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Film, Anthropoid

Anthropoid

If anyone's forgotten what a country looks like after a fascist rises to power, Anthropoid will be a welcome reminder. This World War II film is set in Prague after the Nazis have taken control of what was then Czechoslovakia.…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist <i>City of Angels</i>: Film Noir Musical Comedy at SF Playhouse

City of Angels: Film Noir Musical Comedy at SF Playhouse

A quartet starts the show by scatting in harmony. Nonsense “ba da da das” spill out of their mouths in unison. What starts as an ode to the Manhattan Transfer crescendos into a vocal evocation of a film noir symphonic…
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Film, Don't Think Twice

Don't Think Twice

"You're not a failure, Bill. You're in The Commune," so declares Samantha, the undaunted peacekeeper of a flailing improv group. Don't Think Twice is based on Mike Birbiglia's firsthand experience as a member of a comedy troupe similar to The…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist All the Human Animals at The West Edge Festival 2016

All the Human Animals at The West Edge Festival 2016

Opera is all emotion and no logic. The opening weekend of The West Edge Festival was an excellent reminder of that fact. Over the course of two weeks, West Edge Opera is staging three operas in an abandoned train…
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Film, Phantom Boy

Phantom Boy

Frame by animated frame, the French duo behind Phantom Boy turn our attention toward the sky. We take in the multicolored floors and windows of office buildings, and the famous monuments of New York City. This version of the great…
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Film, Gleason

Gleason

Gleason has been misclassified as a documentary. It's a horror film, humane to the core, but meant to disturb. We watch the motor functions of a former NFL player atrophy on screen. The film begins with video clips of Steve…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist <i>Grand Concourse</i> is Paved with Good Intentions

Grand Concourse is Paved with Good Intentions

How do you solve a problem like Emma? She’s self-centered, callow, and dishonest. When she volunteers at a church soup kitchen that Shelley runs, we feel, perhaps, there’s hope for her yet. Two hours later, Grand Concourse has taken great pains…
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Culture, Feature Kubrick: The Cabinet of Dr. Strangelove

Kubrick: The Cabinet of Dr. Strangelove

As you walk up the stairs towards "Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition," you might miss an anteroom on your right. Separated from the main gallery of Kubrick film paraphernalia, this waiting room, at a passing glance, registers as a blank space.…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Anachronisms and Mysterious Strangers in <i>The Rules</i>, at the Sandbox Series

Anachronisms and Mysterious Strangers in The Rules, at the Sandbox Series

Dipika Guha’s play The Rules unearths a buried tome only to respond to it with a psychologically incoherent corrective. Over two million people bought a copy of The Rules, one of a series of New Age books that Americans went…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Boys to Men in <i>Master Harold</i> at the Aurora

Boys to Men in Master Harold at the Aurora

Enacted in 1950, The Population Registration Act in South Africa classified its citizens by their race. It was the legislative foundation on which apartheid — the policy of racial segregation — was officially built. It’s not a coincidence that…
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Film, Tickled

Tickled

A fetish for some and an internet-voyeur thing for others, Competitive Endurance Tickling is real. On the lookout for a new story, David Farrier, a pop-culture reporter in New Zealand, happened upon a website for it. What he saw online…
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Film, Les Cowboys

Les Cowboys

Collaborating with Jacques Audiard, a director who has mastered the art of marrying narrative to a distinctive visual style, Thomas Bidegain's screenplays for A Prophet and Rust and Bone garnered awards in his native France. Les Cowboys is Bidegain's first…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Chester Bailey’s Haunted Heart at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater

Chester Bailey’s Haunted Heart at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater

If Nina Ball’s scenic design for Chester Bailey was hanging in a museum, art critics would consider it a masterpiece of sculptural Cubism. Lunette windows hang down from the rafters at off-kilter angles. They suggest the shape of a building…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Ride The Village Bike, Ride Becky Ride

Ride The Village Bike, Ride Becky Ride

Are you daydreaming about having an affair? Or are you already embroiled in the sticky business of it? Is the illicit thrill worth upending a marriage? Is your sense of reason all fogged in? What will it take for the…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist The Dream of Flight in For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday

The Dream of Flight in For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday

If you were watching For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday through a lens, it would be set to soft focus. There’s a feathery moire effect around the edges of Sarah Ruhl’s memory play. Kathleen Chalfant is the 70-year-old Ann…
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Film, Diary of a Chambermaid

Diary of a Chambermaid

Gustave Flaubert would be proud of Benoît Jacquot's Diary of a Chambermaid. His heroine Emma Bovary inhabits the same bourgeois milieu as Célestine, the titular femme de chambre. Based on Octave Mirbeau's 1900 novel, it's a tale of landed gentry…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist First Person Plural: <i>The Last Five Years</i> at A.C.T.

First Person Plural: The Last Five Years at A.C.T.

Originally produced in 2001, A.C.T.’s revival of The Last Five Years breathlessly charts the demise of a marriage in song. Jamie (Zak Resnick) is an ambitious young writer, otherwise known as a self-involved cad. His wife Cathy (Margo Seibert) is…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Interview: The Cult of Yorgos Lanthimos

Interview: The Cult of Yorgos Lanthimos

Seven years ago, I joined a cult. The Greek film director Yorgos Lanthimos is the enigmatic leader. I started to follow him after the release of his second film Dogtooth. I momentarily lost faith with his third, Alps, which felt…
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Film, A Bigger Splash

A Bigger Splash

A snake arrives in the garden of Eden and his name is Ralph Fiennes. Tilda Swinton is the imperious Eve who cast him out long ago. Her new Adam is the stolid Matthias Schoenaerts, whose tanned, bare chest is a…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist The Moor’s Last Sigh in Red Velvet

The Moor’s Last Sigh in Red Velvet

At one point in Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet, a white actor reads the N-word aloud. Even though he recites it from a newspaper article and isn’t using the word himself, the audience uttered audible “ohs”. The theatre critic who…
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