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This week in arts

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This Friday afternoon, at 3 p.m., the Berkeley Art Museum is hosting Film Forward, a colloquium on the state of film education, curation and criticism. Prominent Bay Area film personalities will be on the panel, including independent filmmakers Tiffany Shlain (“Connected”) and Barry Jenkins (“Medicine for Melancholy”), film journalists Susan Gerhard and Michael Fox, as well as Susan Oxtoby, senior curator at Pacific Film Archive, and others.

The colloquium has been organized by the BAM/PFA student committee, and there will be a free reception at Babette Cafe, located in the Berkeley Art Museum. This is an exciting opportunity to meet-and-greet with Bay Area film experts. Also in attendance will be Stephen Parr of Oddball Film and Video, which hails from San Francisco, and avant-garde filmmaker Craig Baldwin, who’s from Oakland.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.


Returning with his first retail album in four years, Bay Area hip-hop artist Planet Asia will be releasing Black Belt Theatre this Tuesday. Fans who have been with Asia since the beginning will surely appreciate this album, as it integrates his usual high-quality production with his lyrical maturity in a whirlwind of heavy beats and kung-fu overtones. If you haven’t heard of Asia before, Black Belt Theatre is definitely a worthy introduction to the veteran artist.

Before they play their sold-out show at The Independent this Saturday, local band Geographer will be playing a free show at Berkeley’s Amoeba Music Tuesday at 6 p.m. The electric soul trio will be playing an intimate acoustic show in honor of the release of their new album Myth, which also comes out the same day. What better way to check out a local band — with a cello player at that — than at a free concert?

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.


If you feel like staying close to home for your next theater fix, look no further than the UC Berkeley campus itself.

See your fellow students and faculty perform in the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies department’s production of “Ishi: The Last of the Yahi.”

The historical play, which begins this Friday at Zellerbach Playhouse, is about a real-life historical figure, Ishi, who was the last remaining member of the Yahi tribe and became a subject of study at the UC Berkeley Anthropology museum in 1911.

For a family-friendly affair, the Berkeley Playhouse presents an update of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” at the Julia Morgan Theatre, opening this Saturday.

The classic comedy operetta will be touched up with rock ‘n’ roll and swashbuckling fights. Of course, the pirates remain a permanent fixture of the modern version of this popular production. Ahoy matey!

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual Art

Mark two events in your calendar next week: Marcos LaFarga’s show “Make it Rain” and “The Pancakes & Booze Art Show.” Bay Area street artist, LaFarga will be showing works from the past year in his solo exhibit at Sticks + Stones Gallery. One of the works on display will be his piece from the East Bay Express newspaper box project. Fellow street artist Eddie Colla is working with local artists to turn the boxes into works of art. Check out LaFarga’s box before it hits Oakland street corners.

On Friday and Saturday, the underground art show “Pancakes & Booze” is coming to San Francisco. Featuring works from more than 75 up-and-coming Bay Area artists, the event will showcase the best of the city’s art scene. With live audio and visual performances, body painting and copious amounts of pancakes and booze, what could be bad?

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.

Contact Deanne Chen at 


FEBRUARY 26, 2012

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