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Former San Francisco Chef Turned Filmmaker Examines the Post-9/11 World in ‘The Oath’

Laura Poitras is no stranger to conflict. After making her directorial debut in 2003 with Flag Wars, a provocative examination of tensions stirred by urban gentrification in Columbus, Ohio, Poitras traveled to Iraq for her 2006 follow-up, the Oscar-nominated documentary My Country, My Country, in which she monitored America’s occupation during a six-month period leading to the 2005 national election.

‘Toy Story 3’ a Worthy Addition to the Pixar Oeuvre

Has Pixar set the bar too high? There’s nothing really wrong with Toy Story 3 – on the contrary, there’s so much right that it would be tempting to overlook its shortcomings altogether. But we get paid for full-service reviews, so it is with slight hesitation that I applaud the conclusion of a memorable trilogy.

Why the misgiving? Everything would appear to be in place. Pixar once again has created a spectacle unlike any other, unsurpassed in its visual brilliance and in the richness of detail evident in its characters and the world they inhabit. It is a movie that demands repeat viewings, as the intricacies of its artwork can’t be appreciated fully in a single sitting.

San Francisco's International LGBT Film Festival Opens Tonight

James Kent's The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister – a BBC-produced period drama about an English gentlewoman who prefers the fairer sex – opens Frameline34, the 2010 edition of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, tonight at the Castro Theatre. Tickets for the 7 p.m. screening are no longer available for online purchase, but those eager to attend can try their luck at the Castro box office.

The Pastures of Heaven

After my 14-year-old self was scarred by The Red Pony, I could never work up suitable enthusiasm for John Steinbeck. But local playwright Octavio Solis's beautifully-wrought adaption of The Pastures of Heaven has me convinced Steinbeck is as crucial to the American literary canon as everyone claims. (As is Solis to the theater, but that I already knew.)

Warm, deftly poetic, and funny even in tragedy, The Pastures of Heaven follows the lives of farmers and teachers and dreamers as they search for contentment in Steinbeck's lush Salinas Valley. It's the perfect show for Cal Shakes, with rolling hills behind the outdoor ampitheater and stars rising as the evening darkens.

Celebrate Pride Beyond the Castro: 10 Gay Supportive Businesses We Love

Celebrate Pride outside the triangle at these 10 gay-supportive businesses we love.

Rosenow Floral Design. Auspiciously named, Erin Rosenow has really, um, blossomed since opening Rosenow Floral Design in 2008. That same year, she showed her support for marriage equality by donating wedding petals to gay and lesbian couples who managed to say “I do” pre-Prop.

Levi Strauss & Co. Let’s just say that when it comes to supporting LGBT rights, Levi’s is one big, bad mamma jamma.

Former bin Laden Bodyguard Recalls al-Qaeda Radicalism in ‘The Oath’

“I told him America can’t fight without planes, girlfriends, pizza and macaroni. But our jihadis can live on stale bread.” So says Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, who argues with a prospective jihadi that the murder of American innocents on 9/11 was justified, a simple strategic strike that represented a great symbolic victory. “Tarzan wanted to enter the region,” he says, meaning the Middle East. “Now he must pay the price.”

Photos: Bone Thugs N' Harmony at The Indy

It's the first of the month! Okay not really but here are some photos from Bone Thugs N' Harmony's Independent performance last week.

 

Joan Rivers on the Gender Politics of Comedy and a Life Spent on Camera

Joan Rivers, at 77, remains one of the hardest-working comedians in the business. She performs more than 200 stand-up gigs each year. Last year, she starred in the second season of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice – and to no one’s surprise was the winner. She sells jewelry on cable TV. And she is front and center in Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s fascinating new documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

Giants Bagging Groceries at the Potrero Center Safeway Today

Baseball fans can catch a rare but special appearance by a few players today, but not on King Street. Giants Aaron Rowand and Jeremy Affeldt will join former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda—hold your jeers, it's for a good cause!—and a group of doctors bagging groceries at the Potrero Center Safeway today at noon. The special guest baggers will ask for $1 donations for the Prostate Cancer Foundation so don't be stingy! And if you really hate the Dodgers, buy some Slim-Fast and go to Lasorda's line...

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