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Film, "Fat Kid Rules the World": Under the Nonsense, a Heart

"Fat Kid Rules the World": Under the Nonsense, a Heart

Nathan Rabin of the A.V. Club coined the term "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" to describe a female character whose story function is to teach the male protagonist to come out of his shell and live in the moment. In Matthew…
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Culture, Stage

Naught Funny

If you're going to rewrite The Odyssey, then Homer's epic should serve as a vital inspiration rather than a literary crutch. Melissa James Gibson's Current Nobody, making its West Coast premiere at Exit Theatre, is a loose and precious adaptation…
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Film, Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back

You want a history lesson? Take a class. You want clanging swords, sneering villains, storybook romance, and bloody vengeance? Here's a brawny old-school epic to make the CGI tumult of 300, Alexander, and Troy look like sissy-boy slap parties. Mongol,…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Wrath of Khan

The Wrath of Khan

You want a history lesson? Take a class. You want clanging swords, sneering villains, storybook romance, and bloody vengeance? Mongol is a brawny old-school epic to make the CGI tumult of 300, Alexander, and Troy look like sissy-boy slap parties.…
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Culture, Stage Greek tragedy set in San Francisco! Who knew?

Greek tragedy set in San Francisco! Who knew?

I would never have guessed that Aurora Theatre's production of The Trojan Women takes place in San Francisco's Ferry Plaza if I hadn't come across an article in one of the dailies saying as much. The locale isn't mentioned in…
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Culture, Stagecap

Fences

August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning play gets a moving production from the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Alex Morris deftly captures the pride and the fury of Troy Maxson, a former Negro League baseball star now, in 1957 Pittsburgh, a garbageman fighting to raise…
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Music, Bouncer

The power of positive drinking

There is a man who sits on the board of directors for the organization I work for who has wealth, happiness, and that certain something that people who are secure in their own "spirituality" exude: The dude is sort of…
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Film, Killing Time

Killing Time

If Jarhead, director Sam Mendes and writer William Broyles Jr.'s adaptation of Bay Area writer Anthony Swofford's 2003 Gulf War memoir, seems at all familiar -- like, say, a DJ's mash-up of Full Metal Jacket and Three Kings -- there's…
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Film, Pitt and the Pabulum

Pitt and the Pabulum

In the mood to launch a thousand ships? Fine, but it's gonna cost you. Feel like sacking the Temple of Apollo? OK, but bring drachmas. Depending on who's counting, Warner Bros.' pre-summer blockbuster Troy budgeted out at anywhere between $175…
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Culture, Stage Creature Discomfort

Creature Discomfort

"Alienation," says one of Eric Bogosian's solo-show characters, a shyster spiritualist passing bad advice to a crowded hall, "is simply a lack of money. And of course the corollary: Money brings deep and abiding harmony." The four modern young sophisticates…
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Culture, Stage Iphigenia Alfresco

Iphigenia Alfresco

"Tragedy," by its roots, means "goat song." This is healthy to remember. The word used to apply to Dionysian rituals involving goat costumes. A band called Goatsong plays behind the chorus in the Shotgun Players' free, outdoor production of Iphigenia…
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Culture, Stage Love and War

Love and War

Charles Mee's plays are so eclectic and cheerfully bizarre that they begin to blur together. Summertime was about falling in love; it featured rants by a murderous pizza-delivery boy as well as a bikini-clad mother who broke into songs about…
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Calendar, Halloween

Slap Shots

The Great White Hope Everyone's heard the old song about New York -- if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere, etc. -- but here in the collective support group known as San Francisco, things are different. If…
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Culture, Stage

Bloodless Revenge

Revenge -- that most potent of dramatic incentives -- is what drives Euripides' Hecuba (430-424 BCE, Before the Common Era). For the ancient Greeks, revenge was largely a matter of logic and justice: Do unto others what they have done…
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