This Week’s Picks: Sept. 24 – 30, 2014

WEDNESDAY 24

 

Jean-Pierre Gorin

The title of the Pacific Film Archive’s terrific Jean-Luc Godard retrospective is “Expect Everything From Cinema,” but in the aftermath of May 1968, Godard’s radical deconstructions of film form suggested a less sanguine outlook. His comrade in the collectivist Dziga Vertov Group, Jean-Pierre Gorin, visits the PFA tonight to lecture on this frequently underestimated period. Always a lively presence, Gorin will stick around for another night to introduce a screening of Ici et ailleurs (1976), an hourlong reckoning of 1970 footage shot in Palestinian refugee camps, charged by subsequent events (specifically the 1972 Munich Olympics). “The film’s complex, layered text and imagery, its anguish and skepticism all confute its agit-prop approach,” writes James Quandt, “and the result is as touching and beautiful as it is incensing.” (Max Goldberg)

Gorin speaks Wed/24 and Thu/25 at 7pm; each event $9.50

Pacific Film Archive Theater

2575 Bancroft, Berk.

(510) 642-1412

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

 

 

 

50th Big Book Sale

Claiming to be the “biggest book sale west of the Mississippi,” the 50th annual Big Book Sale at Fort Mason is a collector’s dream, with over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, vinyl, tapes — you name it — all to be scavenged for under $3. (At a super big sale on Sunday, prices plummet to $1.) If that isn’t exciting enough, Friends of the SF Public Library have hidden prizes amongst the towering stacks of words, so follow the clues and you could win tickets to the SF Symphony, DeYoung, the Roxie, and more! All proceeds benefit the SF Public Library’s education programs. (Haley Brucato)

Through Sun/28, 10am-6pm; free

Fort Mason Center

2 Marina, SF

(415) 441-3400

www.friendssfpl.org

 

THURSDAY 25

 

 

Slaughterhouse-Five

Become “unstuck in time” with Billy Pilgrim as he recounts his life, spent largely as an American prisoner of war and witness to the firebombing of Dresden, in this satirized theatrical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war 1969 classic, Slaughterhouse-Five. Produced by Custom Made Theatre Co. — known for its socially conscious and intimate productions — this is sure to be an emotionally-moving and humorous 100-minute performance (without intermission), mirroring Vonnegut’s own nonlinear narrative style. (Haley Brucato)

Through Sat/27 at 8pm; also Sun/28 at 7pm, $35-$40

Gough Street Playhouse

1620 Gough, SF

(501) 207-5774

www.custommade.org

 

 

 

 

Oakland Underground Film Festival

The Oakland Underground Film Festival is back for its sixth year, and the programming is, as the East Bay kids say, hella great. Opening night films are Aussie writer-director Hugh Sullivan’s sci-fi rom-com The Infinite Man (a hit at South by Southwest and Fantasia), and Brazil-set martial arts saga Falcon Rising — featuring the high-flying Michael Jai White, star of 2009 OAKUFF hit Black Dynamite. There’s also ¿Qué Caramba Es La Vida?, a doc about female Mariachi musicians; a late-night screening of 1988 cult classic Heathers (how very!); multiple shorts programs (including “Sick and Twisted Horror Shorts”); Nick Cave docudrama 20,000 Days on Earth, and more. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/28, $10

Grand Lake Theatre

3200 Grand, Oakl

 

Humanist Hall

390 27th St, Oakl

www.oakuff.org

 

 

FRIDAY 26

 

decker.

San Franciscans may think they have the market cornered on psychedelia, but things sound a little different in the desert — dusty, moody, lonely, and super atmospheric. All of these are apt words for decker., a Sedona-based “desert folk” act led by singer-songwriter Brandon Decker that won hearts with its soulful live act at SXSW, among other stages. This show, which serves as a record release party for the band’s fifth album, Patsy, will actually be a double-helping of soul: Oakland favorites Whiskerman, with Graham Patzner’s whiskey-coated vocals at the helm, will help open the evening. (Emma Silvers)

With Whiskerman and Brother Graham

9pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com


SATURDAY 27

 

5th Annual SuperHero Street Fair

Villain or hero? You decide. For the fifth year, thousands of event-goers will be disguised in their favorite capes, masks, and tights, donning a sword or perhaps a whip, to fulfill their ultimate superhero fantasies. Thanks to the co-creators of How Weird Street Fair, Sea of Dreams NYE, and Decompression Street Fair, this heroic outdoor fetish-fest will bump the costume-ridden streets with seven electronic music stages, light installations, comic exhibits, climbing walls, cartoon art, and a Jack Kirby museum. But the founders challenge each to first ponder one thing: “What creativity and superpowers do you bring to the everyday world?” (Haley Brucato)

