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Mill Valley Roundup: 7 Movies to See at the Festival

The 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival begins tonight with a star-studded Opening Gala at the Mill Valley Community Center and screenings of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and Tony Goldwyn's Conviction. For a complete list of featured selections, showtimes and tickets, visit the festival's official site.

Art Goes Live on Market Street

Starting today, you may notice some unusual activity occurring on Market Street. Don't mistake it for the usual cast of crazies known for loitering and creating ruckus of all sorts on the sidewalk. These people aren't homeless and begging for money, but rather make up a troupe of characters telling the story of eight prominent African Americans who lived and worked near Market Street during the mid-19th century.

Ethics Alert: Lying About Birth Control

My best friend, who's 33 and in a stable relationship with a great guy, just told me she sometimes “forgets” to take her birth control pill but isn't telling her boyfriend. She says she'll be fine if she gets pregnant; that she doesn’t need to have the boyfriend involved with raising any child, though she'd hope he would. I'm kind of shocked. Is this common, or is she totally selfish?
 
He Said: Regardless of how common it is to be casual about birth control, if one partner is trusting the other to be honest, and they aren’t, it’s selfish. While life slips us many surprises as we go along, it’s not fair to give happenstance a helping hand when the outcome will affect someone else.

Sandra Bernhard and Guy Branum of 'Chelsea Lately' Headline the Out Loud Comedy Festival

Given San Francisco’s international reputation for rainbow flags, it’s somewhat shocking to realize the Out Loud Comedy Festival is the first and only LGBT comedy festival in recorded history. That said, I didn’t fact check ALL of recorded history (it's entirely possible there was a wildly popular version on the heels of the Gold Rush, complete with grizzled miners in petticoats), so take this blanket statement with a small grain of pink Himalayan salt.

Zach Galifianakis Takes a Subtle Turn in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's 'Funny Story'

Zach Galifianakis understands that his breakthrough success in last year’s The Hangover has left fans with certain expectations. They want a sequel to Todd Phillips’ comedy about four guys (and one innocent babe) gone wild during a pre-wedding Vegas trip, and they’ll get one in 2011. But more than that, they want Galifianakis, a veteran stand-up and onetime Saturday Night Live writer, to make them laugh.

Flight of the Conchords' Kristen Schaal Signs Her 'Sexy Book of Sexy Sex' This Friday @ Chronicle Books

You may recognize indie comic bombshell Kristen Schaal from her turn on HBO's Flight of the Conchords as Brooklyn's most endearing stalker, or from contributions to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You may even recognize her distinctive elocutions from a role in Toy Story 3.

Well, get ready for toy stories of a decidedly more adult persuasion when the comedienne reveals a more sultry side during a lunchtime signing of her book The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex at Chronicle Books this Friday.

Mill Valley Film Festival Opens Thursday with Latest from Colin Firth, Hilary Swank

The 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival kicks off Thursday with two opening-night films: The King’s Speech, winner of the Audience Award at last month’s Toronto Film Festival, starring A Single Man Oscar nominee Colin Firth as King George VI, who conquers his humiliating stutter with the help of Geoffrey Rush’s unconventional speech therapist; and Conviction, Tony Goldwyn’s chronicle of a high-school dropout (Hilary Swank) who earns a law degree to free her brother (Sam Rockwell) from prison.

Rebecca Solnit's 'Infinite City' Maps SF in a Whole New Light

"I wanted to make maps gorgeous, seductive, delicious, and beautiful again,” says author Rebecca Solnit, whose 13th book, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (UC Press) will be released in November. “Cartography used to be both an art and a science. I wanted to return to that.” Solnit’s career up to this point—she has authored books on topics as diverse as human response to disaster, getting lost, and wanderlust—prepared her to create an atlas that maps her specific experience with the city she has called home her entire adult life. Solnit collaborated with 27 writers, cartographers, designers, researchers, and artists to create 22 full-color maps that offer whimsical, insightful views of the city, along with essays that expand on the sometimes-surprising juxtapositions within.

One map, titled “Monarchs and Queens,” shows butterfly habitats alongside queer public spaces.

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