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Arts + Culture

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Sundance Standout 'Four Lions' Makes Bay Area Debut with South Asian Film Festival

It sounds like an invitation for righteous outrage – an unflinching comedy about jihad-minded suicide bombers determined to strike a blow for Islam but too dim to settle on a plan. Incredibly, first-time feature director Christopher Morris, who co-wrote Four Lions with Sam Bain (BBC’s Peep Show) and In the Loop screenwriters Jesse Armstrong and Simon Blackwell, pulls it off, with a hilariously biting satire that turns unexpectedly poignant when his terrorist wannabes stumble into the final phase of their half-baked operation.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The Giants are world champions, the season of Oscar contenders has arrived, and the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival is in full swing this weekend at the Castro. Whether you're a sports fan or a cinephile, it's a great time to be in the Bay Area. Here are some of the most exciting features now playing at an indie theater near you.

Ten Art Openings in SF To Kick Off the Weekend

Enough of baseball, it’s time to get some culture into our weekends. Here are our editors’ top ten picks for art openings this weekend.

1. San Francisco’s Modernism Gallery will be showcasing the work of renowned fashion photographer and collage artist Erwin Blumenfeld through December 22 with photographs from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s.

Modernism, 685 Market St.

Read more. . . .


Todd Eckert and Nol Simonse at Shared Space

Deeply embedded in the local dance scene, choreographers Todd Eckert (a member of Robert Moses’ Kin) and Nol Simonse (a dancer with Janice Garrett and Kunst-Stoff) return to Dance Mission Theater with lively and appealing new work, featuring greek goddesses and twelfth century poetry schemas. Your bachelor of arts degree will be so proud.

Two Sense: Handling the Ex Factor

My ex-girlfriend (from about three years ago) recently got married. I'm happy she found someone and was proud to attend their wedding. All through their dating and engagement, she and I saw each other socially—we haven't slept together since our breakup—about once a week and we intend to continue seeing each other. Unfortunately, her husband has an issue with this. Although I’ve tried to meet him for lunch and drinks a few times, he’s always found an excuse to be somewhere else. I've never been a threat to him; how do we deal with his problem?

He Said: You deal with his problem by respecting their marriage and honoring his concerns even if you don’t feel they’re valid. You may not be a sexual threat to this guy, but you continue to be intimate with his wife and that may need to change drastically. How much it needs to change depends on your relationship with your friend. Imagine she has a problem with her husband; if she would seriously consider coming to you to discuss it, then you have an outdated and inappropriate relationship with her.

Show Review: Dr. Dog and Here We Go Magic @ The Fillmore

A diverse crowd gathered on the dance floor for last night’s Dr. Dog show at the Fillmore: hip, metal-head moms with their young daughters in-tow; jocks in faux-hawks and Brian Wilson beards with their orange and black clad counterparts, fists still pumping from the Giants victory parade earlier in the day; hipster-geeks who spent the precious minutes between sets propped against the stage with their Mac-Books; be-dreaded pseudo-hippies with Klean Kanteens hanging from their belts.

SF Authors' Luncheon Celebrates The Year's Brightest Writers

For any fanatic of the written word, the SF Authors' Luncheon, now in its 22nd year, is the place to be this Saturday, November 6th at the SF Marriott Marquis. Benefitting the National Kidney Foundation, the audience gets a chance to bask in the witty glow of six nationally known authors over lunch, followed by book signings and mingling.

ODD at ODC Theater Speculates on the Nature of Flesh and the Human Condition

Ballet. Tap. Jazz. Modern. Hip hop. Rhythm and Motion. All forms of dance you're familiar with. Wheelchairs moving effortlessly in a seamlessly choreographed work of art—now, this is a dance concept you may never have heard of. This weekend, inkBoat and AXIS Dance Company come together to present ODD at ODC Theater, a collaboration inspired by the Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdrum whose work plunges to the depths of human condition, exposing loneliness, fear, hatred, birth, and death with uncanny precision.

Shepard Fairey and Skate, Punk & Hip Hop Photographer Glen E. Friedman Bring Works to 941 Geary

We've taken you from the conception to the grand opening of the city's sweetest new gallery, 941 Geary. Now get pumped for the exhibition space's most street cred-inducing show yet, F--- You All by photographer Glen E. Friedman, with never-before-seen collaborations with Shepard Fairey.

Friedman, the documentarian of the beginning of skate culture and the early punk and hip hop scenes, has an impressive repertoire, from edgy, fisheyed action shots of the Z-Boys to gritty portraits of the likes of Run DMC and a young LL Cool J. Pair Friedman with street art guru and longtime admirer Fairey and you've got several symbiotic collaborations that will be displayed alongside the original photographs they'll pay tribute to.

With 'Fair Game,' Doug Liman, Naomi Watts Get to the Heart of Valerie Plame's CIA Nightmare

Actors usually feel an elevated sense of responsibility when playing real-life characters, a desire to do them justice without pulling any dramatic punches. Especially when their living alter egos are monitoring them on the set.
Just ask Naomi Watts, who stars as ex-CIA officer Valerie Plame in Doug Liman’s new thriller Fair Game. Watts first met Plame during filming, long after her cover with the agency had been blown as the result of a White House leak following her husband's public discrediting of the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein had obtained weapons-grade uranium from the African nation of Niger. Getting to know the onetime covert operative presented a unique challenge.

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