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Arts + Culture

Idris Elba Talks 'Takers,' Rapper-Actors and Mastering the Mixtape

Idris Elba, who, with Matt Dillon, heads a potent ensemble cast in the new heist drama Takers, doesn’t plan to play a drug dealer anytime soon, as he did most famously in three seasons of HBO’s The Wire. And please don’t ask him about The Wire, either – he cherished the experience, but has been fielding questions about it for eight years. Enough is enough.
 

Hell Is Other People: The Stylishly Unsettling 'Last Exorcism'

Comparisons to The Blair Witch Project (1999) and last year’s Paranormal Activity are the inescapable fate of Daniel Stamm’s The Last Exorcism, if only because all three movies employ a similar ruse: they are scary stories masquerading as vérité snuff. And there’s nothing scarier than the idea, fueled by a bogus Internet rumor, that the bogeyman this time is real.
 
Exorcism seems in one way less gimmick-driven than the others, since it doesn’t arrive on the heels of a viral campaign touting its authenticity. Yet it comes across as the genuine article – we’re not fooled, exactly, but we are willing to believe. The story earns credibility.
 

First-Ever Polk Street Blues Festival This September

When the SF Blues Festival sadly ended in 2008, it left a big door wide open for a celebration of the genre on the streets of our city. Enter the Polk Street Blues Festival, which debuts this year.

Held on Polk Street from Pacific to Union Streets on September 25th and 26th, the FREE festival will sport two stages, food booths, arts and crafts, a merchant marketplace and a family area so you can hang out with the kids.

Ten Year Olds Who Play Metal: SF's The Thrashers

If you were at the Bay Bridged's Rock Make Street Festival, you might have been lucky enough to catch one of the best bands of day, the Thrashers. Their hard-driving metal lured one of the biggest crowds at the festival, everyone either hooting and hollering like groupies or just standing there dumbfounded. Why? Because the Thrashers have just turned ten years old, and their instruments were almost bigger than their own bodies.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Welcome, dear friends, to the first Indie Theater Roundup ever (partially) written and published from 30,000 feet above – hold on, let me check – Michigan! Will the wonders of technology ever cease to amaze? Let us all take a moment of silence to thank Richard Branson for this thrilling innovation to modern flight, then turn our attention to the matters at hand: movies! You want 'em, and the city's indie theaters have 'em. Check these out:

Behind the Scenes of Howl with Eric Drooker

If you haven’t already heard about Howl, listen up. Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have just finished a movie version of Allen Ginsberg’s famously epic poem. The movie, part live action drama—starring James Franco, Jon Hamm and Mary-Louise Parker—and part animation hits theaters September 24 and is going to be big. Simultaneously, Harper Collins is publishing a graphic novel of renowned artist Eric Drooker’s animation from the film. We had the honor of sitting down with the painter, New Yorker cover illustrator and Berkeley resident to learn more about this gargantuan project.
 

Last Call for the Historic Clay Theatre

Built in 1910, San Francisco's Clay Theatre, a single-screen cultural institution on Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, will close its doors, presumably for the last time, this weekend.

Though the San Francisco Film Society offered to buy the theater or to pay for the lease that Landmark Theatres has held since 1991, their overtures were rebuffed by the Clay's landlord, Balgobind Jaiswal. The future of the space remains unclear.

Those wishing to pay their last respects can do so Sunday evening, when the theater will bow out with an 8 p.m. screening of Radu Mihaileanu's romantic comedy The Concert.

Chronicle Books Releases 'Pocket Cash,' Jim Marshall's Final Book

With the death of San Francisco–based Jim Marshall in March of this year, so ended the career of one of the most influential music photojournalists of the 21st century. His final book, Pocket Cash (Chronicle Books), completed shortly before his death, is an arresting visual history of musical legends Johnny and June Carter Cash, with both rarely seen and iconic images taken between the mid- ’60s and mid-’70s. Marshall photographed the Cash family for more than 30 years, cultivating an intimacy that is reflected in these personal images.

Levi's Workshop & Green For All Launch A Limited Edition Book, With DJ Bob Mould Tomorrow

Lots of stuff brewing at the Levi's Workshop on Valencia Street tomorrow. Uber-conservationist Adam Werbach is teaming up with Green For All to launch a new campaign based around the growing grassroots movement for a new, green economy by printing a very limited edition book entitled Extinction/Adaptation with artists Andrew Schoultz and Kyle Knobel at the Workshop.

How Long Should I Stay at His Place After a Casual Hookup?

From a man’s point of view, how long should I stay at his place after a casual hookup or one-night stand? What goes through his head if I get up and go right away versus wait an hour or so versus leave in the morning? Does it actually matter?

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