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Arts + Culture

Two Sense: Ignore Valentine's Day or Embrace It?

Every year, I get itchy just thinking about Valentine’s Day. I’ve given my girlfriend flowers, earrings, nice dinners, and cards, but it all seems so canned. I think she feels it too. My gifts seem to underwhelm her. Help me do something different this year. Or should I just ignore it like I want to?

He Said: There are two kinds of women: those who expect us to read their minds concerning gifts and those who we’ve disappointed often enough to know better. What any gift must convey is that you cared enough to make a significant effort.

The Companion Piece at Z Space

Stuffed with charm and surprising insight (surprising only because said insight is bookended by pratfalls and melodramatic tango attempts), The Companion Piece is the vaudevillian brainchild of director Mark Jackson and actor Beth Wilmurt. It opens with a thigh-slapping, hip-swiveling misanthropic comedian of yore who yucks it up for about ten minutes before walking offstage. Once he's passed from presumed audience range, he allows his persona to drop and his smile to disappear - giving the audience the first inkling that this performance will run deeper than your average slapstick.

Save KUSF Rally and Board of Supes Meeting Today

The KUSF saga continues. Supporters of the university's beloved community radio station will gather today for a peaceful rally outside City Hall before the Board of Supes meeting. The Board is being called on to review the legality of the sale of 90.3 FM on a local level. Get up to speed on the scandal here.

Mortal Thoughts: Alejandro González Iñárritu Confronts Death in 'Biutiful'

As much as death looms as the inescapable reality in all our lives, few would care to learn of their imminent passing, much less confront its approach at the movies. Yet for Mexico’s Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for the Oscar-nominated dramas Amores Perros (2001) and Babel (2007), it was that commonly evaded consciousness of mortality that inspired his latest offering, Biutiful.
Despite casting No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem as the doomed centerpiece of his morbid but ultimately uplifting film, which opens Friday, Iñárritu is a realist, keenly aware that death is a tough sell when considered as something more than an abstract concept.

Oscar 2011: Predicting the Nominees

With nominations for the 2011 Academy Awards set to be announced today at 5:30 a.m. PST, there is no time like the present to rattle off a series of fearless (albeit modestly informed) predictions in the five major categories. Without further ado:

Best Picture
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

'The Company Men' Examines the Downside of Corporate Downsizing

There was a time, in the 1970s, when stories of middle-class alienation and dreamers struggling to get ahead were invariably set in New York. Lately, such accounts of white- and blue-collar angst have moved 200 miles up I-95 to the Boston suburbs, where the fight to survive isn’t exclusively the domain of street hustlers and last-chance athletes.

This Week's Hottest Events: SF Ballet, Science of Cocktails, and Macworld

SF Ballet Opening Night: Giselle
Mad love, betrayal, broken hearts—it doesn't get any more classic than this. A Romantic ballet at its finest, Giselle is a Romeo & Juliet of the dance variety. The story of love and loss opens the 2011 SF Ballet season. Get it on your calendar now.
When: Sat. 1/29 - Sun. 2/13
Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.

Animal Collective at Henry Miller Library, Plus Henry Rollins & British Sea Power at Brookdale Lodge in April

Big things are coming up in Big Sur and Santa Cruz this April. folkYEAH! just announced three shows more than worthy of the gas money it'll take to see them.

Clybourne Park at ACT

San Franciscans know how controversial real estate can be. Especially when you toss race relations into the bidding process. Transmuting the events of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun into a fresh new tale, Clybourne Park starts in 1959 when a white couple sells their home to a black family. Fifty years later, the same house is being sold by a black family in what is now a predominantly black neighborhood. Humans are cyclical creatures, and the hilarious and squirm-inducing debate seems alarmingly familiar half a century later.

Deerhoof Comes Home to the Great American Music Hall

After 16 years together, local indie band Deerhoof decided to break out of their comfort zone and make their 10th album on the road, sometimes mixing tracks through the stereo in a rented tour minivan with no engineers or outside input. Then they released each track of the resulting Deerhoof vs. Evil to a different international website in the weeks leading up to the album’s Jan. 25 release date.

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