San Francisco is blessed–or cursed, depending on your view of things–this weekend with two very different showcases of classic film, moving along two surprisingly entwined pathways. The first, the San Francisco Silent Film festival, is a spectacular celebration of nostalgia which, though outstanding, is in the way of all nostalgia mostly expected. The second, YBCA and Goethe-Institut's PhotoFilm series, nurses a similar nostalgia for the great works of the experimental film avant-garde.
"[The] body was always naked… because of 70s. In 70s all artists was (sic) all naked--all of us dress in dirty white or dirty black; that was it." Humorously minimalising one of the more serious aspects of her earlier work in a speech at The Smithsonian, transgressive Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic seems so entrancing and well calibrated that it's nearly impossible to tell whether she's performing a character or not. Part cypher and part siren, for almost 50 years Abramovic has been building a body of work that is nearly impossible to look away from. Matthew Ackers and Jeff Dupre's new doc The Artist is Present, built around Abramovic's 2010 MoMA retrospective of the same name, is, like its subject, too compelling to ignore.
This week's drink recommendations come from Richard, the hard-surfing, fast-talking barman at Chambers Eat + Drink at the Phoenix Hotel. Having been to The Phoenix Hotel for many great outdoor events in the past, I recall eyeing the construction of Chambers with interest, but somehow I never made the time to stop by for a drink once it finally opened. Secretly congratulating myself on finding a good excuse to spend some time in to their sexy, record-lined lounge, I headed in for this week's indie theater picks:
The rare coming-of-age tale to put nascent female sexuality on display without moralizing or equivocating, first time director Jannicke Jacobsen's Turn Me On, Dammit! subversively suggests that the fastest way to grow up isn't to give up, it's to masturbate wildly.
"Thanks for letting me present you the facts, instead of some of the rumors that are blogging around." Victor Marquez, legal council for the developer behind both the future space of the Alamo Draft House and the condo development next door, began yesterday at a community meeting in the New Mission space about its future occupants.
The 36th edition of the Frameline Film Festival, the largest LGBT film fest in the Americas, opened yesterday with Vito, a tear-jerking doc about gay rights activist and pioneer of gay cinematic scholarship, Vito Russo. Thirty-two years after his death, the festival continues the work of his book "The Celluloid Closet" with an offering of docs, shorts and features broad enough to satisfy almost any taste, be it gay, straight, trans or yet-to-be discovered. Here are our 7 picks from the festival's two-week run, your results may vary!
This week's drink recommendations come from my friend Ryan Spencer at Slow's Barbeque in Detroit, where I spent last week for the Movement music festival. Although Detroit isn't a city known for its BBQ, more often than not when I asked locals for a dining recommendation, Slow's was the name on their lips. Nestled in the up-and-coming Corktown district across from a bar called O'Blivion's and next to an upmarket coffee shop where Stumptown, local roasts and, yes, Blue Bottle were on offer, it was almost like being back in San Francisco.
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