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Families Divided by China's Changing Values Take Lixin Fan's 'Last Train Home'

It’s an annual tradition created by accelerated modernization, an expanding economy and the world’s largest populace: Each year, 130 million Chinese peasants, displaced from their villages to work in urban factories, crowd train stations to return home for the lunar New Year.

Lixin Fan’s insightful new documentary Last Train Home, a featured selection at this year's San Francisco Film Festival, captures the phenomenon at its alarmingly frantic peak, concentrating on a single family, the Zhangs, divided by harsh economic realities and struggling to cope with the strain.

Scapin: Bill Irwin Barrels Through Moliere at ACT

Loose of limb and baggy of pants, Bill Irwin charges through Scapin, hitting on a young woman (by admiring her trunk), stuffing his cruel master in a sack, and disguising himself as a red suited ACT patron and crawling through box seats to elude said master's heavy hand with the walking stick of doom.

The Week in Local Music News

Psychic Handbook talks Blue Velvet, inner peace and West Oakland with the San Francisco Chronicle [via San Francisco Chronicle]

San Francisco newest live music space Public Works opens in the Mission; Mount Kimbie, Mary Anne Hobbs and Party Effects and more lined up for the club's inaugural weekend [via Public Works]

Live Review: The xx Get Intimate at the Fox

The xx’s lead vocalists Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft kept straight, earnest expressions as they breathily spilled their most intimate secrets to the sold-out crowd at the Fox last night. It was as if sharing those secrets was still hard despite the fact that their debut album, xx, has probably been heard by half the world by now.

Parking Quiz Answer! How To Park Downtown

A few hours ago our parking guru David LaBua, author of Finding the Sweet Spot, provided you with a little parking quiz about the secret to easy downtown parking. Here's the solution to a new era of stress-free commuting to work!

Parking Quiz: Downtown Parking

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 La Bua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

For those of you who work downtown and commute by car, listen up: there are more parking spots out there than you know about. We'll post about where they are and how to spot them in a few hours, but for now, test your parking IQ with this quiz (we'll post the answer to the quiz in a bit as well).

What percentage of moving traffic in the SF business districts are drivers searching for curbside parking?

Palo Alto's James Franco on Creating Cinematic Poetry as Ginsberg in 'Howl'

When Bob Rosenthal, executor of Allen Ginsberg’s estate, first approached filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman in 2005, asking them to do the seemingly impossible – adapt Ginsberg’s 1956 epic poem Howl for a movie – they immediately accepted his challenge. But how to do it?
 
“There was no way we were going to make the 50th anniversary, but we made the 55th,” says Friedman, 59. He and Epstein, an Oscar-winner for 1984’s The Times of Harvey Milk, had previously directed The Celluloid Closet, a 1995 documentary chronicling the history of gays in cinema.

Oliver Stone's Stock Drops with Unfocused Return to 'Wall Street'

Perhaps the greatest validation of Wall Street, Oliver Stone’s eloquent 1987 take on big-business corruption, was the eventual exposure of white-collar con men like Kenneth Lay and Bernie Madoff, whose unchecked greed would, years later, cost those who trusted them – and America – dearly.

Stone could at this point have let the facts speak for themselves, but instead chose to resurrect Gordon Gekko, the reptilian corporate raider, made famous by Michael Douglas, whose credo – “greed is good” – became the unofficial mantra of the Me Generation.

For Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Love Hits the Rocks in 'The Romantics'

The constant wrangling we see in The Romantics, directed and adapted from her own novel by Prozac Nation screenwriter Galt Neiderhoffer, might leave us emotionally drained if only we cared more, or perhaps knew more, about the characters at the heart of her talky melodrama.
 
This much we do know: A group of well-to-do Yalies have gathered along the picturesque Long Island shore for the marriage of ruggedly handsome Tom (Josh Duhamel) and his spoiled, emotionally distant bride-to-be Lila (Anna Paquin).
 

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