of Magoosh. Photo, taken in June 2016: Kelly Sullivan
Print Friendly

To tour Magoosh’s Berkeley offices is to visit the unremarkable. Nestled inside an office building on Milvia Street, the company would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the homemade logo affixed across several windows. Unlike many of Silicon Valley’s hot startups which boast multi-million dollar valuations, lavish perks such as free booze, gyms and electric scooters, Magoosh’s offices are tame — open-plan layout, app-booked conference rooms and a handful of standing desks thrown in, it’s all relatively quiet.

That’s not to say Silicon Valley’s clichés are absent: Apple products abound, there is a game room complete with a ping-pong table and the majority of the employees are young. And Magoosh has taken the Valley’s money — though nowhere near as much of it as many of its peers. And its four founders were once part of the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley, designed to manufacture entrepreneurs, much like Stanford has done historically.

Read more about Berkeley startups on Berkeleyside.

Launched in 2009, Magoosh is in the education business: it creates digital tools that prospective students use to study for standardized tests such as the GRE, GMAT and LSAT. To help students prepare for those tests, the company has built a veritable arsenal of software products that span mobile and desktops. The company touts its relatively inexpensive offerings — for example GRE prep costs $129 for one month of access, or $149 for six months — and says they are about a quarter of the price of those of its competitors. Helped by a free trial to hook prospective customers, Magoosh CEO Bhavin Parikh says the company has captured about 10% of the students who take the GRE and GMAT every year.Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

Downtown Berkeley most walkable Bay Area neighborhood

Downtown Berkeley: ranked number one for walkability in new survey. Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin
Print Friendly

Downtown Berkeley is the most walkable neighborhood in the Bay Area, and two other Berkeley areas also make the Top 10, according to a new survey published by real-estate brokerage Redfin and Walk Score, which calculates areas’ walkability.

The report analyzed the most walkable neighborhoods of mid-size cities in the Bay Area. Downtown Berkeley placed highest with a Walk Score of 96 out of a possible 100; Southside Berkeley ranked fourth with a score of 93; and Northside Berkeley came in at number six with a score of 89.

Redfin agent Tom Hendershot puts downtown Berkeley’s winning spot down to the fact that it is a “fully functioning downtown with a large university just one block off the main strip.”

“Having the University of California, Berkeley so close to downtown offers many amenities for people there,” he said in a prepared statement, pointing in particular to “the culture, the access to everything within walking distance, and the combination of housing offered; from student housing through the university, to apartments, to traditional single family homes.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

The Berkeley Wire: 07.22.16

Print Friendly

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Berkeley Humane's Bark and Meow Adopt-A-Thon takes place Saturday July 23. Photo: Berkeley Humane
Print Friendly

BARK AND MEOW ADOPT-A-THON: On Saturday July 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Berkeley Humane will once again host one of the largest annual adopt-a-thon events in the East Bay. Bark and Meow Around the Block, which will take over two city blocks in West Berkeley, is also the location for NBC Bay Area’s “Clear The Shelters” nationwide campaign which encourages individuals throughout the country to adopt a shelter animal and help clear the shelters. Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales of the “Today Show” are taking part in the event where more than 200 animals will be available for adoption with waived or reduced adoption fees. Said Berkeley Humane Executive Director Jeffrey Zerwekh: “Pet homelessness is a solvable problem, if more people are able to open their homes and adopt. This event will include food, beer, live music, games and a pet psychic to entertain the entire family while looking for a new dog, cat, puppy or kitten.” Saturday, July 23, 10am-4pm; Ninth and Carleton streets, Berkeley (corner of 2700 Ninth St.) Berkeley. Visit Berkeley Humane online for details.Continue reading »

Tagged ,