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Arts + Culture

John C. Reilly Finds His Holy Grail in ‘Cyrus’

Taking risks has never intimidated Mark and Jay Duplass.

Since debuting at Sundance in 2003 with This Is John, an eight-minute short shot on a three-dollar budget, the New Orleans-born brothers have gained fame (but not always fortune) as the founders of mumblecore, a verité-style approach to filmmaking that favors improvisation over scripted drama. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that they took an equally fearless approach in casting Cyrus, their first studio film, which opens Friday.

Birds & Batteries Fireworks Extravaganza

If you missed your local fireworks display this past Fourth, experimental synth pop band Birds & Batteries have your back. And the good thing, you’ll get the explosions without the brain battering sonic booms.

Muni: The Good, The Bad, The Blogs and the T-Shirts

Muni, the great equalizer: It connects our neighborhoods, forces us to interact with strangers, and often makes us crazy. For better or worse, it’s the glue that holds this town together.

THE GOOD

1. In June, the Clipper card replaced the TransLink. This all-inclusive transit card—good on Muni, BART, AC Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry—lets you load up to $300 worth of fare and skip the hassle of purchasing monthly passes.

The Exploratorium's Geometry Playground

Tom Rockwell sees an intimate connection – a oneness, even – between two things that “left brain, right brain” folk-science taught us were hopelessly separated: aesthetics and math. If you have ever declared yourself “not a math person,” a trip to Rockwell’s Geometry Playground at the Exploratorium may deliver a mind blowing much overdue. The exhibition aims to show the geometry in everything from hopscotch to high art. It goes up today and stays in SF until September 6. Come with your whole brain and, more importantly, your whole body.

Summer Reads by Local Authors

On the plane, at the beach, before bed: five summer reads from local authors.

Red Hook Road (Doubleday) by Ayelet Waldman

A Glimpse Behind the McSweeney's Curtain in 'The Art of McSweeney's

Though we’ll never fully understand the wonderful, weird goings-on in the minds of Dave Eggers and McSweeney’s staffers, the new book, Art of McSweeney’s (Chronicle Books) sheds some light on the first 11 (or 12, depending on whom you ask) years of this independent publishing house. The fully illustrated tome features commentary by McSweeney’s contributors, including Sarah Vowell and Michael Chabon, and charts the first 31 issues of the “quarterly concern” as well as the other books, DVDs and journals published under the McSweeney’s arm.

Calder to Warhol at the MOMA

Standing in the sculpture garden of the MOMA on a sunny day is a prime SF experience - like Hunky Jesus, but with fewer pecs. Currently featuring a quantum cloud of thousands of tiny metal shards, flattened ovals, and an eleven-foot spider, the top two floors (+ sculpture garden) are devoted to the Fisher Collection: Calder to Warhol.

Purported to be the exhibit that bumps the MOMA to a new level, the halls are a post-modern visual feast, filled with Roy Lichtenstein's abstract oil cartoons, Andy Warhol's Elvises wielding six shooters, and Cy Twombley's crayon squiggles depicting (apparently) the struggle of gods in Classical Antiquity.

Q&A With July Cover Artist, Wendy MacNaughton

Wendy MacNaughton, July's cover artist (who is also featured on Jen Bekman's 20x200 this month), has been chronicling the city for years through her drawings of commuters and "mental maps" of San Francisco neighborhoods (check out  her blog).

Buy Our July Neighborhoods Issue Cover as a Poster

For our July Neighborhoods issue, we commissioned Potrero Hill artist Wendy MacNaughton to draw a "psychological map" of SF neighborhoods for the cover and capture moments on Muni for our public transportation story. We couldn't be more delighted with the results. Says 7x7's Executive Editor Robin Rinaldi, "I love Wendy's art. It's gorgeously rendered, melancholy yet playful, clever yet sincere. Her 'mental map' of the city is my favorite cover of 7x7 ever."

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