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Arts + Culture

Toronto in Review: The Latest from Danny Boyle, Errol Morris and John Carpenter

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.

Photos: Artist Brian Barneclo at W Hotel San Francisco Benefit for "Systems" Mural

On September 16, 2010, Brian Barneclo, the famed muralist whose cubist-inspired works adorn the walls of many a SF hot spot (Nopa, Rye, District, to name a few) presented new works in a show titled "Looped" at the W Hotel to benefit his Systems Mural Project, a community-funded 600 foot mural at 7th and Townsend in SOMA.

Race Relations in Black and White: 'Trouble in Mind' at the Aurora Theatre

In the days of constantly streaming Twitter and Facebook, it’s amazing anything stays relevant for a month, much less decades. But Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress - the first African-American woman to win an Obie award - remains an insightful exploration of racial inequality, even half a century later.

Written during the Civil Rights movement, this play-within-a-play follows a cast of black and white actors mounting a script about anti-lynching (by a white dude, naturally) on Broadway, a premise which opens the proverbial stage door to all manner of cultural side-stepping and socially mandated diffidence. Early in the play, an older black actor advises a younger one to “Laugh, laugh at everything they say.” Where “they” are white people in general, and white theater people in particular.

Are Fake Boobs a Turn-On or a Turn-Off?

I’m a 40-year-old woman contemplating a boob job, but every guy I know seems to respond negatively to the idea, saying fake boobs feel terrible. Are breast implants a turn-on or turn-off?

He Said: Guys are most attracted to women who feel good about themselves, especially as they get older. A hot, young chick can be surly, depressed, boring, untrustworthy, or annoying and still have guys trailing after her. But women and men attract the partner they deserve as the years go by. The real question is not what will your guy friends think, but how will you feel if your breasts are firmer, possibly larger, but probably less sensitive? The statistics say that most women are glad they had work done, so that’s encouraging.

Another Map of San Francisco, Now on 20x200















Band We Love: The Fresh N Onlys

One of the bands many of us here at 7x7 agree on is San Francisco's very own Fresh N Onlys. If you've seen them, you know that they're multifarious, loud and psychedelic.  And if you haven't, definitely check out their multitude of albums and EPs (these guys churn them out like they're nothing) - each one is a journey of the band's collective music-obsessed mind. And speak of the devil, they've got a new one hot off the presses - Play It Strange (In the Red) will be out October 12th.

Soul Legend Nina Simone Stars in Film Clip Night @ Bernal Heights Library Tonight

Do you remember the first time you ever heard a Nina Simone song? Did you think she was a man? An alien? The singular soul goddess and political activist was fearless, inimitable, and gone too soon, but most definitely not forgotten. Over the years, artists have paid tribute to this legend, from Anthony & the Johnsons' cover of "Be My Husband" to Mary J. Blige's forthcoming role as Simone in a biopic of the mercurial singer's life.

Olive Kitteridge at Word for Word

Whenever people ask for theater recommendations, I always point them toward Word for Word. If you’re not a literary buff, it’s excellent theater. If you were an English major or consistently check out eight books at a time from the public library, you’ll be blasted into geek heaven. Word for Word brings literature to life, complete with all the he-saids, she-saids of the original.

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