Thursday, June 26, 2003
It's probably safe to assume that wave shredders weren't stoked about Blue Crush. Surf chicks are easy on the eyes, but the Hollywood flick was more about C-cups and string bikinis than the magnificence of 10-foot swells and the drama of a wipeout. "Surf Film Nite"'s action-packed program should appeal to those viewers looking for more realistic portrayals of slash-and-thrash action. Board riders are on a perpetual quest to find the perfect wave, and sometimes that means pilgrimages to exotic locales like Indonesia, the location of choice for tonight's lineup. Extreme Indo adventures get screen time in films like Voyage to Plengkun, Bill Heick's 16mm movie shot in Bali, Lombok, East Java, and Sumba, and IndoPacific 2002, Rob Daleiden's short video about western Sumatra as well as Balinese spiritual ceremonies. Show times are 7:15 and 9:25 p.m. at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Clayton), S.F. Admission is $6.50; call 668-3994 or visit www.redvicmoviehouse.com.
Friday, June 27, 2003
For thinking people, the name Guillermo Gómez-Peña stands for quality. Whether you want intellectually challenging performances, trenchant political video projects, or just a major work of book art, look no further than this MacArthur Fellowship—winning melodramatist. If you're sick of bland, traditional productions of the same old thing year in and year out, then you need Gómez-Peña's multidisciplinary arts organization, La Pocha Nostra. Its new project, "Immaculate Deceptions," is top-of-the-line, featuring an outstanding array of international artists: Juan Ybarra, Michelle Ceballos, and Roberto Sifuentes, plus many, many more. The group's examination of mass-media implications that other countries are either diseased or invisible is first-rate, and the artists take pains to bring you the very best in hybrid identities, intercultural exchanges, and inverted reality TV. The show begins at 9 p.m. (also Saturday) at the Lab, 2948 16th St. (at Capp), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 864-8855 or visit www.thelab.org.
Saturday, June 28, 2003
In the neighborhood known for its spirit as well as for its problems, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts' aptly named "25 Years of Heart and Struggle" exhibit celebrates the quarter-century that the center has provided classes, art space, film screenings, and music to the Mission District community. Rene Yañez curated the multimedia show, which features paintings, photographs, video art, and installations from more than 60 artists who have worked with the center over the years. Selections from the private collections of Carlos Santana and Cheech Marin are also on display, as is the art of Enrique Chagoya, Carmen Lomas Garza, Victor Mario Ceballa, and many others. The opening reception begins at 2 p.m. at the MCCLA, 2868 Mission (at 25th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 821-1155 or visit www.missionculturalcenter.org.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
It feels rebellious to like the All Girl Summer Fun Band, because its music is 100 percent unmacho. At the same time, you could share the group's tunes with your punk rock 2-year-old, so how dangerous is it, really? Jen, Ari, Kim, and Kathy make lo-fi bubblegum three-chord rock, and they take some heat from critics for doing it. Women sometimes don't like the style, because it almost seems like a throwback to less enlightened eras; men get squirmy about it for the same reason Rolling Stone didn't like the Ronettes: It's not about them. But the unadulterated joy of "Grass Skirt," a song on the band's first, eponymous album, is enough to cement the gals in the pantheon of perfect pop, right up there with the Dixie Cups. The act's new album, 2, is worth a listen -- if you're woman enough, or in touch with your feminine side. The Thermals and Sushi Robo share the bill at 9 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $7; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.
Monday, June 30, 2003
Word for Word sets stories by well-known authors verbatim onto the stage -- the project has performed work by Barbara Kingsolver, Upton Sinclair, and Edith Wharton, among others. Founded in 1993 by Susan Harloe and JoAnne Winter, the company celebrates its 10th anniversary with an "Evening With Michael Chabon." Although most popularly known for his novel Wonder Boys, which was made into a film starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire, Chabon also penned the historical fiction The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Tonight Word for Word presents Chabon's short story "More Than Human," which explores the relationship of a young man and his father just before the parents commence a divorce. The staging is followed by an interview with the author, conducted by Dave Eggers. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $40; call 345-7575 or visit wordforword.zspace.org.
Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Science-fiction queen Ursula K. LeGuin has decided to grace our fair city with a reading from her new publication, Changing Planes, a book about spacing out -- way out. The collection of short stories is in the form of a concept album: The first tale, "Sita Dulip's Method," describes the title character experiencing the dense horror of being stuck at an airport. Ms. Dulip discovers a way to escape the icky food, long bathroom lines, and irritating other people -- she changes planes of existence. The subsequent pieces are travel tales from this mystical elsewhere, among them the Veskian plane, where everyone's always angry; the realm of the Frin, who share dreams; and Great Joy, a capitalist wasteland. LeGuin reads at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Turk), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.