Category Archives: Arts

Big Screen Berkeley: ‘The Second Mother’

Second Mother
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In real life, the well-to-do have servants to help them count their money, weigh gold bullion, and keep the other servants in line. In the movies, the rich also have domestic help – but in films like The Servant (1963) and La Nana (The Maid, 2009), the ‘help’ quite often turns out to as much hindrance as anything else. Such is also the case in Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother), a Brazilian drama (albeit, with faint comedic overtones) opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Sept. 4.

Val (Regina Casé) serves as the live-in maid for trend-setting São Paulo stylist Bárbara (Karine Teles). While Bárbara is the one getting the television interviews and magazine spreads, her low-key husband Dr. Carlos (Lourenço Mutarelli) is the real power behind the throne, having inherited an impressive sum from his late father. What Carlos wants, he gets – sometimes much to Bárbara’s chagrin. … Continue reading »

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Come to Uncharted Ideas Festival for just $86 a day

Among the speakers confirmed for Uncharted are Elñora Tena Webb, Nicholas Dirks, Alice Dreger, Doug Solomon, Anna Lappé and Shannon Brownlee
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This year’s Uncharted Ideas Festival in Berkeley, Oct. 16-17, is gearing up to be the best yet. Newly confirmed speakers include UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, bestselling author Anna Lappé, also founder of the Small Planet Institute, Alex Kozinski, the most outspoken judge on the Federal bench, Ethan Nadelmann, the nation’s point man for drug policy reform efforts, and historian and sex researcher Alice Dreger.

And coming to the two-day festival — with its packed program of conversations, live-music performances, interactive workshops and opening night party — is more achievable than ever. The “2 for the price of 1” ticket offer which we launched a month ago has proved so popular we have decided to extend it until Sunday Sept. 20. This special offer means you can attend Uncharted with a friend for just $86 a day each (the regular ticket price is $345 for two days). Other Early-Bird tickets include single and one-day tickets.

Reserve your “2 for 1” tickets now — there’s a limited number of them!

Austin has SXSW. Aspen has its ideas festival. The Bay Area has Uncharted. … Continue reading »

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Myth turned upside down in Shotgun’s creative ‘Eurydice’

Megan Trout as Eurydice and Kenny Toll as Orpheus in Euridyce by Shotgun Players. Photo: Pak Han
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In the oft-told Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the musician Orpheus follows his bride, Eurydice to the underworld to lead her back to life, but he is forbidden to turn his head and look at her. Nevertheless, because he fears that she may not be following him, he glances back and loses his love for all eternity. Contemporary playwright Sarah Ruhl has creatively turned the myth upside down in Shotgun Players’ winning Eurydice.

Ruhl’s version is from the point of view of a present-day Eurydice (first-rate Megan Trout) and introduces a new character, Eurydice’s deceased father, wonderfully captured by Bay Area luminary James Carpenter.

Combining the mythic with reality, Eurydice begins with a wonderfully sensual pas de deux skillfully choreographed by director Erika Chong Shuch, with Orpheus (nicely acted by Kenny Toll) and Eurydice frolicking at the beach. Eurydice is the intellectual of the pair; Orpheus, an idealistic composer, thinks only of music.  … Continue reading »

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

The last free outdoor movie of the summer will be Big Hero 6 at Live Oak Park
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BIG HERO 6 The last of this summer’s free movies in the park will be on Friday, Aug. 28 at Live Oak Park, starting at 8 p.m. The free movies are shown by Berkeley’s Parks Recreation & Waterfront Department on an inflatable, 20′ x 12′ screen. Moviegoers are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before the movie begins. Bring blankets (although it may stay unseasonably warm tonight), sleeping bags and low-back beach chairs (maximum height: 9 inches off the ground). A flashlight or headlamp will help you walking out of the park at the end of the movie. The outdoor films are alcohol-free events. Friday, Aug. 28, 8 p.m., Live Oak Park, 1301 Shattuck Ave.  … Continue reading »

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Story of Berkeley’s Moe’s Books comes to big screen

Siciliano Trevino held a screening Aug. 27 of her new documentary at the Elmwood Theater. Photo: Ted Friedman
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The film that was found at the Berkeley dump of the 1965 opening night party for Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue now has a film of its own.

Thursday night was the premiere of New Mo’ Cut: David Peoples’ Lost Film of Moe’s Books, produced and directed by Siciliana Trevino. Dozens of people who had backed the film on Kickstarter, worked on it, or supported it in other ways, crowded into the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood for a screening. The general public got to see it at 8 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘We Come as Friends’

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Hubert Sauper, apparently, is a man of many talents. First, he spent two years building his own ultra-light aircraft, which he then flew from France to Libya (hardly a pillar of stability, even prior to the overthrow of the Gaddafi government). Then he winged his way towards an even more dangerous destination – the nascent Republic of South Sudan.

