Category Archives: Events

‘Art and Craft': Spotlight on the life of an art counterfeiter

riff-2014 - Art and Craft - Still hi-res
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In his cheeky 1973 documentary F for Fake, Orson Welles related the words of one of the world’s foremost art counterfeiters: “Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?” You can see his point: the greatest counterfeiters have been able to pull the wool over the eyes of patrons and museums around the world. They must be doing something right.

Mark Landis belongs to this special class of human beings. A man who spent decades replicating artwork from the old masters to Dr. Seuss, Landis’ unusual talent is highlighted in Art and Craft, an engrossing feature opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, Oct. 3. … Continue reading »

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Going blind and deaf will not defeat Rebecca Alexander

Rebecca Alexander writes about losing her sight and hearing in her new book, Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found. She is holding her mini goldendoodle, Olive.
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Rebecca Alexander’s world is slowly getting a little darker and quieter.

Every day, she loses a little sight. And a little hearing. But the 35-year-old athlete, spin teacher, therapist and new author refuses to let the shutting down of her senses defeat her.

Alexander suffers from Usher Syndrome type III, a rare genetic disorder that leaves most people deaf and blind by the time they are in their 40s. Alexander, who will be speaking about her new book Not Fade Away at Head Royce School on Monday, Sept. 29, and Books, Inc. on Fourth Street in Berkeley on Tuesday, Sept. 30, now has only about 10% of her vision left. She can see directly in front of her, but has no peripheral vision. It’s like “the end of one of those old Warner Bros. cartoons on TV, where Bugs Bunny sits in the center of the screen waving goodbye as the picture becomes an increasingly smaller hole, until it’s finally gone, leaving only blackness. That’s all, folks,” she writes in the book. … Continue reading »

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Queerly Berkeley: New LGBTQA group hosts first event

Queerly Berkeley
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The concept was born when a group of gay and lesbian Berkeleyans came together to figure out a way to build community and serve the broader community. According to John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, and one of the founders: “There seemed to be a dearth of opportunities for LGBTQ friends and colleagues to come together for social and non-political purposes. We thought it would be inspiring to gather for a philanthropic purpose, bigger than ourselves.”

The group is throwing its first event on Sunday Oct. 5 — a fundraiser for The Pacific Center on Telegraph Avenue, the oldest LGBTQ center in the Bay Area and third oldest in the U.S. … Continue reading »

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

Sedge Thomson and the three Michaels
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WEST COAST LIVE West Coast Live, the two-hour variety show hosted by the estimable Sedge Thomson, is coming live this Saturday from the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in downtown Berkeley. The line-up is superb. (And we’re not just saying that because Berkeleyside is one of the guests!) Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, Command and Control), will be there, as will Malcolm Margolin, founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Press, and A. Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Wilson, the acclaimed biography of the 28th President of the United States, and the Ethiopian-born, San Francisco-based singer Meklit and her band. Tickets to watch the show are $15 ($13 seniors, $5 youth) — or listen at 10am on KALW 91.7. … Continue reading »

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Announcing: The Uncharted Ideas Festival 2014 program

Uncharted 2013-3
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Berkeleyside is excited to reveal the program for the second annual Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas. The festival takes place on Friday Oct. 24 and Saturday Oct. 25 at the Berkeley Rep and the Freight & Salvage in downtown Berkeley, with a cocktail party in the middle at the University Club on top of the Cal Memorial Stadium. You may already have heard about some of the incredible speakers festival-goers will get the chance to meet. Today we announce the full program and schedule. Tickets for the two days are available early-bird rate of $290 ($100 less than 2013 prices) until Oct. 6 at www.berkeleyideas.com. Full schedule and venue details, as well as speaker biographies, are also listed there. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley concert marks free speech movement’s birthday

Jo McDonald
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As a brief catalytic blast of energy, the Free Speech Movement achieved its primary goals so quickly that it didn’t have much time to inspire enduring songs and anthems. But music played an important role in those heady fall months of 1964, when students forced UC Berkeley’s administration to drop campus restrictions on political speech. Saturday’s concert at Ashkenaz celebrates the 50th anniversary of the FSM, while connecting the musical threads between the FSM and earlier progressive struggles.

See other events to mark the anniversary of the free speech movement

Hosted by Lynne Hollander, an FSM founder and the widow of movement icon Mario Savio, the evening opens with a song circle led by singer-songwriter-activist Hali Hammer, followed by brief sets by Country Joe McDonald and Nancy Schimmel, a veteran of the folk and women’s music scenes who sees many connections between the FSM and today’s Occupy movements. She’s likely to sing “Billy Boy,” a song by her mother, Malvina Reynolds, about the 1960 San Francisco protests over the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, an FSM forerunner. … Continue reading »

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Meow Meow does sophisticated cabaret at Berkeley Rep

International singing sensation Meow Meow is flanked by her two dancing boys Michael Balderrama (left) and Bob Gaynor (right) in the world premiere of An Audience with Meow Meow at Berkeley Rep.

Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com
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As the curtain opens, the Australian multitalented and internationally admired artist, Melissa Madden Gray, known as Meow Meow, sparkles and shimmers sitting high above the stage in an elaborately feathered get-up. Then, in the first few minutes, as smoke from her cigarette amusingly wafts out of the cigarette-less side of her face, we understand that we’re witnessing much more than a traditional song and dance act.

An Audience with Meow Meow is more like a comedy of the absurd, a burlesque, with physical comedy at the beginning and some sober and somber moments at the end. A large part of the charm of the performance is trying to figure out where Meow Meow is heading. So I don’t want to give too much away. … Continue reading »

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‘Jealousy': Beautifully shot, affecting and to the point

Jealousy
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Sometimes a one-word title doesn’t tell you much about a film, but sometimes — Todd Solondz’ 1998 feature Happiness, of course, being a prime example — that single word can be downright duplicitous. For better or worse, truth in advertising laws don’t apply to the movie business, and a one-word moniker can lead even the canniest of viewers astray.

And then, of course, there are films like Philippe Garrel’s La Jalousie (Jealousy). Opening on Friday, Sept. 26 at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, Jealousy’s title bluntly describes exactly what you’re about to see on screen, in all its painful glory.

Jealousy begins with a heartbreaking close-up of a woman learning that her man is about to leave her. Trembling slightly, tears rolling down her cheeks, she is Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant); he, Louis (director’s son Louis Garrel) a tousle-headed stage actor with a mop of dark curls and a way with the ladies. … Continue reading »

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Events mark 50th anniversary of Free Speech Movement

An iconic image from the Free Speech Movement, which erupted on the Berkeley campus 50 years ago. Photo: UC Berkeley Libraries
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Oct. 1 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a protest that only lasted for three months but set the stage for the turbulent 1960s.

On that day, thousands of UC Berkeley students surrounded a police car parked near Sproul Plaza. A young man named Jack Weinberg was inside. He had been arrested for distributing political material on university grounds despite rules that forbade it.

Many of the students who spontaneously surrounded the police car had been involved – or had been watching – the Civil Rights movement emerge. They were outraged by the injustices of the Jim Crow south. They had protested when the House Un-American Activities Committee held hearings in San Francisco. They had been furious when Clark Kerr, the president of the UC system, had declared that it was illegal to hand out political pamphlets on university grounds. … Continue reading »

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

Coastal cleanup day is Saturday Sept. 20 -- a chance to help keep our local coastal areas beautiful. Photo: Clean Water Program
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COASTAL CLEAN UP DAY On Saturday Sept. 20 citizens throughout Alameda County will join volunteers worldwide for the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year the international event drew close to 650,000 participants in 92 countries, who picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy. To help Alameda County residents find an event near them, the Clean Water Program Alameda County has compiled a list of local creek and shoreline cleanup events organized by its member cities and agencies. Visit Clean Water Program online for details of how to get involved.  Continue reading »

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Review: Maya Lin at Berkeley’s David Brower Center

Portrait of Maya Lin, photo credit Walter Smith
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Art/Act: Maya Lin – an exhibition of environmentally themed sculpture and interactive work by the internationally known Chinese-American artist, architectural designer and creator of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C. (1982) — opens at the David Brower Center in Berkeley on Friday, Sept. 19.

Lin’s show is something of a coup for the Brower, and a rare opportunity for Bay Area residents to experience her current work on their home turf.

Lin created her landmark piece at age 21 while still an undergraduate in architectural studies at Yale, having won a competition against 1,441 other submissions. In subsequent years, she has directed her vision toward projects — often site specific sculptures and earthworks — with environmental themes. … Continue reading »

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‘The Zero Theorem:’ Terry Gilliam’s twisted brain on view

Theorem
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The very first new release I ever reviewed for Berkeleyside was Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Released in January 2010, it was Gilliam’s best effort in a while – and now, four years later, he’s finally completed a feature follow-up, which (while not quite being up to Imaginarium’s standards) will still satisfy the director’s many rabid fans.

Opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, Sept. 19, The Zero Theorem once again allows viewers to explore Gilliam’s decidedly twisted brain, a cavernous place resembling a slightly surreal dystopia of the near future, or, perhaps, a parallel universe of the now. It’s also a place not so very far from the one seen in the director’s 1985 classic Brazil. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s own return to town to perform jazz the LA way

UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble
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You’ll rarely get an argument on the streets of Berkeley by disparaging Los Angeles. While oft-maligned as a cultural wasteland, LA actually boasts a vast, vibrant and well-entrenched cultural scene that continues to draw the East Bay’s sons and daughters, particularly standout players from Berkeley High’s vaunted jazz program. On Sunday, several recent BHS graduates return from the Southland to perform at Freight & Salvage with the UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble under the direction of composer James Newton.

Originally created as part of a class that Newton teaches as a professor of ethnomusicology in UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music (he’s arguably the most celebrated jazz flutist of the past four decades and a longtime collaborator with Berkeley percussionist/bandleader Anthony Brown), the group took on an identity of its own during a tour of Macedonia and Kosovo earlier this year. … Continue reading »

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