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Culture, The Exhibitionist Silents, Please!: See Five Silent Films at the Castro This Saturday

Silents, Please!: See Five Silent Films at the Castro This Saturday

The Silent Era has long since ceded ground to deafening blockbusters full of jump cuts and lens flare, but the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents will put the Star Wars fever on hold this Saturday,…
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Culture, Know Your Street Art Rush Hour 2.0: 1125 Market St.

Rush Hour 2.0: 1125 Market St.

In November of 2012, three of the Bay Area's most notable street artists — Cannon Dill, Zio Ziegler, and Feral Child — collaborated on a lengthy wall that fronted a mid-Market building project. The resulting work, Rush Hour, was clever…
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Calendar, Night&Day If Walls Could Sing

If Walls Could Sing

It’s rare, but now and again a production makes our skin tingle not because of what happened on the stage but what happened to the stage. Light becomes weather, walls become rivers, boxes become cities; magically, the world beyond the…
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Calendar, Night&Day Magical Death Match

Magical Death Match

Of all the magicians telling stories at “Abracadabra! Stories about Magic with Porchlight,” one will be given a wide berth: James “the Amazing” Randi. An accomplished magician, in 1956 he beat Houdini’s time trapped in an underwater coffin by 13…
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Calendar, Night&Day Get Into the Escape

Get Into the Escape

Those of us of a certain age and musical inclination might remember the cover of Kate Bush's 1982 album The Dreaming. On it, the singer is dressed as Harry Houdini's wife and co-conspirator Bess, depicted in the act of passing…
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Calendar, Night&Day … Or Die Trying

… Or Die Trying

We should all go out as well as William Ellsworth Robinson did: In 1918, the legendary American magician (with the stage name Chung Ling Soo -- these were racist times) ended the famed Bullet Catch trick by dying. He caught…
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Calendar, Night&Day Artifacts of Escape

Artifacts of Escape

More than 80 years after his death, the escape artist who called himself Houdini still commands the popular imagination, with new books arriving this year (including The Last Greatest Musician in the World) and big-budget movies in the works (including…
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Culture, Art Fall Arts: Eight Visual Art Exhibits You Must See This Season

Fall Arts: Eight Visual Art Exhibits You Must See This Season

Yoon Lee: "Minor Inconveniences" Sept. 8-Oct. 22 at Marx & Zavattero, 77 Geary (at Grant), S.F. Free; 627-9111 or www.marxzav.com. "Swishes and chaotic shapes." That's how Yoon Lee has described the scenes in her paintings. I'd put it this way:…
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Calendar, Night&Day Devil's in the Details - Literally

Devil's in the Details - Literally

Most magic acts consider the audience witness rather than participant. Sure, we really don’t want the modern-day Houdini to drown inside that locked trunk that was just thrown off the pier, and we truly hope the beautiful assistant who just…
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Calendar, Night&Day Devil Literally in the Details

Devil Literally in the Details

Most magic acts consider the audience witness rather than participant. Sure, we really don’t want Houdini to drown inside that locked trunk that was just thrown off the pier, and we truly hope the beautiful assistant who just got sawed…
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News, Feature The Demystifying Adventures of the Amazing Randi

The Demystifying Adventures of the Amazing Randi

On a stage in a spacious Las Vegas banquet hall sits a nervous-looking, dark-haired Danish woman named Connie Sonne. The 46-year-old retired police officer made a name for herself as a psychic in Europe by claiming she knew the whereabouts…
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Calendar, Night&Day Pixel Flicks

Pixel Flicks

The Holy Grail for mainstream American film directors — even before the monomaniacal pursuit of jaw-dropping verisimilitude in CGI-driven blockbusters — has long been note-perfect realism. The immortal Jean Renoir, however, observed that the technological advances that allow the world…
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Film, Björk to the Future

Björk to the Future

There's a fine line between artistic genius and pretentious wankery, and most cinéastes will tell you that the films of Matthew Barney exist right around that line. Those who like his work usually admit that it's almost too insufferably pretentious…
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Music,

Hear This

The Sisters of Mercy Reunion tours continue to appear like coked-up groundhogs. Most of these devolutions into the grim realities of time and greed are depressing at best. The return of the Sisters of Mercy, once the vision kings of…
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Music,

Grope for Merit

Before that pasty altrock stew bubbled over into their arena, it seemed the Melvins could do no wrong. Not because their odd, abbreviated albums were ever perfect, but because they showed perfection (of a style, or at least a shtick)…
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