When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
We don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
Truman Capote’s bestselling 1966 novel In Cold Bloodis a cornerstone of the "true crime" genre, telling the as-true-as-it’s-going-to-get story of the 1959 slayings of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home by the drifters Perry Smith and Dick Hickox (played by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson in the film version.
Capote conducted a truly staggering amount of capital-R research for the book, including spending a lot of time with Perry and Dick as they awaited execution. The novel was especially groundbreaking in that he wrote it as a narrative rather than a strictly journalistic endeavor, going so far as to call it a "nonfiction novel." This concept angried up a lot of blood at the time, but also resulted in a cultural phenomenon. Richard Brooks’s 1967 film adaptation, which the Criterion Collection is releasing on Blu-ray this week, was no less groundbreaking, but exists as a more singular work.
Director Brooks and cinematographer Conrad Hall created a widescreen, black-and-white opus that plays at times like it might as well be a documentary, without ever feeling fakey the way that modern films that strive for documentary realism often do. The stark black-and-white helps, since it evokes the grimness of film noir, as does the fact that much of the film was shot in the actual locations the real events occurred took place, including the Clutter residence. Yep: they restaged the murders in the murder house itself. Damn. The casting is hella important as well; the original theatrical trailer embedded above emphasizes how much the actors resemble the real-life characters they’re playing.
Nobody questions the amount of research Truman Capote conducted for the book, or that he was able to get so many details right through interviewing people without recording or writing it down at the time (personally, if I forget to bring my notebook to a press screening, I’m screwed), but there’s still a lot of controversy about how much he may have embellished or just got wrong. Oh, the important things are all there, but both the book and the movie are still recreations, and memory is a notoriously fickle thing, particularly with so many people doing the remembering. Case in point is In Cold Blood’s cinematographer, Conrad Hall: what was his nickname?
In a 2015 interview on the Criterion Blu-ray, modern cinematographer John Bailey says that Hall was nicknamed "the Prince of Darkness" for his use of deep blacks in the film.
Which is all fine and good, except that in the great 1992 documentary Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography, Conrad Hall himself refers to fellow cinematographer Gordon Willis as "The Prince of Darkness." He cites how Willis purposefully underexposed the film in color movies like The Godfather and Annie Hall, which is a different kind of darkness than Hall achieved in the black-and-white In Cold Blood.
So were they both called the Prince of Darkness? I don’t buy it. The nickname makes much more sense for Gordon Willis, considering his similarly moodily-lit work on not just the Coppola and Woody Allen films but also The Parallax View and All the President’s Men, whereas Conrad Hall – great as he is – just doesn’t have that kind of work on his resume. Indeed, when Willis passed away last year, Time’s Richard Corliss titled the obituary "Remembering Gordon Willis, the Cinema’s Prince of Darkness," and credited Hall with giving Willis that nickname.
If we can’t even decide which cinematographer got which nickname, then it makes it all the more understandable that we may never quite know all the details surrounding the deaths of the Clutter family as retold in both the book and film of In Cold Blood. But at least it makes for some great art.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"