This Week in Arts

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A festival of short films made on smart phones,  web cams and Flip cameras? There really is such a thing, and it is The Disposable Film Festival, which makes its San Francisco debut this Thursday at the Castro Theatre. Executive director Carlton Evans and his staff are kicking off their fifth year with the festival, which embraces emerging (and cheap-ass) technologies that enable filmmakers to reinvent the way they shoot films. And the festival, too, is portable.

Disposable travels all over the country and is finishing up its run at the Castro from March 22 to the 25. The weekend also includes panel discussions with members of the indie film community, including producer Ted Hope and iPhone animator Sascha Ciezata, and a few youth workshops. Advance tickets are $14 and they can be purchased at, or at the Castro box office.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.

This Wednesday, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars will be giving a funky-fresh performance at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Along with James Brown and Sly Stone, Clinton has been recognized as one of the innovators of funk, in addition to being a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. If you’re looking to dance and groove, be sure to check out one of funk’s remaining living legends.

If you’re feeling a little more punk, and want something more rooted in the Bay Area, Rancid will be playing two nights at The Warfield in San Francisco this Friday and Saturday. Formed in Albany and Berkeley, the punk veterans will be returning to the Bay for their first tour in three years. Although both shows are sold-out, hopefully the Internet will help those in need to scrounge around for tickets.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.

You don’t need to be an art history major to recognize a Mark Rothko painting. An Abstract Expressionist, Rothko is renowned for his murals of huge, rectangular blocks of color (to put it crudely). Rothko’s signature primary red also dominates the promotional posters for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s “Red,” a two-character drama on the artist’s legacy and creative process opening this Thursday.

“Red,” which originally opened on Broadway and swept up six Tony Awards, is written by John Logan, the acclaimed screenwriter for big-name films like “Gladiator” and “Hugo.” It might seem intimidating that the play only features Rothko and his apprentice engaging in Socratic dialogue on art and philosophy. However, the performance is marketed as an accessible yet intellectual sparring match between teacher and student.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.
Visual art

Among the most fertile areas for creativity, innovation and artistic freedom, the Bay Area is the ideal environment for young artists to find inspiration. It’s no wonder the Bay is known for producing some of the most influential names in the contemporary art world. Marcelo Gutierrez is a promising young talent, who will be sharing his work with the public for the first time on Thursday at Hatch Gallery in Oakland.

Gutierrez works in a variety of media, including paint, linoleum prints, graphite ceramic and performance. His illustration “21st Century Still-Life” explores the motivations behind our preoccupation with social networking. Gutierrez will be graduating from Berkeley High School this year. Through his show “Marcelo Goes to School: an art show benefiting a college education,” Marcelo hopes to raise the funds to attend California College of Arts for the fall.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.