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Readers know I have talked about “Melancholia” ad nauseum, but this Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco could be your last chance to see Lars von Trier’s spectacular film on the big screen.

It’s kind of a trek, but witnessing “Melancholia” — which stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg and is an epic drama of the end of the world on modestly scaled terms — in all its enormity is worth it.

Thanks to the Danish director’s anti-Semitic remarks at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, “Melancholia” never got the audience it deserved. It was ignored throughout the awards season but has become a darling of critics and cult audiences alike. Other upcoming showings of note at the Castro include an all-weekend marathon of “Fantasia,” a “Planet of the Apes” double bill and John Cassavetes’s rarely seen “Love Streams.”

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.


Have you always wanted to go to an event that exposed you to as much underground and local arts as possible, but been unable to find it? Enter Noise Pop, now in its 20th year as one of SF’s largest indie music, art and film festivals. The festival has featured popular acts such as The White Stripes and The Shins but has also been known for hosting bands before they hit fame such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

This year’s headliners include The Flaming Lips, Sleigh Bells and Built to Spill. The main feature, however, is getting to see all the local acts. While many , like Release the Sunbird and Imperial Teen, are unfortunately sold out, other acts, such as The Fresh & Onlys and The Dodos, have some tickets left. The art shows and movie screenings all still have tickets available as well. The festival runs this Tuesday through Sunday.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.


If you have a hot date to impress or free time to hang out with friends, you’re in luck, because it’s a packed week for out-of-the-ordinary theater openings.

For action-violence, head over to La Val’s Subterranean to see Impact Theater perform “Titus Andronicus,” beginning this Thursday. Set in the Roman Empire, it’s Shakespeare’s most violent play and will include fight choreography and tons of stage blood.

Starting this Thursday at San Francisco’s The Cutting Ball Theater, “Tontlawald” is an experimental retelling of an Estonian tale involving a ghost forest. The performance will blend drama, dance and acapella chorus. At Zellerbach Hall this Friday and Saturday, legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones and the Arnie Zane Dance Company will premiere “Story/Time.” Accompanied by a live score, the dance will reflect on the passage of time and memory.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual Art

The East Bay and San Francisco art scenes offer ample opportunities to get your culture fix in the coming week.

Following the opening of “The Art of Letterpress” (covered last week by Jessica Pena), The Compound Gallery & Studios will be screening “Typeface” on Thursday. Tracing the events at a letterpress museum in rural Wisconsin, the film is about the preservation of the antique art form in the technology era.

The next evening, Francesco Deiana and Lafe Harley play with lines, light and patterns in their show “More Light” at Park Life in San Francisco.

Also on Friday, San Francisco’s Roll Up Gallery and Noise Pop come together to introduce the works of Teebs, or Mtendere Mandowa, in the show “Teebs: s p c d.” Described as a “painter of sound,” he combines sound and sight into vivid, engaging works of art.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.

Contact Ryan Lattanzio at 


FEBRUARY 20, 2012

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