Category Archives: Events
I have to admit I didn’t expect to be writing about another Rwanda documentary this year, but here we are. After being featured in cycling epic Rising from Ashes in a September review, the central African nation returns to the Big Screen Berkeley spotlight only three months later, this time in the form of Sweet Dreams, a locally grown feature opening Friday, December 6th at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas.
Produced and directed by siblings Lisa and Rob Fruchtman – she, a resident of Berkeley and Academy Award winner for her editing work on The Right Stuff (1983); he, a Sundance Best Director winner for Sister Helen (2002); each a veteran of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) – Sweet Dreams offers another perspective on Rwandan efforts to recover from the genocide of 1994. This time, bicycles are nowhere in evidence, here replaced by traditional drums and decidedly non-traditional ice cream scoops. … Continue reading »
Something rather special is happening today at noon on the UC Berkeley campus. The bells of Sather Tower will ring out to the first ever participatory concert of its type at Cal.
The performance has been conceived as a novel way to communicate about climate change. And, if you show up with your cell phone, tablet or laptop and an internet connection, you will be one of those creating the musical score.
“It’s warning people about sea level changes,” said Professor Greg Niemeyer, explaining the thinking behind the event. “But it’s not a fire alarm. It’s more of a thoughtful, slower approach.” Niemeyer is professor of new media and art practice, and faculty co-director of the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative, and one of the key players behind the project. … Continue reading »
The Federal Reserve Bank is a favorite whipping boy for both left- and right-wing conspiracy theorists, its role in manipulating currency — and (by extension) managing the economy — the source of endless controversy. Calls to ‘audit the Fed’ have been heard from both the Ron Paul libertarian right and the Alan Grayson liberal left, but such an audit would still be unlikely to assuage the frenzied palpitations of Alex Jones and others convinced that America’s central bank is nothing more than a tool the New World Order uses (alongside fluoridation, vaccinations, and chemtrails) to maintain its control over us.
Consequently, I anticipated Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve (a new documentary screening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 4) with some trepidation. Watching the film until the end, I kept waiting for the penny to drop: when would narrator Liev Schreiber reveal the awful truth about our reptilian overlords inventing one fiat currency to rule them all? … Continue reading »
This weekend kicks off the 23rd year of Berkeley’s Artisans Holiday Open Studios, with more than 100 artists and craftspeople opening up their workshops and galleries to the public.
The event — which offers extensive fodder for shopping local to meet your holiday gift needs — launches Saturday, Nov. 30, and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. all weekend, and every weekend in December through the 22nd.
All manner of fine art and craft will be shown, including blown glass, functional and decorative ceramics, ornaments, Menorahs, lamps and lighting, painted and custom furniture, garden art, floor cloths, one-of-a-kind clothing, textiles, many styles of jewelry, leather bags, recycled art, sculpture, photography, paintings, mosaics, stained glass, original prints and works on paper. … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s first-ever half marathon kicked off at 8 a.m. at Civic Center Park yesterday. It drew nearly 8,000 runners participating in one of the three race distances and more than $50,000 was raised for participating charities.
The marathon winners were both Berkeleyans: Anna Bretan, who also won the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, and UC Berkeley student JP Slater (read more in our story published yesterday).
There was one medical emergency, and at least one Berkeley resident said crossing town by car while the marathon was under way was near-on impossible. “There were no ‘detour’ signs anywhere along any of there streets going south-north which cross University,” she wrote us.
In opening remarks to the gathered crowd, councilmember Laurie Capitelli said the marathon as an “historic event.” Addressing the runners he added that as they ran through the city they would not be seeing “the Berkeley that your mom and dad remember.”
Here we publish a selection of the many wonderful photographs shared with us by Berkeleyside readers.
Berkeley resident Anna Bretan and UC Berkeley student JP Slater were the winners of today’s first Berkeley Half Marathon. Bretan, who won the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, had an unofficial time of 1:17:19. at the inaugural event, while Slater won the men’s field with an unofficial time of 1:07:05.
There was one medical emergency when a man collapsed while taking part in the race. Fortuitously, a group of physicians from UCSF happened to be watching the race very close to where he went down on the pedestrian path on West Frontage Road that runs parallel to the bay and I-80. A UCSF radiologist performed CPR on the man before emergency responders from Alameda Fire Department attended to the runner, according to authorities. He showed improvement and was transported to Alta Bates Hospital, where he was in stable condition this afternoon, according to a marathon spokesperson. … Continue reading »
RUN AWAY FROM THE HILLS Berkeley’s first-ever half marathon will be held on Sunday, Nov. 24, starting at 8 a.m. at Civic Center Park. The route heads up to the edge of the Cal campus, before heading west down University Avenue for a circuit of the marina and Cesar Chavez Park before runners go along the bay. Organizers point out that “the route is flat, fast, and net-downhill, so it’s perfect for a new PR.” In addition to the half marathon, there’s a “Bearable” 10 mile race and a 10 kilometer race, using part of the half marathon course. The Berkeley Public Schools Fund, Berkeley Partners for Parks, and Berkeley Food & Housing Project are the official charities for the race. … Continue reading »
In the edgy and provocative “A Bright New Boise,” Idahoan author and winner of the 2011 Obie Award for Playwriting, Samuel D. Hunter, examines familial relations, forgiveness, religion and corporate culture.
