Arts + Culture
Master purveyors of super-intimate circus (think low-budget, homegrown Cirque du Soleil), Sweet Can’s latest offering takes ordinary objects and turns them into the randomly delightful. Garbage cans grow feet and tap dance, plates start spinning in the air, and benches become sailing ships.
Featuring a Gumby-like contortionist, an aerialist who cheekily defies the laws of physics, and a flying broom homage to Fred Astaire (to be clear, the flying broom is less Quidditch and more swirled over shoulders), Candid mixes traditional circus with physical theater, dance, and live music.
Not to diss 2009 or jinx 2011, but this was an unusually exciting and solid year for our bustling little music scene. As the notoriously NYC-biased Pitchfork recently put it, our fair city is "slowly threatening to eclipse Brooklyn in the ranks of regional talent." Hey-yo! Listed below are seven full length releases (sorry, Girls) from the year that particularly stood out to us, along with five additional LPs too good not to mention.
I constantly find myself drooling over the titles published by sister-company Chronicle Books. Now that it's Christmastime, I have the perfect excuse to splurge on books for myself and the people I love--and then "borrow" the books I give them (indefinitely). Here are some I'm looking to wrap up and top with a bow:
SURFER Magazine: 50 Years, ($40)
The last time Melissa Leo was nominated for an Academy Award, in 2009 for the blue-collar drama Frozen River, she was perhaps a sentimental favorite among critics but a decided longshot to beat out Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and eventual winner Kate Winslet.
Anything could happen between now and February’s Oscar telecast, but Leo, 50, is already earning accolades for her supporting role in The Fighter, David O. Russell’s biography of hard-knocks Lowell, Mass., brawler Micky Ward. (The San Francisco Film Critics Circle ranked her nuanced portrayal of a domineering mother as among the year’s best.)
The journey to TRON: Legacy would have to wait just another minute — early audiences were asked to check their phones at the door, lest they attempt a little techno handiwork of their own — but after 28 years, what’s another 60 seconds? Besides, the last thing this digitally dazzling sequel needed was extra circuitry in the theater.
The 1982 original, so prophetic in its fascination with the virtual world of computers, would seem an obvious choice for a follow-up, and perhaps there is no better time than now, when technology has almost caught up with the vivid imaginations of creators Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird.
It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.
Says David: A couple of weeks ago, my post about your car disappearing generated a lot of email expressing confusion and varied experiences and beliefs about retrieving a stolen and towed vehicle. Many people remember when towing and storage fees were waived if your car was stolen, then recovered. Many people, including some at the SFMTA, the Police Station, and some at AutoReturn were unclear about whether or not any fees were waived. And many people wanted to know when the rules changed. So, I dug a little deeper and found some documents, which will hopefully answer many questions, and probably create a few more.
Early this year Jeff Bridges won his first Oscar, for last year's Crazy Heart, after four previous nominations yielded no hardware. Now, he is returning to the scene of one of his most unusual and iconic adventures – Disney’s TRON (1982) – in a sequel, Legacy, opening Friday, that the 61-year-old Los Angeleno never expected to see.
Sure, you've only got eight days of Christmas shopping left, but rather than subject yourself to the bustle of the department stores, take refuge in a theater. Happy holidays!
1. Vincent: A Life in Color
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: Dec. 16
Some of us are stuck in the non-digital age. And by some, I mean me. I still have a cell phone that simply makes calls and sends texts and only last year did I convert from a paper calendar to an iTouch. So, you can imagine my dismay when digital photography took the place of film. It was a sad, sad day last year when Kodak discontinued its Kodachrome film, best known for producing the most vibrant photographic colors. Soon, the only business still processing it will stop. And thus ends an era during which photographers had an entirely different understanding and appreciation of their art form.