Arts + Culture
Every picture tells a story, especially the ones etched on skin.
Wat’s that mean?” a series of nosy strangers have asked me over the years, pointing to the tattoo on my left forearm—eight Chinese characters surrounded by vibrant cherry blossoms.
“My wedding invitation,” I say. “It means, ‘The marriage of wind and water among ancient redwoods.’”
“How romantic!” They typically swoon a bit here, smiling at my dedication, wowed by my sense of monogamy. “How long have you been married?”
“I’m actually divorced.”
“Oh,” they say, righting themselves quickly. “I’m sorry. That’s the trouble with tattoos.”
Born in New York City, Jerrold Burchman migrated as a young man to California and since the ’60s has been recognized as one of the West Coast’s most significant painters. Burchman will exhibit his latest works, a series of dual-patterned, 12-inch-square paintings on wood panels called “La Piccola” (#9, above), at San Francisco’s Toomey Tourell Fine Art through June 30.
It sounds like the premise of a thousand monster movies: Brilliant but reckless scientists perform an ill-advised experiment, unleashing into the world a deadly beast. Havoc reigns. People die. Mankind once again pays the ultimate price for trying to play God.
The difference, in Vincenzo Natali’s chilling, cerebral Splice, is that the premise is handled with unusual restraint. Rather than embracing the sensational, Natali, who co-wrote the original story, seems more interested in the human drama that unfolds as two genetic engineers, played by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, form a precarious bond with the creature their human-DNA experiment has produced.
The return of Japanese filmmaking master Akira Kurosawa to the big screen should be reason enough to abandon the beautiful sunshine for nearly three hours. If not, a strong weekend of debuts should sweeten the deal. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
I have not yet seen Wall Street 2, Oliver Stone’s forthcoming sequel to the 1987 drama that introduced us to Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko, the reptilian stock-market overlord who coined the unofficial ’80s motto, “Greed is good.” But I cannot imagine a more fitting coda to Gekko’s saga than Brian Koppelman’s story of a down-on-his-luck car dealer nosediving to the nadir of a midlife crisis.