Our lead writers bring you the latest and greatest in Bay Area arts and culture this week.
A relaxing, unstructured way to unwind after the first week of classes, the 11th Annual San Francisco Zine Fest will take place Labor Day Weekend in Golden Gate Park. More than 150 local publications will be collaborating and inspiring attendees on both Saturday and Sunday for free. These independent publications make up in creativity what they lack in size or money, and many of them touch upon and expand on the styles and attitudes of comics, vintage books, street art and reappropriation.
Along with publications such as RE/Search and Sparkplug Comic Books, this year’s special guest is Sarah Oleksyk, whose graphic novel “Ivy,” about a high schooler suffering from love, art and teenage banalities, was nominated for Best Graphic Novel at the Eisner awards this year. Also an animator for Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show,” she will be sharing her experiences as a rare hybrid of both a visual artist and writer. Also free, additional workshops and panels will discuss the process of hand-sewing books, hunting for vintage clothes and more.
A.J. Kiyoizumi is the lead literature critic.
If you’re looking for something a bit closer to home, the Pacific Film Archive is wrapping up several of its wonderful summer film programs. “Bellissima,” a series focusing on the leading ladies of Italian cinema, concludes this week with Ettore Scola’s “Drama of Jealousy.” It will screen at the PFA theater and Maureen Gosling, the decorated editor of “Dreams,” will be in attendance. A bit of advice to freshmen and those not in the know: A one-semester pass to the PFA is only $35. The PFA student pass gives you admission to every PFA screening for free, compared to $5.50 a ticket for Cal students. It’s a jolly good investment.
Thomas Coughlan is the lead film critic.
The hip-hop/indie rock band Why? will be performing at the Great American Music Hall this Thursday. Led by Berkeley-bred frontman Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf, the group just released their new EP Sod in the Seed and have a new studio album in the works as well. With a sound somewhere between Flobots and Cake, Why? is one of the most cult-revered bands in the Bay Area. If you missed Sublime with Rome at The Greek Theatre and still need to get your fix of chill rap/rock/reggae music, 311, Slightly Stoopid and SOJA will be headlining the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View this Friday. If you have the ticket money and transportation to splurge on, then go and enjoy one last shard of the summer sun.
If there was ever a time to ignore school and head to the theater, this week would be it. On Aug. 29, the renowned Berkeley Repertory Theatre will premiere “Chinglish.” Written by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang, the play follows an Ohio businessman’s attempt to seal a critical contract for his family’s firm amid a slew of comedic and provocative cultural misunderstandings.
Right next door to Berkeley Rep, on Aug. 30, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” will open at the Aurora Theatre. Who is Chad Deity? And why is his entrance so particularly elaborate? Well, Chad Deity is a wrestling star, and playwright Kristoffer Diaz’s piece examines the sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic world of pro wrestling. However, if cultural comedy and the politics of pro-wrestling aren’t your bag, what about a sex farce? With sea creatures? That’s how the Impact Theatre is advertising its newest production — “The Fisherman’s Wife” — which manages to incorporate sexual frustration, fishing and a “ravenously horny giant squid” all into one play.
Jessica Pena is the lead theatre critic.
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