And only then did he get around to shooting We Come as Friends, a documentary opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, Aug. 28. Though his aircraft hasn’t been granted any special recognition by the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, his film has since gone on to win prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, and Sundance. … Continue reading »

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‘Stolen 911’ helps woman recover pilfered painting

 “Some people said I would never see it again," said Nellie Hill of Berkeley, seen here with her recovered oil painting, which had been stolen in January. Photo: Stolen 911
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A Berkeley woman has recovered a treasured family painting, stolen from her home in January, with the help of a website designed to get stolen goods back into the hands of their rightful owners.

North Berkeley resident Nellie Hill got a phone call last week from a Marin County man who had come into possession of the stolen oil painting, and wanted to return it.

Hill said the man had searched for the painter’s name online, and found a listing she had created on the website Stolen 911. Her post described the theft of the artwork and asked for help getting it back. The man called Hill after seeing the post, and told her he wanted to return the painting.

Hill said she had not expected the call, particularly because so much time had passed since the package containing the painting had been stolen from her home less than an hour after it had been delivered in late January. … Continue reading »

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

Russian chorus
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KING LEAR You might think summer theater in the park is a time for light-hearted romps. Think again. Inferno Theatre, together with the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, will be performing Shakespeare’s “King Lear” for free in John Hinkel Park, opening on Saturday, Aug. 22. The production is adapted and directed by Guilio Cesare Perrone. Inferno Theatre says the production “condenses and intensifies this seminal family tragedy with striking visuals, physicality and live music. Gender is fluid with many male roles presented as female.” The amphitheater opens at 3 p.m. for picnicking and the performance begins at 4 p.m. Runs Saturdays and Sundays, with a special Labor Day performance on Sept. 7 to close the run. John Hinkel Park, 41 Somerset Place.  … Continue reading »

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How Quirky is Berkeley? The Hamm-sty on McGee

1137 McGee Street. Photo: Colleen Neff
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The home of the Hamm-sty, 1735 McGeeSt., is a small, neat house in neighborhood of small, neat houses in the northern flats. Throughout the fairly immaculate garden and on the porch there are a lot of pig figures. Rusty pigs and ceramic pigs. A little farm scene behind a fence with a miniature windmill. You don’t see them all at first. Keep looking. Pigs everywhere.

Dianne Hamm has lived in Berkeley her entire life, 60 years of which she has spent collecting pig figurines and ephemera. She got started when her grandmother gave her a stuffed Steiff pig. She has never looked back. … Continue reading »

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New speakers confirmed for Uncharted Ideas Festival

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The list of speakers and performers for the upcoming Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas on Oct. 16-17 continues to grow. (A limited number of “2 for the price of 1” tickets are still available through Aug. 30.)

Berkeleyside is thrilled to announce our latest additions to the festival line-up:

Timothy Caulfield, author of “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?”

Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell

Laura Tyson, economics adviser to presidents Clinton and Obama

Alex Kozinski, most outspoken judge on the federal bench

Shannon Brownlee, expert on healthcare overtreatment … Continue reading »

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Discovering a Brazilian master: Guinga plays Berkeley

Guinga. Photo: Manfred Pollert
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Nestled in the redwoods of Cazadero, California Brazil Camp brings a remarkable collection of master Brazilian musicians and dancers to Northern California every summer. But even with a faculty featuring some of Brazil’s most esteemed artists, landing Guinga was a major coup.

Widely considered Brazil’s greatest living composer, the guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter performs 8 p.m. Saturday at the California Jazz Conservatory. He’s spending his night off between Brazil Camp’s first and second sessions on stage with several fellow faculty members, including guitarist Marcus Tardelli, who Guinga has hailed as a genius akin to “Rubinstein at the piano. There are certain musicians who are beyond mere technical judgment, who have a relationship with the unfathomable.” … Continue reading »

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Audel Davis continues the Arts and Crafts tradition through his coppersmithing art

Audel Davis copper
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In the third part of a series on expert craftspeople in Berkeley, Melati Citrawireja, who was a photography intern with Berkeleyside this summer, visits coppersmith Audel Davis. (Read Citrawireja’s first story on Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher and the Pettingell Book Bindery, and her second on  St. Hieronymus Press, the workspace of David Lance Goines.)

Audel Davis and his wife, Lynne, live in a home tucked down a shady street off University Avenue. Apart from a few pesky crows that terrorize their coi fish by day, they have created a lush and quiet sanctuary, greatly influenced by the philosophy and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement – a concept that took flight and reached its peak in the 1890s as a reaction to the age of mass production. It emphasized traditional craftsmanship as a way to put integrity and skill back into the design and manufacturing process. … Continue reading »

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In ‘Best of Enemies’ Buckley and Vidal go head to head

best of enemies
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Why would a 2015 audience want to see a documentary about televised political debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley that occurred almost 50 years ago?

Because Best of Enemies brilliantly recreates the fascinating, edgy 1968 TV dialogues between two intelligent giants — articulate men with strongly held opposing political views. Their ideas still profoundly influence political discourse today.

Best of Enemies, which is showing at Landmark’s California Theatre in downtown Berkeley, is also an incisive snapshot of 1968, that iconic year in America, when the Vietnam War brought our political scene to its boiling point. TV footage of the Democratic convention in Chicago and the associated riots and police brutality made the public’s division about the Vietnam War impossible to be ignored. … Continue reading »

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