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This Week in Arts

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This Friday, The Castro Theatre shows Andrzej Zulawski’s newly unearthed “Possession.” This 1981 film has been traveling the repertory circuit, at the BAMcinematek in New York and The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. The film is half body horror nightmare, half poem to broken East Berlin, and a wholly anxiety-filled experience. Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani star as a married couple whose relationship disintegrates after Anna (Adjani) births a monstrous tentacular creature that becomes her sex partner. Meanwhile, Mark (Neill) is sent on a downward spiral at the hands of his deranged wife. There’s gore galore, and balls-to-the-walls kitchen sink realism wherein Mark and Anna do verbal battle.

It screens at 7 p.m. and is followed by fellow Polish director Roman Polanski’s “The Tenant” (1976), featuring Polanski himself and Adjani. Both are 35 millimeter prints — hallelujah!

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.


This coming Tuesday, Berkeley’s own KALX will be hosting a night of electronica at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. The headliner will be Toronto duo Memoryhouse, an ambient-electro band who released their debut studio album The Slideshow Effect two weeks ago.

Sacramento’s trip-hop trio Sister Crayon will also be performing that night, as well as Oakland’s own electro-pop duo James & Evander. If you’re feeling up for a night of digi-pop, the  doors open at 8 p.m.

All you Weezer fanatics out in the Bay — or those who just love prog-country rock — should check out The Relationship at San Francisco’s Amoeba Music this Thursday at 6 p.m. Consisting of Weezer guitarist Brian Bell and Nate Shaw of Die Hunns fame, the duo will begin their West Coast Special Tour 2012 with a free show at Amoeba before they play Cafe Du Nord later that night.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.


Travel to pre-revolutionary Russia at the Ashby Stage this Wednesday for a passionate night with some of the era’s most influential intellectuals. The Shotgun Players present “The Coast of Utopia: Voyage,” the first part of an epic trilogy written by Tom Stoppard, the prolific (and frankly, legendary) British playwright. It’s a rare treat, as the Tony Award-winning play has only been produced once before in America. “Voyage” is set from 1833 to 1844, when Russia was still ruled by Tsar Nicholas I, but philosophical debates on reform began to bloom. The play imagines the lives of actual historical figures, a social circle consisting of prominent thinkers like Michael Bakunin, the father of anarchism and Alexander Herzen, a founder of socialism. We may know of the impending chaos of revolution from history, but the play portrays a time when romantic dreams of utopia were still fresh and hopeful.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual Art

Technology and culture fuse together into two epic days of watching, creating, discussing and experimenting at The Creators Project this weekend in San Francisco. Posed at the crossroads of technology and culture, the organization is kicking off their worldwide event series starting in San Francisco. United Visual Artists have installed a staggering three-dimensional metal grid that incorporates light and sound into an overwhelming and stunning spectacle. There will be new works by Casey Reas, who uses software as his primary medium by turning sketches into code then into images.

Besides these feats of art and design, there will also be film screenings, live music (from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Shabazz Palaces among others) and tasty grub provided by food trucks. Cultivating a space to exchange innovative ideas, The Creators Project presents a futuristic vision of art.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.

Contact Ryan Lattanzio at 


MARCH 11, 2012

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