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Film, "Breathe In": Never Let Classical Musicians Into Your Home

"Breathe In": Never Let Classical Musicians Into Your Home

Director Drake Doremus once again casts Felicity Jones as an exchange student from England, romancing an American in a thwarted love story. And why not? The formula worked very well in Doremus' 2011 feature Like Crazy. This time, the American…
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Calendar, Night&Day Holy Ginormous Paintings, Batman!

Holy Ginormous Paintings, Batman!

Epic battles were waged, blood was spilt, villains vanquished, heroes triumphed and love endured, all on the battlefields conjured in our childhood bedrooms. Action fig-ures from GI Joe to Barbie, just inches high, loomed larger than life in our imagination.…
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Music, Hear This Savages: Show Preview

Savages: Show Preview

Savages' sudden blast upward proves that you should never underestimate the value of mystique. The London post-punk outfit has only been active since October 2011, but it's already amassed a substantial following among music journalists based on the electricity of…
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Film, "Trance": Danny Boyle Follows Up the Olympics

"Trance": Danny Boyle Follows Up the Olympics

Directing the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics cemented Danny Boyle's position as England's top director, trusted to be his country's ambassador to the world. If that spectacle was intended to celebrate all things British — James Bond and…
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Music, Hear This The English Beat: Show Preview

The English Beat: Show Preview

At its core, the 2 Tone ska scene in 1980s England championed diversity, tenacity, and smarts, and none of its bands combined those traits as seamlessly as the English Beat. When rude boys started using the Birmingham-bred band's concerts as…
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Film, "Solomon Kane": A Brisk, Humorless, CGI Fantasy Epic

"Solomon Kane": A Brisk, Humorless, CGI Fantasy Epic

Nobody seemed to have faith in this benighted, Robert E. Howard–based sword-and-sorcery demi-epic, which is three years old, has already wound its way through Europe, and was preempted stateside by its own VOD release this past August. It is, for…
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Calendar, Night&Day Going Up

Going Up

Gina Yashere was working as an elevator engineer in London when she decided to take a summer off to do things she had always wanted to do. That included trying comedy. Yashere said she was naturally funny growing up, and…
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Music, Hear This St. Lucia: Show Preview

St. Lucia: Show Preview

St. Lucia leader Jean-Philip Grobler has a worldly background, but not the one suggested by his project's moniker. Rather than being driven by Caribbean rhythms, the music made by Grobler — a South Africa native who stopped off in England…
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Music, Hear This Robyn Hitchcock: Show Preview

Robyn Hitchcock: Show Preview

In 1989, Robyn Hitchcock, England's esteemed man of psych-pop, holed up at Hyde Street Studios here in town and laid down a record touched with greatness. This week he holes up at Slim's to play it straight through. Today he…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle • Portishead brought its spellbinding moodscapes to a sold-out Greek Theatre on Friday, and dazzled an adoring crowd with all the tension, balance, and subtle despair that make its records so memorable. Beth Gibbons' lonely voice on a stripped-down…
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Calendar, Night&Day Ready for Takeoff

Ready for Takeoff

A few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Shazia Mirza, a Muslim woman raised by Pakistani parents in England, was performing stand-up comedy. Wearing her hijab, the traditional Muslim headscarf, Mirza began her act by stating her name and…
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Film, "The Arbor": True Story of Tragic Teenage Playwright Andrea Dunbar

"The Arbor": True Story of Tragic Teenage Playwright Andrea Dunbar

Precocious playwright Andrea Dunbar (1961-1990) spoke for the lumpen abused of her native Bradford, England. The Arbor, video artist Clio Barnard's pitch-perfect Dunbar biopic, named best documentary last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, reprises her pungent, profane voice, but…
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Calendar, Night&Day A Man of Letters

A Man of Letters

However you feel about the politics of England's Prime Minister David Cameron, the man apparently has amazing taste in art. On his first official visit to Washington in July, Cameron presented Barack Obama a painting by London street artist Ben…
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Music, Bouncer Bouncer: A crime junkie gets robbed while drinking at the Attic

Bouncer: A crime junkie gets robbed while drinking at the Attic

Lots of things go through your head when you come home and find that your door has been kicked in, your house ransacked, and your stuff stolen. I'll spare you the basics (the feeling of being invaded, fear, and loss),…
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Film, "Tamara Drew": Stephen Frears and Gemma Arterton go plastic in rural England

"Tamara Drew": Stephen Frears and Gemma Arterton go plastic in rural England

Comely, independent, willful young lass returns to collect family inheritance in rural England, drives the local men wild, makes several misalliances, and inadvertently precipitates a catastrophe before nature finally takes its course. Adapted from Posy Simmonds' excellent graphic novel, Tamara…
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Calendar, Night&Day Polytheism Creates Drama

Polytheism Creates Drama

Anyone near children should get a copy of D’Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. Its weird artwork and simple, but not stupid, tellings of the old stories will engross nerdy youngsters, and cause them to do way better on their SATs.…
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Music, Bouncer Sweet Relief from the Stink

Sweet Relief from the Stink

The Tower of London, that giant penal castle in the heart of the city where three queens of England lost their heads and all who entered abandoned hope, is open to the public most days until 5:30 p.m. I went…
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Calendar, Night&Day Football, or Soccer, or Whatever

Football, or Soccer, or Whatever

The World Cup is the story of soccer, but it's also the story of Aaron and Andrew Marestaing, two brothers who got so obliterated in North Beach during the last World Cup that they vowed to open a bar dedicated…
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Music, Hear This Field Music

Field Music

Led by brothers David and Peter Brewis, Sunderland, England-based Field Music has thrown multiple inflections of its musical arsenal into its 70-minute double album, Measure. The group's signature arrangements include airy soft-rock melodies with shifting prog-rock trills, pinpoint percussion, and…
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Calendar, Night&Day Role of a Lifetime

Role of a Lifetime

In England, Eddie Izzard is a god, a transvestite comic genius, even the "lost Python,” according to John Cleese. In America, he’s Tony P in Mystery Men. He’s also a few other bit characters, but really, Tony P. is about…
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