Daily Archives: July 10, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 07.10.12

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Big Screen Berkeley: Juliet of the Spirits

Juliet of the Spirits
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What is Federico Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli spiriti) all about? Even after multiple viewings, I’m not entirely sure — but perhaps its meaning is immaterial. Screening at Pacific Film Archive this Saturday, July 14th at 6:00 pm, it’s a visual feast that will send the right side of your brain into paroxysms of ecstasy while the left side struggles to determine the filmmaker’s intent.

Appearing as part of the Archive’s series, ‘Bellissima: Leading Ladies of the Italian Screen’, Juliet of the Spirits marked a significant turning point in Fellini’s career. The salt of the earth realism of his early efforts (I Vitelloni, Nights of Cabiria) had already given way to cerebral examinations of bourgeois conceit (La Dolce Vita, 8 ½), but with Juliet, Fellini began a long-term journey into deeply surreal waters.

The director’s wife, muse, and frequent collaborator Giulietta Masina stars as the title character, a middle-aged woman torn between dedication to her husband Giorgio (Mario Pisu) and the desire for something more from life. Hiding her feelings behind a perpetual Mona Lisa smile and an array of wide brimmed haute couture hats, Juliet no longer finds fulfillment lounging on the beach and planning social occasions. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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FROM COOL TO HOT   After three years in business, Creations, the frozen yogurt shop at 2370 Shattuck Avenue, has shut its doors. In line to take its place is Red Buffalo: cheese steaks and buffalo wings. The name says it all. This place, which has a popular outlet in Oakland, serves up hot, hot hot, spicy, smokey chipolte, jalapeño cheddar and many other types of buffalo wings.  The restaurant still has to go through design review, so the opening is a few weeks off.

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Cal’s Dr. Chang leads US medical team at Olympics

Cindy Chang at work in the Sports Medicine Specialty Clinic at the Tang Center, UC Berkeley. Photo: University Health Services
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Later today, Dr. Cindy Chang will set off for London. But she bears a bigger responsibility than most people flying across the Atlantic: when Chang arrives, as chief medical officer for Team USA she’ll be responsible for the clinical supervision of a medical staff of 80 responding to the needs and the inevitable emergencies for the 525 athletes at the London Olympic Games.

“It’s a huge honor. It’s really exciting,” said Chang, who was the chief team physician for Cal Athletics from 1995-2008 and is now a family medicine and sports medicine specialist at University Health Services. “There are a lot of things I didn’t expect to be doing 20 years ago. My goal was to be a well-trained family physician with a strong training in sports medicine as well.”   … Continue reading »


Truffaldino Says No: Zany mishmash of desire and defiance

Ally Johnson as Isabella in the Shotgun Players/Playground premiere of Truffaldino Says No. Photo: Jessica Palopoli
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Truffaldino Says No, presented by Shotgun Players in a joint production with PlayGround, a Berkeley Rep playwriting laboratory, barrels into the story of a young man’s expedition with terrific velocity and grand intentions. Combining aspects of Commedia dell’Arte and 1980’s sitcom sensibilities, the journey from Venice to Venice Beach is rife with clever humor and reaches for depth beyond the laughter.

Playwright Ken Slattery’s Truffaldino (William Thomas Hodgson) is a son, predestined to become a carbon copy of his father. Arlecchino, (Stephen Buescher), slaves in the Old World of servants under masters and expects his child will follow suit. Unfortunately, as a younger generation is want to do, Truffaldino has ideas of his own.

Hilariously and surreptitiously called all manner of variations on his name (Truffalpipi, Truffaldingdong, Truffal–whatever) by the woman he both serves and loves, a fluffy, vacuous Isabella (Ally Johnson), the young rebel participates in his doomed-to-follow fate until announcing, expectedly, “No!” … Continue reading »

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