Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 12 / 23 March 2017

Film - For the love of Frantz

As Americans, we are now thoroughly conditioned to making war on peoples on the other side of the globe, whose deaths we neither count nor consider. We celebrate snipers in big-budget films, play video games in which everyone's out to kill us, celebrate gun culture, and wonder why so many of our teenagers suicide. We have ceased to be a coherent culture, since we ignore the money we spend and the money we make on armaments. What chance does Francois Ozon's pacifist film in French and German, with subtitles, have of finding an audience here? Frantz opens Friday at the Clay in San Francisco, Berkeley's Shattuck, and Camera in San Jose. (read more)

Fine Arts - Puzzling out influence

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie: a young art student encounters the work of an elder master, and his life and career are altered forever. But that is the actual real-life narrative that began in 1943, when Richard Diebenkorn, then attending Stanford University, visited the Palo Alto home of art collectors Michael and Sarah Stein (brother and sister-in-law of Gertrude) and saw the paintings of the Henri Matisse for the first time. Lightning struck, but not all at once. It wasn't until nearly a decade later, after Diebenkorn attended a Matisse retrospective in Los Angeles in 1952, and started moving from his roots in abstract expressionism to figuration, that he began incorporating elements of his hero's approach in earnest. An enormous 1966 Matisse retrospective at UCLA with a whopping 300 pieces, some of them radical departures, was also influential. (read more)

Music - New Century Chamber Orchestra jams with Chanticleer

Two evergreen San Francisco musical institutions, New Century Chamber Orchestra and the male vocal ensemble Chanticleer, joined forces... (read more)

Out There - One fraught phone call

Out There was in the house last Friday night as renowned Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci performed Elle, the distraught character at the heart of... (read more)

Out & About - Moving, pictures

Spring arts have sprung; driving dance concerts, eye-catching art exhibits, and stunning stage plays. (read more)

Theatre - Existential enigmas at the B&B

When a guest in her B&B asks the little-old-lady host if she "is a Christian or something," she casually lets drop that she's a Neoplatonist. (read more)

Theatre - Ballad of Norma McCorvey

Norma McCorvey was no Rosa Parks, but she didn't need to be. (read more)

Theatre - Stripped-down Sondheim

Part of the less-is-more paradox comes from the notion that if you want people to take more action, you offer them less. (read more)

Books - Full-blooded frontiersmen

I was basking in that particular, inviolate glow known only to the reader who has reached the end of an absorbing novel... (Viking) – when I learned, with a start, that it was St. (read more)

Books - Temptation island

A small, solitary, tree-populated island squats in a Cerulean blue sea at dusk on the cover of John Rechy's new novel, After the Blue Hour. (read more)

Television - Orange bully is the new dystopia

Here we are in week nine of the new dystopia, where so much is happening that every day feels like dog years. (read more)

Television - Hilarious side of gay porn

Porn is notorious not for the graphic sex, but for the models' lack of acting chops. (read more)

DVD - Final passage

"Life does not wait," a mantra in the movie, encapsulates both the exuberance and sorrows of the characters in Jonathan , a just-released German DVD... (read more)

DVD - Maurice returns

There's a moment in the movie version of gay author E. M. Forster's novel Maurice that still packs an emotional punch (read more)

DVD - Back to the baths

This week we explore a real treasure from the vaults. (read more)

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