Protagonist Will (accomplished Robert Parsons) left his rural Idaho town for Boise after a headline-making tragedy blows apart his nondenominational evangelical church. Will applies for minimal wage work at the Hobby Lobby, a craft-supply big box store (see more about the real Hobby Lobby below), with the hope of reconnecting with Alex, the gloomy teenager he had given up for adoption.
Alex (well-acted by Daniel Petzold) and Alex’s also adopted brother, Leroy (Patrick Russell shines) work at the Hobby Lobby, as does the profit-seeking, loudmouth manager Pauline, (funny Gwen Loeb) and the anxious depressed Anna (excellent Megan Trout). Will completes this blue-collar quintet, all sharing dead-end jobs. Most of the play’s action occurs in the Hobby Lobby’s stark break room, with only a few scenes outside the store. Hobby Lobby is their world. In fact, Will and Anna both choose to spend evenings in the break room. … Continue reading »
Julia Chigamba had been living in Oakland for about three years when she returned home to Zimbabwe in 2003 with a group of Americans who had been studying Shona dance and music with her. Eager for them to experience her culture in context, she brought them to her family village about 10 miles outside of the capital Harare and quickly discovered that much had changed in her absence.
“My family was so excited, they killed the cow and had a big ceremony,” recalls Chigamba, who teaches dance and drumming at schools around the Bay Area. “But when we wanted to show the community dancers no one was doing it any more! In only three years, even the elder women who had led rituals for the village, they were all into Christianity. I had to really talk them into getting out their drums and costumes.”
In much the same way that American popular culture often crowds out local production in countries around the world, Chigamba has found a steady erosion of traditional Shona culture in both rural villages and the capital, Harare. But Chigamba and her family, a cultural force amongst the Shona for generations, are working to reverse the slide. On Saturday, Chigamba and her Chinyakare Ensemble perform at Ashkenaz in a fundraiser for Chigamba Cultural Center, a family compound in Harare where her family teaches traditional rhythms, dances, songs and rituals. … Continue reading »
Throughout his remarkably prolific but all too brief career, German auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed numerous films focused on strong female characters. Features such as The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss, and Lola displayed Fassbinder’s strong affinity for stories about women, so it comes as no surprise to learn the filmmaker was a big fan of two femme-themed nouvelle vague classics screening at Pacific Film Archive on Friday, Nov. 22 as part of the series Fassbinder’s Favorites.
First up at 7:00 p.m. is Jean-Luc Godard’s 1962 drama Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (My Life to Live: A Film in Twelve Scenes). Anchored by a mournful (if sparsely applied) Michel Legrand score, the film stars Anna Karina (then married to Godard; the couple would divorce in 1967) as Nana, a stylish young mademoiselle forced, by economic necessity, to take up the world’s oldest profession. … Continue reading »
“It’s impossible to photograph clouds for their beauty anymore. We know too much about what is going on,” said photographer Richard Misrach wistfully on a recent weekday evening.
He should know. The Berkeley-based photographer has made a name for himself capturing striking images of man’s impact on the planet — which includes the creation of natural-looking clouds by oil none other than oil refineries.
The David Brower Center, a downtown Berkeley hub for environmental and social action, is currently showing a selection of the photographer’s images taken at Mississippi River’s Cancer Alley, in conjunction with related work by landscape architect Kate Orff. … Continue reading »
Four Berkeley High student athletes have been awarded athletic scholarships at Division I universities, and, on Friday Nov. 15, they gathered with their friends and family at the Berkeley High library for their official signing ceremony.
The students, who are also all stars in the classroom, are Noah Bremer who is headed to the University of Washington to play baseball, Desire Finnie who will attend the University of the Pacific and play basketball, Lena Mayer who will play softball for UC Santa Barbara, and Naomi Overstreet who will go to Virginia Commonwealth University to play volleyball. … Continue reading »
STREETS ALIVE BENEFIT FOR PUBLIC ART The very first Annual Streets Alive! Benefit for Public Art takes place on Friday, Nov. 15, 4pm-8:30pm at the Firehouse Art Collective in the Lorin District. Enjoy live music by Ghost Town Jenny and Eyes on the Shore, art, food, drinks, a silent auction — and meet your local artists, community supporters and friends! The goal, in line with the mission of Streets Alive which is probably best known for turning our utility boxes into works of art, is to bring more art and nature into our community. Tickets are a sliding scale of $10-20 at the door. Students with valid ID get in for $5. The Firehouse Art Collective is at 3192 Adeline St. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page. … Continue reading »