This Week in Arts

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Film

The week of March 5 offers a surfeit of great repertory picks for San Francisco cinephiles. On March 7, The Castro Theatre screens Woody Allen’s hilarious and nostalgic “Manhattan” in its proper 35mm format. On March 9, The Castro screens two ’90s gems, “Reality Bites” and “My Own Private Idaho,” as part of its beloved Midnites for Maniacs series. Here are two films that cement our current obsession with grunge, fashionable pessimism and stone-washed denim. On the other side of town, Roxie Theater continues its series of pre-Hays Code (which, though deposed in the late ’60s, still seems to be a philosophy of Hollywood today) films charged with perversity of all kinds. Films include 1933’s “The Story of Temple Drake,” about a prissy girl essentially gang-raped by bootleggers, and “Call Her Savage” from 1932, which boasts silent film star Clara Bow at her most lecherous.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.

Music

When you think of a famous ’90s Bay Area alternative rock group, most will name Green Day. However, Counting Crows are another band who got their start in the East Bay. Now releasing their first album in four years, the feathered septet will be kicking off their tour in San Francisco with sold-out shows at Slim’s and the Great American Music Hall.

While the band will later play an April concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland, it doesn’t always happen that you get to see a well-known act at small, intimate venues such as the aformentioned SF clubs. While this is not out of the ordinary for many bands — such as Green Day — fame and record labels can bolster a band’s ego to the point where they forget how they got their start. These “thank you” shows that groups like Counting Crows put on prove that a band — even with an Academy Award nomination — retain a sense of humility.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.

Theater

With the presidential primary elections in full-swing, it may be enlightening to hearken back to what Shakespeare had thought of politicians. The African-American Shakespeare Company presents Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” at the Buriel Clay Theater in San Francisco, beginning this Saturday. The Bard’s classic work will be adapted as a political thriller with universal implications on the dangers of demagoguery and patriotism.

At The Marsh Theater in San Francisco this Thursday, UC Berkeley Journalism School educator and stand-up comic Marilyn Pittman will perform her autobiographical one-woman show, “It’s All the Rage.” Shocked by her parents’ murder-suicide in 1997, Pittman was compelled to tell the story of her family’s tragedy. The show is presented through her sharp comic gifts, but mostly is a devastating portrayal of domestic violence.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual art

Old Crow Tattoo and Gallery has recently been putting out some engaging and provocative shows, and they have yet another opening this weekend that is definitely worth checking out.

Opening Saturday, the show “Sweeping of Giants: A Visual Movement From Ink to Abstract” will feature the works of Shawn Whisenant, Weirdo, David Polka, Jessica Jenkins and Robert Bowen. The diverse group of artists will be displaying paintings, prints and photographs together in the gallery.

Seattle-based artist Weirdo will also be painting a mural live on campus. In compositions that look like photographic renditions of dream-like images, his work fuses realism and surrealism. He will be painting in the area of the UC Berkeley anthropology department building during the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so keep an eye out.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.