1pm-11pm; $15

Waterfront Boardwalk Oasis

1700 Indiana, SF

www.superherosf.com

 

 

 

Yatra: Masters of Kathak and Flamenco

In his collaboration with Jason Samuel Smith, Kathak virtuoso Chitresh Das explored common and different qualities in their improvisatory approach to percussive dance-one donned tap shoes, the other ankle bells. So, now Das has taken the idea closer to home. Flamenco, as historians have speculated for a long time, may have had its origins in Northern India—Kathak’s own territory—from where gypsies brought it through the Middle East and North Africa to Spain. In Yatra: Masters of Kathak and Flamenco, Flamenco dancer Antonio Hidalgo Paz and Das bring their own musicians, who hopefully will have a collaborative moment of their own. What do we know for sure that they have in common? Fierce feet, verticality, an almost reverential use of the music, expressive use of arms and hands, and an immaculate sense of timing. (Rita Felciano)

Sept. 27 8pm, Sept. 28, 2pm, $28-$58

Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon St, SF

(415) 333-9000

www.kathak.org

 

 

Iranian Film Festival

Iran’s rich cinematic tradition has perservered despite the country’s political upheaval and unrest — and a new generation of filmmakers continue to emerge and share their stories. The Iranian Film Festival spotlights indie films made by or about Iranians, no matter where they live. Its two-day run packs in 12 programs, most of which include a feature and multiple shorts. True tales include Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, about the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup in Iran; and Abbas Kiarostami: A Report, a doc about the pioneering filmmaker. There are also several empowering films about women, including Sepideh — Reaching for the Stars, about an Iranian woman who dreams of a near-impossible career as an astronaut, and Iranian Ninja, about, yes, Iran’s first female ninja. (Eddy)

Through Sun/27, $11-12 (passes, $60-120)

San Francisco Art Institute

800 Chestnut, SF

www.iranianfilmfestival.org

 

 

SUNDAY 28


Hushfest

How do you get away with throwing a bonkers dance party on public Ocean Beach in broad daylight? Pipe the music directly into the crowd’s headphones, that’s how. The Silent Frisco crew has found the ultimate underground vibe, above ground. Here’s how it works – gather at the party spot (imbibe your libations beforehand, please, no drugs or alcohol on the beach), pay $20 for special wireless headphones, and dance in the sand with a huge gaggle of other wildly, silently gesticulating aficianados. DJs at this annual event around include genius duo Psychmagik, who rejigger deepest funk-rock memories of the 1970s, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, and Fort Knox Five. Yes, you can still yell “woo!” (Marke B.)

11am, $20

Ocean Beach, SF

www.silentfrisco.com


MONDAY 29


John Darnielle

Mountain Goats devotees know him as the prolific pen and idiosyncratic voice behind the band’s complex story-songs — some 14 studio albums of ’em, over the course of 18 years. But with Darnielle’s richly imagined and darkly memorable debut novel, Wolf in White Van, the lyricist proves his writing chops go well beyond the CD insert, weaving a mysterious tale through the eyes of a narrator we won’t soon forget: All readers know at the novel’s outset is that our loner protagonist runs a complex, interactive adventure game from his house, and that he was seriously disfigured at some point in his youth. In the process of uncovering his full story, we find ourselves sympathizing with people we might never expect. At the only Bay Area stop of his book tour, Darnielle will read from the novel and discuss it with author Robin Sloan. (Silvers)

7pm, free

Green Apple Books on the Park

1231 9th Ave, SF

www.greenapplebooks.com



TUESDAY 30


Royal Blood

Up-and-coming UK duo Royal Blood may have formed just last year, but the band is already making quite a name for itself on the basis of awesomely blues-fueled, snarling garage rock, which is showcased on the new, self-titled album that came out last month on Warner Bros. Records. That release debuted at No. 1 on the British charts, and the band is up for a prestigious Mercury Prize. Tonight is your chance to catch the explosive band in an intimate setting — the newly remodeled Masonic — before the pair likely moves on to much bigger venues. Royal Blood opens for The Pixies. (Sean McCourt)

7:30pm, $50-$75

The Masonic

1111 California, SF

www.sfmasonic.com

 

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