Arts + Culture
Kate Beckinsale is rarely acknowledged as an action star whose credentials in the genre rival Sigourney Weaver’s, but she should be.
She held off wolves, vampires and assorted snarling lowlifes in Underworld (2003) and its underrated sequel, Evolution (2006). She forcefully avoided becoming the star of Frank Whaley’s next snuff film in the scrappy thriller Vacancy (2007). And early in Whiteout, long before she’s called on to tame a masked killer, she gamely hops in the shower, dutifully pandering to her male demographic.
North America's longest-running celebration of cinema is over, but the city's indie theaters have a cure for your post-festival blues. So if you're disinclined to fight the crowds flocking to this weekend's hottest new release, Iron Man 2, there are plenty of worthy alternatives currently in rotation at a big screen near you.
Bach tossed in every available orchestral instrument when he composed the Brandenburg Concertos, a canny move that was labeled daring by his contemporaries and possibly cemented his status as the James Dean of Baroque. The following two hundred years mellowed the Brandenburg Concertos into beloved classics - and the newly minted string ensemble Archetti's eloquent performance is just in time for Mother's Day. Assuming your mom is into rebellion, 18th Century-style.
May 9-10, 3 p.m. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness. Tickets are $32-42 at (415) 392-4400.
I came upon the Banksy piece that dwells on Commercial Street in Chinatown this past weekend, and boy was it hard to miss. There were bunches of elderly people taking a gander at the thing, taking photos in front of it and discussing it fervently. What I couldn't help noticing was the fact that local residents had drilled a panel of plastic over it along with a cautionary sign to prevent would-be intruders from tagging over it. Way to preserve this work of art for the rest of us, Chinatowners! Now it's shielded from the elements as well as sneaky kids looking for the glory of defacing a Banksy piece.
Tony Stark may be self-obsessed and troubled by mortal thoughts – rightly so, considering the mechanical heart that’s keeping him alive is slowly polluting his body with lethal toxins – but he’s no Bruce Wayne. As played by Robert Downey Jr., he combines a sly sense of humor with natural showmanship. He enjoys being a superhero, and soaks up the spotlight with a narcissist’s glee.
It’s refreshing. Stark has a dark side, well-watered with cocktails, but he is hardly morose. He is intoxicated by the adoration of his fans, and tickled by the trappings of fame and obscene wealth. And he’s not afraid to toot his own horn. As he brags to a less-than-smitten Senate committee, “I have successfully privatized world peace.”